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Monthly board report September 2012

Covering activities from 1 August – 31 August 2012

Portfolios

  • Transport (West including Regional portfolio) with Greg Moyle
  • Community (including Regional portfolio) with Tricia Reade
  • Chair, Grants Committee
  • Member of the Isthmus Local Board Joint Funding Committee
  • Positions: Grey Lynn Business Association, Newmarket Business Association (alternate)

Portfolio reports

Transport

Monthly transport update

The monthly Transport catch up was held with the Transport portfolio and relevant officers from Auckland Transport on 16 August. We covered:

  • Footpath renewals – explanation of how the programme is scheduled (we are waiting to receive the final programme which has been delayed due to budget changes).
  • Auckland Transport CBD Streetscape Team update (this team has recently moved into AT from Council)
  • Cycling and walking improvements proposed for the Domain (refer agenda item)

The issues discussed are reported back monthly by AT on our public agenda.

Waitemata Local Board new footpath priorities 2012-13

Auckland Transport has allocated around $3 million per year in the Regional Land Transport Programme to construct new footpaths. Local Boards have been invited to assist in establishing the new footpath programme by providing proposals to Auckland Transport.  The attached memo outlines the proposal for a footpath on Judges Bay Road extension that I have submitted on behalf of the Board.

A number of issues have been referred to Auckland Transport this month regarding footpath patching following the installation of ultra-fast broadband by Chorus, traffic concerns resulting from the opening of Farro Fresh on Westmorland Street in Grey Lynn and parking enforcement in parks.

Community

Affordable Housing

I attended two excellent presentations during August on the subject of affordable housing.  George Housakos, CEO of Urban Communities Ltd, Victoria, Australia spoke at a lunchtime learning event about building mixed tenure communities.  He shared valuable experience about making the most of business streams that are the key to the success of a mixed tenure project. He highlighted that it makes good business sense to bring everyone to the table and to develop a management and delivery structure that involves the owners.

I also attended the launch of the Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit’s paper Adding it all up- Political Economy of Auckland’s Housing by Alan Johnson. Ian Shirley, Pro vice Chancellor of AUT introduced the author. The paper seeks to analyse the underlying institutional and philosophical reasons for the Auckland’s current housing shortage and makes specific points for action by Auckland Council to work towards building affordable housing.

Community Development

I attended the breakfast seminar with Jim Diers, a community development practitioner from Seattle, who was jointly hosted by Auckland Council and Inspiring Communities. His focus is on building strong communities and neighbourhoods from the ground up. His presentation “Community Power unleashed” was inspiring and extremely relevant to Auckland and many of the initiatives we are supporting as a Board. Some of the points I took away:

  • Encourage active citizens – not just ratepayers
  • Move from silos at Council (in Seattle he started a Department of Neighbourhoods) –
  • Start with the community’s strengths NOT needs

I was really interested to learn about the Seattle neighbourhood matching funds scheme (currently $4.5m) that allows any group or individual to create one-off projects. This scheme has seen some fantastic projects get developed without creating dependency on Council.

Also relevant to our Board projects was his advice about how to encourage community driven planning where neighbourhood plans are locally initiated and developed. The Council provides funding and technical assistance but the community hires their own planners, defines the scope of work and drives the plan throughout the process. Jim Diers gave examples of this approach working successfully in Seattle where the implementation has happened and the resources of the Council and the community have multiplied as a result.

Libraries

There were a number of workshops in August looking at the future direction of our libraries and the work being undertaken by the department to contribute to the vision of the Auckland Plan. At the workshop for all Boards on 29 August we had the opportunity to learn from and discuss with senior staff the long term direction for libraries, trends, focus for 2012/13, library facilities planning, programmes and events – regional/local, digital developments, library collections, local history heritage and archival collections. I am impressed that the Libraries team are really getting to grips with the challenges and opportunities arising from the move from the information age, with books as the central feature, to the knowledge society.  Allison Dobbie, Manager Libraries and Information, spoke about libraries moving to being high touch, high tech, high use, high engagement and making content (in whatever form) fully accessible . I think she is right that library space is as relevant as ever and can fulfil a role in the community that no other agency can.

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

A range of meetings and presentations were attended during August relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below including a presentation by students on their research project-  Women’s Safety: Myer’s Park and Newmarket Train Station Square and the Local Settlement Network meeting.

Other board activities

Greenways

Work is now underway on the Board’s project to develop greenways and greenlinks throughout the Board to connect our open space and parks and to create safe options for walking and cycling and provide for ecological benefits. During August we had 3 workshops with members from Transport and Parks and Council officers who are working on developing a map of potential greenways. Workshops are continuing every fortnight.

LGNZ Zone One Meeting

I attended the Zone One meeting in Orewa on 24 August on behalf of the Board.  Presentations included:

  • Public Libraries of NZ – Strategic Framework
  • Sally Davenport from the NZ Productivity Commission  –  to discuss the Local government regulatory performance issues paper
  • LGNZ update from Malcolm Alexander, CEO of LGNZ

I found this Zone meeting to be the most worthwhile of the three I have now attended as it directly addressed local board issues and allowed for meaningful discussion involving local board members.

Grey Lynn Park

The Grey Lynn Park Advisory group met for the first time under the new Council structure. Members of the group have been frustrated at the lack of action in the Park and brought their concerns to our Board meeting in July. A number of issues have now been progressed as a result of the meeting and we are looking to continue on a quarterly basis going forward. I assisted member Chalmers in writing a letter to neighbours of Grey Lynn Park regarding the proposed fruit tree planting to take place on 15 September.  25 letters were delivered by my partner Paul on a voluntary basis.

Local Board workshops and meetings

Attended:

  • Greenways workshops on 2, 16 and 30th August
  • Meeting with members of the Newmarket Protection Society regarding Station Square
  • Grey Lynn Park Advisory Group meeting on 6 August at the Richmond Rovers Clubrooms
  • Local Board workshop on 7 August
  • Women’s Safety: Myer’s Park and Newmarket Train Station Square Report presented by students of Auckland University to the community portfolio and community development officers on 10 August ·
  • Waitemata Communications update 14 August ·
  • Libraries Future Directions meeting on 14 August (community portfolio)
  • Local Board monthly  public meeting on 14 August in Parnell
  • Monthly catch up with officers from Community Development and Partnerships Central on 15 August ·
  • Graffiti Vandalism – Local Boards cluster workshop on 15 August to be briefed on the Auckland Graffiti Vandalism Prevention Plan July 2012
  •  Auckland Transport presentation to Heart of the City on the City Centre Parking Scheme consultation results on 15 August
  • Monthly transport portfolio catch ups with Auckland Transport on 16 August ·
  • Ponsonby development briefing by Progressive on 17 August ·
  • The health of children and young people in Auckland – research presented by Liz Craig ·
  • Meeting with the new E&B Reporter, Karina Abadia ·
  • Community Unleashed – a breakfast seminar with Jim Diers on 21 August ·
  • CMP Khyber Pass follow up meeting with Waitemata Local Board 23 August ·
  • Parnell Trust meeting on 23 August ·
  •  LGNZ Zone One meeting in Orewa on 24 August ·
  • Meeting with the Waitemata Local Board Relationship Manager 27 August (filling in for the Chair) ·
  • ATEED Tourism Industry Update at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 27 August ·
  • Local Board and Libraries Workshop at Henderson on 29 August ·
  • Local Settlement meeting Community Connectedness – collaboration to help newcomers to feel connected to our community organised by Settlement Support New Zealand on 30 August ·
  • Child Play Spaces Meeting with the Public Art team on 30 August

Events and functions

I attended the following events and functions during August:

  • Cycle Action’s Associates Breakfast at the Art Gallery on 2 August
  • First Thursdays on K’rd
  • Opening of Powerflowers by Paul Hartigan in the Bledisloe walkway on Friday 3 August
  • Grey Power public meeting at the Flicking Centre with speakers David Shearer and Winston Peters on 7 August
  • Grey Lynn Business Association August networking drinks at Café O
  • Red carpet night in West Lynn
  • City Centre Masterplan and Waterfront Plan launch at the Cloud on 10 August
  • Lighting up celebrations of the new “3 Lamps” at Three Lamps in Ponsonby on 10 August
  • Auckland Conversation with George Housakos, CEO of Urban Communities Ltd, Victoria, Australia on 13 August
  • Bio- diversity Strategy launch at the Town Hall on 15 August (photo right)
  •  Auckland Transport Blog fundraiser movie “Urbanize”
  •  Citizenship ceremony on 20 August at the Town Hall (photo right)
  • Parent Action Group meeting at Western Springs College regarding the new school development and community consultation 21 August
  • Political Economy of Auckland’s Housing 23 August at AUT
  • 2012 Roading Excellence Awards Dinner at the Langham – Auckland Council Shared Space projects won the medium road project category and the Kitchener St Upgrade project was a finalist (minor road category)
  • Table talk at the Kitchen on 29 August – presentations by social innovators and change makers
  • Launch of the SugarTree – a $250m residential and commercial development on Nelson Street Recommendation

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