Safer speeds are on the way for Auckland

I have been campaigning for Vision Zero for several years. There has been a 70% increase in fatalities and serious injuries on Auckland roads since 2014 or over three times the rate of the rest of New Zealand. I am therefore really pleased that Auckland Transport has now prioritised bringing down this unacceptably high rate of death and serious injuries on our roads to zero.

Auckland Transport has set up a new Reducing Speed Limits website page with information about why AT is fast-tracking implementation of a speed management plan for Auckland.

 I wrote the following for the September Ponsonby News 

Hairdryer speed enforcement organised by Walk Auckland to mark the 8th anniversary of 40km speed limit on Ponsonby Rd

September marks the 9th anniversary since Ponsonby Road was slowed to 40km.  Now in response to a road safety crisis that has seen Deaths and Serious injuries (DSi) increase by 67% since 2013 Auckland Transport is following that ground-breaking lead by proposing speed limit reductions across the region.  In Waitemata 77% of all DSi involved vulnerable road users, people walking or cycling. This is the highest percentage among all Local Boards.

The project to lower the speed limit along Ponsonby Road started in 2004 with a Walk Auckland survey in which 65% of people indicated they would like the traffic along Ponsonby Road to slow down. It took campaigners such as Hamish Keith and Andy Smith and the members of the former Western Bay Community Board five years of hard work to turn this into a reality.

One of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce road danger is to implement speed reduction measures.  A drop of just 10km/h can make a huge difference to the safety of our streets. Reducing a 50km/h local street to 40km/h reduces the risk of pedestrian death from 60% to 25%.   Speeds of 30 km/h are the maximum any vulnerable or unprotected road user can withstand without sustaining death or serious injuries. In fact, lowering speeds is the most valuable move any local authority can make if we are serious about saving lives. The World Health Organization has concluded that a five percent reduction in average speed can result in a 30 percent decrease in traffic fatalities.

Hamish Keith and Andy Smith with local board members mark the 3rd anniversary of 40km on Ponsonby Road

In 2014 New York City, following the adoption of “Vision Zero”, lowered its speed limit to 25 mph (40km).  It has resulted in a 25 percent decline in traffic fatalities.  The Mayor of London recently announced a Vision Zero goal ambition – the elimination of all deaths and serious injuries from London’s streets by 2041. The Waitemata Local Board was the first to support Vision Zero in our plans. Vision Zero is a long-term goal that creates a more people-centred transport system. At its core is a moral imperative that no loss of life on our road network is acceptable or inevitable.

The Vision Zero approach also accepts that everyone makes mistakes and therefore all parts of the transport system need to be strengthened through a safe road environment, safe speeds, safe vehicles and safe road use, so that when mistakes occur, it does not lead to people dying or being seriously injured.

In April the Associate Transport Minister, Julie Anne Genter announced the development of a new road safety strategy with a bold Vision Zero target. This was followed up with additional funding for safety improvements.   Auckland Transport is now also aligned with a commitment to create a road network free of death and serious injury.

Work is currently underway to identify areas and roads around the Auckland region to set lower speed limits.  These roads will be added to the Schedule of Speed Limits and drafted into the bylaw. The bylaw will be consulted on Auckland-wide. From the feedback I receive I know locals want safer and healthier streets that encourage walking and cycling.  Far more streets and neighbourhoods are likely to join the example established by Ponsonby Road.

A positive way forward for the Waitemata Safe Routes projects

This is quite a long read but it responds to a lot of issues currently under review concerning two cycling projects in the Waitematā Local Board area that form part of a package of projects known as Waitemata Safe Routes.  I will keep this post updated as the projects progress.

Since my update below – tabled as part of my monthly Chair’s report – the local board has met with Greg Edmonds, Chief Infrastructure Officer at Auckland Transport, members of his project team, Kathryn King the head of Walking & Cycling and communications and engagement advisers.

At the meeting on 13 December discussed what is currently on hold pending safety and design reviews  and what work is continuing to make the routes safe.  This information has been advised to residents along the routes, the Occupy Garnet Road protest group and is now on the AT website.    We also discussed safety improvements that AT would look to get in place ahead of the school term starting next year such as the crossing points on Surrey Crescent.  As advised by AT there will be further consultation on aspects of the design (including a re-design of the West Lynn shops that will go through a community reference group first).  The exact consultation process is to be discussed further with the board.

Greg outlined a proposed AT process going forward for all cycling projects. The board supported a new process framework being put in place. The AT Executive team will want to know that there is agreement from key stakeholders including the Local Board and the Auckland Design Office overseen by a Project Control Group. If there isn’t agreement the PCG will escalate the project to Greg Edmonds.

At the meeting we didn’t discuss with AT other specific projects but Greg has since confirmed that there are no plans to put a stop or halt to any other cycleway projects and that these are progressing within previously advised timeframes subject to all stakeholders being across these projects (part of this involves AT reviewing feedback the board has previously given to AT)

The following update was attached to my Chair’s monthly report tabled at the Waitemata Local Board business meeting on 12 December 2017.  (anything in [         ] has been added online since I gave the update at the board meeting)

Waitemata Safe Routes project update:  The “fiasco” of West Lynn

The attached updates (letters to residents that are now on the AT website)  have been sent to Grey Lynn residents by Auckland Transport outlining what work is being completed and what work that has been halted pending a review of two Waitemata Safe Route projects.

The Waitematā Local Board has met with Auckland Transport [the project team] and is actively working on the solutions and an agreed process for further consultation of any proposals that come out of the review.

At the same time I’ve been reflecting on what led to what Simon Wilson from the Spinoff called a “fiasco” and what should have been done differently.    This is both personal and political. I live, hang out and shop in Grey Lynn.  West Lynn is “my” village.  I want the best for the whole of Waitematā, so our different communities feel proud of changes that make it safer and more pleasant to get around.  I also appreciate the importance of bringing people along with the process and listening to a range of views.  As I’ve heard the former Mayor of Copenhagen say “A good city means dialogue and controversy – getting people engaged in their environment and its transformations can only be a good sign of things to come”.

There are two routes currently the subject of intense debate.  Although there are common issues, the projects are distinct, with different issues and responses.  Both routes were consulted on at the same time as part of a package of four routes known as the Waitemata Safe Routes including Great North Road and the Grey Lynn Greenway (now delivered but not without its own controversary on the Grosvenor Street section)

The timing of the consultation on the four routes coinciding with the Local Government election in September 2016 was incredibly ill advised . It was against the wishes of the local board, Councillor Lee and Local board services staff.   Simon Wilson calls it “preposterous” that we didn’t campaign to make it an election issue.  But that’s the whole point – transport consultations shouldn’t become election issues because of the timing of the consultation. We want to hear the feedback from the public first, understand the issues and possible solutions and then provide local board input. This is what is happening right now with the Grey Lynn & Arch Hill Residential Parking Zone consultation.

Richmond Road including the West Lynn shops  (Route 2)

My involvement in this project goes back to a meeting hosted by Grey Lynn 2030 in 2009 with David Engwicht, known as the inventor of the walking school bus.  (the outcome of that meeting detailed here ) 

A traffic calming group was established to push for the adoption of his “Mental speed bumps” theories of reclaiming the street to slow down vehicles.  In 2010 the group presented to the Western Bays Community Board a survey of local traffic concerns including speed and pedestrian safety detailed here

By the time I was elected in October 2010 and working on the transport portfolio (a position I still hold) it became clear there was range of issues along the entire length of Richmond Road.  For example, the Peel Street and Warnock Street intersections were the subject of regular complaints.  Richmond Road school was battling for a signalized pedestrian crossing.  The intersection of Surrey Crescent and Richmond was “upgraded” by AT in early 2011 but fell short of the board’s request for a design that provided a safe crossing for kids walking to school.

We brought together all the issues in a Richmond Road Safety Action Plan in 2012  (consulted on as part of our Local Board Agreement in 2012 and 2013). The plan requested AT to target the shopping areas and school zones concentrating on pedestrian and cycle safety and traffic calming together with good urban design to provide enhanced overall attractiveness and amenity. (I wrote about this project in an update in Ponsonby News about Richmond Road)

Designs for a cycleway on Richmond Road were first drawn up in 2012/2013 but went on hold until funding became available through the government’s Urban Cycleways Investment Fund.

Issues raised through the basic consultation process (now under review) undertaken by AT last year were relatively minor. The main concern that I took up was the location of the bus stop outside Nature Bay which didn’t seem to be logical.

From the Board’s perspective there was a lot to support about the design –  it could be done with minimal parking loss and included a range of safety improvements with extras like more planting and street furniture.  If anything, the design was criticized for not going far enough to slow the traffic and make cycling safe along the entire length.   Bike Auckland’s feedback asked AT to set up a community reference group to go through the details of the design but this was ignored by AT.

With the benefit of hindsight it perhaps seems obvious that the project should have been approached as a design-led street upgrade (as is happening for the K’rd streetscape upgrade) but there are a range of factors as to why this didn’t happen:

  • The improvements came about as a result of cycle project with additional budget for safety and bus stop changes. If the local board had pushed for a town centre upgrade 2 -3 years ago when the plans were first discussed the whole project would have come to a standstill as there were no funds.
  • The opportunity for the local board to discuss adding to the budget to improve the materiality (such as concrete paths rather than what turned out to be ugly asphalt) was missed because AT didn’t bring the final plans back to the board
  • The feedback we heard didn’t raise issues with the design overall – most agreed it was an improvement. A community reference group or more thorough engagement process would have drilled down on the design far more effectively
  • The silo approach at AT blocks teams working holistically and bringing in an urban designer (this has only happened on projects under immense pressure – for West Lynn there was nothing that signaled a different approach was required)

However the original uproar in West Lynn (from the businesses in particular) was not so much about the design but arose originally from a number of other issues:

  • An engagement process that didn’t bring the design back to the community to explain how the feedback had been taken into account and what was going to go ahead (frustratingly AT only seems to do this where there is strong opposition at the consultation phase)
  • Failure to respond to genuine issues (like the bus stop location)
  • Poor, and at times inconsistent, communication about what was happening and when
  • Approach to the construction and impact of the construction – the contractor advising businesses that the works were possible during the quiet time in January but then AT issued notices to start the work the next day
  • The work was carried as fast as possible, which aimed to minimize the impact, but led to bad quality finishing
  • Mistakes made with the plans and construction (the sloping foot path outside Dear Reader is clearly a big mistake)

A wider review of the whole Richmond Road route is now underway but for West Lynn shops many of the issues (first identified on a site visit I did with AT three weeks ago  [17 November]) are already in the process of being resolved.  The parking has changed but once marked out there is likely to be just as much parking serving the shops as prior to the construction (it has been incorrectly reported that all the parking has been removed outside Harvest).

The business association has been incredibly pro-active working with Auckland Transport and bringing all the businesses together to a launch a “West Lynn Shops” campaign- “Good bye roadworks.  Hello pathways, cycleways and parking!”

Surrey Crescent to Garnet Road (Route 1)

Like Richmond Road this route has been on the Auckland Cycle network for almost two decades. It also received funding from the Urban Cycleways Fund.

Auckland Transport consulted on two options. One option of a cycleway on the road requiring the removal of 40% of the parking and another option using the berm for the cycleway.    Feedback was very mixed.   The local board opposed both options and asked Auckland Transport to re-consult on a new design using the carriageway.   This was rejected on the basis of cost.

I give some credit to the protest group [Occupy Garnet Road] for stopping the construction of this cycleway and forcing Auckland Transport to review the design of the entire route  [the group were first informed on 23 November that they had achieved their original objective of halting the Surrey Cres/Garnet Road and Richmond Rd projects pending a review but as of 16 December continue their “occupation” with a range of demands including a halt to all Auckland cycleway projects]

The Board passed the following resolution at our November Board meeting [on 21 November] and the next day I joined a meeting with Auckland Transport and the group made up of local residents, Urban Tree Alliance representatives and protestors at the Old Mill Road/Motions Road intersection[Occupy Garnet Road Group].

Resolution

That the Board b) confirms its feedback in November 2016 to Auckland Transport on Route 1: Surrey Crescent to Garnet Road cycleway opposing both options consulted on by Auckland Transport and the board’s request to Auckland Transport to consider a new option using the road space with opportunities for new landscaping and sufficient parking and confirms its request to Auckland Transport to re-consult with the community on a new option

  1. c) Notes Auckland Transport has advised that of the 164 trees along Route 1 18 trees are being removed of which 15 are exotics and 3 native – 3 of the exotics are dead. 6 of the native trees are being transplanted and 36 trees are to be planted with a net gain of 18 trees
  2. d) Requests Auckland Transport halt the removal of trees, transplanting of trees or planting of new trees along Route 1 until the public is informed of the arborist report and provided information about how Auckland Transport is ensuring a best practice approach to tree planting and maintenance
  3. d) Requests Auckland Transport organise a public meeting to provide a project update and an opportunity to address all community concerns with the design of Route 1

 Next steps

As confirmed above Auckland Transport has advised residents as to what work will be completed to be made safe and what is on hold pending a wider review.   Community Reference Groups will be set up for West Lynn and the wider Safer Routes project.  In collaboration with the West Lynn group (led by the GLBA co-chair) work is already underway to address immediate issues in West Lynn.  Boffa Miskell have been appointed to lead the review of the design of the village area. A silver lining from the “fiasco” is that it has brought the community together and will result in far more investment in West Lynn than was originally planned.   AT has offered a procedure for making a loss of business claim for the businesses impacted by the construction.

It is positive that Auckland Transport has committed to a new transparent, cooperative approach involving the local board that we expect to extend to all our projects.  In the longer term we are seeing the start of a shake up at Auckland Transport that has already been signaled with the arrival of a new CEO.    Since the beginning of the super city AT has far too often ignored local board priorities (the legislation requires AT to take account of local board plans – but this often doesn’t happen) and “wins” have required unnecessarily hard-fought battles by the local board and community.

The Board has been incredibly effective at achieving better outcomes than what was originally on offer (such as the Ponsonby Pedestrian Improvements Project, Franklin Road upgrade and the Teed St upgrade) but too often this has been despite AT.   I’m looking forward to a new dynamic and AT acceptance that local boards are responsible for place making. In the meantime, the Waitemata Safe Routes projects shows the board (and me in particular as transport lead) needs to be constantly vigilant and challenge AT processes and projects at every step of the way.

I am also hopeful that following AT’s review of the current Grey Lynn projects we can look forward to greatly improved urban design, the function of placemaking firmly in the control local boards and the continued delivery of good quality, cycleways and safer streets that benefit the whole community.

Related reading

Taking Cycle Design seriously, Greater Auckland

The fiasco in West Lynn: how did Auckland Transport get a shopping village makeover so wrong,  Simon Wilson in The Spinoff

After the West Lynn debacle: a better way to plan Auckland’s suburbs, Simon Wilson in the Spinoff

The extraordinary incompetence of AT, Simon Wilson in the Spinoff

The hard road to a cycle-friendly city, Russell Brown, Public Address

Waitemata Safe Routes projects , AT website

Chair’s monthly report November 2017

Report covering the period 9 October until 7 November 2017.  (Attached to the November business meeting agenda)

Highlights

 Good Citizens’ Awards

Every two years the Waitematā Local Board hosts the Good Citizen Awards first initiated in 2013 by Shale Chambers with great support from former member Tricia Reade.

The awards are the Board’s way of recognising community leaders and groups for going above and beyond for the benefit of the community and the environment. At our third Good Citizens’ Awards ceremony held last month we celebrated the huge contribution of volunteers and heard the amazing stories behind each of the nominations. We’re very privileged to have such fantastic individuals and groups out there doing good.

Awards were made in four categories – Children and Young People, Individual, Community Group, Special Award for Long Service to the Community – to a diverse range of recipients from across Waitematā. (Attachment One: Good Citizen Awards citations and photos for all the recipients)

10-year budget – One Local Initiative presentation

For the first time Local Boards are focusing on one priority advocacy project (referred to as an OLI – One Local Initiative) for inclusion in the 10 year budget that goes out for consultation in February 2017.  On 2 November all local boards were given 15 minutes to present their OLI to the Finance and Performance Committee. I was joined by Deputy Chair Shale Chambers, members Adriana Christie and Richard Northey presenting on 254 Ponsonby Road known as “Ponsonby Park”  (Attachment Two: presentation)

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei marae visit

On 26 October Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei marae hosted the Waitemata Local Board. It was a great opportunity to strengthen our partnership and to hear about some of their aspirations and projects, and vice versa. Ngati Whatua showed us around the marae, and introduced us to some of their projects including the nursery and worm farm.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei  were led by Rangmarie Hunua, Chief Executive of Whai Maia.

 Asia–Pacific Cycle Congress 17 – 20 October in Christchurch

I was fortunate to attend the Congress as a presenter and judge of the Cycle Friendly Awards presented at the Congress dinner.  The Congress brought together excellent international speakers including the Dutch Cycling Embassy and local presenters. Attendees covered elected representatives, practitioners, researchers and advocates.

A key takeaway for me from the Congress is the importance of planning the places and streets we want that work for everyone rather than focusing on “cycling” for “cyclists”. The planning has to start with addressing the car and parking (“what really determines how cities look and move is their parking rules”).  A smart city is one that focuses on walkability and mobility to tackle challenging environmental and health issues.  As Steve Hoyts McBeth from Portland said there is “nothing more unsafe than a sedentary kid”

The presentation I gave with Christchurch Councillor Phil Clearwater  (Attachment Three: From the fringe to mainstream: the politics of gaining community support and delivering successful cycling infrastructure for the future) was part of a community engagement session where lessons were shared from the Island Bay Cycleway project in Wellington about the importance of bringing the community along on cycle projects that they can end up feeling proud about.

Congratulations to Te Ara Mua: Future Streets for winning the Supreme Award at the Cycle Friendly Awards organised by Cycle Action Network and NZTA (photo of Mangere-Otahuhu Chair, Lydia Sosene, Kathryn King Auckland Transport, members of the Future Streets team and judges Richard Leggat and Peter King).

My flights and one night’s accommodation were paid for by NZTA. Registration and two night’s accommodation were funded from the Board’s professional development budget.

Dockless bike share arrives in Auckland

Interestingly just after the Congress a dockless bike share scheme started in Auckland with the arrival of 100 Onzo bikes. The company did not seek permission from Council or Auckland Transport before launching.

At the Congress we heard about the phenomenal growth of dockless bikes worldwide. Philip Darnton, Executive Director of the Bicycle Association, highlighted the benefits of getting more people riding but said we need to be aware that dockless bike companies are “not interested in transport just data.”

In Auckland concerns have been raised regarding the use of public facilities for parking the bikes and the potential for vandalism and dumping.

AT has since advised that NZTA has drafted a Code of Practice based on best practice from overseas cities, with the intention that it be adopted and modified by councils nationally to ensure that any bike share schemes that come to New Zealand, have bikes that remain maintained and do not obstruct the public realm.

AT is in the process now of working with Auckland Council’s Compliance team and Auckland Transport’s legal team to ensure the Code of Practice aligns with Auckland Council’s bylaws.

 Project updates

 Teed Street upgrade

The final work has been completed on Teed St with the installation of planting and street furniture. (Attachment Four: Newmarket Business Association media release).

 I have been following up on potential Board support for promoting the completed upgrade to bring shoppers back to the area to support the businesses who have struggled through the construction period.

 Ponsonby Road pedestrian improvements project

 Works is now complete on Brown Street (photo right) and continuing on Pollen Street.

Night work was planned for 14-17 November to install line markings and the pedestrian refuges at Norfolk St and Angelsea St intersections that have been out of action for too long raising safety concerns.

West Lynn walking and cycling improvements project

The West Lynn project featured in a NZ Herald story on 11 November: Auckland’s Grey Lynn sidelined by cycleway project

“Everyone agrees the fault lies with AT and a ‘tick the box’ consultation process that left the mega transport body and businesses on a different page when a genuine partnership was needed”.

I have made the following comment on Facebook:  I agree with the Grey Lynn Business Association & retailers that there are issues with this project that need to be sorted out by AT. The sloping footpath and drainage needs to be fixed. I also don’t think the bus stop outside Nature baby is in the right place. The consultation process was undermined when AT went out for feedback during the election last year (the Waitemata Local Board strongly opposed this). AT has done a poor job communicating the need for the project and the final plans.

What I do support is the need for improvements to safety and accessibility for everyone. The project addresses years of complaints and issues that have been raised by locals. For example the parking outside Harvest has changed to allow for a pedestrian build out at the Warnock Street intersection (this narrows the distance to cross). There is a new zebra crossing in the village. The design will reduce speeds. The construction has been a difficult time and businesses are receiving support to make loss of income claims. The aim is to create a more pleasant and safe walking environment that is good for business that will bring benefits to West Lynn.

Four bus stops have been replaced by two new bus stops opening up new parking to serve all the businesses (three new parks across the road from Harvest, 10 new ones outside Oranga Tamariki, and more outside Cherry & White). With further changes coming to the parking restrictions there will end up being more short term parking.

Also to note that the project isn’t finished yet. It is work in progress. More changes might need to be made to the design if the improvements don’t work as intended, but it is too early to judge. In addition, there are further upgrades coming such as a new roundabout at the Peel Street intersection. Locals have been asked for this for many years.

[Note: since providing this update I have done a site visit with Auckland Transport to identify issues and confirm remedial action. Auckland Transport is now completing reviewing the design. Simon Wilson has written an excellent article about the issues for the Spinoff  The fiasco in West Lynn: how did Auckland Transport get a shopping village makeover so wrong?]

Resignation from Board triggers by-election

Mark Davey resigned from the Local Board on 16 October due to his escalating business interests. Mark has told board members he that he looks forward to seeing the continued good work the Waitemata Local Board does in the community.

Nominations will open on Friday 24 November 2017 and close at noon on Friday 22 December 2017. Voting packs will be delivered from Friday 26 January 2018 and voting will close at noon on Saturday 17 February 2018.

Meetings and workshops: 9 October until 7 November

  • Weekly Chair’s meeting every Monday morning
  • Chair’s forum on 9 October
  • Ponsonby Business Association monthly meeting on 10 October
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 10, 24, 31 October and 7 November
  • Meeting with the Ponsonby Park group and board members on 11 October
  • Franklin Road Community Liaison meeting on 12 October
  • Chair’s recommendations run through
  • Meeting with officers on 12 October to discuss Grey Lynn Park multi-purpose facility
  • Catch up with Michelle Prior, Director within the Department of Transport in Western Australia prior to Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress
  • Meeting with Andrew Bell, Auckland Transport to discuss membership of TRANIZ and road safety issues
  • Meeting to discuss the Board’s One Local Initiative to be presented to Governing Body for inclusion in the 10 year budget (Attachment Two)
  • Local Boards sub-regional workshop on 16 October
  • Attended the Asia-Pacific Cycle Conference in Christchurch 17- 20 October and gave a presentation with Cr Phil Clearwater, Christchurch City Council (Attachment Three)
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 17 October was chaired by Deputy Chair Shale Chambers in my absence at the Asia-Pacific Cycle Conference
  • Local board briefing on 24 October – budget and policy issues in the lead up to the 10 year budget
  • Site visit with Claire Walker, Walker Landscape at Te Hā O Hine Place to discuss interpretation signage
  • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei marae visit for board members and Local Board team on 26 October
  • Meeting with Karen Soich to discuss resident’s parking issues
  • Meeting with representatives of Richmond Rovers to discuss next steps to progress new clubrooms in Grey Lynn Park
  • Site visit with Cr Mike Lee to discuss Newmarket Station Square access way from Broadway
  • Meeting with owner of Gypsy Tearoom to discuss West Lynn improvements project construction
  • Meeting with Chair, Grey Lynn Business Association
  • Feedback session on 27 October on the progress of the City Centre Public Amenities Project after the research phase which reviewed the public amenity provision in the City Centre
  • Grey Lynn Farmers Market AGM on 29 October
  • Ponsonby Park governing body presentation run through with community-led steering group
  • Rates briefing for Local board members
  • Workshop for local board chairs and nominees to discuss their presentation to the Finance and Performance Committee on the 2 November.
  • Presentation to board members of the K’rd business plan and yearly review
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss Levels of service & safety for pedestrians in the city centre
  • Ponsonby Business Association AGM on 30 October
  • Finance and Performance Committee Workshop LTP 2018-2028 on 2 November Civic Spaces theme – Advocacy: one local initiative discussion with the Finance and Performance Committee (Attachment C)
  • Communications & Engagement Elected Member Reference Group on 3 November
  • Western Bays Community Group AGM on 6 November
  • Auckland City Centre Residents Group AGM on 6 November
  • Grey Lynn Community Centre AGM on 7 November

Events and functions:  9 October until 7 November

  • Late Night Art on 10 October – Art Week event
  • Coxs Bay playground celebration on 12 October
  • Good Citizens’ Award ceremony on 12 October (Attachment A)
  • Diwali Festival Opening in Aotea Square on 14 October
  • From the Deck spring gathering of the Ada/Bassett/Swinton Community Group looking to restore Newmarket Stream with Gecko Trust
  • Attended the Cycle to the Future awards dinner on 19 October at the Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress as a guest judge (return airfares and one night accommodation provided by NZTA).
  • Citizenship Ceremony in the Town Hall on 24 October
  • Sustainable Business Network 15th birthday celebrations at Pocket Bar on 26 October
  • Service of consecration for Holy Trinity Cathedral on 28 October (photo right with Rod Oram and Jo Kelly-Moore, former Dean of Holy Trinity now Archdeacon of Canterbury)
  • Trash to Trade launch at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on 29 October
  • McConnell Property 20th Anniversary at the Cloud on
  • Opening night of Auckland Theatre Company’s Red Speedo on 2 November (at the invitation of ATC)
  • Auckland Street Choir performance and visit to Stuck in the Maze at Auckland Central Library on 4 November
  • 2017 Auckland Consular Corps flag raising at Auckland Town Hall on 3 November (photo below)
  • Glenfield Primary School assembly on 6 November: Brake Road Safety Charity poster competition winner (I attended as a judge)

 

 

Chair’s monthly report September 2017

Report (on the September business meeting agenda) covering the period 7 August until 10 September 2017.

Highlights

Local Board plan hearing

Consultation on the draft Waitematā Local Board Plan 2017 concluded with a hearing held on 8 August.  15 submitters presented to the board on a range of topics.

At the hearing meeting we also received all the submissions and a high level overview of all the data gathered through the public consultation process.  In total 158 submissions were received on the draft Plan 2017. In addition, 34 people provided feedback at the ‘Have your Say’ engagement events and there were 11 pieces of feedback gathered through Facebook.

80 per cent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with this question “are we on the right track with our proposed local board plan?”, while 16 per cent neither agreed or disagreed and 4 per cent either disagreed or strongly disagreed.

We are in the process of revising the draft based on the feedback and will sign off the final plan at the Board’s October business meeting.

Draft Meola Reef Te Tokaroa Development Plan consultation

In August the Board signed off the draft Meola Reef Te Tokaroa Development Plan plan for consultation.    Consultation on the draft is now open until 29 September.  The following introduction to the plan is provided on the Shape Auckland website.

  • The purpose of the development plan is to coordinate development of Meola Reef Reserve Te Tokaroa, in the short, medium and long term (10+ years).
  • Such a long-term plan provides guidance for any changes to the area:
    • maintain and enhance the reserve’s ecological outcomes
    • respond to needs, concerns and desires of Mana Whenua, key stakeholders and the community; and
    • plan for future demand and needs.
  • Meola Reef is a lava reef formation that reaches over two kilometres into the Waitematā harbour.  A landfill was developed on the reef from 1930 to 1976.  After closure of the landfill and capping, the reserve informally developed as a dog walking destination.  The Reserve is now known as one of Auckland’s primary off and on-leash dog parks.
  • Management and mitigation of the closed landfill which underlies the reserve, is outside of the scope of the development plan.  However, any development of the park requires any landfill management works to be completed before park development works.
  • The development plan actions are unfunded at this stage.  The development plan will inform funding decisions.

Link to the draft plan and feedback form here

Pest Management

I worked with board member Rob Thomas to finalise the Board’s feedback on Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan Review (Attached to the agenda).

I attended the launch of Predator Free Grey Lynn at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market with Grey Lynn local, Jesse Mulligan (photo right) with support from Predator Free New Zealand Trust and Kiwibank. We also heard from Kelmarna Gardens for plans for Predator Free Ponsonby.

The importance of pest eradication in the survival of seabirds was highlighted at the excellent Hauraki Gulf Seminar Taking Flight I attended on 6 September at Auckland Museum.

Coxs Bay playground

The opening of the new Coxs Bay playground went ahead on 9 September despite forecast downpours. The playground is based on a theme of natural play and the fact that the area used to be a seasonal iwi harvesting place. New planting and natural play features such as boulders and climbing rocks were included in the design.  A playground celebration will be held on 12 October.

The renewal budget for the project was $370,000.

Western Springs Outer Fields bush tracks

I have been following up on the poor condition of the Western Springs Outer Fields bush tracks. Maintenance of the area had fallen between Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) and Council’s Community Facilities with no maintenance undertaken for some time.

RFA recently reported securing sufficient budget (quoted by City Parks as $28,752) to undertake the remedial works, as scoped by City Parks.  RFA now needs to complete the requisite procurement process and is seeking to complete the required physical work once we have improved weather conditions so the track will be fully functional for the upcoming summer.

Waima Street Pedestrian bridge

 For some time I have also been following up about the condition of the Waima Street pedestrian bridge that provides a walking and cycling connection between Arch Hill and the NW cycleway. At a meeting with the NZTA’s Director Regional Relationships for the Upper North Island, Pete Clarke we heard that NZTA has now secured a budget to undertake maintenance on the bridge (photo right – Albert Eden Local Board side of the bridge).

Walking and cycling improvements

In my September Ponsonby News update  I provided an overview of the major package of walking and cycling improvements that are either underway or about to start.  I’ve been attending the regular meetings organised by West Lynn business owners concerned about the loss of parking, location of bus stops and the construction disruption.

 Tamaki Drive cycleway route

In June Auckland Transport consulted on the Tamaki Drive Cycleway proposal from Quay Street to Ngapipi Road.  Auckland Transport’s options for the route where overwhelmingly rejected through the public feedback.  A revised design is now under investigation.   As transport portfolio lead I provided the following initial feedback on behalf of the Board:

The Waitematā Local Board is pleased that Auckland Transport has listened to the feedback received through the public consultation and is investigating a bi-directional cycle route on Tamaki Drive to the Ngapipi intersection. The Board supports this option with general traffic lanes that are as wide as possible to increase the safety of road riders.

 The Board does not support the section between Solent Street and the Strand remaining as a shared path for the following reasons:

  • The investment over the entire route is degraded by maintaining a lower level of service for this section.
  • It is not fit for purpose for the future numbers estimated to use this route once it is fully connected to the network
  • A shared path with high levels of users is not safe especially for people walking, running, skating etc alongside a traffic lane with high vehicles volumes
  • The proposed width of the shared path is not best practice

 The Board seeks a continuous connection from Quay St along Tamaki Drive with a consistent level of service. The Board therefore requests that AT work with NZTA to investigate the continuation of the bi-directional cycle route through the Solent St to the Strand section by re-allocating road space

 The Board also requests that

  • The bi-directional cycle route continues through the Solent Street intersection and that this intersection is re-designed to prioritise the safety of pedestrians and people on bikes
  • A safe, separated connection is provided to the Gladstone Road cycle route through the Strand intersection
  • Auckland Transport investigate opportunities for sustainable urban drainage/water sensitive design and opportunities to plant new street trees along the route

Auckland Transport will undertake further public consultation on the revised design.

 Ponsonby Road pedestrian improvements project

This project has caused a lot of headaches with delays and construction issues. The project is now back on track on due to be completed by mid-November.  The latest update from Auckland Transport (as at 8 September)

  • Both the Anglesea and Brown Street intersection works are progressing as planned. The drainage work on Anglesea Street is now complete and work has begun on the kerb build-outs.
  • The remaining work at Pollen Street intersection is expected to be complete before mid-November 2017.

Meetings and workshops: 7 August until 10 September

  • Weekly Chair’s meeting every Monday morning
  • Meeting with NZTA representatives on 7 August to discuss transport issues in Waitematā
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 8, 22, 29 August and 5 September
  • Waitematā Local Board Plan hearing on 8 August
  • Planning Committee waterfront briefing on 9 August
  • Meeting to discuss Auckland Transport’s temporary installations on K’rd for the introduction of double decker buses
  • Meetings with West Lynn business owners on 9, 16 August and 8 September to discuss cycleway construction works planned by Auckland Transport
  • Meeting on 10 August to discuss Ellen Melville Centre opening and planned Community Open Day
  • Meeting with Council planners to discuss the development of a Parnell precinct plan
  • Chair’s draft recommendations run through on 12 August
  • Interview panel member on 12 August for the CEO position at Auckland Transport
  • Monthly Local Board Chairs’ Forum on 15 August
  • Catch up with the Waitematā Youth Collective representatives on 16 August
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 16 August
  • Monthly comms meeting on 16 August
  • Transport portfolio catch up on 17 August
  • Meeting with Council officers and the Principal of Auckland Girls’ Grammar School on 17 August to discuss possible options for developing in partnership the swimming pool and gym at the school
  • Use of social media by Council discussion with comms officers on 17 August
  • Meeting on 18 August with Richmond Rovers Rugby League Club representatives and Auckland Council staff to discuss development of multipurpose facility and new clubrooms in Grey Lynn Park
  • Judging for the NZTA cycle friendly awards on 18 August at the offices of the AA
  • Local Boards sub-regional workshop on 21 August
  • Newmarket level crossing community liaison meeting hosted by Auckland Transport at Jubilee Hall on 21 August
  • Environment portfolio meeting on 24 August
  • Engagement adviser catch up
  • Meeting with representatives from Kelmarna Gardens
  • Site Visit on 24 August to discuss tree planting project on St Marys Road with Chair, SMBA, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council arborist
  • Meeting on 25 August with Auckland Transport representatives and K’rd Business Association GM to discuss poor process and communication regarding the installation of temporary safety treatments on K’rd for the double decker bus project
  • Planning committee joint workshop on 29 August: waterfront and city centre planning
  • Franklin Road community liaison meeting hosted by Auckland Transport on 30 August
  • Domain Committee meeting on 31 August
  • Waitematā Local Board member “Behind the Scenes” tour of Auckland’s War Memorial Museum on 1 September to show the diverse work currently being carried out in order to meet the needs of our growing and diverse city.   The tour included the Pacific Collections Access Project (PCAP) – connecting with communities, Digital lab – collections on line and Basement storage – kaitiaki
  • Meeting on 1 September with the Sustainability squad at Parnell School to discuss their plans for a waste reduction project
  • Met with Sara Stace  a city shaper and architect focused on cycle planning visiting from Australia
  • City Centre and Waterfront Planning Refresh Local Board Input on 5 September
  • Attended the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar 2017 – Taking Flight at Auckland Museum on 6 September
  • Catch up with General Manager, Newmarket Business Association on 7 September
  • Finance Committee 10 year budget joint workshop with governing body members and local board chairs on 7 September
  • Meeting with Mayor Goff on 8 September to discuss opening of Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Place
  • Communication and Engagement Expo on 8 September to find out what department does (covering Public Affairs – media relations, internal, corporate and local communications, Marketing & publicity, Citizen engagements and Insights, Brand & Channel – content, channels, design, Strategic Planning & Performance)

Events and functions:  7 August until 10 September  

  • Auckland Foundation event with guest speaker Julie Nelson of Housing First at Gus Fisher Gallery on 8 August
  • LATE at the Museum on 9 August at the invitation of Auckland Museum
  • Eat Albert Street (link to video of the event) on 10 August (Photo below: Free kai provided by Everybody eats at Griffith Gardens)
  • Vintage Austin Register – Auckland Branch AGM on 13 August
  • Splice cuppa event at Scarecrow Café on 15 August
  • Opening night of Nell Gywnn at Waterfront Theatre on 17 August at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company
  • Presided at the Citizenship ceremony at Auckland Town Hall on 17 August (photo below with Kaumatua Bob Hawke, Waitemata Local Board member Richard Northey and Chair of Maungakiekie- Tamaki Local Board Josephine Bartley)
  • Margaret Mary’s farewell from TAPAC on 18 August
  • Funeral of Graham (Rocky) McGlynn, RSC President at the Grey Lynn RSC on 19 August
  • Labour’s Election Launch at the Auckland Town Hall on Sunday 20 August
  • PSA’s book launch on 21 August: Progressive Thinking: Ten Perspectives on Housing with panel discussion facilitated by Simon Wilson
  • Opening night of Matilda at the Civic Theatre at the invitation of ATEED on 24 August
  • Modelled on the Project Glow wear runway show on 26 August
  • Launch of Predator Free Grey Lynn at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on 27 August
  • Lela Jacobs and Jimmy D Fashion Week shows at the invitation of the K’rd Business Association
  • Leaving function for Brett O’Reilly, ATEED CEO at GRID AKL on 31 August (Photo right with Brett)
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on 1 September organised by Splice ( I dropped by the Splice team below handing out free pots of honey on K’rd)
  • Took part in a tactical urbanism event with Walk Auckland’s Andy Smith to mark the 8th Anniversary of the 40km speed limit on Ponsonby Road (photo right with our “speed gun” hairdryers)
  • Opening of the Corsini Collection at the Auckland Art Gallery on 2 September
  • Attended Merchant Navy Day Auckland Remembrance Service on 3 September at the Maritime Museum  (Photo below with Councillors Daniel Newman and Mike Lee)
  • Meet the candidates meeting for Auckland Central at St Matthews organised by the Auckland City Centre Residents Group on 7 September
  • Parnell Heritage AGM on 7 September
  • Open Day West End Lawn Tennis Club
  • 8th anniversary of the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on 10 September

Gift Declarations

  • Tickets x 2 Nell Gwynn at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company
  • Tickets x 2 Matilda at the invitation of ATEED
  • Ticket to LATE at the Museum at the invitation of Auckland Museum
  • Lela Jacobs and Jimmy D Fashion Week shows at the invitation of K’rd Business Association

Chair’s monthly report March 2017

Report covering the period 10 February until 13 March 2017.

Highlights

  • Following the extreme weather event in March Aucklanders are being urged to reduce water use for several weeks to avoid the need to boil water due to the amount of silt that has entered the treatment plant
  • Consultation got underway on the Annual Budget 2017/18.  The Waitematā Local Board held a Have your Say hearing style event on 8 March attended by Mayor Goff and Councillors Mike Lee, Daniel Newman and Desley Simpson (Photo right). Feedback is open until 27 March
  • Guest speaker at an International Women’s Day morning tea hosted by Panuku Development Auckland
  • Auckland Arts Festival 2017 started on 8 March
  • Beating the Bounds triennial event on 4 March in partnership with Walk Auckland. A walk of the Waitemata Local Board boundary from Meola Reef to Pt Resolution
  • Construction has started on the Grey Lynn Pump Track (a community-led project), Grey Lynn Greenways route connecting Coxs Bay to Grey Lynn Park and on the Ponsonby Road Pedestrian Improvement Project
  • Waitemata Youth Collective at Myers Park Medley

    Myers Park Medley successfully held on 26 February (photo right with members of the Waitemata Youth Collective at their engagement stand)

  • Myers Park Splash pad opened (photo below)
  • 245 Ponsonby Road community-led design exhibition and voting on the preferred concept (underway until 19 March)
  • Opening of the Parnell Train Station on 13 March (Attachment A)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meetings and workshops: 11 February until 14 March 2017

  • Local Board Chairs’ Forum on 13 February and 13 March
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops 14, 23, 28 February and 1, 7, 14 March
  • Professional development sessions (Kura Kawana): Engaging with Maori and Wellbeing & Resilience
  • Meeting with Panuku to discuss St Mary’s Bay Water quality project
  • Domain Committee Chair introductory meeting on 15 February with Rod Sheridan, Community Facilities Manager to discuss proposed maintenance approach in the Auckland Domain
  • Wai O Rea Central Community Recovery Centre Project Design Workshop Workshop with Albert-Eden and Puketapapa Local Boards on 16 February
  • Domain Committee agenda run through on 17 February
  • Meeting to discuss Poynton Terrace Streetscape upgrade
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 21 February
  • Elected Member Communications & Engagement reference group meeting on 22 February
  • Briefing by Auckland Transport on CRL development, Albert Street design
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting (as alternate)
  • Site visit to Hopetoun Street to meet with residents concerned about a number of safety and street maintenance issues
  • Briefing from the Auckland Museum on 23 February
  • Inner City Network Monthly Meeting on 23 February
  • Waitemata Youth Collective meeting with the Board on 23 February
  • ‘Delivering for Auckland Symposium’ for all elected members on 24 February
  • Monthly regional workshop for elected members on 27 February
  • Auckland Domain Committee Workshop and Meeting on 28 February
  • Weekly Chair’s meeting every Monday morning
  • Agenda run-through with the Deputy Chair on 8 March
  • Transport portfolio catch up on 1 March
  • Meeting to discuss Italian Festival 2017 with the Events portfolio and Festival organiser on 2 March
  • Introduction meeting with Auckland Police Commander Matt Srhoj
  • Regular catch up meeting with Newmarket Business Association General Manager
  • Meeting with Chair, Friends of Symonds St cemetery on 3 March
  • Meeting to discuss transport outcome for the draft Local Board Plan 2017
  • Western Bays Community Group AGM and presentation on the Annual Budget 1207/18
  • PBA board meeting on 9 March
  • Meeting with Auckland Design Office regarding traffic calming and pedestrian safety improvements on Shortland Street
  • Presentation by Heart of the City to the Board and discussion on City Centre issues on 9 March
  • Joint planning Committee and Local Board workshop: City Centre and Waterfront work programme (City Building: Auckland Transport’s “expectations” should not dictate our planning Attachment C)

Events and functions:  10 February until 14 March 2017

  • Rainbow Youth Open Day and exhibition (sponsored by the Waitemata Local Board) on 11 February (photo right)
  • Big Gay Out at Coyle Park on 12 February
  • Revolt. She said. Revolt again at Basement Theatre on 16 February at the invitation of Silo Theatre
  • T20 NZ v SA at Eden Park at the invitation of Auckland Cricket
  • Moa Periscope Launch on 20 February: Child Friendly Development Response in Freyberg Place
  • Launch of the Auckland Fringe Festival on 21 February in Aotea Square
  • Sea Change, Wet Hot Beauties performance at Parnell Baths (at the invitation of Wet Hot Beauties)
  • Attended the Grey Lynn 2030 Repair Cafe on 18 February
  • Watched the Pride Parade in the grandstand on 25 February at the invitation of ATEED (photo right with Brett O’Reilly, ATEED CEO, Stephen Town Auckland Council CEO and Lexie Matheson, Pride Trustee )
  • Opening of Japan Day at the Cloud
  • Myers Park Medley on 26 February
  • Bike Breakfast at Scarecrow Café on 1 March
  • Patrons night at Basement Theatre on 1 March
  • Beating the Bounds on 4 March
  • Ponsonby Park concept designs exhibition on 5 March
  • Stepping up our Climate Game Auckland Conversations on 8 March
  • Opening of the Auckland Arts Festival on 8 March
  • Revolutions: Auckland Art Festival
  • Opening ceremony for Parnell Train Station 13 March (Attachment A)

Gift Declarations

  • Tickets to the T20 NZ v SA at Eden Park at the invitation of Auckland Cricket
  • Tickets to the Auckland Art Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End: Pt Resolution Bridge

 

 

Monthly Board report July 2016

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities from 1 June to 10 July 2016 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, and Chair of the Grants Committee, and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.

I was also acting chair for the week of 27 June when I attended the Local Chair’s Forum and the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting.

CRL explosionHIGHLIGHTS

City Rail Link Ground breaking

 On Thursday 2 June Mayor Len Brown, Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy, Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges officially marked the start of the construction for the City Rail Link.  It was an explosive ground breaking event with special cupcakes and a fantastic flash mob dance sequence involving many of the CRL workers. More importantly it was an opportunity to acknowledge Mayor Len’s role (and the many people who supported him such as Cr Mike Lee) in pushing ahead with this vital transport project that has been 93 years in the making.

Support for Auckland Transport to develop a Street Tree Planting Policy

Franklin Road street treesMy notice of motion requesting Auckland Transport to develop a street tree planting policy was unanimously passed by the Waitematā Local Board at our June business meeting.

MOVED by Deputy Chairperson PJ Coom, seconded by Member CP Dempsey

That the Waitematā Local Board:

i) notes the benefits of urban street trees and the Auckland Plan, City Centre Master Plan and Waitematā Local Board Plan 2014 commitment to plant street trees;

ii) requests Auckland Transport in association with Auckland Council Parks develop:

a) A street tree planting policy; and

b) A strategy to meet the City Centre Masterplan street tree target of a 25% increase by 2021;

iii) requests Auckland Transport allocate budget (capex and opex) for funding new street trees as part of streetscape projects and footpath renewals;

iv) requests that this Notice of Motion is circulated to all Local Boards, the Parks, Recreation and Sports Committee, Auckland Development Committee, Auckland Transport Board and Chief Executive and Auckland Council Policy and Bylaws team

Hakanoa Street, Grey Lynn kerbingHakanoa Street footpaths and kerbing

I’ve been following up on the concerns residents have raised about the kerb and channelling work currently underway by Auckland Transport’s contractors that involves removing the blue stone kerbing.

Auckland Transport has responded that:

the kerbs are being removed in places due to the disruptions of the tree roots, the tree roots are then unable to be cover over (as per the arborists direction)  therefore AT is unable to replace like for like and has to put in concrete and pointing of which is coloured, this does give a piece meal effect/look but as we are not able to replace with any kerb type i.e. (blue stone ) our hands are tied

 The only way to replace blue stone kerbing over tree roots is by putting in a bigger lintel over the roots, unfortunately the arborists has said we are not allow to do so in some places where the kerb is not replaced and there appears to be no trees, this is because there is 3 applications from residents for vehicle crossings

 Due to the nature of the tree roots AT accepts that we will have on going issues with this street and will return regularly to try to fix

However the road appears to have been widened thereby pushing the kerb closer to the tree roots.  There appears to be a mismatch of concrete and blue stone in big sections between trees not just around the trunk of the tree (as in the photo above). Large areas of blue stone kerbing stones appear to have disappeared without justification when similar streets have retained the traditional kerbing as part of an upgrade (eg Selbourne Street).  The works have also resulted in damage to house frontages.  I will continue to work on this with the residents until we receive a satisfactory response from Auckland Transport.

5. Hakanoa Reserve entrance from Hakanoa StA further issue I am following up is the continuation of the kerbing work despite plans for on road greenway works at the exit of Hakanoa Reserve (photo above) and planned pedestrian/cycleway improvements at the intersection with Richmond Road.

Auckland Transport has not explained the duplication of works and the additional costs.

 Renaming lower Khartoum Place

 Consultation on the renaming of lower Khartoum Place with a suitable name associated with women’s suffrage, and in recognition of the Women’s Suffrage Centenary Memorial 1893-1993 ‘Women Achieve the Vote’ ended on 25 May.

From the 137 submissions there was strong support for the name change.  Details of the feedback and a decision making report are on the Board’s agenda this month.   It is looking positive that we will be a position to change the name in time for Suffrage Day in September.

The future of St Columba Church & parish

St Columba church, Grey Lynn I have been following events at St Columba in Grey Lynn and attended two community hui held during June to discuss the future of the parish.

Following financial difficulties last year the Anglican Diocese commissioned a report to consider the options available to the parish.   The report concluded with three redevelopment options that all involved demolishing the church and facilities on the site including the hall, community garden and labyrinth. This led a campaign to save St Columba involving the wider community.

 On 1 July the following statement was issued by the the Anglican Bishops of Auckland and the Vicar of St Columba Grey Lynn.

Conversations are underway to assist the Parish of St Columba Grey Lynn to address some significant challenges that have developed over a long period of time.

 Those challenges are related to finance and the ongoing costs of providing ministry in the community. They include the maintenance of buildings.

 The Bishops and the diocesan leadership are working closely with the Vicar and the people of the Parish to seek a long-term solution.

 The Diocese continues to have a commitment to the community of Grey Lynn. That commitment is being indicated in conversations that included a visit to the parish last weekend. The Diocese and the Parish are grateful for the support of the wider community.

Further conversations are anticipated with no decisions made at this point.

 The Bishops and the Vicar will be able to comment further once there is a decision to announce

Waitematā Local Board Community Grants

 The final Grants Committee was held on June to consider applications to the fourth and final round of the grants fund for 15/16. A total of $38,613.00 was available to distribute. The committee approved grants totally $29,791.00 to a range of community groups and organisations.

 Waipapa stream planting

 Waipapa planting day June 2016 Hugh and LukeAnnual planting day along the banks of the Waipapa Stream in Parnell was attended by Councillor Mike Lee, representatives from the Waitemata Local Board, Parnell Heritage, Parnell Community Committee, and local neighbours. It is great to see the many years of volunteer labour to re-habilitate the stream is paying off.

Mary Stewart, Senior Biosecurity Advisor, who has been coordinating the planting,is looking to work with Parnell Heritage and the Parnell Community Committee to engage with the surrounding residents to encourage best environmental practices nearby.  The stream has greatly improved  but practices continue that threaten the area (such as growing plants that are weeds in the apartments that are dropping into the stream and naturalising, dumping of garden waste, plant tags, pots, trimmings, old plants, dumping of rubbish and liquids (killing off plants) using driveway cleaners that kill trees).

 Ponsonby Road Pedestrian Experience

Lincoln Street side street render In the July Our Auckland Waitematā Local Board members feature in a story regarding the Board funded project to create a safe and consistent pedestrian experience along Ponsonsby Road between Franklin Road and Williamson Ave (the project was consulted on in November 2015). As mentioned in the article the work was meant to have started in June.

Unfortunately Auckland Transport missed the construction deadline for the works on Lincoln and Collingwood Streets in the last financial year and now has a budget shortfall. We are working through the budget details with Auckland Transport and the consultation process to get the feedback on intersection furniture layouts, materials, and street furniture.

It is now expected that the construction will start late August/early September 2016.

 Berm planting guidelines

 The mystery of Auckland Transport’s berm planting guidelines continues. I’ve given regular updates in my report regarding progress on guidelines that were promised by Easter.

A resident was recently advised the following after she complained about the destruction of her berm garden.

In Central, we mow all berms if they exceed or are approaching a height of 200mm. Our mowing operators work in tandem, with the bulk of the berm mown with a ride-on mower, and then followed up shortly afterwards with weed-eaters to remove encroaching grasses from the edge of footpaths and the kerbside, and around trees and poles which the ride-on mowers cannot reach.  Given the large number of berms to be mown across the city this actually provides better value for ratepayers than the stop-start method of one operator undertaking both activities.

Auckland Transport offered to put her on a no mow register which defeated the point as she had only grown a berm garden after being told she was responsible for it as she wasn’t physically able to mow the verge herself. The resident is now happy for AT to mow her berm again.

Quay Street cyclewayQuay Street Cycleway

On Friday 8 July the Minister of Transport, Hon Simon Bridges and Auckland Mayor Len Brown officially opened the Quay St protected cycleway on Auckland’s busiest cycle route.

At the time of writing my report the cycleway was still closed but attracting large numbers on a sunny weekend.  With the Quay Street Cycleway another gap is connected in the central city cycle network.

 Auckland Conversations : The future of housing in Auckland

Furture of housing in AucklandPanel discussion hosted by Bernard Hickey.

 With Auckland growing at a rate of 896 people a week how can everyone be guaranteed a home, either to buy or rent? Auckland clearly needs new housing options so the economic benefits of growth can be shared by all as we establish our place among the world’s most successful cities.

An excellent discussion about the current Auckland Housing crisis and what is needed to fix it. One big take away pushed by Bernard Hickey  is that young people need to vote in the Local Government Election in September.

The full discussion can be viewed on you tube

Workshops and meetings

Ponsonby Residential parking zone consultationFrom 1 June until 10 July 2016 I attended:

  • Public Open Day hosted by Auckland Transport on the Ponsonby Residential Parking Zone at the Ponsonby Community Centre 1 June
  • Wellesley St/Learning Quarter Interim Business Case Workshop #1 on 3 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 7 June
  • Auckland Transport hui on the Ponsonby Road Pedestrian Experience on 8 June
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 9 June
  • Attended the last session of the Little Grocer Environment Court hearing on 9 June
  • Kai a te rangatira – Elected Members breakfast sessions with Dr Ella Henry on 13 June
  • Central Community Recycling Facility Meeting on 14 June with Albert- Eden and Puketapapa Local Boards re Next Phase of design and provision of service
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 14 June at the board office  on 14 June
  • Engagement Framework meeting with the Board’s engagement adviser
  • Auckland Development Committee joint workshop with Local Board members on 15 June
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 15 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 16 June
  • Community portfolio visit to the Plunket rooms in Parnell
  • St Columba church community hui on 19 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 21 June
  • Community portfolio meeting on 22 June
  • Waitemata Local Board Community Grants committee meeting on 22 June
  • Meeting  on 23 June to discuss the Achievements Report
  • Inner City Network meeting and presentation on the work of the CAB on 23 June
  • Catch up with Michael Richardson, GM K’rd business association on 24 June
  • Spray free community meeting hosted by Deborah Yates at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 26 June
  • Community meeting with Assistant Bishop Jim White on 26 June to discuss the future of St Columba Church
  • Local Board Chairs Forum meeting on 27 June
  • Ponsonby Community Centre committee meeting on 27 June
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting on 29 June
  • Ports Community Reference Group on 29 June
  • Local Board Briefing – Community Centre Levels of Service Review  (Central Local Boards) on 30 June
  • Newton and Eden-Terrace Plan –Hui on 30 June
  • Changing Minds Community Housing Forum on 1 July at the Grey Lynn Community Centre
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 5 July
  • Franklin Road Improvement Project community liaison meeting hosting by Auckland Transport on 5 July

Refugee Forum AUTEvents and functions

From 1 June until 10 July 2016 I attended:

  • The Refugee Experience  – Storytelling through visual displays at AUT 1 June (photo right)
  • Countdown Supermarket Williamson Ave opening on 2 June
  • Bike Breakfast at Scarecrow on 2 June
  • City Rail Link ground-breaking on 2 June
  • Spray Free community meeting on 2 June
  • Auckland Transport’s cycling open day at La Cigale market on 4 June
  • Alex clothes swapWaitemata Youth Collective Clothes swap a the Central Library (photo of Alex Johnston at the Clothes Swap)
  • Queen’s Birthday celebrations at the Cloud on 4 June
  • Waipapa Stream planting day on 11 June
  • Auckland Theatre Company’s That Bloody Woman at Sky City Threatre (at the invitation of ATC) on 11 June
  • Auckland Transport’s Bike Market at the Cloud on 12 June
  • Grey Lynn Business Association networking drinks at the Malt Public House on 14 June
  • Newmarket Business Awards dinner at the Auckland War memorial museum on 17 July (at the invitation of NBA)
  • Feijoa guild Mik SmellieOtago Law Alumni breakfast at the Northern Club on 21 June
  • Feijoa Festival hosted by Splice at Chuffed Café on 22 June (Photo right: Guild of the Feijoa’s, Mik Smellie )
  • Auckland Conversations on 23 June The Future of Housing in Auckland
  • NZ Maritime Museum – Twin Exhibition Opening on 24 June
  • General Collective Market at Ponsonby Central on 25 June
  • The Minnie Street Community Day on 25 June
  • Cycle Action Network webinar presenter How to influence decision makers (together with Trevor Mallard and David Lee, Wellington City Councillor)
  • Selywn VercoeThe Seven Stars of Matariki exhibition curated by Selwyn Vercoe at Studio One Toi Tu (photo right)
  • Auckland Speaks: Multi media performance event at Adult Education Inc
  • World Press Photo exhibition opening at Smith & Caughey on 1 July
  • Plastic Free July, Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away group at Farro Fresh
  • Pecha Kucha: Special edition Auckland on the move at the Hopetoun Alpha on 5 July
  • Auckland Conversations 6 July
  • Attendance at the 2 Walk and Cycle Conference 6 – 8 July at the Rendevous Hotel (funded from the Local Board’s professional development budget). I will be reporting back on the conference in my August report
  • Vision Zero workshop presenter at the 2 Walk and Cycle Conference (together with Caroline Perry, Brake NZ, Patrick Morgan, Cycle Action Network and Abby Granbery, MR Cagney)
  • Opening of the Quay Street Cycleway by the Minister Simon Bridges on 8 July
  • Grey Lynn Park Greenways opening on Saturday 9 July
  • Te Wananga o Aotearoa Kapa Haka Super 12s at the Cloud
  • 30th anniversary of Homosexual Law Reform at the Auckland Town Hall

Bike Market June 2016 NZ Police officer Cole

Monthly board report April 2016

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities from 1 March – 31 March 2016 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, and Chair of the Grants Committee, and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Waitemata LB office opening local board services teamLocal Board “Democracy shop” – open for business

On 2 March the Board officially moved into our new offices at 52 Swanson Street just off St Patricks Square.  The offices are a huge improvement on our location at Graham St and provide a much better working environment for our hard working Local Board services team (photo right) and space for board members. I like to think we now have a “democracy shop”- a front door to our community that is easily accessible and welcoming.

Community Grants

 The Waitematā Local Board grants committee met on March to discuss the grant application to the Quick Response Fund and the Local Grant fund. In total we had $70,330.58 remaining  to distribute from the 15/16 financial year with one Quick Response Grant round to go (currently open until 6 May for grants up to $3000).

The grants committee minutes and recommendations for the Local Grant Fund are attached to the April agenda.

Community consultation – Annual budget 2016/17

Consultation on the Council’s Annual Budget 2016/17 and local board priorities took place until 24 March.  Community meetings in Ponsonby, Grafton Parnell and Grey Lynn were well attended but the official Have your Say consultation meeting at the Town Hall attracted only 4 members of the public.  The low attendance may partly be due to the number of events on that evening but I think the problem is mainly with the format which is very unsatisfactory for groups that wish to present feedback.  The Board’s public hearings style meeting held on 10 March provided a much more effective forum for presentations to the Board.

Cycling improvements consultation

inner west auckland cycle network During March Auckland Transport consulted on the network of cycling routes in the inner west area (map right) and asked for feedback on cycling improvements to make riding a bike for local trips safer.  The feedback period was extended to 5 April.

I attended the consultation events in Grey Lynn Park on 13 and 20 March.

This is the first time that Auckland Transport has consulted on the actual routes that make up the Auckland Cycle Network and support the routes in our Greenways plan.

Pippa Coom and Christopher Dempsey Lightpath Te ara i whiti / Lightpath

The electronic counter doesn’t lie!  The aphorism “Build it and they will come” proved ever so true when it comes to the amazing magenta adventure.

Christopher and I were very happy to celebrate the 100,000 trip over Lightpath since opening day on 3 December 2015.  Almost 1,000 people a day are riding the route.

There are also huge numbers of people enjoying Lightpath on foot at all times of day and night. Unfortunately the walking counter has not been working so Auckland Transport is unable to provide exact data at the moment.

Lantern Festival – transport planning

valet bike parking Lantern FestivalThe Lantern Festival, held for the first time in the Domain in February was the first Auckland Council funded evening event to promote active transport. The valet parking provided at the venue was a big success working to encourage people to give cycling ago – many bringing along children. However the overall communication and coordination regarding transport to the event was not well managed by Auckland Transport and there were a lot of lessons for next time.  I have sent the following email to the CEO of ATEED and the Manager Event Design who responded that it would be included in the mix for their debrief.

Congratulations to everyone involved on the success of the Lantern Festival (if the numbers attending are the best indicator of success!). I really enjoyed attending on the Friday and Sunday evenings.

I’m sure there will be a big exercise underway with Auckland Transport to look at the transport management plan and the messaging for the event next year. I just wanted to give some feedback while it is still fresh in my mind:

  • Although the map handed out on site was not intended as a travel map it was clearly being used for that purpose  – it needs to clearly show all the walking and cycling connections  (especially as people were arriving up hill at Grafton Station and able to walk down hill back to town but as previously mentioned the map showed the Domain as an island )
  • Creating a “Lantern Trail” in the same style as the RWC Fan trail (suggested route from Britomart via Beach Road, Churchhill street, and up Lovers Lane) – a few people have mentioned this idea to me
  • Improve the lighting on Lovers Lane – if felt too dark to use safety but is the logical connection to the Domain from the city
  • Close Grafton bridge to cars and only open to buses and ambulances – implement bus priority lanes
  • Provide wayfinding signage from all directions but particularly for those walking from different points in the city centre (the Wellesley St – Grafton Gully route particularly needs signage as previously mentioned but hopefully by next year AT will have finally got that sorted)
  • The valet bike parking was brilliant and I loved using it (of course!) but difficult to access so lots of bikes were parked all over the place (there was no signage to the bike parking)
  • Security guards were directing cyclists to dismount but did not know where the bike parking was located
  • Online information needs to spell out all the transport options including the location of car parks (I estimate there are at least 15 car parks in walking distance to the Domain but the online information just said “ the Domain is a 10 minute drive from the city centre” !!!).
  • Wayfinding signage needed throughout the entire site

Auckland Conversations: Climate Solutions: Cities in Action, Mark Watts, Executive Director C40 cities

Mark Watts C40Auckland has become the newest member of C40, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. C40 supports cities to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change. Auckland will be working with more than 80 of the world’s greatest cities, representing more than 550 million people and one quarter of the global economy. Sharing research, experiences and ideas, C40 is helping to find and implement innovative solutions to urban climate issues such as transport, energy, buildings and waste.

At the Auckland Conversations on  15 March Mark Watts talked about the initiatives that cities around the globe are putting in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.

Cities are central to delivering greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets (Auckland’s target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in 2040) through a focus on land use planning, transport and buildings. Every city needs to aim to get to 1.5 tons per person per year if we have any chance of avoiding dangerous levels of climate warming. Auckland is currently at about 7.2 tons (US cities are on 16.5 tpp).

The good news from Mark is that we know what we need to do create successful, prosperous, healthy cities. No city will be successful in the future unless it is low carbon. He made comments in relation to three key areas:

1 Compact City

Sprawl is the enemy, density is the friend. 6% of growth in energy consumption is urban sprawl.  For example Copenhagen spends 4% of GDP on transport whereas Houston spends 16%.

2. Connected Cities

‘Return of the bike the most important tool in urban transport’

There are now 700 cities with bike share. 40% cycle to work in one of the richest cities.

Benefits from health care cost savings, cuts in air pollution and economic benefits

C40 consider that road pricing is inevitable in most big cities. In London as a result most people are not driving.  Stockholm has seen a 35% fall in emissions and 40% growth

3. Co-ordinated cities

Successful cities will run on data. Benchmarking is a catalyst to change. For example in NYC they are looking for a 30% GHG emissions reduction from buildings between 2005 and 2017.

 Mark ended by asking what if Mayor’s ruled the world?  Political leadership is being shown by mayors from around the world.

The Waitematā Local Board received a special mention at the event for having a Low Carbon Community Action plan and a low carbon community network.

Greenways

Hakanoa greenway routeLocal board members came together on 31 March to hear an update on the work that has been underway to progress Greenways across Auckland. Simon Randall, Chair, Maungakiekie- Tamaki Local Board is the local board representative on a Greenways Leadership group set up by Stephen Town CEO, Auckland Council. That group has been looking at how best to deliver a connected Auckland through active transport.

We heard about the work underway to create a Greenways identity, an overview of a Greenways Design Guide and the potential level of investment in Greenways.

It is great to see the enthusiasm for Greenways from Local Boards and the commitment to making Auckland the world’s best city for cycling where Greenways are embraced.

In Waitematā we have recently made progress on the Grey Lynn greenways route with the widening of the Hakanoa reserve pathway (photo right). The design of the on-road sections of the route is in the process of being finalised by Auckland Transport and will shortly be available for public input.

neighbours day carlos and tanaNeighbours Day in the City Centre

Member Deborah Yates and I, with officer support, organised a Waitematā Local Board display at the Neighbours Day event in Freyberg Square and Ellen Melville Hall as part of Neighbours Day Aotearoa.  The event was aimed at inner city residents and involved a wide range of community organisations. Thanks to Splice, ADCOSS, Heart of the City and everyone who made the celebration of the city centre happen.

Ponsonby Road improvements

Fresh Kermit Ponsonby RoadFresh Kermit!  New feeder lanes and advance stop boxes on Ponsonby Road included as part of recent re-surfacing at the Board’s request are small but significant safety improvements for all road users.

Update on the Ponsonby Road pedestrian experience is reported on our agenda by Auckland Transport.

IPENZ transportation group conference

I attended the IPENZ transportation group conference 7-9 March with funding from the Board’s professional development budget.

The report back from the conference is attached to my monthly report (item 22).

 Workshops and meetings

From 1 March – 31 March  2016 I attended:

  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 1 March
  • Tamaki Drive Cycle Route Preferred Option/s Workshop hosted by Beca on behalf of Auckland Transport on 2 March
  • Have your say event for the Annual Budget 16/17 consultation at the Auckland Town Hall on 3 March
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 8 March at our new offices on Swanson St
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 9 March
  • Waitematā Local Board Annual Budget 2016/17 Hearing on 10 March
  • Met with Mik Smellie from the Residents Advisory Group on 10 March
  • Grafton Residents Association meeting to discuss the Annual budget and local board priorities on 14 March
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on  15 March
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 16 March
  • ADCOSS Forum on 17 March at Western Springs Community Hall: Towards an Age-friendly Auckland: The missing links
  • Elected Members Professional Development Programme – Social Media Forum on 18 March
  • Local Board Briefing on the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 on 18 March
  • Elected Members – Local Government Excellence Programme LGNZ Briefing on 21 March
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 22 March
  • Monthly media catch up on 22 March
  • Meeting organised by Auckland Transport to discuss the “Open Streets” event planned for 1 May on K’rd
  • Community portfolio meeting on 24 March
  • Grants Committee meeting on 30 March
  • Meeting to discuss the Ponsonby Cruising Club lease with Panuku Development Agency
  • Newmarket Lanesways project working group meeting to discuss progress to date
  • Local Board briefing on the Greenways project on 31 March

Events and functions

From 1 March – 31 March 2016 I attended:

  • Waitematā Local Board – official office opening on 2 March
  • IPENZ transportation group conference 7 -9 March (see Attachment A for my conference report back)
  • The James Play reception Steve MillerAuckland Arts Festival shows at the invitation of the AAF Trust (I have declared these tickets as gifts in accordance with Auckland Council’s code of practice)
    • Te Po
    • Cucina dell’ arte
    • St James Play: Part 1 (photo right at the opening night reception with Steven Miller who plays James I)
    • Carabosse Fire Garden at the Auckland Domain
  • Little Day Out at the Mt Eden Village Centre on 5 March
  • Music in Parks at Western Park (free music in parks event) on 5 March
  • Pasifika Festival Saturday 12 March
  • Ponsonby Market Day on Saturday 12 March
  • White Nights. Making Light performance by the Velociteers on Lightpath on 12 March
  • St Patricks Day parade along Ponsonby Road on 13 March
  • Learn to ride and consultation event in Grey Lynn Park on 13 and 20 March
  • Auckland Conversations on 15 March
  • Zoo opening with the PM March 2016One Planet Living launch at Unitec on 17 March
  • Grey Lynn school Aloha night on 18 March
  • Neighbours day city centre event on 19 March
  • David Haigh’s farewell from the Grafton Residents Association
  • Member of the official party at the Citizenship ceremony in the Town Hall on 22 March
  • Official opening of the Auckland Zoo’s new African savannah development by the Prime Minister, the Rt.Hon. John Key on 24 March 2016  (photo right)
  • Celebration of Lightpath with free ice cream on 30 March provided by Auckland Transport for the 100,000 trip since opening day on 3 December
  • Regional Facilities hosted local board function at Auckland Zoo on 30 March

Ponsonby Rd pedestrian experience project

Anglesea Street
Anglesea St, Ponsonby

[UpdateConsultation on the proposals started on 16 November and is open until Monday 7 December 2015. Feedback can be given via the online form.]

Over 2 years ago Auckland Transport came to the Waitematā Local Board with a proposal to make safety improvements to the intersection of Angelsea St and Ponsonby Road.  We supported the need to make it safer to cross but we rejected the engineer’s design as it failed to prioritise pedestrians (the proposed pram ramps off- set down Angelsea St would have made it impossible to walk straight along Ponsonby Rd). The proposed layout also did nothing to improve the street amenity and wasn’t consistent with the Ponsonby Rd Plan

The Board (transport portfolio – myself and Christopher Dempsey -and Board Chair Shale Chambers) insisted on a design that provided a “continuous pedestrian experience” and that would be a best practice template for all the residential side streets off Ponsonby Road.  Auckland Transport responded several times saying it couldn’t be done for “safety reasons” (in effect “the computer said no”!). Each time we pushed back – even though we are not traffic engineers we knew it was possible because we could see it happening all over the city and overseas with great results for all road users.

Example of a "raised table" Chapel St, Melbourne
Example of a “raised table” Chapel St, Melbourne

Fortunately there are people in Auckland Transport who were willing to challenge traditional traffic engineer solutions and push for a design that finally met the Board’s criteria (and responded to community pressure including a recent petition calling for greater safety on Ponsonby Rd). New and greatly improved proposals were presented at our monthly board meeting on 13 October 2015 together with a concept design for the section of MacKelvie Street just off Ponsonby Rd that has been transformed recently into a boutique shopping area but without any changes to the street environment. 

Following an earlier resolution confirming support and budget for the “Ponsonby Road Pedestrian Experience Project” the Waitematā Local Board approved the revised scope and additional total budget of $242,000 ($114,000 for Mackelvie St and $128,900 for the Ponsonby Road raised entry treatments) from the Local Board Transport Capital Fund for the Ponsonby Road Improvements Project (taking the total project budget to $703,000) to include Mackelvie Street and Posonby Road raised entry treatments.

MacKelvie St concept design
MacKelvie St concept design

Surprisingly for a pedestrian focused project the concept design allows for 14 additional car parks resulting from the changes to the layout of side streets and on Ponsonby Road (there are also improvements to bus stops, crossing points and opportunities for new bike parking, seating and trees)

Auckland Transport is now moving to detailed design and public consultation (likely to start on 13 November).  If all goes to plan residents & visitors to Ponsonby Road will be able to enjoy a safer and more pleasant walking experience by July 2016.

Note the concept designs are draft only and that they may change prior to release of the designs for public consultation.

 

Monthly board report June 2015

Pop plinths on Symonds StThis report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during May 2015 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 Board and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.

Community- led development: 254 Ponsonby Road

 At Auckland Council we have been talking a lot about community-led development and empowered communities over the last 4 years (I reported in April on the empowering communities approach currently underway) . We’ve been introduced to the concepts through excellent visiting speakers such as Milenko Matanovic  and Jim Diers. We have a community-led development champions group convened by Roger Blakely, Chief Planner of which I am a member.  We have many community groups participating in shaping local services and placemaking but we don’t have many positive examples of Council putting community-led development into practice.

254 Ponsonby roadI am therefore really thrilled about the approach the Board has decided to take in response to the feedback on the development of 254 Ponsonby Road.

At the April business meeting we agreed that the Waitematā Local Board:

i)       Notes the feedback on the three concept plan options for 254 Ponsonby Road that were subject to public consultation from September to December 2014.

ii)      Further notes that subsequent to the start of the consultation period that budget for the delivery of any of the three concept plan options is no longer available.

iii)     Further notes the majority of submitters support option 3 providing for full use of the site as open space.

iv)     Agrees to include an advocacy position to the Governing Body seeking a capex budget to develop the site consistent with option 3.

v)      Agrees to build on the consultation feedback to work in partnership with the community to develop a solution within the available resources for 254 Ponsonby Road.

vi)     Agrees to reallocate $10,000 from the Heritage Planning budget 2014/2015 to support the community partnership approach to developing a solution.

vii)    Requests clarification from ACPL on whether the amendment to the Council’s Revenue and Financing Policy, which now allows for sales proceeds resulting from optimisation of service property assets to be reinvested into eligible local projects, applies to 254 Ponsonby Road  that was purchased to provide civic space for future generations.

viii)   Agrees that submitters to the consultation on the three concept plan options are provided a summary of the feedback received.

Work has since got underway by Council officers to develop the steps involved in the process.  It is going to be challenge to all involved to attempt a new model for delivering an outcome that is widely supported by the community but hopefully “254 Ponsonby Road” ends up being an exemplar for an empowered community development project.

Community funding

For the last four years I have been a member of the Central Joint Funding Committee made up of representatives from the Local Boards in the old Auckland City Council area. The Committee has continued to distribute legacy ACC grants (Accommodation Support Fund, Community Group Assistance Fund, Auckland City Cultural Heritage Fund) totalling approx. $1.2m. The final committee meeting was in April and the Governing Body has decided that from 1 July these grants, and all other legacy grants from the across the region will no longer exist. 

The Auckland -wide community grant budget of $3,249,441 has been allocated equally to all 21 local Boards. Unfortunately this means a big drop in the funding available for community groups that are based in Waitematā but provide a regional service (eg Youthline).

Starting with the next round of funding (due to open in August) community groups will be directed to apply to Local Board community funding. As Waitematā Local Board grants are for a maximum of $6k (rather than $25k under the legacy central grants) there is inevitably going to be a difficult transition period for community groups who are likely to see a big decrease in funding available from Council.

At the community development portfolio meeting in May we asked that the fact that there are new arrangements and that there will be a major impact on organisations should be clearly communicated in advertising for the community funding workshops coming up (to be held on 10 June for Waitemata groups).

 

Ponsonby Road resurfacing

Ponsonby Road Cycle Improvements Consultation Plans-page-001The Transport portfolio has consistently challenged Auckland Transport to consider every renewal or maintenance project in terms of what can be achieved to maximize the transport budget to provide for all transport modes (this was reflected in our feedback on the RLTP). For example maintenance projects provide an opportunity for arterials to be relooked at with new layouts that include bus lanes and cycle lanes, remove cycle pinch points and add better pedestrian crossings.

Ponsonby Road was scheduled by AT to be resurfaced in May on a like for like basis. The good news is that following Local Board advocacy and input from stakeholders, Auckland Transport has agreed to make minor but critical safety improvements when the surface is re-marked (the remarking will take place once the new surface has sufficiently hardened). 

Auckland Transport’s Parking Strategy

 On 27 May Auckland Transport briefed Local Boards, key stakeholders and the media on the new parking strategy that has been adopted which will mean a consistent approach for the first time for parking across the region. The strategy was developed following public consultation with AT receiving 5,500 submissions. A quarter of submissions were about the overall management of demand parking, 18% were about parking on residential streets and on park and rides and 11% were about parking on arterial roads. Half the submissions came from central Auckland or from City Centre fringe suburbs such as Parnell, Ponsonby and Newton.

The document allows for a case by case approach to parking taking into account local issues and the views of local boards and the community. As advocated by the Board, consultation with the community will continue as parking measures are introduced.

Adoption of the strategy means that Auckland Transport can now move forward on implementing critically needed residential parking zones for central suburbs based on the successful St Marys Bay trial. Auckland Transport has met with the Board and Freemans Bay Residents Association to discuss details of the Freemans Bay scheme which will be consulted on in June.

Inner city network meeting at GridAKLInner city network meeting – Transport

I facilitated the May inner city network stakeholders meeting on the theme of transport hosted at GridAKL on 28 May with presentations from Priscilla Steel on Auckland Transport’s work programme; Carol Greensmith AT’s Communications Manager on the City Rail Link; Kathryn King, AT’s Cycling/Walking manager and Ellie Craft on Generation Zero’s transport campaigns.

Transport is seen as a priority for the network stakeholders so the presentations were well received.

Workshops and meetings

During May I attended:

  • The Albert-Eden Community Development Portfolio team hosted meeting on 1 May of the central boards’ Community Development portfolio leads to share ideas and issues, and opportunities for collaboration and professional development. 
  • Volunteer Centre Network of Aotearoa National Hui opening with the Deputy Mayor and Lee Corrick from Albert-Eden Local Board on 4 May
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 5 May
  • Communications update with the Local Board communications advisor
  • Briefing discussion on kindergarten multi-premises lease on 6 May
  • Meeting Freemans Bay Residents’ Association and Auckland Transport to discuss progress on implementing the residents parking zone
  • Meeting to discuss the urban cycleways programme with Kathryn King (AT’s walking and cycling manager) and the Mayor’s office
  • Presentation by Sarah Clark Director of Office of Senior Citizens and Blair McCarthy on the Positive Ageing Strategy hosted by Joan Lardner-Rivlin on 12 May
  • Meeting to discuss freedom camping in local parks and Council’s strategy
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 12 May
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 13 May
  • Catch up with the NBA’s General Manager
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 14 May
  • Urban Cycleway Investment panel all day meeting in Auckland on 15 May (this was the final meeting of the panel)
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 19 May
  • Communications update with the Local Board communications advisor on 19 May
  • 254 Ponsonby Road – Community Empowered Approach Next Steps discussion on 19 May
  • ATEED economic development update meeting with the Board on 20 May
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 20 May
  • Attended the Governing Body Finance and Performance Committee meeting on 21 May when the accelerated transport programme funded by a transport level was discussed and approved.
  • Community Place-making champions group meeting on 25  May
  • Follow up meeting regarding Waima Street issues organised by Arch Hill residents with representatives of Auckland Council, NZ Police, and Newton School.
  • Presentation of the preliminary results of the Auckland’s Public Life Survey, in collaboration with Gehl Architects
  • Site visit to new local board offices on Swanson street
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 26 May
  • Auckland Transport’s presentation of final approved Parking Strategy for Local Boards on 27 May
  • Community development portfolio monthly meeting on 27 May
  • Inner City Network meeting on Transport hosted at GridAKL
  • Good Citizen Awards selection panel meeting on 28 May

Events and functions

  • During May I attended:
  • Lisa Reihana In Pursuit of Venus [infected] opening at the Auckland Art Gallery on 1 May
  • TEDx Auckland on 2 May
  • The Dolls House at the Maidment on 2 May at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company on 2 May
  • Save our Harbour protest on 3 May
  • Art Ache at Golden Dawn
  • First Thursdays on K’rd on 7 May
  • Sugar Tree apartments stage 1 opening at La Zeppa
  • Bike Rave May 2015 with Christopher Dempsey and Vernon Tava
    Bike Rave May 2015 with Christopher Dempsey and Vernon Tava

    Associates breakfast – urban design, cycling and transport discussion on 7 May at the Auckland Art Gallery

  • Frocks on Bikes mothers day bike ride
  • Opening of University of Auckland’s Newmarket campus on 13 May
  • GLBA monthly drinks on 14 May
  • Auckland Writers Festival Designing Auckland panel discussion on 16 May
  • Auckland Women’s Centre Charity Art Auction preview hosted by Hair Works on 16 May
  • Fairtrade morning tea hosted by All Good Bananas in support of Oxfam and celebrating 5 years of fairtrade bananas
  • Bike Rave on 22 May (photo with members Tava and Dempsey)
  • Future of Transport meeting hosted by the Auckland Labour Isthmus hub on 23 May 
  • Citizenship ceremony at the Town Hall on 26 May
  • Taku Tamaki: Auckland Stories opening at the Auckland Museum on 28 May
  • Attended a two day Wānanga Reo at AUT over Queens Birthday weekend to further my understanding of te reo Maori
Pop ping pong Aotea Square
Pop ping pong Aotea Square

Photos: In my report I’ve included photos of the Waitematā Local Board funded Pop programme. I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing the Pop ping pong tables in action at Aotea Square.

Gifts registered: Auckland Theatre Company tickets to opening night productions

Ciclovía on Quay reclaims Auckland’s streets

Ciclovia on QuayThe idea for holding a Ciclovía in Auckland was first proposed over four years ago by Cycle Action Auckland (I was on the committee back then). It was at a time when the concept for “open streets” was becoming popularised overseas following on from the first Ciclovias in Bogota, Columbia where streets are closed for promenading at the weekend.

During the Rugby World Cup Quay street was closed every weekend for party central and people could see how possible it was to reclaim the streets for people.   In 2012 the Playing in the Streets event on Queen Street also demonstrated what could be achieved from a temporary road closure.  (and on Waiheke they held their own Ciclovia in 2010 in support of keeping traffic off the Esplanade)

Over the last year further momentum has been been building for a Ciclovía as plans get underway for the transformation of Quay Street into a pedestrian Boulevard. A Ciclovía is a logical way to trial the use of the space and to give a glimpse of the future opportunities for our waterfront.  The Waitemata Local Board has been championing for an event to happen and was fully supportive of the proposal when it was first suggested by the city centre transformation team at the end of last year.

So it was fantastic to take part in Ciclovía on Quay on Saturday 8 February organised by Auckland Council, Waterfront Auckland and Auckland Transport. I especially enjoyed seeing children take advantage of the wide open space to experience freedom on their bikes and scooters.

As I cycled around the comment I heard the most was “can this happen every weekend”!

Video of Ciclovía on Quay here

 Pippa Coomimpromptu ciclovia before the Pride parade on Ponsonby Road Feb 2014Impromptu Ciclovia on Ponsonby Road

In preparation for the Pride Parade on 22 February 2014 Ponsonby Road was closed to traffic from 4pm.  This was a fabulous opportunity to experience the freedom of cycling and walking along the strip without any conflict with cars.

Perhaps next time we can take advantage of all the expense and time that goes into the Parade’s traffic management plan with an official Ciclovia beforehand on Ponsonby Road.