Councillor monthly report November 2021

My Councillor report covers the period from 9 October to 5 November 2021.  It has been prepared for the November business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.

Positions  

  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Climate Political Reference Group
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group

Summary

  • At the time of writing this report, Auckland remains at Alert Level 3 Step 1. This is the first phase of a three-part plan by the Government to ease COVID-19 restrictions across the region. In line with restrictions, all meetings and workshops are taking place online.
  • Remaining water restrictions were lifted on 21 October as water storage reached 93%.
  • Business support was extended by council and a request made to government to amend relevant legislation to support the serving of alcohol at outside dining venues.
  • Governing Body agreed on 28 October to increase local board decision-making over local community services and address inequities in local community services funding.
  • Contactless click and collect library service for Aucklanders started on 2 November.
  • Tāmaki Makaurau was named the best city to travel to for 2022 by Lonely Planet with heading into the Hauraki islands to spot takahē on Tiritiri Matangi or taste wine on Waiheke and seeing the cutting edge of the city’s culture at Auckland Art Gallery named in Lonely Planet’s top 5 things to do in Auckland.
  • The Planning Committee on 4 November endorsed the objectives and principle that will underpin a revised Parking Strategy (I have written about why I spoke strongly in support in a post Good for Auckland Parking)

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions  

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.

On 14 October the Environment and Climate Change Committee

  • Received a presentation from the Equal Justice Project
  • Adopted the Community Facilities’ Sustainable Asset Policy
  • Noted the end of year report for natural environment and water quality targeted rates 2020/2021. Ponsonby News Targeted rates doing their work
  • Delegated authority to the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee and an Independent Māori Statutory Board member to approve council’s submission on the National Emission Reduction Plan consultation document.

On 21 October the Extraordinary meeting of the Governing Body

  • Agreed to the removal of remaining water use restrictions.

On 21 October the Finance and Performance Committee

  • Received a presentation from Eden Park Trust Board
  • Received a “Council support for business affected by Covid-19” report and agreed to:
    • extend the Postponement of rates for ratepayers impacted by COVID-19 scheme to cover the rates for the 2021/2022 financial year
    • request the government to amend relevant legislation to provide for temporary variations to on-licence conditions to support outside dining during COVID-19 restrictions (and allow councils to extend alcohol licences at no extra cost)
    • request the government to significantly enhance its business support package for Auckland.

Our Auckland:  Covid 19 support for Auckland businesses

 On 26 October the Council Controlled Organisations Oversight Committee

  • Received Ports of Auckland Limited’s Annual Report 2021 and full year results compared against performance targets from the Statement of Corporate Intent for the year ending 30 June 2021
  • Received Ports of Auckland Limited’s final Statement of Corporate Intent 2021-2024
  • Received the 2020/21 annual reports for City Rail Link Limited and Haumaru Housing
  • Received the 2020/21 annual reports for COMET Auckland, Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust and Contemporary Art Foundation
  • Received an update on the implementation programme for the Council-controlled Organisations Review.

On 28 October the Governing Body

  • Received a COVID-19 briefing and Auckland Emergency Management status update from Phil Wilson, Acting Controller Auckland Emergency Management
  • Received Ports of Auckland Limited progress update on implementation of CHASNZ health and safety review recommendations, and requested Ports of Auckland Limited provide updates on the implementation of the recommendations from the independent review of health and safety to the CCO Oversight Committee as a part of Ports of Auckland’s quarterly performance reporting
  • Received a summary review from Construction Health and Safety New Zealand on how Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) is progressing with the implementation of the recommendations from the independent review of health and safety at the Port.
  • Supported the proposal to increase local board decision-making responsibilities to all local community services within the funding envelope allocated to each local board, including decisions on local service assets to be consulted on as part of the Annual Plan 2022-23
  • Supported in principle the proposal to establish an alternative service level equity and funding policy to address inequities in local community services funding.

On 2 November the Appointments and Performance Review Committee

  • Noted an update on the initial phase of the Strategic Workforce Planning project
  • Delegated to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor responsibility for overseeing council’s input into the appointment process for two vacancies on the City Rail Link Limited Board
  • Considered the following as confidential items:
    • approval of a short-list of candidates for one vacancy on the board of Watercare Services Limited
    • appointment of board interns to participate in the programme for 2022-2023
    • Chief Executive Remuneration Review
  • (Our Auckand:  Appointment of Mark Darrow to the AT Board)

On 4 November the Planning Committee

  • Delegated to the Mayor, Chair and Deputy Chair of the Planning Committee and a Member of the Independent Māori Statutory Board the authority to approve the council’s submission on the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply) Amendment Bill and agreed the council’s submission will raise a number of issues including the appropriateness of the proposed decision-making role of the Minister for the Environment and the significant implications of enabling three-storey medium density development across most parts of urban Auckland (and some rural settlements) as well as the quality of development that would be enabled
  • Endorsed the objectives and principles, as recommended as a package by the Auckland Transport Board, to form the strategic direction underpinning the development of the 2022 Parking Strategy (I have written about why I spoke in support in a post Good for Auckland Parking )
  • Endorsed the Eke Panuku Board decision to cease the operation of the tram in Wynyard Quarter in late 2022.

Other meetings and key activities 9 October to 5 November 2021 

  • On 11 October I attended an online Mihi Whakatau welcoming Herewini Te Koha, council’s new Tumuaki Huanga Māori/Director of Māori Outcomes
  • Also on 11 October I attended a planning meeting for a pop-up drive through vaccination site at Skycity
  • On 12 October I attended a briefing from Waste Solutions regarding the Claris Landfill closure
  • On 12 October I attended the Finance and Performance Committee Have Your Say Event to hear submissions regarding Development Contributions
  • On 12 October I attended the launch of the Auckland Climate Festival
  • On 15 October I gave an interview with 95 bFM where I discussed the upcoming Super Saturday vaccination event and the success of targeted rates
  • Also on 15 October I attended a workshop for the Cycling Programme Business Case Political Reference Group facilitated by AT
  • On 16 October visited the Graham Street Vaccination Centre for Super Saturday and received my second dose
  • On 18 October I attended a LGNZ hui for all councils on Three Waters
  • On 19 October I attended the Waitematā Local Board business meeting and presented my monthly councillor’s report
  • Auckland Conversations online: Greening Our City

    Also on 19 October I delivered the vote of thanks for the Auckland Conversations event: Greening Our City

  • On 20 October I attended the Transport Emissions Reference Group to observe in my capacity as alternate
  • On 21 October 20 I received a briefing from Vector on options to reinforce the electricity needed at Auckland Hospital
  • On Sunday 24 October and the following two Sundays I attended MP Chlöe Swarbrick’s community hui covering discussions on the City Centre, Waiheke, and Ponsonby & Bays with an informative panel of speakers
  • On 26 October I chaired the Weed Management Political Advisory Group meeting
  • On 27 October I attended the LGNZ National Council Meeting re the Government’s Three waters policy announcement
  • On 27 October I attended the Waiheke Local Board business meeting and presented my monthly councillor’s report
  • On 29 October I gave an interview with 95 bFM where I discussed recommendations for the Auckland Light Rail team and the need for rapid transport options in Auckland. I also discussed Auckland Libraries’ and Council’s response to a petition asking for a click and collect service
  • Also on 29 October I received a briefing on progress on the Eastern Isthmus Programme from Watercare and Healthy Waters representatives
  • On 4 November I attended a judging session for the Mayoral Conservation Awards
  • Heart of the City commissioned work Nature Wins! By Deborah Crowe for Art Week on the Freyberg Place steps. Photo credit: @chamfy via twitter

    Also on 4 November I attended a Light Rail discussion with the Minister for Transport Michael Wood

  • On 5 November I attended the Central City Alcohol and Community Safety meeting
  • Also on 5 November I attended the LGNZ Metro Sector meeting session with Minister David Parker to discuss RMA reform proposals
  • Auckland Artweek launched on 5 November
  • Throughout lockdown I have attended the regular covid briefings held for elected representatives.

Media

Hauraki Gulf Forum

The Hauraki Gulf Forum contribution to the Auckland Climate Festival (14 – 31 October ) was our Kōrero podcasts: Stories from the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, Tīkapa Moana, Te Moananui-ā-Toi hosted by Qiane Matata-Sipu with these wonderful inspiring people (photo right).

The Tāmaki Makaurau Mana Whenua Forum and Auckland Council are partnering to give the Category B heritage shelter down on Quay St a new purpose through promoting te taiao (the natural environment) and providing environmental education focused on the navigation stories of mana whenua and their connections to Te Moananui o Toi, Tikapa Moana. (Our Auckland: Heritage Shelter repurposed to promote te taiao)

During the renovations of the shelter, the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s artwork, designed by Dave Gunson, was selected to wrap the building to attract Aucklanders’ attention to the project to come.

The wrap will be repurposed and used as promotional banners for rangatahi events. This work has been led by co-chair Nicola MacDonald in her capacity as the chair of Pou Te Taiao, the Environment sub-committee of the Tāmaki Makarau Mana Whenua Forum.

Our Auckland: Protecting the Hauraki Gulf