Pippa Coom Rotating Header Image

Monthly Board Report May 2013

This report covers my activities from 1 April – 30 April 2013 and is reported on at the May Waitemata Local Board Meeting

Portfolio reports

Community portfolio

As well as our monthly catch up with community development (quarterly update from CDS is attached to the Board’s agenda) we had a cluster meeting with other central community portfolio holders. We met with Richard Butler, Community Development Manager, Central who took us through recent restructuring that is intended to put CDS in a better position to deliver on actual projects to achieve community outcomes and to provide a focus on delivering better services to local boards.

Community-led development

During April we have been energised in community development by the visit of Jim Diers, previously the Director, Department of Neighbourhoods at Seattle City Council.

Jim talks about the crisis of democracy and the need to not just engage with community but to build community by going out to the people. He has many suggestions for moving towards a partnership with the community that a far wider network of people can respond to. For example getting people involved through a “project party” not a meeting and providing matching funding for community projects.  I think we can learn a great deal from Jim’s experience and how we can make democracy work effectively by ensuring planning is done by communities.

A joint workshop was held for local boards and the governing body on 22 April where Jim Diers was invited to share his experiences from Seattle.  The workshop was also an opportunity to provide early feedback on how the proposed draft community development principles might be practically applied across local board and governing body decision-making roles, and in the day-to-day activities across council generally.    Thriving communities – the draft strategic action plan that includes the Council’s community development principles – is due to be released in June.

I am also on the Auckland Neighbourhood Planning Task Group convened by Roger Blakely that is looking to promote neighbourhood planning and implementation across Auckland Council in order to enhance community-driven planning and neighbourhood self-help projects.  Members of the group met with Jim and representatives from Inspiring Communities to discuss neighbourhood planning.

 Feedback on the Point Chevalier Pasadena Community year 1-8 Schooling options

The community portfolio made a joint submission with the Albert -Eden Local Board regarding the Ministry of Education’s proposals arising from the increasing roll at Point Chevalier due to population growth, changing demographics and the school’s popularity.  The proposals look at options for Point Chevalier School and Pasadena Intermediate School that have part of their zones within our Board area.  A copy of the letter is attached as ATTACHMENT A (refer page 317 of the agenda).

Good Citizen Awards

The nomination period for the awards was extended to 26 April to ensure there was plenty of time to recognise and reward those who have made a significant voluntary contribution in the Waitemata Local Board area. Judging will take place in May with the awards ceremony on 31 May.

Transport Portfolio

The Transport portfolio monthly briefing with Auckland Transport took place on 24 April. We covered:

  • Updates on Local board capex projects (Great North Road/Ponsonby Road Intersection and Bowen Avenue/Kitchener Street/Victoria Street East intersection )
  • Richmond Road Safety Action Plan
  • Parking issues in Parnell, St Marys Bay, Freemans Bay and Eden Terrace

Full details of current proposals and issues are outlined in Auckland Transport’s monthly report attached to the Board agenda. (refer page 61)

What price safety?

Great North Road intersection One of our local board capex projects is to improve cycling safety at the intersection of Great North Road and Ponsonby Road. Cyclists approaching the intersection on Great North Road heading east are forced in to a pinch point as the lanes increase from two to three and the shared bus lane disappears.

Cyclists currently either mount the pavement to avoid being stuck at the back of a queue of buses or get pushed into a lane of traffic. We have proposed that an advance stop box be installed with a feeder lane.

Road corridor operations investigations have concluded that to add a cycle feeder lane to this intersection a vehicle lane would have to be removed. They have advised that the removal of one lane for general traffic would increase delays in the peak from 73 seconds to 206 seconds. There would also be an impact on PT unless one of the lanes becomes a bus lane.

Auckland Transport have advised that they do not recommend any option that will increase motorist delays without a more strategic assessment of the overall impact of re-prioritising road space.

Auckland Transport is therefore going to look at installing a cycle stop box only.

My personal view is that we cannot continue to put cyclists at risk and ignore the safety of routes on the Auckland Cycle Network. Great North Road is currently operating under capacity because of the alternative provided by the North-western Motorway and delays are minimal. There is huge potential to increase cycle trips by improving cycling infrastructure on the Great North Road ridge at relatively minor inconvenience to drivers.  I would therefore like us as a Board to push for the reprioritisation of road space to accommodate all modes of transport.

Getting parking right for Auckland

A blog drafted for shapeauckland (the Council’s Unitary Plan website) based on the presentations given at the Getting Parking Right for Auckland seminar (part 1)  hosted by the Board and AECOM on 3 April is attached at ATTACHMENT B.

Local Board capex projects update

An update on the Board’s capex projects is in Auckland Transport’s monthly report.

I attended a number of meetings in April to progress the Newmarket Streetscapes upgrade project by Auckland Transport in conjunction with the City Centre Transformation team. However three of our projects are unlikely to proceed this year following initial investigations:

  • Cycle Improvements – advance stop box and feeder lane at Great North Road, eastbound onto Karangahape Road  (reasons covered above):
  • Pedestrian Improvements at Intersections – Pedestrian facility at the Victoria Street East/Nelson Street intersection (referred to the study team investigating the linear park proposal on Victoria Street as part of the CEWT study)
  • Residential traffic calming project east of Ponsonby Road – to be progressed as part of the Franklin Road upgrade and Ponsonby Road master plan proposals

It is becoming clear that it is very difficult to progress projects via our capex fund that Auckland Transport do not wish to include in their current work programme.  Over the next month we will be work shopping our transport projects and I will be proposing that we invest any remaining capex for 12/13 into our well-developed Greenways project  (to be reported on in June following the consultation that took place earlier in the year).

Record numbers cycling

Figures released by Auckland Transport in April show that in March cycling during the peak period (7am to 9am) increased 24.1 per cent. This comes on top of an increase of 18.5 per cent in February and a rise of 9.0 per cent in January.

Numbers are up even higher in the Waitemata Local Board area – this is great news and justifies increased expenditure in cycling infrastructure by Auckland Transport.

Refer ATTACHMENT D (page 321)  for an update on Why do cyclists run red lights.

Other Board activities

Unitary Plan

I took part in a number of Unitary Plan events during April.

  • Grey Lynn Business Association information session for members
  • Waitemata Local Board Community meeting at the Town Hall
  • Civic Forum at the Freemans Bay Community Hall
  • Grey Lynn residents meeting

My impression is that although there are very real concerns about some of the proposed zoning (particularly around the West Lynn shops) and scepticism that Council will be able to ensure good quality design there is conceptual support for the draft Unitary Plan in our area and an understanding that we are at an early draft stage meaning feedback now will improve the plan.

Annual plan hearings for Waitemata Local Board

Every year Local Boards hold a “discussion” with the Governing Body to go through the Local Board’s advocacy points that form part of the Local Board Agreement.

I supported the Chair in covering our transport advocacy projects at our meeting with the Governing Body held on 24 April.   This part of the presentation is attached as ATTACHMENT C.

Ponsonby Road master plan working group

Kobus Mentz from UrbanismPlus has been contracted to provide urban design/ public realm services for the Ponsonby Road master plan working group. We had a very productive Vision and Outcome Setting workshop in April who covered technical briefings on transport, land use, open space and heritage and group work focused around identifying key precincts/ nodes; key transformational sites; and options to achieve vision and outcomes for Ponsonby Road.

We also held a hui with mana whenua to discuss their contribution to the master plan which resulted in iwi representatives attending the workshop and agreeing to a process for drafting a cultural assessment.

Fairtrade Implementation

fairtrade_logo1May is the one year anniversary of Auckland becoming a Fairtrade city, an initiative that was led by the Waitemata Local Board. I asked Andrew Walters, Business & Facilities Sustainability Project Leader for an update on how the implementation is going and received this response.

All in all I am very enthusiastic about fair trade and would love to do a lot more in this space as the social, environmental and economic benefits of fair trade are all vital elements of sustainability. In a well-resourced sustainability team we would do a lot more and aim for an identified work programme about fair trade implementation rather than current situation.

A report may be worthwhile if requested through the appropriate channels etc. but in the interests of expediency I have put down a few notes.

I can’t write a fuller report just now on this as I am the only remaining member of the sustainability team as two left and were not replaced, so am under some pressure in other areas. But hopefully this summary will help.

  • All tea and coffee on free issue is fair trade (all staff areas/kitchens)
  • All council cafes offer fair trade options
  • We make fair trade goods available on purchasing web sites etc.
  • We have offered several prizes as part of energy campaigns that Included 100% fair trade morning teas for staff in winning teams.
  • We ran a  Green growth symposium attended by business where catering was all fair trade.
  • Have included fair trade in our draft procurement policy

It is great to see that steps have been taken to implement Fairtrade but I am concerned at the lack of resourcing for the sustainability team to meaningfully ensure Fairtrade is an integral part of Council and receives on-going monitoring.

Professional development

CAN Do 2013 Auckland: Inspiring Change

I attended the Cycle Advocates Network’s annual summit on Saturday 13 April with Christopher Dempsey (registration of $60 was paid from the Board’s professional development budget).

Speakers on the theme of Inspiring Change – mainstreaming cycling included Rod Oram, Camden Howitt, Sustainable Coastlines and Stephen Town NZTA Regional Director.

I was particularly impressed with the keynote speaker Jonathan Daly who spoke about the politics of cooperation in the age of sharing: a new paradigm for bicycle advocacy.

He talked about the evolution of public space to private space that occurred with the advancement of the car. He believes we are entering the next evolution with the re-publicisation of public space (such as shared spaces)

He urged for the discussion to be re-framed around liveability – what we have stand to lose if we don’t invest in cycling.

IPENZ Transportation Group conference

I attended the IPENZ Transportation Group conference funded from the Board’s professional development budget. A copy of my report is attached as ATTACHMENT D (refer page 321).

Other board activities

Local Board Workshops and meetings

I attended during April:

  • Waitemata Local Board Agreement Review Workshop on 2 April
  • Hui with mana whenua on the Ponsonby Road Master Plan Project on 3 April
  • Newmarket Streetscapes – Briefing on 4 April
  • Waitemata Local Board Workshop: LBA Prioritisation discussion on 4 April
  • Waitemata Local Board Briefing from Ports of Auckland on their response to the  PWC report on Upper North Island ports on 4 April
  • Children and Young People’s Strategic Action Plan briefing on 5 April
  • Local Board Delivery Model transformation project – engagement with local board members 8 April
  • Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Workshop 3: Vision and Outcome Setting on 8 April
  • Meeting to discuss the Former Masonic Hall – Herne Bay on 9 April
  • Communications fortnightly update
  • City centre transformation team meeting – attended to discuss Newmarket streetscape project
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting in Grey Lynn on 9 April
  • Ponsonby Road East (slow speed zone) Site Visit with Auckland Transport
  • Greenways meeting with Auckland Transport on 10 April
  • “Good for business”  presentation to Ponsonby Business Association members
  • Arts Station presentation
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 11 April
  • Interactive play spaces meeting on 11 April
  • Skypath public information public meeting
  • Central Joint Funding Committee workshop on 12 April
  • Community Development Portfolio holders- quarterly catch up on 17 April
  • Newmarket streetscapes project and local board transport capex funding meeting with Auckland Transport on 18 April
  • Unitary plan community meeting at the Town Hall on 18 April
  • Community portfolio monthly catch up
  • Fortnightly catch up on the Ponsonby Road master plan progress
  • Unitary plan civic forum at the Freemans Bay community hall on Saturday 20 April
  • Jim Diers workshop for local boards and the governing body on 22 April
  • Neighbourhood planning workshop with Jim Diers (working group)
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 23 April
  • Transport portfolio monthly update on 24 April
  • Waitemata Local Board and Governing Body discussion on local board agreement priorities on 24 April
  • Briefing on Ponsonby Central development application by Andy Davies
  • Te Kai o Te Rangatira workshop part 1 delivered by subject experts of Te Waka Angamua Maori Strategy and Relations Department (Pou Tikanga, Pou Whainga, Pou Hononga) on 26 April
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 30 April

Events and functions

During April I attended:

  • Toi Ora opening with the Mayor on 2 April
  • Getting parking right for Auckland seminar part 1 on 3 April at AECOM jointly hosted with Auckland Transport
  • Green Jam youth sustainability conference at TAPAC on 4 April –. I was invited to take part in a workshop “ Pedal Power An inspiring and active session on the power of bicycles”
  • Richmond Road School Fair
  • Grey Lynn RSC AGM
  • Richmond Rovers Centenary post match centenary celebrations on 6 April
  • Consultation event for Costley Reserve on Sunday 7 April
  • Grey Lynn Business Association Unitary plan information session for members on 9 April
  • Informal presentation to Grey Lynn Residents on the Unitary Plan zoning proposals at the Grey Lynn RSC
  • Local Government Association of South Australia Study Tour presentation on 12 April at the invitation of Peter McKinley
  • CAN-do cycle advocates conference on 13 April
  • IPENZ transportation group conference 14- 16 April in Dunedin
  • TRENZ 2013 Welcome Function at the Viaduct Event centre at the invitation of ATEED
  • ANZAC day service at the Grey Lynn RSC
  • Funding for Transport. Launch of the Collaborative Consensus Group discussion document at the Viaduct Events Centre on 29 April
  • Future intensive: Insights of Auckland’s Housing presentation

Comments are closed.