My Councillor report covers the period from 11 June to 8 August and included a two week recess period. During the second recess week, I represented Auckland Council at the Local Government New Zealand annual conference (my conference report back will be on the Governing Body meeting agenda on 25 August).
The report has been prepared for the August business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.
Climate action Annual Budget
- On 29 June, Auckland Council formally adopted the Annual Budget 2022/23, locking in a bold billion-dollar package to combat the climate crisis and laying the foundations needed for Auckland to reach its climate objectives.
- A new quality partnership agreement (QPA) was signed between Fullers360 and Auckland Transport on 15 July. Although there are some immediate benefits for Waiheke with regards to greater accountability and a reduction in the cost of the monthly pass I share the local board’s disappointment and concern about services and fares.
- In parallel to the QPA the Minister continues the process to fully integrate the Waiheke ferry service into the Auckland-wide public transport network as a contracted service inside PTOM.
- In the meantime, I have supported the local board’s advocacy and asked AT to continue to negotiate integrating all trip tickets into the HOP card so Waiheke locals can enjoy integrated fares and free connections (this will also encourage greater bus use to the ferry). I’ve also asked that we look at options for funding free fares for children at weekends as we work towards fare parity for Waiheke (while Waiheke services are outside of PTOM legally Waka Kotahi is not able to provide any funding to reduce fare costs).
NPS-UD new government housing rules
- On 4 August the Planning Committee approved the public notification of a proposed plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan to meet government’s requirements for greater height and density across the city. It will go out for consultation from 18 August for 6 weeks. ( Attachment A: Why I supported public notification )
- A majority of the proposed changes were decided by the Planning Committee on 30 June in response to feedback on a preliminary response to the new rules.
Matariki was celebrated for the first time with a public holiday. To mark the day Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust working in collaboration with Revive Our Gulf deployed 150 tonnes of kūtai into te moana to regenerate the mussel beds. (I was invited as co-chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum but unfortunately was unable to attend due to post covid illness
Engagements and events attended
11 June – attended a community hui at Motairehe Marae, Aotea Great Barrier on the proposed temporary rāhui to stop people taking the threatened species of scallops, pāua and koura.
- CCO site visits:
- 17 June – With Auckland Transport visited the new station at Albany, the ATOC centre and Northcote town centre
- 4 July – On a visit to Port of Auckland we met the CEO Roger Gray and did a comprehensive tour of the site
- 13 June – CCRG meeting on noise
- 15 June – 2022 Auckland Writers Festival Programme launch
18 June – Motutapu Planting Day and a special evening with Dr Rangi Matamua to launch Matariki: A Light Show Celebration at Stardome Observatory
- 19 June – launch of Green Global Solutions and attended the Pathway Festival (music encounters along the hidden Opou stream, Grey Lynn to Cox’s Bay)
- June – Matariki: Te Umu Kohukohu Whetū a dawn event to start the Matariki Festivalat Takaparawhau hosted by Ngāti Whatua Ōrākei and also on 21 June the grand opening of Alan Wang Art Gallery at the invite of Cr Young
- 5 July – Girl from the North Country, at The Civic at the invite of Tataki Auckland Unlimited
- 7 July – As Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee attended the Repair Cafe Aotearoa NZ’ s presentation of a petition to Minister Parker at the Central Library to introduce legislation to make to easier for the community to get goods repaired.
- 7 July – Long Day’s Journey into Night, Q Theatre at the invite of Silo Theatre
- 9 July – Frieda’s community market in West Lynn and obtained a free rat trap from Urban Arc Manawa Taiao at Coxs Bay
- 10 July – NZ Eid day Festival at Eden Park
13 July – Councillor Clinic on Waiheke and met with the new Waiheke Art Gallery Director Fiona Blanchard
- 18 July – joined the Mayor’s media briefing for the new Federal
- 19 – 22 July attended the LGNZ conference in Palmy
- 23 July – As part of the Federal Street upgrade community celebration attended the Auckland City Mission‘s tour of the award winning Homeground. The beautiful building brings together
permanent housing, health and social services, and lots of community spaces in a warm and welcoming environment. Homegrown was 11 years in the making and cost $110m to build including a $5m contribution from Auckland Council
- 25 July – Commemorative service for He Taonga Te wai World Drowning Prevention Day 2022 at the invite of Drowning Prevention Auckland
- 26 July – Reception to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Auckland/Los Angeles Sister City Partnership 26th July
- 28 July – Wynyard Quarter Neighbours’ Forum hosted by Eke Panuku
28 July – opening gala of Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival with the World Premiere of Tearepa Kahi’s powerful film Muru at The Civic for the first time since 2019 at the invite of the NZIFF Trust
- 29 July – MC for the Fill your Keep Cup event especially curated by Suzanne Kendrick for Plastic Free July 2022 on behalf of Waitematā Waste Away to hear from a range of presenters including MP Eugenie Sage and Min David Parker on waste legislation and waste solutions (I gave a tribute to Warren Snow at the event – see below)
30 July – Presentation at Piritahi Marae to hear the results of the second annual koura/crayfish survey run by the Waiheke Marine Project. Really impressive presentations bringing together citizen scientists, divers and matauranga Māori. The results however are really troubling. Only 22 koura found across 28,000 sq m. This was a survey across 10,000 more square metres than the 2021 survey but found one less koura
- 2 August – Rough Lives Speak book launch and poetry reading at the Central City Library and University of Auckland’s Raising the Bar talk Auckland City, What a Pity by Julie Stout
- 4 August – Skytower 25th birthday celebration at the invitation of SkyCity Auckland
- 6 August – Haumi Wynyard Quarter’s 11th birthday celebrations
- 7 August – Friends of Regional Parks AGM
Governing Body meetings – Key decisions
The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.
On 10 June the Council Controlled Organisation Oversight Committee
- Received the 2021/2022 third quarter reports of the substantive Council-controlled Organisations and Ports of Auckland Limited
- Approved proposed content for Auckland Council’s letter of expectation to Ports of Auckland Limited.
On 23 June the Governing Body
- Endorsed the development of Auckland Council’s submission on the Water Services Entities Bill (the submission opposes many aspects of the Bill)
- adopted the Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Te Ture ā-Rohe Noho Puni Wātea ā-Waka 2022 / Auckland Council Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 2022
- Approved reallocation of $25,000 of Regional Events Anzac Day budget underspend from the current FY21/22 financial year to provide a one-off grant to the Auckland Returned and Service Association
On 27 June the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board
- Noted the change of lead agency for the city centre to Eke Panuku.
- Noted update from Auckland Transport regarding progress on the transport workstreams associated with implementation of the City Centre Masterplan.
On 29 June the Extraordinary Governing Body
- Adopted the Auckland Council Annual Budget 2022/2023, as the council’s annual plan for 2022/2023, including 21 local board agreements
On 30 June the Planning Committee
- Considered National Policy Statement on Urban Development- Policy Directions. Minutes of decision can be found here https://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2022/06/PLA_20220630_MIN_10163_WEB.htm
- On item 14 of the agenda, I worked with Chair Darby to secure this amendment to the recommendations put forward by planning staff to ensure a review of the walkable catchment.
Walkable catchments of the City Centre zone, Metropolitan Centre zones and stops on Auckland’s Rapid Transit Network
b) confirm the walkable catchments referred to in Policy 3(c) of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development as defined in resolution PLA/2021/80 (see Attachment A to the agenda report), subject to:
i) clarifying that the walkable catchment is from the edge of the City Centre zone and the edge of the Metropolitan Centre zone
ii) the ongoing review of feedback on specific walkable catchments (e.g. modifying factors that might affect the distance in a particular location) as well as carrying out a consistency check on the mapped catchments across the different walkable catchments in Auckland
iii) more work being undertaken to determine the suitability of a walkable catchment of 1,200m from the edge of the city centre following the ongoing review of the feedback.
On 7 July Environment and Climate Change Committee
- Supported a notice of motion from Councillor Bartley- Fishing control Kawau/Shag species in the Panmure Basin. The committee requested that staff support Councillor Bartley in advocating to the appropriate crown agency or agencies to introduce a fishing ban or other such control in the Panmure basin to protect the Shag species.
- Discussed natural hazards risk management action plan and received the one-year update.
- Received an update on the exposure draft of the national policy statement for indigenous biodiversity.
On 26 July Finance and Performance Committee
- Considered a notice of motion from Councillor Stewart to revoke or alter previous resolution on 9R Fortyfoot Lane, Sunnyhills.
- Received public input from residents of the area and local board input on Councillor Stewart’s notice of motion. The motion was declared lost by 8 votes to 13.
- Discussed council’s group’s insurance renewal placement and the self-insurance fund.
On 28 July Governing Body
- Discussed Climate action targeted rate and proposed governance framework.
- Established a governance and oversight group for the duration of the climate action targeted rate. Some responsibilities of the group will include providing direction to and endorse annual CATR programmes and projects. Reviewing any variations from the programmes and projects. They are to meet bi-annually and often if required. Report progress on implementations and delegate authority to the mayor to endorse on behalf of the governance group.
On 4 August the Planning Committee
- approved public notification of the proposed plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan – the city’s planning rulebook – to meet central government requirements for greater building height and density across the city, with people being able to make submissions from 18 August 2022 and endorsed additional policy directions:
Low Density Residential zone
A new Low Density Residential zone was endorsed to provide a lower level of development than the three storeys required by the government. It will be used in areas where some qualifying matters, or exemptions, to limit required building heights apply.
Water supply, wastewater and stormwater QM
New qualifying matters were endorsed for areas where long-term water supply, wastewater and stormwater network constraints exist and need to be managed.
Rural and coastal settlements
A number of rural and coastal settlements were endorsed as not having the Medium Density Residential Standards apply because they have a population less than 5,000 people and are not part of Auckland’s urban environment.
These include: Helensville, Clarks Beach, Glenbrook Beach, Karaka, Maraetai, Riverhead, Snells Beach – Algies Bay, Wellsford, Kingseat, Te Hana, Parakai, Matakana, Whitford, Waimauku, Patumahoe, Stillwater, Kawakawa Bay, Omaha, Point Wells, Waiwera, Clevedon, Okura and Kumeu-Huapai.
- I moved the motion to approve proposed plan change to make additions and amendments to Schedule 10 Notable Trees Schedule (this was made possible on the back of a motion I moved in November 2020 to agree to schedule trees when resources allow)
- approved the strategic direction to guide development of a draft Future Development Strategy.
- June 17 discussed the council’s announced savings as well as cycleway spending.
- July 15 discussed the High Court ruling on the RLTP and gave an update on the local election process
- Our Auckland: New Zealand’s first ‘Essential Vehicle Area’ coming to Queen Street
St James Apartment and Theatre Media release: quoted on good news about the development (The Spinoff update on the plans)
The wonderful John Elliott sadly passed away on 12 July. He leaves a tremendous legacy including the huge contribution he made reporting locally on the big issues through Ponsonby News (was also the founder and long time editor).
I’m really grateful to John for his consent presence throughout my political life – a mentor, adviser, supporter and always quick to call me up about the decisions he wasn’t happy about. Smart, witty, compassionate, thoughtful and a gentleman. Deservedly acknowledged with a QSM and a Good Citizen Award from the Waitematā Local Board (photo right presenting the award). John will be greatly missed.
Many of you will have been inspired by Warren over many years for this work on many zero waste projects including the Kiwi bottle drive and the container bottle scheme. I’d like to share why I am immensely grateful to Warren.
In 2009 I went along to one of the early Grey Lynn 2030 transition town meetings. Warren was the guest speaker sharing his ideas for a network of resource recovery centres. For me Warren put it altogether in a way that made complete sense. This was something that had to happen. The idea for a community-led centre became a Grey Lynn 2030 project and then was picked up by the Waitematā Local Board in the first local board plan – a central site supported by Puketāpapa and Albert-Eden Local Boards too. Scoping got underway about a decade ago and then a real project with real council money a few years later.
What is so awesome is the Te Waiōrea Western Springs resource recovery centre is going to open very soon. Warren can be super proud of his vision and encouragement. In acknowledging Warren I also think of his words at that meeting in 2009 that have stuck with me and I always come back to – we should always remember and acknowledge the “founders” . As Warren would say many people contribute to a successful project and idea.
However for me, and I am sure for all Grey Lynn 2030, Warren will always be the originator of Te Waiōrea and because of that Suzanne Kendrick has proposed a tribute to Warren at the centre. Thanks to Parul, General Manager Waste Solution who has picked up the idea and is making it a reality in the form of a tree and a plaque.
Before I close my tribute to Warren, I acknowledge there is so much more to say and thank Warren for. At the end of May Elisabeth Easter profiled Warren for her Herald column My Story. I suggested Warren when Elisabeth asked me to recommend a zero waste hero. Warren wrote on his facebook that he was really pleased with the full page story and especially being able to call out the Warehouse’s sustainable and affordable marketing campaign. Thank you Elisabeth for giving Warren the recognition he deserves.
Ema Barton, from Song Writers for Climate Action dedicated a song to Warren to close the event