Chair’s monthly report November 2017

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


 Good Citizens’ Awards

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

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

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

10-year budget – One Local Initiative presentation

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

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei marae visit

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

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

 Asia–Pacific Cycle Congress 17 – 20 October in Christchurch

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

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

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

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

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

Dockless bike share arrives in Auckland

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

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

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

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

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

 Project updates

 Teed Street upgrade

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

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

 Ponsonby Road pedestrian improvements project

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

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

West Lynn walking and cycling improvements project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resignation from Board triggers by-election

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

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

Meetings and workshops: 9 October until 7 November

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

Events and functions:  9 October until 7 November

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



From the fringe to mainstream: Presentation at the Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress

From the fringe to mainstream: the politics of gaining community support and delivering successful cycling infrastructure for the future

At the Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress held in Christchurch 17-20 October 2017 I presented in a session on the theme of Community Engagement in collaboration with Christchurch City Councillor Phil Clearwater. We thought it would be interesting to present our respective political takeouts and to provide a space to discuss what the politics of gaining community support and delivering successful cycling infrastructure  is looking like with other politicians, advocates and people delivering on the ground. It is also an opportunity to contrast the Christchurch way with what is happening in Auckland.

Slide 1

Slide 1:  My background is as a cycling advocate. I came to politics as a committee member of Cycle Action Auckland (now Bike Auckland) and co-organizer of Frocks on Bikes in Auckland ( shout out to Bella & Leah the co-founders of Frocks about to celebrate the 10 year anniversary next year) . When I first got involved in advocacy almost 10 years ago it was as part of a smallish but growing group of activists responding  to the question Why would anyone cycle ?  (especially in Auckland that is  of course too hilly, too wet and too humid etc). I was told there was no votes in cycling as it was too fringe!

Last week Michelle, who works for the WA state government got in touch for a coffee before the conference. She told me she was a fan of the global leadership of Auckland – I’ve never heard that before! But as we are going to hear from presenters over the course of the conference Auckland is experiencing unprecedented transformation into a cycling city.

I’m presenting my personal thoughts on how we are going in Auckland from a political perspective .

It looks like we have a number of complimentary presentations that consider bike lash and from the trenches perspectives – it is of course not all plain sailing.

Slide 2

Slide 2: I’m going to presume that non Aucklanders are at best only vaguely familiar with our unique governance arrangements.

Since 2010 we’ve had the super city of 21 Local Boards focusing on the local stuff – playgrounds, community centres, libraries etc and an advocacy role rather than a decision making role for transport. A mayor and 20 councilors of the governing body responsible for regional decision making and setting the vision and strategy for Auckland.  Chris Darby councillor for North Shore is here.

Auckland Transport – one of the arguably missed named council “controlled” organizations-  is responsible for all transport functions and operations including consulting on cycling projects.

I’m chair of this area [slide 2], the Waitemata Local Board covering the city centre and central suburbs of Auckland.  For 7 years I’ve also held the transport portfolio lead.

Slide 3

Slide 3: The foundations of the move from fringe to mainstream started long before 2010 but in Auckland the radical realignment of the cycling universe received a big bang boost with the formation of the Super City.

For the first time a pro-cycling Mayor was elected together with pro- cycling Local boards and councilors (admittedly only a few to start with).  But it opened the way for political support for an all of Auckland cycling strategy backed up with meaningful budget.

At the time we wanted to use a regular people on bikes photo in our first local board plan 2011 – all the Council’s photo archive could come up with was what looked like a man in high viz being chased by a car! This image (slide 3) was our more idealized vision of the future thanks to board member Jesse Chambers and her Green friends.

Slide 4

Slide 4: Giving the Mayor and politicians wind in their sails was the work of the advocates groups who had been creatively working away building a ground swell of support and were ready to seize the new possibilities of thinking big.   Who would have imaged that we would have a award winning magenta cycleway on disused motorway off-ramp delivered in 16 months – but it was Bike Auckland who were instrumental in planting the idea in the first place!

Shout out to our advocates:

And the many speakers from overseas introduced to us through events like Auckland Conversations and experts like Dutch Bicyle Embassy, Tyler Golly  who’ve come to Auckland to broaden our horizons.

Slide 5:

Slide 5: The awareness raising by activists has led to unprecedented public feedback supporting investment in cycling.

This graph is from the Annual budget consultation in 2015 that led to the introduction of an interim transport levy.   Cycling and walking is a close second to public transport in the transport area that submitters think Council should focus more on .

For our recent Local Board plan consultation we had 80% approval that we were on the right track.  In fact we received feedback that we should be bolder and deliver faster.

Cycling is mainstream politics!

Slide 6

Slide 6: As we know the winning combination of  strong public support and feel good projects brought the politicians with the big bucks along for the ride.

John Key came on board in 2013 with the $100m urban cycling investment fund – anecdotally I’ve heard he was strongly influenced by the positive feedback he received from all the baby boomers coming back from riding Great rides and wanting to keep cycling.   (I was honoured to be on the investment panel with Glen Koorey, Richard Leggat who are here, supported by an impressive NZTA team – Claire, Rebecca, Duncan, Gerry who did all the work )

In this photo at the opening of the Quay St cycleway there are at least 10 politicians all hustling to be seen on a bike!

Slide 7

Slide 7: I’ve heard it said you need a trifecta to make cycling happen: Mayor/leadership + advocates is completed by the  “plangineers.” I credit this to Timothy Papandreou,  then Director of Strategic Planning & Policy at the San Francisco municipal transportation agency who I heard speak at Velocity 2014 but he might have been quoting  Janette Sadik Khan . A special mention to those people with the skills to plan, design and build the cycleways.

So in the western area of Waitemata covering Grey Lynn and Westmere major routes are now complete, underway or about to start.

Slide 8: Here is what we can look forward to on that blue line – known as Route 1







Slide 9: And on the pink line along Richmond Road – route 2







Slide 10: And we are underway Route 2 under construction







Slide 11: More of Route 2 under construction – right through the shops







Slide 12: Route 1 under construction. Taking the cyclelane into the shops but not through it –yet!







Slide 13

Slide 13: That is a hell of a lot of cones appearing on our streets and a lot of construction. In saying that I acknowledge that we know nothing about cones and construction compared to Christchurch.





Slide 14:

Slide 14: For me it is great to see the progress that is underway.  I feel it shows momentum after a slow start.  We can see the network effect taking shape.

When I see scenes like this I tear up. It is why I got into politics.

We’re all happy then?  Living the dream ….


Slide 15:  We’ve hit just a bit of a bike lash speed bump!

Slide 15

Admittedly these are the comments of one person but she is reflecting the stirrings of community dissatisfaction now that construction is actually underway and having an impact on people’s lives.

There are some key themes:

  • Consultation process.  Not hearing that any changes have been made as a result of feedback  and not feeling listened to by AT [consultation happened during the election last year so definitely not a good idea]
  • Lack of communication. eg complaints about not knowing the construction is starting
  • Misunderstanding about the “obscene” amount of money  ($200m over three years for all of Auckland has been reported as  $200 m per year in Grey Lynn)
  • Perception that Auckland Council is prioritising cycling over more pressing issues such as homelessness, congestion and sewage in the harbour
  • Dislike for change being imposed on a well loved area. “Not broken so doesn’t need fixing”
  • Don’t believe the evidence or that international experience applies to Auckland

This is not necessarily all negative.   Had to add a bouquet just to restore the balance!

As I heard said at Velo City in 2014 from a Mayoral Rep “ A good city means dialogue and controversy – getting people engaged in their environment and its transformations can only be a good sign of things to come”

I agree with Phil’s comment that we need to win the battle without losing the war.    How are we going to do that in Auckland ?  How are we going to keep the political support. How can we respond to take communities with us. A few thoughts:

Slide 16

Slide 16: Putting the construction into context

Change is a constant

Preparing for tram service on Richmond Road in 1910




Slide 17


Slide 17: Just over a hundred years later we are preparing for bike lanes on the same spot

Along with that is going to be a change in how these shops function and work as a “Village”.




Slide 18

Slide 18: Everyone has to have their own “see the light” experience – whether it is from travelling overseas or a direct experience of the benefits of getting on a bike

Kathryn’s team is doing a great job bringing together the data but we need more NZ examples demonstrating the economic and societal benefits.  I soak up what I hear from overseas experiences – for example the lessons from Canada shared by Tyler Golly in the photo – but there is distrust of what has happened outside of NZ and a view that it doesn’t apply here.


Slide 19

Slide 19: In Auckland we do have a unique political situation. I am a fan of the Super city as it has improved local democracy and stopped political meddling in delivering  transport solutions for the benefit of everyone.

But at the same time it has removed the community from the transport decision making process.

I’m looking forward to Kathryn’s presentation about the lessons from the trenches on doing engagement differently so I won’t go into that in detail here but communication and bringing the community along is definitely key. [Wellington City Councillor Sarah Free in her presentation in the same sessions made very good points about the lessons from the Island Bay cycleway experience including delivering a project the whole community can feel proud in and working closely with businesses and residents]

Of course we need to keep working to elect pro-cycling representatives.   [In the photo] Jessica Rose, fellow Frocker was recently elected to Albert Eden with her colleague Margi Watson who was instrumental in delivering the waterview path and is a recent convert to e-cycling

Get people on the inside doing the great work

Keep the tri-fecta strong – support the advocates

Slide 20

Slide 20:  I think it has been interesting to put together this presentation and attend the conference at a time of huge change resulting in bike lash.

It has been great to meet up with and acknowledge the many people on this journey.

Together I think we are going to ride this through (hopefully with renewed funding from the next government).   At future international conferences I am sure Kathryn will be doing presentations on the Auckland story of cycling success!