Councillor monthly report April 2022

My Councillor report covers the period from 8 March to 5 April.  It has been prepared for the April 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.


  • At Wynyard Quarter with the Cr Richard Hills doing a final shout out to give feedback on the Annual budget

    Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee (photo right with the Chair Richard Hills doing a final shout out to give feedback on the Annual budget)

  • 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
  • Member, Future Development Strategy steering group (new this year)


  • Public consultation on the Annual Budget 2022/23 closed on 28 March.
    • As part of the consultation process council held several webinars on Waste and Climate where I was a panel member.
    • I attended the Pasifika Fono, an online forum for Pasifika community members to give feedback.
    • I also attended presentations by regional stakeholders.

Planning Committee

  • Helicopter activity – Resolutions from the Aotea/ Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā and Local Boards.
  • The report due to go to the Planning Committee 30/03 has been deferred until May.
  • Cr Darby and I requested that a Helicopter Practice Note regarding the relevant provisions and considerations of the Auckland Unitary Plan and the Hauraki Gulf Islands be developed by the Resource Consents team.
  • Auckland Transport’s parking strategy was endorsed to go out for consultation (Good for Auckland parking: my speaking notes in support).
  • NPS-UD – The committee endorsed public consultation on the pre-notification engagement. The timeline is to be confirmed.

Environment and Climate Change Committee

  • The committee adopted a new Water Strategy for Auckland. The vision of the strategy is “te mauri o te wai o Tāmaki Makaurau, the life-sustaining capacity of Auckland’s water, is protected and enhanced”.
    • The strategy is designed to guide the council group in relation to its responsibilities and aspirations for water over the next 30 years.
  • The meeting was also an opportunity to acknowledge the death of young bike rider Levi James and to have, a heartfelt discussion that brought home the costs of delaying “genuine streets for people” ( Our Auckland: Auckland Council launches Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau – The Vibrant Streets Programme).
  • Half price public transport fares started on 1 April for three months. However, unfortunately the price cut excludes the Waiheke ferries because the route is not a contracted service within PTOM.  I am supporting the local board in the on-going fight to bring Waiheke in line with PT fares across Auckland.

On-line meetings continue including the Waiheke Community Forum, Local Board meetings and all workshops and committee meetings.

City Centre Safety

Safety in the city centre is an on-going concern.  I attended a Friday night “walkabout” with new Acting Area Commander and the Mayor with Cr Darby of some of the hot spots (more details below)


I attended as a member of LGNZ’s National Council, the Local Government/Central Government Forum Plenary Session on 1 April chaired by the PM.  The theme for this year’s forum was Working together in a time of major change.

The Auckland Arts Festival

The festival went ahead with a limited programme due to current covid restrictions. I was fortunate to see Live Cinema: The Little Shop of Horrors – Lockdown edition online at the invite of the festival.

City Centre Resilience

The resilience of the city centre has faced one of its toughest tests in recent years due to COVID-19, and efforts are being made by many organisations including Heart of the City, Britomart, Auckland Arts Festival, NZ Fashion Museum, Auckland Council and city centre businesses to bring back its mojo. (Our Auckland: City centre dresses up for fashion shoot)

Myers Park

Work will begin in April to update the Myers Park underpass  This project has been a decade in the making so I’m very excited to see it go ahead.

Hauraki Gulf Forum

The Hauraki Gulf Forum submitted in favour of a complete closure of the Hauraki Gulf’s scallop fishery. We also want to see scallop dredging gone for good.  The Minister’s decision on 29 March to close the scallop fisheries is a big step forward but concerningly still leaves open two areas of the Gulf to commercial and recreational dredging. (Press release: Partial closure of Hauraki Gulf scallop fishery puts Hauturu/Little Barrier at risk)

Key decisions from the Committees of the Whole 

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

Environment and Climate Change Committee – 10/03/22

  • adopted the Auckland Water Strategy
  • approved the “Too Much Water – A statement of Auckland Council’s current role and direction” as an accurate representation of council’s current response to the water-related impacts of climate change
  • approved the Whangaparāoa Pilot Shoreline Adaptation Plan
  • endorsed the proposed Regional Streets for People projects for management and delivery by Auckland Transport, on behalf of Auckland Council. (Now named Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau – The Vibrant Streets Programme see Attachment 1)
  • approved the Auckland Council submission to the Department of Conservation on the proposed Hākaimangō-Matiatia marine reserve application, northwest Waiheke Island (subject to minor editorial changes)
  • approved the forward work programme as agreed to at the meeting, to October 2022 including a new item added at my request to develop berm planting guidelines.

Finance and Performance Committee – 17/03/22

  • received a presentation from Eden Park Trust Board
  • confirmed the 16 July 2020 approval to dispose of 4 Blomfield Spa, Takapuna as it is not required to be retained by council for open space or recreational purposes
  • received the Auckland Council Group and Auckland Council quarterly performance reports for the six months ended 31 December 2021, noting that the results for the six months ended 31 December 2021, confirm many of the pressures anticipated in our Recovery Budget.

Council Controlled Organisation Oversight Committee – 22/03/22

  • received the 2021/2022 second quarter reports of the substantive Council-controlled Organisations and Ports of Auckland Limited
  • approved an amendment to the Watercare Services Limited constitution to remove the restriction on directors serving more than three consecutive terms
  • received update on the implementation programme for the Council-controlled Organisations Review
  • agreed to receive a verbal update in relation to the Auckland Unlimited report: Reimagining Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland: harnessing the region’s potential
  • Considered the agenda item “Defining Auckland Council’s Ownership Objectives for the Ports of Auckland Limited” as confidential due to risks that publicising it may prejudice or disadvantage council’s commercial activities

Governing Body – 24/03/22

  • On behalf of council Fa’anana Efeso Collins and I received the Save our Sands petition

    Accepted a petition from Jessie Stanley relating to Sand Mining from the Pakiri and Mangawhai Embayment

  • unanimously supported the Notice of Motion of Councillor Josephine Bartley to support the proposed private members’ bill: Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill
  • Governing Body meeting during the presentation by MP Chlöe Swarbrick in support of Cr Bartley’s Notice of Motion Notice of Motion of Councillor to support the proposed private members’ bill

    Agreed to timeline for consultation on Māori representation in local government, noting that feedback from the engagement with mana whenua and mataawaka, will be reported to the August 2022 meeting of the Governing Body.

 Planning Committee – 31/03/22

  • endorsed the Draft Auckland Parking Strategy 2022 for public consultation in April 2022
  • Made a series of decision in response to the government’s National Policy Station Urban Development (NPS-UD) including:
    1. endorsed the further investigation of changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan and the Auckland District Plan (Hauraki Gulf Islands Section) to address issues arising from the mandatory removal of parking minimum
    2. endorsed the further investigation of changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan to:
    3. i)           introduce planning provisions for residential private ways to achieve better quality outcomes
    4. ii)         amend the zone provisions to:
  • enable building heights of least six storeys in walkable catchments as required by the Policy 3(c) of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development
  • incorporate the Medium Density Residential Standards in the relevant residential zones, as required by the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021
  • provide for quality-built environment outcomes in residential areas of Auckland as discussed in the agenda report.
  • approved the following policy direction for implementing Policy 3(a) in the NPS-UD relating to the city centre:
  • i)       Fewer, simpler, more targeted controls
  • ii)      Protecting sunlight and daylight to open spaces
  • iii)     Protecting amenity and retaining the “human scale” of streets
  • iv)     Enabling tall slender towers with space between them to allow sunlight, daylight and views to permeate the city centre
  • v)      Protecting local and regionally significant views
  • vi)     Protecting the outcomes achieved by the existing city centre precincts
  • vii)    Protecting the relationship between the city centre and the Waitemata Harbour
  • viii)   Protecting historic heritage in the city centre
  • ix)     Promoting climate change resilience.
  • approved in principle the removal of the general building height and floor area ratio standards in the city centre, and the application of alternative built form standards in line with the principles set out above.
  • endorsed “Thriving Town Centres – Guidance for urban regeneration in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland” (Attachment A of the agenda report) as a guidance document for Eke Panuku.
  • In confidential the Committee endorsed the Auckland Council’s preliminary response to the NPS UD for pre-notification engagement. The timeframe for this engagement is not yet confirmed.

Note: After 11 hours the committee was closed with agreement to defer the Auckland Cycling and Micro mobility Programme Business Case and the report responding to resolutions from the Aotea/Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā Local Boards regarding concerns about helicopter activity to the next Planning Committee meeting

City Centre Safety

The visibility of crime and anti-social behaviour and the perception of safety are ongoing issues in the city centre brought about by several factors including lockdowns, the emptying out of people (workers, international students etc) with eyes on the street, and emergency accommodation bringing new people into the city centre with no place to go during the day.

The City Centre Community Safety Taskforce led by council’s community team has been given additional resourcing and is working on several actions across multiple agencies including Heart of the City, residents, MSD and the Police. At the last meeting on 25 March participants reported the city centre has turned the corner and things are improving.  We are likely to see further improvements as university students return from 4 May and restrictions are lifted.

Meeting the beat Police on Fort St during a Friday night “walkabout” with the Acting Area Commander, the Mayor and Cr Darby of city centre hot spots

Also, on 25 March I attended a Friday night “walkabout” with the Acting Area Commander, the Mayor and Cr Darby of city centre hot spots.  What we heard is that police resourcing has ramped up since the end of MIQ and the worst of the outbreak that had a big impact on staffing numbers covering shift work.  The Area Commander has introduced beat police who are out in the city centre on foot and in patrol cars.  Fort St is one problem area that has been a focus of operations.

In response to requests for the return of a city centre police station the Commander explained that the way people now interact with the police and contact the police makes a bricks and mortar police station unnecessary and not a good use of resources.  For example, people will use their own phone on the spot rather than run to a police station. Police can now gather evidence and respond in lots of different ways backed up by units in patrol cars and the eagle helicopter.

A police station might be a visible way of giving people comfort that the police are actively working on crime, but it doesn’t serve the same purpose as it once did in terms of how police can effectively respond and how the police can be contacted.

Following the walkabout, we have followed up on the need to improve the design of the Fort St area through a CPTED review.   This is being worked on by Council and Auckland Transport.  Te Komititanga, Wynyard Quarter and Vincent Street are areas I have also been focused on following concerns raised by residents.

On Vincent St I have secured the placement of physical barriers to deter illegal parking. The rocks have been funded from the city centre targeted rate.

Rocks provide a physical barrier to deter parking on Vincent St, City Centre, Auckland

Good for Auckland parking part 2

I’ve spoken in support of good for Auckland parking many times over the last decade.  Most recently when the Auckland Council Planning Committee signed off  a parking discussion document in November  (Good for Auckland parking part 1). I was at it again at the Committee meeting to endorse Auckland Transport’s Parking Strategy consultation document.

Speaking in support of endorsing the Parking strategy for public consultation (my notes with some additional links).

This should really be a very straight forward decision to endorse the Parking strategy going out for further consultation.   The strategic direction for the parking strategy  has been well thrashed through workshops and previously endorsed. If doing our job to establish the policies and principles for planning, supply and managing on street parking is “virtual signaling” [as claimed by Cr Newman in speaking against the strategy] then I am here for it.

What is in the strategy is based on solid evidence and  lived experiened but it has of course made for a few good clickbait headlines because parking is such an emotive topic and, as we have heard, the key aspects of the strategy have been misrepresented.  I must acknowledge here that AT’s Andrew McGill who has done an excellent job fronting the media to explain the facts.

I’d like to make a few points chair about the parking strategy and why it is a GOOD thing.

If we get parking management right we unleash a whole lot of positive outcomes for  land use planning,  urban design and the operation of our transport system.  Importantly a best practice parking strategy with road space prioritization is an essential part of our pathway to meet our emission reduction targets.

Parking is a just a means to an ends. This is expressed in the look and feel of the document and shows how far the strategy has progressed [from earlier versions with pictures of parked cars] .

An evidence based parking strategy is:

  • Good for drivers -arterial routes are less congested when not blocked by a few parked cars
  • Good for mobility of all Aucklanders as we prioritise the most efficient means of moving around the city
  • Good for business – promotes turn over and more customers . It improves freight reliability and deliveries.
  • Good for communities – that will benefit from improved PT and active transport options and improved parking on residential streets . It improves equity as wealthier household benefit the most from free parking and are subsidised by poorer households that drive less and own fewer cars
  • It is good for the 30% of Aucklanders who don’t or can’t drive including  people with disabilities

What has to be acknowledged is the very real need to ensure  a just transition for those who rely on parking and don’t have options at the moment or  who have been caught in a trap of relying on “free” parking.  Such as those homeowners who brought a discounted home with no car storage on the promise or expectation of free on-street parking.  Renters too who get caught out relying on “free” on-street parking that isn’t guaranteed.  Or workers who aren’t connected to PT who have to factor in the cost of parking .  It also needs to be just transition for the  business owners who currently rely on short term parking.

There will be drivers who will be forced to adjust as the strategy is rolled out.  This strategy recognizes that by ensuring consultation happens and that adverse impacts will be taken into account and addressed through comprehensive parking management plans.

We also know that it is on us to get the planning right so that homes are accessible and well designed. This work sits outside the strategy but is coming to us under a separate item on the agenda.  [item 11 changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan to deliver better quality intensification]

It is difficult to take something away that has been perceived as “free”.  In having that conversation with Aucklanders we have to communicate that there is a high cost to “free” parking.   The costs are just hidden and drivers are receiving a huge subsidy. That needs to be quantified and it is good to hear some of the analysis around the cost of the 900 hectares of public land used for parking – we need to get more of the facts out there.  This also goes to communicating the bigger picture as mentioned by Cr Bartley and the comments regarding bringing the community along.

I find the arguments to maintain Park and Ride  free especially curious when all the evidence doesn’t support that position. It is inequitable to make access to PT dependent on the ability to arrive by 7.30am.

This discussion  highlights that the strategy is not actually  radical as the ability to charge for Park and Ride has been available to AT since 2015 – it just needs to be implemented.  [it has already been implemented on Waiheke and at Devonport]

My enthusiasm for the parking strategy  however is tempered by the fact it proposes a very slow roll out over 10 years and as I have mentioned is what is already in the current parking strategy including how we manage parking as the lowest priority on arterials – this is the default . Voting against this consultation doesn’t make the existing strategy go away .

We are undertaking a long drawn out process and rounds of consultation  . All we are being asked to do today is get the parking strategy out for consultation.

The Committee voted 13: 10 to endorse the strategy for public consultation.

More reading and information about the parking strategy:

Auckland Councillor Richard Hills on proposals to remove parking RNZ interview

Auckland Council approves parking strategy after close vote  Todd Niall in Stuff 1 April 2022

Good for Auckland parking

Since I was first elected in 2010 I have taken a keen interest in the topic of parking.  I advocated for the removal of parking minimums in the Auckland Unitary Plan and initiated a Getting Parking Right for Auckland seminar targeted at business associations in 2013.    I’m convinced by the substantial body of evidence that reveals the rich rewards available to cities that get parking management* right.   Parking is one of the biggest levers available to local government and has system-wide implications.  It is also a topic which provokes emotive headlines that politicians find hard to ignore, heated public meetings, and many complaints from constituents.

At the Planning Committee on 4 November we considered the objectives and principles, as recommended as a package by the Auckland Transport Board, that will form the strategic direction underpinning the development of the 2022 Parking Strategy.

Here is a fleshed out version of the points I made at the meeting in support of the recommendation. Greater Auckland has also reported on the meeting here.

The opportunity

O’Connell St, City Centre, Auckland showing before and after once parking removed to create space for people

I started by thanking the Auckland Transport Board for doing the  ground work ahead of the council committee meeting.  We were only being asked to endorse the AT Board’s recommended strategic direction so that a parking discussion document can be prepared.  We were not signing off on the removal of parking or a final version of the strategy.  We are only at the starting point of consultation to inform a refresh of the existing 2015 Parking Strategy.

If we get the strategy right, parking management can be a key lever to reduce our carbon emissions, increase mode shift and encourage active transport, improve safety, reduce transport inequity and reduce congestion across the network.  We will have the right size tools to respond to growth and increasing intensification.  It will be good for business and good for Auckland.

“War on cars”

Elliott Street shared space blocked to people and deliveries by parked cars

Our shared spaces, footpaths and public squares are increasingly filling up with parked cars.  Illegal parking is going unchecked on our grass verges and on busy arterials.    Driving is heavily subsidised and drivers have become used to the idea that parking in the public realm is largely “free”.   There are NO signs  that Auckland Transport is anywhere close to waging a “war on cars”.  The cars in Auckland are doing just fine and driving is fully supported as a major part of the transport system.

Examples of illegal parking

In fact, rather than an attack on cars, an effective parking strategy, as proposed by the AT Board, is pro-driving. It will reduce congestion and improve connectivity and access to the places drivers want to go.  It is pro-communities, pro-equity, pro-children , pro-city building and good urban design.  It is also positive for the 30% of Aucklanders who don’t drive at all and those needing space for access (whatever the mode and personal ability).

It’s a “radical plan”

The parking strategy report that came to the Planning Committee grabbed headlines as a “radical plan to remove parking on many of the city’s roads to make way for more bus lanes and cycleways” (NZ Herald, 2 November 2021 )

The current Parking Strategy 2015 was arguably “radical” for Auckland or at least  progressive for its time. The strategy provides for parking to be de-prioritised and for road space to be allocated in favour of active transport, PT,  and the movement of people and freight.  What is being proposed now is not new or “radical” but a refresh of the existing strategy to give AT a clear mandate to implement the very parking management tools AT already has available.

If anything it is “radical” to NOT effectively manage parking to achieve Auckland’s strategic objectives. It is “radical” to give away a valuable resource for free.

It is also not “radical” to take a decade to implement the strategy, as proposed by AT, when many of the parking management tools have already been in place for over 6 years.

Bringing the community along

One of the reasons given by AT for the need to refresh the 2015 Parking Strategy is to provide a “new community mandate”, to “reset expectations” and “set out the need for change”.  The report notes that “Our community’s receptiveness to change is diverse. The approach to public engagement will aim to take our communities with us through the changes arising from the parking strategy”.

There are many examples of how the community has already been brought along  as a result of the current strategy and in response to a growing city.

Drivers are enjoying the benefits where parking has been removed on key arterials to speed up their trips.   It is not necessary to undertake expensive road widening if space is re-allocated from parked cars such as proposed for Great North Road. AT’s Future Connect enables Aucklanders to understand the long-term network plans and where parking is likely to be removed in the future.

Many residents were outraged when the first residential parking scheme was trialed in St Marys Bay almost a decade ago to cope with the influx of all day commuter parking.  That scheme proved extremely successful and has served as the template for a city-wide roll out.

It has been well signaled since 2015 that residents of new apartments will not be eligible for residential parking permits.   In the city centre and central suburbs there is no longer an expectation that vehicle storage will automatically be available on public roads for free.

Business Associations were once very skeptical about the benefits of paid parking have been won over by the results. It is good for business to use demand responsive pricing to encourage turn over and to allow customers to purchase the parking they need. There’s is a heap of evidence from NZ and across the world to share with businesses about the economic opportunities of re-allocating road space to PT, active modes and extended footpaths.  (for example the success of the Karangahape Road street upgrade).

Commuters who once used the residential streets of Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Freemans Bay to “park and hide”  have discovered the expansion of PT services such as the new bus service to Ponsonby Rd from Kingsland station and the competitive price of PT once parking is no longer “free”. Commuters on Waiheke are used to paying for parking at Matiatia implemented to manage the demand. The same approach at all of Auckland’s crowded park and rides located next to frequent PT and served by feeder services will benefit all commuters  (*once commuting returns to pre-covid levels of course).

Its all coming too fast 

In the debate committee members raised concerns that with the NPS- UD allowing increasing intensification (with no parking minimums) this is not the time to push ahead with the parking strategy.  That we are “making life hard” and “creating a situation”

The NPS-UD is the reason more than ever to push ahead with implementing the parking strategy. Intensification is coming whether we like it or not and we have to proactively plan now how we use the public realm to the benefit of all Aucklanders.  There needs to be a really clear signal to the market that car storage has to be factored into any decision making when purchasing or renting a home.  On-road parking can no longer be advertised as guaranteed “free parking”.  As the report states “Roads are critical assets and valuable public space. They serve a range of purposes, principally movement and places, and they need to cater for all modes, rather than just prioritising cars. The way in which road space is allocated is critical as it should be used, and useable, for all Aucklanders, regardless of their travel choices.”

It is difficult for those caught in the transition.   It is a transition that has been happening for over 3 decades. It was a transition for residents who moved into the city centre during Auckland’s first apartment explosion in the 90’s  expecting to park for free on-street.  It has happened for commuters who accepted a job presuming all central residential streets would remain “free” .   It has been a transition for residents living on key arterial roads like St Lukes or Manukau Road who can no longer park on street.

During the debate I also mentioned that part of the transition will be encouraging residents to use their off-street garage space for parking rather than the storage of stuff (85 % of houses are estimated to have off-street parking available). Councillors for Manurewa-Papakura Newman and Dalton were right to point that many garages are actually homes.

We don’t solve Auckland’s housing, congestion and inequity issues by  pushing out the implementation of the strategy. We don’t help drivers or improve PT by clogging up arterials with parking.   We don’t serve our communities by hiding how much parking is subsidised or  by accepting a poor return on valuable assets (AT was unable to provide information on parking subsidies or the net parking revenue but from the report it appears to be very low rate of return compared to other cities)

We have to provide the right incentives, services, facilities,  information and support to Aucklanders as we transition to a low carbon transport system and an intensified city.  Importantly it will all happen with public consultation.

One of my constituients wrote to me  with “Any councillor who supports AT’s latest madness is equally mad”.  To the contrary, I think it is the AT Board members and Committee members who supported the strategic direction who are completely sane to make evidence based decisions and to embrace a parking strategy that is Good for Auckland.


“Parking management” is used to refer to the range of tools available to manage parking such as paid parking, park and ride services, residential parking schemes, enforcement, removal of parking on arterials etc

Further reading 

 The hidden climate costs of America’s free parking space  The Guardian, 5 November 2021

Parking kills businesses, not bikes or buses  Newsroom 5 November 2021

Climate change:  Auckland’s puzzling political parking own-goal Stuff 9 November

Karangahape Road records retail high before bracing for lockdown Our Auckland 7 September

Quay Street Cycleway opening

It would have been hard to imagine even a few years ago politicians flocking to the opening of a cycleway.  In fact there were hardly any cycleway openings in Auckland until the PM opened Grafton Gully cycleway in September 2014.   However that all changed when serious investment in cycling got underway thanks in part to the Urban Cycling  programme. The additional government funding matched with Auckland Council interim transport levy funding  is starting to have an impact.  As the network of cycleways grows on busy routes cycling numbers are increasing with a doubling of numbers coming into the city centre in the last year.

Protected cycleways like the new one on Quay Street feel safe and pleasant to ride. They attract commuters, recreational riders, tourists and families with children.  They unleash the huge latent demand for opportunities to ride safely.  They are good for businesses , good for health & wellbeing and good for improving the liveability of Auckland*.  It is not surprising politicians of all colours want to celebrate when new cycleways open!



Auckland Transport Media Release

8 July 2016

Auckland’s waterfront will be an improved urban space and an even busier cycle route following the opening of the Quay St Cycleway today.

The Prime Minister, Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Mayor Len Brown and a large group of people on bikes, were the first to use the city centre’s newest cycleway. The opening was preceded by a dawn blessing with Iwi representatives.

A new cycle counter on the promenade, a first for Auckland, will highlight the number of people cycling along one of Auckland busiest routes.

On the waterfront side of Quay St, the 1km, two way cycleway goes from Princes Wharf at Lower Hobson St to Plumer St. The $2.18m cycleway is being delivered by Auckland Transport and has local funding and an investment from the Government through NZ Transport Agency and the Urban Cycleways Programme.

It will benefit everyone who spends time at the waterfront and will encourage more people to start cycling into the city centre says Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Cycling and Walking manager.

“Having a dedicated cycleway like this means there is more space on the promenade for people to walk and enjoy the harbour views. The planter boxes, which provide protection from traffic, improve this wonderful space by adding some greenery.

“The cycle route into the city centre along Tamaki Dr is the busiest route in Auckland, and this will make cycling from the east even more attractive. Providing a protected cycleway on Quay St gives people working in the downtown area greater travel choice and an excellent cross-town route that avoids a lot of city traffic.”

Mayor Len Brown says it’s another important chapter in his vision for Auckland as the world’s most liveable city as it transforms the city centre into a pedestrian and cycle friendly destination.

“This project is another example of Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the Transport Agency working well together to achieve a great outcome.”

Bike Auckland, chair, Barbara Cuthbert says the cycleway is a great addition to downtown Auckland. “It’s hugely exciting to have a safe separated space for people cycling and those walking close to rail and ferry services.”

The three-metre-wide cycleway connects with the Beach Rd Cycleway at Britomart Pl and by the end of 2018 will link with the Nelson St Cycleway and Westhaven to City Cycleway at Princes Wharf and the Tamaki Dr Cycleway.

When phase two of Nelson St Cycleway is constructed next year, the city centre cycle loop will be complete. This loop includes Lightpath, Nelson St, Grafton Gully, Beach Rd and Quay St cycleways.

Auckland Transport is working with project partners Auckland Council and the Government through the NZ Transport Agency and the Urban Cycleways Programme on a $200m programme of cycle improvements from 2015 to 2018.

Quay St Cycleway

  • The Quay Street Cycleway is delivered by Auckland Transport and is one of the projects funded in the 2015-18 Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP).
  • Auckland Transport is working with project partners Auckland Council and the Government through the NZ Transport Agency and the Urban Cycleways Programme on a $200m programme of cycle improvements from 2015 to 2018.
  • The UCP involves central government partnering with local government to accelerate the delivery of $333 million of key cycle projects around New Zealand over the next three years
  • The $2.18 million cycleway is funded from $0.70M Central Government, $0.75M National Land Transport Fund, $0.73 million Auckland Transport. This project is part of the wider Auckland city centre package project announced through the Urban Cycleways Programme.
  • The one kilometre long, three metres wide, two-way cycleway goes from Princes Wharf, Lower Hobson to Plumer St. The majority of the route is on-road, physically protected from traffic with concrete separators (similar to Nelson St Cycleway) and planter boxes.
  • This cycleway connects with the existing shared path on Quay St in the east. By 2018 AT will have delivered another cycleway that will connect Quay St Cycleway at Plumer St with the start of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr Shared Path at Hobson Bay. People will be able to cycle and walk from Glen Innes to the city centre.
  • Beach Rd Cycleway connects with Quay St at Britomart Pl allowing people to cycle all the way to the Northwestern Cycleway via Beach Rd Cycleway and Grafton Gully Cycleway.In the west, people can now cycle over Te Wero Bridge to Wynyard Quarter and around the Viaduct. Ultimately it will connect with Westhaven Dr to City Cycleway and Nelson St Cycleway when they are completed in 2017.
  • When Nelson St Cycleway phase two is complete next year, a city centre cycle loop will be complete including the pink Lightpath, Grafton Gully Cycleway, Beach Rd Cycleway and Quay St Cycleway. The project team is currently working on how best to connect Nelson St Cycleway (which currently ends at Victoria St) with Quay St Cycleway.

Cycling in Auckland by numbers

  • 750 cycle trips per day on pink Lightpath since it opened December
  • A doubling of the number of people cycling into the city over three years.
  • 50% increase in people cycling in Symonds St/Grafton Gully corridor following opening of Grafton Gully Cycleway in 2014
  • 20% increase in people cycling on Northwestern Cycleway in May 2016 compared with May 2015.

Upcoming cycle projects in Auckland

  • Mangere Future Streets opening late September
  • Mt Roskill Safe Routes opening late October
  • Ian McKinnon Dr Cycleway public consultation starts July
  • Karangahape Rd Streetscape Enhancement and Cycleway public consultation by August.
  • Great North Rd Cycleway public consultation by the end of 2016.

Related reading

Key unlocks Quay Street – Transport Blog

A gray, sunny day for lots of joy on Quay Street – Bike Auckland

Prime Minister John Key geared up on Auckland’s Quay Street cycleway – Auckland Now

*Benefits of investing in cycling in New Zealand communities – NZTA

Grey Lynn Transport project

Economic benefits from transport choice and people focused planning

Grey Lynn shopsIncreasing investment in public transport, public spaces and cycling has ignited debate across Auckland, especially in central areas, about the impact on retailers who fear losing car parking and customers. A proposed Grey Lynn transport project reported on in Ponsonby News by John Elliott over the last few months draws out many of the themes of the wider debate. It also highlights that the benefits to be realised from transport choice and people- focused planning needs to be clear if the changes coming are going to be embraced by everyone.

Earlier in the year when Auckland Transport first proposed bus safety improvements at the Grey Lynn shops resulting in the removal of car parking on Great North Rd it was not surprising that local retailers campaigned for a rethink.  There were genuine practical concerns like the need for loading zones but also a perception, shared by John who enjoys driving to the shops, that currently there are “very few car parks”. The Waitematā Local Board asked Auckland Transport to bring data to the table so we could review any proposal based on facts.

Grey Lynn parking surveyA parking occupancy survey of the 214 on- street car parks surrounding the shopping area found an average 40% vacancy rate.  Only 10% of spaces are used by people who park in the town centre and take the bus. Another survey found that the majority of shoppers arrive other than in a private car and that the time and money spent in the shopping area was similar for all modes of transport.

Grey Lynn plan proposalA Grey Lynn plan developed by the Grey Lynn Business Association a few years ago in consultation with the community looked to image the future design of the shopping precinct. It includes measures to slow the traffic, and provide more pedestrian links, new crossing points, and more trees. The plan is backed up by results from Auckland and overseas that pedestrian and “people-focused” improvements can boost local economic activity.

Auckland Transport now say they have taken into account the Grey Lynn plan, feedback and the surveys to come up with a much more off street car parking in Grey Lynncomprehensive approach. My initial view is that new proposals connecting to other future developments like new cycleways, gateway treatments and new bus routes (as well as working with landlords to make the large amounts of off- street parking tucked behind the shops more accessible) have the potential to be positive for retailers, shoppers and the local community.  However it is too soon to reach any conclusions until Auckland Transport’s consultation has been completed.

Ultimately we need to make sure it is good for business when we look after the local people who are choosing to leave the car at home as much as we do the drivers. And motorists like John need to keep feeling welcome to drive to the shops – fortunately when visiting Grey Lynn a car park is pretty much guaranteed!

Published in the October Ponsonby News 

Related reading

Salt Lake City cuts car parking, adds bike lanes, see retail boost Streetblog USA 6 October 2015

Bike lane blues: Why don’t retailers want a 30m pound cycle-friendly upgrade  The Guardian 5 October 2015

Monthly Board Report: November 2012

Covering activities from 1 October – 31 October 2012 and reported on at the Waitemata Local Board meeting held on 13 November 2012

Portfolio Reports


The Transport Portfolio monthly transport catch up with Auckland Transport was held on 25 October with me and Christopher Dempsey.  We covered a number of issues including:

  • Proposed consultation on the Kingdon Street pedestrian crossing and the provision of a new footpath on railway land between Kingdon Street and Davies Cres
  • Sarawia Street Crossing and the options AT have looked at to permanently close this crossing to vehicles.
  • Update on the Richmond Road Safety Action Plan
  • St Mary’s Bay Parking Trial – initial feedback on the trial at the 3 month point and the work that is underway to review requests for business permits for businesses located outside the zone without off street parking.
  • Eden Tce Parking area introducing consistent pay and display that is about to go out to consultation with the support of the business association.

Full details of these issues and other matters discussed are outlined in the Auckland Transport monthly report attached to the November agenda.

Waitemata Local Board capex priorities

The Local Board Agreement transport proposals for funding from the Local Transport Fund that I reported on last month have now been referred to the Review Group for an initial assessment.

Good for business workshop

Invitations went out on 31 October to business associations and members for the “Good for Business” Seminar to be held on Wednesday 28 November. This will be an opportunity to hear from international expert Rodney Tolley about the economic benefits to business of streetscape investment.


The last of our Greenways workshops was held in October to confirm and prioritise the draft greenways routes that we would like presented at our December meeting for endorsing by the Board so that we can start consultation. This is an exciting project that has the potential to transform transport options in our area and will maximise the walking and cycling investment currently underway by Auckland Transport, NZTA and Waterfront Auckland.

Chorus – Ultra Fast Broadband

I have received a number of complaints this month about the standard to which pavements are being re-instated following the Chorus UFB works. In a number of places the high grade footpaths that were renewed in the western bays area only a couple of years ago are being left in a “patchwork” condition. Auckland Transport is following up these issues with Chorus and working to ensure the Code of Practice is followed.

TRAFINZ conference 8/9 October

I attended the NZ Traffic Institute’s annual conference in Takapuna on behalf of the Board.  I learnt a huge amount at the conference about road safety and the “safe system” principles.  I would recommend all members become familiar with the safe system approach to road safety and the responsibility we need to take as politicians for road design and working towards zero fatalities. My conference report is attached.

Community  Portfolio

Community Funding

Tricia Reade attended the Central Local Boards Joint Funding Committee workshop on my behalf on 19 October. We first considered the officer recommendations together for applications to the Community Group Assistance Fund and the Accommodation Support Fund. Both of these funds are substantially over subscribed with many of our local groups relying on the funding support.  The committee meeting to decide which groups will receive funding is on 9 November. The agenda is available online.

Unitary plan

Key stakeholder engagement on the preliminary Unitary Plan proposals that will inform the draft for public consultation in March 2013 got underway in October.  I attended the stakeholder workshop on 4 October and the Unitary Plan public meeting on 18 October. I have also taken every opportunity to gain greater understanding of the Unitary Plan proposals by attending the forums for board members.

Housing affordability

It has been recognised by Auckland Council and the Government that there is a housing crisis in Auckland – a crisis of supply, affordability, quality and choice. I attended the briefing on the Housing Strategic Action Plan (HSAP) that commits Council to working with others to deliver a multi-sector plan. Stage one of the HSAP, which is programmed to be completed by December this year focuses on investigating the whole range of possible housing development vehicles, policy and regulatory tools, available to Council that would increase the supply of affordable housing in Auckland. I would like to see the Auckland Council take a pro-active role in providing and encouraging affordable housing  (which needs to be understood on a continuum from social housing through to assisted home ownership and covering affordable rent) and making full use of the tools available such as inclusionary zoning.

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio

A range of meetings and presentations were attended during October relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Other board activities

Keep Auckland Beautiful Conference

I attended this free conference on Saturday 6 October on behalf of the Board. The conference started with an enthusiastic welcome from the Mayor Len Brown, who is patron of the Keep Auckland Beautiful Trust (KABT).

As I learnt at the conference the KABT is a new Trust that falls under the umbrella of Keep NZ Beautiful. It builds on the work of Keep Waitakere Beautiful that has operated from Eco- Matters Environmental Trust. As a non-profit organisation KNZB operates as a charitable trust to promote litter abatement, waste minimisation as well as town and city beautification across New Zealand.  The purpose of the conference was to the determine what level of interest there is in the Auckland Region for localised beautification projects and what Keep Auckland Beautiful Trust can do to support, foster or initiate these projects.

I asked Iris Donoghue, Chair of the KNZBT about the funding sources of the Trust as I am concerned about the support provided by tobacco companies. Iris confirmed that a tobacco company is a member of the Trust and provides funding (which is voted on each year) but not the Auckland Trust. I think the KNZBT has done a lot of good work and it is great we now have an Auckland Trust but I would like to ensure that any support we provide does not in any way benefit the tobacco industry (for example by providing public place ashtrays that normalise smoking in public areas and put the cost on to Council).

Business Improvement District workshop

I attended the BID workshop with Nick Pinchin from the Grey Lynn Business Association to get a better understanding of the process and funding available for setting up a BID. The workshop covered the value of BIDs in an economic development context, identifying a business area’s needs and the key priorities for a BID, how to engage the business community, surveying businesses, developing a strategic plan, lessons from recent BID establishments, the balloting process, resourcing the establishment process, funding and budgeting to get to a successful outcome. The GLBA is going to consider the process more carefully but the initial reaction is that as there is no longer funding available to support a BID establishment process it is going to be extremely difficult for an association run by volunteers to get a BID off the ground.

Local Board workshops and meetings

Attended during October:

  • Cluster workshop for Local Board members to discuss the first draft of the Parkland Design Guidelines on 1 October.
  • The Parkland Design Guidelines are going to directly influence the design, upgrade and maintenance of all parks across the region.  They will also be an important decision making tool for local board members who will enable them to powerfully evaluate design proposals, achieve cost savings and promote high quality designs.
  • Unitary plan briefing for the Board on historic/character overlays on 2 October
  • Local Board workshop on 2 October ·
  • Meeting on 3 October to discuss the Board’s hosting of Carols by Candlelight and ideas for the event to be held in Western Park on 6 December
  • Low impact design for storm water meeting on 3 October
  • Meeting with the new Stormwater Liaison Advisor about her role and the process for regularly engaging with local boards
  • Feedback on Bylaws: Public Places/Public Safety, Trading and Events meeting on 3 October
  • Auckland Transport’s briefing on 4 October for Local Boards on two key upcoming initiatives: The development of the Regional Public Transport Plan, and the Auckland Cycle Network (previously the Regional Cycle Network)
  • Unitary Plan stakeholder engagement workshop on 4 October (photo right)
  • Monthly catch up with Ashley Church, CEO Newmarket Business Association on 4 October
  • Meeting with Andy Davies and Philip Jones to discuss the placement of the bus stop outside Ponsonby Central and parking issues         Waitemata Local Board business meeting at Graham Street on Tuesday 9 October
  • Meeting to finalise Board’s accessibility action plan on 10 October
  • Annual plan meeting for Board members on 11 October
  • Greenways workshop on 11 October
  • BID Establishment and Collaboration Workshop for board members and business associations on 12 October
  • Housing Strategic Action Plan (HSAP) cluster meeting on 15 October
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 16 October
  • Workshop on the Waitemata Coastal Walkway Project on 16 October
  • Movies in the Park Presentation by Gina Dellabarca and Rebecca Knox on 17 October
  • Meeting on 18 October with John Dunshea and Tim Watts regarding the failure to include the Waitemata Local Board’s City Centre priorities and projects in the final version of the CCMP
  • Unitary Plan public engagement on 18 October – information session about the Unitary Plan process
  • GLBA committee meeting on 23 October
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 23 October
  • Public Art Concepts for O’Connell St meeting on 23 October
  • Communications update on 23 October
  • Safety in Albert Park meeting
  • Transport portfolio monthly catch up with Auckland Transport on 26 October
  • Draft Library Future Directions plan review on 26 October
  • Community Development and Partnership Central Portfolio Holders meeting (Community Gardens and Social Enterprise) on 26 October
  • Meeting with Megan Barclay from Be Accessible to finalise the Board’s accessibility plan
  • Final meeting of the Mayoral taskforce on alcohol and community safety to review the work and progress to date of the Taskforce initiatives (as alternate to the Chair)
  • Final workshop of the Greenways working group before a report is prepared for the Board’s December meeting
  • Update from Waterfront Auckland on  proposed activation of Queens Wharf and the restoration of Shed 10
  • Unitary Plan Planning Forum – Topics: Rural Urban Boundary & Heritage & Historic Character on 30 October
  • Discussion and lunch at the Waterfront Auckland October board meeting held on 31 October.

Events and functions

I attended the following events and functions during October:

  • Cycle Action’s Associates breakfast on 4 October
  • Joined the start of the Waitemata Local Board’s Original foreshore walk on 5 October. As part of the Heritage Festival, Malcolm Paterson along with Christopher Dempsey as assistant led a walk of 30  from Parnell pool through to the city centre and out to Victoria Park along the historic foreshore.
  • Attended the Keep Auckland Beautiful conference on Saturday 6 October hosted by at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall, Mt Albert (see report above).
  • Jam on Toast –  a showcase of users of the Grey Lynn Community Centre on 6 October (I supported a stand for the GLBA, GLFM and Grey Lynn 2030)
  • Trafinz Conference 2012 on  8/9 October (report attached)
  • Your Power Team AECT election launch outside Vector on 10 October
  • GLBA monthly networking drinks on 11 October at the Grey Lynn RSC
  • Kelmarna Community Gardens open day on 12 October (I am a trustee of the gardens)
  • Billy Bragg concert at the Town Hall on 12 October – “The greatest enemy of our time isn’t capitalism or conservatism. It’s cynicism”
  • Leys Hall Official Opening on Saturday 13 October
  • Savalivali Grey Lynn Heritage Walk on 13 October
  • Opening of the Divali Festival on 13 October
  • Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market AGM on 14 October  (I was re-elected as Chair )
  • Sustainable Business Network’s 10 birthday party celebrations on 16 October
  • International Triathlon Age-Group World Championships– enjoyed checking out the racing on Labour Day by bike
  • Art in the Dark launch on 23 October at Barrio, Ponsonby Road (photo right)
  • Green Drinks at the Kitchen on 24 October
  • Jeremy Hubbard’s leaving function as Director of MOTAT after 10 years of service on 25 October
  • Launch of the Living Room programme. Arts+ performance funded by the Waitemata Local Board on 26 October
  • Space Invaders car park installation on K’rd on Saturday 27 October
  • Launch of the Italian Festival held at Freeman’s Bay School on  Sunday 27 October including lunch hosted by  Dante Alighieri society
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum and carboNZero programme sustainability event
  • Launch of the Auckland Arts Festival on 31 October at the Aotea Centre – an impressive line-up of local and international acts that is sure to bring a new level of excitement to the festival under the direction of Carla van Zon.