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)

Getting parking right for Auckland

I’ve just attended the Velo-City 2014 conference in Adelaide.  One of the best speakers was Tim Papandreou, Director of Strategic Planning & Policy at the San Fransico municipal transportation agency.  Tim spoke about the range of strategies his agency is employing to achieve sustainable streets.

One of the most important tools, he says, is parking demand management to create more sustainable streets and promote alternative transport options. In SF they estimated 20% of congestion was caused by drivers looking for parking. The approach they have taken with lots of success  (SF Park) is to provide flexible parking options using smart technology to optimise existing parking resources.

There is a lot to be learnt from SF but their parking management approach is particularly relevant as Auckland Transport starts consultation on the Parking discussion document.  Feed back on the document will determine how future parking is managed in Auckland to cope with continuing growth and competing demands on public space.

This following article was first published in Ponsonby News

St Marys Bay parkingParking discussion document

Parking for cars causes one of the biggest headaches for Aucklanders particularly  in our historic inner city suburbs and  the city centre.   In Freemans Bay commuters are waking up residents from the early hours as they start circling for “free” parking. In Ponsonby residents on narrow streets are frustrated at getting infringement notices for parking on the footpath. In Herne Bay residents are feeling the downside of the successful St Marys Bay resident’s parking zone as commuters get pushed into neighbouring streets.

On the Strip the most frequent complaint is about the lack of parking. There are many more issues around price, availability and how public space on our streets is allocated to parking often to the detriment of other transport priorities.    As further development occurs (with less parking built off-street under the Unitary Plan) and the inner city population increases greater demands are going to be placed on space for parking.

The super city restructuring brought together seven legacy council systems of managing parking which created inequalities across the city and failed to resolve long-standing parking issues. For the first time a comprehensive region wide parking policy review is being undertaken by Auckland Transport. Public consultation is open until the end of June to give feedback on how the key parking issues facing Auckland should be addressed.

For the city fringe the proposed approach  applies “demand responsive pricing” for parking adjacent to businesses (using pricing to create capacity – this is how the new city centre parking zone works), the introduction of resident parking scheme (like that currently trialled in St Marys Bay) with priority given to heritage properties with no off- street parking , and paid parking for residential streets close to business, shopping, leisure or public transport.

On arterials it is proposed to prioritise public transport and cycling ahead of parking. Auckland Transport has suggested this may require replacement parking for businesses at convenient locations (as it is currently planned for Dominion Road).

Feedback on a parking discussion document will shape Auckland Transport’s parking strategy and open up the way for the roll out of resident parking zones. These zones will be a game changer for busy areas like Ponsonby Road and neighbouring suburbs where huge amounts of parking could be freed up from commuters for residents and short term visitors.

The Waitemata Local Board will be providing feedback on the discussion document. Our starting point is for effective parking management to provide residents with access to parking in inner city suburbs and to prioritise parking in town centres to support local businesses and welcome shoppers.  We will be listening to our community’s views before commenting.

There is often a perception that the problem with parking is just that there is not enough. However a look at the overall policy approach shows the current issues are really about poor and inconsistent management of our available resources. We welcome Auckland Transport tackling this challenging and at times emotive topic with community input and look forward to the implementation of solutions as soon as possible.

The parking discussion document is available on Auckland Transport’s website:  at.govt.nz

 

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

The Power of You celebrating Fair Trade Auckland

Fair Trade Auckland celebration L-R Wayne Walker, Pippa Coom, Rose from Ghana and Penny HulseAt the Fair Trade Auckland Power of You celebration this evening we heard from Rose, a cocoa farmer from Ghana  who highlighted the many benefits the fair trade premium has brought to her village including clean water.

 Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse also spoke about how much Fairtrade certified product has been consumed at Auckland Council since May 2012 (when Auckland became a Fair Trade City) 

10,905kg of  fairtrade coffee

2,796kg of fairtrade hot chocolate

1430 kg of instant coffee

4290kg of sugar

and a staggering 1,253,250 tea bags!

In total this has returned more than $20,000 in fair trade premiums to producers.  It really shows the Power of You and the direct benefits of purchasing fair trade.

Fair trade fortnight 3 – 18 May 2014

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 February 2014

Covering activities from 1 December 2013 – 31 January 2014

This is my first Board report for 2014.  At the December meeting of the Waitemata Local Board confirmed Board member portfolios and positions. This term I am the following:

  • Transport and Community portfolio lead
  • Chair, Grants Committee
  • Member of the Isthmus Local Board Joint Funding Committee
  • Positions: Ponsonby Business Association, Newmarket Business Association (alternate), Ponsonby Community Centre representative, Parnell Trust Liaison

Getting to better know the Waitemata Local Board area

Margi Watson and Pippa Coom Beating the boundsBeating the Bounds

We started the new term by teaming up with Walk Auckland to “Beat the Bounds” of the Waitemata Local Board area. We walked our boundary from Meola Reef to Pt Resolution. It was an excellent opportunity to get to know our Board area and to ensure no encroachments from our neighbours on the Albert-Eden and Orakei Local Boards.

A highlight for me was walking the boundary along Newmarket stream and into Newmarket Park for the first time.  Access from Middleton Road has been blocked due to slips. I think there is huge potential to better link Newmarket Park with Ayr reserve and Thomas Bloodworth Park. As we discovered the Shore Road roundabout presents a formidable barrier and is unsafe for crossing pedestrians (the Transport portfolio has logged this issue with Auckland Transport).

Local Board Tour

Board member tour symonds st cemetaryIn January our appreciation of our Board area continued with a tour organised by our local board services team. We spent the day visiting our key projects from Weona walkway in the west over to the Pt Resolution headland in the east including Art Station (under refurbishment), Pioneer Women’s Hall, Freemans Bay Community Hall, and Symonds St Cemetery. We also had an unscheduled stop to pick up an order of Arch Hill War Chest larger from the Grovner brewery.

The Tour really highlighted just how many projects we have underway and what a fantastic board area we are fortunate to represent.

Portfolio reports:  Transport

Cycle safety

Barbara Grace with her electric bikeTragically the year started with a cycling fatality in our local board area on the corner of Parnell Rise and the Strand. It highlighted the desperate need for safe, separated cycling infrastructure on our busy roads.  Unfortunately it also unleashed ill-informed, heartless, victim bashing and the resurrection of myths like cyclists do not pay for the roads therefore shouldn’t ride on them.

I raised concerns with Auckland Transport regarding their communications  following the crash which wrongly attempted to put the focus on so called red light running rather than the positive steps AT is taking to improve cycling infrastructure in Auckland.  Fortunately the NZ Herald did run a very good series on cycling safety following the crash.  (See What my mum knows about cycling attached).

Greys Ave bus parking proposal

At the end of last year we responded to Auckland Transport’s proposal to install bus parking outside 95- 113 Greys Ave with the following feedback.

The Waitemata Local Board supports the work underway to upgrade Auckland bus services and the move to a new network with frequent bus services.  The provision of quality public transport as part of an integrated transport system is a Board priority. We appreciate that additional buses in the city centre require layover locations and it will be necessary to re-allocate road space for buses.

However we have met concerned residents on Greys Ave and have considered their reasons for objecting to the proposal.

Greys Ave is one of the few residential streets in the City Centre with apartments at ground floor level. We agree with the residents that Greys Ave is not a suitable location for a bus layover location (for a variety of factors) and object to the proposal to install bus parking.

We ask that AT consider alternative locations and road space suitable for bus parking (which might require the re-prioritisation of a general traffic lane).  Our feedback, made under delegated authority, will also be included in the Board’s February meeting agenda for endorsement by the Board.

SkypathSky path

In December the governing body voted to progress the Auckland Harbour Bridge pathway to move towards signing a memorandum of understanding with the Sky path Trust. I spoke in support of the project on behalf of the Board

I attended the meeting on 29 January hosted by the Council’s Sky path champion Brett O’Reilly (ATEED, CEO) with local residents groups and the Westhaven Marina Users Association to discuss the patronage review results.

Walkway to Arthur StreetWay finding

One of Local Board initiatives is way finding for pedestrians and cyclists. A surprising number of access ways in our area have no signage.

It is good to see a walkway sign been installed by Auckland Transport at our request on Ponsonby Road (indicating the walkway through to Arthur Street). We have requested AT investigate including the destination information on the standard walkway sign design

Monthly transport update

Monthly Transport catch ups were held with the Transport portfolio in December and January. Specific issues discussed include:

  • Coxs Bay bus turnaround proposal
  • Kingdom Street level crossing upgrade
  • Signage on Walkways/ access ways – it is the Board’s preference that these include directional information
  • Auckland Transport Code of Practice – currently under consultation until the end of March
  • Richmond Road safety action plan – upgrades on Richmond Road currently underway on the intersection of Cockburn street
  • Ponsonby Road safety improvements proposed for the Anglesey St 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 update: Community

Community Funding

The allocation of grants for the second round of Community Grant funding was made by the Waitemata Local Board’s December meeting (it wasn’t possible to hold a Grants Committee meeting for this round due to the committee not being established following the election). Grants totalled $16, 505.15 were approved.

The deadline for applications to the third round is 21 February 2014.

Freemans Bay Residents Association

Congratulations to the latest Residents Association to be formed in our area. It has been a pleasure assisting the residents who have enthusiastically taken on the task of promoting and protecting the citizens of Freemans Bay. I attended the Association’s well attended first public meeting in December and answered queries.

More information at  www.freemansbay.org.nz

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

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

Other board activities

Local Board Agreement

Council’s consultation on the draft Annual Plan got underway on 23 January and continues until 24 February 2014. As part of the Annual Plan each local board agrees with Auckland Council’s governing body on the funding for local activities and the local service levels for the coming year.

The draft Local Board agreement and details of proposed projects and budget changes is available on the Annual plan website

Unitary Plan

The Board hosted a workshop on 29 January to assist with making submissions on the Unitary Plan. I thought the workshop was useful for explaining the process and giving our community representatives the opportunity to raise issues and concerns.

Submissions can be made until the end of February

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 December – 31 January I attended:

  • Local Board grants workshop on 2 December
  • Local Board workshop on 3 December
  • Meeting with the Newmarket Community Association on 3 December
  • Freemans Bay Residents Association public meeting on 3 December
  • Meeting to discuss Transport consultations on 4 December
  • Meeting with Ken Clive regarding SH16 widening project
  • Review of the Ponsonby Road masterplan meeting on 4 December
  • Site visit with Arch Hill residents to discuss safety and maintenance concerns on Waima Street
  • Waterfront Forum on 5 December at Shed 10 – developing a new form of partnership
  • Newmarket Business Association meet and greet at the Board office on 5 December
  • Localised carbon reduction plan for Waitemata local board area discussion on draft and next steps
  • Introductory ATEED meeting on 6 December
  • Site visit with John Street resident on 6 December to discuss parking on the footpath
  • Kids in the City (Project: Children Researching Children) presentation by 6 children  (aged 10-12) on findings from research they conducted this year on various aspects of what it’s like for children living in /around the Auckland CBD. This pilot research was funded by Massey University and Auckland Council
  • Ponsonby Road draft masterplan feedback – report to the Ponsonby Road masterplan working group at the Local Board office on 9 December
  • Pioneer Women’s Hall needs assessment presentation on 10 December
  • Waitemata Local Board monthly business meeting on 10 December 2013  at the Local Board office, Graham Street
  • Meeting with the General Manager of the Ponsonby Business Association on 11 December
  • Briefing of local board members on the Sky path project on 12 December
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 12 December
  • Workshop – Low Carbon Auckland: To seek feedback from Councillors and Local Board representatives on the proposed draft Auckland Energy Resilience and Low Carbon Action Plan (titled ‘Low Carbon Auckland’).  Engagement with the incoming Councillors/ Local Board representatives was requested by Councillors and Local Board representatives who attended a workshop held on 19 June 2013 when an initial draft action plan was discussed.
  • Meeting with Cheryll Martin, GM at Volunteering Auckland on 12 December
  • Seminar on the second release of 2013 Census data held by RIMU on 13 December
  • Community-led Placemaking Champions Group meeting on 13 December
  • Waterfront Auckland workshop for Local Board members and Councillors on the development plans Wynyard Central
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 17 December
  • Attended the Governing Body meeting on 19 December 2013 and spoke in support of Skypath.
  • Update on Costley Reserve playground upgrade/concept plan  and Playground Design and consultation for the play space renewals projects programmed for 2013/2014
  • Transport catch up on 14 January
  • Meeting to discuss the draft Waitemata Local Board Transport Engagement Plan on 20 January
  • Meeting to discuss Art Station
  • Site meeting with a mosaic artist to discuss a mural in the Grey Lynn toilets
  • Waitemata Local Board tour on 23 January
  • Unitary Plan workshop discussion on 24 January
  • Meeting to discuss Local Board Plan timetable
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 28 January
  • Ponsonby Community centre Board meeting on 28 January
  • Monthly Transport portfolio meeting on 29 January
  • Board hosted Public Workshop: Making Submissions on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan on 29 January
  • SkyPath – meeting on 29 January with local residents groups to discuss the patronage review results
  • Meeting to discuss community leases under consideration 30 January
  • Workshop on the Local Government Act (LGA) Amendment Bill (no 3) and opportunity for Local Board input in to the council’s submission on 31 January
  • Meeting to discuss Neighbours Day with the Community Development portfolio on 31 January

Events and functions

In the period 1 December 2013 – 31 January 2014 I attended:

  • Opening of the Franklin Road Christmas lights on 1 December 2013
  • Official party at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Town Hall on 3 December 2013
  • Annette Isbey exhibition opening at the Central Library on 4 December
  • Cycle Action Associates breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 5 December
  • Outlook for Someday Awards at the Aotea Centre  on 6 December at the invitation of Connected Media (I am a trustee of Connected Media)
  • Beating of the Bounds – walk of the Waitemata Local Board boundary from Meola Reef to Pt Resolution bridge  on 7 December
  • Carols by Candlelight at Western Park on Sunday 8 December delivered by the Board
  • GLBA Christmas lunch on 10 December
  • Auckland Conversations: New Zealand’s Climate Change and Oceans – Professor Sir Peter Gluckman on 12 December
  • Grey Lynn 2030 Christmas lunch and annual public meeting on 18 December
  • Sugartree development Christmas function (at the invitation of Sugartree)
  • Memorial gathering for the victim of the crash at the intersection of Parnell Rise and the Strand
  • Big Day out at Western Springs on 17  January (two tickets provided by Regional Facilities)
  • International Buskers Festival VIP Night Show at the invitation of Crackerjack Productions on 25 January
  • On Anniversary Day  I enjoyed checking out all the activities along the waterfront including the Ports of Auckland festival at Captain Cook Wharf, Seafood Festival at the Viaduct Events centre, Buskers International Festival and Laneways
  • Auckland Conversations: Auckland’s Economic Development – Greg Clark – Global Cities Advisor

End of Beating the Bounds on Pt Resolution Bridge

Beautiful Waitematā berms

Since Auckland Council stopped paying for the grass verges/berms to be mowed in October last year the landscape of our streets has been changing in new and beautiful ways. Yes there are some scruffy roadsides (and as a Board we have been following up with Auckland Transport to maintain berms that have no obvious “owner”- the NZ Herald has reported on this today) but for the most part as I travel around the Waitematā area I have been impressed with what’s starting to grow and how well cared for our neighbourhoods are looking.

There have been other spin offs too. The bees and butterflies are new beneficiaries  enjoying all the roadside food from the flowing berms (one of my neighbours has been leaving a patch of meadow grass for the bees).  Maintaining the berms encourages neighbourly interactions as I have seen on my own road. My neighbour mows our berm as we don’t have a lawn mower. I took the opportunity to meet new neighbours when they were outside planting their berm. Other neighbours finally got talking again after a long running dispute.

It’s also made me appreciate how many residents have been proudly looking after their berms for many years despite it previously being a paid service (not surprisingly as the contractors often did a very poor job).  It was only in the old Auckland City Council area that berms were mowed at ratepayer expense- the rest of Auckland can’t figure out what the fuss is about.  I am all for Auckland Transport maintaining verges that are not getting looked after (usually for very good reasons) but I think we should enjoy, encourage and celebrate our new urban landscapes that have been liberated from expensive Council mono-mowing.

More information

Berm mowing responsibilities on Auckland Transport’s website

Alternative ideas for berm mowing – Auckland City Harbour News, 9 October 2013

Tips for planting bio-corridors – Grey Lynn 2030

Update

Pimp my berm – berm planting in Elleslie on Seven Sharp 12 February 2014

Walking and cycling on Auckland Harbour Bridge a step closer with approval of Skypath

SkypathYesterday’s Governing Body meeting was dominated by the censure of the Mayor. But also on the agenda was a very significant and exciting project that has strong public support. In a confidential session the council voted to move the project to the next phase allowing council officers to work towards a formal agreement with the Skypath trust and their backers.

The Skypath presentation is available here including details of the proposed construction and a range of  impressive design images . Ben from Cycle Action Auckland also spoke in support of the project and highlighted that it is a critical link for walking and cycling.  More details on how the path will connect at each end on Transport Blog. 

Photo credit: Cathy Casey
Photo credit: Cathy Casey

I had a last minute call up to speak on behalf of the Waitemata Local Board (standing in for our Chair Shale Chambers who waited 3 hours to speak) to confirm the backing of the Board.

I noted the Board’s long term support for the project which is included in our Local Board Plan and emphasised that we are now keen to move on to the details which will address the concerns raised by the resident associations. There is no doubt that it is a transformational project that has the Board’s full support to be taken forward to the next stage.

Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to get to the project to this point in particular Bevan Woodward from the Skypath Trust.

 

 

 

Monthly Board Report December 2013

inaugural Waitemata Local Board meeting with friends and family

I was delighted to be re-elected to the Waitematā Local Board on 12 October 2013 and to be confirmed as Deputy Chair for another term at our inaugural meeting on 4 November.

My first Board report for this term covers my activities from 10 September including the final period of the first triennium of Auckland Council and the election period.

Transport

I look forward to continuing to work on the Transport portfolio (portfolio’s to be confirmed at our December Board meeting). There are some exciting projects underway in our area – Beach Road cycle lanes (photo from the Beach Road open day), the Sky path, Grafton Gully Cycleway, Waitematā safer routes scheme  and the Board’s Greenways project that we can look forward to seeing delivered over the next three

Pippa Coom and Christopher Dempsey at theBeach Road open dayAuckland Transport’s draft Cycling Business Plan

The feedback from Christopher and me is on Auckland Transport’s draft Cycling Business Plan is on this month’s agenda. We have raised a number of concerns regarding the draft plan and the failure of Auckland Transport to put forward an investment proposal to meet the Auckland Plan targets.

Greenways Plan

The Board’s Greenways Plan is now online. We heard in November that Auckland Transport are progressing the design work on our priority Greenway Route connecting Coxs Bay to the NW Cycleway via Grey Lynn Park with construction planned for 14/15 .

Work is also underway on an implementation plan for delivering the priority routes in the plan which will be on our February agenda.

SH16 – St Lukes Interchange

During the election period the NZTA and Auckland Transport requested land owner consent from the Board to widen Great North Road into reserve land opposite MOTAT to provide for two lanes on to the motorway.  The Board has pushed back on the widening due to the lack of clear transport benefits and the need to remove mature pohutakawa trees. The plans have now been modified to retain the trees and incorporate cycling and walking improvements. Auckland Transport have given an undertaken that outstanding concerns are going to be addressed through the Great North Road Corridor Management Plan that has recently got underway.

Reporting on transport issues

Auckland Transport reports monthly on the issues progressed with the transport portfolio. The report is available on our agenda.

Community Development

I hope to continue working on the Community Development portfolio for a second term. We are making good progress on a number of projects and initiatives (including the redevelopment of Pioneer Woman’s Hall as a community facility for inner city residents) however there are still a wide range of issues and community priorities that need to be addressed.

Meetings associated with the community development portfolio are listed below.

Community Funding

The Board’s Community Grant committee met on 2 September and recommended the allocation of grants for the first round of funding for 13/14. Grant application decisions totalling $24,601.60 were confirmed at our September Board meeting.

The Central Joint Funding Committee met on 20 September to allocate grants from the Accommodation Support Fund, the Community Group Assistance Fund and the Auckland City Cultural Heritage. These grants are allocated within the old Auckland City Council area by representatives of the relevant Boards. The minutes are available online.

Other board activities

Bunnings Decision

I attended most of the four days of hearings in support of the submitters against the application for a Bunnings mega store development on Great North Road. Board chair, Shale Chambers addressed the hearing on behalf of the Board in opposition.

After hearing the evidence I thought the submitters had a really strong case based on the negative impact of the Bunning’s proposal.  It is a non-complying activity in a Mixed Use zone that abuts the Res 1 neighbourhood of Arch Hill. The scale of the activity is not intended under the district plan in a mixed use zone. I was therefore hugely disappointed that the commissioners granted Bunnings consent on 20 November.   I feel that residents have really been hugely let down by the process and are now faced with taking the fight to the Environment Court

Unitary plan open day at the libraryUnitary Plan

The proposed Unitary Plan was notified on 30 September for public consultation. Feedback is open until 28 February 2014.

I attended the public open day at the Central library on 11 November including presentations on Sustainable Design and Universal Access. I also attended the briefing for all elected representatives on 19 November. The plan and key topic fact sheets are available online.

Urban Design

Gentle Density, Brent Toderian

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Brent Toderian, the former Chief Planning Officer for Vancouver City Council. I heard about “gentle density” for the first time – a term that has now been adopted by Auckland Council planners.

Brent covered the magic of density done well:

  • Reduced energy use in buildings
  • Allows for active transport
  • More green design options (in Vancouver called “eco-density”)
  • Less sprawl
  • More affordable housing choices
  • Improved public health
  • Vitality, diversity, safety

Brent emphasised that it is not about height it is about how well you design it and that the emphasis must be on good design. The best thing you can do for density is have a high design standard. In Vancouver this translated into only accepting “excellent” design. He gave examples of how gentle density can be achieved.

  •  Hidden density “laneway” houses by infill housing
  • Ground orientated housing
  • “invisible” housing achieved through secondary suites

His message to the professionals that attended the workshop is that there is no excuse not to achieve density and to have a genuine conversation about the benefits (and challenges)

  • Demographics on their side
  •  Urban environment perfect condition
  • Families are choosing urban living (in US 80% of households are childless) – if you design for kids you attract kids

Following the workshop Brent presented at an Auckland Conversation where Ludo Campbell Reid launched the Auckland Design Manual.

In his presentation Brent focused on transportation issues. Key points:

  • Key problem of sprawl is auto – dependency
  • It is a myth that is is possible to balance modes – what has to happen is a re-prioritisation with walking first then cycling
  • No city has made driving better by building roads. In Vancouver they have achieved 20% less vehicles entering downtown and driving has got better
  • The best transportation plan is a great land use plan
  • Done well density uses the power of nearness
  • He recommended designing “eye candy” for walkers
  • Need to physically protect cyclists only why will increase mode share – cheapest infrastructure investment you can make
  • It is not about being “anti-car” but “pro-choice”

Local Board Workshops and meetings

In the period 10 September – 21 November I attended:

  • Cake presented to the Waitemata Local BoardWaitematā Local Board business meeting on 10 September at Parnell – the final meeting of the first term of the Board (photo of the cake presented at our last Board meeting)
  • Arch Hill Residents public meeting on 16 September
  • Community portfolio monthly catch up on 18 September
  • Meeting to discuss Basement Theatre liquor licence
  • Meeting to discuss Pt. Resolution master plan
  • Central Joint Funding Committee Meeting on 20 September
  • Meeting with Tania Pouwhare, Principal Strategy Analyst to discuss neighbourhood planning/place making
  • Meeting to discuss plans for the children’s area at the Central Library
  • Meeting to discuss waste management funding for the Grey Lynn Festival with the solid waste team on 26 September
  • ATEED tourism update held at Shed 10 on 27 September
  • Community Facilities renewal programme 2014 meeting
  • Auckland Transport monthly catch up
  • Neighbourhood planning working group meeting convened by Roger Blakely on 30 September
  • Meeting to discuss a first draft of a Localised Carbon Reduction Plan for Waitemata on 2 October
  • Hearings for Bunnings – attended on 7, 8, 9, and 10 October
  • Meeting on 9 October with local residents to discuss anti-social behaviour at St Patrick’s Square
  • Pioneer Women’s Hall redevelopment meeting on 9 October
  • Paul Steely White breakfast presentation hosted by Heart of the City and AECOM on 11 October
  • St Luke’s interchange meeting with Parks officers on 11 October
  • Meeting to discuss Sugar tree development and Corridor management plan for Nelson Street on 15 October
  • Presentation by Billy Mathieson, Principal Adviser, Social Entrepreneurs to report back from his attendance at the SOCAP13 conference in SF – one of the leading ‘Social Impact’ events in the world.
  • Waitemata Local Board welcome meeting on 18 October
  • Ways of working workshop on 22 October
  • Interview on Radio Ponsonby on 22 October  to discuss bike park corral and Ponsonby Road Master plan
  • CCOs at the Stepping forward for Auckland ExpoOne day “Stepping Forward for Auckland” – Conference and Expo for newly elected members  (photo of CCO panel at the Expo)
  • Legal Briefing  as part of the induction Expo for elected representatives
  • Waitemata Local Board New Elected Members Technology Training session 25 October
  • Stormwater One day Seminar at the Rendezvous Hotel on 31 October
  • Finance, Comms and Local Board Agreement training for Elected members on 1 November
  • Waiheke Local Board inaugural meeting on 2 November
  • Inaugural meeting of the Waitematā Local Board 2013 – 2016 on 4 November
  • Grey Lynn Business Association Committee meeting on 5 November
  • Launch of Waterfront Auckland’s Sustainable Development Framework on 5 November at Shed 10
  • Albert- Eden Local Board inaugural meeting on 6 November
  • Meeting to discuss Christmas Carols in Western Park
  • Meeting with Lynne Butler, Freemans Bay residents on 6 November to discuss setting up a Freemans Bay Residents Association
  • Meeting to discuss the proposed activation of Quay Street with a Ciclovia event (road “opening” for walking and cycling) to be held on 8 February 2014
  • Coastal walkway meeting with Parks officers on 8 November
  • Waitematā Local Board weekly workshop on 12 November
  • Transport update on 13 November
  • Unitary Plan update for all elected representatives on 19 November
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 19 November
  • Meeting with Sugar tree and Nelson street developers to discuss Auckland Transport plans for a corridor management plan on 20 November
  • Advancing Auckland’s Governance induction workshop for elected representatives on 20 November
  • Greenways meeting with Parks officers and Auckland Transport on 21 November
  • Environmental portfolio first catch up meeting on 21 November
  • Community Development and Partnerships monthly catch up with the portfolio holders on 21 November

Events and functions

In the period from 10 September – 22 November  I attended the following events and functions:

  • Tour and lunch at the Crossroads Clubhouse, Great North Road
  • Great Transport Debate hosted by Campaign for Better Transport on 11 September
  • Unwrapping a new era in transport – launch of Auckland’s new electric commuter trains at Wiri Depot
  • Grey Lynn Business Association networking drinks on 12 September
  • Opening of the Age of Aquarius – Fashion Museum on 13 September
  • Survive and Thrive (a public forum, expo and series of workshops for people working in the creative sector)  – attended an afternoon workshop on 14 September at the invitation of the Big Idea
  • Bayfield School Safe School Travel Plan Launch with the Mayor on 16 September
  • Parnell meet the candidates event
  • Grey Lynn meet the candidates event
  • Spoke at the suffrage day celebrations at Khartoun place organised by the National Council for women on 19 September
  • Beach Road walking and cycling improvements Public information day at AECOM hosted by Auckland Transport
  • Parking day installation on Hardinge StreetPark(ing) day event on Hardinge Street organised by the Urban Design team
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 21 September
  • America’s Cup races at Shed 10 over various mornings
  • Arch Hill Street party on 22 September
  • Newmarket Business Association AGM (I was a scrutineer) on 25 September
  • Opening of the Heritage Festival at Shed 10 on 27 September
  • Young and Hungry theatre production at Basement Theatre (at the invitation of the Basement Theatre)
  • Launch and Lunch at the Italian Festival on 29 September at the invitation of the Italian Society
  • Mayoral morning tea with Auckland Senior Citizens to celebrate the 2013 United Nations International Day of Older Persons on 1 October
  • Bayswater walking and cycling pipe bridge opening attended by the Mayor on 5 October
  • Grey Lynn Savalivali Heritage walk
  • Grey Lynn Farmers Market AGM on 6 October (I was re-elected Chair of the management committee)
  • Powhiri for new Voyager director on 7 October
  • Opening of Art Week at K’rd on 10 October
  • Newmarket Business Association Young Designers Awards (at the invitation of NBA) on 11 October
  • RIMU presentation Pseudo-science and caricatures? Reflections on Gen X, Y, X, Z and beyond
  • Fiesta in the Park on 13 October
  • Parnell Trust AGM 15 October
  • Sustainable City Showcase at the Cloud hosted by Sustainable Business Network on 17 – 19 October
  • Official opening of the 12th annual Auckland Diwali Festival on 19 October
  • Jam on Toast event at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 19 October
  • Westhaven drive walkway ground breakingGround-breaking for the start of construction of the Westhaven walk and cycleway 21 October (see photo)
  • Pouwhiri for the new Council on 23 October
  • Opening of the Tall Ships Festival at Queens Wharf on 26 October
  • Inaugural meeting of the Governing Body at the Town Hall on 29 October
  • Gentle Density workshop with Brent Toderian on 30 October
  • Auckland Conversation and launch of the Auckland Design Manual on 30 October with Design for Auckland:   Brent Toderian – Toronto, Canada
  • Meet the Fair Trade Farmers event hosted by Oxfam NZ at Shakey Isles on 31 October
  • Celebration and opening evening at Parnell Baths on 1 November
  • Auckland Conversation – Beauty and Biophilia Amanda Sturgeon, Living Buildings International
  • Auckland Conversation in Association with RIMU Kids in the City – Accommodating Children in an intensifying Auckland Karen Whitten and Robin Kearns on 6 November
  • Cycle Action Auckland’s Associates Breakfast on 7 November
  • TRANX drug and alcohol service 25th  anniversary celebration on 7 November
  • Fairtrade Banana event at Ponsonby Central on 7 November
  • Art in the Dark opening on 7 November
  • Art in the Dark event 8 and 9 November
  • Unitary Plan public Open day on 11 November
  • Newmarket Business Association networking drinks (Buzz) on 13 November
  • Social Enterprise Forum – Growing the fourth sector on 14 November
  • Grey Lynn Business Association AGM on 14 November (I stood down from the Committee)
  • Grey Lynn Community Centre AGM on 20 November
  • Switching on the Parnell Lights event at Heard Park on 21 November