July 2020 to June 2021


Mt Cook Connect is a Mt Cook Mobilised project which aims to broaden community and neighbourly connections in Mt Cook, to increase community resilience and emergency preparedness, and to capitalise on Wellington City Council’s city-wide promotion of community programmes (e.g. Seniors’ Week, and Neighbours Week). Below is a summary of Mt Cook Connect’s events and activities from its first year, followed by the 8 outcomes agreed with Wellington City Council.


We thank Wellington City Council for their support of Mt Cook Connect, for the wider community programmes they run, and for their support of the wider community coordinator whānau ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Thanks also to Mt Cook community members for their input, the MCM Treasurer, Mt Cook Connect Advisory Group members, Hopper Home, New Crossways Trust and neighbouring Community Centre Coordinators at Mt Vic Hub, Thistle Hall, Newtown Community & Cultural Centre, Berhampore Centennial Community Centre, and Aro Valley Community Centre, for inspiration and collaborations, and to the wider Wellington City Community Coordinator whānau for inspiration and support.

Getting Started

A lot of the event and activity ideas arose from conversations and suggestions from within the Mt Cook Community, and from learning of people’s common interests. The intention of Mt Cook Connect is to broaden the reach of activities being run in Mt Cook, around six community-building ‘strands’: (i) create a website and a facebook page, (ii) encourage neighbourly street and apartment communities, (iii) build relationships with the educational institutions in Mt Cook, (iv) involve a mix of people in the community, (v) take advantage of the local heritage and natural environment, and (vi) start to prepare for the new community rooms that Kāinga Ora is building in two new complexes in Mt Cook, where new or existing activities can be run.

Events & Activities

Mt Cook Connect Events & Collaborations (1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021)
Saturday, 4 July 2020Community Litter Pickup
Wednesday, 15 July 2020Website Shell Template Created
Wednesday, 29 July 2020HEB Lizard Habitat Building with Wellington High School
Tuesday, 18 August 2020Evaluation of Stored Sheyne Tuffery Hoardings with Mt Cook School
Sunday, 23 August 2020Neighbours’ Soup Lunch on Rolleston Street (postponed due to rain)
Saturday, 12 September 2020Coffee at the Garden – Howard Street Community Garden
Tuesday, 29 September 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra
Saturday, 3 October 2020Community Litter Pickup
Sunday, 11 October 2020Neighbours’ Soup Lunch on Rolleston Street
Tuesday, 13 October 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra
Sunday, 18 October 2020Coffee at the Garden – Howard Street Community Garden
Tuesday, 20 October 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra
Sunday, 8 November 2020Seniors’ Week Island Bay Marine Education Centre (cancelled for rain)
Tuesday, 10 November 2020Seniors’ Week ‘Stay Healthy & Strong’ Gym Class at Massey Gym
Tuesday, 10 November 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra
Thursday, 12 November 2020Seniors’ Week Trip to Government House
Sunday, 15 November 2020Mt Cook Spring Fling
Tuesday, 17 November 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra & Botanic Prints Demonstration
Tuesday, 24 November 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra
Tuesday, 1 December 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra
Saturday, 5 December 2020Community Litter Pickup
Tuesday, 8 December 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra
Sunday, 13 December 2020Mt Cook Christmas Brunch at Southern Cross
Sunday, 13 December 2020Revolucion Apartments Christmas Treats
Tuesday, 15 December 2020Community Afternoon Tea at Te Māra
Sunday, 20 December 2020Community Survey Prize Draw
Thursday, 4 February 2021Seed Packing Afternoon Tea at Preservatorium
Friday, 5 February 2021Neighbourly Fish & Chips at Hopper Home
Thursday, 11 February 2021Seed Packing Afternoon Tea at Preservatorium
Friday, 12 February 2021Neighbourly Fish & Chips at Hopper Home
Friday, 19 February 2021Neighbourly Fish & Chips at Hopper Home
Friday, 26 February 2021Neighbourly Fish & Chips at Hopper Home
Sunday, 28 February 2021BBQ beside Gully Working Bee Area (cancelled at Covid Alert Level 2)
Monday, 15 March 2021Park(ing) Day on Cuba Street
Saturday, 20 March 2021Thistle Hall Great Plant Swap
Sunday, 21 March 2021Yard Sale at Revolucion
Sunday, 21 March 2021Hargreaves Street Afternoon Tea at HEB Compound
Saturday, 27 March 2021Tainui Street Afternoon Tea
Saturday, 3 April 2021Community Litter Pickup
Sunday, 11 April 2021Tees & Totes Fundraiser for Howard Street Garden at Newtown Fair
Sunday, 2 May 2021Fundraiser Stall for Howard Street Garden at Hopper Home Upcycle Market
Monday, 10 May 2021Knitting Elective at Mt Cook School
Saturday, 15 May 2021Unnamed Gully Gardening Group Meetup, Town Belt below Sub-Station
Sunday, 16 May 2021Coffee at the Garden – Howard Street Community Garden
Monday, 17 May 2021Knitting Elective at Mt Cook School
Monday, 24 May 2021Knitting Elective at Mt Cook School
Sunday, 30 May 2021Mt Cook Community Earthquake Hub Drill
Monday, 31 May 2021Knitting Elective at Mt Cook School
Saturday, 5 June 2021Community Litter Pickup
Tuesday, 18 May 2021Central Park Apartments Outreach Trip to Zealandia
Tuesday, 22 June 2021Guided Walk to Papawai Stream with PolyHigh Tamariki and Kaiako

Some of the events listed here were not included in the Outcomes reported to WCC, viz, where Mt Cook Connect played a minor role, but was not the event organiser.

The major item not showing in this list is work on the Mt Cook Connect website. This is an ongoing activity.

Where to from here?

There is definitely more to do to encourage neighbours to get to know and support each other in our diverse suburb. Mt Cook is home to many students and young professionals, families, social housing, short and long-time residents, many renting. The housing stock is a mix of apartments, townhouses and standalone houses. There is ongoing work in making links between such a mixture of people, and supporting initiatives and ideas that arise in the community.

Our Community Emergency Hub Drill highlighted that there is work to be done to tailor the drill for Mt Cook and spread awareness in the community and centres of education about how the Hub functions and interfaces with their own emergency plans. The current Hub model is very different to the earlier Civil Defence model where CD Experts showed up and ran the Hub. And, of course, if there is a tsunami warning and the CBD is evacuated, Mt Cook will be one of the first ports of call for people leaving the CBD.

The community survey in 2020 gave a strong indication that Mt Cook people value the idea of community gardens. Community gardens are a fun way of mixing in together. The Papawai Restoration Area is a great success. The Howard Street Community Garden started up in the last twelve months, and other gardening areas will be possible, if we look out for them.

Developing the website is a current focus, which will take some time to maintain and further develop to become a valuable local resource, for instance, adding a ‘Buy Local’ component to the webpage would give Mt Cook businesses and contractors a place to advertise their services.

Over to You!

Hopefully you now feel inspired to share more of your ideas for getting Mt Cook connected.  You could come to a brainstorming hui, send an email to info@mtcookconnect.nz  or phone Carol on 021 0885 4991. Thanks!

Carol Comber – Mt Cook Connect Coordinator


June 2021 – Update on the 8 Outcomes Agreed with WCC


Outcome 1     Mt Cook Connect has engaged in various forms with residents in order to understand and support their needs.

Many conversations have been held with residents and some have led to neighbours brainstorming community suggestions – two examples are, the suggestion to hold working bees in the Town Belt below the Central Park sub-station near the Berkeley Dallard apartments, and the suggestion to hold a Revoluciòn Apartments Christmas Event.

An online Community Survey was sent out by email, on Facebook, and publicised on a flyer. The standout finding was that Mt Cook people are very supportive of community gardens. The feedback received was useful, although the number of respondents (56), was disappointing, despite the link being sent a second time. When asked how their needs could be supported, some of the great suggestions were, to offer transport to events, to set-up a local shared compost area, and to create a Mt Cook directory of local services and expertise (this would be an excellent addition to the Mt Cook Connect website). The findings of the survey are part of ‘Get Involved’ on the Mt Cook Connect website.

One very practical way that community needs have been supported is by becoming familiar with Council people and processes and sharing that knowledge, e.g. one resident is keen on getting a street mural painted and wanted to how to get started, another wanted to close off their street for a street meal and wanted to know about road closure for a small event.

Flyers listing events in Mt Cook were delivered to Mt Cook letterboxes in November (for Seniors’ Week) and in February. The flyers included Mt Cook Connect contact details for email, mobile phone and Facebook for anyone wanting to get in touch.

Engaging with Massey University and the student population has a short window of opportunity from about March to September, due to exams and the long summer holidays. Useful connections with Massey University are starting to develop, for instance, the Residential Life Coordinator at the Cube (Massey Hall of Residence in Taranaki Street) is happy to post events on the student Halls of Residence social media, and the Massey Intranet ‘My Hub’ administrator has issued a UserID so that Mt Cook Connect events can be posted for inclusion on the Massey ‘My Hub’ Intranet for students.


Outcome 2     Mt Cook residents have actively participated in, and led, activities that respond to the needs of the community.

Working with a couple of residents at Revoluciòn Apartments has been rewarding. When we initially discussed holding a Christmas get-together there was a lot of reticence, based on the residents’ experience of the body corporate’s unwillingness to allow noisy activity at the apartments. The Christmas event was very successful, and after the event apartment residents began to say hello to each other, and the amount of interaction on the apartment Facebook group increased. The residents then organised a Neighbours’ Day Garage Sale in the Courtyard. The key residents who were involved in these events are all leaving Wellington, hopefully they have enthused others.

Community Afternoon Teas with a baking activity were held at the Kāinga Ora apartments at Te Māra Community Room. One of the Te Māra residents quickly adopted the role of baker and decided what to cook the following week. Attendees generally helped to clean up afterwards.

The annual Mt Cook Spring Fling is an excellent example of a collaborative event. A meeting is held to plan the event, and a core volunteer group organise it. This event has been held for over 10 years and is very popular.

The Howard Street Community Garden started when WCC was ready to reinstate the garden after pipework in the street. One of the residents asked if this could be made into a citrus garden? After emailing people who lived near the area to see if there was enough interest, the group was formed, a coordinator found and an MOU signed with WCC. Mt Cook Connect worked with the group on their fundraising idea based on printing tee shirts and tote bags using a design from a piece of local street art which had been replaced recently. The garden group members sold the items at Newtown Fair Day.

The Manager at PolyHigh Childcare took the opportunity to contact the Omāroro Reservoir Community Liaison Officer to organise a site visit for the older PolyHigh children, after hearing about this from Mt Cook Connect. The older children have also been on a locally guided walk to learn about their local stream and the Papawai Restoration Area.

A new group is being formed to care for a Town Belt area below the Central Park sub-station near the Berkeley Dallard apartments. A BBQ and working bee was organised, but cancelled the night before due to a rise in Covid level. Once the working bees get underway an Information Day will be held for the neighbouring Berkeley Dallard residents.


Outcome 3     The community is better prepared for emergencies or disasters because of access to shared information and resources.

The Mt Cook Connect website contains a section on disaster preparedness – Be Prepared. This section includes links to many resources in the Checklists for Getting Ready section (WREMO checklists, Neighbourhood Support information, QuakeSafe your home). There are tips from a community session with WREMO and information on buying a water tank. The WREMO Advisor reviewed the Mt Cook Connect Be Prepared webpages and thought they were very useful.

At the Mt Cook Spring Fling a display was created of the two-bucket toilet method, this was added to the Mt Cook Connect Facebook page and the Mt Cook Connect webpage.

A visit was made to one of the well-established street Neighbours’ Day afternoon teas, to hand out the WCC Neighbours’ Resources Register. The afternoon tea is a social event. Two of the neighbours undertook to ask people to fill in the Resources Register. Further follow-up is needed.

In May, a Community Emergency Hub Drill was organised at Mt Cook School Hall, which is the Mt Cook Hub. In preparation for the Drill, all nine of the Mt Cook and nearby childcare centres were visited to deliver a Drill poster and explain how the Community Emergency Hub works. At the Drill WREMO presented scenarios for the group to work through. The group decided that a ‘runner’ should be sent to the preschools to make sure they are OK, if an emergency occurs on a week day. One representative from a preschool attended the Drill, which was a very successful event. The Drill highlighted additional actions that need to be taken to prepare, and that we need to do more to let people know about the purpose of the Community Emergency Hub. Following the Drill a newsletter panui was sent to the childcare centres to update them on the Drill outcomes, and to provide some other Mt Cook opportunities.


Outcome 4     The website provided useful and relevant resources which enabled the residents to participate in their local community.

After an initial push and a steep learning curve developing the website, building face-to-face relationships became a higher priority. Since the February Interim Outcomes Report, more webpages have been added, especially venues pages.

Te Māra’s entry on Wellington City Council’s community facilities webpage has had several enquiries. A couple of people have been in touch about venues and have been sent the link to the Mt Cook Connect venues webpage. The venue owners whose venues have already been added have been excited to be part of this local resource.

The link for the Be Prepared section has been included in the Mt Cook Mobilised email newsletter. Learning Places includes a list and a GoogleMap of all the early childcare centres, this will be useful for anyone new to the area who has a pre-schooler.

Further webpage content is under preparation.


Outcome 5     Spaces and places within Mt Cook are activated to support connection and participation within the community.

Mt Cook Connect has been running some events together with Hopper Home, an ecologically-based business that works to build community. The February Fish and Chip nights at Hopper Home were well received, and several people came along more than once. We took part in the Hopper Upcycle Market and will have a stand a the upcoming Hopper Open Day in July.

For the Webb Street apartment residents, the local cafe provides community bumping space. The seed-packing events were a good opportunity to introduce some people who regularly frequent the café, and who have since started a book group.

20% of Massey Gym members are from the local community. During Seniors’ Week several locals were introduced to the gym space and their offering as part of a movement class especially devised for Seniors’ Week, ‘Stay Healthy and Strong’.

The Howard Street Community Garden is a high foot traffic area that provides a chance for interactions. Plans for the Town Belt area below the Central Park sub-station near Berkeley Dallard apartments include reinstating the walking paths for the public. The Papawai Restoration Group has been a fantastic source of interaction and community pride for over 10 years, and it is celebrated annually at the Mt Cook Spring Fling.

Mt Cook Mobilised meetings have been the source of a lot of local connection and participation. Strong relationships and friendships have developed through the meetings, and Mt Cook people often catch-up on the street as they go about their business.


Outcome 6     Number of engagements with your service (per interaction, not per person) over the funded period.

34 events were held between 1 July 2020 and 22 June 2021:

2 other events were cancelled at the last minute, due to wet weather or Covid-19 Alert Level increase.

This list does not include the many email contacts, phone contacts or meetings held for Mt Cook Connect, or Facebook engagements.


Outcome 7     Where these sessions / events / engagements with your service took place.

These events took place at:

  • Te Māra Community Room
  • Hopper Home Forecourt
  • Preservatorium Cafe
  • Massey University Gym
  • Government House
  • Southern Cross Garden Bar
  • Revoluciòn Apartments
  • Papawai Restoration Area
  • Howard Street Community Garden (Howard Street)
  • Town Belt area below Central Park Sub-Station
  • On the street (Rolleston Street)
  • HEB Omāroro Reservoir Construction Office
  • St Paul’s Church Hall
  • Mt Cook School Hall
  • Mt Cook School Library
  • Newtown Fair Day
  • Thistle Hall
  • Zealandia


Outcome 8     Demographic breakdown of people who engaged with your service including, where possible, age (Stats NZ age categories), area within Wellington (WCC suburb), gender identity and ethnicity (Stats NZ gender and ethnicity classifications).

This data excludes the Mt Cook Spring Fling Community Picnic (120 attendees). Age and ethnicity data are not collected at the Spring Fling.

The data also excludes participants in the online Community Survey (56 participants), demographic data forms part of the survey.

The Mt Cook Connect Facebook page was created at the end of February 2020 and has 127 ‘likes’ and 147 followers.

Facebook interactions are not included in the following demographic data.

Participation by Area within Wellington:

Suburb Number Aro Valley 2 Berhampore 2 Broolyn 1 Island Bay 4 Kilbirnie 3 Mt Cook 246 Mt Victoria 1 Newtown 8 Northland 2 Te Aro 12 Vogeltown 4 Wainuiomata 1 Unknown 11 TOTAL 297      

Mt Cook Connect focuses primarily on the Mt Cook community.

Participation by Age:

Age GroupNumberPercentage
Primary Schoolers4013.5%
Secondary Schoolers20.7%

Participation by Gender Identity:


Participation by Ethnicity:

MELAA (Middle Eastern, Latin American, African)165.4%