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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)

 

 

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