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Monthly board report March 2013

This report covers my activities from 1 February – 28 February 2013.

February has been an absolutely action packed month as the year gets well underway reflecting the many activities of the Board and significant progress on a number of projects I am championing including Greenways and the development of a Ponsonby Road master plan.

Ponsonby Road master plan

Ponsonby Road master plan At our Board meeting in October 2012 the Board approved the establishment of a Ponsonby Road working group with representatives of the local community, the business association and local board members and supported by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport tasked with developing a a draft master plan for endorsement of the Waitemata local Board prior to public consultation.

A meeting was held on 18 February to establish the working group followed by a site visit and walkover of Ponsonby Road with the group on 25 February. My opening remarks to the first meeting of the working group are attached (ATTACHMENT A).

I am now seeking the Board’s endorsement of the working group membership,  the planning process and budget approval as outlined in the Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Project Establishment memo from Yvonne Masefield, Planner, Central & Islands Planning dated 1 March 2013 (ATTACHMENT B). This process anticipates the working group producing a draft master plan to be endorsed by the Board for public consultation.

Greenways

greenway consultation event at Grey Lynn ParkThe Board held a successful Greenways event  on 20 February at the  Richmond Rovers Clubrooms in Grey Lynn Park with a large number turning up to provide feedback on the proposed Greenway routes.

We also sought feedback from those passing by as the club sits on a popular active transport and leisure walking & cycling route. The Grey Lynn Park – Coxes Bay connection is one of our proposed priority greenways.

Consultation continues until 11 March

Zero Waste events

Waitangi Day festival zero wasteI attended the Waitangi Day festival at Bastion Point organised by Ngati Whatua o Orakei as a waste volunteer with Christopher Dempsey. We wanted to learn about the best practice of running a genuine zero waste event. We were both really impressed with the wonderful family atmosphere and the support from stall holders and visitors. The organisers were aiming to not just remove waste from landfill but to reuse everything.

Some of the learnings I took away from the event:

  • Ensure events are alcohol free – this greatly reduces waste from glass and bottles
  • Have only a limited number of waste stations and push the take your own waste home message
  • Ensure the waste contractors are committed to zero waste and separate everything on site
  • Target waste at source – all stallholders have to sign up to reduce packaging and only offer compostable plates etc.
  • Make it fun to “do the right thing”. A Zero waste pa at the festival had activities for kids, chickens and seedlings to give away in re-used coffee cups

I would like to see all events in our area that are funded by the Board to be zero waste.

Community Engagement – Local Board Agreement public briefings

I attended the three Board public briefings on the Council’s annual plan and the Board’s annual agreement which outlines our projects and budget for 13/14.

The meetings attracted low numbers which I think can partly be attributed to a general feeling that the Board is on the right track and we are following through with the commitments we consulted on last year as part of Long Term Plan process and partly because the process was very poorly advertised.

The Annual plan brochure was meant to have been delivered to every mailbox. From my informal surveys I would estimate that it reached about 50% of households and very few in the city centre. I think the Council’s distribution processes need to be urgently reviewed and the value of hard copy communications critically evaluated.

Good for business seminar series

Planning has continued with AECOM on the Good for business parking seminar (now in two parts) with invitations due to go out to business associations and their members in early March.

Getting parking right for Auckland – A good for business approach to parking regulation, planning and design

Part 1 – the New Zealand perspective

Date: Wednesday 3 April 2013

Time:  2pm – 5pm (followed by networking drinks)

Where: AECOM House, 8 Mahuhu Crescent

Keynote speaker: Julie Anne Genter, Transportation planner and parking expert

Plus speakers from Auckland Transport on current policies that are supporting communities and Auckland Council on   proposals for parking requirements in the Unitary Plan.

Part 2-the international experience with Keynote speaker Todd Litman scheduled for mid-May

Portfolio reports

Transport

The Transport portfolio monthly briefing with Auckland Transport took place on 28 February.    We covered:

–       Parking issues in Eden Tce, Parnell and Freemans Bay

–       Sarawia railway crossing options

–       Local Board capex fund – pedestrian facilities on Victoria/Nelson Streets

Full details of current proposals and issues are outlined in Auckland Transport’s monthly report attached to the Board agenda.  

Parking

The following is the current update from Auckland Transport regarding the parking issues in Freemans Bay:

Auckland Transport and Waitemata Local Board have received numerous complaints in regard to parking issues in Freemans Bay. This has increased since the 2 hour parking zone trial in St Mary’s Bay was implemented in July 2012.  Most of the complaints relate to a lack of on-street parking for residents with local business workers and commuters seen as taking up the spaces for most of the day.

Auckland Transport wished to monitor the first 6 months of the St Marys Bay trial before looking at alternative parking options for Freemans Bay; this has enabled it to more fully understand the effect of the St Marys Bay zone on not only that suburb but also the surrounding suburbs such as Freemans Bay.  Before Auckland Transport can develop a robust proposal to consult with the community there are some necessary steps to complete. These include an inventory of existing parking restrictions and a survey to help Auckland Transport to better understand parking behaviour taking place and to assess why current restrictions are not being effective.  The road reserve is a public asset and Auckland Transport has to balance the many legitimate and often conflicting needs of users.  This involves considerable data collection and consultation across a wide spectrum of customers in order to formulate a balanced proposal.  Once this initial work has been completed, the results can be analysed and some options developed for discussion with the local board and stakeholders.

Depending on how the investigation develops, it is anticipated that options may be ready for public consultation by mid—year

Grey Lynn Footpath upgrade

Grey lynn footpathsThe Grey Lynn foot paths and new pram ramps (at the intersection of Great North Road and Williamson Ave) have now been completed with minimal disruption and no complaints that I am aware of. This project was a successful collaboration between Auckland Transport, ARMA (the contractor) the GLBA and the Board.

The only outstanding renewal is with regards to the painting of the street furniture. I am following this up with Auckland Transport

Other board activities

Local Board Workshops and meetings

Attended:

  • Meeting to discuss Transport advocacy projects
  • Meeting to discuss Good for Business Parking seminar
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 5 February
  • Community Development monthly catch up with portfolio holders
  • Grey Lynn Business Association February business meeting
  • Resource Recovery centre – meeting of project champions on 7 February
  • Meeting to discuss CCTV policy and strategy
  • Integrating Public Input into Political Leadership and Government workshop at the Auckland Business school organised by IAP2 Auckland Branch on 7 February
  • Waitemata Local Board public briefing on the Local Board Agreement (as part of the Annual plan process ) in Parnell on 7 February
  • Site  visit walkover of Kent/York and Teed street with AT’s urban design planner on 8 February
  • Meeting  with the Eden Tce Business Association and AT parking officers to discuss the Eden Tce parking zone proposal on 8 February
  • Unitary plan meeting Joint Unitary plan briefing and workshop for the Governing Body and local boards on 11 February (see photo)
  • Grey Lynn Park Advisory Group meeting on 11 February
  • Smokefree Policy Development workshop with Local Boards organised by Cr Sandra Coney on 12 February (I attended with Jesse Chalmers as the Board’s rep and presented on the Board’s experience of going smoke free)
  • Waitemata  Local Board monthly meeting at Graham Street on 12 February
  • Presentation on the Tamaki Drive Master plan to the Waitemata Local Board and Harbour Edge Development Team by Orakei Local Board on 13 February
  • Transport committee deliberations on the Sky path proposal
  • Waitemata  Local Board LBA Public Briefings in Grey Lynn on 13 February and at the Local Board office on 14 February
  • Unitary Plan update session for local boards on 15 February
  • Presentation on O’Connell Street design concepts
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 14 February
  • Ponsonby Road master plan working group establishment meeting on 18 February  (opening introduction to the group attached as ATTACHMENT A)
  • Youth Advisory Panel meeting on 18February
  • Local Board workshop on 19 February
  • Meeting to discuss the Board’s engagement on the Unitary Plan as part of the wider  regional engagement timetable on 19 February
  • Introductory meeting with Rachael Eaton – new Team Leader City Transformation (Central and Islands) to discuss concept of “Park-lets” for the city centre
  • Greenways event at the Richmond Rovers Clubroom, Grey Lynn park on 19 February
  • Meeting  to discuss the public art proposals received for Interactive Play Spaces project on 20 February
  • Meeting between the GLBA and planning officers to discuss the Grey Lynn precinct plan
  • Waitaurau plaza meeting with NZTA and AT to discuss the permanent structures outside the new Bird cage
  • Ponsonby Master plan working party site walk over on 25 February
  • Local Board workshop on 26 February
  • Communications update on 26 February
  • New tools for local government seminar  on 27 February
  • Presentation to the CBD Advisory Board on the Board’s redevelopment plans for Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Hall on 27 February (refer ATTACHMENT C)
  • Transport Portfolio monthly update with Auckland Transport on 28 February
  • Briefing the Waitemata Local Board  on the University of Auckland Newmarket site

Professional development

I attended the New tools for Local Government seminar with David Engwicht who is considered one of the world’s most innovative thinkers on place making, citizen management and creative problem solving. He is the inventor of the Walking School Bus, a world-wide phenomenon.

The free seminar covered four unspoken assumptions that are ‘putting lead boots on local government’ as well as strategies to:

  • Influence greater creativity and resilience in your organisation
  • Empower the communities you serve

Events and functions

I attended the following events and functions during February

  • Hum de-wrap party on Saturday 2 February (the Board gave the Falling Apple Trust $5000 towards the scaffolding and wrap on the building)
  • Te  Matatini Luncheon on 4 February  to   recognise and celebrate the four Kapa Haka roopu that will be representing Tāmaki Makaurau at Te Matatini 2013 in Te Arawa.  (as alternate to the Chair)
  • Waitangi Day Festival as a waste volunteer with Christopher Dempsey
  • Cycle Action Auckland Associates breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 7 February
  • Big Gay Out VIP hospitality tent at the invitation of the NZ Aids Foundation on 10 February
  • Go by Bike day breakfasts at Wynyard Quarter and Air New Zealand offices
  • Wet Hot beauties performance at Parnell Pools on 13 February
  • The Pride Parade grandstand (at the invitation of GABA) on Saturday 16 February
  • Great british car rallyLaunch of the GREAT British Car Rally 2013 by the British High Commissioner and Sir John Walker on behalf of the Mayor on 17 February  (see photo)
  • Greenways  event on 19 February
  • Farewell lunch to our Senior Board advisor on 22 February
  • Lantern Festival official opening by the PM John Key and the Mayor on 23 February
  • Media briefing the Mayor for the start of the Daldry Street linear park on 24 February

Recommendation

a)     That the report be received.

b)     That the Waitemata Local Board endorses the Ponsonby Road working group membership and the planning process as outlined in the Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Project Establishment memo from Yvonne Masefield, Planner, Central & Islands Planning dated 1 March 2013 (ATTACHMENT B).

c)     That the Waitemata Local Board approves the allocation of $50,000 of the 12/13 budget for this project ($75,000) for delivering urban design/ public realm services as part of developing the draft master plan by the working group.

 

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