Monthly Board Report October 2014

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during September 2014 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee.

Highlights:

  • Opening of Grafton Gully and Beach Road cycleways
  • Re-opening of Khartoum Place with a new staircase to the Auckland Art Gallery from Lorne Street after a long battle to retain the Suffrage Centenary Memorial in the square
  • Progress on a programme to activate Pioneer Women’s Hall
  • Local Board Plan hearings

I also enjoyed a short break in the South Island during September.

Portfolio reports:  Transport

Members of the Waitemata Local Board with Mayor Len Brown
Members of the Waitemata Local Board with Mayor Len Brown

Grafton Gully cycleway opening

Report on the opening of the Grafton Gully cycleway ATTACHMENT A

Waitematā Local Board members Shale Chambers, Vernon Tava, Christopher Dempsey, and Pippa Coom with the Mayor at the opening of the Grafton Gully Cycleway

Monthly transport update

A monthly update with Auckland Transport took place on 25 September. Current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Portfolio reports:  Community

Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Memorial Hall – activation

One of the Board’s priorities is developing Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Memorial Hall as a community hub for city centre residents. Fortunately the refurbishment budget for the hall was removed from the proposed list of deferrals and has been funded with $400,000 for 2015/16 to proceed in alignments with the targeted rate-funded renovation of Freyberg Square.

In the meantime the community portfolio is working with officers to activate the hall using a $15,000 community development budget available for 2014/15.  Really good progress has recently been made on proposals initiated by a stakeholder working group including setting up a Facebook page for the hall and a programme of activities such as Tai Chi, a chess club, and Rainbow Youth pop in centre.

Local Board Plan

The Board received 213 submissions on our draft local board plan with the majority of submitters endorsing the general direction and priorities of the Board. At hearings held over 2 days we heard from 33 submitters.

A report on the feedback was presented at the Board’s extraordinary meeting on 16 September and is available on the Council website.

A final version of the Local Board Plan is on the Board’s agenda this month.

Community Funding

The Central Joint Funding Committee was re-established on 8 September (I was re-elected Deputy Chair) to decide on applications to the Community Group Assistance Fund (round 1 of 2 rounds) and the Accommodation Support Fund 14/15. These are both legacy grants that will be disestablished when the new funding policy is implemented.

The decision of the committee is available on the Council website here.

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 September – 30 September I attended:

  • Mayoral proposal workshop on 1 September at the Aotea Centre for Councillors, local board members, the Independent Maori Statutory Board and CCO Chairs and Chief Executives to discuss the Mayor’s proposal for the draft Long-term Plan 2015-2025.  Led by the mayor, the workshop considered the proposal and provided opportunity for round table discussion.
  • Engagement adviser catch up on 1 September
  • Meeting to discuss Pioneer Women’s Hall Stakeholder Workshop Outcomes
  • Grey Lynn Business Association meeting on the signage bylaws
  • Local Board Plan Hearings on 2 and 3 September
  • Newmarket level crossing briefing on 3 September
  • City Centre Integration workshop with Councillors regarding QE2 Square and the proposed Downtown Framework on 3 September
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss Cycle Advisory Group prioritisation process on 4 September
  • Central Joint Grants Committee Meeting on 8 September
  • LTP – Parks, Community and Lifestyle response to Mayoral Proposal presentation to local board members at the Town Hall on 8 September
  • City Centre Waterfront Building Height and Form Strategy briefing on 9 September
  • LBP deliberations workshop on 9 September
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on  September 9 September
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting in Grey Lynn on  9 September
  • Meeting with the New Zealand Dance Company, Wellesley St to discuss community funding available
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 11 September
  • Meeting with the developer of 60 Cook Street to discuss plans for the future of Nelson Street
  • Inaugural meeting of the Maunga Authority at the Town Hall on 15 September
  • Communications catch up on 15 September
  • Engagement adviser catch up on 15 September
  • Local Board Meeting on 16 September – Formal deliberations to consider submissions and resolve direction of the Local Board Plan
  • Meeting to develop feedback on the community grants policy on 24 September
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 24 September
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 24 September
  • Meeting with Parnell Community Committee and Parnell Inc to discuss “Weekend Streets” on 26 September
  • Site visit to Kelston Community Hub with members of the community placemaking champions working group on 29 September
  • Local Board Workshop on 30 September

CRL Open day Allan MatsonEvents and functions

In the period 1 September – 30 September I attended:

  • CRL open day event at the Town Hall on 1 September hosted by Auckland Transport (photo right)
  • The Great Climate Voter Debate on 3 September at Q Theatre
  • ATC’s Trees beneath the Lake at the Maidment Theatre (at the invitation of ATC) on 6 September
  • Grafton Gully cycleway opening on 6 September (ATTACHMENT A)
  • Child poverty Hikoi on 6 September
  • Hosted the Green Desk on 95bfm  on 9 September talking to Louise Carr- Neill Manager of the Grey Lynn Farmers Market
  • Speaking at Bike to the FutureUpper Khartoum Place opening on 10 September (speech given on behalf of the Waitemata Local Board ATTACHMENT B)
  • Craft Market at Studio One
  • Jervios Road Market day on 13 September
  • Grey Lynn Farmers Market 5th birthday celebration on 14 September (I am chair of the management committee)
  • Cycle Action Auckland’s AGM at Pioneer Women’s Hall on 24 September
  • Newmarket Business Association AGM on 25 September
  • Launch of the Heritage Festival at Shed 10 on 26 September (photo below)
  • Bike to the Future organised by Generation Zero on 28 September (photo right giving a speech before the bike ride in support of cycle lanes on K’rd)
  • Festival Italiano in Newmarket and lunch hosted by Dante Alighieri on Sunday 28 September (gift bag from Dante Alighieri contained: a book on Newmarket, pasta, hair product, mascara, cooking apron, balsamic vinegar)
Heritage festival
Arriving at the opening of the Heritage Festival at Shed 10 with Christopher Dempsey

Grafton Gully Cycleway opening

Auckland’s biggest ever cycle infrastructure project was opened yesterday (Saturday 6 September 2014) by Barb Cuthbert, Chair of Cycle Action Auckland, the PM and the Mayor Len Brown.  The Grafton Gully cycleway links the NW cycleway via Upper Queen Street Bridge to Quay Street via new separated cycle lanes on Beach Road.  Transport blog recorded the opening speeches. There were many people to thank and acknowledge for the successful completion of the project after many years work (much of it behind the scenes to keep the project alive)

I’ve never been so excited about a cycleway opening before. Grafton Gully sets a new standard for design, safety and connectivity. It is beautiful to ride and gives a glimpse of what should be possible across Auckland to make cycling pleasant and easy. I especially love how the route has opened up all the  long forgotten bush in the gully and provides a stunning view down to the Harbour (the Waitematā Local Board has plans for walking connections into Symonds St Cemetery which will open up even more of the native bush).

What was a bit lost in the applause for NZTA’s work on Grafton Gully was that Upper Queen Street Bridge (the removal of general traffic lanes and slip lanes to provide a new shared path)  and Auckland Transport’s Beach Road cycleway was also opened at the same time. The project teams have worked extraordinarily hard to coordinate the opening of all three sections and deserved far greater acknowledgement.

In March I reported that Auckland Transport was 6 months behind NZTA and that Upper Queen Street Bridge was not even at the design stage.  The Waitematā Local Board’s advocacy was instrumental in both projects being brought forward. We also funded the installation of a drinking station on the corner of Upper Queen Street and Ian McKinnon Drive ( a location suggested by Cycle Action Auckland).

I think we can now look forward to a fabulous summer of cycling in Auckland especially once Waterfront Auckland’s Westhaven Promenade opens later in the year.

 

Transport Blog – the completed Grafton Gully Cycleway (lots of photos and videos)

Cycle Action Auckland  – Go have ride – Grafton Gully and Beach Rd open

NZTA media release – Big boost for Auckland cyclists with opening of central city link

Vernon Tava – opening of the Grafton Gully cycleway

Monthly Board report June 2014

Ko Te Kai a Te Rangatira – Ko te kai a te rangatira, he korero

(The sustenance of leaders are conversations)

Ko te  tohu o te rangatira, he manaaki

(The mark of leaders is generosity)

Ko te  mahi a te rangatira, he whakatira i te iwi

(The work of leaders is to unite the people)

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during May 2014 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee.

Portfolio Report: Community

Community Grants

The Waitemata Local Board Community Grants Committee met in May to consider applications to the fourth and final round of the 13/14 community grants fund.

The recommendations of the committee are on the June agenda of the Waitematā Local Board.

Housing

Deborah Yates HNZ meetingIn May we were able to celebrate the decision by Council and the Government to not include Spring St pensioner housing in the list of Special Housing Areas that would have allowed for fast track development (and resulted in the eviction of elderly tenants who were guaranteed a flat for life when the housing was bought from the old Auckland City Council).

It was also a win of sorts that, with the support of the Board, the Great North Road ridge was declared a Special Housing Area but unfortunately too late for the Arch Hill residents who are fighting the big box Bunnings development.

However as was discussed at the public meeting I attended on 10 May (facilitated by Board member Deborah Yates) there is still a great deal of uncertainty and anger about HNZ’s current approach to removing tenants which will have a big impact on the diversity our community.

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

A range of meetings were attended during May relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Portfolio report:  Transport

Upper Queen Street Bridge – Grafton Gully cycleway connection

Upper Queen Street Bridge DesignEarlier this year we discovered that the City Centre Transformation team were not looking to deliver the connection between the Grafton Gully cycleway and Ian McKinnon Drive on the Upper Queen Street bridge until 15/16 despite the cycleway being due to be opened by NZTA in September this year (and despite a budget being available for the project)

Fortunately the escalation of this issue has had results and the good news is that the connection will be ready in time!  After reviewing the design (right) the transport portfolio has requested a drinking station be incorporated, that pedestrians/riders have priority phasing of the lights and that all steps be taken to ensure way finder signage is installed in time for the opening

Legible Auckland

I continue to log requests for pedestrian signage on streets with NO EXIT signage that in fact have walkway access.

No exit St Marys RoadAuckland Transport has confirmed the following streets will receive “walkway” signs:

  • Sheridan Lane, Freemans Bay
  • Gwilliam Place, Freemans Bay
  • Pratt Street, Freemans Bay
  • Samoa House Lane
  • Sylvan West Avenue (Albert – Eden Local Board area)
  • Cheshire Street, Parnell
  • Wharf Road, Herne Bay
  • Bayfield Road, Herne Bay
  • Prosford Road, Ponsonby

There are still many signs on poles that need to be updated with the correct walkway information such as this one on St Marys Bay road.

Auckland Transport Parking Discussion Document

The consultation on Auckland Transport’s parking discussion document went live on 31 May and will be open for feedback until the end of June.

For more on the parking issues and the parking strategy proposed by Auckland Transport refer “Getting Parking Right for Auckland” 

Monthly transport update

A monthly update with Auckland Transport took place on 21 May. Current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Other board activities

Local Board Plan

During May I have been assisting with finalising our draft Local Board Plan that will go out for consultation on 7 July (the draft is on our June agenda). I’ve also been working on a very exciting event for the launch of our plan. Details will be available shortly.

Janette Sadik- Khan visits Auckland

Pippa Coom, Janette Sadik-Khan , Mayor Len Brown and Nic Williams from Frocks on bikesA big highlight of May was Janette Sadik-Khan’s visit to Auckland. The transport revolutionary presented “Designing Streets for People” to a record breaking Auckland Conversation audience.  How the streets of New York were transformed while she was NYC commissioner of transportation from 2007 – 2013 under Mayor Bloomberg, is an amazing story and provides a great deal of inspiration for what we can achieve in Auckland.

Best of all she had time for a Frocks on Bikes ride after doing a walkabout with the Mayor.

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 May – 31 May I attended:

Effective Meetings for Local Board Chairs and Deputy Chairs – a very useful session looking at styles and approaches that help meetings to run smoothly and generate decisions.

  • Local Board workshop on 6 May
  • Community Development portfolio discussion on 6 May
  • Presentation to PBA members on the feedback received on the draft Ponsonby Road master plan on 7 May
  • Site visit for the Cowie Street Road Extension / Newmarket Level Crossing project (Parks and Transport portfolios) on 8 May
  • Meeting with Ashley Church, Newmarket Business Association
  • Local Government New Zealand Zone 1 meeting in Whangerei on 9 May
  • Housing public meeting at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 10 May
  • Meeting with Alan Pack regarding a new underpass design for the Newmarket Level Crossing
  • Communications meeting on 12 May
  • Attended the St James Theatre site visit with the Mayor and Councillors (ahead of the governing body’s confidential agenda item on the future of the St James)
  • Open Streets Initiatives in NZ  The gateway drug for walking, cycling and connecting communities– watched the webinar with Christopher Dempsey and Vernon Tava
  • Catch up with Heart of the City
  • Briefing: Downtown Shopping Centre Block Re-development Future Options for Queen Elizabeth Square Report on 13 May
  • Meeting with Luka Hinse regarding a Pecha Kucha collaboration for launching the local board plan
  • Auckland Transport parking strategy workshop for elected representatives on 13 May
  • Planning meeting for Local Board plan pop-ups
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting at Parnell on 13 May
  • Briefing on Pioneer Womens Hall on 14 May
  • Catch-up  with Alex Williams, SBN to discuss Project NZ and social enterprise in Waitemata
  • Ponsonby Road master plan meeting
  • Meeting to go over feedback on the draft local board plan
  • Auckland Development Committee workshop re Downtown Shopping Centre redevelopment & Waitemata Local Board
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 17 May
  • Local Economic Development workshop with Councillors and Local Board members
  • Central Joint Funding Committee Workshop – Auckland City Cultural Heritage Fund applications
  • Meeting to sign off on Waitemata Local Board plan
  • Maori Responsiveness training for elected members on Te Kai-A-Te Rangatira:  Building relationships with Māori – a forum for elected members to raise questions, share ideas and converse with Council’s subject matter experts (I learnt the Whakatauki that starts my report at this session)
  • Meeting to discuss community-led place making with Parnell Community Committee (part of my Community-led development champions work stream) on 19 May
  • Meeting to approve the draft local board plan to be attached to our June agenda
  • Mayor Len Brown tour of Waitemata Local Board at Pt Erin Pools Waitemata Local Board workshop on 20 May
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, Bunnings and Arch Hill representatives regarding a proposal to remove the kerb extension on King Street
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board strategic planning session
  • Monthly transport portfolio meeting on 21 May
  • Mayoral Tour on 21 May including a visit to Pt. Erin Pools (photo right) and Art Station
  • Waitemata Local Board update Briefing from Waterfront Auckland
  • Meeting to finalise Local Board Plan summary
  • Waitemata Local Board Grants Committee meeting on 22 May
  • Auckland Transport’s public meeting on the Cowie Street bridge/Sarawia underpass at Jubilee Hall, Parnell on 22 May
  • Community place-making champions group meeting on 26 May

Events and functions

In the period 1 May – 31 May 2014 I attended:

  • Fair Trade Auckland celebration L-R Wayne Walker, Pippa Coom, Rose from Ghana and Penny HulseCycle Action Auckland’s Associates Breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 1 May
  • First Thursday on K’rd and K’rd and Newton Plans drop in session
  • POP project 02 / The Park / blessing of the hives in Victoria Park on 3 May
  • Judge for the regional New Zealand Environment Entrepreneurs on Sunday 4 May
  • Fair Trade Auckland event at Ponsonby Central (photo right)
  • Plastic bag Free Auckland meeting held at the Grey Lynn Community Centre
  • Te Kanano mobile ap launch at AUT
  • Artist Studio opening at 3 Ponsonby Road on 9 May
  • On Saturday 10 May visited the craft fair at Art Station, Station Square market, tree planting at Waipapa Stream with Parnell Heritage, members of the Board and community ; attended a Fair Trade afternoon tea, the Ponsonby Cruising  Club Art Auction exhibition and popped into the Pollen Hotel Workshop part of POP Projects 02: The Park
  • Launch of GridAKL, Wynyard Quarter on 16 May
  • Auckland Writers Festival event
  • TRENDZ conference launch, Viaduct Event Centre, hosted by ATEED
  • Janette Sadik-Khan bike ride with Frocks on BikesVelo –City conference meet- up for attendees from Auckland
  • Gathering for Janette Sadik-Khan sponsored by MR Cagney on 23 May
  • Taste Ponsonby – Ponsonby Primary fundraiser on 23 May
  • Popped into HACK AKL at AUT and the mini music festival on Lorne Street for NZ music month on 24 May
  • Frocks on Bikes ride with Janette Sadik-Khan
  • Auckland Conversation  presentation by Janette Sadik-Khan (NYC, Commissioner for Transportation 2007-2013) followed by dinner hosted by the Mayor
  • Velo-City Global 2014 Celebration of Cycling, Adelaide 27 -30 May (conference report back Attachment B)
  • Place making workshop with Ethan Kent on 30 May (to be reported back next month)

Monthly Board Report May 2014

ANZAC day 2014This report covers my Board activities during April 2014 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee.

Portfolio Reports: Community 

Community Grants

The Central Joint Funding Committee made up of members from Orakei, Albert-Eden, Puketapapa and Waitematā Local Boards met on 15 April to allocate funding from round two of the Community Group Assistance Fund (this is a legacy Auckland City Council fund). In total we allocated $210,093.50 to groups in the central board area including in the Waitemata Local Board area Circability Trust ($25,000), Toi Ora ($25,000), Artist Alliance ($3,888), TAPAC ($13,685), Triangle TV ($18,000), Youthline ($8,050) and Volunteering Auckland ($7000). The minutes of the meeting are available on the Council website.

Community centres

The Community portfolio has been assisting community centres over the last month with funding issues. The Community Facilities team have confirmed that funding grants available for the centres have been rolled over for 14/15 at the same levels as 13/14. This is creating concerns for centres who are trying to improve facilities and programming.

A report should be on our agenda this month seeking a decision on approximately $20,000 available as additional grant funding.  We have encouraged centres to consider proposals focused on sustainability (such as waste minimisation) and accessibility.

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

A range of meetings were attended during April relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Portfolio report:  Transport

 Travel to work census dataShaping Auckland’s transport

 The CEO of Auckland Transport led a workshop on 14 April with Central Local Board’s regarding Transport Plans for the 2015- 25 period. The workshop was an opportunity to discuss issues of interest in our area directly with AT senior management to ensure Auckland Transport better understands Local Board priorities before transport plans are developed.

As part of the scene- setting for the workshop Auckland Transport presented the 2013 Census data for each local Board. In Waitemata there were 42, 882 employed adults (people aged 15 years and over) out of a total population count of 77,136. Of the 16,182 who commuted on census day 49% made the trip to work by car, 1% by motorbike, 16% by public transport, 31% walked and 3% cycled. The Auckland average for travel by car is 83% and only 5% average for walking.

The census data strongly shows the benefits of investment in PT and active transport to provide transport choice.

Great North Road intersection Great North Road resurfacing

The resurfacing of Great North Road between Western Springs and K’rd got underway in April.  We raised with Auckland Transport that this could have been a great opportunity to better use existing infrastructure through improvements for all modes not just locking in the current deficiencies as planned.

One win from the maintenance work is that Auckland Transport is installing a feeder lane at the approach to K’rd/Great North Road intersection.  This pinch point on the network was first logged with Auckland Transport by the transport portfolio over three years ago and is a priority project in our Local Board agreement.

Design for a feeder lane and advance stop box on Great North Road

Great North Road feeder lane

Skypath open day display Vernon Tava and Shale Chambers

Skypath

An open day organised by the Auckland Harbour Bridge Skypath Trust was held on 12 April to give residents the opportunity to view new designs for the pathway and landings.

All the St Mary’s Bay residents I have spoken to are strongly in support of the project and can see the many benefits it will bring to locals.

The Trust intends to apply for resource consent in June. It is great to see this transformational project progressing.

Grafton Gully Cycleway

Grafton gully Cycleway progress April 2014Progress at Wellesley Street underpass April 2014As these photos show NZTA is making great progress on the Grafton Gully Cycleway. Auckland Transport continue to give assurances that the connection to the cycleway at Beach Road is on track to be completed by September this year between Churchill Street and Quay Street via Mahuhu Crescent (in line with NZTA’s proposed finish to the Grafton Gully Cycleway).  We are monitoring this closely and also progress on the Upper Queen Street connection which is being progressed by Auckland Council’s city transformation team.

Monthly transport update

We’ve attended two transport catch up during April. Current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Other board activities

Franklin RoadAnnual Plan Local Board hearings

Every year each of the 21 Local Boards has an opportunity to present to the Governing Body (the Mayor and Councillors of Auckland Council) on their activities, advocacy areas and budget requests that the Board wants included in the Annual Plan.

On 29 April the Waitemata Local Board, led by Shale Chambers, had our turn to outline our priorities for 14/15.  I spoke to our transport advocacy areas (attachment A).

Local Board Plan

In early April we completed our early engagement on our Local Board plan with a series of meetings with resident groups. During April we have been working on our draft plan which will be going to our June Board meeting for approval to go out for consultation

Out and about in Waitematā

Newly painted electrical boxes on Picton street just off Ponsonby Road (photo left)

The Central Library has a newly refurbished children’s area which is bright and fun. It was officially opened in April with member Yates representing the Board. (photo centre)

Te Whānau Whāriki from Richmond Road School has adopted the Rose Road Gully in Grey Lynn Park for a restoration project. On their first morning they collected 200 bags of tradescantia and 10 bags of rubbish. (photo right)

Progress on major projects:  

Federal Street upgrade progress April 2014Sky City can thank the Waitemata Local Board for opposing the overbridge development proposed in 2011 for Federal Street. It would have created a dark oppressive road.  Instead the street has received a shared space over haul which is nearly complete.

The new steps and upgrade of Khartoum Place is progressing (photo above). The transport portfolio has raised with the project team the need to slow down the traffic on Kitchener Street to provide for an improved pedestrian connection to the Art Gallery

Bus lane on Fanshawe StreetThank you Generation Zero and Transport Blog for getting Auckland Transport to take action on the Fanshawe Street bus lanes. Only four months from the original proposal to installation! It really shows that Auckland Transport can act quickly and decisively as a CCO when there is clear leadership.

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 April – 31 April  I attended:

  • Local Board workshop on 1 April
  • Local Board Plan engagement meeting with Freemans Bay Residents on 1 April and with Grey Lynn Residents Associations on 3 April
  • Local Board Plan Breakfast meeting with Parnell Community Committee and eastern stakeholders on 2 April
  • Monthly transport portfolio meeting on 2 April
  • Monthly Community Development portfolio meeting on 2 April
  • Meeting to discuss feedback on Draft Auckland Energy Resilience and Low Carbon Action Plan
  • Community Portfolio meeting with Libraries for Geoff Chamberlain (retiring) to introduce Mirla Edmundson (new Manager Local Libraries North & West)
  • Briefing meeting with Ponsonby Cruising Club Inc regarding leasing issues
  • Briefing on Community Facility Fees and Charges on 3 April
  • Meeting with John MacDonald, Minister at large (Splice coordinator)
  • Orakei & Waitemata Local Boards meeting  on 7 April to discuss Greenways connections
  • Central Joint Funding Committee workshop on 7 April
  • Waitemata Local Board monthly business meeting on 7 April at Graham Street
  • Ponsonby Road masterplan catch up
  • Site meeting with Transport Portfolio and the Chair to discuss pedestrian improvements at Anglesea Street
  • Financial scenario information for LTP presentation by the Council’s CFO to Local Boards on 8 April
  • Meeting to discuss proposed concepts for 254 Ponsonby Rd
  • Briefing of the Auckland Development Committee and Waitemata Local Board by Precinct Property Ltd on its proposed redevelopment of the Downtown Shopping centre.
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 10 April
  • Myers Park Centenary event – initial meeting
  • Meeting with Ponsonby Business Association and Chris Rupe SPQR to discuss the draft Ponsonby Masterplan
  • Early Engagement on Transport Planning – Workshop with AT Senior Management
  • Meeting with Grey Lynn Community Centre on 14 April
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 15 April
  • Central Joint Funding Committee meeting on 15 April
  • Catch up with Ponsonby Business Association on 16 April
  • Joint briefing for Orakei and Waitemata Local Boards on the proposed stormwater ports of Auckland project on 16 April
  • Ponsonby Road masterplan meeting on 16 April
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 22 April
  • Community Development portfolio meeting on 23 April
  • Extraordinary Workshop to discuss the Local Board Plan on 28 April
  • Arch Hill Residents Meeting on 28 April
  • Presentation to the Governing Body Annual Plan Local Board Hearings
  • Popped in to a CAB catch up at the Central Library (meeting organised by Deborah Yates)
  • Ponsonby Community Centre Meeting
  • Transport portfolio monthly catch up 30 April
  • Deputised for the Chair at the Governing Body (Budget Committee)/Local Board Chairs Annual Plan discussion on 30 April

Events and functions

Anzac wreath laying 2014In the period 1 April – 30 April  2014 I attended:

  • Cycle Action Auckland’s Associates Breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 3 April
  • My Bed my Universe – Massive Company and NZ Trio collaboration
  • Ponsonby Community Centre Open day on Saturday 5 April
  • Richmond Road School Gala on Saturday 5 April (congratulations to the school on organising a Zero Waste event)
  • Barry Coates farewell from Oxfam on 9 April
  • After 5 networking event organised by the Uptown Business Association on 10 April
  • Launch of K’rd and Newton Plans on 10 April
  • Newmarket Business Association Business Excellence Awards on 11 April with John Kirwan as guest speakerJohn Kirwan at Newmarket business excellence awards April 2014
  • Skypath Open Day at Westhaven on Saturday 12 April
  • Ponsonby Bike corral video shoot with Auckland Transport
  • At Risk preview at Whitespace on 22 April
  • ANZAC day ceremony hosted by the Grey Lynn RSC
  • Launch of the electric train from Britomart Station on 27 April (photos here)
  • Walking in the Trees in Albert Park  part of Waitemata Pop Project between March and June, 2014.
  • Guest Judge and attendance at Awards ceremony for Roots Pollinate. The Roots, Albert Park Project” consisted of The Roots Creative Entrepreneurs working with year 12 and 13 students.  Working in four groups they designed and built “Pollen Hotels” from recycled materials – hanging baskets with plants that will provide food for our local bees during the winter. I received an Eco Store gift box for being a judge.

Photo of  “Flow” the winning team 

Roots pollinate winning team

Monthly Board report April 2014

Tēnā koutou

In March I started learning beginners te reo Māori at AUT University as part of my professional development on the Board. The free course covering Te Kākano I is held over 10 weeks on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2-4pm. I highly recommend the course.

Portfolio Report: Community

Old homestead community gardenCommunity Gardens

A Community and Teaching Gardens tour in March organised for community development officers and board members was a great learning opportunity about the different types of gardens, the benefits and challenges and the potential role Council can play in developing and fostering community gardens.

Old School Road community gardenThe Old Station Reserve teaching garden is particularly impressive. This garden is on Council land and was originally set up in 2009 with the support of the then Manukau City Council Parks department.  They have a philosophy of recycling everything and an open door policy for anyone who wants to work and share the produce. The garden is particularly popular with elders of the Chinese community.

Community Grants

The Community Grants Committee meeting was held on 24 March for applications to the third round of funding for the 13/14 year.  The committee is recommending that the Board support applications to a total of $33,254.70.

If the Committee’s recommendations are accepted $28,459.56 remains for the fourth and final round of funding. Applications close on 25 April 2014.

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

A range of meetings were attended during March relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Portfolio report:  Transport

Progress for cycling (posted as a separate item here) 

Grafton Gully Cycleway Connections

Grafton Gully cycleway progress March 2014At our March Board meeting I reported on concerns that Auckland Transport and Auckland Council were failing to meet the deadlines for constructing the connections at Beach Road and Upper Queen Street to the Grafton Gully Cycle way that is due to open in September by NZTA.

I am therefore pleased to report that significant progress has been achieved over the last month with efforts to bring the project governance under one structure. In addition:

  • $1m additional City Transformation funding has been allocated to the Beach Road project to ensure quality public realm outcomes, as well as a cycleway.
  • Auckland Transport is working to achieve connections from Grafton Gully to Beach Road by September this year
  • City Transformation have developed a concept design for the urban design and landscape enhancements to Upper Queen Street bridge (funded from a $900k budget) and the team is currently working through a funding agreement with NZTA, who have agreed in principle to contribute $250k to the Auckland Council Upper Queen Street project..

It is very exciting to see the Grafton Gully project progress.

Auckland Transport valet bike parking at Pasifika resizeBike Parking

The transport portfolio has long advocated for ATEED, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to provide bike parking at events. It was therefore great to experience ‘valet’ bike parking at the Pasifika festival. Over the 2 days of the festival the service was heavily used. There is a lot further potential to promote active transport to events during the summer months.

Richmond Road School safety plan

The Richmond Road school community have long been advocating for safety improvements on Richmond Road. During March a parent raised three outstanding major issues:

  •  There has been a notable and significant increase in traffic density on Richmond Road particularly in the mornings, even over the last twelve months. This may be partly due to the high level of renovation in the area around the school at present.
  • Driver distractability and irritability seems to be far greater. It is routine to see cars on Ponsonby and Richmond roads running red lights, texting and talking on phones, and I have personally witnessed a number of occasions when cars have driven across the pedestrian crossings outside Richmond Rd School when the children are putting the stop signs out.
  • The speed of cars is well over the 40kph limit.

The Chair of Auckland Transport, Lester Levy has responded directly to these concerns and promised to undertake a site visit.

In the meantime I have confirmed that the Waitematā Local Board initiated the Richmond Road Safety Plan (of which safety improvements around the school are part) as a result of the school’s advocacy going back over many years and to address the safety concerns along the entire length of Richmond Road. This plan is one of our many advocacy areas to Auckland Transport in our annual agreement (part of the annual plan)

At our March Board meeting Auckland Transport reported that a number of safety improvements are under investigation:

  • Cockburn Street and Chamberlain Streets intersections (about to start)
  • West Lynn shops
  • Countdown/Farro Fresh intersection  (also part of our Greenways project connecting Coxs Bay with Grey Lynn Park)

Peel Street/Richmond Road intersection is also being looked at with a roundabout as a possible option.

We very much want to see a “complete” street approach by Auckland Transport to slow the traffic over the entire length and for works to happen as soon possible with the area around the school prioritised for safety improvements.

Monthly transport update

Our regular monthly transport update was postponed this month however current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Other board activities

Annual Plan hearings

We had a very positive day of annual plan hearings with Cr Darby and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse joining the Board. One strong theme that emerged is the need for art groups to receive guaranteed annual funding from Auckland Council.

The Local Board Agreement  (budget and activities for 14/15) will be finalised in June as part of the Annual Plan.

Local Board Plan

Community engagement on the Board’s next local board plan has continued in March with stakeholder workshops.

I attended a session for the disability sector led by Christopher Dempsey on 24 March in Parnell. The participants were unanimous in their positive feedback about the value of the session and the Board providing an opportunity to discuss issues of concern to those who are differently abled.

I also led a well-attended session for representatives of the migrant community in Parnell. The discussion was again very positive with many universal themes emerging from the engagement.

The Board was part of an Auckland Council engagement stand at Pasifika on 8 March and further consultation continues in April with resident groups.

The draft local board plan will go out for formal consultation in July 2014.

Out and about in Waitemata (posted as a separate item here)

 Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 March – 31 March I attended:

  • Local Board Plan public engagement sessions on 1 March in Grey Lynn
  • Fortnightly communications catch up on 3 March
  • Meeting organised by the GLBA to discuss with Auckland Transport the development of the Great North Road Corridor Management Plan on 3 March
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 4 March
  • Briefing on progress on the Greenways Project
  • Meeting on 5 March to discuss scope for Herne Bay Walkway Project
  • Presentation to the stage 2 Urban Planning: Urban Policy Analysis class at Auckland University as a guest speaker of Joel Cayford “Policy setting process: the political journey”
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 11 March
  • Waitemata Local Board monthly business meeting on 11 March in Grey Lynn
  • Attended the Infrastructure Committee Meeting at the Town Hall on 12 March
  • Auckland Council Investments presentation by Gary Swift (CE – ACIL) (Albert-Eden, Puketapapa, Waitemata)
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 13 March
  • Meeting with Ponsonby Business Association to discuss the local economic development plan feedback
  • Meeting to meet the new communications adviser and discuss photos for the draft Local Board plan on 14 March
  • Waterfront Auckland up date to the Transport Portfolio on the Westhaven promenade and cycleway on 14 March
  • Community Facilities Network Plan and Community Grants Policy workshops on 17 March at the Flicking Centre
  • Resource Recovery Centre meeting with Albert-Eden/Puketapapa/Waitemata Local Boards on 17 March
  • Waitemata Local Board Annual Plan Hearing
  • Meeting on 19 March to provide the Board with an update on concept design, costing, timing, etc for Freyberg Place and the connections with Melville Hall.
  • Local Economic Overview for Waitemata by Jonathan Sudworth, Economic Development
  • Community Facilities Fees & Charges meeting on 20 March
  • Waitemata Local Board Grants Committee Meeting on 24 March
  • Community Garden Tour on 24 March
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 25 March
  • Meeting to discuss the community facility work programme
  • Ponsonby Community Centre Monthly meeting
  • Local Board Plan Stakeholder Meeting with Disability Groups in Parnell on 26 March
  • Brent Toderian lunchtime talk in Takapuna – Balancing heritage protection with city intensification
  • Meeting to discuss Local Board funding policy
  • Migrant Communities Local Board plan Engagement in Parnell on 27 March
  • Meeting regarding the Local Board plan on 31 March
  • Meeting with O’Neill Street residents on 31 March to discuss parking issues

Events and functions

International Day of Women celebration Freyberg place Auckland March 2014In the period 1 March – 31 March 2014 I attended:

  • Cycle Action Auckland’s Associates Breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 6 March
  • Celebration of International Women’s Day 2014 on 7 March at Freyberg Place
  • Joined the Mayoral walkabout at Pasifika Festival on 8 March
  • The Olympic Pool 75th Jubilee in Newmarket on 12 March
  • Transport Blog movie fundraiser on 12 March
  • Grey Lynn Business Association Networking drinks at Malt Bar on 13 March
  • Opening of Andy Tolhurst and Mauricio Benega’s ‘Energia’ exhibition at Artstation on 19 March
  • Otago Law Students Alumni Function at Chapman Tripp on 20 March
  • Liveable City Art Auction to raise funds for the Arch Hill residents fight against the Bunnings big box retail development on Great North Road
  • Grey Lynn Street party waste stationGrey Lynn School Aloha Night on 21 March
  • Cat walk in the street event hosted by the Newmarket Business Association on 22 March
  • Pecha Kucha and the showing of the Human Scale at Silo Park on 28 March
  • Neighbour’s Day – Grow in the city at  Myers Park on 29 March part of Waitemata Pop Project between March and June, 2014. Pop has an overarching theme of urban ecology, includes mini projects such as “bee hotels”, “walking among the trees”, hanging gardens, neighbours day pop out gardens and workshops to engage various communities.
  • Newton School Fia Fia fundraising day on 29 March
  • Surrey Cres Street Party hosted by the Grey Lynn Business Association in celebration of Neighbours Day Aotearoa (I volunteered on a resource recovery station to reduce the rubbish going into the street bins)
  • Opening of the Auckland International Cultural Festival in Mt Roskill War Memorial Park
  • Between the Tides sculpture event at Westmere Beach on 30 March

Monthly Board report March 2014

Covering activities from 1 February – 1 March 2014

Portfolio report:  Transport

Beach Road – Grafton Gully Connection

Beach Road looking West between Te Taou Crescent and Mahuhu CrescentAt our February Board meeting Auckland Transport reported on the very positive feedback in response to their consultation on the Beach Road separated cycleway that will connect to the Grafton Gully Cycleway currently under construction by NZTA.

The Board confirmed our support for the project however we raised concerns regarding the delay by AT in completing Beach Road to coincide with the opening of Grafton Gully cycleway planned for September 2014 (NZTA’s original completion date was April 2014). AT are approximately 6 months behind NZTA which means cyclists using Grafton Gully will exit Churchill Street on to the potentially very unsafe environment of Beach Road (similar to the location where a cyclist was killed in January).

Upper Queen Street

We therefore requested at our February meeting that Auckland Transport takes all steps necessary to ensure those parts of the Beach Road Cycleway that connects to the Grafton Gully Cycleway is completed by September 2014.

At the same time Auckland Council is meant to be delivering the connection from Grafton Gully to Ian McKinnon Dr on Upper Queen Street. The latest update from the City Centre Transformation team confirmed that the design is not even under way and the budget of $900k has been re-allocated

Having raised concerns about the delays I hope to be able to report next month that Auckland Transport and the City Centre team are taking all steps possible to prioritise safe connections to the Grafton Gully cycleway.

St Lukes interchange – Great North Road widening

In early February NZTA awarded the contract to construct the next stage of Auckland’s Western Ring Route – upgrading the Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16) between the St Lukes Road and Great North Road interchanges.  The $70m project is jointly funded by the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport.

St lukes intersection Great North RoadAs part of the project AT and NZTA want to widen Great North Road to provide an extra lane turning onto a newly widened St Lukes overbridged to feed a two lane motorway onramp. Last year AT sought the Waitemata Local Board’s consent to remove 6 mature pohutukaka trees on Council land opposite MOTAT on Great North Road to create an additional lane (I reported on the reasons for opposing the widening in September).

The Board declined consent but gave approval for the trees to be trimmed as part of stage one of the project (allowing for the Great North Road lane to be raised to meet the height of the new St Lukes Bridge). The conditions of this approval were confirmed by the Manager – Local and Sports Parks Central (acting under delegated authority) including a request to prioritise cycling and pedestrian improvements as part of the Great North Road corridor management plan that is currently underway. (Refer ATTACHMENT A)

At a meeting on 19 February AT confirmed it is going ahead with seeking a notified resource consent to remove the trees (and will hold off trimming the trees until a decision on the removal has been made). The public will now have a say in whether AT and NZTA have made a case for widening Great North Road at the expense of the trees. I certainly don’t think they have and the proposed design delivers very poor outcomes for PT users, walkers and cyclists.

Pedestrian safety

Anglesea StreetGordon Price, a visiting speaker from Vancouver (details below), emphasised the importance of making walking our first transportation priority.

Some examples of where the Board  is pushing for pedestrian priority is at intersections such as Angelsea Street and Ponsonby Road. Auckland Transport is proposing safety improvements with pram ramps and curb extensions however the first draft of the design still prioritises turning traffic. We have asked AT to go back to the drawing board to look at a pedestrian table that will create a continuous walking experience along Ponsonby Road (and is consistent with the feedback we heard on the Ponsonby Road masterplan).

An update on the Ponsonby Road masterplan is attached (ATTACHMENT C)

Monthly transport update

At the Monthly Transport catch up with the Transport portfolio the following issues were discussed:

  • Auckland Transport’s hosting of the Cowie Street  bridge design public meeting (various issues regarding the facilitation)
  • Proposed drinking station design and locations
  • Beach Road cycle way update
  • Auckland Transport’s Parking strategy (approved by the AT Board in February for consultation)
  • Bike parking at events
  • Route optimisation for walkers entering the city centre particularly at the Mayoral Drive/Greys Ave intersection

Current issues are reported back monthly by AT on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.

Portfolio Report: Community

Community-led place making champions Group

A group has been set up by Roger Blakely, Chief Planning Office to promote community-led place making through the local boards. The Terms of reference for the group have now been confirmed (ATTACHMENT B). I am chairing one of the teams set up to look at identifying best practice and effective ways of promoting community-led placemaking.

Berms policy and guidelines

Wedding flowers from the berm
Wedding flowers from the berm

In mid-February Auckland Transport confirmed it was reviewing its policy on berms and would be drafting guidelines.

I have asked Auckland Transport to ensure that in drafting the guidelines AT takes into account the place making role of berms/grass verges and the many benefits to the community (not just the road corridor operations view of the issues). For example – litter reduction, storm water management, streetscape amenity values, community development and bio-diversity.

It would be great to see the positives stated up front  by AT out of which flow the guidelines on best practice rather than just a list of what not to do. (Photo of my neighbour Char picking flowers from her berm for her wedding)

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

A range of meetings were attended during February relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Other board activities

Local Board Agreement

In February Council had three overlapping consultation processes underway which put considerable pressure on the community to understand the issues and to respond on time.

Council’s consultation on the draft Annual Plan closed on 24 February. Publicity was very low key this year because there were few new spending proposals or changes from the Long Term Plan.  As in previous years I found the Council website difficult to navigate for making a submission on the Annual Plan and sought a number of changes to make it easier to find relevant information.

Unitary Plan

Submissions on the Unitary Plan closed on 28 February. The role of the Board during the consultation process was to encourage submissions and respond to assist with queries. For example I had an extensive dialogue with the Freemans Bay Residents Association regarding minimum parking requirements and attended a meeting in Herne Bay at short notice regarding the zoning on Jervois Road.

Local Board Plan public meeting 1 MarchLocal Board Plan

In February the Board kicked off the development of our next local board plan with a series of public meetings (photo from the meeting in Grey Lynn on 1 March).  The plan sets the objectives for our local community for the next three years and beyond. This is an opportunity to let the Board know what projects and initiatives we should prioritise.  A feedback survey is available on the Council website (due by 31 March) .

A draft plan will go out for formal consultation in June 2014.

Long Term Plan 2015-2025 scene setting workshop

The workshop represented the formal launch of the development of the Long Term Plan 2015-25.  The Workshop was an important scene setting day proving  insights from experts about future trends and challenges facing Auckland.  These insights will inform the debate and discussion that will take place in the course of developing the Long Term Plan.  Rod Oram was MC the day with external speakers Gordon Price, Arthur Grimes and Professor Natalie Jackson.

An afternoon session covered a high level ‘stocktake’ across the Auckland Council’s Senior leaders who provided an update on current plans and the challenges and opportunities ahead for their part of the business.

I found the day gave purpose to our role as elected representatives, assisted with an understanding of the Long Term Plan process and provided a value opportunity to discuss and debate the transformation change required in Auckland.

Gordon Price session with Local Boards

Gordon Price, a former six-term Vancouver city councillor, spent a week in Auckland during February. Gordon spoke at a special session for local boards and at the all of council LTP 2015 – 2025 scene setting workshop. Here are some of the key points I took from this presentation which drew on his experience of planning and implementing a liveable city with a focus on “density done well.”

The test is whether you can you raise children – if yes then good enough for everyone else

As the  rate of change slows down perception of change increases therefore incremental change is appropriate for established neighbourhoods.

Recipe for urbanity – 5 practical choices:

  • Car (there is NO war on the car)
  • Car share/taxi
  • Transit of all kind
  • Bike
  • Walking

Aspire to:

  • Mixed use compact cities
  • Clean green and safe
  • Variety of housing options
  • Many transportation choices (where feet replace wheels)
  • Well designed public spaces

His key message is to apply it consistently – and the lesson is that this works!

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 February – 1 March I attended:

  • Fortnightly communications update on 3 February
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 4 February
  • Transport portfolio: Informal presentation on the options for a Boulevard on Stanley Street/The Strand
  • Meeting organised by the GLBA for Grey Lynn groups to discuss the Unitary Plan
  • Arch Hill residents meeting on 10 February regarding progress on taking Bunnings to the Environment Court
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 11 February
  • Meeting with Chris Davidson, CEO, Parnell Trust on 11 February
  • Waitemata Local Board monthly business meeting on 11 February at Parnell
  • Meeting to discuss issues with Sea Scout’s Leased Premise – 55 West End Road, Cox’s Bay and update on Basement Theatre car parking on 12 February
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 13 February
  • Intro meeting with the Community Portfolio and Mary Dawson, Chief Executive, Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS Trust)
  • Meeting to discuss AT’s Code of Practice on 17 February
  • Community Liaison Meeting  for SH16 St Lukes to Great North Road hosted by NZTA on 17 February
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 18 February
  • Parks portfolio meeting to discuss way finding
  • Waitemata Local Board briefing on Emergency Management with Shane Webb (Civil Defence – Central Zone Manager) on 18 February
  • Project briefing on Auckland Transport’s proposal to install a bus turnaround at Coxs Bay
  • Meeting with John McDonald – Minister at large in the City Centre
  • Meeting of the Sky path project steering group on 19 February
  • Meeting on 19 February  with Auckland Transport to discuss phase 2 of the St Lukes Interchange Notice of requirement (resource consent to widen Great North Road)
  • Meeting with Edward Bennett of the K’rd Business Association to discuss transport projects proposed for the K’rd precinct plan
  • Site meeting at Campbell Free Kindergarten with Frances Kelliher, Circability Trust 20 February
  • Waitemata Local Board Finance Committee on 20 February
  • Public Meeting in Parnell on the Waitemata Local Board Plan 20 February
  • Community-led Placemaking Champions Group meeting
  • Unitary Plan meeting with Herne Bay residents on 24 February
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 25 February
  • Local Board Members seminar with Gordon Price on 25 February
  • Community Development monthly catch-up on 25 February
  • Meeting for the Community Liaison group for the Cowie st/Laxon Terrace bridge project hosted by Auckland Transport on 25 February
  • LTP 2015-2025 scene setting workshop for all elected representatives on 26 February
  • Transport catch up on 27 February
  • Meeting to discuss on-going safety issues raised by a resident in Myers Park (meeting brought together NZ police with council safety and community development teams)
  • LGNZ Zone 1 meeting on 28 February as the Board’s representative
  • Local Board Plan public engagement sessions on 20 February in Parnell and 1 March in Grey Lynn

Events and functions

Ciclovia on QuayIn the period 1 February – 28 February 2014 I attended:

  • Public meeting on Fluoridation public information evening with a presentation by Professor Paul Connett on 4 February 2014 organised by Fluoride Free Auckland
  • Cycle Action Associates breakfast on 5 February at the Auckland Art Gallery
  • Ciclovia on Quay Street on Saturday 8 February (see ATTACHMENT C – Ciclovia on Quay reclaims Auckland’s streets)
  • Dropped by Auckland Transport’s Go by Bike day pit stops at 1 Queen Street and Karanga Plaza on 12 February
  • Lantern festival 13 February
  • Splore Festival at Tapapakanga Regional Park 14-16 February (see ATTACHMENT C Splore setting the standard for zero waste events)
  • Public Session Ideas evening for the K Rd Precinct Plan on 19 February
  • Celebration of healthy eating at Gladstone Park Early Childhood Centre at the invitation of Parnell Trust on 21 February
  • Presented at the Department of Internal Affairs’ Community-led Development National Leadership Hui 2014 (as a trustee of Grey Lynn 2030)
  • Pride Parade on Ponsonby Road on 22 February
  • Music in Parks at Grey Lynn Park on 23 February
  • Official party at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Town Hall on 24 February
  • Three Queens –  mini music and theatre festival on Queens Wharf on 24 February.
  • Interview with Radio Ponsonby on 26 February
  • Social function with the Board and senior management of Regional Facilities Auckland on 26 February at the invitation of RFA
  • Frocks on Bikes meet up on 27 February to hand over the coordinating role to a new team (ATTACHMENT C – Thanks Frocks on Bikes – it’s been so much fun)
  • Unveiling of ‘Eyelight Lane’ public artwork at Fort Lane 27 February
  • Represented Auckland Council at the opening of the Grey Lynn School forest on 28 February (see photo below)
  • Opening for Ruben Paterson’s artwork “Andale, Andale” on Newmarket Train Station on 28 February at the invitation of the Newmarket Arts Trust


Opening of the Grey lynn School forest

Monthly Board Report August 2013

Shed 10 re- opening tricia reade and pippa coom outside resizeThis report covers my activities from 1 July – 31 July 2013.

Portfolios: Community, Transport- West

Positions: Grey Lynn Business Association, Newmarket Business Association (alternate)

Committees: Grants (Chair), Central Joint Funding

PORTFOLIO REPORTS

Community Development

Community Facilities

The community portfolio met the new Community Facilities team for the first time during July. For some time now we have been concerned about the standards at our halls for hire. It was good to hear that a new cleaning contractor has been in place from 1 July and that hirers are being offered the option of paying a service fee of $120 for cleaning.

We also heard from the Manager of Community Occupancy that recent hirer surveys have returned a satisfied or very satisfied of 89%.

We also raised our concern that Campbell Free Kindergarten building lease has still not been finalised due to the delay installing a new kitchen.

Graffiti

During the month I reported two lots of graffiti and was impressed with the speedy response. Within 24 hours Civic contractors called to confirm that the graffiti has been removed.  Civic Contractors have recently won the contract for vandalism prevention for the Central area.

Sustainability initiatives

Environmental services are looking at how to work more effectively with community development on sustainability initiatives that have wider community benefits. During the month we had a workshop with the new Sustainability Programmes Manager and heard about a number of potential projects including “Sustainable Streets” that has been piloted by Albert – Eden Local Board and opportunities for Neighbours Day.

No skating signAnti- social behaviour in St Patrick’s Square

Residents of St Patrick’s Square have raised with Auckland Council their concern about the anti-social behaviour of skateboarders who find the Square a desirable place to skate.

These are clearly major issues that needs to be resolved. However the proposed solution of NO SKATING signs is not going to work and is unnecessary. It also adds visual pollution and reinforces negative behaviour.

We have asked the senior safety adviser to consider the international evidence that NO SIGNS are not effective and to look at other options. Such as making the square less attractive to skate and providing directions and a safe route to the skate park.

Regardless of whether a sign is in place, if anti-social behaviour does occur the Council can still act in accordance with the Nuisance by-law which prohibits the use of skateboards in a manner which may damage a public place or intimate or be dangerous or injurious or cause a nuisance to persons in the public places.

Transport

Auckland Transport’s quarterly report is on our agenda this month including an update on our Local Board agreement projects. Auckland Transport also reports on the main issues raised at our monthly catch up.

Central East- West Transport Study

Auckland’s City Centre has been diminished by the motorway “collar” and the volume of traffic travelling through the city.  It is therefore great to see the work that is progressing from the vision set out in the City Centre Master plan.

We received an all of Board presentation on the study that has looked at the proposals for the key east –west routes.  The proposals for Wellesley Street, Victoria Street, Quay Street and Fanshawe Street are particularly impressive and have the potential to make Auckland a walkable city where people embrace PT as the preferred option to get into the city Centre.

Parking

Auckland Transport  announced in July that the St Mary’s Bay parking scheme trial would be extended for another year and the zone expanded to include Hackett Street.

A parking survey is going to Freemans Bay residents about parking concerns in their area.

Promotion of bike parking at events

Auckland Transport has a new initiative to take temporary bike parking to events and farmers markets over the summer. Last summer Auckland Transport discouraged ATEED from promoting active transport for “safety reasons” so it is great to hear about this new approach.

OTHER BOARD ACTIVITIES

Unitary Plan

July has been the month to read the extensive feedback on the Unitary Plan and to finalise the Board’s feedback (to be tabled at an extraordinary meeting on 8 August).

I have attended all of the Board’s workshops on the Unitary Plan as well as the all-day mapping workshops on 12 July and 2 August.

Release of the draft Ponsonby Road master plan

After many months of work by the Ponsonby Road master plan working group the draft Ponsonby Road Master plan was released on 26 July 2013.

The presentation speech is attached as ATTACHMENT A.

Feedback on the plan is open until 4 September.

Photos from the release event and the first pop in session held

Resource recovery centre

In July we received an update on the business case that is currently being prepared for the establishment of a facility that will provide a model for a future resource recovery network across the Auckland region. Progress has been made on identifying a suitable site that can serve the Waitemata, Puketapapa and Albert-Eden Local Board areas.

This is one of our key projects for 13/14 and is an exciting opportunity to create local jobs, minimise waste, teach new skills and make a significant contribution to the vision of Auckland becoming zero waste city. It is also complementary to the Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan adopted in June 2012.

Auckland Conversations

Over the last three years we have been treated to some amazing speakers as part of the excellent Auckland Conversations series. I have learnt a huge amount from the experts about design, planning, heritage, environment and socio-economics. All topics of huge relevance to the discussion about Auckland’s future development.

Of all the speakers, Harvard Professor Edward Glaeser who visited in July, was an absolute standout. The author of the Triumph of the City: How our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier he spoke from an international perspective about urban policy, housing affordability, road pricing, the environmental challenge and what makes a modern day competitive city.

Key points that I noted:

  • Future of NZ depends on Auckland thriving – Auckland has to work at attracting and retaining people which requires quality of life strategies

  • Cities provide pathways out of poverty. But should not ignore inequalities- the best investment is early childhood education

  • Government’s focus should be on providing educational and removing barriers to entry

  • It is for local government to manage the “demons that come with density” – such as contagious diseases, and clean water; crime and corruption; traffic congestion

  • Cities are the more sustainable way of living – allows for people to better protect the environment

  • Essential to get land use policy right to make the “magic” of cities happen

  • If you make it easier to build then there is less price volatility

I was particularly interested in his comments about transport infrastructure investment and road pricing. Professor Glaser’s view is that you cannot engineer your way out of congestion. You have to charge for valuable assets such as roads and it is in fact a “Soviet approach” to give away a valuable resource for free. He pointed out Singapore as the place to have got electronic road pricing right.  Road pricing is economically sound and not regressive as some argue but actually a progressive approach if the proceeds are invested in PT.

With regards to the debate about how we can intensify while protecting heritage. His view is that every time a city says no to build up saying no to a family who wants to take advantage of living in a city. He advocates not turning cities into museums as this makes them unaffordable. Also if you freeze growth then Auckland will turn into a boutique town that won’t do its job of providing opportunities for a wide range of people.

He also cautioned against community led neighbourhood planning when it is used as a tool of NIMBYs to say no to development

(An interview by Geoff Cooper, Chief Economist and Professor Glaeser is available on shapeauckland.co.nz and the video of the event is on the Council website. )

In other Auckland Conversations Joris de Bres, former Race Relations Conciliator gave a challenge to Auckland Council to lead the way by understanding the % of employees of different ethnicities at all levels of Council and working out in the community and for Council engagement to be done in the community’s own languages.  He has a vision of Auckland as a multi-lingual city and supports the IMSB te reo vision.

LGNZ conference

I attended the LGNZ confererence – Transforming Communities building a successful New Zealand in Hamilton from 21- 23 July.  My conference report is attached as ATTACHMENT B.

Local Board Workshops and meetings

I attended during July

  •  Key Stakeholder workshop on 1 July – way finding systems and design presented by the creators of Legible London
  • Waitemata Local Board weekly workshop on 2 July
  • Review of Local Board community centre funding for 2013/2014 meeting on 3 July
  • Relationship manager meeting on 3 July with Waitemata Local Board committee chairs to review best practice for next term
  • Resource Recovery Facility – business case update at Puketapapa Local Board office on 3 July
  • Meeting with Libraries to discuss proposed property and renewals programme on 3 July
  • Communications catch up on 3 July
  • Deborah White, presentation on Auckland Art Week
  • Neighbourhood Planning Task Group meeting convened by Roger Blakeley on 4 July
  • Quay Street quick wins workshop on 9 July
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting in Grey Lynn on 9 July
  • Meeting with Jane Bennett from Housing New Zealand Corporation to discuss a possible redevelopment they are considering in Parnell
  • Ponsonby Road master plan fortnightly catch up with officers
  • Fairtrade Auckland meeting to provide an update on Council’s implementation of Fairtrade
  • Waitemata Local Board weekly workshop on 11 July
  • All of council all day Unitary Plan mapping workshop on 12 July at the Rendezvous Hotel
  • Media briefing – Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report of the Consensus Building Group
  • Local Boards Chairs Forum on 15 July
  • Arch Hill Residents meeting to discuss next steps to stop the Bunning’s development on Great North Road on 15 July
  • Waitemata Local Board weekly workshop on 16 July
  • Meeting to finalise the draft Ponsonby Road master plan and confirm engagement plan
  • Community Development and Partnerships monthly catch up with the portfolio holders on 17 July
  • Meeting to discuss business case for Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Hall redevelopment
  • Meeting with Kaaren Goodall to discuss the workshop on apartment dwellers
  • Meeting to discuss the cleaning, maintenance and daily operations of Waitemata community halls
  • Transport portfolio monthly catch up with Auckland Transport
  • Extraordinary Waitemata Local Board meeting on 25 July regarding the board’s Unitary Plan feedback
  • Placemaking Workshop with Kaaren Goodall & Frith Walker, Waterfront Auckland
  • Waitemata Local Board Unitary Plan discussions with Auckland Plan Committee led by Shale Chambers  on 29 July
  • Waitemata Local Board weekly workshop on 30 July
  • Meeting to discuss the Waitemata Local Board Unitary Plan Feedback on 31 July
  • Meeting to discuss options for dealing with the anti- social behaviour in St Patrick’s Square

Events and functions

During July I attended:

  •  Auckland Conversation presentation with leading Harvard economist 2013 Sir Douglas Myers Visiting Professor, Edward Glaeser on 1 July
  •  Auckland Conversation: WALK London, New York and Auckland on 2 July
  • Grafton gully opening resizeThe Annual Travelwise Awards at the Cloud on 3 July
  • Seddon Fields Artificial Turf Opening on 5 July
  • Auckland Conversations: Cultural diversity and race relations: Reflections after a decade as New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner
  • Bad Jelly the Witch production on 12 July at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company
  • Grey Lynn Business Association networking breakfast
  • LGNZ conference in Hamilton 21-23 July (conference report back attached)
  •  St Marys Bay Association AGM – I gave an update on the draft Ponsonby Road master plan
  • Release of the draft Ponsonby Road master plan event at the Ponsonby Community Centre on 26 July
  • Stop the GCSB Bill protest on Saturday 27 July
  • Re-opening of Shed 10 on 31 July
  • Public ‘Drop-in’ Engagement Session – draft Ponsonby Road Master plan at the Leys Institute Library on 31 July

Build it and they will come: Grafton Gully cycleway stage one opens

Stage one of the Grafton Gully cycleway was opened this morning by NZTA.

The 300-metre long section between Grafton Road (by the business school ) and Alten Road provides a small experience of the joys of riding on a safe, dedicated, high quality cycleway . Stage two on Churchill street is currently under construction. Stage three should start in October providing a continuous connection from Beach Road to Upper Queen Street and the NW Cycleway.