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Monthly Board Report February 2014

Covering activities from 1 December 2013 – 31 January 2014

This is my first Board report for 2014.  At the December meeting of the Waitemata Local Board confirmed Board member portfolios and positions. This term I am the following:

  • Transport and Community portfolio lead
  • Chair, Grants Committee
  • Member of the Isthmus Local Board Joint Funding Committee
  • Positions: Ponsonby Business Association, Newmarket Business Association (alternate), Ponsonby Community Centre representative, Parnell Trust Liaison

Getting to better know the Waitemata Local Board area

Margi Watson and Pippa Coom Beating the boundsBeating the Bounds

We started the new term by teaming up with Walk Auckland to “Beat the Bounds” of the Waitemata Local Board area. We walked our boundary from Meola Reef to Pt Resolution. It was an excellent opportunity to get to know our Board area and to ensure no encroachments from our neighbours on the Albert-Eden and Orakei Local Boards.

A highlight for me was walking the boundary along Newmarket stream and into Newmarket Park for the first time.  Access from Middleton Road has been blocked due to slips. I think there is huge potential to better link Newmarket Park with Ayr reserve and Thomas Bloodworth Park. As we discovered the Shore Road roundabout presents a formidable barrier and is unsafe for crossing pedestrians (the Transport portfolio has logged this issue with Auckland Transport).

Local Board Tour

Board member tour symonds st cemetaryIn January our appreciation of our Board area continued with a tour organised by our local board services team. We spent the day visiting our key projects from Weona walkway in the west over to the Pt Resolution headland in the east including Art Station (under refurbishment), Pioneer Women’s Hall, Freemans Bay Community Hall, and Symonds St Cemetery. We also had an unscheduled stop to pick up an order of Arch Hill War Chest larger from the Grovner brewery.

The Tour really highlighted just how many projects we have underway and what a fantastic board area we are fortunate to represent.

Portfolio reports:  Transport

Cycle safety

Barbara Grace with her electric bikeTragically the year started with a cycling fatality in our local board area on the corner of Parnell Rise and the Strand. It highlighted the desperate need for safe, separated cycling infrastructure on our busy roads.  Unfortunately it also unleashed ill-informed, heartless, victim bashing and the resurrection of myths like cyclists do not pay for the roads therefore shouldn’t ride on them.

I raised concerns with Auckland Transport regarding their communications  following the crash which wrongly attempted to put the focus on so called red light running rather than the positive steps AT is taking to improve cycling infrastructure in Auckland.  Fortunately the NZ Herald did run a very good series on cycling safety following the crash.  (See What my mum knows about cycling attached).

Greys Ave bus parking proposal

At the end of last year we responded to Auckland Transport’s proposal to install bus parking outside 95- 113 Greys Ave with the following feedback.

The Waitemata Local Board supports the work underway to upgrade Auckland bus services and the move to a new network with frequent bus services.  The provision of quality public transport as part of an integrated transport system is a Board priority. We appreciate that additional buses in the city centre require layover locations and it will be necessary to re-allocate road space for buses.

However we have met concerned residents on Greys Ave and have considered their reasons for objecting to the proposal.

Greys Ave is one of the few residential streets in the City Centre with apartments at ground floor level. We agree with the residents that Greys Ave is not a suitable location for a bus layover location (for a variety of factors) and object to the proposal to install bus parking.

We ask that AT consider alternative locations and road space suitable for bus parking (which might require the re-prioritisation of a general traffic lane).  Our feedback, made under delegated authority, will also be included in the Board’s February meeting agenda for endorsement by the Board.

SkypathSky path

In December the governing body voted to progress the Auckland Harbour Bridge pathway to move towards signing a memorandum of understanding with the Sky path Trust. I spoke in support of the project on behalf of the Board

I attended the meeting on 29 January hosted by the Council’s Sky path champion Brett O’Reilly (ATEED, CEO) with local residents groups and the Westhaven Marina Users Association to discuss the patronage review results.

Walkway to Arthur StreetWay finding

One of Local Board initiatives is way finding for pedestrians and cyclists. A surprising number of access ways in our area have no signage.

It is good to see a walkway sign been installed by Auckland Transport at our request on Ponsonby Road (indicating the walkway through to Arthur Street). We have requested AT investigate including the destination information on the standard walkway sign design

Monthly transport update

Monthly Transport catch ups were held with the Transport portfolio in December and January. Specific issues discussed include:

  • Coxs Bay bus turnaround proposal
  • Kingdom Street level crossing upgrade
  • Signage on Walkways/ access ways – it is the Board’s preference that these include directional information
  • Auckland Transport Code of Practice – currently under consultation until the end of March
  • Richmond Road safety action plan – upgrades on Richmond Road currently underway on the intersection of Cockburn street
  • Ponsonby Road safety improvements proposed for the Anglesey St intersection

Current issues are reported back monthly by AT on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Portfolio update: Community

Community Funding

The allocation of grants for the second round of Community Grant funding was made by the Waitemata Local Board’s December meeting (it wasn’t possible to hold a Grants Committee meeting for this round due to the committee not being established following the election). Grants totalled $16, 505.15 were approved.

The deadline for applications to the third round is 21 February 2014.

Freemans Bay Residents Association

Congratulations to the latest Residents Association to be formed in our area. It has been a pleasure assisting the residents who have enthusiastically taken on the task of promoting and protecting the citizens of Freemans Bay. I attended the Association’s well attended first public meeting in December and answered queries.

More information at  www.freemansbay.org.nz

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

A range of meetings were attended during December and January relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Other board activities

Local Board Agreement

Council’s consultation on the draft Annual Plan got underway on 23 January and continues until 24 February 2014. As part of the Annual Plan each local board agrees with Auckland Council’s governing body on the funding for local activities and the local service levels for the coming year.

The draft Local Board agreement and details of proposed projects and budget changes is available on the Annual plan website

Unitary Plan

The Board hosted a workshop on 29 January to assist with making submissions on the Unitary Plan. I thought the workshop was useful for explaining the process and giving our community representatives the opportunity to raise issues and concerns.

Submissions can be made until the end of February

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 December – 31 January I attended:

  • Local Board grants workshop on 2 December
  • Local Board workshop on 3 December
  • Meeting with the Newmarket Community Association on 3 December
  • Freemans Bay Residents Association public meeting on 3 December
  • Meeting to discuss Transport consultations on 4 December
  • Meeting with Ken Clive regarding SH16 widening project
  • Review of the Ponsonby Road masterplan meeting on 4 December
  • Site visit with Arch Hill residents to discuss safety and maintenance concerns on Waima Street
  • Waterfront Forum on 5 December at Shed 10 – developing a new form of partnership
  • Newmarket Business Association meet and greet at the Board office on 5 December
  • Localised carbon reduction plan for Waitemata local board area discussion on draft and next steps
  • Introductory ATEED meeting on 6 December
  • Site visit with John Street resident on 6 December to discuss parking on the footpath
  • Kids in the City (Project: Children Researching Children) presentation by 6 children  (aged 10-12) on findings from research they conducted this year on various aspects of what it’s like for children living in /around the Auckland CBD. This pilot research was funded by Massey University and Auckland Council
  • Ponsonby Road draft masterplan feedback – report to the Ponsonby Road masterplan working group at the Local Board office on 9 December
  • Pioneer Women’s Hall needs assessment presentation on 10 December
  • Waitemata Local Board monthly business meeting on 10 December 2013  at the Local Board office, Graham Street
  • Meeting with the General Manager of the Ponsonby Business Association on 11 December
  • Briefing of local board members on the Sky path project on 12 December
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 12 December
  • Workshop – Low Carbon Auckland: To seek feedback from Councillors and Local Board representatives on the proposed draft Auckland Energy Resilience and Low Carbon Action Plan (titled ‘Low Carbon Auckland’).  Engagement with the incoming Councillors/ Local Board representatives was requested by Councillors and Local Board representatives who attended a workshop held on 19 June 2013 when an initial draft action plan was discussed.
  • Meeting with Cheryll Martin, GM at Volunteering Auckland on 12 December
  • Seminar on the second release of 2013 Census data held by RIMU on 13 December
  • Community-led Placemaking Champions Group meeting on 13 December
  • Waterfront Auckland workshop for Local Board members and Councillors on the development plans Wynyard Central
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 17 December
  • Attended the Governing Body meeting on 19 December 2013 and spoke in support of Skypath.
  • Update on Costley Reserve playground upgrade/concept plan  and Playground Design and consultation for the play space renewals projects programmed for 2013/2014
  • Transport catch up on 14 January
  • Meeting to discuss the draft Waitemata Local Board Transport Engagement Plan on 20 January
  • Meeting to discuss Art Station
  • Site meeting with a mosaic artist to discuss a mural in the Grey Lynn toilets
  • Waitemata Local Board tour on 23 January
  • Unitary Plan workshop discussion on 24 January
  • Meeting to discuss Local Board Plan timetable
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 28 January
  • Ponsonby Community centre Board meeting on 28 January
  • Monthly Transport portfolio meeting on 29 January
  • Board hosted Public Workshop: Making Submissions on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan on 29 January
  • SkyPath – meeting on 29 January with local residents groups to discuss the patronage review results
  • Meeting to discuss community leases under consideration 30 January
  • Workshop on the Local Government Act (LGA) Amendment Bill (no 3) and opportunity for Local Board input in to the council’s submission on 31 January
  • Meeting to discuss Neighbours Day with the Community Development portfolio on 31 January

Events and functions

In the period 1 December 2013 – 31 January 2014 I attended:

  • Opening of the Franklin Road Christmas lights on 1 December 2013
  • Official party at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Town Hall on 3 December 2013
  • Annette Isbey exhibition opening at the Central Library on 4 December
  • Cycle Action Associates breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 5 December
  • Outlook for Someday Awards at the Aotea Centre  on 6 December at the invitation of Connected Media (I am a trustee of Connected Media)
  • Beating of the Bounds – walk of the Waitemata Local Board boundary from Meola Reef to Pt Resolution bridge  on 7 December
  • Carols by Candlelight at Western Park on Sunday 8 December delivered by the Board
  • GLBA Christmas lunch on 10 December
  • Auckland Conversations: New Zealand’s Climate Change and Oceans – Professor Sir Peter Gluckman on 12 December
  • Grey Lynn 2030 Christmas lunch and annual public meeting on 18 December
  • Sugartree development Christmas function (at the invitation of Sugartree)
  • Memorial gathering for the victim of the crash at the intersection of Parnell Rise and the Strand
  • Big Day out at Western Springs on 17  January (two tickets provided by Regional Facilities)
  • International Buskers Festival VIP Night Show at the invitation of Crackerjack Productions on 25 January
  • On Anniversary Day  I enjoyed checking out all the activities along the waterfront including the Ports of Auckland festival at Captain Cook Wharf, Seafood Festival at the Viaduct Events centre, Buskers International Festival and Laneways
  • Auckland Conversations: Auckland’s Economic Development – Greg Clark – Global Cities Advisor

End of Beating the Bounds on Pt Resolution Bridge

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