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Chair’s Monthly Report May 2018

This report covers the period 11 April – 8 May 2018.  

 Highlights

10-year budget and Local Board priorities

The Waitematā Local Board received almost 1500 submissions on the Council’s 10-year budget and Local Board priorities. I enjoyed reading them all to understand concerns and what we need to improve on. It was also hugely encouraging to receive such positive feedback confirming we are heading in the right direction.

A summary of the feedback received was presented at a board business meeting on 3 May.  

Highlights include:

  • 72% support the regional fuel tax wanting the additional funding to be directed at improving public transport and walking & cycling
  • 81% support the proposed water quality targeted rate (to stop sewage going into the harbour)
  • 69% support natural environment targeted rate
  • 63% support the proposed rates increase of 2.5%
  • 83% support or partially support the local board’s priorities

Other themes

  • Support for additional Auckland Art Gallery funding of $20m
  • Support for Victoria Quarter city centre improvements
  • Support for Vision Zero to be included in the Auckland Plan 2050
  • Strong support for continuing to develop the Auckland cycling network with separated cycleways
  • Support for increased support to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.

The Board’s feedback on the 10-year budget 2018-2028 and the draft Auckland Plan 2050 is available on the minutes to the 3 May meeting. We also approved our advocacy initiatives that will form an appendix to the Local Board Agreement 2018/2019.

Auckland Waste Management and Minimisation Plan

The draft waste plan was consulted on at the same time as the 10-year budget. We received 130 submissions from the board area.  There was a strong level of support for the overall direction of the draft plan and the proposals consulted on.

The board’s feedback (Attachment 1) was presented at the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan hearing on 3 May by the Natural Environment portfolio holders Denise Roche and Rob Thomas.

 Regional Land Transport Plan feedback

 The Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) lays out the vision for Auckland’s transport infrastructure over the next ten years- an accessible, safe and sustainable city and region.  The goal of the RLTP is to ensure that Auckland can address its current challenges and take advantage of future growth. The RLTP focuses on:

  • reducing congestion
  • improving freight reliability
  • road safety
  • promoting walking and cycling
  • advancing public transport.

The Board’s presentation to Regional Transport Committee hearing on the RLTP is attached (Attachment 2). The board’s submission will be finalised by 17 May.

Homelessness

We know from the feedback we regularly receive and through the 10-year Budget consultation that our residents would really like to see homelessness and rough sleeping tackled so we no longer have vulnerable people sleeping out on our streets.  The board has agreed to the following advocacy positions to be included in our Local Board Agreement 18/19.  At the same time we welcome the government’s announcement that $100m is to be invested in homelessness including an increase in the number of places available through Housing First, a solution that has been shown to work.

Housing solution for homeless people

Deliver short and medium-term housing solutions to address homelessness

  •  The Governing Body to partner with the Waitematā Local Board to enhance provision of city centre public facilities such as toilets, showers and lockers
  • The Governing Body to financially support the development of Mission HomeGround
  • The Governing Body to increase funding to support Housing First Auckland

Storm Damage

Auckland was hit by a severe storm on the evening of 10 April that caused wide spread power outages and the toppling of trees all over Auckland.  At Western Springs a number of large trees came down causing paths to be closed (the track through the Western Springs pine stand will remain closed while 30 pine trees are assessed that are at risk of toppling).   Our Auckland story on track closures: Attachment 3

Tree debris is being collected by Auckland Council’s contractor Ventia from the side of the road. There is currently a backlog that I have been advised should be cleared by the week beginning 14 May.

Auckland’s Road Safety Crisis

As reported on last month I attended the Road Safety Summit in Wellington called by the Associate Minister of Transport.

Tragically in the past three years, Auckland’s deaths and serious injuries (DSI) have increased at almost triple the rate of the rest of NZ and around five times the growth of travel. Of 29 world cities, Auckland has the second highest pedestrian fatality rate (Our Auckland story: Attachment 4).

Red light running is particularly an issue in the city centre. This has been highlighted at the intersection of Nelson Street and Union St on the Freemans Bay School walking route that has been subject of recent complaints (a video posted on social media showed seven drivers red light running in just one light phase). I have been following this up with AT and NZ Police who are yet to confirm what action is going to be taken.

I reported on road safety issues in the latest Ponsonby News update and the completion of the Ponsonby Pedestrian Improvement project (Attachment 5)

Monkey Bars are back in Grey Lynn Park

 The playground upgrade at Grey Lynn Park completed in November 2016 removed monkey bars from the design.  Following a petition from twins Ila and Jaya Patel (photo right) the Board agreed to fund new monkey bars.  The new equipment has now been installed (Our Auckland story: Attachment 6).

Meetings and workshops: 11 April until 8 May 2018

  • Weekly chair’s meeting held every Monday with the local board services team
  • Government Policy Statement on Land Transport – briefing session with transport strategy team on 12 April to discuss local board feedback
  • Catch up with Maggie Gresson, of Artists Alliance and board member Richard Northey
  • Meeting with Ian Clark (Director at Flow Transportation Specialists Ltd) on 12 April regarding Western Springs Precinct parking project
  • Breakfast meeting with Mark Ames from Strategic Cities hosted by Auckland Transport
  • Catch up with Jill Keyser from Splice on 13 April
  • April cluster workshop for local board members on 16 April
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 17 April
  • Meeting on 18 April to discuss local board advocacy items
  • Ports of Auckland presentation for board members on 19 April draft 30 year masterplan
  • Board all day workshops on 24 April, 1 May and 8 May
  • Inner city network meeting at Auckland Central Library on 26 April
  • Meeting to discuss representation review
  • Monthly comms meeting on 26 April
  • Regional Land Transport Plan briefing by Auckland Transport for local board members on 30 April
  • Finance and Performance committee workshop on 2 May: 10 year budget update
  • RLTP hearing on 7 May (Attachment 2)
  • Ponsonby Business Association board monthly meeting on 8 May

Events and functions:  11 April until 8 May 2018

  • Regional Facilities Auckland tour of the Civic Theatre and function for local board members and advisory panel members on 11 April (photo right)
  • How London became a cycling city presentation by Mark Ames from Strategic Cities hosted by Russell McVeagh
  • Launch on 13 April at the Cloud of a trial of two city centre e-buses by the Mayor and Associate Minister for Transport Julie-Anne Genter (photo below right)
  • Popped into the  Waitemata Safe Routes drop in session at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 14 April led by Boffa Miskell who have been engaged by Auckland Transport to lead a technical review of the Waitemata Safe Routes programme
  • Pump tracks are for girls too!” event with Sarah Walker organised by Women in Urbanism at the Grey Lynn pump track on 14 April
  • Eco Day Festival at EcoMatters on 15 April
  • Opening of Body Worlds Vital at the Hilton Hotel on 23 April
  • The opening night of Southern Star – Te Tonga Whetu o te Rangi on 24 April including live musical performances choreographed to architectural-scale, light artworks by Jeff Smith and Johann Nortje projected onto the historic brick and stone walls of St David’s. (My speech: Attachment 7)
  • Anzac day dawn service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Spoke on behalf of the board at the Grey Lynn RSC Anzac day service (My speech: Attachment 8). Photo below presenting the local board wreath with board member Denise Roche
  • Comedy Gala opening night on 26 April at the invitation of ATEED
  • Re-opening of the Richmond Road Medical Centre on 27 April by PM Jacinda Adern
  • Trash to Trade competition organised by Grey Lynn Waste Away at the Grey Lynn RSC on 29 April (photo below)
  • Mrs Warren’s profession opening night at the ASB Waterfront Theatre at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company
  • Unveiling of Te Toka o Apihai Te Kawau by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ports of Auckland on 4 May (photo right)
  • Foundation North lunch on 4 May to launch their Strategic Plan with the PM and Mayor Goff
  • Attended the Fossil Free Acceleration Tour with Bill McKibben and 350 Aotearoa at the Auckland Town Hall on 7 May
  • Feijoa Festival at Tabac, Mills Lane on 8 May

Photo right: Trash to Trade competition.  Grey Lynn 2030 trustee Brigette Stigid with board member Denise Roche who spoke at the event and board member Adriana Avendaño Christie who was one of the judges, alongside Metal as Anything Creations‘ Andrew Palace. The established artisans category was won by Jared Diprose from Goose Boards the new designer category by Fiona Bonner from Floroganza, and the young makers category by Briar Shaw-Smith.

 

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