Monthly Board report February 2016

This is my first report for 2016 covering updates from December 2015 and January 2016.

Highlights

City of cycles

The opening of Lightpath and the Nelson St cycleway on 3 December by Hon Simon Bridges marked the beginning of a fantastic summer of cycling for Auckland.  There has been a 20 percent increase in cycling in December 2015 compared to 2014 thanks to the expanding network of safe cycleways.

cycleway-opening-ceremony_500x620Lightpath is now the second busiest route with an average of 936 cycle trips per day (pedestrian numbers have yet to be made available but it is also proving to be extremely popular for walkers, runners and skateboarders).

Although Nelson St cycleway has been a big success (and Lightpath is guaranteed to be an award winner) we have been concerned about poor connections and lack of wayfinding to the route. At our December board meeting we passed the following resolutions detailed here.

As at 2 February NZTA has advised that the work around Mercury Lane and Canada Street is being reviewed as part of the final safety audit which is due to be concluded imminently with remediation work to follow.

 Love to Ride – Auckland Bike Challenge

 I’ve signed up the Waitematā Local Board to the Auckland Bike Challenge through the Love to Ride website. Over February we are going to aim for every member of the local board and all our local board services team to give cycling a go at least once.

 City Rail Link announcement

 CRL BlessingThe Waitematā Local Board has consistently supported the City Rail Link as we understand that it is critical to the development of an integrated, efficient transport system in Auckland.  It was therefore a pleasure to mark two significant CRL milestones.

First on 21st December I attended with Christopher Dempsey on behalf of the Board the dawn blessing for the start of the CRL works (photo right).

On 27 January I joined MP Julie Anne Genter, supporters and board members for a celebration to mark the government’s announcement on CRL celebration at the Greens Officethe CRL funding. This commitment is long overdue but it is good to see the government finally respond to the overwhelming evidence that the CRL is essential to Auckland.

Congratulations to everyone who championed the CRL project and in particular the Mayor who made it his number one priority.

New Network consultation  

In January I worked on the Board’s feedback on Auckland Transport’s proposed New Network for Auckland’s Central Suburbs following the public consultation process that ran from 1 October until 10 December 2015.

The Board’s feedback is attached to the agenda.

Taxi trial on Grafton bridge

 The Board welcomed the news that Auckland Transport proposes an early end to the Grafton bridge taxi trial. We originally opposed the introduction of the trial.

 From AT’s monitoring data it appears that the introduction of taxis to the bridge had a more than minor effect as outlined in the pre-trial monitoring methodology.  The two main areas of concern are; failure to adhere to the 30km/h speed limit and, the number of recorded instances of taxis overtaking cyclists on the bridge.

We agreed with this assessment (which supported our own experience of taxis and unauthorised drivers using Grafton Bridge) and the recommendation to the Traffic Control Committee (TCC) for the trial to be stopped and for the special vehicle lane to be returned to a bus lane.

Franklin Road

franklin-road-revised-option-1-october-2015I am the Board’s representative on the Community Liaison Group for the upgrade of Franklin Road.

In December, following further public engagement and peer review of the options, Auckland Transport announced the preferred design option.

The key reasons given for selecting option 1 as preferred option are:

  • It balances the needs of all road users taking into account feedback from stakeholders.
  • It retains the flush median which is used predominantly by vehicles for right turn movements into side street.
  • It retains parking between trees.
  • It provides for confident cyclists.
  • It’s considered an appropriate facility for the steep gradient of Franklin Road.
  • There is good separation between cyclists and vehicles reversing from driveways.
  • It is supported by an independent peer reviewer.

Option 1 will now progress to the detailed design stage with a draft design expected in March 2016. This will include further consideration of the treatment of the Wellington Street intersection and side road intersections, and the location and design of pedestrian crossing facilities.

Physical works on stage one are due to commence in March 2016 and implementation of the residents parking zone in April. It is great to see this project moving forward after a long campaign by the Board and local residents.

More details on Auckland Transport’s website.

 Unitary Plan

I have been following the Unitary Plan debate closely and how it impacts on our communities even though planning sits outside my portfolios.

On 25th January I attended with the Chair the Grey Lynn Residents Association information evening. At least 40 people came along to Grey Lynn RSC to hear about the latest zone changes.

What is of most of concern is the out of scope upzoning that is currently proposed by Auckland Council. This has involved unilateral changes to zoning without the ability of people to have any input. It is likely that not all the zoning changes will be opposed where it has been done to correct anomalies or where there may be support for more intensification particularly on transport routes (one of the rationales for the upzoning).

However current opposition to the proposals is not a NIMBY response (as is often portrayed of the oppostion) but an objection to the process. As the Shale Chambers said at the meeting it is a “procedural abomination” that the usual rules of natural justice and the democratic process have not been applied to the up-zoning proposals.

Another aspect of the Unitary Plan process that was mentioned at the meeting is how draining it has been on community groups. The Grey Lynn Residents Association is one of the few voluntary groups that are still managing to be part of the hearing process.

Events

Auckland on Anniversary weekend
Auckland on Anniversary weekend

The Auckland Anniversary long weekend provided a smorgasbord of amazing events. I enjoyed checking out the Waitemata Local Board sponsored International buskers festival, Ports of Auckland hosted See Port, and the new Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival in the Cloud as well as taking visitors on a bike ride along the waterfront.

It was just really disappointing to hear that so many people were let down by public transport over the weekend. Member Christopher Dempsey is following this up with Auckland Transport as there is no excuse for not being able to plan for the huge crowds that are now attracted to the city centre to celebrate Auckland’s anniversary.

I was fortunate to attend a number of events in December in the lead up to the holiday break (including the Franklin Road lights, West Lynn Street party, Grey Lynn 2030 Christmas lunch, Ponsonby Business Association breakfast). I was particularly grateful for the invite extended to all elected representatives to attend a settlement waananga and Christmas lunch at Umupuia Marae on 11 December. It was a very special day learning about the history of Ngai Tai Ki Tamaki and their recent settlement with the Crown.

Monthly Board Report July 2014

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

From 14 June until 7 July I have also been acting Chair

Local Board Plan

During June I have been part of the Local Board team organising the Pecha Kucha event that will launch our draft Local Board Plan on 16 July at the Town Hall. We have a great line up of fantastic presenters who all in some way shape the beating heart of Tāmaki Makarau. This is the first time the Pecha Kucha format has been used for an engagement event by local government in New Zealand.

We’ve also planned a series of drop in sessions across Waitematā to answer questions on the draft Local Board Plan. Consultation starts on 7 July.

Waitemata Local Board draft Plan

Community engagement

In addition to the Local Board Plan there is an overwhelming number of engagement processes underway or about to start. This is putting a lot of pressure on our local volunteer community groups who are understandably feeling very stretched:

The Auckland Council website Shape Auckland is the online hub for all consultations.

Ponsonby Road plan coverPonsonby Road Plan

At our June meeting we adopted the final of the Ponsonby Road Plan that sets a framework for the development of Ponsonby Road over the next 30 years.  The process to draft a Plan got under way with my Notice of Motion in October 2012.  I am really delighted to have reached this point and thank all those who contributed, in particular, the members of the working group, all those who took the time to submit on the draft, Rebecca Sanders, Auckland Planner who put all the work in behind the scenes and Tricia Reade who brought her considerable enthusiasm to the project last term.

The Ponsonby Road Plan establishes five desired outcomes including recognising the area as a vibrant centre, protecting historic and cultural heritage and making the road safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The plan can be found on the Council website under “Council Strategies and Plans”

Urban Regeneration and Renewal

At the Auckland conversation in June,  Dr Tim Williams – CEO Committee for Sydney gave a beginners guide on Urban Regeneration and Renewal. Some highlights from his presentation that focused on “convergence” -how to achieve the best results through equalising disadvantaged parts of city with wealthier parts.

A mixed community is more important than clever financing, delivery vehicles and social projects in addressing inequality

The best city leaders do three things well:

  • Achieve smart growth
  • Do more for less
  • Win support for change

You can’t reduce cost of housing by building more because the price is determined by 90% of current stock.

To keep things the same you have to change

Building more roads creates sprawl. Sprawl creates poverty. Sprawl may be killing social mobility

Waitemata Local Board members outside Studio One Ponsonby RoadReveal of Studio One

As acting Chair I had the good fortune to represent the Board at an event to reveal the new name for Art Station. My speech notes and a media release to announce Studio One are attached (ATTACHMENTS A and B)

Portfolio Reports: Community

Central Joint Funding Committee Meeting

The Committee with representatives of all the Central Local Boards (Chaired by Desley Simpson) met on 20 June to consider applications for grants from the Auckland City Cultural Heritage Fund (a legacy Auckland City Council fund for the purpose of conserving, restoring and protected valued historic heritage items).

A total of $23,326 was allocated from the second round of the 14/15 fund to 11 applicants (from a total of 18) with 7 grants made in the Waitematā Local Board area.  Details of the successful applications are available on the Council website.

Kelmarna Organic Gardens

On 22 May, the Board office was made aware of an incident at Hukanui Reserve, which is occupied by Kelmarna Organic Gardens in Grey Lynn. Ashes from a recently deceased client were scattered over parts of the garden.

The gardens are on land that has been leased from the council to the Kelmarna Community Garden Trust for the last 32 years. The Trust has a licence with Framework Trust to operate the gardens. Framework Trust provides staff for the gardens as part of their ongoing rehabilitation programmes.  All staff were withdrawn from the site following the incident, while the Kelmarna Community Garden Trust, Framework Trust and Auckland Council staff from Te Waka Angamua (Maori Strategy and Relations) decided how to proceed.

I attended a blessing on site on 3 June which allowed normal activities to resume and a follow- up meeting to discuss next steps with all those involved. I’ve been really impressed with the sensitive way the issue has been handled and the commitment to ensure the gardens continue to flourish.

The Board is considering the application for a new lease at Hukanui Reserve at our July meeting (refer meeting agenda). If the Board agrees the granting of a new lease this will be advertised for submissions and officers will commence iwi consultation.

Youth

Congratulations to Isabella Lenihan- Iken who was elected to the Youth Advisory Panel as the Waitematā representative during June. The details are attached in the youth update (ATTACHMENT C). Isabella’s induction to the Panel will be held on 28 July.

Myers Park Centenary meeting

There was a large turnout for the community meeting to discuss centenary celebrations for Myers Park next year.

Notes from the meeting are attached (ATTACHMENT D)

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

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

Portfolio reports:  Transport

Pocket park on Quay StreetCity Centre Route Optimisation

At our June meeting Auckland Transport reported on a number of small but important changes that have been underway in the City Centre aimed at improving the pedestrian experience. These are part of the route optimisation programme that is not just aimed at vehicle efficiency. For example:

  • removal of the slip lane on Lower Albert Street (next to the new pocket park on Quay Street in the photo right)
  • Installation of a  Barnes dance on the intersection of Quay St and Hobson St

These positive changes were covered by Transport Blog in more detail on 10 June.

Auckland Transport Parking Discussion Document

At our June Board meeting we requested Auckland Transport extend the consultation period on the parking discussion document.

Due to the high level of interest on the issues raised by the discussion document the public consultation period has been extended to 31 July.

During June I attended meetings organised by the Freemans Bay Residents Association to discuss the parking approaches proposed by Auckland Transport to manage parking on residential streets.

Sneakdown with snow StreetfilmsFranklin Road sneakdown from storm debrisAfter the storm

The June storm that brought down many trees in our area (including a large gum tree in Grey Lynn Park) also dumped lots of debris on our roads providing a unique opportunity to see how much road space is unused.  Streetfilms has coined the expression “sneakdown” for this phenomenon when it occurs after heavy snowfall (a shorter way of saying snowy neckdown and a neckdown is another name for a kerb extension).

On Franklin Road we have the perfect amount of room for a cycle lane!

 

June resolutions in response to Auckland Transport’s Report

Resolution number WTM/2014/82

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

That the Auckland Transport Report – June 2014 be received.

That the Waitemata Local Board:

  • Approves the design for the Upper Queen Street Bridge connecting the Grafton Gully cycleway to the North Western cycleway subject to intersection light phasing that prioritises walking and cycling.
  • Approves funding a drinking fountain on the corner of Ian McKinnon Driveand Upper Queen Street as part of the Upper Queen Street Bridge cycleway design to the budget sum of $15,000 from the Waitemata Local Board Transport Capex Fund 12/13.
  • Requests that Auckland Transport installs route way-finding signage along the entire Grafton Gully cycle way route and connection to the North-Western cycleway in time for the opening of the Upper Queen Street Bridge in September 2014.
  • Requests that Auckland Transport investigate options for quickly providing a cycleway connection from the Upper Queen Street Bridge to Karangahape Road.
  • That officers investigate the beautification of the bridge as a gateway feature into the city centre, to be included in the scope of the project and reported back to the Waitemata Local Board, as this endorses the City Centre Master Plan.
  • That Priscilla Steel, Elected Members Liaison Manager (Auckland Transport) and Matthew Ah Mu, Engineer – Investigation & Design (Auckland Transport) be thanked for their attendance

CARRIED

Monthly transport update

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

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 June – 30 June I attended:

  • Local Board workshop on 2 June
  • Kelmarna Garden’s blessing on 3 June
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 5 June
  • Maori responsiveness training for elected representatives – a 2 part forum for elected representatives wishing to raise their awareness of the Māori fabric of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland,  deepen their understanding of Councils commitments to Māori, and discuss ways of establishing and strengthening relationships with the communities, hapu, iwi and leaders within Maoridom.  Content was delivered by subject matter experts from Te Waka Angamua Māori Strategy & Relations Department
  • Ponsonby Business Association strategy meeting
  • Te Kakano 1 (Te reo Māori ) Exam at AUT
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting at Grey Lynn Community Centre on 10 June
  • Meeting with Kelmarna Gardens Trustees, Framework and Council advisers on 11 June
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 12 June
  • Briefing from Gerard Linstrom  of Chorus re Ultra-Fast Broad Band rollout in Waitemata
  • Standing Orders and meetings processes. A seminar to provide a comprehensive and interactive experience on the “ins and outs” of Standing Orders for Local Government meetings involving elected representative facilitated by Steve McDowell and Vern Walsh, of Meeting and Governance Solutions
  • Freemans Bay Residents Association meetings on the Auckland Transport’s Parking Discussion Document on 12 June and 16 June
  • Local Board workshop on 13 June
  • Chair’s weekly update with Relationship Manager on 16 June
  • St Luke’s notice of requirement meeting with Auckland Council legal team
  • Myers Park Centenary meeting on 17 June (see meeting notes Attachment E)
  • Waterfront Auckland Forum at the Voyager museum on 18 June Waterfront Auckland Chairman, Sir Bob Harvey and Chief Executive, John Dalzell spoke about the next stage of this development and how Waterfront Auckland will be progressing a comprehensive plan for the waterfront.
  • Meeting with Freemans Park Body Corporate representatives to discuss overland flow path issues
  • CDAC Work Programme discussion with Community Portfolio to review the 2014/2015 CDAC work programme for reporting to the July business meeting.
  • Meeting with Central Library Manager to discuss CAB arrangements
  • Central Joint Funding Committee Meeting – Auckland City Cultural Heritage Fund applications on 19 June
  • Standing orders workshopStanding Orders Political Working Party meeting (as alternate to the Chair who is the Board’s rep on the working party) – photo right with members of the working party (Photo Credit: Cathy Casey)
  • Chair’s weekly update with Relationship Manager on 23 June
  • Local Board Chairs Forum meeting on 23 June
  • Community meeting organised by the Grey Lynn Business Association to discuss the development application at 367-375 Great North Road
  • Local Board Workshop on 24 June
  • Meeting of PBA members to discuss the Local Alcohol Policy at the Longroom on Ponsonby Road on 24 June
  • Ponsonby Community Centre committee meeting on 24 June
  • Communications catch up on 25 June
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 25 June
  • Meeting with Ernst Zollner, NZTA Director Auckland & Northland and Director Road Safety: to discuss NZTA projects in the Waitematā area
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 26 June
  • Meeting on 27 June with Freemans Bay Residents Association to discuss feedback on the Parking Discussion Document
  • Meeting with Tony Skelton, Chair, St Marys Bay Association

Solar at the Auckland MuseumEvents and functions

In the period 1 June – 30 June I attended:

  • Auckland Museum Solar Launch on 4 June (photo right)
  • Pecha Kucha at Q Theatre on 4 June
  • Cycle Action Auckland’s Associates Breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 5 June
  • POP Projects 02: Bee Jam at Art Station on 6 June
  • Generation Zero Art Auction at Fizzy Vibes Gallery on 11 June
  • Grey Lynn Business Association Networking drinks at the Grey Lynn RSC on 11 June
  • Auckland Conversations: Urban Regeneration and Renewal: A beginners guide with Dr Tim Williams – CEO Committee for Sydney on 12 June at the Aotea Centre
  • Annie at the Civic on 13 June
  • Campaign for better transport AGM at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 20 June
  • POP project 06 , Hikoi at Western Springs on 21 June with Prince Davis (photo below)

Western Springs Hikoi

  • ATC production of Once on Chunuk Bair at the Maidment Theatre (at the invitation of ATC)
  • New Zealand Opera – a special concert to announce five newly appointed Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists at the Aotea Centre
  • Tuesdays with Morrie at the Factory Theatre, Newmarket (at the invitation of the Newmarket Stage Company)
  • Studio One Reveal on 27 June – The new name and identity for Artstation  (Refer ATTACHMENTS A and B)
  • Travelwise celebration hosted by Auckland Transport at Eden Park on 26 June
  • Charandas Chor – the Honest Thief at TAPAC on 26 June (at the invitation of  Prayas Theatre and TAPAC)
  • Sunday Roast at Q Theatre on 27 June
  • Matariki Dawn Karakia on 28 June at the Cloud to herald in the Maori New Year and commence the Matariki Festival (on until 28 July)

Monthly Board report March 2014

Covering activities from 1 February – 1 March 2014

Portfolio report:  Transport

Beach Road – Grafton Gully Connection

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

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

Upper Queen Street

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

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

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

St Lukes interchange – Great North Road widening

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

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

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

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

Pedestrian safety

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

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

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

Monthly transport update

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

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

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

Portfolio Report: Community

Community-led place making champions Group

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

Berms policy and guidelines

Wedding flowers from the berm
Wedding flowers from the berm

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

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

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

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

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

Other board activities

Local Board Agreement

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

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

Unitary Plan

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

Local Board Plan public meeting 1 MarchLocal Board Plan

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

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

Long Term Plan 2015-2025 scene setting workshop

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

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

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

Gordon Price session with Local Boards

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

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

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

Recipe for urbanity – 5 practical choices:

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

Aspire to:

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

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

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 February – 1 March I attended:

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

Events and functions

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

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


Opening of the Grey lynn School forest

Waitematā Local Board transport advocacy areas

Auckland Council Annual plan 14 15Submissions on the Auckland Council Annual Plan 14/15 close on Monday at 4pm. This is a good opportunity to let your Local Board and the Governing Body (the Mayor and Councillors) know what key transport projects you think should be prioritised. 

The plan is essentially the Council budget for year 3 of the Long Term Plan. Publicity has been very low key this year  because there are so few new spending proposals or changes from the Long Term Plan and the main focus at the moment is on the proposed Unitary Plan consultation (submissions close on 28 February). But it is still worthwhile making a submission.

As part of the Annual Plan, Local Boards consult on their one year agreements with the governing body – our funding and service levels – and outline our proposed projects and activities (the proposed budget changes of each Local Board are available here)

In their annual agreement Local Boards also put forward all the projects they are advocating for to the Governing Body and the CCO’s in particular Auckland Transport. The Waitematā  Local  Board has the longest list of advocacy areas of any Board in relation to transport projects that we want Auckland Transport to fund and take forward. Our complete list is below. 

So in providing feedback on the Annual Plan 204/15 you can comment on the Governing body’s key transport priorities ( I find the Transport theme very disappointing as it  doesn’t include any walking and cycling projects as priorities  – full document here ) and your Local Board’s transport advocacy areas. The online feedback form is available here

cycle lane Lower Domain DriveWaitematā Local Board Advocacy areas to Auckland Transport 

Cycle infrastructure

Consult with local boards on the development of the Cycling Business Plan and routes and priorities of the Auckland Cycle Network.

Improve cycle infrastructure through the completion and extension of the Auckland Cycle Network with safe, connected, dedicated cycleways including:

  • Carlton Gore Road (bike lanes currently planned).
  • Beach Road, linking with the Grafton Gully Cycleway and with Tamaki Drive and Parnell Station.
  • Parnell to the City Centre walk/cycleway, through the new underpass south of the Parnell Train Station.
  • Nelson & Hobson Street (with separated two-way cycleways, as described in the City Centre Masterplan).
  • Wellesley St connection to Auckland Domain under Symonds St overbridge and on-road connection to the NZTA funded / constructed Grafton Gully Cycleway.

Prioritise the upgrade of all routes in 2014/2015 currently identified as “complete” on the Auckland Cycle Network within the Waitematā Local Board area, but are not of a safe standard.

Traffic calming

Work with the local board on identifying traffic calming measures for the shopping areas in Parnell, Ponsonby, Karangahape Road and Richmond Road to support 40km per hour zones. This would include for example, raised crossings, raised intersections and kerb build-outs to narrow the road.

Undertake a trial of a slow speed zone in a residential area.

Implement the city centre 30km per hour speed zone (as described in the City Centre Masterplan).

Cycle safety

Prioritise the installation of advance cycle stop boxes with feeder lanes including in the following locations:

  • Williamson Avenue northeast coming onto Ponsonby Road
  • College Hill Road westbound coming onto Ponsonby Road
  • Tamaki Drive, westbound at The Strand
  •  St Stephen’s Avenue westbound coming onto Parnell Road
  • Karangahape Road eastbound at Symonds Street, onto the Grafton Bridge
  • Great North Road eastbound coming on to Karangahape Road.

Ensure safe, connected and continuous cycling is provided for in the St Lukes bridge widening including undertaking cycling safety works at the Bullock Track and Great North Road intersection.

Pedestrian safety and amenity

Improve intersections for pedestrians with substantial foot traffic and develop solutions to improve safety and amenity for pedestrians. This includes:

  • All intersections with left–turn slip lanes and no pedestrian facility
  • Intersections with long pedestrian crossing delays
  • Undertaking route optimisation for pedestrians in the city centre including automatic pedestrian phases on one way streets.

Advocate for a change of the give way rule requiring motorists to give way to pedestrians crossing parallel to the priority (main) road at intersections.

Richmond Road Safety Plan

Complete the implementation of the safety improvement action plan during the 2014-2015 financial year in conjunction with Auckland Council for the shopping areas and school zones of Richmond Road, concentrating on the following elements

  • Pedestrian and cycle safety
  • Traffic calming and slower speeds
  • Urban design.

Franklin Road upgrade

Undertake the planned upgrade of Franklin Road to provide for safe and continuous walking and cycling pathways from Ponsonby Road to Victoria Park including continuous pedestrian facilities (i.e. an unbroken footpath on both sides of the road) across all side streets, driveways and intersections (for example by installing raised tables).

Newmarket traffic management plan

Develop a traffic management plan for Newmarket to make traffic flow in a way that is logical and supports public transport, walking and cycling and economic development. This would include consideration of parking, arterial infrastructure, motorway access and signage.

Residential parking zone

Auckland Transport to implement the residential parking zone scheme to manage commuter parking in central Auckland suburbs.

Auckland Domain traffic management

Auckland Transport to improve walking and cycling access to and around the Domain, while discouraging commuter parking use of the Domain through:

  •  Implementation of a parking scheme for the Domain that works to discourage commuter parking (e.g. through pricing)
  •  Improving walking and cycling options
  • Contribute to the development of a Masterplan for the Domain (to be led by Auckland Council).

SkyPath

Auckland Transport and Auckland Waterfront to progress the Auckland Harbour pathway project (the SkyPath) for delivery in 2014/2015.

Footpaths

  • Prioritise the 2014/2015 footpath renewal programme in conjunction with the Waitematā Local Board.
  • Create an agreed public consultation framework for the footpath renewal programme.

Greenways

Fund and deliver the on-road components of the Waitematā Local Board greenways project prioritised for 2014/2015.

Set the three year programme of works in collaboration with the Waitematā Local Board with regards to footpaths, road safety initiatives, cycleways, parking, greenways.

Support other Waitematā Local Board agreement priorities including:

  • the introduction of low impact storm water solutions in the Local Board area;
  • delivery of green walls, roofs and community gardens on Auckland Transport assets e.g. car park buildings;
  • drinking water fountains in the street environment;
  • development and implementation of the Ponsonby Road master plan;
  • Wayfinding signage for pedestrians; and
  • Upgrade of Teed Street (western part), York Street and Kent Street, Newmarket.

Monthly Board Report February 2014

Covering activities from 1 December 2013 – 31 January 2014

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

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

Getting to better know the Waitemata Local Board area

Margi Watson and Pippa Coom Beating the boundsBeating the Bounds

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

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

Local Board Tour

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

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

Portfolio reports:  Transport

Cycle safety

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

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

Greys Ave bus parking proposal

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

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

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

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

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

SkypathSky path

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

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

Walkway to Arthur StreetWay finding

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

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

Monthly transport update

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

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

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

Portfolio update: Community

Community Funding

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

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

Freemans Bay Residents Association

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

More information at  www.freemansbay.org.nz

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

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

Other board activities

Local Board Agreement

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

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

Unitary Plan

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

Submissions can be made until the end of February

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 December – 31 January I attended:

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

Events and functions

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

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

End of Beating the Bounds on Pt Resolution Bridge

Monthly Board report June 2013

This report covers my activities from 1 May – 31 May 2013.

Unitary Plan

May has been dominated by the draft Unitary Plan engagement process leading up to the final day for feedback on 31 May. During the month member Tricia Reade and I, with fantastic support from officers, organised additional information sessions across the Waitemata Local Board area.

Photos from information sessions in Grey Lynn, Parnell and Ponsonby

During the month we held information sessions at:

  • Grey Lynn Farmers Market
  • Parnell Farmers Market
  • Station Square, Newmarket
  • Leys Institute Library
  • Grey Lynn Community Centre

I also attended Unitary Plan meetings hosted by the Herne Bay Residents Association, Grey Lynn Business Association/Grey Lynn Residents Association and the Newmarket Community Committee.

Next steps in the development of the draft Unitary Plan (as reported by the Mayor on 30 May)

  • Council officers will now summarise all community and stakeholder  feedback on the plan by theme and locality
  • During June and July, workshops will be held with local boards and key stakeholders on specific issues
  • The final draft plan will then be published and formally notified later this year
  •  The council will then enter a formal consultation period, where Aucklanders will have the opportunity to make formal submissions

Community Funding

The Central Joint Funding Committee met on 23 May to distribute funds from the Community Group Assistance Fund (second and final round for 13/14). The committee is made up of representatives from the Local Boards in the old Auckland City Council area.

The minutes of the committee are available on the Council website

The Waitemata Local Board community grant committee also met during May to consider applications to the fourth and last round of  this financial year 12/13. Recommendations for the allocation of the remaining $18,538.00 (from $80,000 for 12/13) are on this month’s agenda.

Transport

The Transport portfolio monthly briefing with Auckland Transport took place on 30 May. We covered:

  • Proposed Grey Lynn shops bus stop changes
  • Richmond Road Safety Action Plan update
  • Union Street/Victoria Street Intersection investigation of keep clear markings
  • Poynton Terrace- consideration of whether AT can install the proposed crossing from St Kevins Arcade to the park as part of the Myers Park upgrade
  • Ponsonby Road bike corral proposal (see below)
  • The Domain traffic calming improvements which are due to start this month (for completion by September)
  • Motor cycle parking issues in the City Centre- options to charge motor cycles for all day on street parking (which is currently difficult to enforce under the new City Centre Parking scheme)
  • Bike parking – proposals for bike parking in the City centre

Full details of current proposals and issues are outlined in Auckland Transport’s monthly report attached to the Board agenda.

Bike Corral on Ponsonby Road

With the support of the Transport portfolio and the Ponsonby Business Association Auckland Transport has chosen 264 Ponsonby Road as the location for a six month trial of Auckland’s first bike corral. This will be an on-street bike parking facility with capacity for 10 bikes designed to best suit the street environment of Ponsonby Road.

Ponsonby_Bike_Corral proposal May 2013

There is now plenty of research to show the economic benefits of encouraging cycling.

http://momentummag.com/features/how-bicycles-bring-business/

The proposed design was consulted on during May. Construction is scheduled for late June.

Transport infrastructure

Geoff Lawler, Director of City Planning and Infrastructure – City of Melbourne, visited Auckland during May. I attended a discussion forum with him for officers and elected representatives on planning for future growth.

Geoff gave an overview of the infrastructure strategy and the projects that have been implemented to cope with the rapid growth and densification of the city of Melbourne.  I was particularly interested in Melbourne’s new transport strategy which sets key directions and targets for a growing city. Around 800,000 people move through the city every day; this is expected to increase to more than one million by 2030.

Melbourne has bold mode share targets and is aiming to be a walking and cycling city.

Mobility by mode – getting into the city centre

Mode

Current mode Share

2030 target

Walking

3%

8%

Cycling

4%

12%

Car

47%

20%

PT

46%

60%

 Traffic volumes plateaued in 2005 for a number of factors. PT became a viable alternative due the influence of the Commonwealth Games 2006, there was a political imperative to improve PT and a price shock.

Key messages:

  • Divide intersections by predominant mode not dominate use
  • In Melbourne the move to a metro system and the development of a new $4bn underground line  is considered essential transport infrastructure
  • Car use is discouraged for commuter trips – use is focused on for short term business trips
  • Private car parking discouraged with the introduction of a tax in 2006

More information at www.Melbourne.vic.gov.au/futuregrowth

Ponsonby Road master plan working group update

An option identification and development workshop was held with the working group, iwi reps and invited guests on 22 May. The UrbanismPlus team together with Council planning officers presented a range of concepts covering Transport, Open space and Arts, Culture and Heritage and Land Use + Key sites.

The concepts and feedback from the workshop will be presented at workshop in June to Board members.

Other board activities

Local Board Workshops and meetings

I attended during May:

  • Meeting to finalise Waitemata Greenways Plan & report back on public consultation on 1 May
  • Monthly catch up with Ashley Church, Newmarket Business Association and update for NBA Board
  • Unitary Plan information display at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on Sunday 5 May
  • Meeting with Arch Hill residents on 6 May to discuss the Bunnings development proposal on Great North Road
  • Waitemata Local Board Workshop on 7 May
  • Ponsonby Road master plan fortnightly catch up with officers
  • Waitemata Good Citizen Awards: consideration of nominations
  • Waterfront Auckland presentation on the Heritage walk proposal “ Sea Auckland”
  • Planning team update to the Board on the draft project execution plans for K’rd and Newton Precinct Plans
  • Meeting to discuss Grey Lynn Precinct Plan and Unitary Plan feedback with Planning team and GLBA representatives
  • Unitary plan meeting with representatives from GLBA, GLRA and GLUE on 10 May
  • Unitary Plan information display at the Parnell Farmers Market on Saturday 11 May
  • Selection Panel meeting for Waitemata Good Citizens nominations
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting at Graham Street on 14 May
  • ATEED update, Heritage Hotel on 15 May
  • Waitemata Local Board Workshop 16 May
  • Getting Parking Right for Auckland Seminar Part 2 with Todd Litman hosted by the Board, Auckland Transport and AECOM on 16 May
  • LGNZ Zone One meeting in Otorohanga on 17 May
  • Funding Auckland’s Transport Future – Local Board briefing 20 May
  • Unitary Plan information display in Station Square, Newmarket on 20 May
  • Community Development and Partnerships monthly catch up with the portfolio holders
  • GLBA committee meeting
  • Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Option Development Workshop 22 May
  • Central Joint Funding Committee 23 May
  • Discussion forums with Geoff Lawler – Director of City Planning and Infrastructure – City of Melbourne
  • Unitary Plan information display at the Leys Institute Library on 28 May
  • Placemakers meeting hosted by Waterfront Auckland
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 28 May
  • Unitary Plan information display at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 28 May
  • Meeting to discuss the Board’s Funding Auckland’s Future submission
  • Meeting with Alison Sutton from COMET to discuss Education Snapshot
  • Meeting with community portfolio holders to discuss Waitemata Local Board’s community centre operational subsidies 2013/2014
  • Waitemata Local Board Grants Committee on 30 May
  • Briefing session by Auckland Council Property Limited to Local Board members on ACPL’s portfolio review, process for disposal and acquisition role
  • Transport portfolio monthly catch up with Auckland Transport
  • Fortnightly catch up on the Ponsonby Road master plan progress
  • Auckland Neighbourhood Planning Task Group meeting on 31 May with Roger Blakeley

Events and functions

During May I attended:

  • NZ Music Commission launch of NZ Music Month on Lorne Street on 1 May
  • Cycle Action’s Associations Breakfast at the Auckland Art GalleryPt resolution Bridge cycle channel
  • Opening of All Fresco Art Festival at the invitation of KBA and First Thursday events on K’rd on 2 May
  • Fairtrade’s  Fairly Funny:  a lunchtime comedy for fairtrade fortnight (at the invitation of Fairtrade NZ) on 3 May
  • Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break on 6 May
  • Herne Bay Residents Association AGM on 8 May
  • Growing Sustainable Communities – How to establish and maintain a Transition Town group workshop at the GLCC on 12 May
  • Citizenship ceremony on 13 May at the Auckland Town Hall
  • Newmarket Community Committee Unitary Plan presentation and meeting 17 May
  • Official opening of Pt Resolution Bridge on 21 May (including the installation of a cycle gutter –see photo)
  • Council hosted one day event: Lifting our Game – Thriving Neighbourhoods in Action
  • Transport Forum hosted by Puketapapa Local Board
  • Breast Cancer Breakfast at Sky City at the invitation of the Mayoress
  • Sustainable Business Network AGM on 29 May (I am a member of SBN)
  • Good Citizen Awards presentation evening on 30 May

Congratulations to all those individuals and groups acknowledged at the Good Citizen Awards for their outstanding voluntary contribution to the community.Waitemata Local Board Good Citizen Awards

A quick round up of Unitary Plan feedback

In the final days of feedback on the  draft Unitary Plan I  am impressed with the focus and attention to detail that has been put into a number of template submissions on the plan. These templates do the hard work of analysing many of the complex rules in the proposals and pull together the key issues.

Here are my favourites so far that I will be using for my own personal feedback:

Auckland Transport Blog

Grey Lynn Residents Association  – Quick feedback template

Generation Zero – Quick feedback

Environmental Defense Society  (all 71 pages!)

Greens

I also really enjoyed reading Russell Brown’s A Plea for Sanity on the Unitary Plan

The feedback form is available here  . Due by 5pm on Friday 31 May

(Received an email from the 2040 group asking you to give feedback?  Read this first before using any of the content – unfortunately it is highly misleading)

A selection of photos from the Waitemata Local Board’s unitary plan adventures

Getting parking right for Auckland

This post was writtten for  Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan shapeauckland website.

How we regulate, control and plan for parking has a huge impact on Auckland’s urban design, the environment, housing affordability and our transport.

The subject provokes strong opinions and calls for free parking. Many decisions about parking have been based on myths, false assumptions and poor evidence. When defining issues in our city as “parking problems”, as “experts” we turn to more parking as the solution.

Regulations made with good intentions, have led to poor results, holding back our city’s potential.

We now have the opportunity, through the Unitary Plan, to put in place a best-practice approach to car parking that has the potential to unleash economic, social and environmental benefits.

UCLA economist Dr Donald Shoup (author of The High Cost of Free Parking) extensively studied parking as a key link between transportation and land use, with important consequences for cities, the economy and the environment. His thinking influenced Auckland Transport’s proposal for a city centre parking zone (implemented late 2012) with the aim of better managing on-street parking as a finite resource competing for other transport priorities. The scheme applies “demand-responsive pricing” and includes the removal of time restrictions, increased on-street parking prices and extended paid parking until 10pm.

It’s early days but all indications are pointing to success with greater availability of parking, a reduction in tickets and more casual visitors. The city also benefited from reduced maintenance costs with 62 per cent of parking poles removed. Other business centres are now looking at applying similar principles to free up on-street parking for customers.

Parking seminarAt a Getting Parking Right for Auckland seminar in April [hosted by the Waitemata Local Board and AECOM] we heard that parking supply is not the problem, rather poorly managed oversupply. A total of 80 per cent of off-street parking is privately owned, which hinders its effective use. For example, minimum parking quantities in our current district plans means some car parks are only used during the day by commuters and shoppers while other car parks are used only at night for entertainment. Using land for empty car parks is hugely wasteful.

Traditional city requirements to include car parking with affordable housing have also been a major barrier to higher-density developments as a car park is not always required by inner-city residents.

Parking in the draft Unitary Plan

So how is the draft Unitary Plan shaping up when it comes to car parking requirements? The plan requires that car parking be managed to support:

  • intensification in and around the city centre, metropolitan, town and local centres and within mixed-use corridors
  • the safe and efficient operation of the transport network
  • the use of more sustainable transport options including public transport, cycling and walking
  • the economic activity of businesses
  • efficient use of land

It proposes that maximum quantities (with no minimums) apply in and around:

  • City centre fringe area
  • Centres zones: metropolitan, town, local
  • Mixed-use zone
  • Terrace housing and apartment buildings zone

Everywhere else minimum quantities apply with no maximums – except for offices (to discourage “out-of-centre” development motivated by the ability to provide parking).

The rationale is that in and around centres, maximums and no minimums supports intensification and public transport. Elsewhere the planners have explained that minimums are required as they are less willing to rely on the market to meet parking needs and are more concerned with the effects of “parking overspill”.

The removal of minimum quantities around town centres but retaining them for new developments appears to be a solution for today’s lack of public transport. But it creates a problem for future generations who will have to deal with the oversupply of parking and poor land use (plus the uneconomic bundling of car parking costs with housing).

The rationale for controlling the effect of parking overspill is poorly thought through. Instead we should allow the market to provide the right level of parking, allowing for overspill onto surrounding streets is a good use of otherwise empty road space. If that space reaches capacity – as has happened in our city fringe suburbs – the response should be to better manage the on street parking, for example, with a residents’ parking scheme.

When providing feedback on the draft Unitary Plan’s parking requirements, take the time to consider the evidence that emerges when parking is stripped back. Cities around the world are taking a different approach and being richly rewarded.

Monthly Board Report May 2013

This report covers my activities from 1 April – 30 April 2013 and is reported on at the May Waitemata Local Board Meeting

Portfolio reports

Community portfolio

As well as our monthly catch up with community development (quarterly update from CDS is attached to the Board’s agenda) we had a cluster meeting with other central community portfolio holders. We met with Richard Butler, Community Development Manager, Central who took us through recent restructuring that is intended to put CDS in a better position to deliver on actual projects to achieve community outcomes and to provide a focus on delivering better services to local boards.

Community-led development

During April we have been energised in community development by the visit of Jim Diers, previously the Director, Department of Neighbourhoods at Seattle City Council.

Jim talks about the crisis of democracy and the need to not just engage with community but to build community by going out to the people. He has many suggestions for moving towards a partnership with the community that a far wider network of people can respond to. For example getting people involved through a “project party” not a meeting and providing matching funding for community projects.  I think we can learn a great deal from Jim’s experience and how we can make democracy work effectively by ensuring planning is done by communities.

A joint workshop was held for local boards and the governing body on 22 April where Jim Diers was invited to share his experiences from Seattle.  The workshop was also an opportunity to provide early feedback on how the proposed draft community development principles might be practically applied across local board and governing body decision-making roles, and in the day-to-day activities across council generally.    Thriving communities – the draft strategic action plan that includes the Council’s community development principles – is due to be released in June.

I am also on the Auckland Neighbourhood Planning Task Group convened by Roger Blakely that is looking to promote neighbourhood planning and implementation across Auckland Council in order to enhance community-driven planning and neighbourhood self-help projects.  Members of the group met with Jim and representatives from Inspiring Communities to discuss neighbourhood planning.

 Feedback on the Point Chevalier Pasadena Community year 1-8 Schooling options

The community portfolio made a joint submission with the Albert -Eden Local Board regarding the Ministry of Education’s proposals arising from the increasing roll at Point Chevalier due to population growth, changing demographics and the school’s popularity.  The proposals look at options for Point Chevalier School and Pasadena Intermediate School that have part of their zones within our Board area.  A copy of the letter is attached as ATTACHMENT A (refer page 317 of the agenda).

Good Citizen Awards

The nomination period for the awards was extended to 26 April to ensure there was plenty of time to recognise and reward those who have made a significant voluntary contribution in the Waitemata Local Board area. Judging will take place in May with the awards ceremony on 31 May.

Transport Portfolio

The Transport portfolio monthly briefing with Auckland Transport took place on 24 April. We covered:

  • Updates on Local board capex projects (Great North Road/Ponsonby Road Intersection and Bowen Avenue/Kitchener Street/Victoria Street East intersection )
  • Richmond Road Safety Action Plan
  • Parking issues in Parnell, St Marys Bay, Freemans Bay and Eden Terrace

Full details of current proposals and issues are outlined in Auckland Transport’s monthly report attached to the Board agenda. (refer page 61)

What price safety?

Great North Road intersection One of our local board capex projects is to improve cycling safety at the intersection of Great North Road and Ponsonby Road. Cyclists approaching the intersection on Great North Road heading east are forced in to a pinch point as the lanes increase from two to three and the shared bus lane disappears.

Cyclists currently either mount the pavement to avoid being stuck at the back of a queue of buses or get pushed into a lane of traffic. We have proposed that an advance stop box be installed with a feeder lane.

Road corridor operations investigations have concluded that to add a cycle feeder lane to this intersection a vehicle lane would have to be removed. They have advised that the removal of one lane for general traffic would increase delays in the peak from 73 seconds to 206 seconds. There would also be an impact on PT unless one of the lanes becomes a bus lane.

Auckland Transport have advised that they do not recommend any option that will increase motorist delays without a more strategic assessment of the overall impact of re-prioritising road space.

Auckland Transport is therefore going to look at installing a cycle stop box only.

My personal view is that we cannot continue to put cyclists at risk and ignore the safety of routes on the Auckland Cycle Network. Great North Road is currently operating under capacity because of the alternative provided by the North-western Motorway and delays are minimal. There is huge potential to increase cycle trips by improving cycling infrastructure on the Great North Road ridge at relatively minor inconvenience to drivers.  I would therefore like us as a Board to push for the reprioritisation of road space to accommodate all modes of transport.

Getting parking right for Auckland

A blog drafted for shapeauckland (the Council’s Unitary Plan website) based on the presentations given at the Getting Parking Right for Auckland seminar (part 1)  hosted by the Board and AECOM on 3 April is attached at ATTACHMENT B.

Local Board capex projects update

An update on the Board’s capex projects is in Auckland Transport’s monthly report.

I attended a number of meetings in April to progress the Newmarket Streetscapes upgrade project by Auckland Transport in conjunction with the City Centre Transformation team. However three of our projects are unlikely to proceed this year following initial investigations:

  • Cycle Improvements – advance stop box and feeder lane at Great North Road, eastbound onto Karangahape Road  (reasons covered above):
  • Pedestrian Improvements at Intersections – Pedestrian facility at the Victoria Street East/Nelson Street intersection (referred to the study team investigating the linear park proposal on Victoria Street as part of the CEWT study)
  • Residential traffic calming project east of Ponsonby Road – to be progressed as part of the Franklin Road upgrade and Ponsonby Road master plan proposals

It is becoming clear that it is very difficult to progress projects via our capex fund that Auckland Transport do not wish to include in their current work programme.  Over the next month we will be work shopping our transport projects and I will be proposing that we invest any remaining capex for 12/13 into our well-developed Greenways project  (to be reported on in June following the consultation that took place earlier in the year).

Record numbers cycling

Figures released by Auckland Transport in April show that in March cycling during the peak period (7am to 9am) increased 24.1 per cent. This comes on top of an increase of 18.5 per cent in February and a rise of 9.0 per cent in January.

Numbers are up even higher in the Waitemata Local Board area – this is great news and justifies increased expenditure in cycling infrastructure by Auckland Transport.

Refer ATTACHMENT D (page 321)  for an update on Why do cyclists run red lights.

Other Board activities

Unitary Plan

I took part in a number of Unitary Plan events during April.

  • Grey Lynn Business Association information session for members
  • Waitemata Local Board Community meeting at the Town Hall
  • Civic Forum at the Freemans Bay Community Hall
  • Grey Lynn residents meeting

My impression is that although there are very real concerns about some of the proposed zoning (particularly around the West Lynn shops) and scepticism that Council will be able to ensure good quality design there is conceptual support for the draft Unitary Plan in our area and an understanding that we are at an early draft stage meaning feedback now will improve the plan.

Annual plan hearings for Waitemata Local Board

Every year Local Boards hold a “discussion” with the Governing Body to go through the Local Board’s advocacy points that form part of the Local Board Agreement.

I supported the Chair in covering our transport advocacy projects at our meeting with the Governing Body held on 24 April.   This part of the presentation is attached as ATTACHMENT C.

Ponsonby Road master plan working group

Kobus Mentz from UrbanismPlus has been contracted to provide urban design/ public realm services for the Ponsonby Road master plan working group. We had a very productive Vision and Outcome Setting workshop in April who covered technical briefings on transport, land use, open space and heritage and group work focused around identifying key precincts/ nodes; key transformational sites; and options to achieve vision and outcomes for Ponsonby Road.

We also held a hui with mana whenua to discuss their contribution to the master plan which resulted in iwi representatives attending the workshop and agreeing to a process for drafting a cultural assessment.

Fairtrade Implementation

fairtrade_logo1May is the one year anniversary of Auckland becoming a Fairtrade city, an initiative that was led by the Waitemata Local Board. I asked Andrew Walters, Business & Facilities Sustainability Project Leader for an update on how the implementation is going and received this response.

All in all I am very enthusiastic about fair trade and would love to do a lot more in this space as the social, environmental and economic benefits of fair trade are all vital elements of sustainability. In a well-resourced sustainability team we would do a lot more and aim for an identified work programme about fair trade implementation rather than current situation.

A report may be worthwhile if requested through the appropriate channels etc. but in the interests of expediency I have put down a few notes.

I can’t write a fuller report just now on this as I am the only remaining member of the sustainability team as two left and were not replaced, so am under some pressure in other areas. But hopefully this summary will help.

  • All tea and coffee on free issue is fair trade (all staff areas/kitchens)
  • All council cafes offer fair trade options
  • We make fair trade goods available on purchasing web sites etc.
  • We have offered several prizes as part of energy campaigns that Included 100% fair trade morning teas for staff in winning teams.
  • We ran a  Green growth symposium attended by business where catering was all fair trade.
  • Have included fair trade in our draft procurement policy

It is great to see that steps have been taken to implement Fairtrade but I am concerned at the lack of resourcing for the sustainability team to meaningfully ensure Fairtrade is an integral part of Council and receives on-going monitoring.

Professional development

CAN Do 2013 Auckland: Inspiring Change

I attended the Cycle Advocates Network’s annual summit on Saturday 13 April with Christopher Dempsey (registration of $60 was paid from the Board’s professional development budget).

Speakers on the theme of Inspiring Change – mainstreaming cycling included Rod Oram, Camden Howitt, Sustainable Coastlines and Stephen Town NZTA Regional Director.

I was particularly impressed with the keynote speaker Jonathan Daly who spoke about the politics of cooperation in the age of sharing: a new paradigm for bicycle advocacy.

He talked about the evolution of public space to private space that occurred with the advancement of the car. He believes we are entering the next evolution with the re-publicisation of public space (such as shared spaces)

He urged for the discussion to be re-framed around liveability – what we have stand to lose if we don’t invest in cycling.

IPENZ Transportation Group conference

I attended the IPENZ Transportation Group conference funded from the Board’s professional development budget. A copy of my report is attached as ATTACHMENT D (refer page 321).

Other board activities

Local Board Workshops and meetings

I attended during April:

  • Waitemata Local Board Agreement Review Workshop on 2 April
  • Hui with mana whenua on the Ponsonby Road Master Plan Project on 3 April
  • Newmarket Streetscapes – Briefing on 4 April
  • Waitemata Local Board Workshop: LBA Prioritisation discussion on 4 April
  • Waitemata Local Board Briefing from Ports of Auckland on their response to the  PWC report on Upper North Island ports on 4 April
  • Children and Young People’s Strategic Action Plan briefing on 5 April
  • Local Board Delivery Model transformation project – engagement with local board members 8 April
  • Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Workshop 3: Vision and Outcome Setting on 8 April
  • Meeting to discuss the Former Masonic Hall – Herne Bay on 9 April
  • Communications fortnightly update
  • City centre transformation team meeting – attended to discuss Newmarket streetscape project
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting in Grey Lynn on 9 April
  • Ponsonby Road East (slow speed zone) Site Visit with Auckland Transport
  • Greenways meeting with Auckland Transport on 10 April
  • “Good for business”  presentation to Ponsonby Business Association members
  • Arts Station presentation
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 11 April
  • Interactive play spaces meeting on 11 April
  • Skypath public information public meeting
  • Central Joint Funding Committee workshop on 12 April
  • Community Development Portfolio holders- quarterly catch up on 17 April
  • Newmarket streetscapes project and local board transport capex funding meeting with Auckland Transport on 18 April
  • Unitary plan community meeting at the Town Hall on 18 April
  • Community portfolio monthly catch up
  • Fortnightly catch up on the Ponsonby Road master plan progress
  • Unitary plan civic forum at the Freemans Bay community hall on Saturday 20 April
  • Jim Diers workshop for local boards and the governing body on 22 April
  • Neighbourhood planning workshop with Jim Diers (working group)
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 23 April
  • Transport portfolio monthly update on 24 April
  • Waitemata Local Board and Governing Body discussion on local board agreement priorities on 24 April
  • Briefing on Ponsonby Central development application by Andy Davies
  • Te Kai o Te Rangatira workshop part 1 delivered by subject experts of Te Waka Angamua Maori Strategy and Relations Department (Pou Tikanga, Pou Whainga, Pou Hononga) on 26 April
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 30 April

Events and functions

During April I attended:

  • Toi Ora opening with the Mayor on 2 April
  • Getting parking right for Auckland seminar part 1 on 3 April at AECOM jointly hosted with Auckland Transport
  • Green Jam youth sustainability conference at TAPAC on 4 April –. I was invited to take part in a workshop “ Pedal Power An inspiring and active session on the power of bicycles”
  • Richmond Road School Fair
  • Grey Lynn RSC AGM
  • Richmond Rovers Centenary post match centenary celebrations on 6 April
  • Consultation event for Costley Reserve on Sunday 7 April
  • Grey Lynn Business Association Unitary plan information session for members on 9 April
  • Informal presentation to Grey Lynn Residents on the Unitary Plan zoning proposals at the Grey Lynn RSC
  • Local Government Association of South Australia Study Tour presentation on 12 April at the invitation of Peter McKinley
  • CAN-do cycle advocates conference on 13 April
  • IPENZ transportation group conference 14- 16 April in Dunedin
  • TRENZ 2013 Welcome Function at the Viaduct Event centre at the invitation of ATEED
  • ANZAC day service at the Grey Lynn RSC
  • Funding for Transport. Launch of the Collaborative Consensus Group discussion document at the Viaduct Events Centre on 29 April
  • Future intensive: Insights of Auckland’s Housing presentation

Monthly Board Report April 2013

This report covers my activities from 1 March – 31 March 2013.

Board activities

Annual plan hearings for Waitemata Local Board

I found our hearings day held on 19 March to be extremely interesting, worthwhile and productive. We were fortunate to have a range of passionate submitters and to be joined by three governing body members who added to the value of the hearings.

I would just query why the Orakei Local Board decided to submit to a number of fellow boards including Waitemata. There are a range of projects we may wish to collaborate on but the annual plan process is not intended nor structured to provide for different parts of the Auckland Council family to submit as members of the public. I would like to see Local Board services give a clear direction on this issue for next year.

Grants Committee meeting

The Grants Committee met on 27 March to consider 18 applications totally $68,573.98 to the Waitemata Local Board’s third round of discretionary funding. The committee agenda is available online. Thank you to all the applicants who came along to speak in support of their applications.

The recommendations of the committee will be referred to the Board’s business meeting on 9 April. The last and fourth round of funding for this financial year is open until Friday 26th April.  (application form available here)

Relationship between CCO’s and Local Boards

At our February meeting we received the report and resolutions from the Accountability and Performance Committee – Relationship between Local Boards and Council Controlled Organisations

It was delegated to the Board Chair and Deputy Chair to work with Local Board Services officers to provide feedback to the Committee on the type of engagement the Waitemata Local Board would like with Council Controlled Organisations.

This feedback is attached as ATTACHMENT A.

It should also be noted that CCO’s are required to report to the Governing Body on their engagement with Local Boards and that Auckland Transport has been directed to hold workshops with Local Board on their prioritisation criteria in early 2013. This workshop has yet to occur and Auckland Transport, Waterfront Auckland and ACPL have not provided Local Board Services with their engagement plans for 12/13.

Professional development

During March I have taken advantage of a number of excellent learning opportunities available to board members.

Re-thinking Pacific Auckland,  Damon Salesa, Associate Professor, Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland – a lunchtime learning hosted by the Research, Investigations and Monitoring Unit.

This presentation highlighted the high degree of racial segregation occurring in Auckland (using census and demographic data) which is not talked about and therefore not addressed. There are serious consequences of this segregation not just within lower socio-economic areas. Pakeha who attend racially segregated schools are also educationally disadvantaged.

It means differences of opportunity and attainment and damages confidence in democracy.

The presenter gave as the number one solution building social housing in wealthier areas – he felt strongly that no development should happen at the waterfront without social housing.

I would like the Waitemata Local Board to ensure it meets the challenge given by the presenter of working to create the World’s most liveable city for EVERYONE.

Innovation Auckland Conference

SOCANZ conference on 25 and 26 March (conference report to be provided next month)

The conference presented energetic experts on social entrepreneurship and a range of workshops on a cross-section of subjects.

Place making session – connecting Auckland Place Makers

Ethan Kent, International Place advocate for the Project for Public Spaces. Hosted by Waterfront Auckland at the Cloud

 “If you plan for cars and traffic you get cars and traffic, if you plan for people and places you get people and places”

 The presentation held up place making as a transformative agenda going through the key attributes that make a good place, describing place making opportunities and benefits.

Natalie Nicholles, associate director, new economics foundation (nef) London

Local economic development – a community development approach for the ‘toolbox’ – a session for Local Board members

Provided a practical overview of nef’s innovative, tried-and-tested local economic development tools:

–       developing community knowledge about local wealth creation, and why it matters

–       building community capability to assess where and how money and resources leak out of local

I also used a private visit to Melbourne to learn more about what it takes to create the world’s most liveable city with lots of people cycling for transport (report here)

Parking seminarGetting Parking Right for Auckland Seminar

Invites went out in early March for the seminar on 3 April to all of the business associations, CBD advisory board members, local board members and a number of councillors.

An impressive line up of experts, including Chief Economist, Geoff Cooper are included in the programme.

Portfolio reports

Transport

The Transport portfolio monthly briefing with Auckland Transport took place on 21 March 2013.   We covered:

  • Road safety campaigns
  • Parking issues in Parnell, Freemans Bay and the Strand
  • Eden Terrace parking zone update
  • St Mary’s Bay parking business permits
  • Road Corridor Operations latest updates

Full details of current proposals and issues are outlined in Auckland Transport’s monthly report attached to the Board agenda.

Parking

Parking continues to be an issue for many neighbourhoods in our board area. In Freemans Bay nearly all the unrestricted on-street parking is taken up daily by commuters making it difficult for visitors and residents to access parking spaces. Freemans Bay is the number one priority for a residents parking scheme applying the lessons Auckland Transport has learnt from the St Marys Bay trial.

In February we heard from residents of Scarborough Tce at our monthly board meeting about the parking issues on their street. Auckland Transport is investigating a number of options for a scheme that needs to be effective in a mixed use area with high occupancy rates into the evening.

In Eden Tce we heard that Auckland Transport successfully presented to the Business Association on a proposal for a paid parking zone with a limited number of free on -street parking areas. As part of implementing a new parking scheme Auckland Transport is able to work with the local businesses to offer free public transport for 3 weeks, bike hire and car pool software with a travel plan for the area.

In St Marys Bay Auckland Transport is continuing to assess the trial and how best to deal with the request for business permits. One option being considered is to allow for a limited number of coupons for daily parking (similar to the coupon scheme in Wellington).

What is clear from all the investigations that AT is undertaking is that each neighbourhood will require an appropriate parking scheme to be developed to fit the particular community needs.

Road safety

I have raised concerns with Auckland Transport that their latest campaign aimed at pedestrians is ill-conceived and unlikely to resonant with the target audience. The Pay Attention or Pay the price campaign is aimed at young people who are involved in large number of accidents in the city centre.

However what I have learnt from safety campaign experts such as Jonathan Daly is that these kinds of messages don’t work as they are missing the key ingredient of empathy. It is human nature to switch off to messages such as “Slow down”, “Pay Attention”, “Be polite “

I think this campaign also doesn’t  recognise current realities regarding how people – especially young people -choose to move around the city and how Auckland streets are being designed that even work to encourage distractions (such as shared spaces).

Of course pedestrians need to take care but I believe this campaign will lead to a greater tendency to blame the victim of road accidents involving pedestrians which is nearly always the pedestrian.

Interestingly we found out that AT uses a very small focus group sample on which to test safety messages. From the representative sample that we were shown all of the responders asked AT to not waste money on the campaign but to invest in more pedestrian friendly street design.

Richmond Road School

After more than 4 years of pushing for improved safety improvements on Richmond Road the school has been successful in Auckland Transport approving a range of measures.

I attended a meeting with the principal, Stephanie Anich, representatives of Auckland Transport and Cycle Action on 22 March to discuss the current proposals which are either underway or about to start. These improvements include:

  • Relocating the bus stop near the school to provide for greater visibility
  • Installation of electronic repeater 40km/h signs
  • Installing school zone signs
  • Improvements to the crossing layout
  • New markings and raised speed strips to encourage slower speeds

These safety improvements are being undertaken as part of the overall Richmond Road safety action plan which is a local board project.

Promoting active transport for events

Pasifika by bikeI have raised with Auckland Transport and ATEED the lack of promotion for active transport as an option for travel to events over the summer.  For example the promotion for travel to Pasifika was just focused on using the park and ride facilities. No bike parking was provided at the event despite it taking place right next to the north western cycle way.

 I am also aware of the large number of complaints that have been directed to Auckland Transport regarding the lack of planning to cope with the large numbers using public transport to attend events particularly over the weekend of 9/10 March.  AT have advised that their Special Events Team will review all available data and apply the learnings to planning for future events so that the travelling public is better served.

Other board activities

Local Board Workshops and meetings

I attended during March:

  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 5 March
  • Meeting to discuss Waitemata Local Board feedback on the Unitary Plan & current status of the draft Unitary Plan
  • Symonds Street cemetery public meeting on 5 March
  • Waitemata community facility needs meeting
  • Informal meeting with Waterfront Auckland CEO, John Dalziell
  • AT Briefing on cycle connections to the Grafton Gully Cycleway
  • Coxs Bay Advisory Group meeting  on 7 March
  • Local Board briefing on the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 changes to the current liquor licensing framework
  • Planning for Parnell Baths Centennial Celebration in March 2014
  • Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Working Group Workshop 2: Issues, Opportunities and Aspirations on 11 March
  • Meeting with Philip Jones, Architect for Ponsonby Central to discuss proposed parking and bus stop changes on Ponsonby Road and Brown Street
  • Communications fortnightly update
  • Meeting with the solid waste team to discuss the work underway to encourage zero waste events
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting in Parnell on 12 March
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 12 March
  • Initial meeting of the working group on neighbourhood planning convened by Roger Blakely on 15 March
  • Unitary plan launchLaunch of Unitary Plan and attendance at the business and heritage sessions held during the day (pictured)
  • Meeting to discuss Pioneer Women’s Hall redevelopment budget and process
  • Fortnightly catch up on the Ponsonby Road master plan progress
  • Annual Plan hearings for Waitemata Local Board on 19 March
  • Re-thinking Pacific Auckland lunchtime learning. Presentation by Damon Salesa, Associate Professor, Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland
  • Auckland Transport monthly catch up for Transport portfolio holders on 21 March
  • Richmond Road School meeting on 22 March organised by Auckland Transport to discuss the proposed safety measures to be introduced outside the school
  • Meeting with representatives of Albert – Eden, Puketapapa Local Boards and the solid waste team to discuss the next stage for the resource recovery centre
  • SOCANZ innovation Auckland Conference on 25 and 26 March
  • Workshop for place makers with Ethan Kent on 25 March hosted by Waterfront Auckland
  • Waitemata Local Board Community Grants Committee meeting on 27 March
  • Ponsonby Road fortnightly update meeting
  • Briefing from Rob Cairns, Manager, Region wide Community Planning and Policy regarding Auckland Domain Governance
  • Natalie Nicholls, new economics foundation for an in-depth conversation for Local Board members regarding local economic development

Events and functions

The Auckland Arts Festival 2013 was a big highlight of the events calendar during March. I was fortunate to attend the following performances

  • The opening night of The Factory and drinks afterwards at the Festival bar (at the invitation of AAF)
  • Breath of the Volcano at the Auckland Domain
  • Hui at Q Theatre (at the invitation of AAF)
  • One Man, Two Guvnors
  • Urban by Circolumbia (at the invitation of AAF)
  • Cantina at the Festival tent

 I also attended during March

  • International women’s day celebration at Khartoum Place on 8 March
  • Pasifika Festival at Western Springs
  • Grafton Cricket Club’s 150th birthday celebratory dinner (at the invitation of GCC)West Lynn Street Party opening
  • BeSpoke – Cycle Style at Silo Park (I was part of the organising team as coordinator of Frocks on Bikes – Auckland)
  • Grey Lynn Business Association March networking drinks
  • Ponsonby Road Market Day
  • Movies in Parks at Grey Lynn Park on 16 March
  • West Lynn Street Party and Twilight market in celebration of neighbours day Aotearoa on 21 March (I had the privilege of opening the event with Rev Faasoo (pictured)
  • Genesis Energy Whio Breakfast at the Auckland Zoo on 22 March
  • Opening of the Sir Paul Reeves Building at AUT on 22 March
  • Urbis Design Day off ramp installation (viewed from the K’rd over bridge) – how would you like the city to move?  (pictured)

Urbis design day off ramp