Chair’s monthly report December 2018

Report covering the period 12 November until 12 December 2018.  It is included in the local board business meeting agenda held on 11 December

This is my final report for the year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my hard-working fellow local board members, the outstanding Local Board services team who support the local board and everyone who works to make Waitematā a great place. Our Achievements Report 2017/2018 highlights just how much we have been able to achieve together.

The following provides a summary of the positive updates and major milestones reached by the local board as we come to the end of 2018.

Achievements Report 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018

 The Board’s annual report of highlights covering major projects and initiatives, community grants, advocacy and local governance is now available online. Here is my Chair’s message included in the report.  I included in my report the Chair’s message

TAPAC arts partnership

TAPAC was built in partnership with the old Auckland City Council, but no sustainable funding model for ongoing operational budget support was put in place at the time – unlike regionally supported arts facilities such as Q Theatre.  The Waitematā Local Board has endeavoured to support TAPAC through one off grants but this has been on an ad hoc basis and doesn’t contribute to administration costs.

At our November business meeting we achieved a major milestone. A report to the local board recommended the local board enter into its first arts partnership of $85k a year. The report details the substantial contribution to the arts by TAPAC and the diversity of their programmes and audiences.  ( Our Auckland story: TAPAC and Waitematā Local Board celebrate new partnership)

Erebus National Memorial

Also at the Waitematā Local Board November meeting we agreed to support the construction of the National Erebus Memorial at Auckland’s Dove-Myer Robinson Park / Taurarua Pā, commonly known as the Parnell Rose Gardens. We’re really honoured to host such a significant historically important memorial in one of our outstanding local parks. I got emotional talking in support of the project knowing what the Memorial means to the families impacted by NZ’s worst peacetime disaster. This disaster resulted in 237 passengers and 20 crew losing their lives.   (Media release: Auckland site approved for National Erebus Memorial)

The resolution of the board:

  1. a)       Supports locating the National Erebus Memorial at Dover-Myer Robinson Park subject to:
  2. i)        all necessary building and resource consent requirements being met
  3. ii)       a rigorous design process which includes a review of the short listed designs by the Auckland Urban Design Panel and, as a separate process, the Waitematā Local Board

iii)      the local board granting landowner approval for the installation of the winning design subject to Board approval of this design

  1. iv)       Ministry for Culture and Heritage providing funding to cover all costs relating to the installation and future maintenance of the structure and associated landscape features.
  2. b) delegate to the Waitematā Local Board chair and parks portfolio lead sign off of the memorial design parameters
  3. c)  receive the letter of support from the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei trust and notes that the Ministry for Culture and Heritage will lead mana whenua consultation on the location.

I was fortunate to attend the Prime Minister’s meeting with the Erebus families held on the 39th anniversary at the Dalmatian Cultural Society Hall.  The Mayor Phil Goff also spoke at the meeting.  A majority of the family representatives support the selected site and shared their desire to have input into the design.  The memorial is planned to be completed by May 2020.

254 Ponsonby Road – a civic space

The long-time project to develop a civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road reached a major milestone with the Environment and Community Committee unanimously supporting the officer recommendation that the full site at 254 Ponsonby Road is the optimal size for a park in this location and agreed to retain the whole site for the purpose of developing a civic space. Deputy Chair, Shale Chambers spoke on behalf of the local board to the Committee.  (Attachment 3 Presentation to the Environment and Community Committee)

The site was purchased by Auckland City Council in 2006 with the intention to develop part of it into a civic space. However, locals have long campaigned for the entire site to become a dedicated civic and open space for people, events, activity, and relaxation.

When the wider community were asked what they wanted for the site, 77 per cent of people voted for the entire site to become a park. Following this clear preference from the community, in 2015 the local board allocated $10,000 towards funding a grassroots community-led process to find a preferred design for the park.

This process saw community members take the lead in identifying a design using a community empowerment approach.  Locals were involved in decision-making throughout the process which was informed by ongoing robust community consultation. (Photo right: Local Board members, Councillors Cathy Casey and Mike Lee celebrate the decision with members of the Ponsonby Park group)

In November the LandLAB’s PARK+ design (photo right) was announced the winner in the Future Civic category at the World Architecture News Awards.

There is sufficient One Local Initiative funding (allocated through the Long-term Plan) available for phase one of the project ($5.5 million) without asset sales. The local board proposes to partially fund phase two ($5.5 million) through the council’s Service Property Optimisation approach.   A detailed business case and design of the site can now commence for construction in 2020/2021.

Our Auckland story  New Ponsonby civic space reaches a significant milestone

 Local Board Agreement 2019/20 and funding for the Mission’s Homeground project

Western Park- Invitation v4 Every year local boards have the opportunity to present on their top priorities for inclusion in the Council’s annual budget.

This year Waitematā Local Board advocated for:

  • whole of site civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road (Ponsonby Park)
  • funding to implement the Domain masterplan
  • region wide funding to reduce agrichemical spraying (we have allocated $70,000 to eliminate spraying in four parks but there needs to be a coordinated approach to benefit from economies of scale)
  • funding for the Auckland City Mission HomeGround project

In the picture above presenting to the Finance and Performance Committee with Deputy Chair Shale Chambers and local board member Richard Northey. (Local Board Agreement presentation slides to the Finance and Performance Committee)

As I raised with the Committee, addressing homelessness is a priority for the local board and some of the initiatives that we are doing at a local level include $20k local board funding (LDI budget) this year towards supporting homelessness initiatives such as funding a trial of showers for homeless in partnership with Ellen Melville Centre and supporting an outreach programme by the James Liston Hostel staff in Outhwaite Park community hall.

The local board strongly supports the Mission HomeGround project that is taking an integrated approach, based on international best practice and recognises that accommodation with both health and social services are required to meet the needs of homeless people.  Eighty supportive housing units that combine affordable housing with 24-hour security and services to help people with complex needs to live with stability, autonomy and dignity – it will also be an inner city community hub.

Initial findings of Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland’s Homeless Count show that on 17 September 2018, at least 336 people were living without shelter and 2,874 people were in temporary accommodation.  It is estimated that we have 800 people living without shelter based on a validation exercise.

We have advocated for Auckland Council to clearly show its commitment and support to the project as the City Mission needs to find another $16.5 million.

It was therefore great to hear a few weeks later that the Mayor proposes to grant $5m towards Auckland City Mission HomeGround project as part of the Annual budget 2019/2020. As Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly puts it “the development is an initiative unlike anything else seen before in New Zealand … It provides a purpose-built, safe space to stand against homelessness, hunger and poor health. Offering pragmatic, hands-on services and support to help those who need it most, this $90 million project will be a legacy for Auckland. The HomeGround development has been a long-held vision for the Mission and this $5 million funding proposal shows great leadership.” If approved by the Governing Body it will go out for consultation in February 2019.

Planning Committee presentation – City Centre Masterplan refresh

On 27 November I presented to the Planning Committee on the local board’s support for the City Centre masterplan recommendations ( Blog post: Auckland City Centre buzzing to the sound of people – covering my CCMP 2040 presentation to the Planning Committee)

The Committee unanimously voted for an innovative concept that paves the way to further pedestrianise Queen Street. One of three bold new proposals discussed today, Queen Street – Access for Everyone will further develop Auckland’s city centre into a vibrant public space for people.

Two new concepts – Maori Outcomes and Grafton Gully Boulevard were also adopted for further development and public consultation by the Planning Committee, with a view to seek committee approval by July 2019.

I also confirmed the local board’s support for trials and temporary installations to demonstrate the city we would like to become.  For example, a bollard on High St that goes up once deliveries are completed would transform the pedestrian experience overnight.  As we say in our local board plan:  We support pilot projects and quick, low cost interventions to promote long term improvements to our streets

The Planning Committee requested trials of ‘Open Streets’ in the city centre, and to work with interested local boards on trials in other town centres.

Playground openings

On 21 November we celebrated the playground upgrade at Vermont Reserve, Ponsonby with a sausage sizzle provided by the maintenance contractor, Ventia.

The new equipment has been welcomed by locals but unfortunately the design has made the playground less accessible.  I have logged this as an issue that will be fixed with a new entrance gate into the playground. (Photo right with local board members Adriana Christie and Richard Northey at the opening)

Parnell station walkway open

The new pathway connection to Parnell Train Station from Carlaw Park student village and business area is now open. Waitematā Local Board put up the funds to get this built.

On 15 November 2018 members of Waitematā Local Board, Auckland Transport, Parnell Community Committee and Parnell Business Association enjoyed a first walk on the new pathway connecting Parnell Station with Carlaw Park student village and business centre ( Our Auckland: New pathway connection to Parnell Station now open)

Waitematā Safe Routes Projects- update

Every household in a wide area of Grey Lynn and Westmere should have received a Have your say booklet from Auckland Transport on plans to make streets safer, more attractive and more accessible for everyone. There have been opportunities to see the plans in large scale and talk directly to the project team at various open days during the consultation .

Feedback is due by 14 December 2018.  The local board will provide our input once we have heard the public feedback.

In my December Ponsonby News update  I look back on the progress of this project since it was described as a “fiasco” over a year ago.

Construction of the Karangahape Road Enhancements Project is due to start in early 2019 ( Media Release – Contractors sought for Karangahape Road upgrade).  The K Road Business Association, alongside Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, have developed a Business Pac which will be distributed prior to the work commencing.  The need to actively manage business disruption has been one of the key lessons from the West Lynn project.

Ian McKinnnon Drive cycleway extension

with the Mayor Phil Goff, Minister Phil Tywford, Councillor Paul Young and local board member Adriana Christie about to ride the new cycleway

Minister of Transport Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff officially opened the Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway on Friday 30 November.

The cycleway removes the steep climb alongside the Newton Road on-ramp up to the Newton Road bridge for people on bikes travelling to the city centre on the Northwestern Path.

The route runs through Suffolk Reserve, onto Ian McKinnon Drive (the section in the Waitematā Local Board area) and up to the intersection of Upper Queen Street. This is the most significant section of cycleway opened in Auckland over the last year.

Auckland Domain Committee

At the Domain Committee final meeting of the year on 29 November 2018 we made progress on implementing an Auckland Domain Accessibility Improvement Programme to deliver key outcomes of the Auckland Domain Masterplan 2016.  The initial focus of this programme is on reducing vehicle dominance and improving pedestrian and cycling opportunities in the Domain.

Report back from Trafinz conference 2018 in Wellington 11- 14 November

I attended the Trafinz conference ‘Prioritising for People’ in Wellington as an Executive Committee member representing Auckland Council.  Trafinz represents local authority views on road safety and traffic management in New Zealand.

I presented at the conference (photo right) and joined the final panel discussion.

Auckland Transport’s CEO presented a bold goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s road. As all the experts at the conference agree speed reduction is absolutely fundamental to achieving that goal. Consultation was due to start on a region-wide bylaw in November, which could see speed limits reduced in the city centre, metropolitan and town centres, and in some rural areas by June 2019.  However, the Auckland Transport Board postponed the decision to their 11 December meeting.

One of the conference speakers Assoc. Prof. Jeremy Woolley Director of the Centre for Automobile Safety and Research in Australia hosted by Auckland Transport held a meeting and Q&A with elected members on 16 December to discuss ‘Is Zero Possible?’.  We discussed why we need a forgiving transport system and what we can do to progress Vision Zero locally.

Local Board supported and funded events

25th annual Parnell Festival of Roses

This well-loved festival was a big success this year with record turnout of 9,000 people on a beautiful spring day.  The festival is one of the Waitematā Local Board’s flagship events that we aim to ensure is accessible, zero waste and community focused. In the photo above local board members at the event.

Lightpath Festival

Photo credit: Tina Plunkett

The second annual Lightpath Festival, supported by the local board with a $10,000 grant, took place on 1 December 2018. It is a free, family-friendly evening celebrating this iconic addition to our city and the joy of people-friendly streets.

The Festival was an opportunity to experience the city by night with entertainers, music, art, food, and bike fun along Lightpath/Te Ara i Whiti and Canada St, just off K Road.

Grey Lynn Park Festival

A very soggy day on 25 November meant lower turnout than normal, but the weather cleared for the final acts on the main stage.

The festival receives a $24,000 grant from the local board’s contestable events fund.

Franklin Road Lights opening

The local board funded the opening night and rubbish bins for the event.  As reported in NZ Herald  The Topp Twins turn on Christmas lights on in Auckland’s most festive street.

Santa Parade

There’s been reports “Auckland Council” has pulled out of supporting the annual Santa Parade on Queen St. This is not correct. Funding will be found from a regional events budget just not from ATEED (the parade doesn’t meet ATEED’s event criteria so this is the last year it will contribute $45k).  Waitematā Local Board is also proud to support the parade with a community grant of $5,000.  The parade was held on the rain date of 2 December 2018.  My nephew Tomu enjoyed the VIP experience thanks to the invite from the Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust.

Roll out of residential parking

The long anticipated Grey Lynn and Arch Hill Residential Parking Zones went live on 7 December 2018. There will be a grace period from this date, through to 7 January 2019 after which enforcement will apply.

Events and functions:  12 November until 11 December

  • Attended the Trafinz conference 11 – 14 November in Wellington
  • Auckland City Mission HomeGround celebration at St Mathews on 14 November
  • Consular flag raising at the Auckland Town Hall on 15 November
  • First walk on the new pathway connecting Parnell Station to the Strand via Nicholls Lane
  • Herne Bay Residents Association AGM on 15 November
  • LGNZ Zone meeting at the Auckland Town Hall on 16 November
  • EU Consular tree planting in Auckland Domain support of the Mayor’s 1 million trees project. (photo right with the Mayor Phil Goff)
  • Nepal Festival in Aotea Square on 17 November
  • Peace Foundation AGM on 17 November
  • Shortland Street the Musical at the ASB Waterfront Theatre at the invitation of Auckland Theatre Company on 17 November
  • Parnell Waiters Race on 18 November
  • 25th anniversary Parnell Festival of Roses on 18 November
  • Wrap up session for the Heart of the City Street Guardian pilot at the Auckland City Mission on 20 November
  • November Local Board business meeting on 20 November
  • Vermont Reserve playground opening celebration on 22 November
  • Auckland Conversations on 22 November Transport Planning as Freedom Planning with Jarret Walker and a panel featuring Albert-Eden Local Board member Jessica Rose (photo right)
  • Modacity /Women in Urbanism presentation at Central City Library on 23 November
  • Here Lies Love at Q Theatre at the invitation of Silo Theatre
  • Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announcement of a major new urban development at GRID AKL on 24 November
  • Grey Lynn Park Festival on 24 November
  • Auckland Transport’s Waitemata Safe Routes drop in session at the Grey Lynn Community Hall on 25 November
  • Ponsonby Community Centre AGM on 26 November
  • City Centre Masterplan refresh presentation to the Planning Committee on 27 November
  • ATEED farewell for board director David McConnell at GRID AKL on 29 November
  • Ian McKinnion Drive cycleway opening on 30 November by Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff (photo right)
  • Wynyard Quarter Transport Association AGM on 30 November
  • Basement theatre Christmas show Work Do on 30 November at the invitation of Basement Theatre
  • Santa parade VIP opening attended by my nephew Tomu on 2 December at invitation of Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum launch of the latest in Scala Arts and Heritage’s internationally acclaimed Director’s Choice book series on 3 December
  • Sackville Reserve Playground opening on 5 December
  • Attended LGNZ National Council meeting in Wellington on 7 December and LGNZ dinner with Ministers on 6 December
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 8 December
  • Italian Christmas market on Freemans Bay Community Hall on 8 December
  • Final Waitematā Local Board meeting of 2018 on 11 December
  • Joined the official party at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Town Hall on 11 December


Chair’s monthly report August 2018

This report covers the period 15 July until 14 August 2018.


Western Springs Development Plan consultation
A draft park development plan for Western Springs Te Wai Ōrea Lakeside Park has been released for public feedback.
The vision outlined in the draft plan for the park includes improved water quality in the lake and streams, connecting the surrounding areas via paths, and improvements to event infrastructure. The focus of the plan is on improving the existing state of a well-loved park without making major changes.
Consultation is open until 27 August.

Salisbury Reserve consultation

Land purchased to create an entrance way to Salisbury Reserve

12 Argyle Street, Herne Bay was purchased by the former Auckland City Council to improve the entrance to Salisbury Reserve. 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. The old Masonic Hall on the site will be removed with as much of the building material recycled as possible. For a number of reasons (outlined in a post here) it wasn’t possible to 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 $25,000 in the budget for the coming financial year to refurbish the bathrooms on top of other renewal work that has recently taken place.
Consultation on the two options has been extended until 30 August.

Teed Street upgrade celebration

On 18 July we celebrated the Teed Street upgrade with the Newmarket Business Association and local retailers. It was an opportunity to acknowledge everyone who had worked on the project and to bless the new art work commissioned for the upgrade by Ray Haydon. Our Auckland story and more photos here.

New art work in the City Centre

Light Weight O by artist Catherine Griffiths which is hanging between 1925 heritage buildings the Royal Exchange and Administrator House was opened on 1 August. Member Richard Northey gave a speech on behalf of the Local Board.
The work was commissioned as part of the O’Connell St laneway upgrade and was funded through the regional public art budget and city centre targeted rate.

LGNZ conference in Christchurch 15 – 17 July

I attended the annual LGNZ Conference in Christchurch 15 – 17 July as a National Councilmember and local board representative. For the conference I facilitated one of the workshops on Climate Change. I was also one of Auckland Council’s four delegates to the AGM held on 15 July. My conference report back will be tabled at the business meeting on 21 August.

Agrichemical-free parks

A number of parks within the Waitematā Local Board area are going agri-chemical free. The first parks to benefit will be Albert, Western and Myers, with the non-sports sections of Victoria Park also included.

More than $70,000 has been allocated to the initiative, which comes in response to public feedback during the Local Board Plan and Local Board Long-term Plan consultation processes. Our Auckland story with more details here

Waitematā funded or supported projects underway or completed

Parking updates
Thanks to the efforts of the Parnell Business Association and Parnell Community Committee Auckland Transport has agreed to fast track the implementation of the proposed changes. There are still a number of issues to resolve regarding how the current scheme is working for local residents.
In Grey Lynn Auckland Transport is planning on installing signage for the Residential parking zone by December with go live in February or March. However, concerns have been raised with me regarding AT’s proposal to introduce a time restricted parking zone that was not previously been consulted on.

On College Hill following consultation Auckland Transport will now proceed using a graduated rate structure which will charge $1/hour for the first 2 hours and $2/hour for subsequent hours. The rate structure will align with recent changes to on-street parking along Ponsonby Road and while it will have minimal impact on short-term parking utilised by customers and visitors, Auckland Transport expects that it will encourage parking availability.
Further details are on the Auckland Transport website.

New network bus changes
On 8 July Auckland Transport launched a new bus network for Auckland’s central suburbs. Most services have changed, including bus routes, route numbers, timetables and some bus stops. In the Waitematā area the changes appear to be working smoothly with a few exceptions. I have received complaints regarding the removal of services from Williamson Ave (this is also subject to a local petition), removal of a service to Herne Bay from downtown and the fact the Westmere service stops just short of the shops. Auckland Transport has advised that there will be review of the New network operations after 6 months.

Meetings and workshops: 15 July until 14 August 2018

  • LGNZ National Council meeting on 15 July
  • LGNZ AGM on 15 July
  • LGNZ Conference in Christchurch 15 – 17 July
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 17 July
  • Catch up meeting with Local Board services team on 18 July
  • City Centre Advisory Board meeting on 18 July (as alternate to Deputy Chair Shale Chambers)
  • Board all day workshops on 24 and 31 July and 7 and 14 August
  • Chair’s weekly meeting with the local board services team on 23 and 30 July and 13 August (in our workshop on 23 July we received an update on accountability reports submitted from groups who had received community grants – Attachment 5)
  • Meeting to discuss achievements report on 23 July
  • Comms meetings on 23 July and 2 August
  • Transport portfolio catch up on 24 July
  • Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association meeting on 24 July
  • Joint Governing Body / Local Board Chairs Meeting on 24 July
  • Meeting with members of the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Auckland to discuss K-Pop Dance workshops during Mental Health Awareness week
  • Relationship manager monthly meeting on 26 July
  • Newmarket Business Association board meeting on 26 July (as alternate for member Rob Thomas)
  • Housing NZ bi-monthly meeting on 26 July
  • Meeting with representatives from Summerset Parnell development on 27 July
  • Meeting with participants of the Smart Seeds challenge
  • Parnell Plan working group meeting on 30 July
  • NZTA scene setting briefing for Councillors and Local Board chairs re Auckland’s light rail projects on 1 August
  • Meeting with representatives of the National Butterfly Centre project on 2 August
  • Local Board Resource Consent and Planning workshop on 6 August covering the resource consent and planning lead role covering:
     the Auckland Unitary Plan
     developing effective local board feedback for notified resource consents, plan changes and notices of requirement
     presenting feedback at a hearing
  • Auckland Cricket and Grafton Cricket Club introductory meeting on 7 August to discuss their strategic plans and upcoming events
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss options for traffic management improvements at Newton School
  • Parnell Business Association annual presentation to the local board on 9 August
  • Community Liaison Group meeting on 9 August for the Pt Chev/Meola Road cycleway project held at Pt Chev School.
  • Drop in session for the Facility Partnerships Policy Project consultation held at Ellen Melville Centre on 10 August
  • Local Board Chairs’ Forum on 13 August

Events and functions: 15 July until 14 August 2018

  • Teed Street upgrade celebration on 18 July
  • How We Win Change: A Bike Auckland presentation with Paul Steely White at Mason Bros building on 19 July
    How to be a Voice for Change: Towards Safer Streets for Auckland workshop with Paul Steely White hosted by Bike Auckland at Ellen Melville Centre on 21 July
  • InMotion Matariki all-wheels illuminated parade 2018 Hosted by Touch Compass Dance Trust on 21 July
  • Officiated at the Town Hall citizenship ceremony on 23 July
  • Attended the Campaign for Better Transport AGM with a presentation by AT CEO Shane Ellison
  • Attended the 2Walk and Cycle conference dinner on 31 July in Palmerston North for the Bike to the Future Awards at the invitation of NZTA (I was one of the judges for the awards)
  • Morning tea with Grey Lynn library staff on 2 August (photo bottom)
  • Auckland Conversations – Healthy Streets for Auckland presentation by Lucy Saunders and panel discussion at the Viaduct Events Centre on 2 August (photo right)
  • AT Cycling & Walking, Women in Urbanism and Boffa Miskell hosted presentation by Lucy Saunders at Boffa Miskell on 3 August
  • Opening night of HIR on 3 August at Herald Theatre at the invitation of Silo Theatre
  • Wynyard Quarter 7th birthday celebration on 4 August
  • Opening on 7 August of Moana, a large- scale mural painting by Ahota’e’iloa Toetu’u at the South British Insurance Company Limited Building (photo right of the artist and Paul Baragwanath who commissioned the art work)
  • Street Talks: Urban Japan: Lost in Translation? presentation hosted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, ARUP and the Auckland Design Office at Auckland Central Library on 8 August
  • Presented on Local Board funding and advocacy to the Bike Auckland “Bike Burbs” hui held at Ellen Melville Centre on 11 August
  • Afternoon tea at the Grey Lynn Community Centre to celebrate the completion of the Re-purpose trial project by Grey Lynn 2030 and Earth Action Trust
  • Newmarket Business Association “State of the Nation” in Newmarket update at Event Cinema Broadway on 14 August followed by the movie “The Book Club” with ice cream and popcorn at the invitation of NBA.

Monthly Board report September 2016

This is my final report for the second triennium of Auckland Council.  It includes my reflections on the last three years and covers my Waitematā Local Board activities from 31 July to 6 September 2016 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, and Chair of the Grants Committee, and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.

I have provided a report each month this term. My previous reports are available at

Summary of August highlights

 Unitary Plan passed

 The Governing Body of Auckland Council passed the Auckland Unitary Plan (UP) on 15 Auckland following a mammoth five-year process to unify all former regional and district council plans into one.  I sat in on several days of the decision making to hear the debate and support, with reservations, the passing of a unified planning rulebook for Auckland. The Board, particularly through the work and leadership of our Chair, Shale Chambers has been actively involved right from day one. There is a lot to reflect on with the community about the process and final decisions on the Independent Hearings Panel recommendations.

It is a significant milestone but there are still big question marks over whether the UP achieves affordable housing, heritage protection, density done well and quality design.  There is a lot of work to be done to now deliver on the promise and potential of a unified plan that responds appropriately to inevitable future growth and delivers on the Auckland Plan.  

Renaming lower Khartoum Place

Khartoum Place July 2016Following consultation on the renaming of lower Khartoum Place with a suitable name associated with women’s suffrage, and in recognition of the Women’s Suffrage Centenary Memorial 1893-1993 ‘Women Achieve the Vote’ the Board voted in July to adopt a bi-lingual name. After receiving further information about the suitability of a bi-lingual name and following a meeting between board representatives, Ngati Whatua and National Council of Women the Board held an extraordinary meeting on 30 August to confirm the new name as Te Hā o Hine Place.

I look forward to Suffrage Day on 19 September when we will be celebrating the new name and acknowledging all those who have contributed to the process and the claiming of a small space for women in the city centre.    

Auckland Council media release

1 September 2016

Te Hā o Hine Place at home in the city centre

At a special meeting this week, the Waitematā Local Board voted to change the name of the lower section of Khartoum Place, to acknowledge the location of the Women’s Suffrage Centenary Memorial 1893-1993, ‘Women Achieve the Vote’.

On Suffrage Day 2016, September 19, Waitematā Local Board and iwi partners will unveil the new name for the lower section of Khartoum Place; Te Hā o Hine Place, in recognition of the struggle New Zealand Suffragists faced until 1893.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei gifted the name ‘Te Hā o Hine’ which is derived from the whakatauki (proverb) ‘Me aro koe ki te Hā o Hine-ahu-one’ and translates to ‘pay heed to the dignity of women’.  The board felt it was a fitting sentiment as did National Council of Women – Auckland Branch.

Carol Beaumont, President of the National Council of Women – Auckland Branch, says they are pleased that the name Khartoum Place is being replaced with Te Hā o Hine Place, as it is more fitting to the Suffrage Memorial.

Since opening a refreshed Khartoum Place in September 2014, the Waitematā Local Board began looking more seriously at changing the name of the lower section, an area that was being informally referred to as “Suffrage Place” due to the location next to the Suffrage Memorial and the space being used for annual Women’s Day and Suffrage Day events.

In April 2016 the local board consulted  with iwi, the National Council of Women, local businesses, residents and the wider public to ascertain the level of support for a name change and a preference should they support a change.  The majority of submitters supported a name change and for the options for consideration to include; Te Hā o Hine, Suffrage Place and Kate Sheppard Place.

 Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Place upgrade underway

 The creation of a community hub for the growing number of city centre residents got closer with the start of the work to renovate and refurbish Ellen Melville Hall.

This is one of the Board’s most significant projects that we initiated last term.  Once completed, the new centre will provide a range of facilities including a new kitchen, Wi-Fi, improved amenities, café-style seating and a modern refurbishment.  It will be a much needed community facility for Auckland’s growing city centre residential population.

The $10.7m project includes the upgrade of Freyberg Place (funded by the City Centre targeted rate).  The upgrades to Freyberg Place and Ellen Melville Centre are expected to be completed by mid-2017. 

Hakanoa Street footpaths and kerbing

Hakanoa Street, Grey Lynn, kerb inspection meetingAuckland Transport’s renewal of kerbing and footpaths on Hakanoa Street has been an on-going saga.   In August I attended several meetings with residents to resolve the issues related to the removal of bluestone kerbing (replaced in unacceptably large areas with faux concrete kerbing) and poor workmanship including new footpaths on the northern side that led to flooding.  The photo right shows residents inspecting a trial of concrete to mimic bluestone (once complete only the area between the cones will be in concrete)

In the latest update to be communicated to all residents Auckland Transport has confirmed that the areas where faux bluestone are to be constructed in concrete are being marked in white paint once each tree site has been investigated to determine the extent where real bluestone kerbs can be installed. AT has committed to re-instating as much bluestone as possible. The northern side footpath/vehicle crossing levels will be remediated to ensure road reserve stormwater is contained.  

Auckland Transport’s approach to this renewal has highlighted the need to provide the local board with plans and consult with residents in advance.  I am also following up on the need for a longer term tree management strategy.

weona-planting-day-july-2016-stephenWeona Westmere Walkway community planting day

The project to complete a 1.4km long coastal walkway on council reserve land and the coastal marine area in Westmere got underway last term after years of community campaigning.

It was great to take part in a community planting day to see how far the walkway has progressed around a beautiful but neglected stretch of coastline. Hopefully the walkway will be open by the end of September for everyone to enjoy.



Pippa Coom and Christopher Dempsey on the Lightpath I’ve worked on the transport portfolio with Christopher Dempsey over the last six years.  It has been exciting to see the positive progress being made to improve transport choices in Auckland.  Over the last three years the board has achieved or played a role in achieving for transport:  

  • Start of the City Rail Link (a legacy Mayor Brown can be very proud about)
  • Funded a Parnell Station connection to Nicholls Lane to support opening of the station
  • Progress on the Harbour Bridge pathway SkyPath
  • Increased funding for cycleways that has led to the completion of the Te ara i whiti /Lightpath, Nelson St cycleway, Quay St cycleway, Westhaven promenade and a central programme of cycleways
  • Progressed the Grey Lynn Greenways route
  • Worked with Auckland Transport on the Ponsonby Road pedestrian experience project
  • Secured the upgrade of Franklin Road with undergrounding of power lines, stormwater separation,  new footpaths, road surfacing, pedestrian crossing and cycle lanes
  • Implementation of the Freemans Bay Residential Parking Zone (now scheduled for 2 October) and parking zones in all central city suburbs
  • Successfully advocated for improved pedestrian safety such as walking improvements at the Grey Lynn shops and in the city centre.
  • Ensured Auckland Transport leveraged maintenance budgets to provide safety improvements for all road users such cycle feeder lanes and stop boxes on Ponsonby Road as part of a resurfacing project
  • Successfully advocated for the removal of parking minimums from the Unitary Plan
  • Advocated for improved local bus services as part of the New Network to be rolled out in 2017
  • Successfully advocated for the inclusion of a new outcome in the City Centre Masterplan:  A walkable and pedestrian- friendly city centre, moving towards zero pedestrian deaths or serious injuries as a result of vehicle collisions.
  • Initiated a street tree planting policy and identified locations for new street trees (including three new tree pits on Williamson Ave as part of the Countdown development)
  • Installed three on street drinking stations

We’ve also provided input into a range of Regional transport policies.

There is still a lot to be done to reduce congestion and carbon emissions, and provide safe, connected, accessible transport choices in Waitematā.  Next term I hope to progress: slower speeds in the city centre and on residential streets, implementation of vision zero, opening up of greenways routes (including opening up the old Parnell Rail tunnel), changes to the give way rule, roll out of improved wayfinding, acceleration of the cycleways programme and residential parking schemes, driver education regarding vulnerable road users, ending dangerous car transporter practices on Great North Road and further work to improve the walking experience in Waitemata.


Deborah YatesAs portfolio holder with Deborah Yates, we cover community facilities, libraries and initiatives aimed at building community wellbeing capacity, leadership and skills.   Some of what has been achieved for the community over the last three years includes:

  • Increased community funding to $125,000 per year for grants to community and sports groups  (distributing funds through the Community Grants Committee)
  • Established an accommodation grant fund
  • Funded the Inner City Network and Inner City Neighbours Day event
  • In January 2015 registered the Waitematā Local Board with UNICEF as the first local board to be working toward “child friendly” accreditation.
  • Funded Child Friendly Cities initiatives such as Think Big – the creation of a consultation website for children
  • Supported a Community-led design process for the development 254 Ponsonby Road with open space
  • Provided funding support for Kelmarna Gardens and a community garden coordinator
  • Extended library hours
  • Continued to implement the Accessibility Plan and undertaken a review
  • Agreed funding and work programmes for our three community centres.
  • Provided additional funding to support growing participation at the Grey Lynn Community Centre
  • Provided support to the Waitematā Youth Collective involvement in events, activities, steering groups and projects

One of the areas of ongoing concern has been the increasing numbers of rough sleepers in the city centre.  We have supported the Homelessness Action Plan initiatives currently underway but going into next term a great deal of further work is needed to make an impact.

There is also more to do to develop partnership approaches with mana whenua, improve the health of our communities such as extended smoke free areas, improve safety and increase engagement and participation especially by inner city residents.

I am sad that both of my co-portfolio holders Deborah Yates and Christopher Dempsey have decided to retire from local government.  They have made a huge contribution and I have really appreciated working with them.

In the online version of my report at I have included photos of Deborah and Christopher in action. Photos of board members are not allowed in reports during the election period (There will of course be a photo of me and Christopher on our bikes – the most enjoyable and fun way to get around Waitematā as a board member!)

Waitematā Local Board 2013 – 2016

Waitemata Local Board 2013 -2016It has been a privilege to serve on the Waitematā Local Board for two terms as Deputy Chair.  After the hard work in the first term to make the new super city structure work effectively for local decision making, I was grateful to be elected for a second time to continue the many projects underway with an ongoing commitment by the Board to strong community engagement.

There is still a lot to do to ensure Council is listening and responsive to local aspirations and that the governance framework is fit for purpose. There are parts of the organisational structure and culture that still need further refinement to properly support the role of local boards.  The Auckland Transport relationship with local achievements-report-2016boards is particularly problematic and only a complete overhaul of the leadership is likely to result in any meaningful improvement.

This term has been immensely rewarding and at times lots of fun too. The Board’s annual achievements reports available on the Council website highlight just how much has happened over the term (Link to the 2015/2016 Achievement Report). We are fortunate to be supported by an outstanding, hardworking local board team.

The rewards are great for board members able to put the time into the role.  I’ve appreciated the many learning opportunities and the amazing speakers that take part in the Auckland Conversations series.   It has also been an opportunity to meet a wonderfully diverse range of people, to get involved with our many community groups (particularly through our community grant funding) and to take part in the many events on offer in the Waitematā area.

There is still much to do. I hope to be part of a progressive Local Board next term that will continue to deliver for everyone who lives, works, plays and visits Waitematā.

Workshops and meetings

From 31 July until 6 September 2016 I attended:

  • Local Board Members briefing on greenways identity on 1 August
  • Hakanoa road works meeting with local residents on 1 August
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 2 August
  • Independent Hearings Panel recommendations: Briefing session for local board members
  • Meeting to discuss renaming of Khartoum Place with Ngati Whatua Orakei, National Council for Woman and representatives of the Waitematā Local Board.
  • Community Portfolio additional meeting – Grey Lynn Community Centre funding increase
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 9 August at the Grey Lynn Community Centre
  • Meeting to discuss a proposal for an Inner City Community Garden on Griffith Building Site (temporary site as a result of the CRL works on the corner of Albert Street and Wellesley Street)
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 11 August
  • Attended the Unitary Plan debate at the Governing Body meetings on 11 and 12 August
  • Meeting with GLBA and Auckland Transport to discuss parking impacts of Richmond Road cyclelane project
  • Workshop on 15 August on opportunities for Community-led development support and development with Ākina and Inspiring Communities (at the invitation of Denise Bijoux )
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 16 August
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 17 August
  • Franklin Road Improvement Project Community Liaison Group Meeting on 17 August
  • Hakanoa St Trial Mimic Kerb Inspection on 22 August (see details above)
  • CRL update  for Waitemata and Albert Eden Boards Chairs and portfolio holders on 22 August
  • Meeting to discuss Greenways branding on 23 August
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 23 August
  • Communications update on 23 August
  • Meeting on 23 August of the community portfolio and inner city residents to discuss action on homelessness and use of the Civic Administration building as a night shelter
  • Meeting to discuss the Board’s feedback on the Maori Language Policy and implementation plan
  • Community portfolio meeting on 24 August
  • Inner City Network meeting and lunch hosted by Splice on 25 August. Presentation: social impact of intensification of housing
  • Ponsonby Community Centre committee meeting on 29 August
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 30 August
  • Waitemata Local Board Extraordinary Meeting for Renaming of Khartoum Place on 30 August
  • Meeting with Hakanoa residents at the Grey  Lynn Community Centre on 31 August to discuss kerb and channel work
  • Meeting on 31 August  of the Elected Member Political Advisory Group to discuss induction planned for new term
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 6 September
  • Newmarket Laneways meeting:  feedback from Public Consultation and approval of Final Concept Design
  • Ponsonby Business Association committee meeting on 8 September

Events and functions

From 31 July until 9 September I attended:

  • west-end-tennis-club roomOpening the Club House – West End Lawn Tennis Club on Sunday 31 July (photo right)
  • Backbenchers Auckland edition at the Britomart Social Club on 3 August
  • First Thursdays on K’rd on 4 August
  • Wynyard Quarter 5th birthday on 6 August
  • Grey Lynn Business Association networking drinks  at  Storage King on 10 August
  • Blessing for the start of works at the Ellen Mellville Centre and Freyberg Square
  • OperaNesia on O’Connell Street on 11 August
  • Opening of the new Grey Lynn Fire Station on Williamson Ave on 12 August
  • Volunteer planting day on the  Weona Walkway, Westmere
  • Franklin Road Community BBQ hosted by Auckland Transport for the start of works on 14 August
  • Venus in Fur at the Herald Theatre at the invitation of the Auckland Theatre Company
  • bishop-selwyn-chapel-opening-dean-jo-kelly-moore-mike-leeDedication and official opening of the Bishop Selwyn Chapel on 21 August (photo right)
  • K’rd presents catwalk show at NZ Fashion Week at the invitation of the K’rd Business Association on 23 August
  • St Columba’s fundraising Potter’s market on 29 August
  • Campaign for Better Transport’s Rail to the Airport public meeting in Onehunga on 30 August
  • Bike Breakfast at Scarecrow on 1 September
  • Random Act of Kindness Day hosted by Splice
  • Rod Oram’s book launch at AUT: Three Cities – Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene
  • Living Wage Assembly at St Matthews for Mayor candidates and Waitematā & Gulf Ward Candidates
  • Q Theatre 5th Birthday celebration at the invitation of Q Theatre on 2 September
  • Merchant Navy remembrance service at the Maritime Museum on 3 September
  • Fukuoka Day at the Town Hall on 3 September
  • LATE at the Museum from #Slackivism to Activism panel discussion on 5 September
  • Boys will be Boys at Q Theatre on 9 September at the invitation of Silo Theatre