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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

 

 

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