Draft Ponsonby Road Masterplan consultation underway

 Draft Ponsonby Road Masterplan flyerIt is really exciting to see the draft Ponsonby Road Masterplan printed and ready for feedback. I introduced the idea to set up a working group to develop a draft to the Waitemata Local Board last year. Since then Tricia Reade and I have championed the project through to a beautifully presented draft, packed with ideas to transform Ponsonby Road. We hope the draft will provoke robust discussion and feedback.

The working group made up of  iwi, community representatives, stakeholders and the Ponsonby Business Association met over the last 5 months to develop the draft. It was a unique partnership approach to developing a plan that was able to build on previous community initiatives.  Through the process we were also able to learn about the Māori heritage  of the area. (The Council commissioned report on Māori heritage values and opportunities from in order to better engage with relevant Iwi for the project area is available here)

The draft identifies specific outcomes and provides concepts for all modes of transport, arts and culture, the streetscape and key sites.

Public consultation on the draft masterplan begins on 24 July and will continue until 4 September.

Have your say online

Community open days

  • Wednesday, 31 July, 11am-2pm, Leys Institute Library Ponsonby, 20 St Mary’s Road, St Marys Bay
  • Wednesday, 7 August, 11am-2pm, Whitespace Gallery, 12 Crummer Road, Ponsonby
  • Saturday, 10 August, 10am-3pm, Leys Institute Library Ponsonby, 20 St Mary’s Road, St Marys Bay
  • Wednesday, 28 August, 5.30pm-8.30pm, Ponsonby Community Centre, 20 Ponsonby Terrace, Ponsonby

Public meetings

  • Thursday, 15 August (6.30pm-8pm) Leys Institute Library Ponsonby, 20 St Marys Road, St Marys Bay

For more information, or to order hard copies of the feedback form, phone 301 01 01  and ask to speak to Alana Thurston.

254 Ponsonby Road concept open space




Ponsonby Road Masterplan working group

Notice of Motion – 9 October 2012

At our October board meeting I introduced and moved a notice of motion to establish a Ponsonby Road masterplan working group with representatives from the local community.

We all have a personal relationship with Pononsby Road whether we work or live there or visit for events, entertainment, the retail, restaurants and bars.  On Ponsonby Market Day we all can see the potential for Ponsonby Road in attracting a great deal of pedestrian activity. It also highlights the current issues of narrow pavements, lack of people-focused spaces and the dominance of traffic. There is no reason why Ponsonby Road could not be better designed so that every day attracts the same level of activity and feels like the buzz of a market day.

As a Board we have already committed to the development of masterplan through our Local Board Plan and our Local Board Agreement 12/13. This is more than just traffic management but about taking a “complete” street approach so that the road is pedestrian friendly  with a focus on urban design outcomes and heritage protection.

With Tricia Reade I have done some thinking about how best to deliver a masterplan. We know the Western Bays Community Group have already been working on concepts. We know the Ponsonby Business Association has direct interest as well as a range of community stakeholders. We know that Auckland Transport and Auckland Council officers are keen to support. The purpose of this Notice of Motion is therefore to put transparency around the process of developing a masterplan and I ask for the support of board members.

MOVED by Member PJ Coom, seconded Member PM Reade:

a) That the Waitemata Local Board notes that the Ponsonby Road master plan is identified as a project in the Local Board Plan and the Local Board Agreement 2012/13.

b) That the Waitemata Local Board approves:

i) The establishment of a Ponsonby Road working group with representatives of the local community, the business association and local board members and supported by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport tasked with developing a concept for a draft master plan for endorsement of the Waitemata Local Board prior to public consultation.

ii) Pippa Coom and Tricia Reade as the Board’s representatives on the Ponsonby Road master plan working group.

c) That the Board’s representatives on the working group report back to the Board at the earliest opportunity on the membership of the working group and an agreed process and timetable for developing a draft concept design for the master plan.

d) That the Waitemata Local Board requests that Auckland Transport nominate a representative to the working group. CARRIED


The Waitemata Local Board plan identifies the need to respond to a range of traffic issues on Ponsonby Road by taking a “whole road” approach that provides for a quality street design with community focused outcomes.

It is proposed to take a master plan approach to Ponsonby Road that can incorporate urban design, the road corridor,  landscaping etc  and best balances safety, multiple users, parking, heritage impacts, retail needs etc. A coordinated approach is needed for the use and development of Ponsonby Road so that we can avoid ad hoc decision making going forward and ensure that the best outcomes are achieved.

This approach builds on the Liveable Arterials work, the Ponsonby Road Strategy Plan 2006 (the initial scoping exercise undertaking for Ponsonby Road), the Corridor Management Plan and Concept Design (Nov 2008) and the work of the Ponsonby Road working group established under the Auckland City Council that was seeking further pedestrian facilities following the implementation of the 40km speed limit in 2009.

In these documents, Ponsonby Road was identified as coming under a community emphasis category where maintaining the local condition and amenity of “place” is the primary role of the arterial route of Ponsonby Road.

More recently the Western Bays Community Group has started work on a plan for Ponsonby Road and has sought community input.

In our local board agreement we are advocating for Auckland Transport to:

Develop and deliver a Masterplan for Ponsonby Road

Auckland Transport to continue the development of the Masterplan for Ponsonby Road, taking a “complete street/living arterial” approach to meet the community’s desired outcomes (eg slower traffic, pedestrian friendly, heritage protection and improved urban design) in conjunction with urban design officers at Auckland Council.

Auckland Transport has responded to the Waitemata Local Board agreement that this process should follow on from the City Centre Master Plan (if Ponsonby Road is identified as a priority in the CCMP) or funding clearly indicated from the governing body.  Auckland Transport are however willing to be involved as appropriate if Auckland Council takes the lead.

The Auckland Council planning team have confirmed they are resourced to support the development of a master plan.

It is therefore proposed to start the process of developing a master plan by setting up a working group consisting of local board members, community representatives including the Ponsonby Business Association and the Western Bay Community Group.

The working group is to be supported by Council officers with a representative from Auckland Transport. The objective of the working group is to produce a draft concept master plan that can be endorsed by the Waitemata Local Board for wider community consultation.

The working group can learn from the experience of the Tamaki Drive master plan process currently underway and the precedent of the Devonport master plan that was successfully developed by a working group involving strong community representation.


NZ’s best street spot

The revamped Aotea Square was jumping with activity on Saturday as part of the opening festivities. The sun was shining on a beautiful  space full of people enjoying the free entertainment. The City Vision team was also there spreading the word to vote. One visitor, however was very unimpressed with the number of skateboarders checking out the new surfaces. He complained very forcefully to us that it was a disgrace that they were “allowed” to be there.  The complainant and Aucklanders may have to get used the idea of the square providing for a range of different uses who feel at home there. But guaranteed there is now going to be a big debate about who is welcome to use the square especially as the word is out  about how perfect the space is for BMX riders and skateboards.

As Tim recently blogged on Cycling in Auckland “Aotea Square is one of Auckland’s most iconic BMX/Skate spots that have been shredded for years and was temporarily under reconstruction. It’s been around a 2 years since being first closed off and is back and pretty amazing. The council has out done themselves  with what could be now NZ’s best street spot.

It made me wonder how David Engwicht, place maker extradionaire and urban thinker, would respond. He was recently in New Zealand talking about the Art of Place Making. He shared a number of his design secrets for creating vibrant public spaces and building community. As he says “all design has paradoxical outcomes”.   This is exactly what we are going to see in Aotea Square following on from the unintentional design of the perfect urban park (unfortunately the $80m spent on the Square didn’t extend to materials that will withstand constant shredding by skaters). However, the skaters don’t need to deter other users from enjoying Aotea Square especially once the grassy areas have opened and there is more shade.

The Auckland City Council should be congratulated on redeveloping Aotea Square as a vibrant urban space that appeals to a wide range of users- I just wish there was parking in the square for my bike!

Creating a liveable city


Urban Design for a Super City
by Ludo Campbell-Reid, Environmental Strategy & Policy Manager, Auckland Council
Panel Discussion with Christina Van Bohemen, Barry Copeland & James Lunday.

Thursday 30 September 2010
7:45pm Drinks, 8:00pm Presentation (Immediately after CAA AGM)
Venue: Ellen Melville Hall, Pioneer Women’s Hall, 2 Freyberg Place just off High Street.

Auckland’s urban design makes us fat

“Build loose suburbs carved up by busy roads and without green spaces and you help to create a population of fat, lonely people plagued by criminals. Build dense, leafy settlements with mixed uses, protected from traffic, and you help to create safe, fit and friendly communities.”
George Monbiot

I love living in central Auckland and appreciate the beautiful nartural surroundings of the City but sadly the built environment is making us fat. Even in Zone 1 the design and lack of public transport encourages us to drive short distances and to feel unsafe cycling.

Why has so much bad urban planning been allowed to happen in Auckland? Why is our CBD cut off by motorways and many of our shopping streets welcoming only to cars?  I think the problem has been a lack of visionary leadership in Auckland, weak planning and developments driven by the desire to make a quick buck.

Barb Cuthbert, spokesperson of Cycle Action Auckland, sums up what we could be aiming for:

I see scope to make our one way street system less forbidding torrents of cars, and more alluring entry points to our city. Our city could be home to more distinctive businesses, walkable, colourful streets, connected with cycling and frequent public transport routes, lively markets, active places full of people, rather than voids full of cars.

I am hopeful that the new Auckland Council structure, with a requirement to put in place an overall spatial plan, will mean that Aucklanders who want the city to be liveable and supportive of a healthy lifestyle  will define the design of the city rather than property developers and car obsessed traffic planners.