Councillor report December 2019

Pippa Coom Councillor Report – Waitematā and Gulf Ward

General update

  • This is my first Councillor report prepared for the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards’ business meeting agendas.
  • It covers the period from election day on 12 October until 24 November 2019.
  • The purpose of my report is to share key information with the local boards including governing body activities, attendance at events, conferences and meetings, regional consultations, media activities and ward issues I have been following up on. I also declare all gifts in my report regardless of value.

Governing Body and Committee meetings

  • The Auckland Council governing body, made up of the Mayor and 20 Councillors, was sworn in at the inaugural meeting held at the Town Hall on 1 November. This was a ceremonial occasion with entertainment by the Chinese Blossom Arts Troupe, Auckland City Scoundrels and Sistema Aotearoa performing Maranga Ra composed by Rob Ruha (photo above taken by Ronald Andreassend:  the official party arriving for the inaugural meeting on 1 November held at the Town Hall).
  • Along with the other 3 new Councillors I gave my maiden speech to the governing body meeting on 5 November
  • At the governing body meeting on 12 November the committee structure and appointments were confirmed. I’m really delighted to be confirmed as:
    • Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee working with Chair Richard Hills (one of 4 committees of the whole plus all councillors are on the CCO oversight committee).
    • A member of the Appointments and Performance Review Committee
    • A member of the Hauraki Gulf Forum
    • Auckland Council representative on the National Council of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ)
  • Induction for Councillors started on the 17 October and has continued with sessions on legal obligations, standing orders, finance for governing body members, and a range of briefings (photo right: Councillors were treated to lunch in the council café as part of the induction day)
  • The Mayor has introduced a fortnightly catchup with Councillors that started on 4 November with a discussion regarding the proposed CCO review. This review is strongly supported by all Councillors.
  • The new committee structure is in the process of being set up and a range of briefings have got underway. It has been confirmed that the Environment and Climate Change Committee will cover the following areas:
    • Climate change mitigation and adaption policy and implementation
    • Coastal renewals, slips and remediation
    • Auckland Climate Action Framework
    • Natural heritage (including ecology and biosecurity matters such as kauri dieback)
    • Protection and restoration ofAuckland’s ecological health
    • Water including Auckand’s Water Strategy
    • Waste minimisation
    • Acquisition of property relating to the committee’s responsibilities and in accordance with the LTP
    • Grants for regional environmental outcomes

The first meeting is scheduled for 28 November.

Events and other meetings

  • Over the course of one week I attended the three local board inauguration meetings in my ward as well as the inaugural meetings of the Albert-Eden Local Board, Puketāpapa Local Board and Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board. I had the opportunity for an initial meet and greet with the Waiheke Local Board before their inauguration meeting on 4 November. Photo right with the new Waiheke Local Board.  From the left Deputy Chair – Bob Upchurch, Cr Pippa Coom, Paul Walden, Kylee Matthews, Mayor Phil Goff and Robin Tucker, Front, Chair – Cath Handley
  • Photo with the new Aotea Great Barrier Local Board. From the left, Cr John Watson, Deputy Chair – Luke Coles, Cr Pippa Coom, Sue Daly, Chair – Izzy Fordham, Valmaine Toki and Patrick O’Shea following the inauguration meeting on 31 October
  • Photo left with the former Waitematā Local Board Chair Shale Chambers on the left and new Chair, Richard Northey in the middle, following the inaugural meeting of the Waitematā Local Board on 30 October.
  • At the Ōtara-Papatoetoe local board inaugural held at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae on 5 November with Councillors Josephine Bartley, Cr Pippa Coom, Alf Filipaina and Fa’anana Efeso Collins
  • On 22 October I attended the Auckland Transport board meeting to support the decision on the bylaw which will reduce speed limits on around 10% of Auckland’s urban and rural roads. Following public feedback, most of Auckland’s city centre will have a speed limit of 30km/h (the current 10km/h combined pedestrian and vehicle zones will remain) apart from Hobson, Fanshawe and Nelson Streets which will be 40km/h with engineering treatments to protect vulnerable road users.
  • Auckland Transport elected member morning tea and introduction to AT on 1 November.
  • Meeting to discuss active modes programme with Bike Auckland representatives and Cr Darby on 14 November
  • Fortnightly transport updates relating to ward issues
  • On Friday 22 November I hosted my first Councillor “clinic” at the Waiheke Local Board officers (advertisement right). My first Councillor event on Aotea Great Barrier is scheduled for 29 November with time for booked appointments and an afternoon tea.

I also attended the following events:

  • Late Night Art on 14 October
  • AT Board Rotation farewell event for Lester Levy and Mark Gilbert on 22 October
  • Ponsonby Business Association AGM on 22 October
  • Opening of White & Wong restaurant in Newmarket on 23 October at the invitation of NBA
  • K’rd Business Association AGM on 24 October
  • TUIA 250 Ki Tāmaki Makaurau – Civic Reception at Maritime Museum on 25 October
  • Tour de Waiheke organised as part of the Waiheke Cycling Festival on 2 November (photo right)
  • St Marys Bay Association AGM on 6 November
  • Grey Lynn Business Association AGM on 6 November
  • K3 Legal event on 7 November in the Maritime Room
  • U2 concert and entertainment in the corporate suite at Mt Smart on 8 November at the invitation of Regional Facilities Auckland
  • Armistice Day Commemorations at Auckland Museum on 11 November
  • Ludo Campbell-Reid’s Poroporoaki (farewell) after 13 years championing urban design for Auckland Council on 11 November
  • Herne Bay Residents Association AGM on 13 November
  • City Rail Link tunnel stakeholder walk through on 16 November (photo right with Cr Richard Hills)
  • Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s The New Zealand Herald Premier Series Conflict & Triumph at the Town Hall on 14 November at the invite of Geraint A. Martin (Chairman) and Barbara Glaser (Chief Executive)
  • Parnell Festival of Roses hosted by the Waitemata Local Board on 17 November
  • Launch of the Viaduct Harbour Local Living Compost Hub on 19 November
  • A Gala Concert in the Presence of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to celebrate the launching of the new name of the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre at the Aotea Centre on 20 November (at the invitation of Regional Facilities Auckland)
  • Viewing of the PUSH movie (a gut-wrenching story about housing, injustice and those fighting for better housing at the grass roots) on 21 November at the Academy Cinema at the invitation of the Auckland Community Housing Providers Network
  • Attended the Kai Conscious lunch at the Waiheke Sustainability Centre on 22 November
  • Spoke at the opening of Tatai Whenua – TUIA 250 Encounters exhibition  at the Waiheke Community Art Centre on 22 November (photo right taken by Peter Rees, one of the artists in the exhibition)
  • World Premiere of My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak by Ahi Karunaharan at Q Theatre on 22 November at the invitation of Silo Theatre
  • Grey Lynn Park Festival on 23 November
  • Enjoyed the Santa Parade from the VIP area on 24 November with my 5 year old nephew at the invitation of the Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust
  • 40th anniversary service of Air New Zealand flight TE901 in the presence of the Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy at Holy Trinity Cathedral
  • Pride Launch at the Auckland Art Gallery on 24 November

Regional consultation topics

Southwest Gateway Programme

  • There’s been a lot of debate about extending heavy rail to the airport. I make use of the service train that currently exists via Papatoetoe station (only $4.80 from Newmarket). From 2021 it is going to be even more straight forward with priority bus lanes from Puhinui station to the airport. Confirmation this work is going ahead means the debate is over about heavy rail all the way to the airport. Feedback on a range of projects within the Southwest Gateway Programme is open until 8 December.

OuterLink and 650 bus services

  • Consultation went underway on 11 November on proposed changes to some Crosstown services, including the OuterLink and 650 bus services.
    • The proposed changes should result in:
      • A more reliable OuterLink, with less bunching
      • A high frequency Balmoral Crosstown service, the new 65
      • Quicker journey times on the remaining portion of the OuterLink, with fewer (hopefully nil) timing points

Regional grants

  • The Regional Environment and Natural Heritage Grant Fund and Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund applications will be coming to the Environment and Climate Change committee on 29 November

Significant issues and ward issues

NZ International Convention Centre Fire

  • On 23 October, the day after the NZICC fire started I visited the Auckland Council’s Emergency Coordination Centre and was given a quick tour by Sarah Sinclair Acting GM, Auckland Emergency Management. The response to the NZICC fire was managed by Fire & Emergency but the centre sprung into action staffed by council volunteers to provide support across logistics, comms, welfare and health services.In the photo right I’m standing with Sarah in front of a big screen showing live footage of the roof of the convention centre with fires still visible.

Hardship fund for Albert Street businesses

  • I welcomed the news on 31 October that the Government and Auckland Council have brought forward work on establishing a hardship fund for businesses in Auckland’s Albert Street to recognise the difficulty some have faced because of the delay in City Rail Link construction. I have supported Heart of the City in advocating for this fund.

New Network bus changes on Waiheke

  • On 22 November I was taken on a tour by Sue Pawly and Hana Blackmore (in the photo right in a decommissioned bus stop in Oneroa opposite the library) who are campaigning to restore essential bus services that were removed by Auckland Transport following new network changes on Waiheke to introduce greater frequency to the timetable.  I am working with the Waiheke Local Board on this issue.

Helicopters on Sentinel Beach

  • The rebuilding of a boat shed on Sentinel Beach allowing for a helicopter landing pad has been a long running issue. Strong opposition was voiced at the Herne Bay Residents Association AGM to the use of helicopters especially in the coastal environment. I have been advised that there is currently no application for a helicopter landing pad on this property. If there is in the future it will be a non-complying activity and it is likely it will be fully publicly notified.

Tree removal by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority

  • I’ve received a number of queries regarding concerns about the removal of 345 exotic trees from Ōwairaka / Mt Albert. I’ve provided a response along the following lines:
  • 14 tūpuna maunga including Ōwairaka / Mt Albert and Maungawhau/Mt Eden are co-governed by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority established in 2014 following a treaty settlement.  I’m not on the TMA but I acknowledge and respect the authority of the TMA and I support their management plans for the tūpuna maunga after decades of neglect by former councils (providing a link to information about the Authority).
  • The Authority is focused on the long-term restoration of the maunga and is underway to plant many thousands of trees.  The TMA is following advice on the ecological best practice regarding which exotic and pest trees need to be removed as part of the plans and the removal methodology.  You might also be interested to read why the Tree Council support the plans. https://www.treecouncil.org.nz/press-statement-regarding-tree-removal-on-owairaka-and-other-maunga-from-the-tree-council/
  • As the Ōwairaka / Mt Albert tree work is being undertaken by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority which is independent of Auckland Council, it is appropriate for the Authority to answer questions about the detail of their vegetation management. You can email  the Authority at MaungaAuthority@aklc.govt.nz  . I also understand that no trees that are notable, protected or scheduled will be removed as part of the restoration plans.

Transport

  • I am also following up a number of ward transport issues including opportunities to extend the Herne Bay walking and cycling improvements project by leveraging work proposed by Healthy Waters and Watercare, safety on the Western Springs Shared Path, and paid parking on Ponsonby Road not working satisfactorily to encourage turnover due to the low hourly rate for all day parking.

Media

  • Since my election as Councillor I have been interviewed for Gulf News (Attachment 2), and the Barrier Bulletin (Attachment 3) and interviewed by Chris Walker on Waiheke Radio. I also have a regular column in Ponsonby news. My first column as Councillor was published in the November edition (Attachment 4)
  • I attended the media briefing for the High St tactical urbanism trial on 16 October and for the Mayor’s announcement of the new Committee structure and positions on 4 November
  • I was quoted in an Our Auckland story following the upgrade of Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Place project winning the Planning and Urban Design category in the 2019 New Zealand Architecture Awards

Conferences and seminars

ACENZ Panel discussion

  • On 15 October I was invited by ACENZ (Representing consulting and engineering professionals in Aotearoa) to be part of a panel discussion with Ida Dowling, Sarah Woodward and Alec Tang following a presentation by Auckland Transport CEO Shane Ellison on the Future Transport Challenges for Auckland

Trafinz Conference 2019

  • I attended the Trafinz (The New Zealand Local Authority Traffic Institute) 2019 conference in Hamilton on 12/13 November. I am on the Exec Committee of Trafinz. The conference theme focused on “Smart, safe and accessible places”.
  • Highlights from Wednesday’s programme included keynote sessions with Skye Duncan, the Director of the Global Designing Cities Initiative at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), Putting people first: shaping urban streets for healthy and sustainable cities, Frith Walker, Panuku, Placemaking ‐if you are not doing it for people then you are doing it wrong and Prof Graham Currie, a renowned international Public Transport research leader and policy advisor from Monash university Transit fightback ‐ pushback on technology hype for stronger city futures
  • I co-hosted a Q&A panel  “bringing it all together” and provided the final thoughts on putting people first and roundup of the conference on behalf of Trafinz. I also got to announce that the conference next year will be in Auckland
  • My conference registration and one-night accommodation ($836) was covered by Auckland Council. I used a fleet car for transport to and from Hamilton

Disclosures

  • Since election day I have received the following gifts as well the invites noted above under events:
    • 2020 Calendar from the Moths and Butterfly NZ Trust (value unknown)
    • Sea Edge: Where the Waitemata meets Auckland coffee table book by Sir Bob Harvey (value $75)

Speed Limits Bylaw Hearing

In March Auckland Transport consulted on the introduction of a new bylaw to set new speed limits, including lower speed limits for approximately 10% of Auckland’s local roads. Hearings are currently underway to present to a hearings panel made up of AT Board Chair, Mark Gilbert, AT Board member Sir Michael Cullen,  Exec GM Service Delivery Andrew Allen,  and another AT exec member.  Here is my presentation on behalf of the Waitemata Local Board.

Speed Limits Bylaw Hearing

Thank you for the opportunity to present today.I am here as Chair of the Waitemata Local Board representing the city centre and central suburbs of Tamaki Makaurau.  I’ve been transport lead for the board for almost 9 years and I’m also an Executive committee member of Trafinz the NZ road safety institute representing Auckland Council.  I was part of the team that launched the Auckland Vision Zero campaign in July 2016 along with Brake – the road safety charity, Cycling Advocates Network , Walk Auckland and NZ School Speeds calling for Government and local authorities to adopt a Vision Zero approach to road safety – aiming for zero road deaths and injuries.

Tragically since that time the number of road fatalities and serious injuries has continued to increase.  We’ve just had an horrific 10 days on NZ’s roads with 28 people losing their lives.  Just in the last 24 hours 2 people have been critically injured in Auckland . In Waitemata a pedestrian was seriously injured last week just near here on Quay Street.

We as politicians, governors, decision makers, enforcement officials need to take responsibility for the fact we have overseen a 78% increase in DSIs over a 5 year period on our watch.

This is clearly unacceptable.  I’d like to thank CEO Shane  Ellison and the AT board for their leadership in confronting this crisis head on and for taking the first serious steps in Auckland to make our streets safer.

As you are all well aware, 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

There is of course a heap of evidence that backs up why implementing safe and appropriate speeds works.     I will leave that to the experts but I was really pleased to hear AT Board chair Lester state at the launch of the consultation that the final decision would be based on the evidence.  An evidence based approach is essential as we navigate through a highly emotive topic .

With regards to the Local Board position I would like to highlight our key initiatives from our local board plan, our on going advocacy and our feedback on the consultation that supports Auckland Transport taking forward the proposed speed limit changes and moving on to the next stage as soon as possible.

We were the first local board to adopt Vision Zero.

In the Local board Plan 2017  Outcome 5: “An accessible, connected and safe transport network with well-designed streets” we have an Objective  to “Improve safety for all road users” including the following Key Initiatives:

  • Work with Auckland Transport (AT) to implement slow traffic speed zones in the city centre and residential areas, and through town centres.
  • Advocate to AT to adopt a target of zero serious injuries or deaths on our roads as part of a comprehensive approach to road safety.
  • Advocate to the NZ Transport Agency to change the give way rule at side street crossings to favour pedestrians.

We are now currently in the process of updating our annual advocacy positions to Auckland Transport. These will be agreed to as part of our Annual Local Board Agreement 19/20) but are proposed:

  • Safer Streets – Auckland Transport to adopt a target of zero serious injuries or deaths on our roads as part of a comprehensive safe systems approach to road safety including safe road design, enforcement, safer speeds and driver education.
  • Safe and appropriate speeds – Support slower speeds that are safe and appropriate in residential areas, through villages town centres and in the city centre

We are taking this approach with the support of our communities who have consistently told us they want safer streets – where kids can walk to school, streets that are healthier, and attractive, and streets are destinations.  Slower speeds will bring a range of additional benefits – it is good for business, reduces pollution and makes for a kinder more caring community.   Slower speeds will also help the city welcome small wheeled mobility like e-scooters without introducing more conflict on our crowded footpaths that need to be prioritised for pedestrians.

We are responding to fundamental changes to the way the city is growing.  The City Centre population is almost at 60,000 – it is no longer a CBD.

We are host to the region with hundred of thousands of people coming into the city centre every day for work, study and play and as tourists and visitors. There are now 118,000 City Centre employees.

We are yet to see the AT feedback report for Waitemata  so I am not in a position to give specific feedback on each proposal but we know there is general support for safe and appropriate speeds and in fact for more extensive changes.  For example the Freemans Bay School parents who are asking for the inclusion of Wellington and Hepburn Streets in the Freemans Bay zone.  Residents on John Street have questioned why they are not part of a Ponsonby slow speed zone.

We know there is push back on streets that are designed like motorways such as Hobson/Nelson Street that encourage speeding. However, this is now the most dense residential area in Aotearoa so we have to re-imagine how these streets function and who is prioritised.

The speed needs to come down but as part of a much broader package of safety improvements such as removing motorway style signage, pedestrian focused treatments and road diets.  In the long term the local board supports Hobson and Nelson being restored to two way streets.

A hearts and minds campaign is also needed to bring Aucklanders along on a shared understanding that slower  speeds are pro-community, pro- business, pro children. It will make our streets more accessible and safe for people of all ages and abilities.

In concluding I’d like to acknowledge the AT staff who have fronted the consultation and are doing the mahi.  I know it has not always been easy but this is important work.

And finally but not least to acknowledge the victims of the road safety crisis and the loved ones they have left behind. If we are serious about reducing road trauma the speed limit must be reduced.

Chair’s monthly report December 2018

Report covering the period 12 November until 12 December 2018.  It is included in the local board business meeting agenda held on 11 December

This is my final report for the year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my hard-working fellow local board members, the outstanding Local Board services team who support the local board and everyone who works to make Waitematā a great place. Our Achievements Report 2017/2018 highlights just how much we have been able to achieve together.

The following provides a summary of the positive updates and major milestones reached by the local board as we come to the end of 2018.

Achievements Report 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018

 The Board’s annual report of highlights covering major projects and initiatives, community grants, advocacy and local governance is now available online. Here is my Chair’s message included in the report.  I included in my report the Chair’s message

TAPAC arts partnership

TAPAC was built in partnership with the old Auckland City Council, but no sustainable funding model for ongoing operational budget support was put in place at the time – unlike regionally supported arts facilities such as Q Theatre.  The Waitematā Local Board has endeavoured to support TAPAC through one off grants but this has been on an ad hoc basis and doesn’t contribute to administration costs.

At our November business meeting we achieved a major milestone. A report to the local board recommended the local board enter into its first arts partnership of $85k a year. The report details the substantial contribution to the arts by TAPAC and the diversity of their programmes and audiences.  ( Our Auckland story: TAPAC and Waitematā Local Board celebrate new partnership)

Erebus National Memorial

Also at the Waitematā Local Board November meeting we agreed to support the construction of the National Erebus Memorial at Auckland’s Dove-Myer Robinson Park / Taurarua Pā, commonly known as the Parnell Rose Gardens. We’re really honoured to host such a significant historically important memorial in one of our outstanding local parks. I got emotional talking in support of the project knowing what the Memorial means to the families impacted by NZ’s worst peacetime disaster. This disaster resulted in 237 passengers and 20 crew losing their lives.   (Media release: Auckland site approved for National Erebus Memorial)

The resolution of the board:

  1. a)       Supports locating the National Erebus Memorial at Dover-Myer Robinson Park subject to:
  2. i)        all necessary building and resource consent requirements being met
  3. ii)       a rigorous design process which includes a review of the short listed designs by the Auckland Urban Design Panel and, as a separate process, the Waitematā Local Board

iii)      the local board granting landowner approval for the installation of the winning design subject to Board approval of this design

  1. iv)       Ministry for Culture and Heritage providing funding to cover all costs relating to the installation and future maintenance of the structure and associated landscape features.
  2. b) delegate to the Waitematā Local Board chair and parks portfolio lead sign off of the memorial design parameters
  3. c)  receive the letter of support from the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei trust and notes that the Ministry for Culture and Heritage will lead mana whenua consultation on the location.

I was fortunate to attend the Prime Minister’s meeting with the Erebus families held on the 39th anniversary at the Dalmatian Cultural Society Hall.  The Mayor Phil Goff also spoke at the meeting.  A majority of the family representatives support the selected site and shared their desire to have input into the design.  The memorial is planned to be completed by May 2020.

254 Ponsonby Road – a civic space

The long-time project to develop a civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road reached a major milestone with the Environment and Community Committee unanimously supporting the officer recommendation that the full site at 254 Ponsonby Road is the optimal size for a park in this location and agreed to retain the whole site for the purpose of developing a civic space. Deputy Chair, Shale Chambers spoke on behalf of the local board to the Committee.  (Attachment 3 Presentation to the Environment and Community Committee)

The site was purchased by Auckland City Council in 2006 with the intention to develop part of it into a civic space. However, locals have long campaigned for the entire site to become a dedicated civic and open space for people, events, activity, and relaxation.

When the wider community were asked what they wanted for the site, 77 per cent of people voted for the entire site to become a park. Following this clear preference from the community, in 2015 the local board allocated $10,000 towards funding a grassroots community-led process to find a preferred design for the park.

This process saw community members take the lead in identifying a design using a community empowerment approach.  Locals were involved in decision-making throughout the process which was informed by ongoing robust community consultation. (Photo right: Local Board members, Councillors Cathy Casey and Mike Lee celebrate the decision with members of the Ponsonby Park group)

In November the LandLAB’s PARK+ design (photo right) was announced the winner in the Future Civic category at the World Architecture News Awards.

There is sufficient One Local Initiative funding (allocated through the Long-term Plan) available for phase one of the project ($5.5 million) without asset sales. The local board proposes to partially fund phase two ($5.5 million) through the council’s Service Property Optimisation approach.   A detailed business case and design of the site can now commence for construction in 2020/2021.

Our Auckland story  New Ponsonby civic space reaches a significant milestone

 Local Board Agreement 2019/20 and funding for the Mission’s Homeground project

Western Park- Invitation v4 Every year local boards have the opportunity to present on their top priorities for inclusion in the Council’s annual budget.

This year Waitematā Local Board advocated for:

  • whole of site civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road (Ponsonby Park)
  • funding to implement the Domain masterplan
  • region wide funding to reduce agrichemical spraying (we have allocated $70,000 to eliminate spraying in four parks but there needs to be a coordinated approach to benefit from economies of scale)
  • funding for the Auckland City Mission HomeGround project

In the picture above presenting to the Finance and Performance Committee with Deputy Chair Shale Chambers and local board member Richard Northey. (Local Board Agreement presentation slides to the Finance and Performance Committee)

As I raised with the Committee, addressing homelessness is a priority for the local board and some of the initiatives that we are doing at a local level include $20k local board funding (LDI budget) this year towards supporting homelessness initiatives such as funding a trial of showers for homeless in partnership with Ellen Melville Centre and supporting an outreach programme by the James Liston Hostel staff in Outhwaite Park community hall.

The local board strongly supports the Mission HomeGround project that is taking an integrated approach, based on international best practice and recognises that accommodation with both health and social services are required to meet the needs of homeless people.  Eighty supportive housing units that combine affordable housing with 24-hour security and services to help people with complex needs to live with stability, autonomy and dignity – it will also be an inner city community hub.

Initial findings of Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland’s Homeless Count show that on 17 September 2018, at least 336 people were living without shelter and 2,874 people were in temporary accommodation.  It is estimated that we have 800 people living without shelter based on a validation exercise.

We have advocated for Auckland Council to clearly show its commitment and support to the project as the City Mission needs to find another $16.5 million.

It was therefore great to hear a few weeks later that the Mayor proposes to grant $5m towards Auckland City Mission HomeGround project as part of the Annual budget 2019/2020. As Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly puts it “the development is an initiative unlike anything else seen before in New Zealand … It provides a purpose-built, safe space to stand against homelessness, hunger and poor health. Offering pragmatic, hands-on services and support to help those who need it most, this $90 million project will be a legacy for Auckland. The HomeGround development has been a long-held vision for the Mission and this $5 million funding proposal shows great leadership.” If approved by the Governing Body it will go out for consultation in February 2019.

Planning Committee presentation – City Centre Masterplan refresh

On 27 November I presented to the Planning Committee on the local board’s support for the City Centre masterplan recommendations ( Blog post: Auckland City Centre buzzing to the sound of people – covering my CCMP 2040 presentation to the Planning Committee)

The Committee unanimously voted for an innovative concept that paves the way to further pedestrianise Queen Street. One of three bold new proposals discussed today, Queen Street – Access for Everyone will further develop Auckland’s city centre into a vibrant public space for people.

Two new concepts – Maori Outcomes and Grafton Gully Boulevard were also adopted for further development and public consultation by the Planning Committee, with a view to seek committee approval by July 2019.

I also confirmed the local board’s support for trials and temporary installations to demonstrate the city we would like to become.  For example, a bollard on High St that goes up once deliveries are completed would transform the pedestrian experience overnight.  As we say in our local board plan:  We support pilot projects and quick, low cost interventions to promote long term improvements to our streets

The Planning Committee requested trials of ‘Open Streets’ in the city centre, and to work with interested local boards on trials in other town centres.

Playground openings

On 21 November we celebrated the playground upgrade at Vermont Reserve, Ponsonby with a sausage sizzle provided by the maintenance contractor, Ventia.

The new equipment has been welcomed by locals but unfortunately the design has made the playground less accessible.  I have logged this as an issue that will be fixed with a new entrance gate into the playground. (Photo right with local board members Adriana Christie and Richard Northey at the opening)

Parnell station walkway open

The new pathway connection to Parnell Train Station from Carlaw Park student village and business area is now open. Waitematā Local Board put up the funds to get this built.

On 15 November 2018 members of Waitematā Local Board, Auckland Transport, Parnell Community Committee and Parnell Business Association enjoyed a first walk on the new pathway connecting Parnell Station with Carlaw Park student village and business centre ( Our Auckland: New pathway connection to Parnell Station now open)

Waitematā Safe Routes Projects- update

Every household in a wide area of Grey Lynn and Westmere should have received a Have your say booklet from Auckland Transport on plans to make streets safer, more attractive and more accessible for everyone. There have been opportunities to see the plans in large scale and talk directly to the project team at various open days during the consultation .

Feedback is due by 14 December 2018.  The local board will provide our input once we have heard the public feedback.

In my December Ponsonby News update  I look back on the progress of this project since it was described as a “fiasco” over a year ago.

Construction of the Karangahape Road Enhancements Project is due to start in early 2019 ( Media Release – Contractors sought for Karangahape Road upgrade).  The K Road Business Association, alongside Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, have developed a Business Pac which will be distributed prior to the work commencing.  The need to actively manage business disruption has been one of the key lessons from the West Lynn project.

Ian McKinnnon Drive cycleway extension

with the Mayor Phil Goff, Minister Phil Tywford, Councillor Paul Young and local board member Adriana Christie about to ride the new cycleway

Minister of Transport Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff officially opened the Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway on Friday 30 November.

The cycleway removes the steep climb alongside the Newton Road on-ramp up to the Newton Road bridge for people on bikes travelling to the city centre on the Northwestern Path.

The route runs through Suffolk Reserve, onto Ian McKinnon Drive (the section in the Waitematā Local Board area) and up to the intersection of Upper Queen Street. This is the most significant section of cycleway opened in Auckland over the last year.

Auckland Domain Committee

At the Domain Committee final meeting of the year on 29 November 2018 we made progress on implementing an Auckland Domain Accessibility Improvement Programme to deliver key outcomes of the Auckland Domain Masterplan 2016.  The initial focus of this programme is on reducing vehicle dominance and improving pedestrian and cycling opportunities in the Domain.

Report back from Trafinz conference 2018 in Wellington 11- 14 November

I attended the Trafinz conference ‘Prioritising for People’ in Wellington as an Executive Committee member representing Auckland Council.  Trafinz represents local authority views on road safety and traffic management in New Zealand.

I presented at the conference (photo right) and joined the final panel discussion.

Auckland Transport’s CEO presented a bold goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s road. As all the experts at the conference agree speed reduction is absolutely fundamental to achieving that goal. Consultation was due to start on a region-wide bylaw in November, which could see speed limits reduced in the city centre, metropolitan and town centres, and in some rural areas by June 2019.  However, the Auckland Transport Board postponed the decision to their 11 December meeting.

One of the conference speakers Assoc. Prof. Jeremy Woolley Director of the Centre for Automobile Safety and Research in Australia hosted by Auckland Transport held a meeting and Q&A with elected members on 16 December to discuss ‘Is Zero Possible?’.  We discussed why we need a forgiving transport system and what we can do to progress Vision Zero locally.

Local Board supported and funded events

25th annual Parnell Festival of Roses

This well-loved festival was a big success this year with record turnout of 9,000 people on a beautiful spring day.  The festival is one of the Waitematā Local Board’s flagship events that we aim to ensure is accessible, zero waste and community focused. In the photo above local board members at the event.

Lightpath Festival

Photo credit: Tina Plunkett

The second annual Lightpath Festival, supported by the local board with a $10,000 grant, took place on 1 December 2018. It is a free, family-friendly evening celebrating this iconic addition to our city and the joy of people-friendly streets.

The Festival was an opportunity to experience the city by night with entertainers, music, art, food, and bike fun along Lightpath/Te Ara i Whiti and Canada St, just off K Road.

Grey Lynn Park Festival

A very soggy day on 25 November meant lower turnout than normal, but the weather cleared for the final acts on the main stage.

The festival receives a $24,000 grant from the local board’s contestable events fund.

Franklin Road Lights opening

The local board funded the opening night and rubbish bins for the event.  As reported in NZ Herald  The Topp Twins turn on Christmas lights on in Auckland’s most festive street.

Santa Parade

There’s been reports “Auckland Council” has pulled out of supporting the annual Santa Parade on Queen St. This is not correct. Funding will be found from a regional events budget just not from ATEED (the parade doesn’t meet ATEED’s event criteria so this is the last year it will contribute $45k).  Waitematā Local Board is also proud to support the parade with a community grant of $5,000.  The parade was held on the rain date of 2 December 2018.  My nephew Tomu enjoyed the VIP experience thanks to the invite from the Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust.

Roll out of residential parking

The long anticipated Grey Lynn and Arch Hill Residential Parking Zones went live on 7 December 2018. There will be a grace period from this date, through to 7 January 2019 after which enforcement will apply.

Events and functions:  12 November until 11 December

  • Attended the Trafinz conference 11 – 14 November in Wellington
  • Auckland City Mission HomeGround celebration at St Mathews on 14 November
  • Consular flag raising at the Auckland Town Hall on 15 November
  • First walk on the new pathway connecting Parnell Station to the Strand via Nicholls Lane
  • Herne Bay Residents Association AGM on 15 November
  • LGNZ Zone meeting at the Auckland Town Hall on 16 November
  • EU Consular tree planting in Auckland Domain support of the Mayor’s 1 million trees project. (photo right with the Mayor Phil Goff)
  • Nepal Festival in Aotea Square on 17 November
  • Peace Foundation AGM on 17 November
  • Shortland Street the Musical at the ASB Waterfront Theatre at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company on 17 November
  • Parnell Waiters Race on 18 November
  • 25th anniversary Parnell Festival of Roses on 18 November
  • Wrap up session for the Heart of the City Street Guardian pilot at the Auckland City Mission on 20 November
  • November Local Board business meeting on 20 November
  • Vermont Reserve playground opening celebration on 22 November
  • Auckland Conversations on 22 November Transport Planning as Freedom Planning with Jarret Walker and a panel featuring Albert-Eden Local Board member Jessica Rose (photo right)
  • Modacity /Women in Urbanism presentation at Central City Library on 23 November
  • Here Lies Love at Q Theatre at the invitation of Silo Theatre
  • Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announcement of a major new urban development at GRID AKL on 24 November
  • Grey Lynn Park Festival on 24 November
  • Auckland Transport’s Waitemata Safe Routes drop in session at the Grey Lynn Community Hall on 25 November
  • Ponsonby Community Centre AGM on 26 November
  • City Centre Masterplan refresh presentation to the Planning Committee on 27 November
  • ATEED farewell for board director David McConnell at GRID AKL on 29 November
  • Ian McKinnion Drive cycleway opening on 30 November by Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff (photo right)
  • Wynyard Quarter Transport Association AGM on 30 November
  • Basement theatre Christmas show Work Do on 30 November at the invitation of Basement Theatre
  • Santa parade VIP opening attended by my nephew Tomu on 2 December at invitation of Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum launch of the latest in Scala Arts and Heritage’s internationally acclaimed Director’s Choice book series on 3 December
  • Sackville Reserve Playground opening on 5 December
  • Attended LGNZ National Council meeting in Wellington on 7 December and LGNZ dinner with Ministers on 6 December
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 8 December
  • Italian Christmas market on Freemans Bay Community Hall on 8 December
  • Final Waitematā Local Board meeting of 2018 on 11 December
  • Joined the official party at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Town Hall on 11 December

 

Chair’s monthly report September 2018

This report covers the period 15 August until 11 September 2018 including the start of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 10 – 16 Mahuru.

 Ko te reo te taikura ō te whakaaro marama
Language is the key to understanding

He pai ake te iti i te kore
A little is better than none

Summary

Waitematā Local Board August business meeting

At our monthly board meetings, we are fortunate to welcome a range of presenters to an often lively and interesting public forum.  Our August business meeting was especially well attended with presentations from:

  • John Elliott – Non-toxic non-herbicidal spray method
  • Elizabeth Walker and Sel Arbuckle of STEPS – Western Springs plantings on lava flow forest
  • Caitlin McIlhagga General Manager 95bFM – Presentation about 95bFM does and how it is involved with the community (photo right)
  • Jennifer Ward, Chris Bailey and Paula Wilkinson of Community- Led Design Group – 254 Ponsonby Road
  • Chris O’Brien, Chairman Laura Fergusson Trust; Rob Small -Trustee Laura Fergusson Trust and Simon Wilson, Managing Director Heineken Urban Polo – Heineken Urban Polo Tournament
  • Example of an urban tree that was felled following the removal of tree protection rules

    Graeme Easte, Albert-Eden Local Board Member – Meola Creek Catchment Update

Minutes are available on the Auckland Council website.

2006 – 2015 Urban Forest Canopy Changes in the Waitematā Local Board area

Last term the board initiated LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) mapping to understand changes in the urban tree canopy. It has taken some time for the results to be presented due to a number of technical challenges.  At our August meeting we received the draft ‘Tree loss in the Waitematā Local Board over ten years (2006 – 2015)’ report funded as part of the Waitematā Local Board’s 2017/2018 urban forest framework project

The report highlights that the amount of tree loss in the Waitematā Local Board area 2006-2015 is 61.23 hectares (approximately 17 per cent) and that 65 per cent of the urban forest clearance has occurred on private land. This does not include the growth of new,canopy. Further analysis work is underway and will be the subject of a subsequent report.

A significant part of the tree loss has been caused by the removal by the former central government of Council’s general tree protection rules so we urge the Governing Body to advocate to government to change the law to enable Auckland Council to reintroduce general tree protection rules.

 Western Springs Lakeside Park Development Plan consultation

 A draft park development plan for Western Springs Te Wai Ōrea Lakeside Park was out for consultation until the end of August.

The Board held an open day at the park playground on 18 August (photo right Deputy Chair Shale Chambers and member Adriana Christie with local resident Chuck Joseph).  A number of people gave feedback not just about the park plan but about concerns over current maintenance issues.

I logged these issues and in response received the following updates:

  • Bird numbers no longer managed – unfortunately we missed the opportunity last Spring to train our contractors in conjunction with the Zoo hence the rise in bird numbers this year. We are now working with our contractors and the zoo and will undertake the seasonal addling of the eggs this Spring.
  • Paths no longer swept – all bird poo washed into the Lake – Paths are blown and water blasted once a week and are contractors are aware that bird faeces should not be washing into the lake. We have reiterated this with our contractor and we have increased the frequency of water blasting to 3 x a week as of Tuesday this week.
  • Broken drinking fountains – There are a couple of water fountains that have no active water pipe feeding it due to them being broken by tree roots coming up through the concrete. These have not been working for a number of years and this will be addressed as part of the Western Park project works.
  • Broken toilets at the playground with dirty Portaloo replacements – The zoo is constructing a new administration building on the site of a previous building that has been removed. Unfortunately, when the Zoo staff began work it was discovered that the western spring toilet had been connected to this facilities waste water line. This was unknown to the zoo project team and was not recorded on any plans so reinstatement of the sewer line was included in the design for the new building. Community Facilities are working with the zoo project team and have devised a methodology for a new connection, so we can recommission the toilets. Whilst the work may not be expensive it is complex given the significant amount of volcanic rock and protected trees along the pathway for a new connection.  The new work will require a consent and arborist approval before works can commence. We hope to have the toilets reinstated before the summer season starts.
  • In the interim alternative facilities are provided and these are cleaned twice daily with the expectation this meets the same outcome as permanent toilets by way of cleanliness. If this is found not to be the case a request for service can be called through and our contractor will attend.
  • Broken light in toilet block in park – disconnected due to the works going on at the Zoo.

We also received positive feedback from “Friends of Fukuoka Gardens” community group who have been working directly with contractors to improve maintenance of the Japanese garden.

It is proposed that issues such as water quality and bird feeding will be addressed through the plan.

Salisbury Reserve consultation and removal of the Masonic Lodge

Land purchased to create an entrance way to Salisbury Reserve

Consultation on the two options for opening up the entrance to Salisbury Reserve ended at the end of August.  During the month I met on site with both local residents and representatives of the Herne Bay Residents Association.  I confirmed that the local board doesn’t intend revisiting the decision to remove the Masonic Lodge building for a number of reasons:

  • We don’t have a budget to upgrade it, to cover operational costs nor to pay for a change to the required resource consent (which will be opposed by local residents).
  • There is no evidence of a need for another community facility serving Herne Bay.
  • Current facilities including Leys Institute Hall and the Vermont Centre are not at capacity. I also provided the occupancy stats below of local facilities that directly report to Council.
  • The reserve is not large enough to support two community facilities.
  • There are minimal heritage values associated with the building as it has been through so many alterations.

The standard available hours in 10h/day and the percentages below is based on the standard.

Utilisation                                                 FY16/17           FY17/18

Leys Institute Hall                                             16%                 20%

Freemans Bay Community Hall                    38%                 39%

Grey Lynn Community Centre                       55%                 53%

Ponsonby Community Centre                         37%                  36%

Leys Institute Gym                                            59%                  57%

Central City Library opening hours
The board made funding available so the Auckland Central City Library can open for an extra hour on Saturdays and Sundays from September 1. Funding is guaranteed until 30 June 2019.

Transport

John Street, Ponsonby – a trial for a new “healthy streets” approach

As a narrow street and rat run John Street in Ponsonby has suffered from a number of parking, traffic and safety issues going back some time.  The transport portfolio has been following up with a group of residents who would like to be part of the solution.  They are keen for John St to be used to showcase AT’s new approach to safer, healthier streets which are designed for all road users not just cars.

On 18 August I met with residents on the street to discuss potential options. I confirmed that the Local Board is pushing AT to use all the tools available to improve the conditions of John Street. AT is currently preparing a proposal for consultation.

Grey Lynn Parking

The local board passed the following resolution at our business meeting on 21 August in response to the parking concerns that have been raised with us in response to a letter drop to 600 Grey Lynn households opposing a proposed time restricted parking zone.

MOVED by Chairperson P Coom, seconded by Deputy Chairperson S Chambers:

That the Waitematā Local Board:

  1. receive the Auckland Transport August 2018 update report
  2. request Auckland Transport to implement the proposed new Arch Hill and Grey Lynn residential parking zone as soon as reasonably practicable and put on hold the proposed implementation of the time restricted P120 zone that has not been consulted on until after an assessment has been made of the impact of the residential parking zone
  3. request Auckland Transport work with the Grey Lynn Residents Association to identify suitable locations for P120 restrictions.

In response to the resolution AT has confirmed that the RPZ implementation will be brought forward to December and they will put on hold the time restricted parking.  Further details are on the Auckland Transport website.

Waitematā Safer Routes

Concept design for West Lynn, Richmond Road

New designs prepared by Boffa Miskell to fix the issues on the two Waitematā Safer routes were presented to Community Liaison Groups (CLGs) on 5 September.  A few days later the NZ Herald reported that the Grey Lynn cycleway debacle could cost $35m to fix and claimed that the project was for a few “existing cyclists”.   Grey Lynn Business Association co-chair Irene King was reported as saying that preliminary designs as “very, very stunning” with beautiful urban design and landscaping.

There is a lot that Auckland Transport has got wrong with this project and it should have been done correctly first time (I have previously reported on the background and what went wrong) but it is far is more accurate to describe the project as a street upgrade as it covers a safety improvements for everyone, bus stop changes, bus stop changes, traffic lights, parking, stormwater, landscaping and new trees.  Auckland Transport has also confirmed the figure of $35m is incorrect and should not have been presented to the CLG.   The actual projected cost for this project sits between $17m-$22m at present. AT has explained the figure of $35m was an initial costing that had long since been refined but was unfortunately inserted into the presentations to the CLGs and wasn’t caught until it was too late.

Auckland Transport plans to take the proposals out for consultation in Novembers so the wider community can decide what should be prioritised within the available budget.

Road Safety

My latest Ponsonby News column covers the 9th anniversary of speed reduction on Ponsonby Road and the speed bylaw proposals that are shortly to go out for consultation (Attachment 1).  Deaths and Serious injuries (DSi) across Auckland have increased by 67% since 2013.  In Waitematā 77% of all DSi involved vulnerable road users, people walking or cycling. This is the highest percentage among all Local Boards.

I was really pleased to see Auckland Transport’s CEO strong leadership and uncompromising statement on safer speeds in a letter to NZ Herald on 10 September (right).

On 5 September I attended a business strategy workshop in Wellington as a committee member of Trafinz.  The New Zealand Local Authority Traffic Institute or Trafinz represents local authority views on road safety and traffic management in New Zealand. It exists to lobby the government, to influence decision making on road safety and traffic issues. It also acts as a forum for collectively pursuing traffic issues of interest to local authorities, and for sharing information and advice.

Trafinz is actively involved in the development of a new road safety strategy with a Vision Zero target.

Meetings and workshops: 15 August until 11 September 2018

  • Meeting with local residents on 15 August at the Masonic Hall regarding the Salisbury Reserve consultation
  • Auckland Paths working group meeting on 16 August
  • Meeting with Steve Mutton, Director Regional Relationships on 17 August
  • Met with John Street, Ponsonby residents on 18 August to discuss options to traffic calm and reduce volumes
  • Attended the Western Springs Development Plan consultation event held at the park on 18 August
  • Chair’s weekly meeting with the local board services team on 20, 27 August and 3 and 10 September
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 21 August
  • LGNZ Zone 1 meeting on 24 August in Manukau
  • Spoke to Citizens Advice Bureau Grey Lynn/Ponsonby Branch volunteers on 27 August about the role of the local board
  • Board all day workshops on 28 August and 4, 11 September
  • Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association meeting on 29 August
  • Meeting with Jeremy Hansen, Britomart Group on 29 August
  • Attended a Vision Zero meeting organised by Bike Auckland at Bizdojo on 29 August
  • Meeting with representatives of the Herne Bay Residents Association on 29 August the Masonic Hall regarding the Salisbury Reserve consultation
  • Interviewed by Grant Hewison regarding the Ponsonby Business Association strategic plan on 29 August
  • Auckland Domain Committee workshop followed by the public committee meeting on 30 August
  • Inclusive governance in a diverse Auckland workshop offered by the Kura Kawana Elected Member Development Programme with guest speaker Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor – College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University on 31 August
  • Kia whai whare atou katoa: Regional, cross-sectoral homelessness plan for Auckland workshop at the Fickling Centre on 3 September (photo right)
  • Meeting on 4 September with the Community–led Design Group to discuss 254 Ponsonby Road in preparation for the forthcoming Options Paper.
  • TRAFINZ workshop in Wellington on 5 September
  • Visit to Auckland Zoo for local board members on 6 September (photo right)
  • Catch up with City Centre Residents Group representative on 6 September
  • Transport portfolio catch up on 7 September
  • Meeting with Director Regulatory Services Penny Pirrit to discuss compliance issues at the helicopter boat shed construction on Sentinel Beach, Herne Bay
  • Attended the “Business Grey Lynn” organised community meeting at St Columba church on 9 September regarding the Representation Review consultation that closed on 11 September
  • Local Board Chairs’ Forum on 10 September
  • Ponsonby Business Association committee meeting on 11 September
  • Briefing by Heart of the City regarding their street guardians initiative

Events and functions:  15 August until 11 September 2018

  • Interview on 95 BfM on 15 August to discuss the development of green spaces
  • Opening night of Auckland Theatre Company’s Filthy Business at ASB waterfront Theatre on 16 August at the invite of ATC
  • Dropped by 95bFM: Drive Island w/ Ha the Unclear & Skilaa at Ellen Melville Centre on 17 August (photo right)
  • Walters Prize opening at Auckland Art Gallery on 17 August
  • Panel member with MP Deborah Russell and former MP Damien Fenton at the Central Auckland Labour LEC’s Locally Left event at the Grey Lynn RSC on 27 August (photo below)
  • Opening of the Mina and Courtney Pellow NZFW show pop up shop on 30 August at the invite of the K’Road Business Association (photo right)
  • Living Wage Employer celebration held at the Ellen Melville Centre on 3 September (photo below)
  • “Into the Underworld” exhibition opening on 8 September in Silo 6, Wynyard Quarter.
  • Officiated at the Town Hall citizenship ceremony on 11 September.

Road safety crisis facing Auckland

Associate Minister Transport Julie Anne Genter opens the Road Safety Summit

Local Government Road Safety Summit 9 April 2018

Panel discussion on Local Government’s view about what more can be done to improve road safety

Chair:  Stuart Crosby, LGNZ Vice President

Panelists:

Rachel Reese, Mayor of Nelson

Hugh Vercoe, Waikato Regional Council

David Ayers, Mayor of Waimakariri

Pippa Coom, Chair, Waitematā Local Board

Each panel member was invited to speak for 5 minutes before a panel discussion with the Associate Minster Julie Anne Genter. The following is my presentation

Road safety crisis facing Auckland

Tena koutou e ngā rau Rangatira mā e huihui mai nei

Ka mihi whānui ki a koutou katoa, Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa

Greetings Minister.  Greetings to everyone gathered at this significant summit

Thank you for the invite to be part of the panel discussion and the opportunity to present on the road safety crisis facing Auckland.

It is currently a very bleak picture but at the same time I have tremendous hope for the future of our transport system thanks to the leadership of the new government and in particular Ministers Genter and Twyford. Significantly for the first time ever Auckland and Wellington are aligned politically to drive through progressive reform to deliver safe, sustainable, accessible mobility for everyone.

Just to mention that my slides are on autopilot for 5 minutes and will just keep rolling as I speak pecha kucha style. Auckland Transport has provided the graphs (below).  I acknowledge the work of the many road safety professionals here today.

I speak not as an expert but as a politician who wants to do what is necessary to ensure that the people who live, work, play, study in and visit Tamaki makaurau are able to enjoy a transport system that is free of serious injuries and death.

People like Robert Su who was killed while heading home to his family on the north shore from work in the growing Waterfront business area. The road that he and hundreds of commuters have to cross to reach their bus stop is designed for high speeds and vehicle priority.   This is the story all over Auckland where street design, road safety culture, speeds, investment, enforcement and education has not responded to Auckland’s growth and change.

To give a snap shot of that change in stats. Auckland welcomed 50,000 new residents over the last year.  More workers enter the city centre each day on PT than in private motorcars. There are more people living in the city centre than come in by car. Pedestrian numbers on Auckland’s premier shopping street have doubled since 2012.  800 cars are added to Auckland every week.

Tragically in the past three years, Auckland deaths and serious injuries have increased at almost triple the rate of the rest of NZ and around five times the growth of travel.

Of 29 world cities, Auckland has the second highest pedestrian fatality rate, sixth highest cyclist fatality rate, and highest motorcyclist fatality rate per distance travelled. As I am sure you all know this indicates strongly that Auckland is experiencing major systems failure with pressing road safety issues.

A recent, highly critical, road safety report commissioned by Auckland Transport’s Board concluded the reasons for the increase in deaths and serious injuries include

  • Increase interaction between different road users
  • Inappropriate speeds
  • Reduced enforcement
  • More motorcycling
  • Inadequate safer infrastructure investment
  • Drug impaired driving and drink driving
  • Travel growth

At the same time there has been a complete lack of leadership and a failure to prioritise road safety.

Fortunately, and none too soon, change is coming and we know what to do.

Auckland is close to adopting Vision Zero to demand and inspire action.   I acknowledge Chris Darby, Chair of the planning committee and North Shore ward councillor.  Chris has led the way on the Auckland Plan the long term vision for Auckland that will include for the first time a focus on moving to a safe transport network free from death and serious injury.

I appreciate to achieve that are no simple solutions and that transportation is a complex system with multiple factors but I am encouraged from what I am hearing across the sector that there is a united view on the way forward.   I’ve recently joined the Executive committee of Trafinz. Acknowledge to the committee members here.  Trafinz has developed 15 interventions to reduce death and serious injury for local authorities to adopt that are aligned with what the Minister has indicated for the new road safety strategy including vision zero.

What I also appreciate as a politician is that we have to bring the community along to support a significant step change. The Minister has given local government the challenge to not allow opposition to specific treatments to slow down delivery. This is not going to be easy as the public has been lied to for far too long about why the system is failing. Victim blaming is deeply engrained as way of explaining the carnage and too many politicians are ready to dog whistle on slower speeds.

But we can be brave to reject business as usual thanks to what is happening at the grassroots, the advocates who are the wind in our sails of change.  Thanks to the work of Brake and partners there is a groundswell of support for Vision zero and safer speeds.  The petition organised by Cycle Action Network of over 11, 000 calling to make our streets safe for cycling is an indication depth of support for a new approach .

On the ground in Auckland, feedback through the recent 10 year budget consultation shows strong community support for transport choice, complete streets, slower speeds, safe mobility for our most vulnerable.

Kia ora Minister. Thank you for making this summit happen to provide the leadership needed to address NZ’s road safety crisis. The time is now.

Chair’s monthly report December 2017

Report covering the period 8 November until 12 December 2017.

Local board members present Tim Coffey with a Good Citizens Award

This is my final report for the year and the end of my first year as Chair.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow board members, the Local Board services team and everyone who works to make Waitemata a great place. Our Achievements Report 16/17 really highlights the diversity of the board’s responsibilities and how we can make a difference locally when we respond to and partner with the community.

It has been a challenging but rewarding year. The new way of working introduced this term which focuses on the board’s work programme has limited the role of portfolios and made it more difficult for board members to effectively keep on top of project delivery (this will be reviewed in the new year). Internal restructuring and the changeover to a new maintenance contract in July has resulted in far more complaints to the board. In October the only Auckland Future member of the board resigned forcing a by-election to be held in February 2018.  The year is coming to an end with the cycleway programme in the spotlight and robust discussion about how Auckland Transport delivers on local priorities (this is covered in detail in Attachment 1).

On 14th December we are launching the Waitematā Local Board plan which sets our three-year direction. Consultation in May and June this year guided development of the plan and confirmed strong support for the direction of the Board.  At the December business meeting we are confirming budget priorities for 2018/19. These priorities will be extensively consulted on as part of the 10 year budget consultation starting on 28 February 2018

Achievements Report 1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017

 The Board’s annual report of highlights covering major projects and initiatives, community grants, advocacy and local governance is now available online.

The report overlaps with the last term so provides a good opportunity to acknowledge the work of former board members and Chair, Shale Chambers who originally kicked off the annual record of achievements.

 Waitemata Safe Routes Projects- update

In Attachment 1 I provide an update on two of the inner west walking and cycling projects that have created a great deal of controversy and scrutiny of Auckland Transport’s engagement and delivery practices.  This has provided an opportunity to reflect on the board’s role through the process.

As covered in the update the board is actively working with Auckland Transport on the solutions and agreed process for further consultation.

Teed Street upgrade

 The now complete Teed Street upgrade as featured in Paperboy

 Domain Committee

 There has been a long standing issue in the Domain of drivers parking on the grass.  Currently Auckland Transport does not have enforcement power to prohibit parking on areas of the Domain outside of formed roads.

At the Domain Committee meeting on 30 November we resolved to delegate the authority that Auckland Transport needs to enforce the no parking on the grass signage.

Prior to the Committee meeting members were led on a site visit around the southern area of Auckland museum where construction on a new pathway is about to start (photo right).  We also observed the significant amount of commuter parking in this area.

Currently a parking survey is underway with recommendations planned to come to our February meeting regarding options for effective parking management that will potentially open the way to freeing up far more on road space for visitors to the Domain.  It has long been my goal, now supported by the outcomes in the Domain Masterplan, to greatly improve accessibility, connectively and mobility in our premier park.

Vision Zero and report back from TRAFINZ conference

 The Waitematā Local Board has led the way supporting Vision Zero, the philosophy that has, as its bottom line, the principle that no deaths or serious injuries on the roads are acceptable.

In order to further the implementation of Vision Zero I attended the Trafinz conference in Nelson and have joined the Trafinz Executive Committee. (Trafinz represents local authority views on road safety and traffic management in New Zealand).  My report from the conference is attached (Attachment 2)

Dr Matts Ake Belin was the guest speaker at the Trafinz conference and guest of Auckland Conversations. The timing of his visit coincided the new Minister of Transport and Associate Minister announcing strong support for a new approach to road safety at time of a rising road toll.

Photo: Stand for Zero organised by Brake road safety charity to commemorate World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Parking consultations

The roll out of residential parking zones in the city fringe suburbs continues with the support of the board.  Auckland Transport’s consultation on Parnell parking improvements has just ended. The Grey Lynn and Arch Hill Residential Parking Zones consultation ends on 20 December.  The Board will consider the public feedback before providing our input in the new year.

Events

The year ended with a huge number of events supported the Local Board including the Grey Lynn Park Festival, Santa Parade, West End Tennis Tournament, and Franklin Road Christmas Lights.  We also successfully held the Parnell Festival of Roses for the 24th year. The Festival has developed as an exemplar for Zero Waste management and accessibility.

It was an honour to open the new exhibition Changing Gear at MOTAT on 8 December. There is a lot to celebrate about cycling in Aotearoa. However very much on my mind in giving my speech was the most recent rider to needlessly lose their life only the night before. (Speech at the opening Attachment 3)

Meetings and workshops: 8 November until 12 December

  • Weekly Chair’s meeting with the Local Board services team every Monday morning
  • Chair’s forum on 13 November
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 14, 21, 28 November and 5 December
  • Civic Trust AGM at the Ellen Melville Centre on 12 November
  • Auckland Transport Powhiri to welcome Dr Belin (Swedish Vision Zero expert) on 13 November
  • Vision Zero session for Local Board members on 15 November at Auckland Transport
  • Lower Queen Street Plans – Brief members from CRL on 15 November
  • Meeting with Teed Street retailers and Newmarket Business Association on 16 November
  • Auckland Harbour Bridge lights update with Mayor Phil and Vector representatives on 16 November
  • Meeting with Age Concern Auckland on 16 November
  • Traffic calming workshop for board members organised by the Albert-Eden Local Board on 16 November
  • Grey Lynn Business Association meeting with new committee on 16 November
  • Herne Bay Residents Association AGM on 16 November
  • Meeting with the Chair of the Wynyard Quarter Transport Association on 17 November
  • West Lynn shops site visit with Auckland Transport on 17 November (Attachment 1 details the issues that were identified at the site visit that are now being followed up by AT)
  • Local Board input into Regional / sub-regional decision making – CENTRAL on 20 November
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 21 November
  • Catch up with General Manager, K’rd Business Association on 22 November
  • Domain Committee pre-agenda meeting on 22 November
  • Attended a site visit with Auckland Transport and the Occupy Garnet Road group on 22 November including a walk of the route to the West Lynn shops
  • Joint Governing Body / Local Board Chairs Meeting on 22 November
  • Attended the Governing Body meeting on 23 November to support Deputy Chair Shale Chambers and board member Richard Northey’s presentation regarding the location of the America’s Cup Village
  • Myers Park / Waihorotiu public artwork (Mayoral Drive underpass) – review of developed concept at the officers of Warren & Mahoney on 23 November
  • Update on 2018 Auckland Arts Festival programme with the Festival Artistic Director and Chief Executive
  • Site visit to the rehearsal space at 313 Queen Street on 24 November (prior to the beginning of renewal work and confirmation of a community lease tenancy of the space)
  • Meeting with the co-chairs Grey Lynn Business Association on 24 November
  • Grey Lynn Business Association hosted meeting regarding the issues at West Lynn shops at the Grey Lynn RSC on 28 November
  • Tour of the refurbishments at the Central Library on 29 November
  • Meeting with the board’s communications adviser on 29 November
  • Meeting to discuss LTP (10-year budget) consultation material
  • Domain Committee site visit and business meeting at Auckland Museum on 30 November
  • Grey Lynn Residents Association AGM on 30 November
  • Meeting with Soala Wilson from the Occupy Garnet Road Group on 1 December
  • Leadership for Local Board Leaders – session one on 4 December
  • Ponsonby Community Centre AGM on 4 December
  • Auckland Paths Project Refresh – Workshop 1 on 6 December
  • LGNZ Governance and Strategy Advisory Group meeting in Wellington on 7 December
  • Catch up with GM Parnell Business Association on 8 December
  • Meeting with Parnell Trust on 8 December
  • Chairs’ Forum on 11 December
  • West Lynn community reference group meeting with Auckland Transport on 11 December
  • Ponsonby Business Association meeting and Christmas breakfast on 12 December
  • Parnell cycleway progress update with Auckland Transport on 12 December
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting on 12 December

Events and functions:  8 November until 12 December

  • Attended the Trafinz conference 8- 10 November in Nelson (Attachment 2)
  • Armistice Day Commemoration Ceremony at Auckland Museum on 11 November
  • Women in Urbanism Vision Zero presentation with Dr Belin and panel discussion at Ellen Meville Centre on 13 November (photo right- on the panel with Dr Belin, Caroline Perry from Brake and Jessica Rose, Albert-Eden Board member)
  • Westpac Regional Business Awards- Central at the Langham Hotel at the invitation of ATEED on 14 November
  • Gave the vote of thanks at Auckland Conversations Vision Zero event on 15 November
  • Auckland Harbour Bridge lights update and morning tea with Mayor Phil and Vector representatives on 16 November.  The Harbour Bridge will be the first bridge in the world to have its lighting powered entirely by solar energy. The LED lights will be individually controlled and will transform our bridge with lighting shows for special events and occasions.
  • Launched the Adopt a Tree campaign organised by the Urban Tree Alliance with a grant from the local board. Held at Western Park on 18 November
  • Ellen Melville Centre community day on 18 November (photo right with board members Adriana Christie and Richard Northey and the EMC team)
  • Grey Lynn Pump Track opening party on 18 November (Photo below right Johnloyd, aged 7 in his winning race)
  • Parnell Festival of Roses on 19 November
  • Stand for Zero at Silo Park to commemorate international day of road traffic victims on 19 November
  • Fire and Emergency NZ stakeholder function to meet Chair, Hon Paul Swain, board members and the Chief Executive Rhys Jones at Rydges Hotel on 20 November
  • ASB Classic 2018 Launch at Holy Trinity Cathedral on 22 November
  • Opening of the Latvian honorary consulate in Auckland on 23 November
  • Grey Lynn Park Festival on 25 November
  • Santa Parade at the invitation of Crackerjack Productions on 26 November
  • Low carbon Christmas organised by the low carbon network at Studio One on 29 November
  • Rainbow Youth sponsors breakfast on 30 November
  • Lifewise Christmas function at Merge Café on 30 November
  • Annual Enviroschools celebration at Western Springs Community Hall on 1 December. I presented to Newmarket School with a certificate to recognise their commitment to sustainability (photo right)
  • Opening Night of the Franklin Road Christmas Lights on 1 December (photo right with Governor General, Mayor Phil Goff and lights coordinator Roscoe Thorby)
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 2 December
  • Lightpath Festival on 2 December (photo below with Minister of Transport Phil Twyford)
  • Wither Hills West End Tennis Cup Tournament finals on 3 December (at the invitation of the West End Tennis Club)
  • At the Lightpath Festival with Minister of Transport Phil Twyford

    Sugartree Design showcase at Sugartree apartments on 5 December

  • Attended Basement Theatre’s Patron’s night and Christmas show Santa Claus on 7 December
  • Opened the exhibition Changing Gear: Celebrating cycling in Aotearoa on 8 December (opening speech Attachment 3)
  • Italian Christmas market on 9 December at Freemans Bay Community Hall on 9 December
  • Joined the official party at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Town Hall on 11 December