Chair’s Monthly report July 2019

Ngā mihi nui o te wa Matariki!

On Saturday 22 June I joined hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in darkness at the foot of Pukekaaroa Hill in Auckland Domain before Kiingi Tuheitia, accompanied by the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and dignitaries from iwi manaaki (host iwi) Waikato-Tainui, led a gentle walk to the hilltop.

It was a poignant occasion as Matariki Dawn Karakia opened 2019’s Matariki Festival. Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland Council, in partnership with Waikato-Tainui brought the festival to the Auckland region from 22 June until 14 July this year.

This report covers the highlights for the period 12 June until 9 July 2019. It is on the agenda for the local board business meeting held on 16 July.

Parnell Plan Launch

 Waitematā Local Board co-hosted with the Parnell Business Association the launch of The Parnell Plan; a 30-year plan for Auckland’s first suburb developed collaboratively by community representatives, local board members and Auckland Council staff, in partnership with mana whenua. It was a true community empowerment approach.

The plan details a key vision for the suburb and outlines a series of objectives, strategies and actions which work together to achieve the vision; that Parnell is a thriving, creative, and collaborative community that celebrates its unique natural, cultural and historic environment.

Five key action areas are defined and focus directly on achieving the plan’s vision and objectives. These are:

  • making Parnell Station a key gateway to Parnell and the Domain
  • realising the Waipapa Greenway through the old Parnell rail tunnel
  • reinforcing the core of Parnell town centre as the heart of Parnell
  • revitalising the St Georges Bay Road warehouse area
  • enhancing key east-west links and realising the Parnell Parks Link Greenway.

 Community Grants

 At our June local board meeting we allocated $13,492 from our final community grant round for the 18/19 financial year.  A community grant round is currently open until 2 August. 

Transport updates

New bus shelter on Parnell Road

Ribbon cutting for the new bus shelter on Parnell Road

Over 3 years ago Gloria Jenkins approached me about the need for a shelter at her bus stop on Parnell Road. Installation of the shelter was held up while AT consulted on new bus lanes and decided to move the existing bus stop.

On 28 June member Adriana Christie and I held an unofficial opening to celebrate the new bus shelter with Gloria cutting the ribbon. We were joined by Gloria’s neighbour and her son about to take the bus, and Gloria’s nephew Brian.

Pedestrian crossings

We support the programme Auckland Transport has underway to upgrade crossings to slow drivers down and make streets safer for pedestrians.

New crossing installed recently are on Khyber Pass  and at Western Springs as part of the shared path project.

Community Safety Fund

At our June business meeting we confirmed our support for the community safety projects listed in the Community Safety Fund document I attached to my Chair’s Report with the addition of Parnell Train Station underpass and requested Auckland Transport work with the local board to progress these projects using the Fund:

  1. safety improvements at Newton Central School from the Safe Schools Tool Box
  2. a new pedestrian crossing on West End Road / Fife Street by the bus stops next to the Westend Tennis Club
  3. iii.   improvements to the pedestrian crossings on Lower Domain Drive at Lovers Lane and at Domain Drive
  4. a new pedestrian crossing at the entrance to the Domain across Park Road
  5. a new pedestrian crossing outside ACG Campus on Davis Crescent to Olympic Reserve
  6. safety improvements to Hopetoun Street
  7. vii.  Cook Street Project – Area 5 Shared Path Cycleway

Transporters on Great North Road

How car transporters off load on Great North Road is a long standing issue I have been following up with Auckland Transport.  Car deliveries have been taking place in non loading areas for decades. I’ve made it very clear to  Auckland Transport and the industry (at meeting in April and in follow up emails) that parking illegally to unload is no longer acceptable especially on Great North Road with changing land use and increasing numbers walking and cycling.

AT has investigated locations for new loading zones and is about to start consultation. It is frustrating how long AT is taking but in the meantime there are options for unloading legally and safely. I’ve asked the industry rep who I met at the meeting with AT in April to look at putting in place traffic management plans and to clearly communicate to the transporters what practices are acceptable. A new pedestrian crossing is also needed on Great North Road but AT doesn’t have any funds available and the local board community safety fund is oversubscribed.   I’ve also asked AT to confirm how the new loading zones are consistent with the proposed GNR cyclelanes but I am yet to receive a response.

Franklin Road upgrade opening

Franklin Road upgrade opening on 3 July was an opportunity to acknowledge the many people who have been involved in this $21m project over a long period of time. For decades it was put in the too hard basket until former Auckland Transport COO, Greg Edmonds found a way to make it happen with partners Auckland Council, Vector, Watercare and Chorus.

The results are stunning and include:

  • Underground service works and street lighting
  • New sewer lines and watermain pipes with new connections added to homes
  • Sewer separation
  • Undergrounding power lines
  • Stormwater upgrade
  • New roundabout at the Wellington St intersection
  • New cycleway (semi Copenhagen style) on both sides of the street
  • Footpaths were replaced.
  • The paths have fibre reinforced concrete to keep the trees from lifting them up again
  • New raised speed tables at every side street intersection to improve the walking experience and to slow vehicle speed •
  • Installation of more than 40 new catch pits to improve stormwater drainage
  • Construction of well-defined parking bays and improved tree pits
  • Upgraded street lighting with new catenary street lighting design using energy-efficient LED luminaries
  • Road rehabilitation and resurfacing

Attachment 3 : My speech at the opening of the Franklin Road upgrade. Attachment 4 Our Auckland: Rebuilding Franklin Road from the underground up

Parking Fund

Waitematā Local Board’s has a legacy Parking Fund that is available for parking improvements and is made up of the following:

Area Amount
City $259,641
Freemans Bay $26,785
Grey Lynn / Westmere $27,842
Parnell $619,952
Ponsonby-Herne Bay $242,987

At our June Business meeting we voted to support utilising the Parnell portion of the Waitematā Local Board’s Parking Fund, in the order of $489,225 to deliver improvements in the Auckland Domain related to:

i)        installing temporary gates at the entrance and exit to the Titoki Street carpark and at the Carlton Gore entrance to manage commuter or long stay parking to ensure parking is available to Domain users; and

ii)       developing a new carpark to support the natural play area and provide safer pedestrian and cycling use of Kiosk Road.

In doing that we confirmed our support the removal of on-road parking from Kiosk Road and Football Drive following the parking improvements, consistent with the outcome of the Auckland Domain Masterplan and the Auckland Domain Accessibility Improvement Programme.

The Governing Body now has to make a decision to release the funds from the Parking Fund for the projects to go ahead.

Bike to football 

Photo credit: Bike Auckland

 Over the years I’ve often heard it said by grownups that kids will never bike to sport. But look what happened at the first bike to football on 15 June.  The team behind Pt Chev Bike to Football pilot scheme planned hot drinks and sausages for the first 30 people to arrive by bike; they expected maybe 20. 74 showed up at Seddon Fields and the numbers have increased every week. And this is without the safe cyclepath that was meant to have been delivered by now (the bike train rode on the footpath)

Parking on berms

Councils voted on a record 24 remits at the AGM on 7 July, held in Wellington as part of the 2019 LGNZ Conference.

Covering issues as varied as climate change, fireworks, tourist accommodation, building defects, campgrounds, alcohol, road safety and the beauty industry, remits are a further opportunity for councils to direct the advocacy work of LGNZ .

I attended the AGM as one of four designated delegates of Auckland Council and spoke in support of the seeking an amendment to clause 6.2 of the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 to prohibit parking on urban berms with out the need for signage.

“In urban areas the berm is part of the footpath.

An interpretation of the current rules requires signage to be able to enforce the prohibition of parking on the berm.

This is a compliance issue. Signage is expensive, impracticable and clutters up the footpath.

There are often good reasons to enforce the prohibition and to be able to act on a complaint.

Berm parking creates safety issues for all road users. It can damage the kerbs, trees and wreak the grass and it  can damage underground utilities creating costs for all ratepayers.

In Auckland berm parking is occurring where parking exists to avoid paying parking changes.

This is an urban issue but we seek support from all the membership for this sensible and common sense change to the Land Transport (Road User ) Rule.

Unfortunately the remit was lost creating even more media interest in “bermageddon”.  What is particularly frustrating about this issue is how AT has interpreted the current rules.  AT has legal advice that signage is needed to be able to enforce prohibited parking. However as Heidi O’Callahan has written for Greater Auckland:

Under the present law, in a typical Auckland street, a grass berm or verge that is retained by a kerb is simply an unpaved part of the footpath.

The rules around parking are in the Road User Rule. Rule 6.14 covers parking on the footpath – you cannot park on the footpath. Rule 6.2 covers parking on the road, and says you should park off the roadway if possible. In urban areas with kerbs, this applies to parking bays and marked carparks. Otherwise you park on the roadway. Rule 6.2 does not override Rule 6.14 and authorise a driver to take over an unpaved part of the footpath.

AT could apply Rule 6.14 to ticket cars parked off the roadway on any part of the footpath, paved or unpaved. This includes the verges and vehicle crossings

Walking Summit

Alex Bonham and Claire Dixon, presenters at the Walking Summit

I attended the two day Walking Summit organised by Living Streets Aotearoa and hosted by Auckland Transport on 20 -21 June.  I introduced the session I chaired on the theme Walking to School and Play by quoting Jeff Speck the author of Walkable Cities and a supporter of 8-80 cities

The healthiest, wealthiest, most sustainable and vibrant communities in cities around the world are unique in many ways. But there is one factor above all others that these communities have in common: they are, nearly without fail, highly walkable places.

In the session Alex Bonham presented on her Children’s play in the city research and Claire Dixon from Auckland Transport on Safe School Streets.

On the second day I stepped in for Cr Chris Darby, chair of Auckland Council’s Planning Committee to provide introductory comments about Why walking connections to public transport is important (Attachment 5)

  • Every public transport user is effectively a pedestrian at some point their journey
  • Public transport just one part of an overall end-to-end journey
  • If the walking component is not acceptable or accessible to the public, the whole journey becomes unattractive
  • Walking is a universal but fragile transport mode. An uncomfortable or hostile walking environment will deter anyone who is able to avoid it – deters people from using public transport
  • Public transport, like public space, is for everyone. Public transport is best when it is inclusive. A Universal Design approach to roads, streets and public spaces also ensures that nobody is excluded from access to public transport. Every part of the journey needs to be designed to be accessible to everyone.
  • Public transport and walking are complementary because of spatial efficiency
    • A 3m traffic lane can move about 1,000 cars per hour, or 9,000 pedestrians
    • A 3m light rail line can serve up to 25,000 people per hour, per direction

Living Streets Aotearoa is committed to ensuring over 50% of children and adolescents walk all or part of their journey to school by 2025.  Waitematā Local Board is looking to fund safety improvements around Newton Central School. Photo right with the walking school bus mascot

Karangahape Road enhancement project

The much-anticipated enhancements to Auckland’s iconic Karangahape Road are finally about to get underway.   I attended the dawn karakia led by mana whenua on 27 June (photo right).

Attachment 6 Our Auckland: Enhancement of Karangahape Road to begin in July

Symonds St Cemetery

The Symonds St cemetery suffered from decades of neglect until Shale Chambers started championing a long-term enhancement programme first initiated by the Waitematā Local Board in 2012. The results are amazing – new paths, monument conservation, ecological restoration and community volunteer events in the cemetery. Along the way Symonds Street Cemetery Friends led by Patricia M Reade have been doing fabulous work to protect, preserve, enhance, restore and educate the public about the cemetery.

Attachment 7:  Our Auckland Symonds Street Cemetery enhancements showing good results

Sturdee Street Mural project

We are supporting the Auckland Council  process for requests Expressions of Interest (EOI) from qualified artists who wish to be considered for the commission of a new Sturdee Street Mural. EOI’s are now open, closing 1 August 2019.  For more information, contact: WaitemataLocalBoard@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Attachment 8: Stuff report Mural in downtown Auckland to be replaced for America’s Cup

Meetings and workshops: 12 June until 9 July

  • Planning Committee City Centre masterplan workshop on 12 June
  • Transport portfolio catch up on 12 June
  • Monthly catch up with city centre residents group representative on 12 June
  • Meeting with John Elliott, Ponsonby News to discuss Council’s use of glysophate (My July Ponsonby News update Attachment 7)
  • Meeting on 13 June with Cr Lee to discuss proposed priority projects to be funded from the Community Safety Fund
  • Meeting with Auckland Fringe Festival Trust on 14 June
  • Weekly chairs catch up held on 17, 24 June and 1 July
  • Attended the meeting on 17 June with the Mayor and Fuller’s CEO to discuss issues with the operation of the Waiheke ferry
  • Local Board members cluster workshop on 17 June
  • Meeting regarding the Erebus National Memorial project with representatives from the Ministry for Culture on 18 June
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 18 June
  • 25th Central Government Local Government Forum held at Premier House

    25th Central Government and Local Government Forum on 19 June at Premier House, Wellington (photo right)

  • Attended the Walking Summit on 20 and 21 June at Auckland Transport
  • Engagement strategy interview with Local board engagement adviser on 24 June
  • Attended Marine Protection public meeting on 24 June organised by Hon Nikki Kaye on Waiheke
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 25 June and 2 July
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board workshop and meeting on 26 June
  • Meeting with new trustees of the Grey Lynn Park Festival Trust on 27 June
  • City centre network meeting at Ellen Melville Centre on 27 June
  • LGNZ  AGM briefing on 28 June
  • Ponsonby Business Association committee monthly meeting on 3 July
  • Communications meeting on 3 July
  • Meeting with Denise Cosgrove, new CEO of Presbyterian Support
  • City Rail Link Community Liaison Meeting on 3 July
  • Auckland Zoo briefing and guided tour redevelopment project on 5 July
  • Taskforce on alcohol and community safety in the central city meeting on 5 July
  • LGNZ National Council meeting on 7 July
  • Attended LGNZ AGM as an Auckland Council delegate on 7 July (photo right)
  • LGNZ annual conference in Wellington 7-9 July ( I will report fully on the conference in my August Chair’s report)

Events and functions:  12 June until 9 July

  • Auckland Conversations: Making Auckland an Age Friendly City on 13 June
  • Opening night of A Fine Balance at Q Theatre on 15 June at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company
  • Friends of Symonds St Cemetery AGM on 18 June
  • World Refugee Day celebration at the Auckland Art Gallery  on 20 June.
  • Opening night of War Horse at the Civic on 21 June at the invitation of Auckland Live
  • Matariki Dawn Karakia at Auckland Domain Pukekawa on 22 June
  • School Strike for Climate organisers presentation for The Fabian Society monthly meeting at the Auckland University Business School on 25 June (photo right with Rachel Brown and Denise Bijoux with the organisers)
  • Launch of the Parnell Plan at Jubilee Buildings on 26 June
  • Pre-construction karakia for the Karangahape Road Enhancements project on 27 June
  • Red hat dinner for city centre residents on 27 June
  • World Press photography exhibition opening function on 28 June
  • We’re going on a Bear Hunt at the Pumphouse Theatre at the invitation of Tim Bray Productions on 29 June
  • Hāngi at Takutai Square for the Matariki Festival on 30 June
  • Maori Film Festival Screening of Te Rua at Ellen Melville Centre for the Matariki Festival on 30 June
  • Marilyn Waring book launch hosted by Zonta on 1 July
  • Eat Drink Love Ponsonby launch on 2 July
  • Spoke at the opening of the Franklin Road upgrade project on behalf of the Waitemata Local Board on 3 July
  • Abley new office opening on 3 July
  • Matariki Function for the Downtown Development project team at the Cloud on 3 July
  • Opening of Te Auaunga Project on 6 July (photo right)
  • Aotea Great Barrier Island protest against marine dumping in Aotea Square on 6 July
  • Te Hono a collaboration between Inside Out Productions and story-tellers Rewi Spraggon (Te Kawerau a Maki), Taiaha Hawke (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) and Pita Turei (Ngāti Paoa) held at the Concert Chamber as part of the Matariki Festival
  • Touch compass Inmotion Matariki parade on 6 July
  • LGNZ conference opening reception on 7 July and conference dinner on 8 July

Chair’s monthly report June 2019

This report covers the period 15 May until 11 June 2019. It is on the agenda for the local board business meeting held on 18 June.

Climate Emergency Declaration

Rangatahi o Tāmaki Makaurau (and Grant Hewitson from the Waitematā Low Carbon Network) speaking up for climate action. Photo credit: Cr Richard Hills

At the local board meeting on 4 June we supported member Denise Roche’s Notice of Motion calling for an Auckland Council declaration of an ecological and climate emergency.

Notice of Motion – Member D Roche – Ecological and Climate Emergency Declaration

MOVED by Member DR Roche, seconded by Member A Avendano Christie:

That the Waitematā Local Board:

a)                  note its concerns about the ecological and climate crisis

b)                  support any Auckland Council declaration of an ecological and climate emergency for the Auckland region

c)         urge the Governing Body to declare an ecological and climate emergency for the Auckland region

d)         note that the Governing Body will shortly be consulting on Auckland’s Climate Action Plan

e)         forward these resolutions to the Environment and Community Committee, all local boards and to Auckland Transport for their consideration and immediate action.

Denise spoke at the Environment and Community Committee on 11 June on behalf of the local board.  The Committee voted unanimously to join a growing community of cities around the world who have formally and publicly recognised the urgency for action on climate change by declaring a climate emergency.

“Our declaration further elevates the importance of an immediate national and global response to address our changing climate,” said Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of the committee.

Photo credit right Cr Richard Hills: Rangatahi o Tāmaki Makau Rau (and Grant Hewitson from the Waitematā Low Carbon Network) speaking up for climate action.

Attachment 1:  Our Auckland article Waitematā Local Board welcomes Climate Emergency

Transport

The local board is committed to road safety and street design which delivers “slower traffic speeds, safer intersections and footpaths and cycle lanes built to international best practice” (Local Board Plan 2017).   The transport portfolio has been working on a number of safety related projects.

Solent St intersection

We have supported AT removing the slip lanes at Solent Street intersection design as part of the Tamaki Drive cycleway project (photo right: a truck using the slip lane at speed).

In a very surprising and disappointing letter the Ports of Auckland CEO has outlined why he opposes the removal of the slip lanes. Auckland Transport has provided a response robustly outlining why the preferred design has been chosen,

Attachment 2: Correspondence with Ports of Auckland.

Pedestrian crossings

We support the programme Auckland Transport has underway to upgrade crossings to slow drivers down and make streets safer for pedestrians.  This has resulted in improved crossings on Parnell Road (photo right).

The local board has also successfully advocated for new crossings on Kelmarna Ave by Marist School and College Hill by St Mary’s College.

Community Safety Fund

Local Boards have been allocated a share of a new one-off Community Safety Fund. This fund is $20 million split over the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Financial Years and is designed to address safety issues raised by local communities, that don’t meet Auckland Transport’s regional prioritisation for funding. The fund is divided between the 21 local board areas using the area’s numbers of Deaths and Serious Injuries, as a major component of the funding formula.

Waitematā Local Board has been allocated approx. $1.4m from the fund.  A decision on which projects to progress to the next stage (AT preparation of rough order of costs) will be made at the business meeting on 18 June.  Attachment 3 ( Item 24 ) outlines the projects considered for funding from the Community Safety Fund and additional projects the transport portfolio would like AT to progress.

Tactical Urbanism

Auckland Transport is working NZTA on a new Innovating streets toolkit to allow for quicker interventions that promote healthy and safe roads.

I have asked AT to consider the following projects for the quick win/tactical urbanism approach.

  • Midtown to the Domain route needing minor physical changes and wayfinding: Wellesley St cycle lane connection to the Princes St slip lane alongside Wellesley St up to Symonds St Bridge (cycle crossing phase at the intersection Wellesley/Princes St) crossing to Whitaker Place with ped crossing phase via Grafton Gully cycleway to Grafton Road “shared path” on northern side to the Domain
  • Painted cycle lane connection to the current feeder lane on Williamson Ave at Ponsonby Road. Eg connection to start at MacKelvie St intersection alongside the service station through Pollen St intersection (markings already exist as an oversize vehicle lane and no parking has to be removed)- this will create visibility of people on bikes as currently a safety issue with number of vehicle crossings into service station
  • Alex Evans Drive connection between Symonds St and Upper Queen St bridge/start of Ian McKinnnon cycleway – plans were developed about four years ago by AT
  • Crummer Road contra flow at Scanlan St – currently blocked to through traffic but ideal to create a cut through for people on bikes (currently used informally) – first logged with AT in 2011

Western Springs shared path

Local board advocacy has resulted in construction of the Western Springs shared path on Great North Road.  NZTA and AT first undertook to progress this work in 2013 as part of the St Lukes interchange project.  I escalated the unacceptable delay to the project after a cyclist was seriously injured in a crash with a driver coming off the motorway.

We are however disappointed that the final design doesn’t include raised tables on the off ramps as recommended by AT.  NZTA has advised as follows:

We have been working with AT but we are finding it challenging to find a solution that keeps all our vulnerable uses (cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclist) safe. The issue is that there is a lack of a policy position on raised tables at motorway interchanges. We have recognised this as an issue and we are working as quickly as possible to form a view. We are very cognisant that the world is changing and that we need to work with our partners (AT and stakeholders) to ensure our policies keep up with urban form and urban development.

To confirm where we are at:

  • The Transport Agency is happy with the off-ramp realignment, where the curve has been straightened
  • The Transport Agency is happy with the on-ramp alignment, although we would prefer that it is re-aligned to reduce entry speed
  • The Transport Agency has not made a decision on raised tables at motorway interchanges at this point. The AT proposal sets significant precedence and the lack of an Agency policy position has serious implications on other projects in Auckland and wider New Zealand
  • Until a policy can be confirmed we are advising that the Agency is not in support of raised table junctions at these locations
  • We have engaged with parties internal to the Agency to establish a path forward so we can have a clear direction going forward
  • This has been escalated to the highest point in our organisations and they are aware of the issue (Tier 2 in NZTA and CEO at AT)

As mentioned our safety team is working as quickly as possible to establish a path forward. It has been suggested that the works could be completed without raised tables, which could be retrofitted at a later date should it become policy.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path

On 22 May NZTA announced a preferred design for the Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path (formally known as SkyPath). The local board has been advocating for this project for many years.

NZTA is currently analysing the current consent and conditions and working to see if the preferred design fits within it.  A variation is a possibility. A detailed business case is being currently being developed.  Best case scenario is a Dec 2020 construction start.

A drop-in session is planned for 4 July between 4-8pm at Ponsonby Cruising Club, 141-151 Westhaven Drive, Westhaven. NZTA has reaffirmed this project is a priority for the Government.

https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/auckland-harbour-bridge-shared-path/

Western Springs resource consent – next steps

On 4 June the Waitematā Local Board received a briefing on the outcomes of the resource consent hearing for the removal of pine trees at Te Wai Orea – Western Springs Lakeside Park and received recommendations on the next steps in order to progress the local board’s native forest restoration project. The resource consent has been granted for the removal of 200+ pine trees with a set of conditions.

The local board has accepted the advice of officers to proceed with the project. We considered the additional conditions and noted as follows:

  • The independent commissioners reviewed all the evidence presented and determined that removal of the pines in one operation as now proposed is a practicable approach to enhancing the indigenous biodiversity values of the SEA and providing for the appreciation of the park as an urban forest (para 145 of the decision)
  • The commissioners accepted that removal is required due to ongoing and increasing health and safety concerns in relation to the trees continuing decline and failure (para 117)
  • The alternative option of allowing the pines to fall and the indigenous vegetation to continue to develop was considered, but rejected as this would require the closure of the pine tree area and involve no access and no pest control. This will lead to the proliferation of pest plants and hinder the regeneration of the indigenous vegetation (para 119).
  • The methodology has been revised to focus on the aim of restoring and enhancing the park’s SEA values. The access track will only be to the width of the digger (up to 4m wide is consented, but likely to be less) and for 200m (50 per cent less area than originally proposed).
  • Removal of tree trunks will be limited and most will be mulched on site.
  • An independent ecologist will provide oversight to limit the damage to the understory. This will be minimised as much as possible – at the most extreme there could be up to 50 per cent damage to low level plants but due to the change in methodology damage is likely to be a lot less. Soil erosion and silt run off will also be minimised.
  • An independent arborist is required to oversee the works and will work closely with the independent ecologist to minimise damage from the tree felling
  • Planting will be from a “species palette” consistent with the SEA values. Up to 15,000 plants are available, but with the reduction in the plantable area (due to the trunks remaining in situ) there is likely to be space for approximately 10,000 plants
  • As part of the conditions Council will appoint a community liaison person to be available 12 hours per day; updates will be provided every second day on a purpose-built webpage

The next window for pine removal is now Feb/March 2020 (to avoid bird roosting season, wet weather etc). The whole operation including planting will take approximately 6 weeks.  There will then be the opportunity for community engagement and involvement to determine the management going forward and potential track upgrades.

Officers have advised that unfortunately it is not possible to open the walking track in the interim. A buffer zone would need to be created alongside the track and as the trees are over 60m tall nearly all would need to be removed.

The commissioner’s decision can still be appealed.  This will further delay the restoration project and limit the park’s use for public access and recreational purposes.

Western Springs Lakeside Park update

I have been providing a regular update on path cleaning and other maintenance matters at Westerns Springs Lakeside Park.  Following my Ponsonby News update in May I received a complaint about the park and the accuracy of my reporting.  I provided the following response (published in the June Ponsonby News):

I have visited the park and followed up with Mr Hay to confirm that what I reported in my Ponsonby News update is correct. I agree that we want Western Springs Lakeside Park to be well maintained but the huge amount of geese poo is an ongoing issue.  Here is a summary from Council’s Senior Maintenance Delivery Coordinator about the action being taken:  cleaning of the pathway is being completed a minimum of five times a week. The contractor has been instructed to check the path every day and if cleaning is required it is to be completed that day. The contractor has been using a combination of a sweeping vehicle and water blasting to clear the path. Recently Community Facilities has also been trialling some methods to keep the geese from congregating on the path. The most recent trial involves a low level temporary fence. It has been successful at keeping the geese off a portion but unfortunately the geese just move on to another area of the path and cause the same issues. Council’s long-term solution to reduce the number of geese will greatly improve the situation and at this stage we are aiming to begin control in late June.

The water quality and sediment issues that Mr Hay referred to have been forwarded on to Council’s Healthy Waters department. The rubbish floating at the water’s edge should be removed by the contractors as loose litter. A recent inspection has confirmed that the bins that should be in place are in place. There are still park benches that require replacement following last year’s storm.

City Centre amenities

The local board is championing the provision of public toilets in the city centre. Work is currently underway on a City Centre Amenities strategic review following the local board raising concerns that the public toilets at the new CRL stations  will be located behind gate barriers with no plans to install accessible facilities and no part of council responsible for mapping the location of public toilets (the most up to date resource has been created by board member Vernon Tava on his personal website).

In the meantime Auckland Transport is rolling out a Bus Driver Exeloo Programme in the City Centre that also provides a public toilet in a number of locations.  The programme includes a Exeloo on Lower Albert St that was installed last year and a new Exeloo opened on Victoria St at the beginning of June (photo right).  The local board provided input into the locations and suggested including drinking fountains.

AT has provided the following update on other locations:

Quay Street (seaside 120m east of Tapora Street):     This site supports bus layovers for some 24 buses opposite Vector Arena.  The unit will sit between the new cycle path and the old footpath with access from the footpath side only.  Because of the cycle traffic through this area, AT will also be installing a drinking fountain (with dog drinking bowl) to the specification requested by the LB.

City Works Depot:  AT could not find a suitable site on Nelson (Wellesley St or Cook Street) and City Works Deport did not want an Exeloo on their Sale St frontage which they are developing.  So we again approached CWD with a lease proposal.  The agreement is to build a bespoke, secure keypad access, single-unit toilet within the CWD site, next to customer toilets in the Nelson St retaining wall.  Drivers will access the toilet via the spiral stairs from Nelson Street.     The agreement sees CWD designing, constructing, cleaning and maintaining the toilet for the exclusive use by bus drivers in exchange for an annual lease fee; ultimately the asset will pass to CWD once permanent bus layover facilities are created in the CBD.

FY19/20 Forward Plan:  FY19/20 funding has yet to be confirmed, however AT Metro Service Delivery have approved a project mandate to investigate further Exeloo sites as follows:

  • Bus Driver Exeloo sites: Mayoral Drive (near AUT); Nuffield Street Newmarket; Hobson Street (between Wolfe & Wyndam St) Avondale Terminus (Copsey Place); Waikowhai Terminus
  • Rail Exeloo Sites: Parnell Station; Grafton Station; Ellerslie Station; Glenn Innes Station; Papatoetoe Station; Middlemore Station

Auckland Domain

We’re fortunate to have an excellent maintenance manager for Waitematā. Karl (photo right) is passionately on the case sorting out issues in our parks.

On June he was happy to meet me for a site visit at the Domain (along with his boss) to look at a few maintenance issues that have been logged with me.  Lots of work is underway to make the Domain a world class premier park.

For the first time Auckland Museum has an accessible (very grand and beautifully landscaped) pathway to the front door. On 27 May, the Mayor announced the new official name Te Ara Oranga (Attachment 4: Our Auckland Domain Pathway Officially Opened)

At the Domain Committee meeting on 5 June four new paths funded by the local board were approved (details on the agenda under Item 24).

In another milestone for the Domain the new Wintergarden nursery glasshouses were blessed on 11 June by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.  Cr Mike Lee spoke at the opening.

Homelessness initiatives

We’re continuing to look at ways to fund small initiatives that complement Housing First Auckland and other regional projects that address homelessness. From a $20,000 allocation Lifewise Auckland will receive a $10,000 grant to support the initial scoping of an Auckland Housing Help Centre; an $8,000 grant will go to Heart of the City to support their Street Guardians Programme, and $2,000 will go towards volunteer training facilitated by the Auckland City Mission.  (Attachment 5: Our Auckland Homeless Community shown support in Waitemata)

The city centre targeted rate paid by businesses and residents contributed $2million to the upgrade of James Liston Hostel in Freemans Bay. On 5 June the Mayor, joined by Minister Phil Twyford opened the newly revamped facility providing 55 emergency beds with wrap around services. It has been a tremendous effort by the Hostel Trust team led Dame Diane Robertson and supported by Lifewise and the City Mission.

Enhancing Auckland’s tree cover

On 2 June Stuff journalist Charlie Mitchell reported on The Aotearoa Chainsaw Massacre.  In 2013 the former National-led government removed general tree protection rules leading to the loss of many urban trees. Here’s what the local board has been doing to enhance and protect tree cover:

  • opposed the RMA changes and have continued to advocate for tree protection
  • worked to identify trees to be scheduled in the Unitary Plan – this was work led by former board member Tricia Reade
  • included as many trees as possible in our projects (eg Teed St upgrade) and have pushed AT to identify new opportunities for tree pits
  • supported the revised City Centre Masterplan revised target of increasing streets trees in the city centre by 25 per cent by 2021.
  • support Auckland’s Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy and the Mayor’s 1 million trees project
  • working to develop a local urban ngahere implementation plan
  • funding tree planting for Arbor Day (Photo right: planting in Newmarket Park on 8 June)
  • funding volunteer plantings and regeneration projects
  • allocated a grant the Urban Tree Alliance for an Adopt a Tree event in Western Park
  •  funded the LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) data mapping to calculate the “canopy cover” of Waitemata
  • part of the team that helped Save the Western Springs Pohutukawas
  • planted fruit trees in Grey Lynn Park
  • Deputy Chair Shale Chambers was part of the City Centre Advisory Board working group who have successfully secured agreement from AT to include more street trees in the Albert St upgrade design
  • And at Western Springs up to 15,000 new trees will be planted as part of a native bush regeneration project.

Annual Budget 19/20

At a business meeting on 4 June we approved the Waitemata local content for the Annual Budget 2019/2020 which includes a Local Board Agreement, a message from the chair, local board advocacy, and a local fees and charges schedule for 2019/2020. Each financial year, Auckland Council must have a Local Board Agreement between the Governing Body and each local board, for each local board area. On 20 June 2019, the Governing Body will meet to adopt Auckland Council’s Annual Budget 2019/2020, including 21 local board agreements.

Attachment 6: Our Auckland Youth leadership developed with spoken word poetry (funding provided from the local board community grant fund 18/19)

Meetings and workshops: 15 May until 11 June

  •  Planning Committee workshop on 15 May
  • Meeting to discuss SBN’s GulfX project on 15 May
  • Meeting with University of Auckland healthy homes researchers on 16 May
  • LGNZ National Council meeting in Wellington on 17 May (photo right with Mayor Justin Lester who recently announced his intention to make Lambton Quay car free)
  • Weekly chairs catch up held on 20 May, 27 May and 10 June
  • Meeting on 20 May hosted by Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, local board representatives and Auckland Transport to discuss the speed bylaw implementation
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 21 May
  • Monthly catch up with the GM of the K’rd Business Association on 22 May
  • Communications meeting on 22 May
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board workshop and meeting on 22 May
  • Meeting on 23 May with Civic Events and Regional Facilities Auckland to discuss the organisation of citizenship ceremonies at the Town Hall
  • LGNZ Zone 1 meeting on 24 May
  • Meeting with the Pop Up Globe team on 24 May
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 28 May, 4 and 11 June
  • Transport portfolio meeting on 29 May
  • Joint Governing Body/Local Board Chairs meeting on 29 May
  • Meeting with Trevor Dunn and Boud Hammelburg, Advisors to Westhaven Forum Trust at Royal NZ Yacht Club on 31 May
  • Meeting with Community Facilities managers on 5 June to discuss Victoria Park car park driveway renewal
  • Domain Committee workshop and business meeting on 5 June
  • Meeting with Newmarket Business Association GM on 1 May
  • Domain Committee meeting on 5 June
  • Meeting with GM Parnell Business Association on 6 June
  • Attended meeting on 6 June organised by Hon Nikki Kaye with businesses impacted by CRL works
  • Meeting with Parnell Business Association GM on 5 June
  • Informal catch up with the Chair, Waiheke Local Board on 6 June
  • Local Board Chairs Monthly Forum on 10 June

Events and functions:  15 May until 11 June

  • Good Citizens Awards ceremony on 16 May (Attachment 7 Our Auckland and featured in Ponsonby News June update Attachment 8)
  • Auckland Writers Festival opening night party on 16 May
  • Literally Lorne, Auckland Writers Festival free event on 17 May
  • Te reo with Scottie Morrison, Auckland Writers Festival on 18 May
  • Spoke at Trash to Trade event organised by Grey Lynn 2030 on 19 May
  • Tripartite 2019 (An economic alliance of LA, Guangzhou and Auckland coinciding with Tech Week) Welcome Reception for our international delegates and speakers on Sunday 19 May and attended an Innovation Showcase for Tripartite 2019 followed by lunch 20 May. I was interested to hear from Stephen Cheung, President World Trade Centre, LA  about Los Angeles’ Clean Air Action Plan based on data and innovation to force changes to deal with the pollution and health implications of dirty bunker fuel. He was part of a panel on new trends in public and private sector data sharing.
  • With Tapata Wehi, founder The Haka Experience at the Go with Tourism Expo

    Auckland Museum stakeholder breakfast on 23 May

  • Joined the community of St Matthew-in-the-City for a Powhiri and reception on 23 May to welcome our overseas guests who belong to an international network of inner city churches
  • Opened the Go with Tourism Expo on 24 May at Auckland Showgrounds
  • HiTech gala dinner on 24 May at the invitation of ATEED
  • Opening of the new walkway Te ara Oranga connecting Auckland Museum on 27 May
  • Pride Pledge launch on 28 May at Coco’s cantina at the invitation of Krd Business Association
  • Officiated at the Town Hall Citizenship Ceremony on 28 May
  • Attended Friends of Sustainable Coastlines event on 28 May
  • Opening of the Doc Edge Festival at Q Theatre on 29 May
  • New citizen Constable Pavee from Thailand and Karem Colmenares, Event organiser

    Join the Dante Auckland at Winger Maserati to celebrate the Italian Republic Day on 2 June

  • Attended Open Iftar (dinner) 2019 hosted by New Zealand Eid Day at Ellen Melville Centre on 2 June
  • Mt Albert Electorate community morning tea with the PM on 5 June
  • Opening of James Liston Hostel by the Mayor on 5 June
  • China Business Awards dinner at Shed 10 on 6 June at the invitation of NZ China Council
  • Newmarket Business Association awards dinner on 7 June
  • Arbor Day tree planting in Newmarket Park on 8 June
  • Attended the opening of the Wintergarden nursery glasshouses at Auckland Domain on 11 June
  • Again Again co-founders Melissa Firth and Nada Piatek and Sustainable Business Network, CEO Rachel Brown

    Spoke at the launch of Again Again, reusable cups as a service system, at The Store, Quay Street on 11 June

  • Delicious Oblivion, Cabaret Season Launch on 11 June at the Civic Theatre at the invitation of Auckland Live

Chairs monthly report May 2019

This report covers the period 10 April until 14 May 2019. It is on the agenda for the local board business meeting held on 21 May.

Anzac Day

Speaking on behalf of the Waitemata Local Board at the Grey Lynn RSC Anzac Day service (Photo credit: Roscoe Thorby)

After attending the very moving Dawn Service at Auckland Museum I had the honour of speaking at the Grey Lynn RSC Anzac Day service on behalf of the Waitematā Local Board (photo right).  The board assists the RSC with funding for the event.  (My speech here).

The club does a great job bringing the community together for this national day of commemoration.

I received a heartfelt thank you from the President and Manager of the Grey Lynn RSC (Attachment 2)

Annual Budget 19/20 consultation

Presenting to the Finance and Performance Committee with Shale Chambers and Adriana Christie

At the local board business meeting we received a report on the Annual Budget 19/20 feedback and resolved on advocacy priorities (Attachment 3).   A total of 223 submissions were received for the Waitematā Local Board area. The majority of submitters either supported (45 per cent) or partially supported (43 per cent) the Waitematā Local Board’s priorities.    I read all the submissions over Easter and was pleased to note the strong support for our overall direction and priorities.  Concerns raised tended to be about regional issues such as stormwater separation.

On 8 May Shale Chambers and I presented to the Finance and Performance committee with the support of board member Adriana Christie on our key advocacy iniatives that we wished to bring to the governing body’s attention (Presentation: Attachment 4)

Dog Bylaw consultation

Photo from the Change Petition: Make Basque Park On leash

Public consultation on Auckland’s dog rules closed on 10 May.  Auckland Council sought views on proposed changes to dog time and season rules to see more consistency across the region, as well as proposed improvements to dog management in Auckland.

Local board Chairs raised concerns with the Mayor about the bylaw process for local board input and the undermining of the shared governance model (Attachment 5).   Following a deputation of chairs meeting with the Mayor we received a positive response (Attachment 6) and agreement that local boards will be given an opportunity to provide their feedback to the hearing panel after the submissions and hearing report have been made public.

Looking forward, staff will continue to work with local boards on the Governance Framework Review and consider how future policy and strategy processes can provide for local board review of submissions and feedback. Staff will also progress the idea of a policy calendar through this review.

Through the consultation we heard feedback on the need for an off-leash dog area in Basque Park .  We have responded that this will be looked at following the completion of the dog rule consultation (Our Auckland: Changes on the way for Basque Park )

Renewals: Victoria park entranceway

Since the earliest days of the Waitematā Local Board we have taken the approach that every renewal is an opportunity to improve on assets to deliver on community outcomes and best practice design.  We have LDI budget (Locally Driven initiatives discretionary budget) available for this purpose. We have consistently reinforced to officers that there is no such thing as a “like for like” renewal as standards have changed over time and every project needs to be considered in the context of current council strategies and plans.  This is a view I believe shared by all local boards.

The Council approach to renewals was recently highlighted when we were advised that “like for like” work was about to start on the entranceway to Victoria Park.  Despite several workshop discussions about the issues the local board wanted addressed such as safety we were not given the opportunity to have any input into the plans and only “notified” when the works were about to begin (photo above).

I raised concerns about the inadequate thought given to the current purpose and function of the entrance and access “road” that is an integral part of the park path network for recreational purposes and is an important commuter route (with numbers increasing as Wynyard Quarter expands and it becomes more and more difficult to walk along Fanshawe Street due to the numbers waiting for buses).

In response I was assured by Community Facilities that a renewal is not considered a like-for-like exercise and that discussions should be taking place with the Local Board regarding opportunities to leverage its asset base to deliver a better community outcome and that Community Facilities is focussed on place-based delivery.

With regards to Victoria Park, Community Facilities have agreed to install signage (photo right) and to consider design options for the resurfaced areas and are taking forward the Halsey Street footpath to park standard.

We’ve raised similar issues with Auckland Transport, in particular like for like footpath renewals that are not brought to the local board in advance for input. As a result AT has agreed to trial a new approach.

Safe Speeds consultation

Auckland Transport speed hearing panel

 On 18 April I presented to the Auckland Transport Speed Limits Bylaw hearings on behalf of Waitematā Local Board. I spoke about why we support safe speeds as the evidence shows reducing speed limits works and delivers a range of benefits beyond road safety. Slower speeds are pro-community, pro-business, pro children. It will make our streets more accessible and safe for people of all ages and abilities. Slower speeds are also needed in the city centre to respond to massive changes that have taken place there. It is no longer a CBD but home to almost 60,000 residents.

AT received 30,000 feedback points through the consultation process.  The decision on the Speed Limits Bylaw will be made by the AT Board in July.

 Road Safety Week 2019  6- 12 May

 The 2019 theme for Road Safety Week was Save Lives #speakup. New Zealand is experiencing a crisis of road deaths and serious injuries. April was the worst month for road danger for over a decade. From listening to road safety experts over the last few years that I have been campaigning for a new Vision Zero approach, I’ve learned the following:

  • Every crash involves a vehicle, the road and a driver. It is not possible to reduce or eliminate crashes by focusing on just one factor.
  • There are a range of complex reasons why NZ’s road safety performance is declining – but many of the reasons are the direct result of the former government’s transport policies such as big cuts to police enforcement, more trucks on the road, failure to reduce speeds, investment in a few big roading projects rather than safety changes to roads where crashes happen, acceptance of vehicles with poor safety ratings and declining driver education.
  • In a “Safe System”, crashes are inevitable, but death and serious injury is not. The Safe System aims to strengthen all parts of the system: roads and roadsides, speeds, vehicles, and people – so that if one part fails, other parts will still protect those involved. ie you are not killed if someone stuffs up.
  • Politicians, traffic engineers, management, enforcement officials etc all need to take responsibility for the crisis. We must adopt the ethical imperative of Vision Zero. This means:

– safe and appropriate speeds
– safety must be prioritised in road design
– improvements to the safety of vehicles on the road
– enforcement particularly for speeding, red light running
– driver education

I took this photo (right) for Road Safety Week.

There is currently $10 billion of private construction underway in Auckland plus work on major utilities infrastructure. I’m grateful to all the traffic management workers like Albert who are keeping us safe around these projects. I’ve got to know Albert as he’s working on a new apartment building near the local board office. He gets a lot of grief from drivers trying to get around his controls in St Patrick’s Square but always keeps his cool.

Auckland Cycling Programme Update

On 8 March 2019 Cr Darby and I wrote to the Auckland Transport CEO expressing grave concerns over the status of the cycling programme.  The programme is currently three years behind schedule.  No new cycleway work has got underway this year and the walking and cycling team has been disestablished.

On 30 April we received a response confirming that AT remains absolutely committed to delivering the funded cycling programme and delivering on the specific focus area of the Auckland Plan – ‘Make walking, cycling and public transport preferred choices for many more Aucklanders’ but providing reasons why there have been delivery challenges.  (Both letters are attached to my report on the local board agenda)

Downtown Infrastructure Development Projects

On 10 May I attended the Dawn Ceremony for the Downtown Infrastructure Development projects. Ngāti Whātua Orākei led proceedings on behalf of mana whenua.

Cr Darby reported “that it was great to share the morning with people who have been instrumental in directing the waterfront transformation in recent years” – Cr Richard Hills, Viv Beck (Heart of the City GM), Noelene Buckland (Chair, City Centre Residents Group) and Pippa Coom. Cr Paul Young got up early too to join us”. (photo right)

The design for a new Square on lower Queen Street

The ceremony marked the commencement of the major works to deliver:

  • Downtown ferry basin redevelopment.
  • Lower Albert St bus interchange.
  • Downtown public water edge public space
  • Lower Queen St public space (image right)
  • Historic Quay St wall strengthening and utilities relocation.
  • Britomart east bus interchange.
  • Quay St enhancement

The work to deliver seven interrelated projects in time for Americas Cup 36 is hugely complex but I believe will be worth the temporary disruption as Downtown becomes a stunning pedestrian friendly area.

Parnell Plan

A visualisation of the proposed Waipapa Greenway via the old Parnell railway tunnel was first revealed at a public meeting hosted by Parnell Business Association and Parnell Community Committee on 7 May that I attended.

This image created by Jasmax is in the new Parnell Plan (about to be published).

A Karuhiruhi pied shag catches an eel at Western Springs Photo Credit Cathy Casey

 Western Springs Lakeside Park update

I have been providing regular updates on Western Springs following complaints about the water quality of the lake and maintenance of the park. In my May Ponsonby News update covered the maintenance work underway (Attachment 10)

Meetings and workshops: 9 April until 14 May

  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 9 and 30 April, 7 and 14 May
  • Meeting on 10 April with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Cr Hulse to discuss LGNZ remits
  • Elected Member briefing regarding ANZAC Day Commemorations on 10 April
  • Ponsonby Business Association monthly board meetings on 11 April and 2 May
  • Meeting with Parnell Business Association GM on 11 April
  • Meeting with Community Facilities managers on 11 April to discuss Victoria Park car park driveway renewal
  • Monthly catch ups with Auckland City Centre Residents Group representative on 11 April and 9 May
  • Meeting on 12 April to finalise the Parnell Plan
  • Transport portfolio meeting on 15 April and 1 May
  • Weekly chairs catchup held on 15 April, 29 April and 6 May
  • Meeting with the Mayor and a delegation of Local Board Chairs on 15 April to discuss the process for local board input into bylaw processes
  • Presented to the Auckland Transport safe speeds hearings panel on 15 April
  • Good Citizen Awards selection panel meeting on 16 April
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 16 April
  • Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association meeting on 17 April
  • Meeting with Dave Allen to provide feedback on Auckland Plan, Strategy and Research’s (APSR) work for the local board as part of shaping a fit-for-purpose strategy and research unit.
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board workshop and meeting on 17 April
  • Meeting with the local board relationship manager on 18 April
  • Meeting with representatives of the Friends of Fukuoka Gardens on 18 April
  • Meeting with car transporter and car dealer representatives and Auckland Transport on 18 April to discuss operations on Great North Road
  • Eco matters bike hub

    The board had a recess week following the Easter break. I took the opportunity to visit EcoMatters Environment Trust Bike Hub in New Lynn. They’re doing brilliant work supporting the community to experience the joy and fun of riding. The hub provides assistance with learning basic bike maintenance skills, rescues bikes and on sells them at low cost. It is also a pit stop to hang out with good people happy to tinker on bikes.

  • Meeting on 29 April initiated by Bevan Woodward with Auckland Transport to discuss opportunities for tactical urbanism as part of the new Innovating Streets for People toolkit being developed by NZTA
  • Meeting with Newmarket Business Association GM on 1 May
  • Central City Network meeting at Ellen Melville Centre on 2 May
  • Mt Albert Electorate office catch up on 3 May
  • Grafton Residents Association AGM on 5 May
  • “Turning the Tide – from Cars to Active Transport report briefing at the Otago University centre on 6 May
  • Meeting to discuss the local board’s presentation to the Finance and Performance committee
  • Trafinz executive meeting on 8 May
  • Presentation to the Finance and Performance committee on the Local Board Annual Budget advocacy on 8 May
  • Domain Committee pre-agenda meeting on 8 May
  • Communications meeting on 8 May
  • Ponsonby Road walkover on 9 May with Auckland Transport representative to identify any issues with the Ponsonby Pedestrian experience project delivery
  • Meeting with Big Street bikers on 9 May
  • Meeting with John Palino (Mayoral candidate) on 10 May
  • Meeting on 13 May at Newton School with Auckland Transport to discuss safety improvements (photo right with the Principal Riki Teteina and Auckland Transport’s Claire Dixon)
  • Local Board Chairs Forum on 13 May

Events and functions:  9 April until 14 May

  • Presentation by Niels Hoe, NZTA’s new System Design Lead for Urban Mobility at MR Cagney on 9 April
  • Auckland Conversations: Future proofing Auckland – is building a sustainable city really possible? On 10 April at the Millennium Hotel
  • Newhub facebook live with host Finn Hogan
  • Community working bee organised by the Freemans Bay Residents Association on 13 April at the new Waiatarau Freemans Bay Park (Photo right)
  • Nepal Festival

    I was invited to speak at the opening celebration of the Nepalese New Year on 14 April at the Freemans Bay Community centre at the invitation of the New Zealand Nepal Society

  • Art of Remembrance at St David’s church on 24 April
  • Anzac Day Dawn Service at Auckland Museum
  • Grey Lynn RSC memorial Anzac Day parade and service
  • Here and Now Festival of plays at Waterfront Theatre on 26 April
  • Presentation on 29 April by Jacquelyn Collins on the gendered issues of play spaces. Hosted by Women in Urbanism Aotearoa x MR Cagney
  • Auckland Arts Fair opening night at the Cloud
  • Auckland Jewish Community Holocaust Memorial Service on 1 May at the Auckland Hebrew Congregation Community Hall
  • Function on 2 May at the Northern Club to celebrate the expansion of Bankside Chambers
  • Comedy Festival Gala at the Civic at the invitation of ATEED
  • Auckland Alumni Otago University 150th anniversary celebration Gala at Auckland Museum on 3 May
  • Carlile House, Grey Lynn

    Urban Walking Festival- Jane’s Walk Grey Lynn on 4 May Alex Bonham led us today on a Jane’s Walk * exploring Grey Lynn as part of the Urban Walking Festival. We ended up at historic Carlile House. Recently it was looking promising that the building was about to be saved but unfortunately it has recently been report that the deal has now fallen through (* It is called Jane’s walk in memory of Jane Jacobs the North American urban activist who wrote The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Walks are held on her birthday anniversary)

  • Public meeting hosted by Parnell Business Association and Parnell Community Committee on 7 May
  • Dawn Ceremony for Downtown Infrastructure Development Projects on 10 May
  • The Audience at Waterfront Theatre at the invitation of ATC on 10 May
  • Bright Lights at the Viaduct on 10 May
  • Clayworks Potters Market at St Columba’s church community hall on 11 May
  • Reception for British economist and writer Kate Raworth at the Auckland Writers Festival on 13 May and invitation from ATEED to attend her talk MC’d by Rod Oram
  • Ockham NZ Book awards ceremony on 14 May

 

 

Chairs Monthly report April 2019

This report covers the period 13 March until 9 April 2019. It is on the agenda for the local board business meeting held on 16 April.

The last few weeks have, of course, been dominated by the terror attacks in Christchurch and the community response to the massacre of 50 innocent people.

Christchurch Mosque Massacre

At our board meeting on 19 March, just days after the horrific events that have changed our country for ever, I led us in a minute’s silence and we gave the following acknowledgment:

Waitematā Local Board acknowledges the victims of the Christchurch terror attack. We send our deepest condolences to the families and friends directly affected by the shocking, tragic and devastating mass shooting carried out at two Mosques. We acknowledge, love and support the Muslim community in Waitematā and across Aotearoa as we come together to stand united with the community in grief and solidarity.

We commit to promoting tolerance, empathy and mutual understanding for people of all ethnicities and religious beliefs. We value the diversity of Waitematā and wish for all people to feel safe and welcomed. The board’s Ellen Melville Centre (photo right) is one of the Auckland Council community centres with a condolence book to give Aucklanders the opportunity to express their messages of support for the victims, their families and their community.”

At the Vigil in Aotea Square on 16 March (photo right), a defiant and passionate Mayor Phil Goff spoke about his determination more than ever to give nothing to racism, and to ensure the world knows that Auckland and New Zealand is wonderfully diverse, where people of all ethnicities and faiths are welcome.

The Waitematā Local Board joins with the Mayor in taking a strong stand prohibiting speakers wishing to use our community venues to incite intolerance and hate.  In addition, we support Auckland as a City of Peace and the development of a regional policy that prohibits the promotion, marketing and sales of weapons of war in council facilities. I reported on our acknowledgement in the April Ponsonby News (Attachment 1)

On 22 March I was in Wellington for a National Council meeting and joined LGNZ staff for the two minutes silence observed across New Zealand. Auckland Council staff assisted in providing support to Ponsonby Mosque who were overwhelmed by the numbers who attended NZ Stand Together for Friday prayers and the evening gathering on one week commemoration.

The Neighbours day event hosted by City Centre Residents Group on 23 March provided an opportunity to come together for a shared lunch at Ellen Melville Centre. It was especially significant to hear from Imam Wajahat Khan as the centre hosts the Muslim community every Friday for prayers. Local Board member Richard Northey and I were both invited to speak (in the photo right:  Auckland Street Choir singing at this event).

Love Aotearoa Hate Racism hosted Kia Kaha: Stand Against Racism in Victoria Park on 24 March and on 29 March I attended Kotahitanga Together – Auckland’s Remembrance for Christchurch at Eden Park with around 2,000 Aucklanders in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Christchurch mosques attack.

The afternoon’s line-up included Dave Dobbyn, Lizzie Marvelly and children from Islamic schools across Auckland singing the national anthem, and a haka and waiata from children of Kowhai Intermediate.

The Mayor, FIANZ President Br. Mustafa Farouk and Sonny Bill Williams, were among the guest speakers, and the event MC was broadcaster Miriama Kamo.

Climate Change Symposium

“On Friday morning (15 March) we heard the global call from 1.5 million young people to act to save our planet. By Friday afternoon, New Zealand quickly realised that we needed to act to save ourselves – from discrimination, intolerance and racism. Today as we gather to discuss action on climate change, I call on you all to use this same sentiment to act for good in every aspect of our society. To be resolute to act to create a better future for our children, for Auckland and New Zealand.” – Cr Penny Hulse opening the Auckland Climate Symposium on 18 March organised by Chief Sustainability Officer John Mauro and team.

The day started with Otene Reweti‘s poignant mihi whakatau providing an opportunity to reflect on the words of the national anthem.

The symposium brought people and sectors together to build cross-sector momentum on climate action and feed directly into the development of Auckland’s Climate Action Plan.

As summed up by MC Rod Oram the first imperative is to give expression to who we are as the fourth most diverse city in the world. The response to climate change must be about a wider purpose of addressing social justice, structural inequality and poverty.

There were a lot of really great presentations and panel discussions on the day I attended with the resounding takeaway that we know what we need to do, we just need to get on with it – with urgency.  Ngarimu Blair stepped aside from his presentation to allow the rangatahi of Para Kore ki Tamaki Makaurau to speak (Photo credit David Galler). They powerfully reminded decision makers and us all that we have a duty to youth, those inheriting this world. “We are generation now. Our voices will be heard.”

Annual Budget 19/20 consultation

Council’s annual budget consultation finished on 17 March.  The local board ended our engagement with a formal hearing on 14 March. We heard 13 presentations in total from a range of groups and individuals. Thanks to everyone who has given feedback. We are listening and always keen to seek out the views of the community.

In the photo Adam Parkinson is presenting to board members at the hearing on behalf of the Auckland City Centre Residents’ Group – CCRG.

Good Citizen Awards

 Nominations for the Waitematā Local Board Good Citizens’ Awards opened on 18 March.  We immensely value community-led work and our Good Citizens’ Awards is one of the ways we celebrate and give recognition to those who make Waitematā a great place to live. We are seeking nominations for individuals or community-led organisations working within the Waitematā Local Board area until 14 April (Our Auckland Attachment 2).

 Western Springs Lakeside Park update

I have been providing updates on Western Springs following complaints about the water quality of the lake and maintenance of the park.

I received the following update from Community Facilities on 1 April.

There has been a significant amount of work going on at Western Springs lately. Treescape have been through and done a lot of tidying up from last year’s storms as well as taking out some significant additional dead or dying trees.  The bins and handrails are all newly painted and the playground toilets are up and running including a minor revamp to the electrical equipment. The water quality is being closely monitored by Healthy Waters and they are regularly removing rubbish and tree branches from the lake and clearing out the weirs weekly, a recent bathymetric survey was undertaken with sediment levels measured and lake depth mapped.

Any deterioration of the park assets such as paths and playground will be addressed by the Western Springs Lakeside Park Development Plan (coming to the board’s May business meeting).

The park is audited weekly and complying with contract specs, apart from the goose poo on one section of path, which I believe is what people are perceiving as a lack of maintenance. I have asked the contractors to increase the level of cleaning of the section of path on the northern side that is bombarded by geese, which will be waterblasted daily if required.

Wildlands have been asked to prepare a report on our options for Geese management for discussion with the local board.

In other park news, the Meola Reef Reserve Te Tokaroa Development Plan which provides a 10-20year holistic vision for the area is now online.

 Meetings and workshops: 13 March until 9 April

  • Transport portfolio meeting on 13 March
  • Leys Institute Library drop-in on for the Annual Budget consultation on 13 March
  • Briefing on the Walking and Cycling work programme by Auckland Transport’s CEO on 13 March
  • Communications meeting on 13 March
  • Ponsonby Business Association monthly board meeting on 14 March
  • Annual Budget 19/20 local board hearing on 14 March
  • Meeting on 14 March to discuss Auckland Transport’s safety review of car transporters on Great North Road with John Strawbridge, Group Manager Parking services and compliance and Melanie Alexander, Traffic Operations Manager
  • Attended the Climate Change Symposium on 18 March at GRID AKL (photo right one of the panel discussions)
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 19 March
  • Attended the Albert- Eden Local Board workshop on 20 March to discuss possibility of jointly delivering a Greenway on Meola Road
  • Speed Limit consultation drop-in organised by Auckland Transport in the Atrium, Britomart
  • Meeting with Taj Pabari, Founder & Chief Executive Officer / Fiftysix Creations (Business Camp Academy)
  • Meeting with representatives of Westfield to discuss a Newmarket wayfinding project
  • Auckland Climate Change Symposium closing session on 20 March (photo right Cr Penny Hulse closing the conference)
  • Ports of Auckland Community Reference Group meeting on 20 March
  • LGNZ National Council meeting in Wellington on 22 March
  • Weekly chairs catch-up held on 25 March, 1 April and 8 April
  • Auckland Transport quarterly briefing on 25 March
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 26 March, 2 and 9 April
  • TRAFINZ executive meeting on 27 March
  • Wynyard Quarter Neighbour Forum and America’s Cup 38 Community Liaison meeting held at ASB on 28 March
  • Supported board member Vernon Tava presentation on 28 March to the Hearing Commissioners considering Auckland Transport’s application to construct six new ferry berths on Queens Wharf.  We raised concerns about; the lack of integrated planning, the impact on public space on the “people’s wharf”, the adequacy of the infrastructure for passengers and objected to plans for buses to circulate on the wharf. We also confirmed our opposition to the Dolphin mooring extension
  • Meeting with Kelmarna Gardens Trustees on 28 March
  • Site visit on 29 March at the Auckland Domain to discuss the location of footpaths to be funded by the Local Board (the photo right highlights how poor the walking environment is in the Domain with parked cars dominating the entrance to Auckland Museum)
  • Meeting with businesses impacted by CRL construction on 3 April at the invite of Sunny Kaushal (owner of the Shakespeare Hotel).  It was very concerning to hear about their very stressful situations.  I’ve been following up with CRL to find out what has happened to the development response that was meant to have been put in place as well as activation of the street to encourage more foot traffic.
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board workshop at AUT on 4 April
  • Local Board Chairs Forum on 8 April

Events and functions:  13 March until 8 April

  • Spoke at the Parnell Business Association monthly networking event on 13 March regarding the Annual Budget 19/20
  • Launch of the Writers Festival on 13 March at Aotea Centre
  • Auckland Arts Festival performance Silk Road at the Auckland Town Hall at the invitation of the University of Auckland on 14 March
  • Climate Strike in Aotea Square on 15 March
  • Safe Speeds Panel discussion organised by Auckland Transport on 15 March
  • Backbone performed at Aotea Centre at the invitation of Auckland Arts Festival Trust
  • Vigil for the victims of the Christchurch Mosque Massacre in Aotea Square on 16 March
  • Toku Reo Waiata at the Auckland Town Hall on 16 March at the invitation of Auckland Arts Festival Trust
  • Astroman opening night at Q Theatre at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company on 17 March
  • BfM radio interview on 15 and 29 March
  • Neighbours Day at Ellen Melville Centre on 23 March organised by City Centre Residents Association (photo above cutting the Love Your Neighbour cake)
  • Splice Neighbours Day event “Check it out” Human library on Lorne Street
  • Dog Day Afternoon at Silo Park on 23 March
  • Kia kaha Aotearoa: Stand against racism rally on 24 March
  • Presided at the Citizenship ceremony on 25 March at the Auckland Town Hall. The Citizenship ceremony took on extra special significance. One of the commitments of citizenship is to foster and support the close relationships between New Zealanders of all ethnicities and faiths. It was an honour to preside and welcome over 400 new New Zealanders from 49 countries along with Kaumatua Bob Hawke, local board members David Wong, Rosalind Rundle, Bob Upchurch and Cr Josephine Bartley. ( Photo credit: Paul Victor Pu’a)
  • Kai at Merge afternoon tea at the invite of Lifewise
  • Kotahitanga Together – Auckland’s Remembrance for Christchurch at Eden Park on 29 March
  • Aloha Night at Grey Lynn School on 29 March
  • Opening of Korean Day festival on 30 March (photo below)
  • Red Alert radio interview on 4 April
  • Announcement of the National Erebus Memorial design – Te Paerangi Ataata- Sky Song-  by the Prime Minister and Mayor on 5 April with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in Sir Dove Myer Robinson Park. I attended with Deputy Chair Shale Chambers. Kathryn Carter (photo right) spoke beautifully about the significance of the design. She was one of two family representatives on the selection panel who chose the design for the way it touches the land lightly leading into the sky (with many thoughtful features). Importantly all the victims are acknowledged as well as the responders and Justice Mahon who found the truth about what happened.
  • Relationship Agreement Signing Ceremony Waikato-Tainui and Auckland Council at the Kiingitanga Exhibition – Auckland War Memorial Museum on 8 April

Chair’s monthly report March 2019

This report covers the period 12 February until 12 March 2019. It is on the agenda for the Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 19 March 2019.

The Ellen Melville Centre acknowledged International Women’s Day on 8 March with this wonderful mural (picture below) celebrating Ellen Melville and each of the women who have rooms named after them at the centre.

Annual Budget 19/20 consultation

Council’s annual budget consultation started on 17 February and continues until 17 March.  This is the community’s opportunity to give feedback on whether we have got our local board priorities right.  We’re not proposing major changes to the existing work programme for 2019/2020 as we continue to deliver the projects identified in the 2017 Waitematā Local Board Plan.

Summary of what we propose to do (from the consultation material available online)

  • Developing 254 Ponsonby Road as a civic space remains our major local initiative.
  • Activating, improving and renewing our parks, guided by our Park Development Plans, will continue to be a focus.
  • We will improve the playgrounds at Western Springs Lakeside Park and Home Street Reserve, provide pathways in Basque Park and commence building the Grey Lynn Park changing rooms.
  • Our waterway restoration projects will continue, and we will seek opportunities to implement initiatives to enhance the Western Springs-Meola-Three Kings Aquifer.
  • Through our grants programme, we will support community and arts groups and local events, as well as stage our two flagship events; Parnell Festival of Roses and Myers Park Medley.
  • We are funding an arts partnership with TAPAC and increased library hours at Grey Lynn Library and the Central City Library.
  • We will also continue investigating opportunities to reduce agrichemical use, including advocating to the Governing Body to take a regional approach to agrichemical-free park maintenance.

Chair’s message from the consultation material Attachment 1.

We have held an extensive range of engagement events including, for the first time, a Facebook live session hosted by myself and local board member Adriana Christie (photo right).  As at 11 March the video has been viewed over 4,400 times.

Safe and appropriate speeds consultation

Consultation started on 28 February on Auckland Transport’s proposals to reduce speeds on 10 per cent of Auckland’s roads (including the city centre and residential streets in Freemans Bay). All the evidence shows that safe and appropriate speed limits save lives regardless of the cause of a crash.

I joined AT CEO Shane Ellison, AT Board Chair Dr Lester Levy, Councillor Chris Darby and Rodney Local Board member Louise Johnston for the media announcement at Auckland Transport.  (Auckland Transport’s media release Attachment 2).  Feedback is open until 31 March. 

 Western Springs Water Quality

 At the local board February business meeting we received a presentation on Western Springs Lake water quality. This follows on from a range of complaints regarding maintenance and the condition of the park.   Weekly inspections are now underway with the contractor Ventia regarding maintenance improvements

In response we also received the following update from Community Facilities regarding water quality.  Thirty-five barley bales were installed at Western Springs by 8 October 2018. A proactive inspection regime to remove or rescue dead and sick birds began on 18 October. The shorelines are inspected each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, commencing  18 October and continuing through summer. To 22 February 2019 six dead birds and six dead fish were located and removed. Three sick birds were seen but were unable to be caught. The dead and sick birds were located during inspections; no reports from members of the public have been received for sick or dead birds, and only one report of a dead fish (which is included in the total of six) at Western Springs. Contractors completed a scoop of built-up algae and debris at the water’s edge on 12 February and are attending each Friday to inspect and remove the algae and debris as needed (the inspection includes the two weirs). A large volume of fallen branches and general litter had accumulated below water contractors completed removal on 21 February.

 Queens Wharf Extension Dolphin Mooring

Panuku Development Auckland has applied to the Auckland Council for resource consent (coastal permit) to carry out upgrades to the eastern Queens Wharf cruise ship berth to provide for the mooring of cruise ships up to 362 metres (Oasis-class vessels), involving construction of two new cruise ship mooring dolphins located at distances of 49 metres and 82 metres (to the centres of the dolphins) north of the northern end of the wharf, a gangway connection including hydraulic retractable gangway and security gates, strengthening of the southern end of the wharf, seven new additional wharf bollards on the eastern side of the southern end of wharf, and additional fender clusters on the eastern side at the north end.

The local board was originally supportive of a temporary mooring “dolphin”.  However, we reviewed the submissions and the Final Report by the planning consultant that opposes the application and decided to make a presentation to the Hearing Panel (Attachment 3)

Deputy Chair Shale Chambers and I presented at the hearing to oppose the application on the basis that the board wishes to see Captain Cook Wharf developed as the primary cruise ship terminal.

I was also invited to speak at the “Stop Stealing our Harbour” protest rally on 10 March.

Freedom Camping

As a matter of principle the Waitematā Local Board doesn’t support freedom camping in central Auckland’s parks and reserves. However, the Freedom Camping Act doesn’t allow us to make a blanket ban so three locations went out for consultation until 18 February (photo right Coxs Bay reserve).

I presented at the Freedom Camping hearing on behalf of the local board (Attachment 2) highlighting three key points:

  1.  to reconfirm our general view expressed in June 2018, that freedom camping opportunities should be limited in the city centre and central suburbs and we should be taking a more strategic approach to the facilities provided for visitors.  For example using and promoting the existing certified self-contained camping facility in Westhaven managed by Panuku.  This facility was built with ratepayer funding for the Rugby World Cup 2011
  2. recommending to the panel that Fred Ambler Lookout on Gladstone Road and Cox’s Bay Esplanade be removed from Schedule B and included on the schedule of prohibited sites in the bylaw
  3.  to reconfirm our original recommendation for Newmarket Park to not be scheduled in the bylaw and continue to apply the default position under the Reserves Act.

Meetings and workshops: 12 February until 12 March

  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 12 and 26 February and 5 and 12 March
  • Introduction to the new Senior Maintenance Delivery Coordinator for Waitematā on 12 February
  • Western Bays Pest Coordinators meeting on 13 February
  • Communications meeting on 13 and 27 February
  • Meeting to discuss Good Citizen Awards 2019 criteria and format
  • Ponsonby Business Association monthly board meeting on 14 February
  • Meeting with Panuku to discuss proposed mooring dolphin on Queens Wharf
  • Monthly catch up with representative of City Centre Residents Group on 14 February
  • Catch up with Newmarket Business Association GM on 15 February
  • Engagement meeting on 18 February with Productivity Commission on the Local government funding and financing inquiry with Councillors, Senior Staff, IMBS representatives and Local Board Chairs (myself and Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton)
  • Weekly chairs catch-up held on 18, 25 February and 4 March
  • Meeting on 19 February with Lauren Mentjox, Public Affairs Manager, Lime Scooters
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 19 February
  • Waitematā Local Board input to Queens Wharf Dolphin Mooring resource consent hearing on 20 February
  • Introduction to Martin Sheldon, new General Manager of America’s Cup Events on 20 February
  • Erebus Memorial project meetings with a parks adviser on 21 February and 4 March to discuss local board comments on the shortlisted designs (delegated to myself and Deputy Chair Shale Chambers)
  • Auckland Domain Committee workshop and business meeting on 21 February
  • Presentation on 27 February on behalf of the local board to the Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw Hearings Panel (Attachment 3)
  • Meeting with representatives of the Herne Bay Petanque Club at the local board office on 27 February to discuss the Salisbury Reserve entrance improvements
  • Attended the Media briefing – Safe Speeds Bylaw at Auckland Transport on 27 February
  • Joint Governing Body / Local Board Chairs Meeting on 27 February
  • City Centre network meeting at the Ellen Melville Centre on 28 February
  • Hosted a Facebook live Have your say event with board member Adriana Avendaño Christie on 28 February
  • LGNZ Zone 1 meeting in Orewa on 1 March
  • Catch up with K Rd business association GM on 4 March
  • Catch up with Chairs of Herne Bay Residents Association and St Marys Association on 4 March
  • Western Bays Community Group AGM on 4 March
  • Tūpuna Maunga Authority: 2019 Local Board Chairs’ hui on 11 March
  • Chairs Forum 11 March
  • Local Board Chairs Cluster Meeting on 11 March with Ian Maxwell, Director Community Services
  • Erebus Memorial site visit with Ministry of Culture staff, representatives of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and design panel members on 12 March

Attended the following Have Your Say events (in full or part of the time)

  • Parnell Library drop in on Wednesday 20 February, 11.30am – 1.30pm
  • Local Board stalls at Parnell Farmers Market on Saturday 23 February, 8.00am – 12.00noon
  • Local Board Grey Lynn Farmers Market on Sunday 3 March, 8.30am – 12.00noon
  • Central City library drop in on Monday 4 March, 11.00am – 1.00pm (photo right)
  • Central City Library drop in on Sunday 10 March, 3.00pm – 5.00pm
  • Annual Budget/Water Strategy event: Westhaven Have Your Say at Ponsonby Cruising Club on 11 March

Events and functions:  12 February until 12 March

  • Parnell Business Association monthly networking event on 12 February
  • Lantern Festival opening on 14 February
  • Pride Festival event: Mika book talk at Ellen Melville Centre on 16 February (photo right with Mika and author Sharon Mazer)
  • Ponsonby Road Festival on 16 February
  • Myers Park Medley on 17 February (photo right with board members Denise Roche, Richard Northey and Adriana Christie)
  • Jessica Phuang celebration to her promotion as NZ Police’s Ethnic Responsiveness Manager Tāmaki Makaurau at the Flicking Centre on 18 February (photo below)
  • Member of the official party at the citizenship ceremony on 18 February at Eden Park
  • Auckland Conversations: Our Water Future: putting water at the centre of our city on 21 February
  • Jazz and beanbags at Western Park on 21 February
  • Joined a panel discussion at the Elect Women workshop organised by Women in Urbanism on 23 February at Central City Library (photo right: Elected members who spoke at the event together with Emma McInnes, organizer).
  • Organic Market Garden (OMG) celebration on 25 February
  • A conversation with Auckland Transport CEO, Shane Ellison to talk about a 30km city centre organised by Heart of the City at the Mercure Hotel on 26 February
  • Fringe Festival show: That’s what Friends are for by the Hobson Street Theatre Company at Basement Theatre at the invitation of University of Auckland on 26 February (I paid for my ticket as a koha to HSTC)
  • RFA function for local board representatives at the Maritime Museum on 27 February
  • Attended Little Day Out at Mt Eden Village Hall on 2 March
  • Japan Day festival opening event at Eden Park on 3 March (photo right my nephew Tomu really unimpressed to meet Mayor Phil Goff and Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore)
  • Launch of Phil Goff’s Mayoral Campaign at the Mt Albert Memorial Hall on 3 March
  • Alumni Awards dinner hosted by the University of Auckland at Old Government House on 8 March
  • Freemans Bay School rebuild celebration (in the photo right with Tama Davis, Chair of the BOT and Lucia Davis)
  • Spoke at the Stop Stealing our Harbour protest rally opposing the dolphin mooring extension on Queens Wharf on 10 March
  • POP pop-up art projects in public spaces, bringing creativity and surprise to central Auckland started 21 February and ran until 12 March including Pop Ping Pong in Freyberg Square and Pop poetry on K’rd (Attachment 5 Our Auckland: Pop Poetry lifts words off the page with music)

 

 

Chair’s monthly report February 2019

This is my first report for 2019 covering the period 12 December 2018 until 11 February 2019.

I’m really fortunate to have fantastic colleagues on the Waitematā Local Board supported by an outstanding team. After our final workshop of the year it has become a tradition to have lunch together and for board members to be presented with a surprise Christmas card. For the 2018 card we took on superpower characters that will no doubt take us into 2019 full of energy!

In the photo right with superheroes Shale Chambers, Adriana Avendaño Christie, Richard Northey, Vernon Tava, Rob Thomas and Denise Roche.

The following provides a summary of activities and highlights from the end of 2018 and over the summer break.  Local Board weekly workshops resumed on 5 February.

Salisbury Reserve entranceway

Land purchased to create an entrance way to Salisbury Reserve

 At the December Business Meeting the Local Board made the decision to progress with a new entrance way at Salisbury Reserve (Attachment 1). The Masonic Lodge, off Argyle St, was purchased from an Open Space budget by the former Auckland City Council to create an entranceway into the Reserve.

The Local Board consulted on two options – with and without parking. A healthy majority of submitters (68 per cent) supported the entranceway option with no car parks. We delayed our final (unanimous) decision to undertake a survey of the on-street parking availability on busy days at the clubrooms. It shows there is ample parking within a 200m walk of the clubroom (on the Argyle St end rather than Salisbury St). The on-street parking is the same distance to the clubroom entrance as the location of car parking in the Reserve proposed in one of the options.
The reserve is a neighbourhood park. It provides valuable green space. It is very unusual to have parking in a neighbourhood park and is not consistent with Council’s policies. Submitters put forward a range of reasons for creating an entranceway without parking including that it is safer for children and all users of the park.

The Local Board is supportive of the Herne Bay Petanque Club and Probus who use the clubrooms for meetings. Members currently make informal use of the old Masonic lodge carpark (there is no official parking in the reserve).  We appreciate that they would like this arrangement to continue. We have asked Auckland Transport to install on-street mobility car parks. We are also looking at how to improve accessibility into clubrooms.

Annual Budget 2019/20 consultation

As I reported in the February Ponsonby News, the Council’s annual budget consultation is coming up from 17 February.  This is the opportunity to give feedback on whether we have got our local board priorities right.  We’re not proposing major changes to the existing work programme for 2019/2020 as we continue to deliver the projects identified in the 2017 Waitematā Local Board Plan.

Developing 254 Ponsonby Road as a civic space remains our major local initiative.  Activating, improving and renewing our parks, guided by our Park Development Plans, will continue to be a focus.  There is budget earmarked to upgrade the playgrounds at Western Springs Lakeside Park and Home Street Reserve (above the draft concept design), provide pathways in Basque Park and commence building of the Grey Lynn Park changing rooms.

Our stream restoration projects will continue, and we’ve got a new project underway to enhance the Western Springs-Meola-Three Kings Aquifer. Through our grants programme, we’ll support community and arts groups and local events, as well as stage our two flagship events, Parnell Festival of Roses and Myers Park Medley (a family friendly free event on Sunday 17 February). We’re funding a new arts partnership with TAPAC and increased library hours at Grey Lynn Library and the Central City Library.

We’ll also continue investigating opportunities to reduce agrichemical use, including advocating to the Governing Body to take a regional approach to agrichemical-free park maintenance.

For information on the Annual Budget 19/20 consultation and engagement events visit the Auckland Council website.

Air Quality in the City Centre

Pedestrians and workers in Queen Street are being exposed to high levels of “black carbon” associated with a number of health problems. The key way of reducing air pollution in the city centre is to reduce emissions from buses and trucks. Councillors Chris Darby, Penny Hulse, Alf Filipaina, Richard Hills and I, on behalf of the Local Board, wrote to AT’s CEO on 17 December asking for “immediate action to alleviate the risk of more premature deaths, contributed to by atrocious air quality on our busiest street” (Attachment 3 to my report).

 Te Hā o Hine interpretation sign

 On 12 December a new interpretation signage at Te Hā o Hine Place was unveiled by Ngāti Whātua Orākei, alongside our board and National Council of Women representatives (photo right).

Te Hā o Hine is derived from the whakatauki (proverb) Me aro koe ki te Hā o Hine-ahu-one, that can be taken as meaning ‘pay heed to the dignity of women’.

The name was a gift from Ngāti Whātua Orākei in recognition of the Woman’s Suffrage Centenary Memorial located in Te Hā o Hine Place.

Western Park steps and boardwalk opening

On 12 December the Local Board members joined with local residents to celebrate the new stairs that connect Hopetoun Street with Western Park.

The stairs have new handrails to improve accessibility and the viewing platform on Hopetoun Street has been re-decked.

Feedback on the upgrade has been overwhelmingly positive.

Western Springs Lakeside Park

 Western Springs Lakeside Park featured on TVNZ One News on 21 January about plans the Local Board has to improve water quality and the work underway to keep paths clear of bird poo and the geese numbers under control (attachment 4).

At the same time the removal of pine trees at risk of failure was in the news.  I will report with an update on Westerns Springs Bush Restoration project next month once we know the outcome of the resource consent process and discussions with neighbours.

Feedback on the draft RPTP

I worked on the Local Board’s feedback on the draft Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) with the Local Board’s Senior Adviser.  This was submitted on 18 January following consideration of the public’s feedback in response to a consultation process held by Auckland Transport at the end of 2018. (attached as an agenda item)

The Local Board supports the overall direction of the draft RPTP, the vision for public transport and how Auckland Transport proposes to meet the identified challenges for the next 10 years. We are generally supportive of the steps to increase public transport services but would like to see a clear statement of intent to increase mode-share of public transport.

In the feedback we outlined what the Local Board supports to consolidate and build on the rapid increase in public transport boardings from 79 million in June 2015 to 92 million in June 2018.  We also outline what improvements we would like to see to public transport services (including the reinstatement of a service on Williamson Ave) and infrastructure and specific feedback on the four focus areas in the draft.

 Kelmarna Gardens entranceway

 At the end of last year the entranceway to Kelmarna Organic Community Gardens and City Farm was given a makeover helped with a modest grant from the Local Board (Our Auckland: Kelmarna Gardens)

As described by Kelmarna (via their FB page) “The installation of the curved seat (designed by Carl Pickens Landscape Architect), new bike parking and wheel stops, shaping and edging of the gardens, smoothing of the drive and creation of a circle for our leafcutter bee box has been made possible by the generosity, sweat and toil of Norm and team at Landscape Solutions, Omid and team at Ventia, the Waitematā Local Board and Auckland Council, all in the last weeks before Christmas. Once planted with pollinator-attracting plants by our friend Andrea Reid from Pollinator Paths, visitors will be able to come, rest and absorb the sensory garden full of bees and butterflies”.

Events and functions:  12 December until 12 February

  • Western Park Boardwalk opening on 12 December
  • Exhibition opening at Toi Ora on 12 December
  • Vigil for Grace on Federal Street on 12 December
  • Te Hā o Hine Place signage unveiling on 13 December
  • Tour of the City Rail Link tunnels for board members on 14 December (photo right) and community stakeholders thank you gathering on 13 December hosted by CRL Ltd.
  • Ports of Auckland community liaison meeting and Christmas gathering on 12 December
  • Rainbow Youth sponsors breakfast
  • Love Food, Hate Waste Christmas lunch at Ellen Melville Centre on 14 December (photo right)
  • Christmas in Western Park event hosted by the Ponsonby Business Association on 14 December
  • Launch of Cr Mike Lee’s book Navigators & Naturalists on 16 December
  • Final workshop of the year on 18 December followed by Christmas lunch for local board members and local board staff
  • Heart of the City’s Late Night Christmas event in the city centre on 20 December
  • On 23 December invited to Sunday Blessings’ Christmas dinner for the homeless community served by volunteers at the Central Library.  Also there in support were The Auckland Street Choir and Orange Sky New Zealand.
  • Invited by Holy Trinty Cathedral to read the Third Lesson at the Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols (photo right)
  • Attended the ASB Classic on 4 January at the invitation of Tennis Auckland
  • Invited by Fiftysix Creations to be a Guest Mentor at Business Camp on 16 January for students aged 5 to 15 who came together over the school holidays to identify a community based problem
  • Opening of the Buskers Festival at the invitation of Crackerjack Productions
  • Over anniversary weekend enjoyed the See Port Festival fireworks put on by Ports of Auckland and checked out the Rainbow Machine at Silo Park (modelled in the photo right by Luna, Ruby and the White Face Crew). This amazing creation originated as a Local Board child friendly pop up play spaces project which got picked up by the regional art team. Artists: Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh, Patrick Loo and Sarosh Mulla
  • Waitangi Day started with a small gathering organized by Cr Mike Lee and Terry Dunleavy to acknowledge Governor William Hobson at his grave in Symonds St cemetery. Niamh McMahon, honorary consul general of the Republic of Ireland attended and recited a poem. I then enjoyed the Waitangi Day Festival hosted by Ngāti Whātua at Okahu Bay
  • LGNZ National Council meeting in Wellington on 8 February. In the photo right with Mayor of Dunedin and LGNZ President Dave Cull and Deputy Mayor of Oamaru and Young Elected Member rep, Melanie Tavendale
  • Tom Scott’s Daylight Atheist at the ASB Waterfront Theatre at the invitation of ATC
  • Big Gay Out at Coyle Park on 10 February (photo below with Albert-Eden Local Board member Jessica Rose and a friend Kirstin Jones)
  • Leaving function for Lester McGrath from Auckland Theatre Company on 11 February

Chair’s monthly report December 2018

Report covering the period 12 November until 12 December 2018.  It is included in the local board business meeting agenda held on 11 December

This is my final report for the year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my hard-working fellow local board members, the outstanding Local Board services team who support the local board and everyone who works to make Waitematā a great place. Our Achievements Report 2017/2018 highlights just how much we have been able to achieve together.

The following provides a summary of the positive updates and major milestones reached by the local board as we come to the end of 2018.

Achievements Report 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018

 The Board’s annual report of highlights covering major projects and initiatives, community grants, advocacy and local governance is now available online. Here is my Chair’s message included in the report.  I included in my report the Chair’s message

TAPAC arts partnership

TAPAC was built in partnership with the old Auckland City Council, but no sustainable funding model for ongoing operational budget support was put in place at the time – unlike regionally supported arts facilities such as Q Theatre.  The Waitematā Local Board has endeavoured to support TAPAC through one off grants but this has been on an ad hoc basis and doesn’t contribute to administration costs.

At our November business meeting we achieved a major milestone. A report to the local board recommended the local board enter into its first arts partnership of $85k a year. The report details the substantial contribution to the arts by TAPAC and the diversity of their programmes and audiences.  ( Our Auckland story: TAPAC and Waitematā Local Board celebrate new partnership)

Erebus National Memorial

Also at the Waitematā Local Board November meeting we agreed to support the construction of the National Erebus Memorial at Auckland’s Dove-Myer Robinson Park / Taurarua Pā, commonly known as the Parnell Rose Gardens. We’re really honoured to host such a significant historically important memorial in one of our outstanding local parks. I got emotional talking in support of the project knowing what the Memorial means to the families impacted by NZ’s worst peacetime disaster. This disaster resulted in 237 passengers and 20 crew losing their lives.   (Media release: Auckland site approved for National Erebus Memorial)

The resolution of the board:

  1. a)       Supports locating the National Erebus Memorial at Dover-Myer Robinson Park subject to:
  2. i)        all necessary building and resource consent requirements being met
  3. ii)       a rigorous design process which includes a review of the short listed designs by the Auckland Urban Design Panel and, as a separate process, the Waitematā Local Board

iii)      the local board granting landowner approval for the installation of the winning design subject to Board approval of this design

  1. iv)       Ministry for Culture and Heritage providing funding to cover all costs relating to the installation and future maintenance of the structure and associated landscape features.
  2. b) delegate to the Waitematā Local Board chair and parks portfolio lead sign off of the memorial design parameters
  3. c)  receive the letter of support from the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei trust and notes that the Ministry for Culture and Heritage will lead mana whenua consultation on the location.

I was fortunate to attend the Prime Minister’s meeting with the Erebus families held on the 39th anniversary at the Dalmatian Cultural Society Hall.  The Mayor Phil Goff also spoke at the meeting.  A majority of the family representatives support the selected site and shared their desire to have input into the design.  The memorial is planned to be completed by May 2020.

254 Ponsonby Road – a civic space

The long-time project to develop a civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road reached a major milestone with the Environment and Community Committee unanimously supporting the officer recommendation that the full site at 254 Ponsonby Road is the optimal size for a park in this location and agreed to retain the whole site for the purpose of developing a civic space. Deputy Chair, Shale Chambers spoke on behalf of the local board to the Committee.  (Attachment 3 Presentation to the Environment and Community Committee)

The site was purchased by Auckland City Council in 2006 with the intention to develop part of it into a civic space. However, locals have long campaigned for the entire site to become a dedicated civic and open space for people, events, activity, and relaxation.

When the wider community were asked what they wanted for the site, 77 per cent of people voted for the entire site to become a park. Following this clear preference from the community, in 2015 the local board allocated $10,000 towards funding a grassroots community-led process to find a preferred design for the park.

This process saw community members take the lead in identifying a design using a community empowerment approach.  Locals were involved in decision-making throughout the process which was informed by ongoing robust community consultation. (Photo right: Local Board members, Councillors Cathy Casey and Mike Lee celebrate the decision with members of the Ponsonby Park group)

In November the LandLAB’s PARK+ design (photo right) was announced the winner in the Future Civic category at the World Architecture News Awards.

There is sufficient One Local Initiative funding (allocated through the Long-term Plan) available for phase one of the project ($5.5 million) without asset sales. The local board proposes to partially fund phase two ($5.5 million) through the council’s Service Property Optimisation approach.   A detailed business case and design of the site can now commence for construction in 2020/2021.

Our Auckland story  New Ponsonby civic space reaches a significant milestone

 Local Board Agreement 2019/20 and funding for the Mission’s Homeground project

Western Park- Invitation v4 Every year local boards have the opportunity to present on their top priorities for inclusion in the Council’s annual budget.

This year Waitematā Local Board advocated for:

  • whole of site civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road (Ponsonby Park)
  • funding to implement the Domain masterplan
  • region wide funding to reduce agrichemical spraying (we have allocated $70,000 to eliminate spraying in four parks but there needs to be a coordinated approach to benefit from economies of scale)
  • funding for the Auckland City Mission HomeGround project

In the picture above presenting to the Finance and Performance Committee with Deputy Chair Shale Chambers and local board member Richard Northey. (Local Board Agreement presentation slides to the Finance and Performance Committee)

As I raised with the Committee, addressing homelessness is a priority for the local board and some of the initiatives that we are doing at a local level include $20k local board funding (LDI budget) this year towards supporting homelessness initiatives such as funding a trial of showers for homeless in partnership with Ellen Melville Centre and supporting an outreach programme by the James Liston Hostel staff in Outhwaite Park community hall.

The local board strongly supports the Mission HomeGround project that is taking an integrated approach, based on international best practice and recognises that accommodation with both health and social services are required to meet the needs of homeless people.  Eighty supportive housing units that combine affordable housing with 24-hour security and services to help people with complex needs to live with stability, autonomy and dignity – it will also be an inner city community hub.

Initial findings of Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland’s Homeless Count show that on 17 September 2018, at least 336 people were living without shelter and 2,874 people were in temporary accommodation.  It is estimated that we have 800 people living without shelter based on a validation exercise.

We have advocated for Auckland Council to clearly show its commitment and support to the project as the City Mission needs to find another $16.5 million.

It was therefore great to hear a few weeks later that the Mayor proposes to grant $5m towards Auckland City Mission HomeGround project as part of the Annual budget 2019/2020. As Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly puts it “the development is an initiative unlike anything else seen before in New Zealand … It provides a purpose-built, safe space to stand against homelessness, hunger and poor health. Offering pragmatic, hands-on services and support to help those who need it most, this $90 million project will be a legacy for Auckland. The HomeGround development has been a long-held vision for the Mission and this $5 million funding proposal shows great leadership.” If approved by the Governing Body it will go out for consultation in February 2019.

Planning Committee presentation – City Centre Masterplan refresh

On 27 November I presented to the Planning Committee on the local board’s support for the City Centre masterplan recommendations ( Blog post: Auckland City Centre buzzing to the sound of people – covering my CCMP 2040 presentation to the Planning Committee)

The Committee unanimously voted for an innovative concept that paves the way to further pedestrianise Queen Street. One of three bold new proposals discussed today, Queen Street – Access for Everyone will further develop Auckland’s city centre into a vibrant public space for people.

Two new concepts – Maori Outcomes and Grafton Gully Boulevard were also adopted for further development and public consultation by the Planning Committee, with a view to seek committee approval by July 2019.

I also confirmed the local board’s support for trials and temporary installations to demonstrate the city we would like to become.  For example, a bollard on High St that goes up once deliveries are completed would transform the pedestrian experience overnight.  As we say in our local board plan:  We support pilot projects and quick, low cost interventions to promote long term improvements to our streets

The Planning Committee requested trials of ‘Open Streets’ in the city centre, and to work with interested local boards on trials in other town centres.

Playground openings

On 21 November we celebrated the playground upgrade at Vermont Reserve, Ponsonby with a sausage sizzle provided by the maintenance contractor, Ventia.

The new equipment has been welcomed by locals but unfortunately the design has made the playground less accessible.  I have logged this as an issue that will be fixed with a new entrance gate into the playground. (Photo right with local board members Adriana Christie and Richard Northey at the opening)

Parnell station walkway open

The new pathway connection to Parnell Train Station from Carlaw Park student village and business area is now open. Waitematā Local Board put up the funds to get this built.

On 15 November 2018 members of Waitematā Local Board, Auckland Transport, Parnell Community Committee and Parnell Business Association enjoyed a first walk on the new pathway connecting Parnell Station with Carlaw Park student village and business centre ( Our Auckland: New pathway connection to Parnell Station now open)

Waitematā Safe Routes Projects- update

Every household in a wide area of Grey Lynn and Westmere should have received a Have your say booklet from Auckland Transport on plans to make streets safer, more attractive and more accessible for everyone. There have been opportunities to see the plans in large scale and talk directly to the project team at various open days during the consultation .

Feedback is due by 14 December 2018.  The local board will provide our input once we have heard the public feedback.

In my December Ponsonby News update  I look back on the progress of this project since it was described as a “fiasco” over a year ago.

Construction of the Karangahape Road Enhancements Project is due to start in early 2019 ( Media Release – Contractors sought for Karangahape Road upgrade).  The K Road Business Association, alongside Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, have developed a Business Pac which will be distributed prior to the work commencing.  The need to actively manage business disruption has been one of the key lessons from the West Lynn project.

Ian McKinnnon Drive cycleway extension

with the Mayor Phil Goff, Minister Phil Tywford, Councillor Paul Young and local board member Adriana Christie about to ride the new cycleway

Minister of Transport Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff officially opened the Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway on Friday 30 November.

The cycleway removes the steep climb alongside the Newton Road on-ramp up to the Newton Road bridge for people on bikes travelling to the city centre on the Northwestern Path.

The route runs through Suffolk Reserve, onto Ian McKinnon Drive (the section in the Waitematā Local Board area) and up to the intersection of Upper Queen Street. This is the most significant section of cycleway opened in Auckland over the last year.

Auckland Domain Committee

At the Domain Committee final meeting of the year on 29 November 2018 we made progress on implementing an Auckland Domain Accessibility Improvement Programme to deliver key outcomes of the Auckland Domain Masterplan 2016.  The initial focus of this programme is on reducing vehicle dominance and improving pedestrian and cycling opportunities in the Domain.

Report back from Trafinz conference 2018 in Wellington 11- 14 November

I attended the Trafinz conference ‘Prioritising for People’ in Wellington as an Executive Committee member representing Auckland Council.  Trafinz represents local authority views on road safety and traffic management in New Zealand.

I presented at the conference (photo right) and joined the final panel discussion.

Auckland Transport’s CEO presented a bold goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s road. As all the experts at the conference agree speed reduction is absolutely fundamental to achieving that goal. Consultation was due to start on a region-wide bylaw in November, which could see speed limits reduced in the city centre, metropolitan and town centres, and in some rural areas by June 2019.  However, the Auckland Transport Board postponed the decision to their 11 December meeting.

One of the conference speakers Assoc. Prof. Jeremy Woolley Director of the Centre for Automobile Safety and Research in Australia hosted by Auckland Transport held a meeting and Q&A with elected members on 16 December to discuss ‘Is Zero Possible?’.  We discussed why we need a forgiving transport system and what we can do to progress Vision Zero locally.

Local Board supported and funded events

25th annual Parnell Festival of Roses

This well-loved festival was a big success this year with record turnout of 9,000 people on a beautiful spring day.  The festival is one of the Waitematā Local Board’s flagship events that we aim to ensure is accessible, zero waste and community focused. In the photo above local board members at the event.

Lightpath Festival

Photo credit: Tina Plunkett

The second annual Lightpath Festival, supported by the local board with a $10,000 grant, took place on 1 December 2018. It is a free, family-friendly evening celebrating this iconic addition to our city and the joy of people-friendly streets.

The Festival was an opportunity to experience the city by night with entertainers, music, art, food, and bike fun along Lightpath/Te Ara i Whiti and Canada St, just off K Road.

Grey Lynn Park Festival

A very soggy day on 25 November meant lower turnout than normal, but the weather cleared for the final acts on the main stage.

The festival receives a $24,000 grant from the local board’s contestable events fund.

Franklin Road Lights opening

The local board funded the opening night and rubbish bins for the event.  As reported in NZ Herald  The Topp Twins turn on Christmas lights on in Auckland’s most festive street.

Santa Parade

There’s been reports “Auckland Council” has pulled out of supporting the annual Santa Parade on Queen St. This is not correct. Funding will be found from a regional events budget just not from ATEED (the parade doesn’t meet ATEED’s event criteria so this is the last year it will contribute $45k).  Waitematā Local Board is also proud to support the parade with a community grant of $5,000.  The parade was held on the rain date of 2 December 2018.  My nephew Tomu enjoyed the VIP experience thanks to the invite from the Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust.

Roll out of residential parking

The long anticipated Grey Lynn and Arch Hill Residential Parking Zones went live on 7 December 2018. There will be a grace period from this date, through to 7 January 2019 after which enforcement will apply.

Events and functions:  12 November until 11 December

  • Attended the Trafinz conference 11 – 14 November in Wellington
  • Auckland City Mission HomeGround celebration at St Mathews on 14 November
  • Consular flag raising at the Auckland Town Hall on 15 November
  • First walk on the new pathway connecting Parnell Station to the Strand via Nicholls Lane
  • Herne Bay Residents Association AGM on 15 November
  • LGNZ Zone meeting at the Auckland Town Hall on 16 November
  • EU Consular tree planting in Auckland Domain support of the Mayor’s 1 million trees project. (photo right with the Mayor Phil Goff)
  • Nepal Festival in Aotea Square on 17 November
  • Peace Foundation AGM on 17 November
  • Shortland Street the Musical at the ASB Waterfront Theatre at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company on 17 November
  • Parnell Waiters Race on 18 November
  • 25th anniversary Parnell Festival of Roses on 18 November
  • Wrap up session for the Heart of the City Street Guardian pilot at the Auckland City Mission on 20 November
  • November Local Board business meeting on 20 November
  • Vermont Reserve playground opening celebration on 22 November
  • Auckland Conversations on 22 November Transport Planning as Freedom Planning with Jarret Walker and a panel featuring Albert-Eden Local Board member Jessica Rose (photo right)
  • Modacity /Women in Urbanism presentation at Central City Library on 23 November
  • Here Lies Love at Q Theatre at the invitation of Silo Theatre
  • Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announcement of a major new urban development at GRID AKL on 24 November
  • Grey Lynn Park Festival on 24 November
  • Auckland Transport’s Waitemata Safe Routes drop in session at the Grey Lynn Community Hall on 25 November
  • Ponsonby Community Centre AGM on 26 November
  • City Centre Masterplan refresh presentation to the Planning Committee on 27 November
  • ATEED farewell for board director David McConnell at GRID AKL on 29 November
  • Ian McKinnion Drive cycleway opening on 30 November by Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff (photo right)
  • Wynyard Quarter Transport Association AGM on 30 November
  • Basement theatre Christmas show Work Do on 30 November at the invitation of Basement Theatre
  • Santa parade VIP opening attended by my nephew Tomu on 2 December at invitation of Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum launch of the latest in Scala Arts and Heritage’s internationally acclaimed Director’s Choice book series on 3 December
  • Sackville Reserve Playground opening on 5 December
  • Attended LGNZ National Council meeting in Wellington on 7 December and LGNZ dinner with Ministers on 6 December
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 8 December
  • Italian Christmas market on Freemans Bay Community Hall on 8 December
  • Final Waitematā Local Board meeting of 2018 on 11 December
  • Joined the official party at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Town Hall on 11 December

 

Chair’s monthly report November 2018

Fields of Remembrance at Auckland Domain

This report covers the period 10 October until 11 November 2018 and is included in the local board November business meeting agenda 

Penny Bright Acknowledgement

At our October local board meeting we formally acknowledged Penny Bright (photo right in one of her last campaigns against cycleways).

MOVED by Chairperson P Coom, seconded by Deputy Chairperson S Chambers:

That the Waitematā Local Board

a) acknowledges campaigner and activist Penny Bright who passed away on 4 October 2018.  Our thoughts are with her family and close friends at this sad time.

Summary:

Transport

School safety

On 18 October I was invited to join a mum on her walk to school with five boys (not all her own) to experience the safety issues that have been raised with Auckland Transport by the school community.

The kids all enjoy using the Grey Lynn Greenway for part of the route (using it to get to the pump track before school too) but then have a really tricky section to navigate. Lots of local parents prefer to drive because of safety concerns.

Auckland Transport had resisted putting in a crossing or slowing drivers, but almost immediately Auckland Transport consulted on a new proposal to install a new raised pedestrian crossing on Kelmarna Avenue to serve the school.

 Car transporters on Great North Road

 For a frustratingly long time I have been following up with Auckland Transport on the issue of car transporters unloading illegally on Great North Road.  There is a serious concern about public safety as the car transporters are blocking bus stops and the pedestrian refuge.

I’ve met with AT Group Manager, Parking Services who acknowledges that the “sticks” available to Auckland Transport are not working.  The operators consider any fines to be a normal part of their business expenses.  Even when the side street loading zones are available the operators continue to park illegally on Great North Road as it is more convenient and there is insufficient incentive to put in place appropriate traffic management.

AT has confirmed that as a next step a safety audit will be commissioned to be prepared by Christmas.  AT will advise the main operators about the audit with a view to working with them on an appropriate response.

Freyberg Place pedestrian mall

On 15 October 2018 Freyberg Place officially became a pedestrian mall.

To do this the bollards (which are currently lowered to street level) at each end of Freyberg Place have been raised. This will prevent vehicles driving through the square and make it much safer for pedestrians.

Lime e-scooters arrive in Auckland

Auckland Council has issued the region’s first street trading licence to operate a dockless shared electric scooter (e-scooter) system.

The council has permitted Lime to operate systems for a three-month trial – like the initial trial licence granted to Onzo for its bike share service. Other operators of e-scooter systems can apply for a licence too.

Following the launch of 1000 scooters, Auckland Council’s community and social policy team is looking at the regulatory framework for e-scooters and the options that can be considered to mitigate any safety issues or concerns.

The scooters have provided a fun, convenient way to make short trips around the city, but also highlighted the poor state of footpaths and the inadequate space provided to people using small wheeled mobility transport.

Completed projects

The platform on Hopetown Street at the Western Park entrance has been refurbished.

Sackville Reserve Playground is now open. An opening event will be held on on 5 December (check out the board’s Facebook page for details). Photo left:  Alfie enjoying the new equipment (as featured in my Ponsonby News November update)

Weona-Westmere coastal walkway

Featured in Metro Magazine NZ Best of Auckland 2018 Waitemata Local Board‘s Weona-Westmere Coastal Walkway. Described as “Perfect for city strollin’” (photo right in Metro)

 Low Carbon Network Event – Trees

The  Low Carbon Network event held on 8 November at the wonderful Sustainable Coastlines Flagship on the theme of Rākau (Trees). Waitematā Local Board tree loss report 2006 – 2016 shows 61.23 hectares (approximately 17 per cent) has been lost in last 10 years – 65 per cent of the urban forest clearance has occurred on private land. Details on what is being done in the Our Auckland story – Protecting Auckland’s urban trees (Attachment 3).

Meetings and workshops 10 October until 11 November 2018

  • Catch up with Councillor Mike Lee on 10 October
  • Franklin Road Community Liaison meeting on 10 October
  • Monthly catch up with City Centre Residents Group representative on 11 October and 9 November
  • Local Board professional development workshop on 12 October Shining the light on placemaking (photo right: attendees with the speakers).  An amazing opportunity to hear about placemaking locally, nationally and internationally and explore how local boards can work collaboratively to create places for community connection and innovation. With a stellar line up of speakers:
    • Ethan Kent- Senior Vice President at the Project for Public Spaces. Ethan has been integral to the development of placemaking as a transformative approach to economic development, environment and transport planning, governance, resilience, equity and design. He has led high profile public placemaking projects around the world, for example in New York.
    • Lucy Tukua – Kaihautu Native by Nature, He uri o Tāmaki Makaurau, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Whanaunga.  Lucy has been serving iwi for many years in numerous roles and has a strong presence in and around local and central government. She is a passionate advocate for placemaking and the sourcing of place-based potential and bringing through the cultural sense of place and whakapapa.
    • Denise Bijoux – Network Director at Catalyse Denise has worked extensively in Auckland, as well as across New Zealand, to inspire, activate and understand locally-led urban transformation. She is a social researcher, evaluator, facilitator and project manager working in community-led development, urban sustainability, planning, health, social justice and government.
    • Neil McInroy – Chief Executive at Centre for Local Economic Studies Neil is a commentator and strategist on economic development and public policy who has collaborated on a broad range of local, regional and national projects across the globe. He is currently involved with both ATEED and the Southern Initiative/ Western Initiative and brings a focus onto the importance of the economic side of placemaking.
  • Weekly chairs catch up held on 15, 29 October and 5 November
  • Regional Cluster Workshop for local board elected members on 15 October
  • Meeting to discuss the achievements report on 15 October
  • Meeting to discuss the high level 2019/2020 work programme on 16 October
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 16 October
  • Monthly transport portfolio catch-up on 17 October
  • Meeting with Mark Lambert, AT’s Executive GM Integrated Networks on 17 October
  • I took former Mayor Len Brown on a tour of the Ellen Melville Centre on 18 October.  Len Brown was instrumental in securing a budget for the restoration of the Centre. (photo right of the former Mayor talking to Ellie Craft who we bumped into at the centre)
  • Albert Park tunnels update meeting with Nicholas Reid, Cr Chris Darby and Rory Palmer from the Mayor’s office
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 23 and 30 October and 6 November
  • Trafinz executive committee meeting on 24 October
  • Meeting with Jill Kayser, Spice and Julia West, Lifewise at Merge Café on 25 October
  • K’rd business association AGM on 25 October
  • City Centre network meeting and lunch at Ellen Melville Centre on 25 October
  • Auckland Transport quarterly briefing on 29 October
  • Ponsonby Business Association AGM on 29 October
  • Meeting with John Strawbridge, AT Group Manager, Parking Services on 31 October
  • Domain Committee agenda run through meeting on 31 October
  • Planning Committee workshop on Downtown spaces and City Centre Masterplan refresh on 1 November
  • Meeting with Auckland City Mission on 1 November to discuss the City Mission’s HomeGround project
  • K’rd Business Association annual BID presentation to the board on 8 November
  • Meeting with Waitemata Local Board / CRL / Auckland Council & Auckland Transport on 9 November to discuss concerns raised by the Waitemata Local Board regarding a number of issues including the Board’s opportunity for input into placemaking and the development of Beresford Square, public toilets, bike parking, and coordination between the organisations.

Events attended 10 October until 11 November

  • World Homeless Day on 10 October at Aotea Square (Attachment 1 Helping Hand for the Homeless)
  • Community morning tea for the Mt Albert Electorate hosted by the PM on 11 October
  • Brake annual reception and awards night on 11 October
  • Kelmarna Gardens plant sale on 12 October
  • Tour of the Shortland Flats (1923) for Auckland Heritage Festival on 13 October at the invitation of Michael McKeown. The residents opened up their homes to show off the many original features. Interesting fact: There are only 7 cars and 7 car parks between 40 residents in 23 apartments (photo right).
  • Fukuoka Gardens picnic for Friends of the Garden on 14 October
  • Visited the OMG Symonds Street Community Garden on 14 October
  • Biketober event at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on 14 October
  • Joined the school run on 18 October to Marist School at the invitation of a parent concerned about the safety of students walking and wheeling
  • Bikes and Beers hosted by Bike Auckland on 18 October
  • Grey Lynn Business Association Block party at the Grey Lynn Library Hall on 18 October
  • Fields of Remembrance Official opening at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on 19 October (photo at the beginning of my report)
  • Diwali Festival official opening in Aotea Square with the PM on 20 October including a walkabout with Mayor Phil Goff, MPs Priyanca Radhakrishnan and Deborah Russell and Puketapapa Local Board member Shail Kaushal (photo right)
  • Popped by The First Great Big Jumbly Bumbly-Bumbly Jumbly Sale organised by the City Centre Residents Group on 20 October at Griffiths Garden
  • Opening of the Italian Festival at Non Solo Pizza on 23 October
  • Bike Rave event on 24 October
  • Opening of Te Paki o Matariki – 160 Years of Kiingitanga. This ground breaking exhibition at Auckland War Memorial Museum on 27 October the exhibition features important taonga selected from the royal collection of Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII, the present Maaori king.
  • Spoke at the Grey Lynn 2030 10th birthday celebration and book launch at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 28 October (photo right).
  • Spoke at the official opening of Festival Italiano in Newmarket on 28 October
  • Thriving urban places breakfast seminar hosted by MADE Group Ltd with speaker Tim Stonor, Managing Director of London-based Space Syntax
  • Enviro Schools celebration at Western Spring Community Centre on 1 November
  • Maritime Museum opening on 1 November
  • Merge Café Spring pop up fundraising dinner on 1 November
  • John Elliott’s 80th birthday celebration on 5 November. John brought together community leaders who he wished to acknowledge on his birthday.  He ended his speech “Finally, I’ve had a longstanding interest in environmental issues, and value Gus Speth, a main stream American environmentalist, who said recently. ‘I used to think the top E problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. But I was wrong. The top three E problems are selfishness, greed and apathy and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation”
  • On Track for the Living Wage launch event at Britomart station on 6 November calling on Auckland Council to become an accredited living wage employer. If Wellington City Council can do it then we can too! (Photo credit: Jason Fell.)
  • Patrons Night at Basement Theatre. Invite to attend a performance of Bad Mood
  • Officiated at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Auckland Town Hall on 9 November
  • Richmond Road School gala on 10 November
  • T Whites bikes 10th anniversary on 10 November
  • Armistice Day commemoration service and Roaring Chorus at the Grey Lynn RSC on 11 November (photo below).

Chair’s monthly report October 2018

This report covers the period 13 September 2018 until 9 October 2018.

 Summary

Completed projects

The new stairs with an improved handrail between Hopetoun Street and Western Park are now open.

A constituent wrote to say “I have just discovered the new stairs to Western Park off Hopetoun. This is amazing and within metres it’s hard to believe you are not in the Waitakeres. Congratulations. You have created a wonderful place for those of us in the inner city”

Poynton Terrace connection between St Kevin’s Arcade and Myers Park (funded from the City Centre Targeted rate).  A safety audit is still to be completed on the design.

An interpretation sign in Te Hā o Hine place has been installed.  It explains the background to the Women’s suffrage memorial commissioned in 1993 for the suffrage centennial.

New Trees

10 elm trees at Grey Lynn Park’s Schofield Street entrance were removed because of Dutch elm disease. They have now been replaced by a mix of tanekaha and puriri.

 Representation Review

Every six years a review of Auckland Council representation arrangements is required including whether the wards properly reflect their populations. The outcome of the review applies at the next local body election (2019).

The Auckland Council review of the ratio of population to number of elected members showed four wards did not comply with the 10 per cent (more or less than the average) guideline. The Waitematā and Gulf Ward population differs from the average per member by 43 per cent.  The submission I gave at the Representation Review hearings (photo right) on behalf of Waitematā Local Board focused on the proposed Waitematā and Gulf ward boundary change (attached as an agenda item).

Following the hearings the council’s joint governance working party responded to submissions on the council’s proposal and decided to recommend changes to the council’s initial proposal.

The changes include retaining all of Grey Lynn and Westmere in the Waitematā and Gulf Ward. This was in response to submissions and public concern from the Grey Lynn area.

The working party also recommended to the council’s governing body that an area of Grafton should become part of the Ōrākei Ward in addition to the proposal for Newmarket and Parnell to become part of the Ōrākei Ward. (the recommendations were to be considered at a governing body meeting on 18 October)

The review does not impact the Local Board boundaries. Working party recommendations to the governing body meeting 18 October.

 Auckland Domain Committee

 At the Auckland Domain Committee meeting on 30 August 2018 a working group was set up to review the Accessibility Improvement Review Programme and its long-term implications.

The working group met on 14 September 2018 agreeing to a range of proposals to improve walking connections and parking management. The working group’s recommendations will be referred to the Domain Committee meeting to be held on 29 November.

At the same time the Local Board is progressing options for funding improved paths in the Domain.  At our September Business Meeting we requested Auckland Transport prepare rough order of costs for the following walking and/or cycling connections in the Auckland Domain as identified in the Auckland Domain Masterplan and/or Waitematā Greenways Plan and work with Community Facilities to identify the renewals budget available for each project:

  • Titoki Street carpark to Football Road from Parnell Train Station through the woodchip yard to meet the track leading to Lovers Lane
  • loop around Watsons Bequest, including path on north side of Domain Drive
  • upper connections to Kari Street Commons
  • Centennial Path to Grafton Mews
  • Park Road entrance to Grandstand Road South
  • path on The Crescent to connect the Wintergarden to the Auckland
  • Museum
  • path extension on east side of Domain Drive off Parnell Road to meet
  • Lower Domain Drive
  • path on east side of Domain Drive to meet Lower Domain Drive – not costed – part of Greenway and Auckland Domain Masterplan for cycling

Local Government New Zealand

As the LGNZ national council member representing local boards I attended the LGNZ strategy meeting on 4 October in Wellington.  LGNZ is focused on four priority areas – water, housing, climate change and localism.  Minister Mahuta attended the meeting to discuss the three waters review and water regulation.

Minster Phil Twyford attended the National council meeting on 5 October to provide an update on the new Urban Development Authority.

Helen Clark Room at Ellen Melville Centre

To coincide with the one-year celebration for the revamped Ellen Melville Centre, former prime minister Helen Clark was welcomed at an event hosted by the Local Board and the Auckland Branch of National Council of Women held in the room named in her honour. (Our Auckland story).  Photo right: With Helen Clark and Auckland’s National Council of Women chair Carol Beaumont

125 Suffrage Day celebration

The National Council of Women – Auckland Branch, Auckland Council and Auckland Live hosted a Sunrise celebration to mark 125 years since New Zealand became the first country where women were able to vote in a general election. The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led a parade from Te Hā o Hine Place to Aotea Square (photo right) for speeches and performances by Annie Crummer and New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh MC’ed by Jennifer Ward-Lealand.   It was a very special morning to honour the fight for gender equality in Aotearoa.

I reported on why I am grateful for all the women who fought vigorously for the right to vote and for the right to stand for public office in my latest Ponsonby News update. 

Meetings and workshops 13 September until 9 October

  • Monthly comms meeting on 13 September
  • Domain Committee working group meeting at Auckland Museum on 14 September
  • Presented an ADO lunchtime learning talk “Auckland as a Cycling City: Dare to compare – Learnings from Velo-City Conference in Rio de Janeiro”  at Auckland Central City Library on 14 September at the invitation of Darren Davis
  • Catch up with Cr Darby
  • Meeting with Big Street Bikers to discuss their Ebike network strategy on 14 September
  • Weekly chair’s catch up held on 17, 24 September, 1, 8 October
  • Regional Cluster Workshop for local board elected members on 17 September
  •  NZTA road show discussion on the new National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) at the end of August that gives effect to the new Government Policy Statement (GPS).  This NLTP helps create a transport system that is safer, more accessible, better protects the environment and delivers value for money transport solutions for all New Zealand. The Transport Agency invites you to a conversation with our new Board Chair Michael Stiassny, Board representatives, Chief Executive Fergus Gammie and Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton to hear about how we’re partnering with local government to deliver on this new direction for transport. It’s all about enabling our economy to prosper and helping people get the most out of life.  By working together, we will create liveable cities, thriving regions, stronger communities and achieve the best outcomes for New Zealand by giving people choice on how they move about
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 18 September
  • Meeting with Housing NZ representations on 19 September regarding the HNZ development at 139 Greys Avenue discussion prior to lodging Resource consent
  • Attended the Parnell Trust board meeting on 19 September
  • Catch up with K’rd Business Association GM on 20 September
  • Presented to the Joint Governance Working Party on the Waitemata Local Board’s submission on the representation review (attached as a report item on the October business meeting agenda)
  • Tour for members of the Western Springs Lakeside Park rock forest with Elizabeth Walker and Sel Arbuckle from STEPs – St Lukes Environmental Protection Society Inc on 21 September (photo right)
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 25 September and 9 October (the board had a recess week so no workshop was held on 2 October)
  • Central City Community Network meeting on 27 September hosted by Central City Library and guided tour of the Wahine take action Suffrage exhibition
  • Housing NZ bi-monthly meeting
  • Monthly catch up with the Board’s relationship manager
  • Meeting with the GM of the Newmarket Business Association and representatives of Newmarket Pool on 28 September
  • LGNZ strategy meeting in Wellington on 4 September
  • LGNZ National Council meeting on 5 October in Wellington
  • Monthly Chairs Forum on 8 October
  • Parnell Plan Working Group meeting on 8 October
  • Ponsonby Business Association monthly meeting on 9 October

Events attended 13 September until 9 October

  • Morning tea in honour of the Rt Hon Helen Clark in the Helen Clark room at Ellen Melville Centre on 13 September (one year anniversary of the opening of the Ellen Melville Centre)
  • Hīkoia te Kōrero: a parade in celebration of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori at Aotea Square
  • GLBA networking drinks held at Malt to discuss the West Lynn upgrade proposals
  • Opening night of Mr Burns at the invitation of Silo Theatre on 14 September
  • Auckland Pestival 2018 held at Aotea Centre on Saturday 15 September Pest Free Auckland is a community-led conservation programme, facilitated by Auckland Council, to eradicate pests (pest plants, animals and pathogens) and concurrently restore the region’s native ecosystems. Partnerships with mana whenua, community groups, landowners, schools, the Department of Conservation, and the private and philanthropic sectors are key to the success of this programme.  As part of the Pest Free Auckland programme, Auckland Council hosted the annual Auckland Pestival to showcase community-led conservation, provide a networking opportunity and seek feedback on initial plans to support expanded delivery funded by the natural environment targeted rate
  • Launch of Mātātuhi Foundation on 17 September by the Writers Festival Trust at Auckland Central City Library – a new initiative to support the literary landscape of New Zealand
  • Sunrise Celebration with the PM on-Suffrage Day 2018
  • Opening night of Rendered on 20 September at the invitation of the Auckland Theatre Company
  • World Park(ing) day installations on Tyler Street and High Street as part of the Festival of Architecture (photo right)
  • Bad Jelly the Witch gala opening at the invitation of Tim Bray Productions on 22 September
  • Heritage Festival Opening on 26 September at Ellen Melville Centre
  • Auckland Boat Show on 29 September at the invitation of ATEED
  • Foreshore Heritage Walk guided by member Vernon Tava on 30 September for the Auckland Heritage Festival (photo below)
  • Hosted a significant birthday morning tea for board members and local board services team on 2 October
  • Beauty and the Beast at TAPAC at the invitation of TAPAC (four tickets) on 2 October
  • Late Night Art event on 9 October for Art Week
  • Biondi Brunialti duo concert at St Matthew in the City on 9 October at the invitation of the Italian Ambassador

 

Chair’s monthly report September 2018

This report covers the period 15 August until 11 September 2018 including the start of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 10 – 16 Mahuru.

 Ko te reo te taikura ō te whakaaro marama
Language is the key to understanding

He pai ake te iti i te kore
A little is better than none

Summary

Waitematā Local Board August business meeting

At our monthly board meetings, we are fortunate to welcome a range of presenters to an often lively and interesting public forum.  Our August business meeting was especially well attended with presentations from:

  • John Elliott – Non-toxic non-herbicidal spray method
  • Elizabeth Walker and Sel Arbuckle of STEPS – Western Springs plantings on lava flow forest
  • Caitlin McIlhagga General Manager 95bFM – Presentation about 95bFM does and how it is involved with the community (photo right)
  • Jennifer Ward, Chris Bailey and Paula Wilkinson of Community- Led Design Group – 254 Ponsonby Road
  • Chris O’Brien, Chairman Laura Fergusson Trust; Rob Small -Trustee Laura Fergusson Trust and Simon Wilson, Managing Director Heineken Urban Polo – Heineken Urban Polo Tournament
  • Example of an urban tree that was felled following the removal of tree protection rules

    Graeme Easte, Albert-Eden Local Board Member – Meola Creek Catchment Update

Minutes are available on the Auckland Council website.

2006 – 2015 Urban Forest Canopy Changes in the Waitematā Local Board area

Last term the board initiated LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) mapping to understand changes in the urban tree canopy. It has taken some time for the results to be presented due to a number of technical challenges.  At our August meeting we received the draft ‘Tree loss in the Waitematā Local Board over ten years (2006 – 2015)’ report funded as part of the Waitematā Local Board’s 2017/2018 urban forest framework project

The report highlights that the amount of tree loss in the Waitematā Local Board area 2006-2015 is 61.23 hectares (approximately 17 per cent) and that 65 per cent of the urban forest clearance has occurred on private land. This does not include the growth of new,canopy. Further analysis work is underway and will be the subject of a subsequent report.

A significant part of the tree loss has been caused by the removal by the former central government of Council’s general tree protection rules so we urge the Governing Body to advocate to government to change the law to enable Auckland Council to reintroduce general tree protection rules.

 Western Springs Lakeside Park Development Plan consultation

 A draft park development plan for Western Springs Te Wai Ōrea Lakeside Park was out for consultation until the end of August.

The Board held an open day at the park playground on 18 August (photo right Deputy Chair Shale Chambers and member Adriana Christie with local resident Chuck Joseph).  A number of people gave feedback not just about the park plan but about concerns over current maintenance issues.

I logged these issues and in response received the following updates:

  • Bird numbers no longer managed – unfortunately we missed the opportunity last Spring to train our contractors in conjunction with the Zoo hence the rise in bird numbers this year. We are now working with our contractors and the zoo and will undertake the seasonal addling of the eggs this Spring.
  • Paths no longer swept – all bird poo washed into the Lake – Paths are blown and water blasted once a week and are contractors are aware that bird faeces should not be washing into the lake. We have reiterated this with our contractor and we have increased the frequency of water blasting to 3 x a week as of Tuesday this week.
  • Broken drinking fountains – There are a couple of water fountains that have no active water pipe feeding it due to them being broken by tree roots coming up through the concrete. These have not been working for a number of years and this will be addressed as part of the Western Park project works.
  • Broken toilets at the playground with dirty Portaloo replacements – The zoo is constructing a new administration building on the site of a previous building that has been removed. Unfortunately, when the Zoo staff began work it was discovered that the western spring toilet had been connected to this facilities waste water line. This was unknown to the zoo project team and was not recorded on any plans so reinstatement of the sewer line was included in the design for the new building. Community Facilities are working with the zoo project team and have devised a methodology for a new connection, so we can recommission the toilets. Whilst the work may not be expensive it is complex given the significant amount of volcanic rock and protected trees along the pathway for a new connection.  The new work will require a consent and arborist approval before works can commence. We hope to have the toilets reinstated before the summer season starts.
  • In the interim alternative facilities are provided and these are cleaned twice daily with the expectation this meets the same outcome as permanent toilets by way of cleanliness. If this is found not to be the case a request for service can be called through and our contractor will attend.
  • Broken light in toilet block in park – disconnected due to the works going on at the Zoo.

We also received positive feedback from “Friends of Fukuoka Gardens” community group who have been working directly with contractors to improve maintenance of the Japanese garden.

It is proposed that issues such as water quality and bird feeding will be addressed through the plan.

Salisbury Reserve consultation and removal of the Masonic Lodge

Land purchased to create an entrance way to Salisbury Reserve

Consultation on the two options for opening up the entrance to Salisbury Reserve ended at the end of August.  During the month I met on site with both local residents and representatives of the Herne Bay Residents Association.  I confirmed that the local board doesn’t intend revisiting the decision to remove the Masonic Lodge building for a number of reasons:

  • We don’t have a budget to upgrade it, to cover operational costs nor to pay for a change to the required resource consent (which will be opposed by local residents).
  • There is no evidence of a need for another community facility serving Herne Bay.
  • Current facilities including Leys Institute Hall and the Vermont Centre are not at capacity. I also provided the occupancy stats below of local facilities that directly report to Council.
  • The reserve is not large enough to support two community facilities.
  • There are minimal heritage values associated with the building as it has been through so many alterations.

The standard available hours in 10h/day and the percentages below is based on the standard.

Utilisation                                                 FY16/17           FY17/18

Leys Institute Hall                                             16%                 20%

Freemans Bay Community Hall                    38%                 39%

Grey Lynn Community Centre                       55%                 53%

Ponsonby Community Centre                         37%                  36%

Leys Institute Gym                                            59%                  57%

Central City Library opening hours
The board made funding available so the Auckland Central City Library can open for an extra hour on Saturdays and Sundays from September 1. Funding is guaranteed until 30 June 2019.

Transport

John Street, Ponsonby – a trial for a new “healthy streets” approach

As a narrow street and rat run John Street in Ponsonby has suffered from a number of parking, traffic and safety issues going back some time.  The transport portfolio has been following up with a group of residents who would like to be part of the solution.  They are keen for John St to be used to showcase AT’s new approach to safer, healthier streets which are designed for all road users not just cars.

On 18 August I met with residents on the street to discuss potential options. I confirmed that the Local Board is pushing AT to use all the tools available to improve the conditions of John Street. AT is currently preparing a proposal for consultation.

Grey Lynn Parking

The local board passed the following resolution at our business meeting on 21 August in response to the parking concerns that have been raised with us in response to a letter drop to 600 Grey Lynn households opposing a proposed time restricted parking zone.

MOVED by Chairperson P Coom, seconded by Deputy Chairperson S Chambers:

That the Waitematā Local Board:

  1. receive the Auckland Transport August 2018 update report
  2. request Auckland Transport to implement the proposed new Arch Hill and Grey Lynn residential parking zone as soon as reasonably practicable and put on hold the proposed implementation of the time restricted P120 zone that has not been consulted on until after an assessment has been made of the impact of the residential parking zone
  3. request Auckland Transport work with the Grey Lynn Residents Association to identify suitable locations for P120 restrictions.

In response to the resolution AT has confirmed that the RPZ implementation will be brought forward to December and they will put on hold the time restricted parking.  Further details are on the Auckland Transport website.

Waitematā Safer Routes

Concept design for West Lynn, Richmond Road

New designs prepared by Boffa Miskell to fix the issues on the two Waitematā Safer routes were presented to Community Liaison Groups (CLGs) on 5 September.  A few days later the NZ Herald reported that the Grey Lynn cycleway debacle could cost $35m to fix and claimed that the project was for a few “existing cyclists”.   Grey Lynn Business Association co-chair Irene King was reported as saying that preliminary designs as “very, very stunning” with beautiful urban design and landscaping.

There is a lot that Auckland Transport has got wrong with this project and it should have been done correctly first time (I have previously reported on the background and what went wrong) but it is far is more accurate to describe the project as a street upgrade as it covers a safety improvements for everyone, bus stop changes, bus stop changes, traffic lights, parking, stormwater, landscaping and new trees.  Auckland Transport has also confirmed the figure of $35m is incorrect and should not have been presented to the CLG.   The actual projected cost for this project sits between $17m-$22m at present. AT has explained the figure of $35m was an initial costing that had long since been refined but was unfortunately inserted into the presentations to the CLGs and wasn’t caught until it was too late.

Auckland Transport plans to take the proposals out for consultation in Novembers so the wider community can decide what should be prioritised within the available budget.

Road Safety

My latest Ponsonby News column covers the 9th anniversary of speed reduction on Ponsonby Road and the speed bylaw proposals that are shortly to go out for consultation (Attachment 1).  Deaths and Serious injuries (DSi) across Auckland have increased by 67% since 2013.  In Waitematā 77% of all DSi involved vulnerable road users, people walking or cycling. This is the highest percentage among all Local Boards.

I was really pleased to see Auckland Transport’s CEO strong leadership and uncompromising statement on safer speeds in a letter to NZ Herald on 10 September (right).

On 5 September I attended a business strategy workshop in Wellington as a committee member of Trafinz.  The New Zealand Local Authority Traffic Institute or Trafinz represents local authority views on road safety and traffic management in New Zealand. It exists to lobby the government, to influence decision making on road safety and traffic issues. It also acts as a forum for collectively pursuing traffic issues of interest to local authorities, and for sharing information and advice.

Trafinz is actively involved in the development of a new road safety strategy with a Vision Zero target.

Meetings and workshops: 15 August until 11 September 2018

  • Meeting with local residents on 15 August at the Masonic Hall regarding the Salisbury Reserve consultation
  • Auckland Paths working group meeting on 16 August
  • Meeting with Steve Mutton, Director Regional Relationships on 17 August
  • Met with John Street, Ponsonby residents on 18 August to discuss options to traffic calm and reduce volumes
  • Attended the Western Springs Development Plan consultation event held at the park on 18 August
  • Chair’s weekly meeting with the local board services team on 20, 27 August and 3 and 10 September
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 21 August
  • LGNZ Zone 1 meeting on 24 August in Manukau
  • Spoke to Citizens Advice Bureau Grey Lynn/Ponsonby Branch volunteers on 27 August about the role of the local board
  • Board all day workshops on 28 August and 4, 11 September
  • Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association meeting on 29 August
  • Meeting with Jeremy Hansen, Britomart Group on 29 August
  • Attended a Vision Zero meeting organised by Bike Auckland at Bizdojo on 29 August
  • Meeting with representatives of the Herne Bay Residents Association on 29 August the Masonic Hall regarding the Salisbury Reserve consultation
  • Interviewed by Grant Hewison regarding the Ponsonby Business Association strategic plan on 29 August
  • Auckland Domain Committee workshop followed by the public committee meeting on 30 August
  • Inclusive governance in a diverse Auckland workshop offered by the Kura Kawana Elected Member Development Programme with guest speaker Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor – College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University on 31 August
  • Kia whai whare atou katoa: Regional, cross-sectoral homelessness plan for Auckland workshop at the Fickling Centre on 3 September (photo right)
  • Meeting on 4 September with the Community–led Design Group to discuss 254 Ponsonby Road in preparation for the forthcoming Options Paper.
  • TRAFINZ workshop in Wellington on 5 September
  • Visit to Auckland Zoo for local board members on 6 September (photo right)
  • Catch up with City Centre Residents Group representative on 6 September
  • Transport portfolio catch up on 7 September
  • Meeting with Director Regulatory Services Penny Pirrit to discuss compliance issues at the helicopter boat shed construction on Sentinel Beach, Herne Bay
  • Attended the “Business Grey Lynn” organised community meeting at St Columba church on 9 September regarding the Representation Review consultation that closed on 11 September
  • Local Board Chairs’ Forum on 10 September
  • Ponsonby Business Association committee meeting on 11 September
  • Briefing by Heart of the City regarding their street guardians initiative

Events and functions:  15 August until 11 September 2018

  • Interview on 95 BfM on 15 August to discuss the development of green spaces
  • Opening night of Auckland Theatre Company’s Filthy Business at ASB waterfront Theatre on 16 August at the invite of ATC
  • Dropped by 95bFM: Drive Island w/ Ha the Unclear & Skilaa at Ellen Melville Centre on 17 August (photo right)
  • Walters Prize opening at Auckland Art Gallery on 17 August
  • Panel member with MP Deborah Russell and former MP Damien Fenton at the Central Auckland Labour LEC’s Locally Left event at the Grey Lynn RSC on 27 August (photo below)
  • Opening of the Mina and Courtney Pellow NZFW show pop up shop on 30 August at the invite of the K’Road Business Association (photo right)
  • Living Wage Employer celebration held at the Ellen Melville Centre on 3 September (photo below)
  • “Into the Underworld” exhibition opening on 8 September in Silo 6, Wynyard Quarter.
  • Officiated at the Town Hall citizenship ceremony on 11 September.