Ponsonby news update October 2018

On 19 September we celebrated 125 years since New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.  Although it wasn’t until 1919 that women were eligible to stand for Parliament and another 40 years before Elizabeth McCombs became Aotearoa’s first elected female member of parliament.

Ellen Melville, the first woman elected on to Auckland City Council in 1913, stood unsuccessfully for parliament in 1919 for the electorate of Grey Lynn. She went on to stand a further six times always polling highly but blocked from achieving her potential by the sexism of the time.   The Ellen Melville Centre in Freyberg Place was erected in memory of her 33-year membership of the Auckland City Council.  To coincide with the one year anniversary of the re-opening of the upgraded Ellen Melville Centre the local board and the Auckland Branch of the National Council of Women recently hosted a morning tea in honour of The Rt Hon Helen Clark who has a room named after her at the Centre. The former Prime Minister continues to be a strong advocate for women’s rights.

I’m grateful for all the women who fought vigorously for the right to vote and for the right to stand for public office. I ultimately owe my career to them. I was first elected on to the Local Board in 2010 on the City Vision ticket but in 2009 I experienced my first taste of political campaigning when I stood unsuccessfully as an independent in the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust election. Now renamed Entrust, the 5 Trustees are elected every three years by the 320,000 Auckland electricity account holders. Entrust owns a 75% share in Vector providing an annual dividend to consumers.  The Entrust election usually goes under the radar resulting in a very low voter turnout. However, what has been described as the “least well-known political soap opera in Auckland” has been blown open.  The C&R trustees, who have held all spots on the Trust for 9 years, are infighting and have dumped long standing Vector chair, Michael Stiassny. There are indications C&R are planning on selling down the Vector shares.  There are serious issues at stake that hopefully will encourage far more electricity account holders to exercise their right to vote even if it does require a trip to a post box!

Pest Free Auckland 2050

Jesse Mulligan at the launch of Predator Free Grey Lynn held at GLFM in August 2017

As part of Conservation week, Auckland Council recently hosted Pestival 2018 an annual event to showcase community-led conservation and an opportunity to discuss best practice to create predator free environments that encourage the return of native birds.

Broadcaster and Grey Lynn local Jesse Mulligan was MC for the event. He paid tribute to the many volunteers who are working on Pest Free Auckland 2050 initiatives. Jesse is also coordinator of  Predator Free Grey Lynn, a local group that aims to get rid of native bird killers like rats and stoats.  There are other local Predator Free New Zealand groups that can be found on Facebook or via Auckland Council’s website page Pest Free Auckland 2050.

Ponsonby News update October 2018

Chair’s monthly report October 2018

This report covers the period 13 September 2018 until 9 October 2018.

 Summary

Completed projects

The new stairs with an improved handrail between Hopetoun Street and Western Park are now open.

A constituent wrote to say “I have just discovered the new stairs to Western Park off Hopetoun. This is amazing and within metres it’s hard to believe you are not in the Waitakeres. Congratulations. You have created a wonderful place for those of us in the inner city”

Poynton Terrace connection between St Kevin’s Arcade and Myers Park (funded from the City Centre Targeted rate).  A safety audit is still to be completed on the design.

An interpretation sign in Te Hā o Hine place has been installed.  It explains the background to the Women’s suffrage memorial commissioned in 1993 for the suffrage centennial.

New Trees

10 elm trees at Grey Lynn Park’s Schofield Street entrance were removed because of Dutch elm disease. They have now been replaced by a mix of tanekaha and puriri.

 Representation Review

Every six years a review of Auckland Council representation arrangements is required including whether the wards properly reflect their populations. The outcome of the review applies at the next local body election (2019).

The Auckland Council review of the ratio of population to number of elected members showed four wards did not comply with the 10 per cent (more or less than the average) guideline. The Waitematā and Gulf Ward population differs from the average per member by 43 per cent.  The submission I gave at the Representation Review hearings (photo right) on behalf of Waitematā Local Board focused on the proposed Waitematā and Gulf ward boundary change (attached as an agenda item).

Following the hearings the council’s joint governance working party responded to submissions on the council’s proposal and decided to recommend changes to the council’s initial proposal.

The changes include retaining all of Grey Lynn and Westmere in the Waitematā and Gulf Ward. This was in response to submissions and public concern from the Grey Lynn area.

The working party also recommended to the council’s governing body that an area of Grafton should become part of the Ōrākei Ward in addition to the proposal for Newmarket and Parnell to become part of the Ōrākei Ward. (the recommendations were to be considered at a governing body meeting on 18 October)

The review does not impact the Local Board boundaries. Working party recommendations to the governing body meeting 18 October.

 Auckland Domain Committee

 At the Auckland Domain Committee meeting on 30 August 2018 a working group was set up to review the Accessibility Improvement Review Programme and its long-term implications.

The working group met on 14 September 2018 agreeing to a range of proposals to improve walking connections and parking management. The working group’s recommendations will be referred to the Domain Committee meeting to be held on 29 November.

At the same time the Local Board is progressing options for funding improved paths in the Domain.  At our September Business Meeting we requested Auckland Transport prepare rough order of costs for the following walking and/or cycling connections in the Auckland Domain as identified in the Auckland Domain Masterplan and/or Waitematā Greenways Plan and work with Community Facilities to identify the renewals budget available for each project:

  • Titoki Street carpark to Football Road from Parnell Train Station through the woodchip yard to meet the track leading to Lovers Lane
  • loop around Watsons Bequest, including path on north side of Domain Drive
  • upper connections to Kari Street Commons
  • Centennial Path to Grafton Mews
  • Park Road entrance to Grandstand Road South
  • path on The Crescent to connect the Wintergarden to the Auckland
  • Museum
  • path extension on east side of Domain Drive off Parnell Road to meet
  • Lower Domain Drive
  • path on east side of Domain Drive to meet Lower Domain Drive – not costed – part of Greenway and Auckland Domain Masterplan for cycling

Local Government New Zealand

As the LGNZ national council member representing local boards I attended the LGNZ strategy meeting on 4 October in Wellington.  LGNZ is focused on four priority areas – water, housing, climate change and localism.  Minister Mahuta attended the meeting to discuss the three waters review and water regulation.

Minster Phil Twyford attended the National council meeting on 5 October to provide an update on the new Urban Development Authority.

Helen Clark Room at Ellen Melville Centre

To coincide with the one-year celebration for the revamped Ellen Melville Centre, former prime minister Helen Clark was welcomed at an event hosted by the Local Board and the Auckland Branch of National Council of Women held in the room named in her honour. (Our Auckland story).  Photo right: With Helen Clark and Auckland’s National Council of Women chair Carol Beaumont

125 Suffrage Day celebration

The National Council of Women – Auckland Branch, Auckland Council and Auckland Live hosted a Sunrise celebration to mark 125 years since New Zealand became the first country where women were able to vote in a general election. The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led a parade from Te Hā o Hine Place to Aotea Square (photo right) for speeches and performances by Annie Crummer and New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh MC’ed by Jennifer Ward-Lealand.   It was a very special morning to honour the fight for gender equality in Aotearoa.

I reported on why I am grateful for all the women who fought vigorously for the right to vote and for the right to stand for public office in my latest Ponsonby News update. 

Meetings and workshops 13 September until 9 October

  • Monthly comms meeting on 13 September
  • Domain Committee working group meeting at Auckland Museum on 14 September
  • Presented an ADO lunchtime learning talk “Auckland as a Cycling City: Dare to compare – Learnings from Velo-City Conference in Rio de Janeiro”  at Auckland Central City Library on 14 September at the invitation of Darren Davis
  • Catch up with Cr Darby
  • Meeting with Big Street Bikers to discuss their Ebike network strategy on 14 September
  • Weekly chair’s catch up held on 17, 24 September, 1, 8 October
  • Regional Cluster Workshop for local board elected members on 17 September
  •  NZTA road show discussion on the new National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) at the end of August that gives effect to the new Government Policy Statement (GPS).  This NLTP helps create a transport system that is safer, more accessible, better protects the environment and delivers value for money transport solutions for all New Zealand. The Transport Agency invites you to a conversation with our new Board Chair Michael Stiassny, Board representatives, Chief Executive Fergus Gammie and Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton to hear about how we’re partnering with local government to deliver on this new direction for transport. It’s all about enabling our economy to prosper and helping people get the most out of life.  By working together, we will create liveable cities, thriving regions, stronger communities and achieve the best outcomes for New Zealand by giving people choice on how they move about
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 18 September
  • Meeting with Housing NZ representations on 19 September regarding the HNZ development at 139 Greys Avenue discussion prior to lodging Resource consent
  • Attended the Parnell Trust board meeting on 19 September
  • Catch up with K’rd Business Association GM on 20 September
  • Presented to the Joint Governance Working Party on the Waitemata Local Board’s submission on the representation review (attached as a report item on the October business meeting agenda)
  • Tour for members of the Western Springs Lakeside Park rock forest with Elizabeth Walker and Sel Arbuckle from STEPs – St Lukes Environmental Protection Society Inc on 21 September (photo right)
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 25 September and 9 October (the board had a recess week so no workshop was held on 2 October)
  • Central City Community Network meeting on 27 September hosted by Central City Library and guided tour of the Wahine take action Suffrage exhibition
  • Housing NZ bi-monthly meeting
  • Monthly catch up with the Board’s relationship manager
  • Meeting with the GM of the Newmarket Business Association and representatives of Newmarket Pool on 28 September
  • LGNZ strategy meeting in Wellington on 4 September
  • LGNZ National Council meeting on 5 October in Wellington
  • Monthly Chairs Forum on 8 October
  • Parnell Plan Working Group meeting on 8 October
  • Ponsonby Business Association monthly meeting on 9 October

Events attended 13 September until 9 October

  • Morning tea in honour of the Rt Hon Helen Clark in the Helen Clark room at Ellen Melville Centre on 13 September (one year anniversary of the opening of the Ellen Melville Centre)
  • Hīkoia te Kōrero: a parade in celebration of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori at Aotea Square
  • GLBA networking drinks held at Malt to discuss the West Lynn upgrade proposals
  • Opening night of Mr Burns at the invitation of Silo Theatre on 14 September
  • Auckland Pestival 2018 held at Aotea Centre on Saturday 15 September Pest Free Auckland is a community-led conservation programme, facilitated by Auckland Council, to eradicate pests (pest plants, animals and pathogens) and concurrently restore the region’s native ecosystems. Partnerships with mana whenua, community groups, landowners, schools, the Department of Conservation, and the private and philanthropic sectors are key to the success of this programme.  As part of the Pest Free Auckland programme, Auckland Council hosted the annual Auckland Pestival to showcase community-led conservation, provide a networking opportunity and seek feedback on initial plans to support expanded delivery funded by the natural environment targeted rate
  • Launch of Mātātuhi Foundation on 17 September by the Writers Festival Trust at Auckland Central City Library – a new initiative to support the literary landscape of New Zealand
  • Sunrise Celebration with the PM on-Suffrage Day 2018
  • Opening night of Rendered on 20 September at the invitation of the Auckland Theatre Company
  • World Park(ing) day installations on Tyler Street and High Street as part of the Festival of Architecture (photo right)
  • Bad Jelly the Witch gala opening at the invitation of Tim Bray Productions on 22 September
  • Heritage Festival Opening on 26 September at Ellen Melville Centre
  • Auckland Boat Show on 29 September at the invitation of ATEED
  • Foreshore Heritage Walk guided by member Vernon Tava on 30 September for the Auckland Heritage Festival (photo below)
  • Hosted a significant birthday morning tea for board members and local board services team on 2 October
  • Beauty and the Beast at TAPAC at the invitation of TAPAC (four tickets) on 2 October
  • Late Night Art event on 9 October for Art Week
  • Biondi Brunialti duo concert at St Matthew in the City on 9 October at the invitation of the Italian Ambassador

 

Chair’s monthly report July 2017

Report covering the period 10 June to 8 July 2017.

Highlights

We concluded consultation on the draft Local Board plan on 30 June. Our final Information Session was held at the Leys Institute Library on 22 June (Photo right with board members Adriana Christie and Richard Northey)

At our June Board meeting we approved the names to be given to the rooms in the refurbished Ellen Melville Centre: Helen Clark Room, Elizabeth Yates Room, Betty Wark Room, Marilyn Waring Room, and Eleitino (Paddy) Walker Room. Our thanks to National Council of Women – Auckland Branch for selecting the names of these significant women.  The opening date is currently provisionally scheduled for 15 September.

At the meeting we also approved the final Quick Response Round and Accommodation Grants for 2016/17 (link to the minutes of the meeting).  We allocated $14,967.00 utilising ‘Local Discretionary Community Grants’ budget of $11,157.00 and $3810.00 from the ‘Community Response Fund’ budget and allocated Accommodation Grants utilising ‘Community group assistance – Accommodation Grants’ budget of $125,000 and $11,190.00 from the ‘Community Response Fund’ budget.  The minutes of the meeting are on the Council website. (Picture right: a thank you from the Indian Ink Trust who received a $2500 accommodation grant).

On the 30th anniversary of the Nuclear- free New Zealand legislation I spoke at the unveiling of the Pohutukawa for Peace plaque to acknowledge all those who campaigned for nuclear- free NZ in particular my colleague Richard Northey, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (1970-83) and MP in the Labour government when the legislation was passed.  I also spoke at the launch of the Our Climate Declaration initiative on 18th June (Attachment A)

Provided feedback to Auckland Transport on behalf of the Board on the Victoria Street cycleway, Midtown Bus consultations, AT election sign bylaw review (Refer Auckland Transport monthly report) and made a submission to New Zealand Transport Agency on behalf of the Board on setting speed limits rule (Attachment B)

Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour safer speed zone introduced (Attachment C). The Board has been a long time advocate for 30km speed limit for the area.

The Teed Street Upgrade is well underway. The Newmarket Business Association is working with Council and the contractors to keep the surrounding streets open and welcoming. (Photo right:  A local retailer proposed the wording for this sign on Teed St)

Provided Local Board updates in Ponsonby News (Attachment D) and the Hobson (Attachments E)

Attended a number of events detailed below.

Took part in the Big Sleep Out 2017 on 6 July raising over $2000 for Lifewise. After the 5.30am wakeup at the event held in the AUT plaza I walked through the city centre to the board office. People were sleeping in doorways all along the way.  It was a reality check about the housing crisis and why Lifewise’s work to tackle homelessness is so essential.

Meetings and workshops: 12 June until 7 July  

  • Weekly Chair’s meeting every Monday morning
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 13, 27 June and 4 July
  • Auckland Transport quarterly briefing on 12 June
  • Local Board Chairs’ Forum on 12 June
  • Auckland Domain committee workshop and extraordinary business meeting on 13 June
  • Attended the Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association Board meeting on 14 June to give a brief presentation on the role of the Local Board
  • Monthly comms meeting on 14 June
  • Community Reference Group for the Parnell cycle route workshop organised by Auckland Transport on 14 June
  • Chair’s recommendations run through meeting on 15 June
  • CBD Jobs and Skills Hub introduction for Local Board members on 16 June
  • Meeting on 16 June with Principal and Deputy Principal of St Mary’s College to discuss a range of road safety issues
  • Local Boards sub-regional workshop on 19 June
  • Chaired the Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 20 June
  • Meeting on 21 June organised by Mayor Phil Goff to set up an Advisory Group to progress the WW1 Memorial (Waitematā Local Board rep on this group has not yet been confirmed)
  • Transport portfolio catch up on 21 June and 5 July
  • Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel meeting with Local Board Members on 21 June
  • Local Board plan information session at Leys Institute Library on 22 June
  • Briefing on 22 June on proposed Civic Administration Building / Aotea Square rezoning
  • LGNZ Governance and Strategy working group meeting in Wellington on 23 June
  • Site visit to the Petanque Club in Salisbury Reserve on 25 June
  • Planning Committee Auckland Plan Refresh Workshop on 26 June re Development Strategy Scenarios
  • Meeting on 27 June with Business Lab to discuss the City Fringe Economic Development Action plan refresh
  • Attended the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting on 28 June
  • Albert Street walking tour on 29 June with the CRL Street Response Manager (photo right showing the design on the new hoardings on Albert St)
  • Meeting on 30 June with David Gaimster new Director of Auckland Museum
  • Catch up with John Hutton, Manager Treaty Settlements regarding Gladstone Reserve settlement
  • Meeting at St Mary’s College with Auckland Transport to discuss road safety issues
  • Meeting with Rangimarie Huria, Chief Executive, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia Limited on 30 June
  • Attended the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel meeting on 3 July
  • Meeting on 5 July with Splice representatives to discuss programming at Ellen Meville Hall
  • Meeting on 6 July with Gary Holmes and Gill Plume from Uptown Business Association regarding an update on retaining and developing innovative businesses in the Uptown area.
  • Briefing on 6 July regarding the proposed St Mary’s Bay and Masefield Beach project
  • Meeting with CAB Managers on 6 July
  • Site visit of Victoria Quarter with a constituent and Manager City Centre Design on 7 July (to discuss range of safety and road design issues)

Events and functions:  10 June until 7 July

  • Spoke on behalf of the Board at the unveiling of the Pohutukawa for Peace Plaque on 11 June (photo right)
  • Parnell Business Association networking event “Future Museum” at Auckland Museum on 15 June
  • Spoke at the launch of the Our Climate Declaration initiative on 18 June (Attachment A)
  • Kokako café handover event hosted by the Grey Lynn Business Association to welcome the new owner
  • Newmarket Business Association Business Awards at the Langham Hotel on 22 June at the invitation of the NBA
  • Pestival at Aotea Centre on 24 June: the inaugural Auckland event showcasing and celebrating current community-led conservation work in Auckland (photo  right Cr Penny Hulse opening the event)
  • Te hokinga mai o ngā pou whakairo a te Kiingitanga ki Pukekawa/Pukekaroa (return of the carvings of the Kiingitanga to Auckland Domain) on 24 June (photo right Cr Lee with Sharon Hawke, Te Ariki Tamaroa  the master carver Alan Nopera and his wife and Renata Blair)
  • Ngati Whatua Orakei – Mana Whenua Signage Unveiling/Blessing at Emily Place on 28 June (photo right)
  • Auckland Chief Executive’s Forum – Unlocking Auckland’s Growth on 28 June
  • Social function for Auckland City Centre Advisory Board members hosted by Warren & Mahoney on 28 June
  • St Joseph’s Primary School Art exhibition on 29 June
  • Opening night of Kiss the Sky on 29 June at the Bruce Mason Centre at the invite of the New Zealand Dance Company
  • World Press Photo Exhibition opening night on 30 June at the invitation of Crackjack
  • Te Taumata Kapa Haka a Matariki event at the Cloud on 1 July featuring performances by some of New Zealand’s best kapa haka
  • Celebrating the return of Tara welcome on 1 July organised by Auckland Council and the Sir Peter Blake Trust
  • Bring your Own Bag -International Plastic Bag Free Day event organised by Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away group for Plastic Free July (photo right with Mayor Phil Goff and Colinda Rowe, Chair of Grey Lynn 2030)
  • Civic Reception for the crew of Tara at the Auckland Town Hall on 4 July (photo right)
  • Auckland Conversations on 5 July The Future of Our Oceans: Continuing Sir Peter Blake’s Environmental Legacy
  • Tour of The Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from Tate at Auckland Art Gallery on 5 July at the invitation of Regional Facilities Auckland
  • Emirates Team New Zealand homecoming parade and function on 6 July at Headquarters at the invitation of ATEED
  • Participated in The Big Sleep Out on 6 July raising over $2000 for Lifewise (Photo below with elected representatives: Board member Nerissa Henry, Cr Greg Sayers, Mayor Goff and Cr Cathy Casey)