Monthly Board report December 2016

This is my final report for 2016.  In it I focus on the transport issues I have continued dealing with in the transitional period between the end of last term and before board responsibilities are confirmed at the December board meeting.

I also highlight end of year activities and events as a busy year comes to a close.

Many thanks to everyone who works to support the board over the year.  A special shout out to all those who take the time to read monthly reports!

Season’s greetings and best wishes for 2017.

Transport Porfolio

Feedback to Auckland Transport

I responded on behalf of the Board to the following consultations. The feedback is available on the Auckland Transport Update – December 2016 attached to the Board’s agenda:

  • Bullock Track intersection improvements
  • Grey Lynn cycleway consultations that went out for public feedback in September
  • Great North Rd, King St and Dean St roading changes

Parnell Rise buildout

Parnell Rise build outAn issue has been dragging on for some time regarding the greening of a pedestrian buildout on Parnell Road/Parnell Rise installed by Auckland Transport in 2015.  Auckland Transport, at the request of the community, agreed to add greenery to the buildout. A tree pit in this location is not possible due to underground utilities however Auckland Transport has refused to go ahead with raised planters until Auckland Council agrees to fund the consequential opex.

The attached photo provided by the Parnell Community Committee shows why greenery in this location is needed to improve the amenity of the street environment and stop illegal parking.

We are working to resolve this issue in Parnell and at other locations and as a result are also proposing to add the following advocacy item to our Local Board Agreement 17/18 (to be consulted on in February).

Street trees and greenery – Auckland Transport to provide opportunities for greenery in every streetscape improvement and renewal and Auckland Council to meet the consequential operational expenditure for maintenance.

wilson-car-parkingPonsonby Car park

Wilson’s parking has installed signage at the Auckland Transport controlled car park on Pompallier Terrace that is deceptive as it gives the impression the area allocated to P60 parking is pay and display. I was alerted to this issue by a constituent who observed drivers feeding Wilson’s parking meter to park in the free parking spots. The Auckland Transport parking team are currently investigating.

Ponsonby Residential Parking Scheme update

Now that the Freemans Bay Residential Parking zone is in operation Ponsonby residents have complained to me about the difficulty of finding parking and have requested that the Ponsonby scheme, consulted on earlier in the year, get underway.  Auckland Transport parking team recently provided the following update:

AT is aware that the effect of parking displacement would be likely and has tried to minimise the period of time between the Freemans Bay parking zone going live and being able to install the proposed Ponsonby parking zone.

 There are however considerable pieces of work which have to be completed before a parking zone can be implemented and have endeavoured to proceed as quickly as we can using our available resources.

 AT will send a letter out in the week commencing 5th December inviting permit applications. This will provide details of this process and when the application window closes.

 We expect the residential parking zone to go live by end of February 2017.

Countdown Development on Williamson Ave

Williamson Ave new tree pits
Williamson Ave new tree pits

I have raised with Auckland Transport a number of issues regarding the safety and amenity of the street environment surrounding the Countdown development on Williamson Ave.  The developers have complied with their resource consent requirements so it is now for Auckland Transport to resolve issues that have come to light since completion.

The response I have received from Auckland Transport is attached.

I also secured three new tree pits on the kerb extension between Williamson Ave and Rose Road.  Two of the new tree pits have been planted but one remains empty due to drainage issues that are being followed up.

Berm Planting

Berm garden Freemans Bay
Berm garden Freemans Bay

There is a great deal of community interest in gardening on the grass verge.  We have been waiting for some time now for Auckland Transport to confirm the rules that apply.

The Board passed a resolution in December 2014 supporting the development of guidelines. Local Boards gave feedback in September 2015 to Auckland Transport rejecting the first draft. We have been waiting since then for an updated version to comment on. We’ve been told the guidelines are now ” imminent”.

AT has found themselves in an unnecessary pickle over the whole issue. If AT had just recognised Local Board’s place making role in the first place and involved boards in the drafting of guidelines we could have had this all sorted ages ago. The most recent article to appear on this issue is below (Central Leader, 2 December):

Central Leader berm article Gardening on the wild side

Meetings and workshops: 14 November until 13 December

  • Local Board Chair’s Forum on 14 November
  • Waitematā Local Board workshops on 15, 29, 6 December (final workshop scheduled for 20 December)
  • Weekly Chair’s meeting
  • Meetings with board members to discuss portfolio roles
  • Monthly meeting with the Local Board comms adviser
  • Meetings to finalise the Annual Plan consultation material
  • Meetings with Business Association representatives from Parnell, Newmarket and K’rd to discuss the new board
  • Governing Body & Local Board Chairs Joint Meeting on 17 November
  • LGNZ Zone 1 meeting in Whangarei on 21 November
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 22 November
  • Health, Safety and Wellbeing learning session for elected members on 24 November
  • Meeting to discuss the format of the Citizenship ceremony
  • Domain Committee site visit on 1 December for the WWI Centenary Memorial (I was appointed Deputy Chair of the Committee at our November business meeting)
  • Walk through of the draft findings from the Facility Partnerships Policy research discovery phase.
  • Community Recycling Centre briefing with all three local boards to provide an update with progress that has occurred over the last few months.
  • Catch up with the Auckland Council COO (Dean Kimpton plans to meet all board chairs at least once a year)
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting
  • Stakeholder Engagement Workshop for Ellen Melville Centre & Freyberg Place on 7 December
  • Meeting to discuss development of ASB Tennis Arena
  • Chair’s Forum on 12 December
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 13 December

Events and functions:  15 November until 13 December

  • Myers kindergarten centenary with Mayor Phil GoffAuckland Conversations  –  Living by the Water at Shed 10 on 15 November
  • Herne Bay Residents AGM on 16 November
  • Opening of Taste Auckland at the invitation of ATEED on 17 November
  • Western Springs Community Recycling centre Open Day on 19 November
  • Richmond Rd School Gala Day on 19 November
  • Joined the Auckland Kindergarten Association in celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Myers Park Kindergarten on 20 November (photo right with Mayor Phil Goff)
  • Civic Trust AGM on 20 November
  • Grey Lynn Park playgroundSite visit to St David’s Church for local board members at the invitation of Paul Baragawanath
  • Consular Corps Flag raising event celebrating the 35th Anniversary on 25 November
  • Opening of the Lego Christmas Tree in Aotea Square on 25 November
  • Opening of the Grey Lynn Park playground on 26 November (photo with board members only)
  • Grey Lynn Park Festival on 26 November
  • Bike Auckland final meeting of the year on 28 November
  • Launch of Silo Theatre’s 2017 season at Q Theatre on 29 November
  • Griffiths Garden opening on 30 November
  • Western Park Playground opening Opening of the upgraded Western Park playground on 30 November
  • Grey Lynn Residents Association AGM on 1 December
  • First Thursdays on K’rd on 1 December
  • Franklin Road lights light up on 1 December
  • Lightpath Te ara i whiti  1st birthday celebrations on 1 December
  • Opening of the Silo season at the invitation of Fresh Concept
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 3 December
  • Welcome for the new Italian Ambassador Fabrizio Marcelli at the invitation of Bernadette Luciano, Honorary Consul at Ferndale House on 4 December
  • Lightpath 1st birthday celebrationsOutlook for Someday Awards 8 December (I also attended my last meeting as Trustee of Connected Media in November)
  • Opening of Stage One Glenn Innes to Tamaki Drive cycleway on 9 December
  • Splice Christmas picnic on 10 December
  • Summer Reception at Auckland Museum & farewell to Roy Clare on 12 December


Griffith Garden opening

Griffiths Garden opening: A pop up garden featuring seating, picnic tables and play equipment, garden shed for gardening tools and bike repair gear. Also a community fridge, sponsored by the Love Food Hate Waste project. Donors will be able to leave unwanted food items for others to make use of. The community fridge pilot will be in place until Christmas.

Griffith Garden will also become a central teaching hub for the city bee collaboration project, ‘For the love of bees’ in 2017. The Garden is the brainchild of the Auckland Design Office and is funded from the City Centre Targeted rate.

I spoke at the opening to acknowledge all the people making cool, innovative, creative things happen in the city centre.

Pop up Griffith Garden


Parking update – the good, the bad and the ugly

ponsonby Road paid parking zone open dayFirst the good news: 

 As soon as Auckland Transport got underway in early April with consultation on the Ponsonby Paid Parking Zone Ponsonby residents raised concerns about the impact on residential streets. Auckland Transport reacted almost immediately with a decision to fast track the consultation on the Ponsonby Residential Parking Zone so that it and the Ponsonby paid zone can be implemented together (following the implementation of the Freemans Bay residential parking zone now confirmed for 1 August).

Auckland Transport also advised that they are still intending to use Licence Plate Recognition camera enforcement in the residential parking zones. This should allow them to provide an effective compliance monitoring without increasing staff numbers. (photo – Auckland Transport’s parking open day at Studio One)

More good news – we now have visitor bike parking installed at our new Local Board office on Swanson Street.

bike parking victoria parkAnd more- Auckland Transport has confirmed that bike parking will be included in the design of new bus stops at Fanshawe Street by Victoria Park. This follows a saga over many years to get bike stands put in place for people commuting to the North Shore. 

Four stands suddenly appeared a few months ago and then three of those stands disappeared. No one in Auckland Transport would take responsibility and the response from the bus team was that bike parking was not needed.

Fortunately we got there in the end with assistance from the parks portfolio. (Photo above – remaining one bike stand that is about to be replaced)

The bad – footpath parking

truck on Williamson Ave footpathI have raised with Auckland Transport the issue of increased parking on the footpath in the commercial areas of Ponsonby and Grey Lynn.

It is particularly prolific at the Ponsonby Rd end of Williamson Ave.   Auckland Transport is unfortunately not helping by undertaking footpath renewals & consenting traffic plans for developments that add big expanses of inviting concrete for parking rather than creating a pleasant walking environment (for example by including tree pits and greening ).  It is likely to get worse once the Ponsonby paid parking zone and residential scheme is in place.

Williamson Ave footpath parkingI have received the following response from the parking team at Auckland Transport:

I have discussed this with our Compliance Manager and we will ensure parking officers are looking out for illegal footpath parking in Ponsonby. We have three enforcement areas along Ponsonby Road which are covered by three officers. In the weekends this drops to two officers across the same area. We will look at whether we need to commit some additional resources in this area, especially in light of increased coverage of restrictions.

Williamson Ave Rose Road In terms of street design, AT now has the Transport Design Manual which provides design standards of transport assets including footpaths. I have raised your concerns with the owner of the Transport Design Manual.

We will be approaching the Ministry of Transport later this year regarding increasing overstay infringement fines and I will raise the issue of footpath parking fines.

 The ugly – car transporters putting people at risk

Auckland Transport’s response (6 April) to the ongoing issue of car transporters unlawfully unloading on Great North Road.  This is a particular concern for parents at Newton School.

Great north road car transporterI have discussed this at length with our head of parking compliance and if an officer is present, that officer will undertake an assessment on a case by case basis to determine a suitable and safe means to disembark the vehicles at the location the transporter sits or an agreed nearby location. Issuance is one tool that we use and we are very conscious of the Health & Safety risks posed by these transporters.

The more permanent solution instigated in response to perceived victimisation based on infringement issuance was undertaken in September/October in consultation with a number of the Car yards on Great North Road and one of the Transporter firms.  This more permanent solution involves the creation of another Loading Zone on Great North Road that provides a solid and safe option to support transporter deliveries.

 The Loading zone implementation is in consultation now and we can discuss that further as required.

Unfortunately anyone who is following Tina Plunkett on twitter will know this dangerous practice continues on a daily basis.