Councillor report February 2021

My Councillor report covers the period from 1 December 2020 until 5 February 2021 including a summer break.  It has been prepared for the February business meetings of the Aotea Great Barrier and Waitematā Board 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 and meetings, regional consultations, media updates and key issues. This is my first report for 2021.

 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
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group
Summary
  • The Mayoral Long-Term Plan (2021-2031) proposal was adopted for consultation on 9 December with a 20:1 vote.  The “Recovery Budget”, going out for consultation on 22 February, focuses on:
    • Auckland’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19
    • Maintaining and renewing community assets and building infrastructure
    • Protecting the environment and responding to climate change
  • Water restrictions were relaxed as of 14 December allowing the use of an outdoor hose provided it is handheld and has a trigger nozzle
  • On Sunday 31 January a rāhui was placed by Ngāti Pāoa prohibiting the take of four species: kōura/crayfish, tīpa/scallops, pāua and kūtai/mussels from Waiheke waters out to one nautical mile.
Covid-19 Response
  • All of New Zealand continues at Alert Level 1 and mask-wearing remains mandatory on all public transport in Auckland. Fortunately Aucklanders have been able to enjoy summer without any community transmission.
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.

On 1 December the Appointments and Performance Committee appointed two directors to Auckland Transport board and appointed Paul Majuery as the Panuku Development Auckland Limited board chair.

On 3 December the Planning Committee approved a number of plan changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan and endorsed the preparation of a plan change to amend the Integrated Residential Development provisions in the Auckland Unitary Plan. The Committee also received the findings from phase two of The Congestion Question project and approved officers scoping the next phase of the project.

On 8 December CCO Oversights Committee received the Quarter 1 CCO Performance report and received Ports of Auckland Limited’s final Statement of Corporate Intent 2020-2023. It was also agreed that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor write to Ports of Auckland Limited about:

i)        implementing a more ambitious timeframe for a Māori outcomes plan and associated reporting

ii)       clarification of estimated timeframes for work on Bledisloe Wharf and exploring alternatives to the dumping of dredged materials (As co-chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum I asked for the dumping issue to be raised with POAL)

On 9 December an extraordinary Finance and Performance Committee meeting approved the mayoral proposal on the 10-year Budget and other matters for consultation.

On 9 December an extraordinary Governing Body meeting approved the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 consultation items and additional rates fees and issues.

On 10 December the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee meeting approved the development of a detailed business case for an aquatic centre in Northwest Auckland and the development of an indicative business case for the City Central Library (I ensured that the needs of city centre residents were explicitly included the “future role” of the library). The Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund 20/21 funding round allocation was considered in the confidential item.

On 15 December an extraordinary Finance and Performance Committee agreed to a recommendation from the Upper Harbour Local Board to consult through the 10-year Budget on a transport targeted rate to provide additional public transport services in Paremoremo. We received updates on progress towards the Emergency Budget, the asset recycling target, and approved the disposal of 1 Wiremu St, Balmoral.

On 17 December the Governing Body received the Auckland War Memorial Museum Quarter 1 2020/2021 report and the Annual Report on the Performance of the Audit and Risk Committee. Cr Greg Sayers Notice of Motion to review the Rodney Local Board area subdivision boundaries was lost ( I voted against)

On 2 February the Appointments and Performance Committee discussed in confidential board appointments to CCOs.

On 4 February the Planning Committee heard public input from the All Aboard campaign to decarbonise transport by 2030 in Auckland. Plan Change 22 and Plan Modification 12 of the Unitary Plan and Auckland District Plan (Hauraki Gulf Island Section) was approved to recognise places of significance to Mana Whenua (in speaking in support I acknowledged Ngāti Pāoa kaumatua George Te Aroha Kahi who passed away on 26 December 2020 who worked closely on the plan change and leaves a considerable legacy).

I was appointed by the Committee to the Auckland Cycling Programme Business Case Review Political Reference Group along with Councillors Darby and Dalton.

Hauraki Gulf Forum
Departing from Ti Point with Mayor Goff, councillors Henderson, Hills and Bartley, DOC Director of Operations Andrew Baucke, University of Auckland Institute of Marine Science Professors Simon Thrush, Nick Shears and Dr Shane Kelly, Hauraki Gulf Forum co- Chair Nicola MacDonald, Executive Director Alex Rogers, Ngati Manuhiri Chair and IMSB member Mook Hohneck.

Ngāti Manuhiri and Ngāti Rehua leaders hosted the Hauraki Gulf Forum co-chairs, the Mayor and key stakeholders on Hauturu-ō-Toi (Little Barrier Island) on 12 January. The visit was made possible with support from University of Auckland and the Department of Conversation.

The day’s discussions focused on understanding the risks and impacts facing the Gulf and supporting mana moana strategies that affect positive transformational change.

On Sunday 31 January, in a dawn ceremony, a rāhui was placed by Ngāti Pāoa supported by Piritahi marae and the Waiheke community prohibiting the take of four species: kōura/crayfish, tīpa/scallops, pāua and kūtai/mussels. It applies to the whole island, out to 1nm (1.825km). A rāhui ensures what little is left of those species is protected while giving space for restoration efforts.  It was very special to be there for this significant event on a stunning morning

Photo credit: Rachel Mataira

From Gulf News “Hauraki Gulf Forum Co-Chair Pippa Coom says that we will all benefit from iwi-led restoration initiatives. A rāhui ensures that we protect what little we have left of those species while giving space for restoration efforts. This customary rāhui is a pathway to a more abundant marine environment around Waiheke.”

Mussel reef restoration work in the Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana/Te Moananui-ā-Toi took a huge step forward, with Auckland Council’s decision on 2 February to approve a resource consent – valid for the next 35 years. The consent gives the green light for green-lipped mussel restoration in areas of the Hauraki Gulf that are within the Auckland regional boundary (Press Release Attachment 2)

Other key meetings and events
  • With Local Board member Alex Bonham

    Attended the reopening of Te Ao Mārama South Atrium at Auckland Museum on 1 December

  • Meeting to receive an update from the Transport Strategy Team on 1 December
  • Mihi whakatau for the joining of Auckland Unlimited and Regional Facilities Auckland at Auckland Town Hall on 2 December
  • Finance and Performance Committee workshop on 2 December
  • LGNZ National Council strategy day and board meeting on 3 and 4 December
  • Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art Exhibition Opening at the Auckland Art Gallery on 4 December
  • Briefing on 7 December regarding the Downtown Projects programme with Cr Hills and Chloe Swarbrick MP for Central Auckland
  • Grey Lynn Residents Association AGM on 7 December
  • Meeting regarding the Hauraki Gulf Forum activities with the Forest and Bird CEO on 8 December
  • Attended the Waitemata Local Board meeting on 8 December to give my Councillor report.
  • Giving the vote of thanks at Auckland Conversations

    Gave the vote of thanks at the Auckland Conversations: So, Auckland has a climate plan… now what?  on 8 December

  • Gift to the Gulf Networking drinks hosted by Sustainable Coastlines on 9 December
  • Meeting to discuss the Auckland Transport’s Statement of Intent cycling targets
  • Helen Clark Foundation Christmas drinks on 10 December
  • Co-chaired the LGNZ Auckland zone meeting on 11 December
  • Opening of Weta Unleashed at Skycity on 14 December at the invitation of Ian Taylor
  • Victoria St cycleway site visit with AT Chair, Adrienne Young Cooper

    Victoria Street cycleway site visit with AT Board Chair and AT staff on 14 December to discuss a range of safety issues .  Despite raising a number of serious safety concerns I have yet to receive a response from AT regarding what action is going to be taken

  • Joined honorary consulars at an informal flag raising event at Auckland Town Hall on 16 December
  • Eden Park – Tour and Overview of operating model and community projects with the CEO Nick Sautner on 16 December
  • Auckland Unlimited councillor update on 16 December
  • Attended the Waiheke Local Board meeting on 16 December via Skype to give my Councillor Report
  • Opening of Te Komititanga with Mayor Goff and Hon Michael Wood

    Gave a speech at the dawn blessing for Te Komititanga (the new downtown square) on 18 December

  • Meeting with new MP Camila Belich
  • Meeting with Chair Northey on 18 December
  • Attended the Blackcaps v Pakistan T20 match at Eden Park on 18 December at the invite of the Eden Park Trust Board
  • Sunday Blessings volunteers and supporters

    Attended Sunday Blessing Christmas Meal at Ellen Melville Hall with the Mayor on 20 December

  • catch up with Waiheke Local Board members on 21 December (via Skype)
  • Meeting with co-chair Freemans Bay Residents Association on 21 December
  • Greater Auckland Christmas drinks on 22 December
  • Visit to Hauturu-ō-Toi, Little Barrier Island on 12 January at the invitation of mana whenua and with the support of the Department of Conservation and University of Auckland  (see details above)
  • Tour of the Franklin Local Board (Wairoa subdivision) with Deputy Chair Angela Fuljames and board member on 21 January with Cr Richard Hills. We went to 5 regional parks, various council facilities, checked out coastal erosio, new upgraded parks and their long term plans and vision for town centre upgrades with the growth in the area. We saw how the natural environment and water quality rates were being spent, to protect our kauri and clean up our waterways.  Lunch was hosted at McCallum’s Residence with Deputy Mayor Cashmore. We caught the Pine Harbour Ferry to the start of the tour and the train back from Papakura Station.
  • On the Museum roof with Director David Gaimster, David Reeves, Director Collections & Research and Cr Richard Hills

    Behind the scenes tour of the Auckland Museum on 22 January

  • Panuku update meeting on 25 January
  • Chairs and Mayor weekly meeting resumed on 25 January
  • Spoke at Waiheke Rotary meeting on 25 January (my hosts gifted me a bottle of wine)
  • Meeting with the Deputy Mayor to discuss the Councillor strategy day as one of four councillors leading a session
  • The Mayor and Councillors who attended the Councillor strategy day and CEO Jim Swarbrick

    Councillor Strategy Day on 28 January at Te Manana library, Westgate

  • Met with Sustainable Coastlines new CEO on 26 January
  • As Co-Chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum meet with Foundation North Chief Executive Peter Tynan and Strategic Advisor Nicola Brehaut on 26 January and met with Eugene Sage MP on 29 January
  • Received a briefing on a mooring issue at Aotea Great Barrier Island
  • Attended UN International holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January at Auckland Museum
  • Meeting on 29 January to discuss AT’s cycling programme business case
  • British High Commissioner reception on 2 February at the Northern Club to farewell Consul General Robin Shacknell and welcome new Consul General Alasdair Hamilton
  • Attended a day of committee workshops on 3 February
  • Attended via Skype the Waiheke Local Board meeting on 3 February
  • Attended Bike Auckland’s monthly Bike Breakfast at The Store, Britomart on 4 February
  • Auckland Pride Festival Director, Max Tweedie, Mayor Goff and Councillor Richard Hills at Q Theatre

    Attended the Pride Gala on 4 February with Cr Hills at the invite of Auckland Pride.

Media attachments

Our Auckland: Get on board – waste-wise tips for boaties

Our Auckland: The transformation of Tyler Street is about to begin

Ponsonby News update February 2021