Art of the possible: Hauora Garden

Hauora Garden Richard Orjis and A.D.Schierning  with Waitemata Local Board membersOne thing I love about my role on the Waitematā Local Board is being part of making small, local projects happen.  We often hear complaints that local government is slow, unresponsive and  wasteful but in my experience I have found Council staff to be passionate, creative and willing to work hard to deliver on a tight budget.   With political support they find ways to achieve, as Board Chair Shale Chambers likes to say, the Art of the Possible.

So it has been a special pleasure to see Hauora Garden spring up at Studio One, Toi Tū.  In early June I was at Studio One for Bee Jam, part of the POP programme of events (funded by the Waitematā Local Board). Lynda, Parks Team Leader was there for a visit and mentioned that there was still unallocated budget available for community gardening. Knowing that there was a fenced off overgrown section of
Studio One that  had been recently been identified as perfect for a garden I Hauora Garden Char Wiapo and Mark introduced her to Tracey the POP programme coordinator to find out if there was an opportunity for an artist’s POP project.  Fortunately Tracey knew of a  garden project ready to go (it was proposed for POP originally but did not get included in the pilot series), Shale approved the budget and everyone swung into action.

Last Saturday we were able to check out how the site has been transformed into Hauroa Garden. We always need to be careful about not ending up with unallocated budget at the end of the financial year(another criticism of council!). However I think in this case it has been a happy find that has brought about a spontaneous, creative collaboration involving artists, sponsors and volunteers that will provide long term benefits.

Hauora Garden by Auckland-based artists Richard Orjis and A.D. Schierning is an interactive and sensory space that aims to reconnect urban dwellers with the natural world. It will end up including Rongoā Māori, introduced medicinal, edible and endangered native plants.  Many of the materials found on the section have been recycled into the garden design.

Many thanks to Lynda and Tracey for the Art of the Possible and all those involved: House of Hauora Garden Bec StanleyBotanica, Colleen Brennan, Michelle de Clay, Kerrie Van Heerden, Claudia Jowitt, Daddy and the Dames, Donna Kerridge, Richard Orjis, Wednesday Night Pottery, Amiria Puia-Taylor, AD Schierning, Bec Stanley, Bonni Tamati, Imogen Taylor, The Little Caterer, H.E.P.T, CVNZ Volunteers, The Watkins, Char Wiapo and Generation Zero.

Supported by Treescape, Resene, Studio Art Supplies, Mace Contractors Ltd and Uru Whakaaro Ltd

Hauora on Facebook

Hauora Gardens reviewed by Janet McAllister for the Weekend Herald Art matters column

Monthly Board Report October 2014

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during September 2014 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee.


  • Opening of Grafton Gully and Beach Road cycleways
  • Re-opening of Khartoum Place with a new staircase to the Auckland Art Gallery from Lorne Street after a long battle to retain the Suffrage Centenary Memorial in the square
  • Progress on a programme to activate Pioneer Women’s Hall
  • Local Board Plan hearings

I also enjoyed a short break in the South Island during September.

Portfolio reports:  Transport

Members of the Waitemata Local Board with Mayor Len Brown
Members of the Waitemata Local Board with Mayor Len Brown

Grafton Gully cycleway opening

Report on the opening of the Grafton Gully cycleway ATTACHMENT A

Waitematā Local Board members Shale Chambers, Vernon Tava, Christopher Dempsey, and Pippa Coom with the Mayor at the opening of the Grafton Gully Cycleway

Monthly transport update

A monthly update with Auckland Transport took place on 25 September. Current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Portfolio reports:  Community

Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Memorial Hall – activation

One of the Board’s priorities is developing Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Memorial Hall as a community hub for city centre residents. Fortunately the refurbishment budget for the hall was removed from the proposed list of deferrals and has been funded with $400,000 for 2015/16 to proceed in alignments with the targeted rate-funded renovation of Freyberg Square.

In the meantime the community portfolio is working with officers to activate the hall using a $15,000 community development budget available for 2014/15.  Really good progress has recently been made on proposals initiated by a stakeholder working group including setting up a Facebook page for the hall and a programme of activities such as Tai Chi, a chess club, and Rainbow Youth pop in centre.

Local Board Plan

The Board received 213 submissions on our draft local board plan with the majority of submitters endorsing the general direction and priorities of the Board. At hearings held over 2 days we heard from 33 submitters.

A report on the feedback was presented at the Board’s extraordinary meeting on 16 September and is available on the Council website.

A final version of the Local Board Plan is on the Board’s agenda this month.

Community Funding

The Central Joint Funding Committee was re-established on 8 September (I was re-elected Deputy Chair) to decide on applications to the Community Group Assistance Fund (round 1 of 2 rounds) and the Accommodation Support Fund 14/15. These are both legacy grants that will be disestablished when the new funding policy is implemented.

The decision of the committee is available on the Council website here.

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 September – 30 September I attended:

  • Mayoral proposal workshop on 1 September at the Aotea Centre for Councillors, local board members, the Independent Maori Statutory Board and CCO Chairs and Chief Executives to discuss the Mayor’s proposal for the draft Long-term Plan 2015-2025.  Led by the mayor, the workshop considered the proposal and provided opportunity for round table discussion.
  • Engagement adviser catch up on 1 September
  • Meeting to discuss Pioneer Women’s Hall Stakeholder Workshop Outcomes
  • Grey Lynn Business Association meeting on the signage bylaws
  • Local Board Plan Hearings on 2 and 3 September
  • Newmarket level crossing briefing on 3 September
  • City Centre Integration workshop with Councillors regarding QE2 Square and the proposed Downtown Framework on 3 September
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss Cycle Advisory Group prioritisation process on 4 September
  • Central Joint Grants Committee Meeting on 8 September
  • LTP – Parks, Community and Lifestyle response to Mayoral Proposal presentation to local board members at the Town Hall on 8 September
  • City Centre Waterfront Building Height and Form Strategy briefing on 9 September
  • LBP deliberations workshop on 9 September
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on  September 9 September
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting in Grey Lynn on  9 September
  • Meeting with the New Zealand Dance Company, Wellesley St to discuss community funding available
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 11 September
  • Meeting with the developer of 60 Cook Street to discuss plans for the future of Nelson Street
  • Inaugural meeting of the Maunga Authority at the Town Hall on 15 September
  • Communications catch up on 15 September
  • Engagement adviser catch up on 15 September
  • Local Board Meeting on 16 September – Formal deliberations to consider submissions and resolve direction of the Local Board Plan
  • Meeting to develop feedback on the community grants policy on 24 September
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 24 September
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 24 September
  • Meeting with Parnell Community Committee and Parnell Inc to discuss “Weekend Streets” on 26 September
  • Site visit to Kelston Community Hub with members of the community placemaking champions working group on 29 September
  • Local Board Workshop on 30 September

CRL Open day Allan MatsonEvents and functions

In the period 1 September – 30 September I attended:

  • CRL open day event at the Town Hall on 1 September hosted by Auckland Transport (photo right)
  • The Great Climate Voter Debate on 3 September at Q Theatre
  • ATC’s Trees beneath the Lake at the Maidment Theatre (at the invitation of ATC) on 6 September
  • Grafton Gully cycleway opening on 6 September (ATTACHMENT A)
  • Child poverty Hikoi on 6 September
  • Hosted the Green Desk on 95bfm  on 9 September talking to Louise Carr- Neill Manager of the Grey Lynn Farmers Market
  • Speaking at Bike to the FutureUpper Khartoum Place opening on 10 September (speech given on behalf of the Waitemata Local Board ATTACHMENT B)
  • Craft Market at Studio One
  • Jervios Road Market day on 13 September
  • Grey Lynn Farmers Market 5th birthday celebration on 14 September (I am chair of the management committee)
  • Cycle Action Auckland’s AGM at Pioneer Women’s Hall on 24 September
  • Newmarket Business Association AGM on 25 September
  • Launch of the Heritage Festival at Shed 10 on 26 September (photo below)
  • Bike to the Future organised by Generation Zero on 28 September (photo right giving a speech before the bike ride in support of cycle lanes on K’rd)
  • Festival Italiano in Newmarket and lunch hosted by Dante Alighieri on Sunday 28 September (gift bag from Dante Alighieri contained: a book on Newmarket, pasta, hair product, mascara, cooking apron, balsamic vinegar)
Heritage festival
Arriving at the opening of the Heritage Festival at Shed 10 with Christopher Dempsey

Khartoum Place re-opening – the new Kate Sheppard Place

Speech for the reopening of Khartoum Place on behalf of the Waitematā Local Board 

10 September 2014

  • Suffrage memorial Khartoum Place It’s a pleasure to be here to help celebrate the re-opening and upgrade of what is a special and significant space for Auckland city
  • Waitematā Local Board Chair Shale Chambers, your co-host, has stood aside so I can make some very specific acknowledgements today.
  • As the Mayor touched on, this is the site of the Woman’s Suffrage Centenary Memorial,   which honours the strength and determination of Auckland women who worked towards the goal of women’s suffrage. The memorial is made of over 2000 coloured tiles designed by artists Claudia Pond Eyley and Jan Morrison commissioned for Suffrage Centennial Year in 1993
  • We’ve come together here many times to commemorate Suffrage Day Aotearoa New Zealand – coming up next week on 19 September (all invited back) – and International Womens Day. And yes I always have my bike with me – the transport of the suffragists symbolised in the tiles.!
  • Khartoum place with Art GalleryAs many of you may know, during the redesign of this space the Memorial came under attack and was at risk of being moved.  Khartoum place was described as a “sordid blot on Auckland’s urban landscape” and the memorial a “makeshift urinal”.
  • The suffrage mural was designed for this space and brings an added depth to what  Khartoum Place is. I hope you agree the re-design that we are celebrating today has enhanced the Memorial and secured its place in the city centre as a cultural and heritage asset. In fact the upgrade would not look so amazing with out the memorial as the centre piece
  • I’d like to acknowledge all those who have fought to retain the Memorial in particular Margaret Wilson, Michelle Wright, Patricia Woodley, Julie Fairey and pro bono lawyers from Ellis Gould Joanna van den Bergen and Julie Goodyear.  I also acknowledge the unwavering determination of Cr Cathy Casey supported by the Mayor and political colleagues who  secured the memorial (Cathy moved the last amendment  at the end of 5 days of Unitary Plan meetings to get support for lifting the proposed draft Unitary Plan designation of “road reserve” from Khartoum Place and replacing it with an “open space” zoning.  Women’s Suffrage Memorial in Khartoum Place is identified as “a historic heritage place” in the Unitary Place).
  • Khartoum Place reopening with Len Brown and Shale ChambersI think we can now relax that he battle of Khartoum has been won and that the memorial is here to stay.
  • The Mayor has thanked the many people involved in the Khartoum place upgrade . As a politician I attend many openings when the politicians are acknowledged but really have done very little but show up for the refreshments.  Today is different.
  • Today I acknowledge not just those who politically fought for the retention of the Suffrage memorial in Khartoum Place but also those who had the courage and tenacity to forge ahead with the upgrade.  The upgrade project was in danger of being delayed or canned about 2 years ago but Shale doggedly pushed it through with the support of the Mayor.  He knew that if we lost our nerve we would lose momentum and the upgrade could be in danger of not happening at all (Some of the opposition to the upgrade was very unstandable neighbouring businesses had already experienced a lot of disruption in the area).   I think today he has been vindicated and I thank him.
  • For too long Auckland has just been ok and our street spaces have not lived up to the majesty of our natural environment or our desire to be taken seriously as an international city. However projects such as this, completed to an exceptionally high standard to last for generations, have allowed us to see our city in a new light and to take pride in our city centre.
  • The Waitematā Local Board is committed to continue to play our role in making the inner city a more liveable, vibrant and connected place that welcomes all people of all ages.
  • Looking around now at how  beautiful Khartoum place looks with the memorial at its heart I think all that is needed is for this space to be  named not after an imperial battle that New Zealand actually refused to take part in but in the future I look forward to it being named Suffrage Place or Kate Sheppard Place.

Khartoum place portraits Revamp of Iconic Auckland location complete – Auckland Council media release

Margaret Wilson representing the National Council of Women officially reopened Khartoum Place following the upgrade with the Mayor Len Brown and Waitemata Local Board Chair, Shale Chambers.

Entertainment in the square after the ribbon cutting was provided by a band made up of very talented Council employees. Fine arts students from Auckland University provided portraits (Briony right working on my sketch)


Monthly Board Report September 2014

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during August 2014 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee.

Portfolio reports:  Transport

Cycle Advisory Group

The Cycle Advisory Group was established by the Mayor as a forum for providing advice, a strategic review and sounding board on cycling issues in Auckland. Members of the group consist of representatives from advocacy organisations, NZTA, ACC, MOT, Waterfront Auckland, AA, the Mayor’s office and Auckland Transport. Councillors Chris Darby, Linda Cooper and Penny Hulse are also invited to attend.

At the chair’s forum meeting in June it was noted that there was no local board representation on the advisory group. I was nominated by the board chairs as the local board representative.

I attended the fourth meeting of the group on 29 August which focused on the prioritisation process for cycling capex projects.

Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2015

I made a submission on the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. At the time I was convinced it was a waste of time.

However on 19 August Prime Minister John Key  announced $100 million in new funding to be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres after a record breaking number of submissions were received on the GPS supporting cycling investment. It is proposed that an Urban Cycleway Investment Panel will investigate opportunities to invest in urban cycleways that would expand and improve the cycling network.

What is significant is that for the first time the National government has acknowledged the benefits commuter cycling and the need to provide connected infrastructure. The challenge to Auckland Transport will be to ensure that robust investment proposals are ready to go so that Auckland can tap into this fund (which does not require matched funding from AT).

Drinking station upper queen st bridgeDrinking fountains

The board has committed to funding three drinking stations in the street environment from the local board capex fund.

The first of the stations has been installed at the corner of Ian McKinnon Drive and Upper Queen Street as part of the Upper Queen Street bridge upgrade (photo right).

Missing connections

A priority of the Board is to improve connectivity around the Waitematā area. One of our advocacy positions to Auckland Transport through our Local Board Agreement 14/15 is for construction of the Wellesley St connection to Auckland Domain under Symonds St overbridge and on-road connection to the NZTA funded/constructed Grafton Gully Cycleway

Last month I came across this Dutch family in the photo right who were lost on the Symonds Street bridge trying to get to the Museum by following a street map.  It reinforced yet again the importance of the City – Domain walking connection bvia Wellesley Street (the project is with the City Centre Integration Group to progress).

Beach Road cyclewayCycling network

Thanks in part to Local Board advocacy great progress has been made to complete major cycling projects in the Waitematā area.  The Grafton Gully cycleway (NZTA project), Upper Queen Street bridge connection (AC project) and Beach Road stage one (Auckland Transport project – pictured) will all be opening in early September to provide a continuous connection from Quay Street through to the NW cycleway.

Monthly transport update

A monthly update with Auckland Transport took place on 27 August. Current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Portfolio reports:  Community

The community Development portfolio is working on a number of issues that were discussed at our monthly meeting with CDAC officers on 27 August including:

  • Grey Lynn Community Centre funding
  • Funding available for tables and chairs at community centres
  • Leys Institute Lift

I also attended a number of meetings during August relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Local Board Engagement

Consultation on the draft Waitematā Local Board plan ended on 6 August.  A series of drop-in sessions concluded at the Grey Lynn Library on 4 August. Consultation on the Board’s localised carbon emission reduction plan closed on 16 August.

Community Grants

The Community Grant committee met on 25 August to consider applications to the Board’s community fund for the first round of 2014/15. The Board has $100,000 available for community grants per year.

The Committee has recommended allocating $30,852 in grants from the $80,612 applied for. A final decision will be made at the September Board meeting.

Local Government New Zealand

I attended the LGNZ Zone One meeting on 22 August with representatives from Local Boards, Kaipara District Council, Whangarei District Council, Far North District Council and Northland Regional Council. Councillor Penny Webster is Zone One Chair and Auckland Council’s representative on LGNZ.

The meeting received updates from Malcolm Alexander, CEO of LGNZ (Vision of LGNZ: Local Government powering community and national success) and presentations from Surf Live Saving, Fields of Remembrance Trust (WW1 commemorations) and an update on the Financial Prudence Regulations.

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 August – 31 August I attended:

  • Communications catch up on 4 August
  • Engagement adviser catch up on 4 August
  • Local Board draft plan drop in sessions – Grey Lynn Library Hall on 4 August
  • Local Board workshop on 5 August
  • Newmarket Station Signage – Parks Portfolio Meeting on 6 August
  • Meeting to discuss LTP draft performance measures
  • WEBINAR   Tax – An elected members responsibility
  • Elections 2016 workshop for local board members on decisions to be made prior to the 2016 local government elections on potential changes to the voting system, establishment of Maori wards and representation arrangements.
  • Community meeting organised by Community development team at the Freemans Bay community centre – Inner City Network:  What would a successful network look/feel like? On Friday 8 August
  • City Rail Link Project update for local board members on 11 August
  • Working lunch with Housing NZ board members and housing NZ representatives on 11 August – HNZ  provided an overview and details of their presence in the Waitematā area
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 12 August
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting in Parnell on 12 August
  • Waterfront Auckland CEO update for board members on 13 August
  • Meeting with Dave Peters from Cycling Auckland (bike hire business) regarding Waterfront Auckland’s bike hire operation (attended with Kevin Wright on behalf of Stephen Town and Connie Clackson from Waterfront Auckland)
  • Newmarket Laneways Precinct proposals – initial plans presented to board members on 13 August
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 14 August
  • Effective Meetings for Local Board Chairs and Deputy Chairs – This session is the follow-up from Monday 5 May and concludes the examination of styles and approaches that help meetings to run smoothly and generate decisions.
  • Local Board briefing on the LTP financial policies on 18 August – a briefing for 2 representatives from every board  on the financial policy issues that may be considered as part of the long-term plan with an opportunity to provide early feedback
  • Communications catch up on 19 August
  • Meeting to discuss photos for the board’s achievements report
  • Grants Committee agenda run through on 20 August
  • LGNZ Zone One meeting at the Orewa Service Centre on 22 August
  • Waitematā Local Board Grants Committee Meeting on 25 August
  • Local Board Workshop on 26 August
  • Ponsonby Community Centre committee meeting on 26 August
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 27 August
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 27 August
  • Auckland Transport meeting with Barbara Holloway, K’rd Business Association to discuss maintenance issues and service levels.
  • Meeting with Waterfront Auckland and Ponsonby Cruising Club to discuss the club’s lease
  • Cycling Advisory Group meeting on 29 August
  • Bus stop interactivity and user experience presentation by AUT students to Auckland Transport representatives

Splice Gift giversEvents and functions

In the period 1 August – 31 August  I attended:

  • 95bfm interview on the Waitemata Local Board plan on 1 August
  • City Givers Launch event at Pioneer Women’s Hall hosted by Splice on Saturday 2 August (photo right)
  • IPENZ annual debate on the positive team with Darren Davies and Matt Hinton The Car is So last century (photo below)
  • Cycle Action Auckland’s Associates Breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 6 August
  • Vintage Austin Register – Auckland branch AGM on Sunday 10 August
  • Hosted the Green Desk on 95bfm  on 12 August talking to Florence Reynolds from Plastic Diet
  • Carlton Gore Road market dayGrey Lynn Business Association networking drinks
  • Hosted the Green Desk 95bfm  on 26 August talking to Emma McInnes from Generation Zero
  • Locally left at the Grey Lynn RSC with Jacinda Ardern and David Slack
  • Grey Lynn Residents Association AGM on 19 August at the Grey Lynn Community Centre
  • CAB Auckland AGM at the Flickling Centre on 20 August
  • Herne Bay Residents Association Candidates debate on 21 August at the Ponsonby Cruising Club
  • Carlton Gore Road market day organised by the Newmarket Business Association on Saturday 23 August (photo right of the new footpaths and bike parking)
  • Local Board hosted citizenship ceremony at the Town hall on 25 August
  • Cycle Action Auckland public monthly meeting 28 August
  • Movie fundraiser for Tearfund on 28 August
  • Belleville at the Herald Theatre at the invitation of Silo Theatre 29 August

IPENZ transport debate

Pecha Kucha local government engagement event

Pecha Kucha Town Hall EditionI’m always on the look out for ways to improve how we consult with our community so  an article by Brent Toderian on 10 Lessons in more engaging Citizen Engagement really grabbed my attention. I was particularly inspired by one of the suggestions to use Pecha Kucha to increase civic participation as I am a big fan of Pecha Kucha Auckland.

I therefore really thrilled when the Waitemata Local Board Chair agreed to collaborate with Pecha Kucha for the launch of our draft Local Board plan on 16 July 2014 .

As far as I’m aware it was the first time in New Zealand the Pecha Kucha format was used as a platform for local government consultation.  We called the event a Town Hall special edition.    I had the wonderful experience of curated the event with Renee Tanner, Arts and Culture Advisor who has previously worked with Luka from Pecha Kucha Auckland (Luka brought the concept to New Zealand). We aimed for a really good mix of speakers who all  contribute in some way to the beating heart of Tāmaki Makaurau.   Speakers had free rein over the content of their presentations we just asked that one slide  respond to what they would like to see in the Local Board plan. 

Aylsea at Pecha KuchaOver 300 people came along on the night- a huge number for a council consultation event.  The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  People loved the quick format, the venue and most of all the excellent presenters.  I especially enjoyed the event because of the young people involved (the youngest presenter was only 11) and the new faces who came along that we don’t normally see at consultation events. It was also fun as a Board member to present with my colleagues using the Pecha Kucha format (20 slides divided between 6 board members)

I highly recommend using Pecha Kucha to engage with the community instead of or in addition to the usual Council- style public meetings. Thanks to Brent Toderian for the idea!

PKN_AKL_ special Town Hall edition in collaboration with the Waitematā Local Board // Wednesday 16 July 2014 // doors open 06.30pm / start 07.30pm // Town Hall, Concert Chambers, Queen St, Auckland CBD // free entry // come early as there will be limited seats

Emma McInnes Pecha Kucha presentationList of presenters (in this order):

Ngarimu Blair // Ngati Whatua // Maori In the City

Jessica Ji // Year 7 Inner city resident // Do Children Feel Safe in Public Educational Spaces

Anja Vroegop // Walking and Cycling coordinator, Auckland Transport // The Future of Cycling in Auckland

Shelagh Coop // Parnell Heritage // Older citizens fired up

Alex Swney // Heart of the City // Tarmac – oh so yesterday – urban place making now past tipping point

Elected Representatives // Waitematā Local Board // Plans plans plans – there’s more to us than plans

Emma McInnes // Generation Zero // Smart campaigning to influence decision makers

Alycea Meredith-Lelei // Year 12 AGGS // Roots Pollinate: Art, community and Youth go POP

Ben Bell // Low Impact // One less rubbish truck

Esther Hjelmstrom // Council Landscape Architect // Greenways – delivering the dream

Denise Bijoux // Inspiring Communities // Building community and being locally-led

NZ Sign interpreters present at the event

Monthly Report August 2014

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during July 2014 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee.

Local Board Plan Engagement 

Emma McInnes Pecha Kucha presentationThe Pecha Kucha Town Hall special edition was a big highlight for me during July. Pecha Kucha Auckland teamed up with the Waitematā Local Board so that for the first time in New Zealand the Pecha Kucha format was used as a platform for local government consultation. The diverse line up of speakers made the event informative and fun. It was also a great opportunity for board members to present on the draft local board at a unique engagement event. Thank you for everyone who helped organise the event and took part on the night.

As part of our Local Board Plan engagement we have held a series of drop-in sessions during July.

I attended the sessions at:

  • Campbell Free Kindergarten building, Victoria Park
  • AUT quad local board planPioneer Women’s Hall
  • Parnell Farmers Market
  • Station Square, Newmarket
  • Leys Institute Library, Ponsonby
  • Ponsonby Community Centre
  • AUT Quad on AUSM club day (photo right)
  • Methodist Church Hall, Pitt Street

Drop-ins were also held at the Richmond Rovers clubrooms, Western Springs Football clubrooms, and the Grey Lynn Farmers Market.

In addition I was invited to speak at the Grafton Residents Association on the draft plan at their monthly meeting.

Long Term Plan 2015 – 2025: Options Workshop

I attended the all- day workshop for elected representatives and officers on 7 July as part of the LTP process which is currently underway. I think the workshops provide a valuable opportunity to discuss what the council should prioritise over the next 10 years and how to fund it. There are going to be tough decisions coming up about what we spend to make Auckland the most liveable city in the world.

LGNZ Conference 2014

I attended the LGNZ conference 2014 in Nelson as the Waitematā Local Board delegate. My conference report back is attached


YAP members with Local board members and the Mayor July 2014Retiring members and new members of the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) were acknowledged by Mayor Len Brown at a function on 28 July attended by YAP liaison councillor Linda Cooper, parents, and elected representatives from the council and local boards.   The panel is into its second term and was established by the Mayor in 2011 as a local and regional youth participation and development programme to provide advice on council policies, plans, strategies and bylaws in the interests of young people.

It is made up of 21 young people aged between 12 and 24, nominated from Auckland’s 21 local boards. It involves a two-year term served by each member from July to June, with members selected by young people in their community through 18 local youth voice groups affiliated to local boards. Isabella Lenihan- Ikin is the Waitematā representative on the Panel. In her fantastic inaugural speech she challenged the Mayor to invest in cycling.

Retiring and new members of the Youth Advisory Panel with Local Board members

Portfolio reports:  Community

The community Development portfolio is working on a number of issues that were discussed at our monthly meeting with CDAC officers on 23 July:

–   Pioneer Women’s Hall stakeholder meeting (held on 31 July attended by Deborah Yates to connect and share with other groups/people that have expressed an interest in activating programmes that meet the needs of the people who live work and play in the central city).

–   Future of Grey Lynn Community Centre

–   The use of Lumino for Local Board Plan consultation (a Youth portfolio imitative)

–   Implementation of the Accessibility Plan

–   Women and Children’s Safety

–   Leys Institute Lift (in need of repair)

–   Women’s Centre Lease ( on the agenda this month)

I also attended a range of meetings during July relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Portfolio reports:  Transport

The Grafton Gully Multi-way Boulevard

Grafton-Gully-Blvd-DevelopmentAt our July Board meeting Kent Lundberg presented a plan to the Waitematā Local Board for dramatically improving one of the worst corridors in the central city – Stanley St and The Strand. Details of the presentation are available here

We passed the following resolution:

Moved by C Dempsey, seconded by PJ Coom:

a) That Kent Lundberg be thanked for his attendance and presentation to the Board.

b) That the Waitematā Local Board:

i) supports in principle the Grafton Gully multiway Boulevard proposal;

ii) requests Auckland Transport and NZTA assess the proposal and provide a response as to how it can be progressed;

iii) refers the proposal to the Infrastructure Committee of the Governing Body for its consideration.

Bus stop design option ABus stops

Auckland Transport is currently consulting on bus stop design options until 22 August. Three designs have been installed on Symonds Street. I joined a tour of the bus stops for board members. Design A (photo right) is definitely my preferred option as it incorporates recycled materials and solar lighting. It also provides the best protection from the rain and is pleasant to use.

Old Nelson Street off-ramp

AT and NZTA have taken up a Cycle Action Auckland proposal to turn the old Nelson street off ramp tourNelson Street off ramp (surplus to motorway needs) into a cycleway providing a link in the Auckland Cycle Network – connecting the Northwestern and other routes entering the City Centre from the south and west to the western parts of our downtown and waterfront, to a Nelson Street cycleway.

Christopher and I joined a NZTA tour of the off- ramp to see how it could connect to K’rd.  This work is currently progressing by NZTA with Auckland Transport working on separated cycle lane down Nelson Street to the waterfront

Monthly transport update

A monthly update with Auckland Transport took place on 30 July. Current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Workshops and meetings

Station Sq drop in Pippa and ChristopherIn the period 1 July – 31 July I attended:

  • Local Board workshop on 1 July
  • Local Board draft plan drop in sessions – as listed above
  • Meeting with legal team to discuss Board’s submission on Auckland Transport’s NOR for widening Great North Road
  • Parks Portfolio meeting to discuss Grey Lynn Park Development Plan
  • LTP options/advice workshop on 7 July
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 8 July
  • Meeting to discussion parking discussion document with Tony Skelton, Chair, St Marys Bay Association and PBA
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting at Graham Street on 8 July
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 10 July
  • Central hui with iwi to discuss local board plans (attended the afternoon’s session as the Chair’s alternate)
  • Local Board workshop on 15 July
  • Studio One Tour with Manurewa board members on 16 July
  • Old Nelson street off ramp cycle pilot project presentation and tour by NZTA on 18 July
  • Attendance at the LGNZ conference 2014 in Nelson 20- -22 July
  • Meeting with the owner of Café Byzantium on 23 July to discuss complaints against Council inspection officers
  • Meeting to discuss feedback on AT’s draft parking discussion document
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 23 July
  • Arch Hill Residents meeting to discuss outcome of mediation with Bunnings
  • St Mary Bay Association AGM on 24 July
  • Tour of Bus Stop design options  with Auckland Transport
  • Community-led Placemaking Champions Group – Plenary meeting on 28 July
  • Local Board Workshop on 29 July
  • Ponsonby Community Centre committee meeting on 29 July
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 30 July

Events and functions

Kitchen at the people for auckland committee lunchIn the period 1 July – 31 July I attended:

  • The People of Auckland Community Trust ‘Urban People’ end of term 2 Celebration and lunch on 2 July (photo right is taken in the Trust’s kitchen where a weekly lunch is provided for up to 80 people. The stoves were funded from a Waitematā Local Board Community Grant)
  • Cycle Action Auckland’s Associates Breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 3 July
  • Urbanist meet- up on 3 July
  • Studio One Toi Tu Open Day on Saturday 5 July
  • PBA parking presentation by MR Cagney  to PBA members on 8 July
  • Super Kapa Haka  at the Cloud on 12 July
  • Sod Turning: Myers Park to mark the start of construction of the Myers Park Children’s playground on 14 July
  • IPENZ presentation on Shared Spaces
  • Pecha Kucha Town Hall Special Edition on 16 July
  • Bag It film night organised by Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away as part of Plastic Bag Free July
  • Lunch on 18 July hosted by Spliced/Lifewise to welcome the Waitematā’s new engagement advisor
  • ATC production of The Good Soul of Szchuan at Q Theatre (at the invitation of ATC)
  • Matariki Kite DayMatariki Manu Aute Kite Day at Taraparawha on 26 July (photo right)
  • Launch of Circability Trust’s Social programmes at the Campbell Free Kindergarten on 27 July (photos below)

Circability at Campbell Free Kindergarten


LGNZ conference report back

With some of the Local Board delegates at the LGNZ Conference in Nelson (L-R David Collings- Howick Local Board, Efeso Collins – Otara- Papatoetoe, Ruby Manukia-Schaumkel – Whau,   Lotu Fili, Otara-Papatoetoe  Simon Matafai- Whau, Ami Chand - Whau)
With some of the Local Board delegates at the LGNZ Conference in Nelson (L-R David Collings- Howick Local Board, Efeso Collins – Otara- Papatoetoe, Ruby Manukia-Schaumkel – Whau, Lotu Fili, Otara-Papatoetoe Simon Matafai- Whau, Ami Chand – Whau)

I attended the LGNZ Conference 2014 in Nelson as the Waitematā Local Board’s delegate.

The theme of the conference this year was: Powering local economies| Building vibrant communities.

The conference provided an excellent networking opportunity and a forum to develop thinking and expertise to best fulfil the role of local government. Recent research by LGNZ on New Zealanders’ views of local government showed that New Zealanders value local decisions by local people. On the other hand, local government needs to better explain what it does, the value it adds to local communities, and to account more for its performance. As Lawrence Yule said at the opening of the conference not enough New Zealanders understand the size and importance of local government in economic development and growth.

I found sessions that spoke to the challenges facing local government to be of most value but overall the programme lacked content relevant to the role of local boards. This has been a consistent theme over the 3 LGNZ conferences I have attended since the super city was established and I would very much like to see LGNZ address this for the conference in 2015 to be held in Rotorua.

Here are highlights from the conference programme*  (In preparing my report I have drawn on my own notes and the LGNZ conference media releases available at here)

Transforming towns and cities to build strong local economies and vibrant communities

Paul Piscale, Mayor of Ipswich

Mayor Piscale provided one of the most entertaining presentations of the conference.  He unwaveringly  maintains a positive attitude to create a happy community. Some of his initiatives include welcoming everyone for example hosting baby ceremonies.  I liked his refusal to play the blame game but to take responsibility for mistakes (this reminded me of Mayor Len Brown taking responsibility for the RWC opening night fiasco) .

Although Piscale claims to be strong on community engagement I found his boast that his 3 -term group of councillors ensure they bash everything out behind closed doors before having just a 15 minute public meetings a dubious approach. I wondered if the people of Ipswich think a positive, happy mayor compensates for the lack of democracy and transparency.

[Since the conference I have read that Piscale is being investigated for corruption]

The changing face of our regions opportunities and risks Shamubeel Eaqub, Principal Economist NZIER

Mr Eaqub is a straight talking economist. He spelt it out to the regions that the rest of the country shouldn’t envy Auckland as Auckland must succeed as a conduit to rest of the country. He also made the observation that there is a weird belief that if you shackle growth in Auckland it will show up in regions when in fact it will show up in Sydney.

He spoke to a number of challenges that local government has to confront. For example you cannot stop urbanisation. Young people are seeking opportunities, seeking density. He says this is a good thing.

He talked about the unstoppable forces (widening gap of technology, globalisation, urbanisation, aging) and called for place- based policies as a burning platform for change.

Globalisation – growth in future going to be close to us (China) but going to be challenging as all our institutions face west

Aging – means older people will have a different role in the economy. They will stop working and will be asset rich but income poor. Has an impact on rates affordability. How to get vitality of economy if don’t have workers – unstoppable force but question of how to take advantage.

Immigration can create loss of social trust. Need to use in a constructive way. A conversation of shared progress not of racism and envy. Technology is a good thing but has come at a cost. We’ve created an underclass of people who can’t access technology.

In talking about place based policies he quoted Enrico Moretti (The new geography of jobs) “Build on existing capabilities by leveraging local strengths and expertise”

He asked what is success? (GDP doesn’t cut it) and looked for a way ahead that needs a shared vision of a better NZ. Mr Shamubeel’s suggestion is for an inclusive NZ where everyone gets a fair go – if not then going in the wrong direction.

Factors that make Wellington based Xero a global success and why businesses locate where they do Rod Drury CEO, Xero

In the LGNZ media release it states that Mr Drury spoke about the opportunities for regional New Zealand and ways that local government can work with business to lead economic transformation.

“New Zealand is the country furthest away from its trading partners.  Technology is changing the game, allowing even service based businesses to play globally.  We’re moving away from manufacturing and export production to having strong knowledge based businesses, like Xero.  As location becomes irrelevant New Zealand regions are well-positioned as the ideal balance between lifestyle, creativity and working globally,” Mr Drury says

However Drury did not have a prepared speech and instead invited the audience to ask questions. He managed to pull it off because he comes across as a really nice guy operating an amazingly successful company.

My favourite response

Q: Should New Zealand build more malls?

A: No, we should build more cycleways and paths

Lifting governance and financial performance

Caroline Saunders, Professor of trade and environmental economics at Lincoln University and Dr Ganesh Nana, Chief Economist, BERL

Dr Nana and Prof Saunders spoke about the need to understand the uncertainties governing our future development, and the local implications of these trends, is essential for councils as they begin planning for the 2015 – 25 long term plans and infrastructure strategies. They discussed the nature of the social and economic factors driving change and reflected on the likely impact these pressures will have on New Zealand’s future development path.

Prof Saunders outlined that we need to think about value-added activities and what regions are good at, what they’re passionate about, and how to assess how that fits with the global environment and economy.

If want to grow regions must focus on high value not low cost and play to specialities (She considers Auckland to have identified strategic sectors with professional services accounting for 68%).  Emerging markets will pay a premium for NZ food with “credence attributes” such as ethical and fair trade food.

Dr Nana started his presentation by apologising for what economists have messed up over the last few years!

He said that the world is changing fast and New Zealand needs to think about its shared vision for the next 20, 30 and 40 years ahead. If interested in future have to make groups better off than today. Decisions today will make losers tomorrow

He suggested this needs to be a conversation between central and local government.

Taking advantage of Nelson's cycleways to bike to the conference venue from the hotel in Stoke
Taking advantage of Nelson’s cycleways to bike to the conference venue from the hotel in Stoke

Workshop: Economic impact of cycleways       

In opening up the workshop the Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull shared what the Chancellor has told him. The number One question of those looking to re-locate to Dunedin to work at the University is “Can you cycle to work?”

This workshop reinforced the huge economic benefits to be derived from investing in cycling backed up by impressive data.   As case studies we heard about the success of the  Motu cycle trail and the newly opened Tasman Trail.

–       45 extra jobs created

–       $5.1m contribution to local economy

–       25k cycling tourists

–       Mostly local residents but predicted to rise to 50% overseas visitors in next 5 years

From Hasting we heard from the Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers about the success of the NZTA model communities’ investment:

–       Target of 20% short trips by 2020

–       Injury crashes trending down

–       Safety trending up – cycle crash rates have halved

–       Increase in females exercising daily

Her tips:

–       Need to be bold and do it properly

–       Be resilient

–       Successful because of strong leadership

–       Powerful communities advocates

–       Clear vision of what you need

–       Don’t underestimate the community ability to change

–       Businesses have been turned around because of cycling

Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister

At the start of day 2 of the conference the PM addressed the conference.   I found his trumpeting of the investment by National in roading to be predictably short-sighted and out of tune with future transport trends.  The PM stated that investment in roading is a big part of future growth with the GPS recognising the importance of regional and local roads.

The RONS investment is $3bn of which $2bn state highway, $1bn local roads $913 co-funded.

He claimed his government is getting the balance right between environmental responsibilities and economic growth.

The PM also announced that Local Government Minister Paula Bennett will establish a Central Government and Local Government review group known as the Rules Reduction Taskforce.  “This Taskforce will listen to local concerns and find opportunities to reduce and improve local regulation.  It’s part of our response to the Productivity Commission’s report on Better Local Regulation, which Paula and Bill English released this morning.” He said

Hon David Cunliffe, Leader of the opposition

Cunliffe started his address with reflection on the  Waitakere City Council funded urban renewal of New Lynn. He saw this as an example of a successful local government and central government partnership working with the local business community.  Required a vision of local government based on the four well beings.

He believes we should be the fairest and most decent society in world that puts people first.

The Hon Cunliffe announced Labour’s new policy that seeks to identify the opportunities and barriers to growth, and will introduce practical measures to create change.  Labour’s $200 million regional development fund, he says, will be released over four years for projects that will have community-wide benefits and generate jobs in regions across New Zealand.

National events from metro to grass roots – needs, opportunities and key success factors for a town hosting a major event Therese Walsh Head of New Zealand ICC cricket World Cup 2015

Ms Walsh spoke about the international trends of hosting events:

  • Increased commercialism
  • Increased expectation of sponsors and investors
  • Public sector investment
  • Significant competition

NZ disadvantage of distance but the advantage of excellent relationships

Ms Walsh told the conference that global or major events – especially those that are truly national and span the country – give New Zealand and its communities a chance to shine in the competitive landscape of major events and that events rely on cities, towns and local communities to bring them to life.

“What does success look like for host city?  There is a hygiene factor – that they are delivered well, that teams and fans are welcomed, that ratepayers and local communities participate and enjoy major events, and that they activate business and tourism.  It is critical to the delivery of an effective event that resourcing including airports, police, transport all works together with councils,” Ms Walsh says (LGNZ media release).

Making localism work through innovation

Kobus Mentz, Director, Urbanismplus,  David Hammond CEO, Thames Coromandel District Council and Suzie Johnston, Managing Director, Oosh

Paul Walden (Waiheke) and Danielle Grant (Kaipatiki) sit at one of Nelson’s outside dining areas using former carparking space
Paul Walden (Waiheke) and Danielle Grant (Kaipatiki) sit at one of Nelson’s outside dining areas using former carparking space

I was particularly interested in Kobus’ presentation as he has worked with the Waitematā Local Board on the Ponsonby, K’rd and Newton plans.

Mr Mentz says that how partnerships are formed is important to making things happen in a community.  He discussed a number of planning projects where various entities had been involved in attracting capital, for an outcome that would benefit a community, such as the retail environment University Hill in Melbourne that was enabled by zoning and came to fruition through local government working with business, and a creative quarter in Melbourne that saved heritage buildings and became a place in the community for creative industry jobs to locate.

“Having the right conversations with right people in right way is pertinent to an outcome.  Councils have a critical role to play in setting the pre-conditions for employment growth and community well-being, which underpins sustainable communities.” (LGNZ media release)

He spoke about arts investment has a return of 11:1 compared with road projects rarely reaching higher than 4:1. He challenged politicians to calculate the evidence bias

I was also very impressed to hear about the community empowerment that has taken place in the Coromandel district.   The CEO explained about the steps taken to decentralise service delivery, budget and decision making delegations, revenue setting, and planning and development. They are looking to establish integrated local leadership with one vision (The TCDC community empowerment video shown at the conference is worth a watch)

The final speaker at the conference, Suzie Johnson ended with a super positive presentation about her success with investing in small towns. She strongly recommends developing good relationships with Council, networking and asking for things in a positive way.

Attendance costs

My conference registration, accommodation (x 2 nights), Nelson transfers and my airfare to and from Nelson were paid for from a Local Board Services professional development budget.

I hitched a lift to and from Auckland Airport


Declaration of interests to 30 June 2014

Auckland Council’s Code of Conduct requires elected representatives to complete an annual declaration of interests. The latest declaration is for the period to 30 June 2014.

As well as the annual declaration I report all gifts in my monthly board reports and have declared all my  interests at the beginning of each term of the Waitemata Local Board (recorded in the minutes).

As an elected representative I wish to be as transparent and open as possible about all my interests.  I take very seriously my responsibility to approach decision making with an open mind, to make decisions in the public interest and to be fully accountable for my decisions and actions. Being completely open about my interests is just one of the ways I personally wish to maintain the high standard of conduct that is expected of me in my role.

Declaration to 30 June 2014 (submitted on 23 July 2014)

Property interests: Owned jointly – 16 Firth Road, Grey Lynn 1021


  • Partner/spouse –  Paul Shortland Limited
  • Partner/spouse –  Palletlock Limited
  • Partner/spouse –  Firth Road Trustees Limited
  • Partner/spouse- Upshot Solutions Limited

Companies, Controlling interests:*

  • Partner/spouse –  Paul Shortland Limited
  • Partner/spouse –  Palletlock Limited
  • Partner/spouse –  Firth Road Trustees Limited
  • Partner/spouse – Upshot Solutions Limited


  • Treasurer and Trustee of Connected Media Trust
  • Trustee of Grey Lynn 2030 Transition Community Trust
  • Trustee of Kelmarna Community Garden Trust (until May 2013)

Community Organisations:

  • Chair – Grey Lynn Farmers Market Management Committee
  • Member – Grey Lynn RSC (until December 2013)
  • Member – Sustainable Business Network (until February 2014)
  • Member – Auckland Girls Grammar old girls’ Association
  • Member – Grey Lynn Business Association (until November 2013)
  • Member – Cycle Action Auckland (until December 2013)
  • Member – Vintage Austin Register
  • Member – YWCA (November 2012- November 2013)

Appointments/Debtors/Employment/Creditors:  NA

Gifts, third party funding and discharged debts:

  • Tickets to Auckland Arts Festival 2013 – various shows, Approximate value: over $300 in value, provided by the Festival Trust
  • Tickets to ATC opening night productions approximately every 6 weeks, Approximate value:  over $300 per year
  • Tickets to Big Day Out 2014 from Regional Facilities    Approximate value:  over $300

Additional Declarations:

Partner, Paul Shortland’s positions:
Member Alternative Transport Funding Independent Advisory Board and Auckland Council’s Cycle Advisory Group
Deputy Chair and Treasurer of Cycle Action Auckland

* Explanations and caveats:

Companies: Companies where more than 10% of the issued capital is owned

Companies: Controlling interests in companies

Employment: Employment other than as an elected representative to Auckland Council

Appointments: Excludes appointments made by Auckland Council Governing Body or Local Boards

Debtors and Creditors: Amounts greater than $50,000 only. Does not include short term loans (<90 days), loans to family members, relationship property settlements or mortgages from registered banks.

Gifts: Over the value of $300

Monthly Board Report July 2014

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during June 2014 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee.

From 14 June until 7 July I have also been acting Chair

Local Board Plan

During June I have been part of the Local Board team organising the Pecha Kucha event that will launch our draft Local Board Plan on 16 July at the Town Hall. We have a great line up of fantastic presenters who all in some way shape the beating heart of Tāmaki Makarau. This is the first time the Pecha Kucha format has been used for an engagement event by local government in New Zealand.

We’ve also planned a series of drop in sessions across Waitematā to answer questions on the draft Local Board Plan. Consultation starts on 7 July.

Waitemata Local Board draft Plan

Community engagement

In addition to the Local Board Plan there is an overwhelming number of engagement processes underway or about to start. This is putting a lot of pressure on our local volunteer community groups who are understandably feeling very stretched:

The Auckland Council website Shape Auckland is the online hub for all consultations.

Ponsonby Road plan coverPonsonby Road Plan

At our June meeting we adopted the final of the Ponsonby Road Plan that sets a framework for the development of Ponsonby Road over the next 30 years.  The process to draft a Plan got under way with my Notice of Motion in October 2012.  I am really delighted to have reached this point and thank all those who contributed, in particular, the members of the working group, all those who took the time to submit on the draft, Rebecca Sanders, Auckland Planner who put all the work in behind the scenes and Tricia Reade who brought her considerable enthusiasm to the project last term.

The Ponsonby Road Plan establishes five desired outcomes including recognising the area as a vibrant centre, protecting historic and cultural heritage and making the road safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The plan can be found on the Council website under “Council Strategies and Plans”

Urban Regeneration and Renewal

At the Auckland conversation in June,  Dr Tim Williams – CEO Committee for Sydney gave a beginners guide on Urban Regeneration and Renewal. Some highlights from his presentation that focused on “convergence” -how to achieve the best results through equalising disadvantaged parts of city with wealthier parts.

A mixed community is more important than clever financing, delivery vehicles and social projects in addressing inequality

The best city leaders do three things well:

  • Achieve smart growth
  • Do more for less
  • Win support for change

You can’t reduce cost of housing by building more because the price is determined by 90% of current stock.

To keep things the same you have to change

Building more roads creates sprawl. Sprawl creates poverty. Sprawl may be killing social mobility

Waitemata Local Board members outside Studio One Ponsonby RoadReveal of Studio One

As acting Chair I had the good fortune to represent the Board at an event to reveal the new name for Art Station. My speech notes and a media release to announce Studio One are attached (ATTACHMENTS A and B)

Portfolio Reports: Community

Central Joint Funding Committee Meeting

The Committee with representatives of all the Central Local Boards (Chaired by Desley Simpson) met on 20 June to consider applications for grants from the Auckland City Cultural Heritage Fund (a legacy Auckland City Council fund for the purpose of conserving, restoring and protected valued historic heritage items).

A total of $23,326 was allocated from the second round of the 14/15 fund to 11 applicants (from a total of 18) with 7 grants made in the Waitematā Local Board area.  Details of the successful applications are available on the Council website.

Kelmarna Organic Gardens

On 22 May, the Board office was made aware of an incident at Hukanui Reserve, which is occupied by Kelmarna Organic Gardens in Grey Lynn. Ashes from a recently deceased client were scattered over parts of the garden.

The gardens are on land that has been leased from the council to the Kelmarna Community Garden Trust for the last 32 years. The Trust has a licence with Framework Trust to operate the gardens. Framework Trust provides staff for the gardens as part of their ongoing rehabilitation programmes.  All staff were withdrawn from the site following the incident, while the Kelmarna Community Garden Trust, Framework Trust and Auckland Council staff from Te Waka Angamua (Maori Strategy and Relations) decided how to proceed.

I attended a blessing on site on 3 June which allowed normal activities to resume and a follow- up meeting to discuss next steps with all those involved. I’ve been really impressed with the sensitive way the issue has been handled and the commitment to ensure the gardens continue to flourish.

The Board is considering the application for a new lease at Hukanui Reserve at our July meeting (refer meeting agenda). If the Board agrees the granting of a new lease this will be advertised for submissions and officers will commence iwi consultation.


Congratulations to Isabella Lenihan- Iken who was elected to the Youth Advisory Panel as the Waitematā representative during June. The details are attached in the youth update (ATTACHMENT C). Isabella’s induction to the Panel will be held on 28 July.

Myers Park Centenary meeting

There was a large turnout for the community meeting to discuss centenary celebrations for Myers Park next year.

Notes from the meeting are attached (ATTACHMENT D)

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

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

Portfolio reports:  Transport

Pocket park on Quay StreetCity Centre Route Optimisation

At our June meeting Auckland Transport reported on a number of small but important changes that have been underway in the City Centre aimed at improving the pedestrian experience. These are part of the route optimisation programme that is not just aimed at vehicle efficiency. For example:

  • removal of the slip lane on Lower Albert Street (next to the new pocket park on Quay Street in the photo right)
  • Installation of a  Barnes dance on the intersection of Quay St and Hobson St

These positive changes were covered by Transport Blog in more detail on 10 June.

Auckland Transport Parking Discussion Document

At our June Board meeting we requested Auckland Transport extend the consultation period on the parking discussion document.

Due to the high level of interest on the issues raised by the discussion document the public consultation period has been extended to 31 July.

During June I attended meetings organised by the Freemans Bay Residents Association to discuss the parking approaches proposed by Auckland Transport to manage parking on residential streets.

Sneakdown with snow StreetfilmsFranklin Road sneakdown from storm debrisAfter the storm

The June storm that brought down many trees in our area (including a large gum tree in Grey Lynn Park) also dumped lots of debris on our roads providing a unique opportunity to see how much road space is unused.  Streetfilms has coined the expression “sneakdown” for this phenomenon when it occurs after heavy snowfall (a shorter way of saying snowy neckdown and a neckdown is another name for a kerb extension).

On Franklin Road we have the perfect amount of room for a cycle lane!


June resolutions in response to Auckland Transport’s Report

Resolution number WTM/2014/82

MOVED by Deputy Chairperson PJ Coom, seconded by Member CP Dempsey:

That the Auckland Transport Report – June 2014 be received.

That the Waitemata Local Board:

  • Approves the design for the Upper Queen Street Bridge connecting the Grafton Gully cycleway to the North Western cycleway subject to intersection light phasing that prioritises walking and cycling.
  • Approves funding a drinking fountain on the corner of Ian McKinnon Driveand Upper Queen Street as part of the Upper Queen Street Bridge cycleway design to the budget sum of $15,000 from the Waitemata Local Board Transport Capex Fund 12/13.
  • Requests that Auckland Transport installs route way-finding signage along the entire Grafton Gully cycle way route and connection to the North-Western cycleway in time for the opening of the Upper Queen Street Bridge in September 2014.
  • Requests that Auckland Transport investigate options for quickly providing a cycleway connection from the Upper Queen Street Bridge to Karangahape Road.
  • That officers investigate the beautification of the bridge as a gateway feature into the city centre, to be included in the scope of the project and reported back to the Waitemata Local Board, as this endorses the City Centre Master Plan.
  • That Priscilla Steel, Elected Members Liaison Manager (Auckland Transport) and Matthew Ah Mu, Engineer – Investigation & Design (Auckland Transport) be thanked for their attendance


Monthly transport update

A monthly update with Auckland Transport took place on  25 June. Current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 June – 30 June I attended:

  • Local Board workshop on 2 June
  • Kelmarna Garden’s blessing on 3 June
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 5 June
  • Maori responsiveness training for elected representatives – a 2 part forum for elected representatives wishing to raise their awareness of the Māori fabric of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland,  deepen their understanding of Councils commitments to Māori, and discuss ways of establishing and strengthening relationships with the communities, hapu, iwi and leaders within Maoridom.  Content was delivered by subject matter experts from Te Waka Angamua Māori Strategy & Relations Department
  • Ponsonby Business Association strategy meeting
  • Te Kakano 1 (Te reo Māori ) Exam at AUT
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting at Grey Lynn Community Centre on 10 June
  • Meeting with Kelmarna Gardens Trustees, Framework and Council advisers on 11 June
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 12 June
  • Briefing from Gerard Linstrom  of Chorus re Ultra-Fast Broad Band rollout in Waitemata
  • Standing Orders and meetings processes. A seminar to provide a comprehensive and interactive experience on the “ins and outs” of Standing Orders for Local Government meetings involving elected representative facilitated by Steve McDowell and Vern Walsh, of Meeting and Governance Solutions
  • Freemans Bay Residents Association meetings on the Auckland Transport’s Parking Discussion Document on 12 June and 16 June
  • Local Board workshop on 13 June
  • Chair’s weekly update with Relationship Manager on 16 June
  • St Luke’s notice of requirement meeting with Auckland Council legal team
  • Myers Park Centenary meeting on 17 June (see meeting notes Attachment E)
  • Waterfront Auckland Forum at the Voyager museum on 18 June Waterfront Auckland Chairman, Sir Bob Harvey and Chief Executive, John Dalzell spoke about the next stage of this development and how Waterfront Auckland will be progressing a comprehensive plan for the waterfront.
  • Meeting with Freemans Park Body Corporate representatives to discuss overland flow path issues
  • CDAC Work Programme discussion with Community Portfolio to review the 2014/2015 CDAC work programme for reporting to the July business meeting.
  • Meeting with Central Library Manager to discuss CAB arrangements
  • Central Joint Funding Committee Meeting – Auckland City Cultural Heritage Fund applications on 19 June
  • Standing orders workshopStanding Orders Political Working Party meeting (as alternate to the Chair who is the Board’s rep on the working party) – photo right with members of the working party (Photo Credit: Cathy Casey)
  • Chair’s weekly update with Relationship Manager on 23 June
  • Local Board Chairs Forum meeting on 23 June
  • Community meeting organised by the Grey Lynn Business Association to discuss the development application at 367-375 Great North Road
  • Local Board Workshop on 24 June
  • Meeting of PBA members to discuss the Local Alcohol Policy at the Longroom on Ponsonby Road on 24 June
  • Ponsonby Community Centre committee meeting on 24 June
  • Communications catch up on 25 June
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 25 June
  • Meeting with Ernst Zollner, NZTA Director Auckland & Northland and Director Road Safety: to discuss NZTA projects in the Waitematā area
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 26 June
  • Meeting on 27 June with Freemans Bay Residents Association to discuss feedback on the Parking Discussion Document
  • Meeting with Tony Skelton, Chair, St Marys Bay Association

Solar at the Auckland MuseumEvents and functions

In the period 1 June – 30 June I attended:

  • Auckland Museum Solar Launch on 4 June (photo right)
  • Pecha Kucha at Q Theatre on 4 June
  • Cycle Action Auckland’s Associates Breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 5 June
  • POP Projects 02: Bee Jam at Art Station on 6 June
  • Generation Zero Art Auction at Fizzy Vibes Gallery on 11 June
  • Grey Lynn Business Association Networking drinks at the Grey Lynn RSC on 11 June
  • Auckland Conversations: Urban Regeneration and Renewal: A beginners guide with Dr Tim Williams – CEO Committee for Sydney on 12 June at the Aotea Centre
  • Annie at the Civic on 13 June
  • Campaign for better transport AGM at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 20 June
  • POP project 06 , Hikoi at Western Springs on 21 June with Prince Davis (photo below)

Western Springs Hikoi

  • ATC production of Once on Chunuk Bair at the Maidment Theatre (at the invitation of ATC)
  • New Zealand Opera – a special concert to announce five newly appointed Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists at the Aotea Centre
  • Tuesdays with Morrie at the Factory Theatre, Newmarket (at the invitation of the Newmarket Stage Company)
  • Studio One Reveal on 27 June – The new name and identity for Artstation  (Refer ATTACHMENTS A and B)
  • Travelwise celebration hosted by Auckland Transport at Eden Park on 26 June
  • Charandas Chor – the Honest Thief at TAPAC on 26 June (at the invitation of  Prayas Theatre and TAPAC)
  • Sunday Roast at Q Theatre on 27 June
  • Matariki Dawn Karakia on 28 June at the Cloud to herald in the Maori New Year and commence the Matariki Festival (on until 28 July)

Studio One opens door to creative community

Studio One OpenAfter a major refurbishment by the Waitemata Local Board, the new look Art Station was officially opened on 25 June as Studio One  Toi Tu.  As acting Chair I had the good fortune to represent the Board at an event to reveal the new name.

Media Release:  Creative Spark ignited in Ponsonby

Studio One on Facebook


Kia ora hui hui mai tātau

E te iwi tenā koutou

E ngā mana, e ngā reo E ngā hau e whā

Nau mai, piki mai, haere mai

Welcome on behalf of the Waitematā Local Board and thank you, Louise [Louise Mason, Manager, Community Development, Arts and Culture]. It is fantastic to be here on such an exciting evening representing the Board.

Studio One reveal speechShale Chambers, Chair of the Waitematā Local Board, really wanted to be here for the BIG REVEAL but unfortunately he is away for his 30th wedding anniversary (I think that is an acceptable excuse even if he is in the sun in Greece). With me from the Board are Greg Moyle (Arts and Culture portfolio holder with Shale) , Deborah Yates, Christopher Dempsey and Vernon Tava.  Rob Thomas sends his apologies. I’d like to acknowledge Tricia Reade who is here and was very much part of this project when she was on the Board.

As Louise has mentioned, we are in a very special heritage building, in the heart of a vibrant, passionate community.  I understand we are in fact in Auckland Council’s first creative precinct.

I’d like to acknowledge the founders and those before us who laid the foundations and kept a creative precinct alive through many challenges.

Waitemata Local Board members outside Studio One Ponsonby RoadThe Waitematā Local Board is highly aware of the changing demographics of residents and businesses in central Auckland. We know that we need to provide places and spaces that are flexible, versatile and meet the needs of our community within ongoing budget constraints.  This led us last year to take a fresh look at the precinct.

We pride ourselves on putting our communities at the heart of our decision-making but I recognise that it hasn’t been an easy process. I’d like to acknowledge and thank those who were involved in the extensive review and consultation process last year to develop a new vision for 1 Ponsonby Road.

The precinct is now a collection of collaborative spaces for artists, creative businesses and individuals, and community organisations to meet, to make, to learn, to listen, to practise, to create and to exhibit.

Creative people can propose, present and host courses, programmes and events – anything is possible here, and every idea is welcomed. To support the new vision, a new name and identity was needed to signal the change and to invite new people to explore and be part of the precinct and its spaces.

New names can be a risky. We want to respect and acknowledge the history of the land, the place and the people who have come before us. We want an ‘open’ name and identity: one that signals we are a community precinct that can be used by many different communities for many different uses in many different ways.

We also would like to clearly communicate the buildings’ many functions. So without any further delay, I take great pride in welcoming you all to STUDIO ONE – TOI TU, a place for many purposes, many people and every possibility.