Out and about in Waitematā

One of things I appreciate about walking and cycling around our Board area is seeing small but meaningful improvements take place. Many happen quite independently of the Board when residents decide to take action themselves.

menswear dogI have no idea who commissioned “Menswear Dog” by Paul Walsh on the electrical box on the corner of Williamson Ave and Great North Road but I think it looks great and has received lots of positive feedback on social media.

Grey Lynn toilets

A local resident alerted me to the fact there was no mirror in the women’s public toilets at the Grey Lynn shops.  After a request made through our Board office (thanks Alana!) the property team acted promptly to install the mirror and a new toilet seat on the disabled toilet.


new foot path Domain Auckland This path in the Domain has been in need for repair since I used to cycle through here daily to my job at Vector on Carlton Gore Road over 5 years ago.  It doesn’t look pretty but this resealing is long overdue and very much welcome by those who use this pleasant route through the Domain.

Walkway Beach Road to Anzac AveAuckland Transport has acted on my request to install a walkway sign for the pathway between Beach Road and ANZAC Ave. It would just be good if it stated where the path goes!



Fruit trees in Tole ReserveFruit trees Grey Lynn parkThese fruit trees (left ) have appeared in Tole Reserve. Hopefully whoever planted them is also giving the trees a good watering.

Our Parks Advisor, Mark Miller acted promptly to a request from a resident for the community fruit trees in Grey Lynn Park to be mulched.

Grey Lynn vs Bunnings

Cr Mike Lee presents at the Bunnings hearing
Cr Mike Lee presents at the Bunnings hearing

The NZ Herald gave Shelley Bridgeman space on Thursday to express her views on the Bunnings proposal for Arch Hill. And then invited readers to have their say. I’ve tried to add my comment several times but it is not going up. I’ve asked NZ Herald to give a reason but not received a response.

So here is my comment:

Shelley you have completely mis-represented what the fight against Bunnings is about. The Bunnings mega store proposal is for a non-complying activity in a MIxed Use zone that abuts the Res 1 neighbourhood of Arch Hill. The scale of the activity is not intended under the district plan in a mixed use zone.

Bunnings operations will effectively turn Dean Street in to a service lane. At a minimum there are going to be 35 trucks a day seeking to enter this narrow street.

Before characterising Arch Hill and Grey Lynn residents as precious NIMBYs I would suggest you look at the strong reasons presented to decline the Bunnings application. The evidence from the experts is compelling.

It is in the interests of everyone that the inner city Great North Road ridge continues to develop as a retail/commercial/residential mix as intended (which is already starting to happen).

Bunnings are welcome to operate in an appropriate zone. However in this instance we should be applauding all those who are fighting this development at great personal cost and not denigrating them.

Pippa Coom, Tricia Reade, Christopher Dempsey with Sue Lyons at the Arch Hill fundraising street party

Monthly Board Report May 2013

This report covers my activities from 1 April – 30 April 2013 and is reported on at the May Waitemata Local Board Meeting

Portfolio reports

Community portfolio

As well as our monthly catch up with community development (quarterly update from CDS is attached to the Board’s agenda) we had a cluster meeting with other central community portfolio holders. We met with Richard Butler, Community Development Manager, Central who took us through recent restructuring that is intended to put CDS in a better position to deliver on actual projects to achieve community outcomes and to provide a focus on delivering better services to local boards.

Community-led development

During April we have been energised in community development by the visit of Jim Diers, previously the Director, Department of Neighbourhoods at Seattle City Council.

Jim talks about the crisis of democracy and the need to not just engage with community but to build community by going out to the people. He has many suggestions for moving towards a partnership with the community that a far wider network of people can respond to. For example getting people involved through a “project party” not a meeting and providing matching funding for community projects.  I think we can learn a great deal from Jim’s experience and how we can make democracy work effectively by ensuring planning is done by communities.

A joint workshop was held for local boards and the governing body on 22 April where Jim Diers was invited to share his experiences from Seattle.  The workshop was also an opportunity to provide early feedback on how the proposed draft community development principles might be practically applied across local board and governing body decision-making roles, and in the day-to-day activities across council generally.    Thriving communities – the draft strategic action plan that includes the Council’s community development principles – is due to be released in June.

I am also on the Auckland Neighbourhood Planning Task Group convened by Roger Blakely that is looking to promote neighbourhood planning and implementation across Auckland Council in order to enhance community-driven planning and neighbourhood self-help projects.  Members of the group met with Jim and representatives from Inspiring Communities to discuss neighbourhood planning.

 Feedback on the Point Chevalier Pasadena Community year 1-8 Schooling options

The community portfolio made a joint submission with the Albert -Eden Local Board regarding the Ministry of Education’s proposals arising from the increasing roll at Point Chevalier due to population growth, changing demographics and the school’s popularity.  The proposals look at options for Point Chevalier School and Pasadena Intermediate School that have part of their zones within our Board area.  A copy of the letter is attached as ATTACHMENT A (refer page 317 of the agenda).

Good Citizen Awards

The nomination period for the awards was extended to 26 April to ensure there was plenty of time to recognise and reward those who have made a significant voluntary contribution in the Waitemata Local Board area. Judging will take place in May with the awards ceremony on 31 May.

Transport Portfolio

The Transport portfolio monthly briefing with Auckland Transport took place on 24 April. We covered:

  • Updates on Local board capex projects (Great North Road/Ponsonby Road Intersection and Bowen Avenue/Kitchener Street/Victoria Street East intersection )
  • Richmond Road Safety Action Plan
  • Parking issues in Parnell, St Marys Bay, Freemans Bay and Eden Terrace

Full details of current proposals and issues are outlined in Auckland Transport’s monthly report attached to the Board agenda. (refer page 61)

What price safety?

Great North Road intersection One of our local board capex projects is to improve cycling safety at the intersection of Great North Road and Ponsonby Road. Cyclists approaching the intersection on Great North Road heading east are forced in to a pinch point as the lanes increase from two to three and the shared bus lane disappears.

Cyclists currently either mount the pavement to avoid being stuck at the back of a queue of buses or get pushed into a lane of traffic. We have proposed that an advance stop box be installed with a feeder lane.

Road corridor operations investigations have concluded that to add a cycle feeder lane to this intersection a vehicle lane would have to be removed. They have advised that the removal of one lane for general traffic would increase delays in the peak from 73 seconds to 206 seconds. There would also be an impact on PT unless one of the lanes becomes a bus lane.

Auckland Transport have advised that they do not recommend any option that will increase motorist delays without a more strategic assessment of the overall impact of re-prioritising road space.

Auckland Transport is therefore going to look at installing a cycle stop box only.

My personal view is that we cannot continue to put cyclists at risk and ignore the safety of routes on the Auckland Cycle Network. Great North Road is currently operating under capacity because of the alternative provided by the North-western Motorway and delays are minimal. There is huge potential to increase cycle trips by improving cycling infrastructure on the Great North Road ridge at relatively minor inconvenience to drivers.  I would therefore like us as a Board to push for the reprioritisation of road space to accommodate all modes of transport.

Getting parking right for Auckland

A blog drafted for shapeauckland (the Council’s Unitary Plan website) based on the presentations given at the Getting Parking Right for Auckland seminar (part 1)  hosted by the Board and AECOM on 3 April is attached at ATTACHMENT B.

Local Board capex projects update

An update on the Board’s capex projects is in Auckland Transport’s monthly report.

I attended a number of meetings in April to progress the Newmarket Streetscapes upgrade project by Auckland Transport in conjunction with the City Centre Transformation team. However three of our projects are unlikely to proceed this year following initial investigations:

  • Cycle Improvements – advance stop box and feeder lane at Great North Road, eastbound onto Karangahape Road  (reasons covered above):
  • Pedestrian Improvements at Intersections – Pedestrian facility at the Victoria Street East/Nelson Street intersection (referred to the study team investigating the linear park proposal on Victoria Street as part of the CEWT study)
  • Residential traffic calming project east of Ponsonby Road – to be progressed as part of the Franklin Road upgrade and Ponsonby Road master plan proposals

It is becoming clear that it is very difficult to progress projects via our capex fund that Auckland Transport do not wish to include in their current work programme.  Over the next month we will be work shopping our transport projects and I will be proposing that we invest any remaining capex for 12/13 into our well-developed Greenways project  (to be reported on in June following the consultation that took place earlier in the year).

Record numbers cycling

Figures released by Auckland Transport in April show that in March cycling during the peak period (7am to 9am) increased 24.1 per cent. This comes on top of an increase of 18.5 per cent in February and a rise of 9.0 per cent in January.

Numbers are up even higher in the Waitemata Local Board area – this is great news and justifies increased expenditure in cycling infrastructure by Auckland Transport.

Refer ATTACHMENT D (page 321)  for an update on Why do cyclists run red lights.

Other Board activities

Unitary Plan

I took part in a number of Unitary Plan events during April.

  • Grey Lynn Business Association information session for members
  • Waitemata Local Board Community meeting at the Town Hall
  • Civic Forum at the Freemans Bay Community Hall
  • Grey Lynn residents meeting

My impression is that although there are very real concerns about some of the proposed zoning (particularly around the West Lynn shops) and scepticism that Council will be able to ensure good quality design there is conceptual support for the draft Unitary Plan in our area and an understanding that we are at an early draft stage meaning feedback now will improve the plan.

Annual plan hearings for Waitemata Local Board

Every year Local Boards hold a “discussion” with the Governing Body to go through the Local Board’s advocacy points that form part of the Local Board Agreement.

I supported the Chair in covering our transport advocacy projects at our meeting with the Governing Body held on 24 April.   This part of the presentation is attached as ATTACHMENT C.

Ponsonby Road master plan working group

Kobus Mentz from UrbanismPlus has been contracted to provide urban design/ public realm services for the Ponsonby Road master plan working group. We had a very productive Vision and Outcome Setting workshop in April who covered technical briefings on transport, land use, open space and heritage and group work focused around identifying key precincts/ nodes; key transformational sites; and options to achieve vision and outcomes for Ponsonby Road.

We also held a hui with mana whenua to discuss their contribution to the master plan which resulted in iwi representatives attending the workshop and agreeing to a process for drafting a cultural assessment.

Fairtrade Implementation

fairtrade_logo1May is the one year anniversary of Auckland becoming a Fairtrade city, an initiative that was led by the Waitemata Local Board. I asked Andrew Walters, Business & Facilities Sustainability Project Leader for an update on how the implementation is going and received this response.

All in all I am very enthusiastic about fair trade and would love to do a lot more in this space as the social, environmental and economic benefits of fair trade are all vital elements of sustainability. In a well-resourced sustainability team we would do a lot more and aim for an identified work programme about fair trade implementation rather than current situation.

A report may be worthwhile if requested through the appropriate channels etc. but in the interests of expediency I have put down a few notes.

I can’t write a fuller report just now on this as I am the only remaining member of the sustainability team as two left and were not replaced, so am under some pressure in other areas. But hopefully this summary will help.

  • All tea and coffee on free issue is fair trade (all staff areas/kitchens)
  • All council cafes offer fair trade options
  • We make fair trade goods available on purchasing web sites etc.
  • We have offered several prizes as part of energy campaigns that Included 100% fair trade morning teas for staff in winning teams.
  • We ran a  Green growth symposium attended by business where catering was all fair trade.
  • Have included fair trade in our draft procurement policy

It is great to see that steps have been taken to implement Fairtrade but I am concerned at the lack of resourcing for the sustainability team to meaningfully ensure Fairtrade is an integral part of Council and receives on-going monitoring.

Professional development

CAN Do 2013 Auckland: Inspiring Change

I attended the Cycle Advocates Network’s annual summit on Saturday 13 April with Christopher Dempsey (registration of $60 was paid from the Board’s professional development budget).

Speakers on the theme of Inspiring Change – mainstreaming cycling included Rod Oram, Camden Howitt, Sustainable Coastlines and Stephen Town NZTA Regional Director.

I was particularly impressed with the keynote speaker Jonathan Daly who spoke about the politics of cooperation in the age of sharing: a new paradigm for bicycle advocacy.

He talked about the evolution of public space to private space that occurred with the advancement of the car. He believes we are entering the next evolution with the re-publicisation of public space (such as shared spaces)

He urged for the discussion to be re-framed around liveability – what we have stand to lose if we don’t invest in cycling.

IPENZ Transportation Group conference

I attended the IPENZ Transportation Group conference funded from the Board’s professional development budget. A copy of my report is attached as ATTACHMENT D (refer page 321).

Other board activities

Local Board Workshops and meetings

I attended during April:

  • Waitemata Local Board Agreement Review Workshop on 2 April
  • Hui with mana whenua on the Ponsonby Road Master Plan Project on 3 April
  • Newmarket Streetscapes – Briefing on 4 April
  • Waitemata Local Board Workshop: LBA Prioritisation discussion on 4 April
  • Waitemata Local Board Briefing from Ports of Auckland on their response to the  PWC report on Upper North Island ports on 4 April
  • Children and Young People’s Strategic Action Plan briefing on 5 April
  • Local Board Delivery Model transformation project – engagement with local board members 8 April
  • Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Workshop 3: Vision and Outcome Setting on 8 April
  • Meeting to discuss the Former Masonic Hall – Herne Bay on 9 April
  • Communications fortnightly update
  • City centre transformation team meeting – attended to discuss Newmarket streetscape project
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting in Grey Lynn on 9 April
  • Ponsonby Road East (slow speed zone) Site Visit with Auckland Transport
  • Greenways meeting with Auckland Transport on 10 April
  • “Good for business”  presentation to Ponsonby Business Association members
  • Arts Station presentation
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 11 April
  • Interactive play spaces meeting on 11 April
  • Skypath public information public meeting
  • Central Joint Funding Committee workshop on 12 April
  • Community Development Portfolio holders- quarterly catch up on 17 April
  • Newmarket streetscapes project and local board transport capex funding meeting with Auckland Transport on 18 April
  • Unitary plan community meeting at the Town Hall on 18 April
  • Community portfolio monthly catch up
  • Fortnightly catch up on the Ponsonby Road master plan progress
  • Unitary plan civic forum at the Freemans Bay community hall on Saturday 20 April
  • Jim Diers workshop for local boards and the governing body on 22 April
  • Neighbourhood planning workshop with Jim Diers (working group)
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 23 April
  • Transport portfolio monthly update on 24 April
  • Waitemata Local Board and Governing Body discussion on local board agreement priorities on 24 April
  • Briefing on Ponsonby Central development application by Andy Davies
  • Te Kai o Te Rangatira workshop part 1 delivered by subject experts of Te Waka Angamua Maori Strategy and Relations Department (Pou Tikanga, Pou Whainga, Pou Hononga) on 26 April
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 30 April

Events and functions

During April I attended:

  • Toi Ora opening with the Mayor on 2 April
  • Getting parking right for Auckland seminar part 1 on 3 April at AECOM jointly hosted with Auckland Transport
  • Green Jam youth sustainability conference at TAPAC on 4 April –. I was invited to take part in a workshop “ Pedal Power An inspiring and active session on the power of bicycles”
  • Richmond Road School Fair
  • Grey Lynn RSC AGM
  • Richmond Rovers Centenary post match centenary celebrations on 6 April
  • Consultation event for Costley Reserve on Sunday 7 April
  • Grey Lynn Business Association Unitary plan information session for members on 9 April
  • Informal presentation to Grey Lynn Residents on the Unitary Plan zoning proposals at the Grey Lynn RSC
  • Local Government Association of South Australia Study Tour presentation on 12 April at the invitation of Peter McKinley
  • CAN-do cycle advocates conference on 13 April
  • IPENZ transportation group conference 14- 16 April in Dunedin
  • TRENZ 2013 Welcome Function at the Viaduct Event centre at the invitation of ATEED
  • ANZAC day service at the Grey Lynn RSC
  • Funding for Transport. Launch of the Collaborative Consensus Group discussion document at the Viaduct Events Centre on 29 April
  • Future intensive: Insights of Auckland’s Housing presentation

Monthly board report March 2013

This report covers my activities from 1 February – 28 February 2013.

February has been an absolutely action packed month as the year gets well underway reflecting the many activities of the Board and significant progress on a number of projects I am championing including Greenways and the development of a Ponsonby Road master plan.

Ponsonby Road master plan

Ponsonby Road master plan At our Board meeting in October 2012 the Board approved the establishment of a Ponsonby Road working group with representatives of the local community, the business association and local board members and supported by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport tasked with developing a a draft master plan for endorsement of the Waitemata local Board prior to public consultation.

A meeting was held on 18 February to establish the working group followed by a site visit and walkover of Ponsonby Road with the group on 25 February. My opening remarks to the first meeting of the working group are attached (ATTACHMENT A).

I am now seeking the Board’s endorsement of the working group membership,  the planning process and budget approval as outlined in the Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Project Establishment memo from Yvonne Masefield, Planner, Central & Islands Planning dated 1 March 2013 (ATTACHMENT B). This process anticipates the working group producing a draft master plan to be endorsed by the Board for public consultation.


greenway consultation event at Grey Lynn ParkThe Board held a successful Greenways event  on 20 February at the  Richmond Rovers Clubrooms in Grey Lynn Park with a large number turning up to provide feedback on the proposed Greenway routes.

We also sought feedback from those passing by as the club sits on a popular active transport and leisure walking & cycling route. The Grey Lynn Park – Coxes Bay connection is one of our proposed priority greenways.

Consultation continues until 11 March

Zero Waste events

Waitangi Day festival zero wasteI attended the Waitangi Day festival at Bastion Point organised by Ngati Whatua o Orakei as a waste volunteer with Christopher Dempsey. We wanted to learn about the best practice of running a genuine zero waste event. We were both really impressed with the wonderful family atmosphere and the support from stall holders and visitors. The organisers were aiming to not just remove waste from landfill but to reuse everything.

Some of the learnings I took away from the event:

  • Ensure events are alcohol free – this greatly reduces waste from glass and bottles
  • Have only a limited number of waste stations and push the take your own waste home message
  • Ensure the waste contractors are committed to zero waste and separate everything on site
  • Target waste at source – all stallholders have to sign up to reduce packaging and only offer compostable plates etc.
  • Make it fun to “do the right thing”. A Zero waste pa at the festival had activities for kids, chickens and seedlings to give away in re-used coffee cups

I would like to see all events in our area that are funded by the Board to be zero waste.

Community Engagement – Local Board Agreement public briefings

I attended the three Board public briefings on the Council’s annual plan and the Board’s annual agreement which outlines our projects and budget for 13/14.

The meetings attracted low numbers which I think can partly be attributed to a general feeling that the Board is on the right track and we are following through with the commitments we consulted on last year as part of Long Term Plan process and partly because the process was very poorly advertised.

The Annual plan brochure was meant to have been delivered to every mailbox. From my informal surveys I would estimate that it reached about 50% of households and very few in the city centre. I think the Council’s distribution processes need to be urgently reviewed and the value of hard copy communications critically evaluated.

Good for business seminar series

Planning has continued with AECOM on the Good for business parking seminar (now in two parts) with invitations due to go out to business associations and their members in early March.

Getting parking right for Auckland – A good for business approach to parking regulation, planning and design

Part 1 – the New Zealand perspective

Date: Wednesday 3 April 2013

Time:  2pm – 5pm (followed by networking drinks)

Where: AECOM House, 8 Mahuhu Crescent

Keynote speaker: Julie Anne Genter, Transportation planner and parking expert

Plus speakers from Auckland Transport on current policies that are supporting communities and Auckland Council on   proposals for parking requirements in the Unitary Plan.

Part 2-the international experience with Keynote speaker Todd Litman scheduled for mid-May

Portfolio reports


The Transport portfolio monthly briefing with Auckland Transport took place on 28 February.    We covered:

–       Parking issues in Eden Tce, Parnell and Freemans Bay

–       Sarawia railway crossing options

–       Local Board capex fund – pedestrian facilities on Victoria/Nelson Streets

Full details of current proposals and issues are outlined in Auckland Transport’s monthly report attached to the Board agenda.  


The following is the current update from Auckland Transport regarding the parking issues in Freemans Bay:

Auckland Transport and Waitemata Local Board have received numerous complaints in regard to parking issues in Freemans Bay. This has increased since the 2 hour parking zone trial in St Mary’s Bay was implemented in July 2012.  Most of the complaints relate to a lack of on-street parking for residents with local business workers and commuters seen as taking up the spaces for most of the day.

Auckland Transport wished to monitor the first 6 months of the St Marys Bay trial before looking at alternative parking options for Freemans Bay; this has enabled it to more fully understand the effect of the St Marys Bay zone on not only that suburb but also the surrounding suburbs such as Freemans Bay.  Before Auckland Transport can develop a robust proposal to consult with the community there are some necessary steps to complete. These include an inventory of existing parking restrictions and a survey to help Auckland Transport to better understand parking behaviour taking place and to assess why current restrictions are not being effective.  The road reserve is a public asset and Auckland Transport has to balance the many legitimate and often conflicting needs of users.  This involves considerable data collection and consultation across a wide spectrum of customers in order to formulate a balanced proposal.  Once this initial work has been completed, the results can be analysed and some options developed for discussion with the local board and stakeholders.

Depending on how the investigation develops, it is anticipated that options may be ready for public consultation by mid—year

Grey Lynn Footpath upgrade

Grey lynn footpathsThe Grey Lynn foot paths and new pram ramps (at the intersection of Great North Road and Williamson Ave) have now been completed with minimal disruption and no complaints that I am aware of. This project was a successful collaboration between Auckland Transport, ARMA (the contractor) the GLBA and the Board.

The only outstanding renewal is with regards to the painting of the street furniture. I am following this up with Auckland Transport

Other board activities

Local Board Workshops and meetings


  • Meeting to discuss Transport advocacy projects
  • Meeting to discuss Good for Business Parking seminar
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 5 February
  • Community Development monthly catch up with portfolio holders
  • Grey Lynn Business Association February business meeting
  • Resource Recovery centre – meeting of project champions on 7 February
  • Meeting to discuss CCTV policy and strategy
  • Integrating Public Input into Political Leadership and Government workshop at the Auckland Business school organised by IAP2 Auckland Branch on 7 February
  • Waitemata Local Board public briefing on the Local Board Agreement (as part of the Annual plan process ) in Parnell on 7 February
  • Site  visit walkover of Kent/York and Teed street with AT’s urban design planner on 8 February
  • Meeting  with the Eden Tce Business Association and AT parking officers to discuss the Eden Tce parking zone proposal on 8 February
  • Unitary plan meeting Joint Unitary plan briefing and workshop for the Governing Body and local boards on 11 February (see photo)
  • Grey Lynn Park Advisory Group meeting on 11 February
  • Smokefree Policy Development workshop with Local Boards organised by Cr Sandra Coney on 12 February (I attended with Jesse Chalmers as the Board’s rep and presented on the Board’s experience of going smoke free)
  • Waitemata  Local Board monthly meeting at Graham Street on 12 February
  • Presentation on the Tamaki Drive Master plan to the Waitemata Local Board and Harbour Edge Development Team by Orakei Local Board on 13 February
  • Transport committee deliberations on the Sky path proposal
  • Waitemata  Local Board LBA Public Briefings in Grey Lynn on 13 February and at the Local Board office on 14 February
  • Unitary Plan update session for local boards on 15 February
  • Presentation on O’Connell Street design concepts
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 14 February
  • Ponsonby Road master plan working group establishment meeting on 18 February  (opening introduction to the group attached as ATTACHMENT A)
  • Youth Advisory Panel meeting on 18February
  • Local Board workshop on 19 February
  • Meeting to discuss the Board’s engagement on the Unitary Plan as part of the wider  regional engagement timetable on 19 February
  • Introductory meeting with Rachael Eaton – new Team Leader City Transformation (Central and Islands) to discuss concept of “Park-lets” for the city centre
  • Greenways event at the Richmond Rovers Clubroom, Grey Lynn park on 19 February
  • Meeting  to discuss the public art proposals received for Interactive Play Spaces project on 20 February
  • Meeting between the GLBA and planning officers to discuss the Grey Lynn precinct plan
  • Waitaurau plaza meeting with NZTA and AT to discuss the permanent structures outside the new Bird cage
  • Ponsonby Master plan working party site walk over on 25 February
  • Local Board workshop on 26 February
  • Communications update on 26 February
  • New tools for local government seminar  on 27 February
  • Presentation to the CBD Advisory Board on the Board’s redevelopment plans for Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Hall on 27 February (refer ATTACHMENT C)
  • Transport Portfolio monthly update with Auckland Transport on 28 February
  • Briefing the Waitemata Local Board  on the University of Auckland Newmarket site

Professional development

I attended the New tools for Local Government seminar with David Engwicht who is considered one of the world’s most innovative thinkers on place making, citizen management and creative problem solving. He is the inventor of the Walking School Bus, a world-wide phenomenon.

The free seminar covered four unspoken assumptions that are ‘putting lead boots on local government’ as well as strategies to:

  • Influence greater creativity and resilience in your organisation
  • Empower the communities you serve

Events and functions

I attended the following events and functions during February

  • Hum de-wrap party on Saturday 2 February (the Board gave the Falling Apple Trust $5000 towards the scaffolding and wrap on the building)
  • Te  Matatini Luncheon on 4 February  to   recognise and celebrate the four Kapa Haka roopu that will be representing Tāmaki Makaurau at Te Matatini 2013 in Te Arawa.  (as alternate to the Chair)
  • Waitangi Day Festival as a waste volunteer with Christopher Dempsey
  • Cycle Action Auckland Associates breakfast at the Auckland Art Gallery on 7 February
  • Big Gay Out VIP hospitality tent at the invitation of the NZ Aids Foundation on 10 February
  • Go by Bike day breakfasts at Wynyard Quarter and Air New Zealand offices
  • Wet Hot beauties performance at Parnell Pools on 13 February
  • The Pride Parade grandstand (at the invitation of GABA) on Saturday 16 February
  • Great british car rallyLaunch of the GREAT British Car Rally 2013 by the British High Commissioner and Sir John Walker on behalf of the Mayor on 17 February  (see photo)
  • Greenways  event on 19 February
  • Farewell lunch to our Senior Board advisor on 22 February
  • Lantern Festival official opening by the PM John Key and the Mayor on 23 February
  • Media briefing the Mayor for the start of the Daldry Street linear park on 24 February


a)     That the report be received.

b)     That the Waitemata Local Board endorses the Ponsonby Road working group membership and the planning process as outlined in the Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Project Establishment memo from Yvonne Masefield, Planner, Central & Islands Planning dated 1 March 2013 (ATTACHMENT B).

c)     That the Waitemata Local Board approves the allocation of $50,000 of the 12/13 budget for this project ($75,000) for delivering urban design/ public realm services as part of developing the draft master plan by the working group.


Monthly Board report: December 2012

Rachel Brown, Len Brown and Pippa Coom at the Sustainable City Showcase2012 in Review
This is my last report for 2012. Looking back over the year I think it has been characterised by the significant progress we have made as a Board on our projects and initiatives following an inaugural year of planning and figuring out how the new Super City structure fits together. It has also become noticeable this year that the role of the Board is far better understood by the community. I think we have become the go to people on a huge range of local issues.

Inevitably there have been challenges and frustrations but personally I have found 2012 to be hugely enjoyable and rewarding. I have particularly welcomed all the opportunities to learn from international experts, to meet the people we represent and to fully take part in civic life.   I feel very privileged to represent such a dynamic, interesting and diverse area at the centre of Auckland.

I very much appreciate the skills and passion that officers bring to their role that has enabled local board projects to be advanced and implemented quickly.  We still have lots to do but I think we are fortunate to have a great board team with excellent leadership that will ensure 2013 is a good one.

Board activities for the period 1 November – 1 December 2012

A number of meetings were held with Auckland Transport during November. These are covered in the Auckland Transport monthly report and included:

  • the Board’s greenways aspirations and potential locations for AT to fund on-street routes
  • Update on a public bike hire scheme for Auckland
  • Draft Regional Public Transport Plan
  • Location of the bus stop outside Ponsonby Central

Good for business seminar
Good For BusinessIn February this year I asked Auckland Transport to consider bringing international expert Rodney Tolley to Auckland to be the key note speaker at a seminar aimed at our business associations and their members. I would like to thank Auckland Transport for making it happen and their work in organising the “Good for Business” seminar in partnership with the Board that was held on 28 November at the offices of AECOM.
Dr Tolley spoke about the economic benefits of investing in walkability to an audience of over 60 including representatives of business associations from across Auckland
My presentation that concluded the seminar is attached (Attachment A).

Community Funding
I represented the Board a the Central Joint Funding Committee meeting on 9 November that decided the allocation of grants from the Accommodation Support Fund, Cultural Heritage Fund and Community Group Assistance Fund (round one). These funds are legacy Council funds that following a recent decision by the Regional Development and Operations Committee are going to be rolled over for a further year (2013/14).
The minutes of this meeting are available online.

Local Government
LGNZ Zone 1 meeting
I attended the Local Government New Zealand Zone 1 meeting in Whangerei on 16 November (at no cost to the Board).
The presentations covered:
–       Alcohol Reform Bill – Charlotte Connell Senior Advisor Ministry of Justice – update on the Bill and what the changes to the supply and sale alcohol regime is likely to mean for TA’s
–       Mayor’s taskforce for jobs, Jan Francis
–       Strategic Plan introduced by Malcolm Alexander, CEO LGNZ
–       TRAFINZ update from Karen Hay
I found Malcolm’s presentation to be particularly interesting because of the energy, leadership and skills he is bringing to local government. The new strategic work plan has specific actions to bring about a brand shift to LG with LGNZ’s aim to be the Strong voice for great local government.
Malcolm intends presenting the LGNZ strategic plan to local board members next year.

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill
I was extremely disappointed that the Government passed the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill on 28 November with the slimmest majority, with no mandate and no evidence what so ever that Councils are operating ineffectively and uneconomically because of the “four well-beings”
I agree with LGNZ’s President, Lawrence Yule assessment that in its drive to have councils move their focus away from the four well-beings, the Government has instead injected uncertainty into the law by increasing the scope for council decisions to be judicially reviewed.As Lawrence said on the day the Bill was passed “The lesson from this legislation is that processes that are not based on facts, principle and constructive dialogue between central and local government do not serve the public well.”

Building a Better Newmarket Seminar
I attended this one day seminar for members of the Newmarket Business Association and was invited to sit on the panel that concluded the day.
At the seminar Westfield New Zealand Director, Justin Lynch outlined plans for a proposed new retail development on the Dominion Motors/Levene Extreme/Farmers site which borders Mortimer Pass and Broadway. In addition to a proposed flagship 9,500 sqm Department store, 95 new specialty stores are planned, along with a six-screen cinema, gymnasium and 1,400 car additional parking spaces. Westfield is waiting for the right market conditions to commence the multi-million dollar complex.

NZTA Senior Urban Design Advisor, Jacque Bell presented on the draft master plan for the area under the Newmarket viaduct which provides for a mix of commercial and office space, active retail frontages, car parking buildings and multi-functional open space. Consultation is currently underway on the plans.

Other speakers included Dr Libby Weaver (building a better you), and Hon Stephen Joyce (the big picture)

Community empowerment and the strengthening of democracy
During November local board members had the opportunity to attend presentations by two international speakers on the related areas of participatory budgeting and building community capacity.

Giovanni Allegretti, an architect, planner and senior researcher at the Centre for Social Studies at Coimbra University (Portugal) spoke about the benefits of entrusting citizens to decide how to allocate Council budgets in his presentation on participatory budgeting.

The following week Jim Diers, who is internationally recognised for his work with communities, gave his presentation on the Power of Community and how to get people to cherish their government and strengthen citizen participation. He also gave examples of neighbourhood planning process and the value of community driven planning.

Support social enterprise A4 eInvite_Page_1Social Enterprise conference 26 November

The Social Enterprise conference was organised by the CDAC team with the support by the Waitematā Local Board, University of Auckland Business School, Mira Szászy Research Centre, and The Kitchen with the aim of supporting the sector, celebrating best practices and exploring initiatives to support social enterprises.

The conference included Pecha Kucha style presentations from a number of social enterprises based in the Waitemata Local Board area.

Key speakers included:

  • Di Jennings, Community Economic Development Trust
  • Nicky Benson, New Zealand Centre for Social Innovation
  • Andrew Hamilton, ICEHOUSE
  • Assoc. Prof. Manuka Henare University of Auckland Business School

The CDAC team are to be congratulated on successfully organising the conference.

My welcome on behalf of the Board is attached (Attachment B)

Local Board workshops and meetings

Attended during November:

  • Parks Renewals Programme – Workshop on 1 November
  • Community leases meeting 1 November
  • Meetings to finalise the Board’s Unitary Plan report on 1 November, 5 and 12  November
  • One to one engagement meetings on the Unitary Plan with key community groups. I attended the following:
    o   Westmere Heritage Projection Group on 1 November
    o   GLBA and Grey Lynn 2030 on 5 November
    o   Western Bays Community Group on 5 November
    o   Newmarket Business Association on 7 November
    o   Parnell Community Committee on 7 November
    o   NZ Historic Places Trust on 8 November
    o   Parnell Heritage on 12 November
  • Local Board workshop on 6 November (Thriving communities discussion document , Pioneers Women’s Hall redevelopment and Pt. Erin Pools)
  • Communications update on 6 November
  • Meeting on 7 November with Team Leader, Community Facilities to discuss Parnell Trust’s request for financial assistance
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport and Council officers to discuss the Board’s Greenways priorities on 7 November
  • Workshop with Auckland Transport on the Draft Regional Public Transport Plan to assist with preparing the Board’s submission on the plan
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss the options for the location and design of the bus stop outside Ponsonby Central on Ponsonby Road
  • Meeting with Julie Fairey, Community spokesperson,  Puketapapa Local Board
  • Central Joint Funding Committee meeting on 9 November
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting at Graham Street on Tuesday 13 November in Parnell
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss portfolio processes
  • Introduction to the new reporters for the Central Leader and the Auckland City Harbour News on 15 November
  •  Meeting on 15 November to discuss the City Centre Noise Management Action Plan 2012-2015 and how Waitemata Local Board can respond in support of the latest Noise Report to the Unitary Plan submission process and what actions can be initiated going forward through the Noise Action Plan
  •  Waitemata Christmas event organisation in Western Park meeting on 15 November
  • Resource Recovery Centre workshop with transition town groups looking to support the development of a centre – hosting by Puketapapa Local Board on 15 November with Warren Snow
  • LGNZ Zone One meeting in Whangerei on 16 November
  • Meeting with the Central Relationship Managers to discuss options for dealing with applications for Facilities Partnership funding on 19 November
  • Financial information and support for Local Boards meeting prior to the Chair’s forum on 19 November (part attended for the Chair )
  • GLBA meeting on 20 November
  •  Local Board workshop on 20 November
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to receive an update on the Public Bike Hire scheme  on 22 November
  • Meeting and site visit at Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on 22 November with Christopher Dempsey
  • Participatory Budgeting presentation by international guest, Giovanni Allegretti. on 23 November
  • Waipapa Stream project update on 23 November
  • Grey Lynn Park Advisory Group meeting on 26 November
  •  Breakfast presentation by Jim Diers for elected representative on 27 November
  • Local Board workshop on 27 November to discuss the Board’s draft annual agreement
  •  Ports of Auckland Briefing to Local Boards on 27 November
  • Good for Business seminar on 28 November
  • Transport portfolio monthly meeting with Auckland Transport (informal catch up)

Events and functions
I attended the following events and functions during November:

  • Cycle Action’s Associates breakfast on 1 November
  • Square Art – opening of the art exhibition in Station Square as part of the Newmarket Festival
  • Art in the Dark event on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 November
  • Highwic House Cycle Style (part of the Festival of Flowers) on 18 November
  • Taste Auckland at Victoria Park on 18 November (at the invitation of Taste Auckland)
  • Opening of Ponsonby Central on 20 November
  • Building a better Newmarket conference hosted by the Newmarket Business Association
  • Grey Lynn Business Association AGM (I have been re-elected to the Board )
  •  Sustainable Business Network’s  Sustainable City Showcase 22-24 November including:
    o   SBN Sustainable Business Awards
    o   Conscious consumer breakfast
    o   Ethical Fashion Show
    o   Walk around with Cr Mike Lee
    o   Carrot mob launched by Mayor Len
  • Social Enterprise Conference organised by CDAC on 26 November
  • Regional Facilities Auckland Limited’s end of year drinks for  Local  Board  Chairs and Deputy Chairs at the Auckland Art Gallery on 28 November
  •  Cycle Action Auckland Christmas gathering in support of Bikes for refugees
  • Invite from Royal NZ Ballet – RNZB season of Giselle on 30 November
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 1 December
  • Launch of the Franklin Road Christmas lights at the Rob Roy plaza on 1 December