Councillor report December 2019

Pippa Coom Councillor Report – Waitematā and Gulf Ward

General update

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

Governing Body and Committee meetings

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

The first meeting is scheduled for 28 November.

Events and other meetings

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

I also attended the following events:

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

Regional consultation topics

Southwest Gateway Programme

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

OuterLink and 650 bus services

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

Regional grants

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

Significant issues and ward issues

NZ International Convention Centre Fire

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

Hardship fund for Albert Street businesses

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

New Network bus changes on Waiheke

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

Helicopters on Sentinel Beach

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

Tree removal by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority

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

Transport

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

Media

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

Conferences and seminars

ACENZ Panel discussion

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

Trafinz Conference 2019

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

Disclosures

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

Chairperson address to the Waitematā Local Board 2016-19 inaugural meeting

Making the Chair's declaration with friends and family in support
Making the Chair’s declaration with friends and family in support

Kia ora huihui mai tātau

E te iwi tēnā koutou, mihi mai,  

E ngā mana, e ngā reo e ngā hau e whā

E te rangatira o Ngāti Whātua o Orākei, tēnā koe

E te iwi o Tāmaki Makau rau tēnā koutou katoa

E te whare, tēnā koe,

E te hapori kua tai mai  tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa

Nau mai piki mai, haere mai

inaugural-meeting-mike-lee-and-shale-chambers
With Cr Mike Lee and Deputy Chair, Shale Chambers

On behalf of the board I would like to welcome all our distinguished guests including family and friends who have come along in support. Thank you Matt Maihi and Aunty Margaret from Ngāti Whātua o Orākei for your mihi whakatau and Otene Reweti for responding on our behalf.

Thank you Barry Potter for officiating and our local board services team for their work supporting the inaugural meeting.

Greetings and welcome to Councillor Mike Lee who has been returned for the third time as representative for Waitematā and Gulf ward.  We’re very fortunate to have you here as a strong advocate for the community and look forward to working with you.

The new Mayor Phil Goff gives his apologies but has our full support as he works to build trust and confidence in Council, and tackles the huge challenges facing Auckland. Greetings also to Richard Hills newly elected Councillor for the North Shore Ward who will be working with Mayor Phil to take the city forward.

I’d like to start by acknowledging the founders, all those who have come before us to create and build Tāmaki Makarau and more recently the people who took on the daunting task of establishing the super city and making it work.  An incredible amount has happened over the last 6 years so that, despite many challenges,  Auckland is undoubtedly a better place.

One of the people who has played a significant role over that time has been the inaugural chair of the Waitematā Local Board, Shale Chambers. He has done an outstanding job setting a strong foundation not just for our board but for the governance of Auckland. I’d like to acknowledge his tireless work for the Board in steering a progressive agenda that has achieved results. There is a great deal that Shale can be very proud of making happen with the support of the board including some significant projects like the extensive Myers Park upgrade, securing the funding for the complete refurbishment of the Ellen Melville Centre that is going to create a much needed community hub for the city centre,  and securing resource consent for the Weona-Westmere coastal walkway. He has also been instrument behind the scenes on making things happen. For example securing a venue for the successful Pop Up Globe  and gaining support for a major upgrade of Karanagahape Road from the city centre targeted rate.  In the best tradition of Ken Livingstone he has no wish to ever ride a bicycle but he gets why Auckland should be a bike friendly city.  

He has also been amazingly courageous at times in knowing the time to act and not take the easy path.  I feel particularly proud of the support he gave to the name change of lower Khartoum Place to Te Hā o Hine Place in honour of the suffrage memorial.

I thank him for the opportunity to now lead the board.  It is a huge privilege and I acknowledge the trust, responsibilities and confidence that is being placed in me.  I’ve committed to being collaborative, transparent and to continuing building on the relationships across the community, with our iwi partners and at all levels of the Auckland Council whanau. 

Together with all other previous board members  I’m proud of our many achievements and also to have been part of a Waitematā Local Board that has stood up for social justice, adopted the Living wage, committed to being accessible to everyone, stood up for public transport, for environmental and heritage protection, for public ownership of strategic assets, and for local communities to have a real say.  I’d like to acknowledge all the board members who have previously served for their significant contribution in particular Deborah and Christopher who retired at the end of last term and Greg Moyle for his service to local government. 

Shale, me and Rob are now officially the old timers of the board returned for our third terms.  It is a shock to me to realise that I am now in the senior section of the board!  

I am really delighted that Vernon has been returned for his second term and that we are joined by experienced government veteran Richard Northey, dynamic social entrepreneur and lecturer Adriana Avendano Christie  and planner and business owner Mark Davey.  They, together with the old timers, make up an impressive, talented team who I look forward to working with. We are all committed to working together with effective governance and responsible financial management for the good of Waitematā.

Looking ahead we have much to do over the next three years. We have community assets to enhance and services to maintain including our precious libraries, playgrounds to upgrade, we’re committed to the goals of a smoke free and zero waste Auckland with the establishment of a community resource recovery centre in conjunction with the Puketāpapa and Albert-Eden Local Boards.

We wish to continue the upgrade of Symonds Street cemetery, plant street trees, and the ecological restoration of our native bush and historic streams.  We recognise our role as place makers who can contribute to local economic development in partnership with our 7 business associations.  We value & support the arts, events and culture. We’re determined to connect with our North shore neighbours by finally getting Skypath built (something Shale committed to in his inaugural speech in 2010!)

We also recognise our role to contribute to the wider well-being of  all Aucklanders in creating opportunities for everyone, ending homelessness, providing families with access to quality affordable housing and delivering on real transport choices.

We know that the only way Auckland will truly be the best place in the world to live and a leading international city is if we take care of our people and environment.  We wish to be an age friendly and child friendly local board area that takes local action to meet one of the biggest challenges of our time by becoming a low carbon community.

In thinking about our role as local board members there is one particular aspect I wish to highlight by quoting Jeff Speck the author of Walkable Cities and a supporter of 8-80 cities

The healthiest, wealthiest, most sustainable and vibrant communities in cities around the world are unique in many ways. But there is one factor above all others that these communities have in common: they are, nearly without fail, highly walkable places.

This requires a commitment to slower speeds, people friendly infrastructure, public transport, bikeable streets and public spaces – all very achievable in compact Waitematā with the right political support.  

In finishing I reflect on what it means to serve our citizens and to provide leadership that achieves the aspirations of the community.  I’m committed to celebrating and embracing diversity and providing space for creative innovation and design thinking.   This requires new ways of operating by the Board and Council so all the people of Waitematā (including the growing inner city population) feel that local government matters and that they wish to participate. I look forward to putting this into action with a fantastic team of board members and officers as we start on the term ahead.

So behalf of the Board I’d like  thank everyone for attending today and sharing in the spirit of this very special occasion.  We are committed to working with you to create a strong, enriching, diverse, healthy, safe Waitematā in the beating heart of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Nō reira

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, rau rangatira mā

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa