Councillor Report April 2021

General update

My Councillor report covers the period from 6 March 2021 until 11 April 2021.  It has been prepared for the April business meetings of the Aotea Great Barrier, Waiheke 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.

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
  • Chair, Auckland Council Hauraki Gulf Political Reference Group

Summary

  • At Aotea FM Great Barrier Island following an interview together with Chair Izzy Fordham about the Recovery Budget and its implications for Aotea.

    The Recovery Budget (Council’s 10 year plan) public consultation process concluded on 22 March. I took part in a series of webinars which each focussed on a specific area of Auckland or a specific topic. These were not impacted by the lockdown and an example of council adapting to our current situation and ensuring people have the opportunity to ask questions of councillors and subject matter experts before submitting their feedback. In total, approximately 25,000 pieces of feedback were received. Workshops will be held throughout April and May to discuss the feedback, budget issues and implications before the final documentation will be adopted by the Governing Body in late June.

  • From 17-19 March I attended the 2Walk&Cycle Conference which was held in Dunedin and had the theme ‘Walking and Cycling: Everybody’s Business’. My plenary session presentation is on an issue I’m currently seeking to resolve: ‘Why is it taking so long to deliver an urban cycleway?’ (conference report -attached to my Councillor report on the local board agenda).
  • Following a brief period of lockdown, Auckland moved to Alert Level 2 at 6am on 7 March, and then to Alert Level 1 at midday on 12 March. All of New Zealand continues at Alert Level 1.
  • Over the weekend of 10/11 April I was alerted to the impact on the habitat of Kororā/ Little Blue penguins as a result of the marina construction at Kennedy Point. I am deeply concerned about this and have been working closely with Chair Handley on next steps including a halt to work until all issues are resolved.

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 the meetings I attended.

On 8 March the Auckland Domain Committee approved the application from the Auckland Holocaust Memorial Trust to create a memorial “the Garden of Humanity” within the Domain and approved progress towards removing car parking in front of the museum, on Cenotaph Road and the Museum Circuit to improve access and views to the Museum.

I didn’t support the Committee decision to endorse a license to the Auckland Bowling Club for 15 car parks at the Grafton Mews car park at 100 Stanley Street (I would have supported the proposal going out for consultation prior to endorsement)

On 11 March an extraordinary meeting of the Planning Committee was held in confidence to approve the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) 2021-31 Package and endorse the draft 2021 Regional Transport Plan prior to approval by the AT Board for public consultation.  The minutes of the meeting are now publicly available.

Approval of ATAP was with the expectation that the following actions are undertaken:

  1. i)        that the Auckland Council Group works with the government to:
  2. A)      ensure transport funding settings enable delivery of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project 2021-31 indicative package
  3. B)      confirm normal requirements around developer mitigation and development contributions apply to Kāinga Ora developments as they apply to all other developments
  4. C)     investigate complementary levers to reduce transport-related emissions in areas such as:

1)      vehicle fleet and fuel decarbonisation

2)      land transport pricing reform

3)      urban growth management

4)      behavioural change

5)      joint development of a transport emissions reduction plan for Auckland

6)      addressing inequities from the impacts of decarbonisation

  1. D)     address inequity of access and transport choice, particularly for south and west Auckland and areas with high Māori population
  2. E)      support transport network safety in areas such as:

1)      enforcement and compliance mechanisms

2)      regulatory changes to improve safety for vulnerable road users

  1. F)      jointly develop appropriate targets to measure progress against key outcomes such as emissions reduction and mode shift
  2. ii)       that the Auckland Council Group:
  3. A)      ensures the Auckland Transport Alignment Project 2021-31 indicative package is a key input to decisions on the Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-31
  4. B)      fully utilises the levers available to it to reduce transport emissions, including:

1)      assessing its growth management approach and programmes against the delivery of climate compatible outcomes and emissions reduction analysis

2)      increasing the focus on intensification within brownfield areas, in particular along the rapid transit corridors

3)      supporting and promoting urban development at a local level that encourages reduced car use and accelerates the uptake of public transport and active modes (including new forms of mobility)

4) prioritising the delivery of public transport and active modes including walking, cycling

5)      showing leadership in encouraging communities and businesses to take practical steps in response to the climate emergency and Te-Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan

On 11 March the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee approved a proposed land exchange in Avondale and approved the decision-making of Colin Dale Park be allocated to the governing body from the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board (with the support of the that local board)

On 23 March the CCO Oversight Committee received the second quarter reports of the substantive council-controlled organisations and received the Ports of Auckland Interim Report for six months ending 31 December 2020.

 On 25 March the Governing Body appointed Governing Body delegates and attendees for the 2021 LGNZ Conference in Blenheim in July (I will be one of 4 Councillors attending plus the Mayor and Deputy Mayor) and agreed to make a by-law to control freedom camping on reserves.

On 1 April the Planning Committee deferred a decision on Downtown Carpark development transport options until further information is received (I do not support Auckland Transport’s current recommendation to include a bus terminal and short term parking in the redevelopment) and approved new Auckland Plan 2050 Environment and Cultural Heritage measures. I voted against Cr Walker’s Notice of Motion to retain the Wasp Hanger in Hobsonville for a temporary recreation and sports facility (the Hanger will be retained as part of a sale process).

Other key meetings and events

  • On 7 March I took part in the Recovery Budget consultation webinar focussing on issues in the North of the Region and attended an online discussion around water quality issues with the Ōrākei and Waitematā Local Boards.
  • On 8 March I did a walkabout with the Karangahape Road Business Association GM and the Recovery Budget consultation webinar focusing on community investment.
  • On 9 March I met with Mayor Goff to discuss Auckland Transport’s delivery of the cycleways programme and took part in Waitematā Local Board’s Recovery Budget Hearing Style consultation event.
  • On 10 March I attended the Regional Stakeholder presentations on the Recovery Budget (a Finance and Performance committee workshop)
  • On 11 March I took part in the Recovery Budget consultation webinar focusing on the Water Quality Targeted Rate.
  • On 12 March I attended the LGNZ Auckland Zone meeting, an all Councillor meeting with Minister Wood (photo right) and an online Three Waters Reform engagement workshop. I also travelled to Manukau Bus Station for the Mayor and Minister Wood’s press conference on ATAP
  • On 13 March I attended the Recovery Budget consultation drop-in session at Waiheke Library (photo right).
  • On 14 March I took part in the Recovery Budget consultation webinar focusing on rates.
  • On 15 March I attended the Governing Body/Independent Maori Statutory Board Joint Meeting and the Joint Governing Body/Local Board Chairs meeting via phone as I was on my way to Waiheke for the Local Board’s Recovery Budget consultation roundtable.
  • On 16 March I attended the unveiling of the plaque at Three Lamps dedicated to the work of the Polynesian Panther Party as part of the Auckland Arts Festival (photo right) and the Waste Advisory Political Group meeting
  • From 17-19 March I attended the 2Walk and Cycle Conference in Dunedin (conference report back attachment 1)
  • On 20 March I attended the Ngāti Paoa deed of settlement signing ceremony at Wharekawa Marae (photo right taken from behind Ministers Little and Mahuta)
  • On 22 March I attended a meeting with Waikato District Council representatives in Hamilton as co-chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum to discuss marine park collaboration and co-chaired the Hauraki Gulf Forum meeting in Te Aroha (photo right)
  • On 23 March I was interviewed in relation to renewal of the Natural Science Galleries at Auckland Museum and attended the Joint Governance Working Party Meeting
  • On 24 March I attended the Waiheke Local Board meeting (via Skype) to give my Councillor report
  • On 25 March I met with Viv Beck, GM Heart of the City
  • On 26 March I attended the Whakawatea for the Rainbow Crossing on Karangahape Road
  • On 29 March I attended a Watercare briefing ahead of the workshop regarding the development of Auckland’s Water Strategy; met with the AT CEO, AT Board Chair, AT Board member Tommy Parker and Mayor Goff and Councillors Darby and Hills to discuss concerns regarding AT’s delivery of the cycling programme; and attended the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting
  • On 30 March I attended a Hauraki Gulf Forum hui with Minister David Parker, attended the Appointments and Performance Review Committee meeting and attended a Grey Lynn and Around Q&A event with guest Chloe Swarbrick. I also co-chaired the Auckland Council Hauraki Gulf Political Reference Group (the first meeting of the group for this term)
  • Councillors and one of the attendees Elia from MyRvr, and speakers Tania Pouwhare, Manager Community and Social Innovation, and Assoc Prof Damon Salesa

    On 31 March I attended a session on Auckland’s Strategic Recovery from COVID-19 at the Aotea Centre following a full day of workshops

  • On 1 April I attended with the Mayor and Councillors the Living Wage celebration in the Council Chamber
  • During the week of 5-11th April, the governing body held a ‘recess week allowing a break from formal meetings.

Regional Consultations

Feedback opened on 29 March until 2 May for consultation for the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP), the 10-year investment programme for transport in Auckland. The draft RLTP is developed by AT together with the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail to respond to growth and challenges facing Auckland over the next decade. It also outlines the proposed 10-year investment programme for specific transport projects.

Councillor monthly report July 2020

General update

At the CRL event on 23 June to mark the start of works on the underground Aotea Station

This is my Councillor report covering the period from 8 June – 7 July.  It has been prepared for the July business meetings of the Aotea Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā Board Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events and meetings, 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
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee

Summary

  • As NZ moved to Alert Level 1 on 8 June a phased re-opening of council facilities was able to happen more quickly. Meetings are now all in person but with more flexibility to join by Skype.
  • As of 6 July, water levels in Auckland’s nine water collection dams remain at a record low, sitting at 55.8 per cent. Water restrictions continue.
  • From 30 June most of Auckland’s city centre moved to a speed limit of 30km/h
  • Consultation on the Emergency Budget closed on 19 June. The budget has been my main focus as the Governing Body works towards the decision making meeting on 16 July.
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 9 June Governing Body held a confidential meeting to appoint the new CEO.   The successful candidate has yet to be announced (updated: the CEO announcement was made on 17 July).

On 11 June the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee approved the initiation of a comprehensive review of the Regional Parks Management Plan 2010.

On 18 June the Finance and Performance Committee approved Auckland Museum’s amended Annual Plan and Levy for 2020/2021.

The committee also approved the proposed amendments to the Local Government Funding Agency legal documents and Foundation Policies.

On 25 June Governing Body received an update from Watercare on the water shortage and agreed to waive resource consent fees for residential rainwater tank installation.

The committee also amended the standing orders to allow elected members to attend electronically if they prefer to, but without voting rights.

The governing body agreed to urgently contact central government to request an announcement on shovel ready project funding be made prior to our emergency budget decision making on July 16th.

On 2 July the Planning Committee approved several private plan changes in Drury East and Whenuapai.

The committee also approved the preparation of Spatial Land Use Frameworks for the Kumeu-Huapai and Wainui Silverdale Dairy Flat areas and established a Political Working Party to approve the draft frameworks for consultation.

Other key meetings and events

In the period 8 June to 7 July I attended:

with CRL CEO Sean Sweeney and the Mayor at the tree planting on Albert St
  • Event with the Mayor to mark the planting of native trees as part of CRL works along Albert Street. Eight trees were planted over the week, with a total of 23 trees (Totora, Golden Totara, Pohutukawa, Black Maire and Puriri) planned as part of CRL’s Contract 2 works
  • Ports of Auckland Community Reference group meeting held via Zoom on 10 June
  • Dawn blessing and opening by the PM of Commercial Bay on 11 June
  • Black Lives Matter rally on 14 June
  • On International Day of Justice for Cleaners and Security Guards, joined the Mayor to receive a petition and deputation from supporters of Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand
  • At the opening of Commercial Bay with the PM, Mayor Goff, Hon Phil Twyford and Cr Darby

    Women in Urbanism emergency budget discussion on 15 June

  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 16 June and the Aotea Great Barrier Local Board meeting on 23 June
  • Presented to Westhaven Rotory’s breakfast meeting on 23 June
  • CRL event on 23 June to mark the start of works on the underground Aotea Station
  • ACCAB workshop on 23 June
  • On International Day of Justice for Cleaners and Security Guards, joined the Mayor to receive a petition and deputation from supporters of Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand

    Grey Lynn Business Association networking event on 25 June at Malt bar

  • Media briefing for the Safer Speeds rollout on 29 June
  • A low key opening of the new high canopy primate habitat for orangutans and siamangs at Auckland Zoo
  • KBA convened meeting to discuss Karangahape Road/ Auckland Street Whanau issues and responses.
  • Panel member for Bike Grey Lynn’s Quick Smart speaker series on 28 June
  • Sam Judd farewell from Sustainable coastlines on 3 July
  • NZ Trio concert Origins at the Concert Chamber on 6 July (this was the first live performance at the Town Hall post lockdown)
  • Piki Toi exhibition opening on 6 July at Merge Cafe
Other matters

Emergency Budget 2020/2021 

Consultation on the Emergency Budget ended on 19 June.

During the consultation period I participated in three online community webinars.  A Have your Say event for regional stakeholders was held on 10 June.

A record 34,000 submissions were received through the three weeks consultation period.

The budget and consultation were in response to the financial impact of COVID-19.   At the start of the consultation the forecast shortfall in revenue was of more than half a billion dollars over the next financial year.

Unfortunately, it is likely a further $224m needs to be found for Watercare measures to increase the supply of water in the face of the worst drought ever experienced in the city. This number is higher than the estimate provided in the draft emergency budget documentation and places further pressure on the council.

A series of workshop are underway to discuss the feedback and all elements of the budget leading up to the final decision on 16 July.

Safe Speeds

At Auckland Transport’s media briefing to unveil the new signage with Cr Darby and Rodney Local Board member Louise Johnston

From 30 June most of Auckland’s city centre moved to a speed limit of 30km/h (the current 10km/h combined pedestrian and vehicle zones will remain). Speed limits on Hobson, Fanshawe and Nelson streets will be reduced to 40km/h instead of 30km/h.

This is a major milestone since Auckland became a Vision Zero region last year. Rodney Local Board member Louise Johnston.  (Attachment 2:  Opinion piece:  Together our streets can be safer)

Innovating Streets

The temporary COVID-19 works installed in the northern end of Queen Street were planned to undergo some refinement over the week beginning 5 July.  These improvements are based on feedback received from businesses and residents to make the purpose of the new spaces clearer for users and improve the overall appearance of Queen Street.

Later this month, the ‘Access for Everyone’ pilot for the Waihorotiu Queen Street Valley will begin through a co-design process, which will test new ways to lay out Queen Street prioritising space for pedestrians. Access for buses, emergency and service vehicles will be retained, while non-essential traffic will be discouraged.  The pilot is funded from NZTA’s innovating streets fund and the City Centre Targeted rate.  (Attachment 3: Our Auckland Access for Everyone Pilot to begin on Queen Street)