Councillor monthly report March 2022

Annual budget 22/23 Climate Action webinar on the panel with Cr Richard Hills

My Councillor report covers the period from 1 February to 7 March.  It has been prepared for the March business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Climate Political Reference Group
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group
  • All Councillors are members of the Planning, CCO Oversight, Finance & Performance and the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committees


  • All meetings and workshops continue to take place online.
  • Consultation on the Annual Budget 2022/23 including the Climate Action targeted rate got underway on 28 February. Consultation events are being held online. The first online community webinar was on the topic of the Climate Action Targeted rate (photo above on the panel with Cr Richard Hills)
  • Wynyard Point, January 2022

    The transformation of Auckland’s city centre waterfront continues. The next stage is a Wynyard Point Te Ara Tukutuku plan (what was tank farm and site of America’s cup bases). It will be the largest new park created in Auckland for 100 years.  Eke Panuku has put a call out to designers for this exciting regeneration project

  • This month I also provide updates from the Hauraki Gulf Forum and progress on the scheduling of notable trees.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.

On 3 February the Planning Committee

  • Delegated authority to the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee and an Independent Māori Statutory Board member to approve council’s input into Transforming Aotearoa New Zealand’s resource management system: Our future resource management system
  • Approved Private Plan Change 58 – 470 and 476 Great South Road and 2 and 8 Gatland Road, Papakura to the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part), under clause 17(2) of Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991.
  • Considered private plan change request – O’Hara Farm, Waiuku
  • Agreed to consider the agenda item “Auckland Film Studios budget update” as a confidential item.

On 8 February the Finance and Performance Committee

 On 8 February the Governing Body

  • Adopted the Supporting Information, and the Consultation Document for the Annual Budget 2022/2023, which include a statement of proposal for the proposed amendment to the council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2018.
  • Approved consultation material for Rating of Whenua Māori Changes to Financial Policies noting the need for the correction of minor errors.

 On 14 February the Auckland Domain Committee

  • Approved in principle the Symphony event to take place in the Auckland Domain for early 2023,
  • Received the Auckland Museum Update report.
  • Received the Auckland Domain – general and financial update report noting:
    • achievement of a green flag award for 2022 which recognises and rewards the Auckland Domain as providing a high quality and innovative recreational experience
    • that the Auckland Botanic Gardens will now be responsible for the horticultural outcomes at the Domain, which will deliver improvements in the curatorial management of the plant collections
    • that the addition of $700,000 of lighting and wastewater pipe renewal projects to this financial year’s programme will ensure that assets in the Domain are fit for purpose and Aucklanders can enjoy a world class park
    • that all the projects within the Auckland Domain work programme are on track and within budget.

Auckland Domain was cleared of anti-mandate protesters after a week-long illegal occupation thanks to a joint operation between Police and Auckland Council officers and with the strong support from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Ending the occupation as safety and as soon as possible had the full support of the Mayor and Councillors.

On 24 February the Governing Body

  • Considered the public feedback and local board input received on the proposed changes to the Significance and Engagement Policy and adopted the Significance and Engagement Policy 2022 with the following retained as strategic assets in the policy:
    • freehold interests in central Auckland waterfront land
    • shares in substantive Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).
  • Noted the Auckland Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Report
  • Noted the recommendation from the Appointments and Performance Review Committee – Chief Executive Remuneration Review be released to the public
  • Considered the following under confidentiality:
    • City Rail Link C9 Works Update
    • Eke Panuku Strategic Development Partnership Opportunity

 On 3 March the Planning Committee

  • Approved the grant allocations for the 2021/2022 Regional Historic Heritage Grants Programme funding round
  • Approved Auckland Council’s submission on the proposed amendments to the National Environmental Standards for Sources of Human Drinking Water
  • Endorsed the following principles for the application of the new policy 3(d) in the National Policy Statement – Urban Development for the purpose of developing draft proposals for public engagement in mid-April to early May in order to give effect to what central government has required of council:
    • no change to building heights and density of urban form withinNeighbourhood, Local and Town Centre zones (subject to a review of the Height Variation Controls to ensure consistency with the heights of proposed new zones surrounding the centres)
    • no additional Policy 3(d) intensification (beyond the application of zone(s) containing the Medium Density Residential Standards) for:
      • A)     All Neighbourhood Centres
      • B)      Local Centres that are small in size and/or have low accessibility
      • C)      Town Centres that have low accessibility
    • apply the Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings zone to residential zoned sites adjacent to the edge of a centre zone (up to around 200 metres) for:
      • A)      Local Centres that are both large in size and have high accessibility
      • B)      Town Centres that are small in size, but have high accessibility
    • apply the Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings zone to residential zoned sites adjacent to the edge of a centre zone up to around 400 metres for:
      • A)Town Centres that are large in size and have high accessibility.

Hauraki Gulf Forum

Photo James Liddell

The Hauraki Gulf, Aucklanders’ marine playground, is in a dire environmental state. This was seen first-hand on a visit to The Noises on 21 February at the invitation of the Neureuter family who hold the islands in a private trust.  The visit included representatives of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, the Helen Clark Foundation, Waiheke Marine Project and the Auckland Museum.

We heard about the collapse of the scallop beds, the depletion of key species, and the decline of sea bird populations all in a couple of generations. We also saw the kina barrens, a key indicator that the marine environment is dying. This is in contrast to the lush bush and bird life on the main island Ōtata where the removal of pests opened the way to phenomenal regeneration.

Fortunately, the family, working with mana whenua, are determined to restore the mauri of the moana. They have joined forces with Auckland Museum and the University of Auckland to put forward a marine protection proposal to government for The Noises (60km 2) to be included as a High Protection Area. It is an incredible place just 30 mins by boat from downtown Auckland.

The following Monday, the Hauraki Gulf Forum agreed to adopt an advocacy position for updating and strengthening the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000.  What should have been a very straight forward and logical step became the subject of a misinformation campaign leading up to the Forum’s meeting on 28 February.

The Forum’s decision, which is about how we can better advocate for the Gulf by raising the status of the Gulf for decision-makers and through revitalisation of the Forum under a Treaty partnership model, will have no impact on the ownership of private or public land such as Auckland’s Regional Parks, nor will it restrict access to the Hauraki Gulf in any way.

As I said in our co-chairs’ media release following the decision  “I look forward to taking our proposal to Ministers as I am convinced that we will see far greater action and transformational change by raising the status of the Hauraki Gulf for decision-makers and through revitalisation of the Forum under a Treaty partnership model.”

Scheduling of notable trees

Auckland Council is commencing assessment of 610 tree nominations for inclusion in the Notable Tree Schedule, with work underway to prepare a plan change for notification in 2023 to add trees that meet notable tree criteria to Schedule 10 of the Auckland Unitary Plan.

It follows a Planning Committee decision in November 2020 to schedule the trees when resources permit, with a longer-term focus on seeking the reinstatement by the government of general tree protections.

The November 2020 decision came about because I got support to change the recommendation from “agree that it is NOT financially viable to undertake tree scheduling” into a positive decision to “agree to schedule trees when resources allow”.  It has taken longer than anticipated to secure the resourcing but in the meantime lobbying to the government to reinstate tree protection has continued.

City Centre safety

A number of issues were brought by Chair Northey and me to the City Centre Community Safety Taskforce meeting on 18 February including the need for action on car sirens and the noise from modified vehicles (particularly an issue at the moment for Wynyard Quarter residents), hotspots in the city centre as a result of emergency housing and the safety concerns raised by representatives of the hospitality industry in a meeting I attended organised by MP Chlöe Swarbrick.

The taskforce has a new “Intention to collaborate” replacing the terms of reference of the original group and increased resourcing from council.

The taskforce provides a formal platform to connect key stakeholders including NZ Police with an interest in alcohol and safety management within the central city, and to build effective relationships and coordinate action in line with council’s safety plan.


With Cr Cathy Casey at the ATC production Grand Horizons

Due to the rising cases of Omicron and the on-going red restrictions there have been limited opportunities to attend in person meetings or events.  I was fortunate to work from the Waiheke Local Board office on 18 February from where I participated in an online Kāwanatanga workshop (enhancing the mana and mauri o te moana) as one of the panel members to talk about the Waiheke Marine Project future search experience.  I also met with a constituent to discuss the work underway on the Transport Emissions Reduction plan.

The production of Auckland Theatre Company’s Grand Horizons was able to go ahead but with limited audience numbers (photo right with Cr Cathy Casey)

Community mulching day at Harry Dansey Reserve, Freemans Bay

On 12 February I joined Waitematā Local Board members and volunteers to help spread mulch at Harry Dansey Park in Freeman’s Bay.  The project to revitalise a local park was orchestrated by local gardener Mark van Kaathoven and organised by Local Board member Adriana

Councillor monthly report July 2021

My Councillor report covers the period from 8 June 2021 until 9 July 2021.  It has been prepared for the July business meetings of the Waitematā Local Board.  Monthly reports were also prepared for the Aotea and Waiheke Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues. This month my report includes a transport update.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group


Transport update

The Regional Land Transport Plan: I decided to reluctantly vote for endorsing the RLTP when it came to the Planning Committee on 24 June because of the critical addition of resolutions d) and e) that I worked on with Cr Darby.

d) Noted Auckland Council’s commitment to Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri to halve emissions by 2030 requires further change to transport and land use policy and the mix of transport investment.

e) Note that, as requested by the Planning Committee on 11 March, council and Auckland Transport staff are jointly developing a Transport Emissions Reduction Plan for Auckland that will identify the pathways to support the required emissions reductions reflected in Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri, which includes:

  • i)           investigating the mix of future complementary transport investments that support emissions reduction;
  • ii)         investigating vehicle fleet and fuel decarbonisation;
  • iii)        investigating land transport pricing reform;
  • iv)        investigating urban growth management;
  • v)         investigating road space reallocation;
  • vi)        investigating behaviour change;
  • vii)      investigating addressing inequities arising from the impacts of decarbonisation;
  • viii)     reporting the approach to the Transport Emissions Reduction Plan for Auckland to Environment and Climate Change Committee and the Auckland Transport Board in August 2021 with a progress update by December 2021.

The final RLTP approved by the AT Board only decreases emissions by 1% by 2030 even with the inclusion of the government’s new EV feebate scheme and recent changes to the NZ Upgrade Project therefore a lot now hangs on getting the emissions plan right and aligning it with the RLTP.  This is backed up by Council’s support for the most ambitious emissions reductions pathway proposed by the Ministry of Transport.

Parking enforcement in the City Centre:  Following a presentation by AT to the Planning Committee on the Downtown Carpark I asked AT to confirm what parking management actions AT is taking currently to support the cultural and economic vibrancy of the city centre.   I highlighted a range of examples where it appears AT’s current parking approach actually results in outcomes contrary to AT’s stated goals (as shown in the image right).  The response from AT is attached (Attachment 6: Correspondence from Auckland Transport regarding AT’s work to support the cultural and economic vibrancy of the city centre).

The advice from AT regarding St Patricks Square appears to be contradictory however we are moving closer to a temporary designed solution using concrete blocks to stop illegal parking. AT has also confirmed that night patrols have been stepped up for the city centre’s shared spaces.

Auckland Transport’s delivery of “Healthy Streets” and the cycling programme:  I have been working with the Mayor and Councillors Hills, Bartley, and Darby on a “reset” in the way Auckland Transport delivers “Healthy Streets” and the cycling programme.  The correspondence attached outlines the concerns we have raised and the response from AT’s Board Chair.  (Attachment 7: Correspondence with Auckland Transport regarding the delivery of “Healthy Streets” and the cycling programme). This correspondence has also been reported on by Greater Auckland.

There are positive suggestions in AT’s response in particular the proposal to appoint a new single point of leadership within AT to oversee cycling outcomes and regarding the need for stronger direction from council on delivery expectations, the trade-offs involved, and the integration of cycling improvements with renewals work.  This is linked closely with issues that need to be addressed as part of the development of Auckland’s Transport Emissions Reduction Plan.  Auckland Council officials are currently working with AT on these matters.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions  

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only.

On 10 June the Environment and Climate Change Committee

  • Approved the adoption of the Natural Hazards Risk Management Action Plan.
  • Approved updating the Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund guidelines.
  • Supported in principle Pathway Four for Aotearoa (very strong emphasis on ‘avoid’ and ‘shift’ interventions, with a focus on early implementation) as outlined in the Ministry of Transport’s Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi: Transport Emissions: Pathways to Net Zero by 2050 and approved delegation of Auckland Council’s submission to the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, Chair and Deputy Chair of the Planning Committee, the Mayor and Independent Māori Statutory Board Member Glenn Wilcox.
  • Received a presentation from Auckland Zoo on their sustainability initiatives.

On 14 June the Auckland Domain Committee

  • Approved in principle the following events to take place in the Auckland Domain for the calendar years 2021, 2022 and 2023:
    • Breast Cancer Foundation NZ Pink Ribbon Walk
    • Cancer Society Walking Stars
    • Corporate Challenge
    • Christmas in the Park.
  • Approved the inclusion of zero waste goal to the Auckland Domain Event Operational Guidelines.
  • Endorsed the Three-Year Regional Work Programme for the Auckland Domain.
  • Endorsed parking restrictions for 100 Stanley Street Grafton (this introduces paid parking to the Domain for the first time). Note: On 8 June, to address issues of access, safety and amenity values of the Museum, some carparks were removed from Cenotaph Road and the Museum Circuit and gates were installed at the Titoki Street carpark to deter all day commuter parking

On 15 June The Appointments and Performance Committee

  • The confidential section of the agenda was with regards to the appointment and re-appointment of CCO directors
  • I was appointed to the selection panel for a new Auckland Transport director.

On 17 June the Finance and Performance Committee

  • Approved, subject to the satisfactory conclusion of any required statutory processes the disposal for urban renewal purposes of 24 Upper Municipal Place, Onehunga.
  • Received the June update on progress of the Emergency Budget 2020/2021.
  • Agreed to support the continued exploration of opportunities for the use of Infrastructure Funding and Financing Act 2020 mechanisms to enable growth infrastructure.
  • Approved the Auckland Council Group Procurement Policy.

On 22 June the Council Controlled Organisation Oversight Committee

  • Received the update on the implementation programme for the Council-controlled Organisations Review.
  • Approved Statement of Expectations for substantive Council-controlled Organisations. I have advocated for the use of section 92 to direct CCO’s to comply with council’s strategies but this was not supported by the Committee.

On 24 June the Governing Body

  • Approved the Independent Māori Statutory Board’s proposed funding agreement for the 2021/2022 financial year which comprises a total direct funding of $3,025,621 (opex).
  • Approved the decision-making responsibilities of Auckland Council’s Governing Body and Local Boards policy for inclusion in the long-term plan.
  • Approved the Bylaw Panel recommendations on the proposed changes to Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Ture ā-Rohe Urungi Āhuru / Auckland Council Navigation Bylaw 2021.
  • Approved the Group Remuneration Policy.

On 24 June the Planning Committee

  • Endorsed the final 2021-31 Regional Land Transport Plan for submitting to the Auckland Transport Board for final approval

On 29 June the Governing Body

  • Formally adopted the Recovery Budget (10-year Budget 2021-2031), as the council’s long-term plan for 2021-2031, including 21 local board agreements.
  • A late change was made to the deaths and serious injuries (DSI) performance measures by Auckland Transport. A target to reduce DSI “by at least 50” in 21/22 was changed to “increase by no more than 70”.  I supported the adoption of the budget but not this change.

On 1 July the Planning Committee

  • Received the Aotea/Great Barrier Local Board input regarding the implementation of resource management and heritage legislation on Aotea/Great Barrier Island and requested that the General Manager Plans and Places and General Manager Resource Consents prepare a memorandum for the Planning Committee on the matters raised. (photo right Chair Izzy Fordham, Local Board member Valmaine Toki and Don Prince presenting to the Committee)
  • Noted progress towards the Auckland Plan 2050 outcomes in the Annual Monitoring Report 2021.
  • Following a presentation on the National Policy Statement Urban Development 2020, noted that the Auckland Unitary Plan Regional Policy Statement already includes appropriate policies to enable “well-functioning urban environments”.
  • Approved the development of a plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan Regional Policy Statement that includes a new policy (or policies) on reducing green-house gas emissions and criteria that private plan change requests will be required to meet to be considered as adding ‘significant development capacity’ under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.
  • In response to the intensification provisions of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, endorsed the approaches in the areas of:
    • Walkable catchments
    • Qualifying matters
    • Special Character Areas Overlay

 On 8 July the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

  • approved and adopted the Economic Development Action Plan: Council’s role in Auckland’s recovery 2021-24.
  • approved ‘Kia Ora Tāmaki Makaurau – Māori Outcomes Performance Measurement Framework’ including the performance measures.
  • approved 2021/2022 Cultural Initiatives Fund grants, at a total value of $1.2m, for marae and papakāinga/Māori housing development
  • approved the 2021/2022 financial year Community Facilities Regional Work Programme
  • approved the 2021/2022 Arts and Culture Regional Work Programme and regional arts organisations’ funding allocations for a three-year term to Q Theatre, $943,944 and Te Tuhi, $604,673
  • approved the Regional Sport and Recreation Facilities Operating Grant preliminary allocation programme for 2022-2024 and the Regional Sport and Recreation Grants Programme 2021/2022 budget
  • approved $552,000 for 2021-2022 to Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation, for sport and recreation outcomes. Aktive are required to distribute a minimum of $512,000 between their delivery partners: Harbour Sport, Sport Waitakere, Sport Auckland, and CLM Community Sport. Aktive can retain up to $40,000 for regional work programmes

Attendance at events 8 June – 9 July 2021 

  • On 8 June I attended a drop in session for Project WAVE at Sierra Café, Viaduct hosted by Auckland Transport and attended the opening night of The Marriage of Figaro at the invitation of NZ Opera.
  • On 11 June I spoke at the Karangahape Road Enhancements official opening (Attachment 2 Our Auckland: Celebrating the revamped Karangahape Road) and was hosted on a tour of MOTAT by the CE Michael Frawley with Cr Richard Hills (photo right).
  • On 12 June I attended Western Springs Lakeside park planting day organized by the Conservation Volunteers.
  • On 15 June attended an onsite residents meeting on Sentinel Road to discuss maintenance issues
  • On 16 June I visited Aotea/Great Barrier to attend Marine Education Hui. Students of Aotea presented what they had learnt about marine ecology, their chosen motu-specific environmental issue and their solutions, including their proposed marine protected areas and why there. The event was organized by the S.E.A Trust (Sea Education Aotea) who work with all the local schools to provide sailing and kayaking and water skills training . I was also interviewed for Aotea FM
  • On 17 June I attended the UDINZ panel discussion Rezoning Ponsonby ? (Attachment 4 Ponsonby News update 29 June 2021:  Rezoning Ponsonby?)
  • On 18 June I attended Newmarket Business Awards at the Cordis Hotel at the invitation of the Newmarket Business Association
  • On 20 June I visited the From the Deck planting day event with the Conservation Volunteers.
  • On 22 June I attended The Government’s Sea Change Announcement. (See Attachment 3 for the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s press release response to Government’s ‘Revitalising the Gulf).
  • Also on 22 June I spoke at the launch of Auckland Foundation’s Hauraki Gulf Regeneration Fund. The fund has adopted our goals of riparian planning and shellfish restoration as its initial areas of focus.
  • On 23 June I attended Waiheke Local Board Business Meeting via Skype and presented my Councillor’s update for June.
  • On 24 June attended opening night of The Life of Galileo at the invitation of the Auckland Theatre Company.
  • On 25 June I was interviewed by Jemima Huston on 95bFM where we discussed the Hauraki Gulf regeneration, Karangahape Road enhancements and Matariki celebrations.
  • Minister Woods cutting the ribbon in the basement carpark of Kokihi apartments

    Also on 25 June I attended the Kokihi Official Opening Ceremony, celebrating the opening of 95 new homes, including 47 KiwiBuilds, in Waterview

  • On 26 June I attended Te Karanga ā Hape, a huge celebration of Karangahape Road and Matariki.
  • Also on 26 June I attended the New Zealand premiere of The Lion King at Spark Arena.
  • With Katz who features on the cover of the Piki Toi book supported with funding from the Waitematā Local board

    On 1 July attended the Piki toi book launch at Merge Café

  • On 2 July joined the PM, Mayor and many others to formally open Te Wānanga, the new ‘Tidal Shelf’ that extends out from Quay St in downtown Auckland as part of the upgraded Ferry Basin and Te Ngau o Horotiu the new 6 ferry piers on Queens Wharf. (photo below)
  • On 4 July attended Auckland Street Choir Matariki waiata fundraising event.
  • On 5 July attended Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki’s pōwhiri for Tom Irvine, who is now officially Deputy Director of the gallery.
  • On 6 July I volunteered at Everybody Eats with the Mayor and Cr Josephine
  • On 8 July attended the dawn karakia for the Reuben Paterson’s Guide Kaiārahia, a 10 metre high waka that rises from the Auckland Art Gallery’s forecourt pool and in the evening I attended MOTAT’s Love/Science exhibition opening


Pukekawa Auckland Domain gets extra love from a special committee

Pukekawa Auckland Domain is uniquely governed. Established in 2015, the Domain Committee is made up of 3 councillors, 3 Waitematā Local Board members and 2 Independent Māori Statutory Board members.  The Committee, led by Cr Desley Simpson and Deputy Chair Adriana Avendano Christie (in the photo above), has responsibility for parks, recreation and community services and activities in the Auckland Domain. It is working to the principles from the Auckland Domain masterplan 2016 including creating a safe, people friendly places and pathways for visitors to Pukekawa.

The Domain is our oldest and one of our largest urban public parks and provides a range of things to see and do. It was one of 24 parks across Aotearoa to receive a Green Flag Award in 2020. The award recognises and rewards parks and green spaces providing high quality and innovative recreational experiences for our communities.

Unfortunately for those needing to drive to access the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Wintergardens and use the open spaces for relaxing, recreation and playing sport are finding visitor parking increasingly hard to find.  We’ve seen an increase in vehicles parked at the Domain by commuters and workers who aren’t using our premier park’s facilities. The use of the Domain as a large commuter car park is also having a negative impact on the safety of walkers and riders. The Auckland War Memorial Museum has raised concerns that heritage views of the museum are being obscured by parked cars, and that the increase in vehicles circulating around the Museum Circuit is a safety risk to visitors and blocking access to the Museum for buses and coaches.

Accessibility improvement is a focus for the Auckland Domain committee and so we’ve agreed to take steps to improve visitor’s safety, open the heritage views of the museum, and to ensure there is access to parking for visitors.  From 8 June there will be changes to where and when people can park. Some carparks from Cenotaph Road and the Museum Circuit are being permanently removed and we’re introducing access restrictions to Titoki Street carpark.

Gates are being installed at the Titoki Street car park and will be used to limit access to the free, time restricted 130 parking spaces during weekdays. The gates will open at 9.30am and close at 10pm, Monday to Thursday and will remain open over the weekend. The change in access will be trialed over the next year before a final decision on these changes is made.  There is no change at this stage to the remaining 430 free, time restricted carparks in the Auckland Domain.

As a member of the Committee I’m very supportive of this positive step towards meeting Council’s obligations under the Auckland Domain Act 1987 “to make the Domain available as a place of public recreation and enjoyment” but it will take more radical changes to end the vehicle domination of our premier park. No one expects to drive through internationally renowned parks such as Hyde Park or Central Park or to park all day for free. We can aspire for so much better for our previous green spaces too.

First published in the Ponsonby News June 2021

Councillor Report March 2020

General update

  • My Councillor report, covering the period from 31 January until 29 February 2020, is prepared for the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards’ March business meeting agendas.
  • 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 minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website here.

Planning Committee on 4 February 2020

  • Approved Auckland Council’s submission on the Land Transport (Rail) legislation bill
  • Approved approach to the Auckland Council’s submission on the Urban Development Bill

Governing Body on 12 and 27 February 2020

  • Adopted the Draft Tūpuna Maunga Operational Plan 2020/2021
  • Adopted the consultation material and supporting documentation for Annual Budget 2020/2021
  • Adopted the amendments to the Revenue and Financing Policy
  • Approved the draft submission to the Justice Committee’s inquiry into the 2019 Local Elections and Liquor Licensing Trust Elections, and Recent Energy Trust Elections
  • Approved the submission on funding options for Fire and Emergency New Zealand

CCO Oversight Committee on 18 February

Received the updated report on the CCO Review work programme and requested the report be circulated to local boards

Auckland Domain Committee on 25 February

  • Requested staff explore costs and possible funding to implement recommendations in the master plan
  • Requested staff investigate options to meet the shortfall for the Accessible Improvement Programme (aiming to improve walking and cycling in the Domain)

*Note: This is not intended to be a complete summary of all governing body and committee meetings. Refer Auckland Council’s website for full details

Hauraki Gulf Forum

  •  The Hauraki Gulf Forum is a statutory body, which promotes and facilitates integrated management and the protection and enhancement of the Hauraki Gulf, under the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000.
  • Hauraki Gulf Forum members are representatives of the Ministers of Conservation, Fisheries and Māori Development, elected representatives of Auckland Council (7 in total including representatives from Waiheke Local Board and Aotea Great Barrier), Waikato Regional Council, Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Waikato and Matamata-Piako District Councils and 6 representatives of the tangata whenua of the Hauraki Gulf and its islands appointed by the Minister of Conservation.
  • At the first Hauraki Gulf Forum meeting of the term on 17 February the historic decision was made to adopt a co-governance model with co-chairs (one elected by all forum members and one co-chair recommended by the tangata whenua representatives). I was delighted to be elected one of the co-chairs.
  • The ‘State of our Gulf 2020’ report released on 27 February by the Hauraki Gulf Forum puts a spotlight on the ongoing environmental degradation facing the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. (Attachment 1: Media Release from the Hauraki Gulf Forum: The Hauraki Gulf is hurting and needs our help)

Events and other meetings

  • Attended a range of meetings with the Environment and Climate Change Committee Chair in my role as Deputy Chair
  • First Mayor and Councillors catch up of the year held on 3 February

    I attend a weekly chairs’ catch up with the Mayor and a fortnightly Mayor and Councillors catch up

  • I have a fortnightly meeting for transport updates relating to ward issues
  • Attended the LGNZ National Council meeting on 10 February and the Metro Sector meeting (as alternate to the Mayor) on 14 February
  • Attended the Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 18 February to give my Councillor’s update
  • Met with the Chair of the Environment and Climate Change committee to finalise the Council’s submission on the Reducing waste: A more effective landfill levy paper
  • On Friday 21 February I hosted a Councillor “clinic” on Waiheke with booked appointment times including meeting Cycle Action Waiheke (photo below), caught up with the Waiheke Community Art Gallery Director, enjoyed a delicious Kai Conscious Cafe lunch, got taken on a site visit to the WWII lookout and historic buildings, popped by the Whitaker’s music museum (gate crashed MP Nikki Kaye’s meeting!) and wrapped up the day meeting local board chair Cath Handley.
  • The Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting on 26 February confirmed Heart of the City’s CEO Viv Beck as chair
  • Met with the CCO Review panel on 28 February
  • Throughout the month I meet constituents on request and request a range of meetings to follow up on issues raised with me.

I also attended the following events:

  • Official Opening on 4 February of Te Ipu Kōrero o Maungawhau and Whau Cafe on Maungawhau / Mount Eden hosted by the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority (photo right with Councillors Bartley, Filipaina and Casey and members of the Authority)
  • Waitangi Day ki Ōkahu 2020 festival hosted by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei
  • Farewell reception for Stephen Jacobi from New Zealand China Council at the Northern Club on 10 February
  • Scales to Tails dinner hosted by Peter Gordon at the invite of The Sugar Club and Ōra King
  • Whales Tales Auckland 2021 launch at the Auckland Art Gallery on 11 February
  • Wynyard Quarter Celebration hosted by Willis Bond & Co on 12 February
  • Opening by the PM on 13 February of Te Whare Hīnātore, City Mission’s new transitional housing programme, assisting wāhine experiencing homelessness
  • Minister of Transport Phil Twyford, the Mayor and elected representatives

    Sod turning for the portal where the boring machine will launch to build the City Rail Link tunnels connecting Mt Eden Station to the new Aotea Station (photo right)

  • Opening night of Roger Hall’s play Winding Up at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company on 13 February
  • Sod turning for the start of the Tamaki Drive cycleway on 16 February (photo right the Mayor and Minister of Transport Phil Twyford with the spades)
  • Waitematā Local Board’s Myers Park Medley festival on 16 February
  • Opening of the Auckland Fringe Festival 2020 on 17 February at Caluzzi Cabaret
  • Launch by the Mayor of City Hop’s EV vehicles at the Crowne Plaza on 20 February
  • Auckland Museum Medals on 26 February
  • Media briefing for the release of the State of the Gulf report by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage MP and two of the authors. The report is a major piece of work led by the former Hauraki Gulf Chair John Meeuwsen and Deputy Chair Moana Tamaariki-Pohe.
  • Participated on the panel of the Auckland Conversations “Gift of the Gulf” at the RNZYC on 27 February (photo right)
  • A walk of the Waitematā Local Board boundary on 29 February with Living Streets Aotearoa’s Andy Smith, continuing the tradition of starting the new term with Beating the Bounds – a walk of the boundary to ensure neighbouring local boards haven’t “encroached” over the last three years and to check out projects along the way. I walked with local board members until the point on Newton Road (photo right) where my ward boundary diverges and then walking the shared Ōrākei boundary with Cr Desley Simpson to Tamaki Drive
  • Ponsonby Road Street Festival on 29 February
  • Mayor Phil Goff, Sir Bob Harvey, Covert Theatre Trustee Mike Hutchinson and founder Wade Jackson at the opening of Covert Theatre, Ponsonby

    Opening Covert Theatre at the invitation of The Yes and Trust

Regional grants

The Regional Event Fund and the Regional Community Development Grants were allocated at the Parks, Arts, Community and Events committee on 13 February.

Regional consultation topics

  • The Annual Budget 2020/21 consultation started on 21 February and will continue until 22 March. Have your save events are being held across the region.
  • The independent panel appointed to review how well Auckland Council’s CCOs are working is hosting drop-in sessions across the region so Aucklanders can provide their feedback into the review. Consultation on the review closes on 22 March.
  • The engagement and consultation documents are available at akhaveyoursay.

Significant issues and ward issues (as at 29 February)

Leys Institute Library Building

  • In response to a planned “save the Leys Institute building” protest on 26 February I provided this update:

I appreciate the considerable concerns regarding the sudden closure of the much-loved Leys Institute buildings and the desire to see the restoration happen as fast as possible and library services resumed.

I am not able to attend the protest but want to provide a reassurance that I am not aware of any part of council that considers demolition to be a viable or desirable option for a class A scheduled building (even if it were possible under the Leys bequest) .

The report on the options will be going to the local board in June.  I am absolutely committed to the restoration of the building and the return of library services (temporary services are due to open in mid-March at 14 Jervois Road).  My role is to work with the local board to ensure the project secures what is likely to be a considerable budge, from the governing body (Councillors and Mayor).

On-going water issues during the dry weather

  • The lack of rainfall over summer has been particularly hard for Aucklanders on tank water. Updates have been provided regularly on the support available during the dry weather.
  • Watercare is monitoring water levels and reports that, with nearly 65 per cent storage in its dams, the municipal water supply is stable. It is running a campaign to remind customers to be waterwise during dry periods when demand is high.
  • An advice brochure for tank owners is being distributed via council’s community networks and is available to download from OurAuckland.

 COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

The Mayor has been in regular contact with the Director General of Health and is providing regular updates. Since the first case arrived in New Zealand the main message is that Aucklanders should be prepared but should not panic – they should take sensible measures and contact health officials if they are worried:

    • There is no reason for people to change the way they go about their daily lives
    • The first case is being well managed, and the patient is in a stable condition
    • Ministry of Health and the airport are moving to meet everyone coming off flights to give people information on what to do should they feel unwell


Together with the Local Board transport portfolio lead Graeme Gunthorp I have been following up on a number of transport issues that I would like to see Auckland Transport resolve including:

  • Car transporters unloading illegally on Great North Road
  • Enforcement of car parking on berms and on footpaths. I dispute AT’s position on this issue and do not agree that signage is required before AT can take enforcement action.
  • East bound bus lanes on Customs Street that are needed as a result of the ongoing closure of Lower Albert Street.

The positive resolution by Auckland Transport of issues I have raised on behalf of constituents includes:

  • confirmation that traffic calming on Clifton Road is going ahead as part of the Herne Bay walking and cycling project
  • the installation of new safety barriers on the Westerns Springs Shared path (photo right)


  • I was quoted in the Hauraki Gulf Forum media release: The Hauraki Gulf is hurting and needs our help
  • My regular Ponsonby News column was published in the March edition
  • I wrote an OpEd for the NZ Herald about the positive side of seeing so many orange road cones in Auckland. Humble orange cone means the future is coming  (Our Auckland version)


There are no gift disclosures this month.  Invitations to events are all noted above.


Chair’s monthly report June 2019

This report covers the period 15 May until 11 June 2019. It is on the agenda for the local board business meeting held on 18 June.

Climate Emergency Declaration

Rangatahi o Tāmaki Makaurau (and Grant Hewitson from the Waitematā Low Carbon Network) speaking up for climate action. Photo credit: Cr Richard Hills

At the local board meeting on 4 June we supported member Denise Roche’s Notice of Motion calling for an Auckland Council declaration of an ecological and climate emergency.

Notice of Motion – Member D Roche – Ecological and Climate Emergency Declaration

MOVED by Member DR Roche, seconded by Member A Avendano Christie:

That the Waitematā Local Board:

a)                  note its concerns about the ecological and climate crisis

b)                  support any Auckland Council declaration of an ecological and climate emergency for the Auckland region

c)         urge the Governing Body to declare an ecological and climate emergency for the Auckland region

d)         note that the Governing Body will shortly be consulting on Auckland’s Climate Action Plan

e)         forward these resolutions to the Environment and Community Committee, all local boards and to Auckland Transport for their consideration and immediate action.

Denise spoke at the Environment and Community Committee on 11 June on behalf of the local board.  The Committee voted unanimously to join a growing community of cities around the world who have formally and publicly recognised the urgency for action on climate change by declaring a climate emergency.

“Our declaration further elevates the importance of an immediate national and global response to address our changing climate,” said Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of the committee.

Photo credit right Cr Richard Hills: Rangatahi o Tāmaki Makau Rau (and Grant Hewitson from the Waitematā Low Carbon Network) speaking up for climate action.

Attachment 1:  Our Auckland article Waitematā Local Board welcomes Climate Emergency


The local board is committed to road safety and street design which delivers “slower traffic speeds, safer intersections and footpaths and cycle lanes built to international best practice” (Local Board Plan 2017).   The transport portfolio has been working on a number of safety related projects.

Solent St intersection

We have supported AT removing the slip lanes at Solent Street intersection design as part of the Tamaki Drive cycleway project (photo right: a truck using the slip lane at speed).

In a very surprising and disappointing letter the Ports of Auckland CEO has outlined why he opposes the removal of the slip lanes. Auckland Transport has provided a response robustly outlining why the preferred design has been chosen,

Attachment 2: Correspondence with Ports of Auckland.

Pedestrian crossings

We support the programme Auckland Transport has underway to upgrade crossings to slow drivers down and make streets safer for pedestrians.  This has resulted in improved crossings on Parnell Road (photo right).

The local board has also successfully advocated for new crossings on Kelmarna Ave by Marist School and College Hill by St Mary’s College.

Community Safety Fund

Local Boards have been allocated a share of a new one-off Community Safety Fund. This fund is $20 million split over the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Financial Years and is designed to address safety issues raised by local communities, that don’t meet Auckland Transport’s regional prioritisation for funding. The fund is divided between the 21 local board areas using the area’s numbers of Deaths and Serious Injuries, as a major component of the funding formula.

Waitematā Local Board has been allocated approx. $1.4m from the fund.  A decision on which projects to progress to the next stage (AT preparation of rough order of costs) will be made at the business meeting on 18 June.  Attachment 3 ( Item 24 ) outlines the projects considered for funding from the Community Safety Fund and additional projects the transport portfolio would like AT to progress.

Tactical Urbanism

Auckland Transport is working NZTA on a new Innovating streets toolkit to allow for quicker interventions that promote healthy and safe roads.

I have asked AT to consider the following projects for the quick win/tactical urbanism approach.

  • Midtown to the Domain route needing minor physical changes and wayfinding: Wellesley St cycle lane connection to the Princes St slip lane alongside Wellesley St up to Symonds St Bridge (cycle crossing phase at the intersection Wellesley/Princes St) crossing to Whitaker Place with ped crossing phase via Grafton Gully cycleway to Grafton Road “shared path” on northern side to the Domain
  • Painted cycle lane connection to the current feeder lane on Williamson Ave at Ponsonby Road. Eg connection to start at MacKelvie St intersection alongside the service station through Pollen St intersection (markings already exist as an oversize vehicle lane and no parking has to be removed)- this will create visibility of people on bikes as currently a safety issue with number of vehicle crossings into service station
  • Alex Evans Drive connection between Symonds St and Upper Queen St bridge/start of Ian McKinnnon cycleway – plans were developed about four years ago by AT
  • Crummer Road contra flow at Scanlan St – currently blocked to through traffic but ideal to create a cut through for people on bikes (currently used informally) – first logged with AT in 2011

Western Springs shared path

Local board advocacy has resulted in construction of the Western Springs shared path on Great North Road.  NZTA and AT first undertook to progress this work in 2013 as part of the St Lukes interchange project.  I escalated the unacceptable delay to the project after a cyclist was seriously injured in a crash with a driver coming off the motorway.

We are however disappointed that the final design doesn’t include raised tables on the off ramps as recommended by AT.  NZTA has advised as follows:

We have been working with AT but we are finding it challenging to find a solution that keeps all our vulnerable uses (cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclist) safe. The issue is that there is a lack of a policy position on raised tables at motorway interchanges. We have recognised this as an issue and we are working as quickly as possible to form a view. We are very cognisant that the world is changing and that we need to work with our partners (AT and stakeholders) to ensure our policies keep up with urban form and urban development.

To confirm where we are at:

  • The Transport Agency is happy with the off-ramp realignment, where the curve has been straightened
  • The Transport Agency is happy with the on-ramp alignment, although we would prefer that it is re-aligned to reduce entry speed
  • The Transport Agency has not made a decision on raised tables at motorway interchanges at this point. The AT proposal sets significant precedence and the lack of an Agency policy position has serious implications on other projects in Auckland and wider New Zealand
  • Until a policy can be confirmed we are advising that the Agency is not in support of raised table junctions at these locations
  • We have engaged with parties internal to the Agency to establish a path forward so we can have a clear direction going forward
  • This has been escalated to the highest point in our organisations and they are aware of the issue (Tier 2 in NZTA and CEO at AT)

As mentioned our safety team is working as quickly as possible to establish a path forward. It has been suggested that the works could be completed without raised tables, which could be retrofitted at a later date should it become policy.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path

On 22 May NZTA announced a preferred design for the Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path (formally known as SkyPath). The local board has been advocating for this project for many years.

NZTA is currently analysing the current consent and conditions and working to see if the preferred design fits within it.  A variation is a possibility. A detailed business case is being currently being developed.  Best case scenario is a Dec 2020 construction start.

A drop-in session is planned for 4 July between 4-8pm at Ponsonby Cruising Club, 141-151 Westhaven Drive, Westhaven. NZTA has reaffirmed this project is a priority for the Government.

Western Springs resource consent – next steps

On 4 June the Waitematā Local Board received a briefing on the outcomes of the resource consent hearing for the removal of pine trees at Te Wai Orea – Western Springs Lakeside Park and received recommendations on the next steps in order to progress the local board’s native forest restoration project. The resource consent has been granted for the removal of 200+ pine trees with a set of conditions.

The local board has accepted the advice of officers to proceed with the project. We considered the additional conditions and noted as follows:

  • The independent commissioners reviewed all the evidence presented and determined that removal of the pines in one operation as now proposed is a practicable approach to enhancing the indigenous biodiversity values of the SEA and providing for the appreciation of the park as an urban forest (para 145 of the decision)
  • The commissioners accepted that removal is required due to ongoing and increasing health and safety concerns in relation to the trees continuing decline and failure (para 117)
  • The alternative option of allowing the pines to fall and the indigenous vegetation to continue to develop was considered, but rejected as this would require the closure of the pine tree area and involve no access and no pest control. This will lead to the proliferation of pest plants and hinder the regeneration of the indigenous vegetation (para 119).
  • The methodology has been revised to focus on the aim of restoring and enhancing the park’s SEA values. The access track will only be to the width of the digger (up to 4m wide is consented, but likely to be less) and for 200m (50 per cent less area than originally proposed).
  • Removal of tree trunks will be limited and most will be mulched on site.
  • An independent ecologist will provide oversight to limit the damage to the understory. This will be minimised as much as possible – at the most extreme there could be up to 50 per cent damage to low level plants but due to the change in methodology damage is likely to be a lot less. Soil erosion and silt run off will also be minimised.
  • An independent arborist is required to oversee the works and will work closely with the independent ecologist to minimise damage from the tree felling
  • Planting will be from a “species palette” consistent with the SEA values. Up to 15,000 plants are available, but with the reduction in the plantable area (due to the trunks remaining in situ) there is likely to be space for approximately 10,000 plants
  • As part of the conditions Council will appoint a community liaison person to be available 12 hours per day; updates will be provided every second day on a purpose-built webpage

The next window for pine removal is now Feb/March 2020 (to avoid bird roosting season, wet weather etc). The whole operation including planting will take approximately 6 weeks.  There will then be the opportunity for community engagement and involvement to determine the management going forward and potential track upgrades.

Officers have advised that unfortunately it is not possible to open the walking track in the interim. A buffer zone would need to be created alongside the track and as the trees are over 60m tall nearly all would need to be removed.

The commissioner’s decision can still be appealed.  This will further delay the restoration project and limit the park’s use for public access and recreational purposes.

Western Springs Lakeside Park update

I have been providing a regular update on path cleaning and other maintenance matters at Westerns Springs Lakeside Park.  Following my Ponsonby News update in May I received a complaint about the park and the accuracy of my reporting.  I provided the following response (published in the June Ponsonby News):

I have visited the park and followed up with Mr Hay to confirm that what I reported in my Ponsonby News update is correct. I agree that we want Western Springs Lakeside Park to be well maintained but the huge amount of geese poo is an ongoing issue.  Here is a summary from Council’s Senior Maintenance Delivery Coordinator about the action being taken:  cleaning of the pathway is being completed a minimum of five times a week. The contractor has been instructed to check the path every day and if cleaning is required it is to be completed that day. The contractor has been using a combination of a sweeping vehicle and water blasting to clear the path. Recently Community Facilities has also been trialling some methods to keep the geese from congregating on the path. The most recent trial involves a low level temporary fence. It has been successful at keeping the geese off a portion but unfortunately the geese just move on to another area of the path and cause the same issues. Council’s long-term solution to reduce the number of geese will greatly improve the situation and at this stage we are aiming to begin control in late June.

The water quality and sediment issues that Mr Hay referred to have been forwarded on to Council’s Healthy Waters department. The rubbish floating at the water’s edge should be removed by the contractors as loose litter. A recent inspection has confirmed that the bins that should be in place are in place. There are still park benches that require replacement following last year’s storm.

City Centre amenities

The local board is championing the provision of public toilets in the city centre. Work is currently underway on a City Centre Amenities strategic review following the local board raising concerns that the public toilets at the new CRL stations  will be located behind gate barriers with no plans to install accessible facilities and no part of council responsible for mapping the location of public toilets (the most up to date resource has been created by board member Vernon Tava on his personal website).

In the meantime Auckland Transport is rolling out a Bus Driver Exeloo Programme in the City Centre that also provides a public toilet in a number of locations.  The programme includes a Exeloo on Lower Albert St that was installed last year and a new Exeloo opened on Victoria St at the beginning of June (photo right).  The local board provided input into the locations and suggested including drinking fountains.

AT has provided the following update on other locations:

Quay Street (seaside 120m east of Tapora Street):     This site supports bus layovers for some 24 buses opposite Vector Arena.  The unit will sit between the new cycle path and the old footpath with access from the footpath side only.  Because of the cycle traffic through this area, AT will also be installing a drinking fountain (with dog drinking bowl) to the specification requested by the LB.

City Works Depot:  AT could not find a suitable site on Nelson (Wellesley St or Cook Street) and City Works Deport did not want an Exeloo on their Sale St frontage which they are developing.  So we again approached CWD with a lease proposal.  The agreement is to build a bespoke, secure keypad access, single-unit toilet within the CWD site, next to customer toilets in the Nelson St retaining wall.  Drivers will access the toilet via the spiral stairs from Nelson Street.     The agreement sees CWD designing, constructing, cleaning and maintaining the toilet for the exclusive use by bus drivers in exchange for an annual lease fee; ultimately the asset will pass to CWD once permanent bus layover facilities are created in the CBD.

FY19/20 Forward Plan:  FY19/20 funding has yet to be confirmed, however AT Metro Service Delivery have approved a project mandate to investigate further Exeloo sites as follows:

  • Bus Driver Exeloo sites: Mayoral Drive (near AUT); Nuffield Street Newmarket; Hobson Street (between Wolfe & Wyndam St) Avondale Terminus (Copsey Place); Waikowhai Terminus
  • Rail Exeloo Sites: Parnell Station; Grafton Station; Ellerslie Station; Glenn Innes Station; Papatoetoe Station; Middlemore Station

Auckland Domain

We’re fortunate to have an excellent maintenance manager for Waitematā. Karl (photo right) is passionately on the case sorting out issues in our parks.

On June he was happy to meet me for a site visit at the Domain (along with his boss) to look at a few maintenance issues that have been logged with me.  Lots of work is underway to make the Domain a world class premier park.

For the first time Auckland Museum has an accessible (very grand and beautifully landscaped) pathway to the front door. On 27 May, the Mayor announced the new official name Te Ara Oranga (Attachment 4: Our Auckland Domain Pathway Officially Opened)

At the Domain Committee meeting on 5 June four new paths funded by the local board were approved (details on the agenda under Item 24).

In another milestone for the Domain the new Wintergarden nursery glasshouses were blessed on 11 June by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.  Cr Mike Lee spoke at the opening.

Homelessness initiatives

We’re continuing to look at ways to fund small initiatives that complement Housing First Auckland and other regional projects that address homelessness. From a $20,000 allocation Lifewise Auckland will receive a $10,000 grant to support the initial scoping of an Auckland Housing Help Centre; an $8,000 grant will go to Heart of the City to support their Street Guardians Programme, and $2,000 will go towards volunteer training facilitated by the Auckland City Mission.  (Attachment 5: Our Auckland Homeless Community shown support in Waitemata)

The city centre targeted rate paid by businesses and residents contributed $2million to the upgrade of James Liston Hostel in Freemans Bay. On 5 June the Mayor, joined by Minister Phil Twyford opened the newly revamped facility providing 55 emergency beds with wrap around services. It has been a tremendous effort by the Hostel Trust team led Dame Diane Robertson and supported by Lifewise and the City Mission.

Enhancing Auckland’s tree cover

On 2 June Stuff journalist Charlie Mitchell reported on The Aotearoa Chainsaw Massacre.  In 2013 the former National-led government removed general tree protection rules leading to the loss of many urban trees. Here’s what the local board has been doing to enhance and protect tree cover:

  • opposed the RMA changes and have continued to advocate for tree protection
  • worked to identify trees to be scheduled in the Unitary Plan – this was work led by former board member Tricia Reade
  • included as many trees as possible in our projects (eg Teed St upgrade) and have pushed AT to identify new opportunities for tree pits
  • supported the revised City Centre Masterplan revised target of increasing streets trees in the city centre by 25 per cent by 2021.
  • support Auckland’s Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy and the Mayor’s 1 million trees project
  • working to develop a local urban ngahere implementation plan
  • funding tree planting for Arbor Day (Photo right: planting in Newmarket Park on 8 June)
  • funding volunteer plantings and regeneration projects
  • allocated a grant the Urban Tree Alliance for an Adopt a Tree event in Western Park
  •  funded the LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) data mapping to calculate the “canopy cover” of Waitemata
  • part of the team that helped Save the Western Springs Pohutukawas
  • planted fruit trees in Grey Lynn Park
  • Deputy Chair Shale Chambers was part of the City Centre Advisory Board working group who have successfully secured agreement from AT to include more street trees in the Albert St upgrade design
  • And at Western Springs up to 15,000 new trees will be planted as part of a native bush regeneration project.

Annual Budget 19/20

At a business meeting on 4 June we approved the Waitemata local content for the Annual Budget 2019/2020 which includes a Local Board Agreement, a message from the chair, local board advocacy, and a local fees and charges schedule for 2019/2020. Each financial year, Auckland Council must have a Local Board Agreement between the Governing Body and each local board, for each local board area. On 20 June 2019, the Governing Body will meet to adopt Auckland Council’s Annual Budget 2019/2020, including 21 local board agreements.

Attachment 6: Our Auckland Youth leadership developed with spoken word poetry (funding provided from the local board community grant fund 18/19)

Meetings and workshops: 15 May until 11 June

  •  Planning Committee workshop on 15 May
  • Meeting to discuss SBN’s GulfX project on 15 May
  • Meeting with University of Auckland healthy homes researchers on 16 May
  • LGNZ National Council meeting in Wellington on 17 May (photo right with Mayor Justin Lester who recently announced his intention to make Lambton Quay car free)
  • Weekly chairs catch up held on 20 May, 27 May and 10 June
  • Meeting on 20 May hosted by Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, local board representatives and Auckland Transport to discuss the speed bylaw implementation
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 21 May
  • Monthly catch up with the GM of the K’rd Business Association on 22 May
  • Communications meeting on 22 May
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board workshop and meeting on 22 May
  • Meeting on 23 May with Civic Events and Regional Facilities Auckland to discuss the organisation of citizenship ceremonies at the Town Hall
  • LGNZ Zone 1 meeting on 24 May
  • Meeting with the Pop Up Globe team on 24 May
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 28 May, 4 and 11 June
  • Transport portfolio meeting on 29 May
  • Joint Governing Body/Local Board Chairs meeting on 29 May
  • Meeting with Trevor Dunn and Boud Hammelburg, Advisors to Westhaven Forum Trust at Royal NZ Yacht Club on 31 May
  • Meeting with Community Facilities managers on 5 June to discuss Victoria Park car park driveway renewal
  • Domain Committee workshop and business meeting on 5 June
  • Meeting with Newmarket Business Association GM on 1 May
  • Domain Committee meeting on 5 June
  • Meeting with GM Parnell Business Association on 6 June
  • Attended meeting on 6 June organised by Hon Nikki Kaye with businesses impacted by CRL works
  • Meeting with Parnell Business Association GM on 5 June
  • Informal catch up with the Chair, Waiheke Local Board on 6 June
  • Local Board Chairs Monthly Forum on 10 June

Events and functions:  15 May until 11 June

  • Good Citizens Awards ceremony on 16 May (Attachment 7 Our Auckland and featured in Ponsonby News June update Attachment 8)
  • Auckland Writers Festival opening night party on 16 May
  • Literally Lorne, Auckland Writers Festival free event on 17 May
  • Te reo with Scottie Morrison, Auckland Writers Festival on 18 May
  • Spoke at Trash to Trade event organised by Grey Lynn 2030 on 19 May
  • Tripartite 2019 (An economic alliance of LA, Guangzhou and Auckland coinciding with Tech Week) Welcome Reception for our international delegates and speakers on Sunday 19 May and attended an Innovation Showcase for Tripartite 2019 followed by lunch 20 May. I was interested to hear from Stephen Cheung, President World Trade Centre, LA  about Los Angeles’ Clean Air Action Plan based on data and innovation to force changes to deal with the pollution and health implications of dirty bunker fuel. He was part of a panel on new trends in public and private sector data sharing.
  • With Tapata Wehi, founder The Haka Experience at the Go with Tourism Expo

    Auckland Museum stakeholder breakfast on 23 May

  • Joined the community of St Matthew-in-the-City for a Powhiri and reception on 23 May to welcome our overseas guests who belong to an international network of inner city churches
  • Opened the Go with Tourism Expo on 24 May at Auckland Showgrounds
  • HiTech gala dinner on 24 May at the invitation of ATEED
  • Opening of the new walkway Te ara Oranga connecting Auckland Museum on 27 May
  • Pride Pledge launch on 28 May at Coco’s cantina at the invitation of Krd Business Association
  • Officiated at the Town Hall Citizenship Ceremony on 28 May
  • Attended Friends of Sustainable Coastlines event on 28 May
  • Opening of the Doc Edge Festival at Q Theatre on 29 May
  • New citizen Constable Pavee from Thailand and Karem Colmenares, Event organiser

    Join the Dante Auckland at Winger Maserati to celebrate the Italian Republic Day on 2 June

  • Attended Open Iftar (dinner) 2019 hosted by New Zealand Eid Day at Ellen Melville Centre on 2 June
  • Mt Albert Electorate community morning tea with the PM on 5 June
  • Opening of James Liston Hostel by the Mayor on 5 June
  • China Business Awards dinner at Shed 10 on 6 June at the invitation of NZ China Council
  • Newmarket Business Association awards dinner on 7 June
  • Arbor Day tree planting in Newmarket Park on 8 June
  • Attended the opening of the Wintergarden nursery glasshouses at Auckland Domain on 11 June
  • Again Again co-founders Melissa Firth and Nada Piatek and Sustainable Business Network, CEO Rachel Brown

    Spoke at the launch of Again Again, reusable cups as a service system, at The Store, Quay Street on 11 June

  • Delicious Oblivion, Cabaret Season Launch on 11 June at the Civic Theatre at the invitation of Auckland Live

Parks update for Waitemata Local Board

Ponsonby News: Waitematā Local Board update August 2018

One of the most important roles of the Local Board is to act as kaitiaki for our parks.  As guardians we want to ensure we maximise the valuable benefits our parks and green spaces provide.   We’re fortunate to work alongside many volunteers who undertake pest control, planting and generally keep an eye out for their local parks.  The Local Board agrees on priorities for the 80 plus parks and reserves located in Waitemata following feedback from the community.

You may have noticed that over the last couple of years more fun and excitement for all ages has been added to local playgrounds as they’ve been upgraded.   The latest work to get underway is to replace the play equipment in Sackville and Ireland Street Reserves.  For the Sackville Reserve project additional seating has been incorporated to make it a great neighbourhood spot for picnics and we’ve made the area more accessible with a new path from the street.  Construction is also due to start in late July on the Vermont Reserve playground. Basque Park and Home Street Reserve are next in line for long overdue attention with budget this year for investigation and design.

As reported last month by member Richard Northey we’ve taken steps to remove agri-chemicals from our parks following community support. As a start we’ve allocated over $70,000 to eliminate spraying in Albert, Myers and Western Parks and the non-sports field areas of Victoria Park.

Site of the old Masonic Lodge purchased to create an entrance way to Salisbury Reserve

There are two park consultations currently underway.  12 Argyle Street, Herne Bay was purchased by the former Auckland City Council to improve the entrance way to Salisbury Reserve.  The old Masonic Hall on the site will be removed with as much of the building material recycled as possible.  There are two draft options out for consultation.  In both options the pathways into the reserve are improved with additional lawn and trees. The main difference between the options is whether or not to provide car parking on the reserve.   We want to ensure the community can consider the best use of valuable green space.   For a number of reasons it wasn’t possible to the retain the hall but we have committed to improving the clubrooms that are in the reserve and making them more user friendly (the clubrooms are leased to the Herne Bay Petanque Club but available to hire).  There is $25k in the budget for the coming year to refurbish the bathrooms on top of other renewal work that has recently taken place.    Consultation on Salisbury Reserve is open until 16 August.

We would also like feedback on a draft park development plan for Western Springs Te Wai Ōrea.  Our vision for the park includes improved water quality in the lake and streams, connecting the surrounding areas via paths and making room for big events.  The focus of the plan is to improve the existing state of this well-loved park, without making any major changes.  You can let us know what you think about the ideas in the plan such as bird feeding and a tuna (eel) sanctuary until 27 August.  Basque Park and Home Street Reserve are next in line for long overdue investment.

In a unique co-governance arrangement with the governing body the local board also has responsibility for Auckland Domain Pukekawa.  We’re delighted that the Domain has received a prestigious Bronze Award in the 2018 International Large Urban Parks Awards, the only New Zealand park to receive an award. The awards recognise quality parks across the globe, the skills of the people who manage them and the value green spaces bring to cities.

Consultation information is on the Have your say page of the Auckland Council website.

A people friendly premier park for Auckland

Draft plan display at the Auckland Lantern Festival
Draft plan display at the Auckland Lantern Festival

The grand Auckland War Memorial Museum sits in the city’s premier park, the Auckland Domain. You would expect the Domain and Museum to be easily accessible, a pleasure to visit on foot or bike with strong transport connections for tourists and locals. I therefore find it almost shocking the extent to which vehicles are prioritised to the detriment of everything else. Footpaths are missing on all the main roads, there is no legible walking access to the entrance of the museum and the Domain is severed from the city centre by a hostile motorway. Tourists are left bewildered and lost when they try to walk from the city centre to the Museum.

I’ve heard the Domain described as Auckland’s second biggest car park. This might make it a great place to drive to and through but also works to diminish the experience for everyone who just wants to visit. It also encourages a huge amount of non-Domain visitor parking (up to 75% of parking is taken up by commuters )

Grandstand Road (currently closed to traffic and parking)
Grandstand Road (currently closed to traffic and parking)

Many of the issues are highlighted in this Transport Blog post –Why can’t you walk to the Domain (illuminated further in all the comments)

I think part of the reason why the Domain is so lacking in safe walking and cycling connections is due to the fact Auckland City was historically governed by people who predominantly lived in the Eastern suburbs and enjoyed the Domain as a thoroughfare by car to the city centre or a place to drive to for sporting activities.  They would not have seen any political mileage in championing a more people- friendly Domain.

Things started to improve after the formation of the Super City in 2010. With the support of the Waitematā Local Board, Auckland Transport installed speed tables, a down hill cycle lane and improved crossing points on Domain Drive as part of package of safety initiatives. The Board adopted the following advocacy position in 2012:

Auckland Transport to improve walking and cycling access to and around the Domain, while discouraging commuter parking use of the Domain through:
i) Implementation of a parking scheme for the Domain that works to discourage commuter parking (e.g. through pricing)
ii) Improving walking and cycling options
iii) Contribute to the development of a Masterplan for the Domain (to be led by Auckland Council).

The idea for a Domain masterplan progressed slowly due to the unique governance arrangements for the park that splits the decision making between the Governing body and Waitematā Local Board. Once a joint Auckland Domain committee was established in February 2015  (Chair, Shale Chambers, members Vernon Tava and Rob Thomas represent the Board on the Committee) a draft plan was able to be finalised for public feedback.

The draft masterplan released in early February 2016,  is a twenty-year aspiration for how the park can develop and consolidate its position as Auckland’s premier park. It responds to issues and pressure points as well as coordinating projects and work streams impacting the Auckland Domain.

I haven’t been directly involved with the development of the draft but I’m pleased to see a variety of proposals that will greatly improve the connections for all visitors to the Domain.  The proposals will also improve access to those needing to drive and open up more parking for Domain users.  Headlines on the draft have focused on the walking and cycling proposals but there are also a range of other initiatives in the draft that will contribute to making the Domain worthy of its premier park status.

A series of Council videos about the Domain are worth a watch.

Consulation is open until 24 March 2016. Feedback form online

Related reading

Parks are for people – a fresh masterplan for the Domain, Bike Auckland post

Draft Domain Masterplan – Transport blog post

Auckland Domain to be more pedestrian friendly, Stuff

Auckland Domain development – roads to be closed, NZ Herald

Monthly Board report July 2015

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities from 1 June – 7 July 2015 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board, Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.

I have also been acting Chair from 19 June – 10 July.


Costley Reserve playground opening on 27 June

Costley Reserve playground board members at the opening



 Urban Cycleways programme

Auckland urban cycleways Since December 2014 I have been a member of the Urban Cycleways Investment Panel.  The Panel considered proposed cycleway projects that Councils from across the country put forward for funding from the $100m urban cycling fund, and provided recommendations to the Minister of Transport on the final Urban Cycleway Programme.

On 25 June I attended the launch of the programme by the Prime Minister and Minister of Transport in Rotorua (see Attachment A). On the same day as the launch the governing body signed off the Long -Term Plan budget including the local share of a $124m three year walking and cycling programme which should deliver 52 kilometres of new cycleways.

This is great news especially for the Waitematā Local Board area. After many years of the Board advocating for dedicated cycleways and the completion of the Auckland Cycle Network we will see the acceleration of projects with safe connections on Great North Road, Surry Crescent, Gladstone Road,  a Western Connection via Sarsfield St together with city centre routes.

 Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan

Newmarket laneways open dayThe 10-year budget that was adopted on 25 June by the governing body includes the funded priorities for each local board. The Waitematā Local Board consulted on the following proposals for the next 10 years:

  • complete the Weona-Westmere Coastal Walkway
  • upgrade Newmarket Laneways public realm to provide a safer and more vibrant environment for pedestrians and shoppers
  • deliver the Western Springs Native Bush Restoration Plan
  • redevelop Pioneer Womens and Ellen Melville Hall as a city centre community hub
  • continue the delivery of the Waipapa Stream restoration and ecological project
  • support local community services, events and grants
  • continue to deliver initiatives from our local board plan.

Of the 1,412 submissions received, 745 made comments on the local proposals. Overall the majority of these respondents supported the local proposed projects for 2015/2016 and 2016-2025. In particular, there was support for the implementation of the Waipapa Stream and the Western Springs native bush restoration, the completion of the Weona-Westmere walkway and delivery of local events. There was also strong opposition towards reducing local library opening hours.

After considering the feedback, the board has funded the proposals listed above, and has reduced the budget from $100,000 to $75,000 for a temporary arts and culture POP  programme for which there was lower support. The Board has also allocated funding to support increasing Grey Lynn Library’s opening hours by half an hour a week. (refer Auckland Council media release Attachment B)


Resource consent for the walking and cycling pathway over the Auckland Harbour Bridge (Skypath) was granted on 3 July.  This is a significant milestone in a 10 year long campaign to establish this critical link in Auckland’s cycling network.

The Waitematā Local Board has consistently supported the Skypath project. (Photo right from the Get Across protest in 2009 when thousands enjoyed walking and cycling over the bridge)

Grandstand driveGrandstand Drive improved for people to enjoy the Domain

It is surprisingly difficult to move around the Domain without coming into conflict with cars or running out of footpath so it is great to see the parks team have closed the parking on Grandstand drive (due to the risk posed by the oak trees). This is hopefully the start of many further improvements that will progress through the Domain masterplan (to be consulted on in August) and the Museum’s work to improve walking connections.

New footpath programme 15/16

The Transport portfolio provided input to Auckland Transport’s new footpath work programme 15/16.  In Attachment C I explain how I finalised a list of locations with assistance from the public. 

Tactical Urbanism workshop

I attended a workshop with Mike Lydon, Principal Street Plans Collaborative – New York to and author of Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change, a book that shares techniques for ambitiously jump starting projects in the urban realm.

tree pit Great North RdThe workshop (hosted by Waterfront Auckland, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport) focused on the opportunities afforded by tactical urbanism, how the ‘lighter, cheaper, faster’ methodology can better deliver desired outcomes for the city, what obstacles lay in the way of achieving the desired outcomes and how we best work together to mitigate these obstacles and achieve the vision for Auckland as the world’s most liveable city. 

The city centre team have a budget of $800k for tactical urbanism projects like pop-up parks. It is great to see that many examples of “tactical urbanism” are already springing up in the community without any support from Council (for example the tree pit in the photo was recently planted after being empty for some time).

New initiative: Vision Zero

Fanshawe StreetTragically Mr Robert Su was killed on Fanshawe St on 2 June (early indications are that he was crossing at the pedestrian crossing with the green man when he was hit by a speeding truck).    In Attachment D I outline why I think the time has come for Vision Zero Auckland.

Not long after the crash on Fanshawe St Auckland Transport started a misguided and patronising “cross safely with the green man” campaign aimed at the victims of traffic violence. I have raised my concern with Auckland Transport that this kind of approach is shown not to be effective and that resources should be directed at measures that improve pedestrian safety (eg road design, enforcement, speed reduction).

 Workshops and meetings

From 1 June to 7 July I attended:

  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 2 June
  • Two days of the Skypath resource consent hearing
  • Visit to the Art of remembrance installation at St David’s church to meet Paul Baragwanath, Trustee Friends of St David
  • Communications update with the Local Board communications advisor
  • Engagement adviser update
  • Draft Newmarket Laneways plan open day on Osborne St, Newmarket on Saturday 6 June
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 9 June in Parnell
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 10 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 11 June
  • Draft Newmarket Laneways plan- Stakeholder Workshop at the Rialto Cinema on 11 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on  16 June
  • Community Meeting  on Western Park Development Plan consultation feedback on 16 June
  • Newmarket Laneways Member Working Group Update on 17 June
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 17  June
  • Meeting to discuss up- coming playground openings
  • Tactical Urbanism workshop with Mike Lydon hosted by Waterfront Auckland  on 22 June
  • Local Board Chairs Forum on 22 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 23 June
  • Meeting with Ponsonby Business Association reps to discuss parking proposals
  • Franklin Road residents meeting hosted by Auckland Transport to discuss progress on the upgrade of Franklin Road on 23 June
  • Elected member professional development working group meeting
  • Central joint funding committee reestablishment meeting with representatives from Albert-Eden, Orakei, Maungakiekie-Tamaki and Puketapapa Local Boards
  • Senior Advisor/ Relationship manager weekly chairs meeting
  • Ponsonby Community Centre management committee meeting
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 30 June
  • Meeting to discuss Auckland Transport’s wayfinding signage proposals
  • Auckland Cycle Forum on 30 June at GridAKL
  • Community Development portfolio monthly update on 1 July
  • Meeting with Matt Ball, Ports of Auckland to discuss proposed Rainbow Warrior memorial art installation
  • Lunchtime learning: Auckland’s Green Lifeline – presentation by Andrea Reid about a new movement that aims to connect Auckland’s parks and reserves together to make pollination pathways.
  • Visited the homelessness Wānaga at Tātai Hono Marae, Grafton hosted by Te Puni Kokiri for Matariki

 Events and functions

Parnell Baths book launchFrom 1 June – 7 July attended:

  • Parnell Baths book launch at the Parnell library on 4 June (photo right)
  • Italian National Day piano concert at the invitation of Dante Alighieri Auckland
  • Parnell Heritage and RSC-Anzac Celebration with member Greg Moyle as guest speaker at the Parnell RSC
  • Kiss the Fish at Q Theatre at the invitation of Indian Ink Theatre Company
  • Waipapa Stream planting day on Saturday 13 June
  • Waipapa planting day July 2015Waitemata Local Board Good Citizen Awards at the Town Hall on 17 June
  • Newmarket Business Association business awards at the Auckland museum at the invitation of the NBA on 19 June
  • Launch of Greater Auckland on 21 June at Golden Dawn
  • Launch of the Urban Cycleways Programme in Rotorua on 25 June
  • Costley Reserve playground opening on 27 June
  • Breakfast celebration at the Zoo to welcome the new elephant Anjalee at the invitation of Regional Facilities Auckland
  • Associates breakfast – urban design, cycling and transport discussion on 2 July at the Auckland Art Gallery
  • Auckland Conversation: Mary Jane Jacob Public Art – what is it good for? on 2 July at St James Theatre
  • Opening of the World Press Photography exhibition at Smith & Caughey on 3 July
  • Skypath resource consent approval celebration at the Northcote Tavern on 3 July
  • Pecha Kucha cycling edition on 7 July at Shed 10 hosted by Auckland Transport

 pecha kucha cycling edition Barbara Grace