Monthly Board report December 2015

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities from 1 November until 5 December 2015 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, and Chair of the Grants Committee, and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.  I was also acting chair from 15 – 19 November.

This is my final report for 2015. Many thanks to everyone who supports the work of the Board during the year.


Parnell Festival of roses 2015 zero wasteParnell Festival of Roses on 15 November

Congratulations to the team who delivered an outstanding community-focused Parnell Festival of Roses this year (the festival is now in its 22nd year).  I was particularly impressed to hear that the festival broke zero waste records. It is the most sustainable event in terms of zero waste since Auckland Zero Waste Alliance’s Zero Waste Event Project started operating in 2013 achieving a diversion from landfill of 98%.  90% of the event’s waste was composted, and another 8% recycled. Only 2% of the waste generated went to landfill.

David Seymour MP took a big interest in learning about zero waste


Freemans Bay School think big projectFreemans Bay School Think Big project

The launch of the Auckland Kids Voice website by Freeman’s Bay School was held on 11 November at Auckland Council. The website is a Think Big project developed by the school with funding from the Waitematā Local Board earmarked for youth initiatives as part of being a UNICEF Child Friendly City.

The website includes an adult survey form adapted by the school students for kids to be able to give local feedback on Auckland Transport’s New Network bus consultation.  The project was recognised in a NZ Herald article Inner City youngsters have region’s interests at heart

Thanks to everyone who made this project happen.

Launch of the Low Carbon Community Action Plan at the Auckland Museum

Launch of low carbon plan at Auckland Museum
Launch of low carbon plan at Auckland Museum

Waitematā is the first Local Board to launch a community low carbon action plan. The plan came out of community concern about the lack of action on climate change that led to the Board in 2011 committing to develop a localised plan for reducing emissions that will focus on reducing energy use, sustainable transport options, waste reduction, local food production and more effective and cooperative use of resources and land. I acknowledge the work of the Natural Environment Portfolio team (members Deborah Yates and Rob Thomas) who have seen through the project this term.

On Wednesday 4 November the plan and a Low Carbon Community Network was launched by the Board at the Auckland Museum.  The network is intended as a loose collaboration of all those interested in climate change and forging a low carbon community. The Board aims to make the most of sharing the considerable ideas, news and events which make up our collective local knowledge.

At the launch the Museum’s Director of Corporate Services Les Fleming (pictured below with board members) described the huge success they have had in reducing their carbon footprint and took attendees on the roof to see the solar array which is contributing to their effort.

Ponsonby Rd Pedestrian Experience project

On 17 November consultation started on the proposal by Auckland Transport and the Waitematā Local Board to make Ponsonby Road more visually attractive and pedestrian-friendly through improvements to 8 side streets between Franklin Road and Williamson Ave.  Additional improvements for Mackelvie Street include a new central island with plantings and an additional raised table. Depending on the preferred design the improvements will result in the addition of between 8 – 12 on street car parks, a new pedestrian refuge for crossing Ponsonby Road and new street furniture.

The improvements are funded from the Waitematā Local Board transport capital expenditure fund to support delivery of the Ponsonby Road Plan.

I’ve previously reported on the 2 year battle the Board had with Auckland Transport to achieve a pedestrian friendly design so it is great to see this project progress.

Consultation is open until 7 December.

Grey Lynn Transport project consultation

Auckland Transport has made unnecessarily difficult work of proposals for transport changes at the Grey Lynn shops.  Auckland Transport failed to appreciate the impact of their original proposals (that started out as a project to just relocate one bus stop and improve the safety of two more in the town centre), didn’t develop a consultation plan with the Local Board and didn’t respond adequately to issues raised by the local business community.   

It is unfortunate because there are many positive aspects of the revised project (following initial community feedback) that Auckland Transport started consultation on in early November.  The new proposals include a new pedestrian crossing, relocation of a loading zone and revised changes to bus stops in the town centre, as well as the installation of  traffic calming treatments on Prime Rd and Selbourne St. The changes aim to improve pedestrian safety, create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, and improve the operation of bus services.  Importantly it is no longer proposed to remove a loading zone and substantial on street parking which was the focus of original concerns about the project.

On my request the feedback period was extended by 2 weeks (until 9 December) following the Surrey Cres working group raising concerns about the timeframe and extent of the consultation.

Update on the berm planting guidelines

Richmond Rd berm dec 2015I’ve previously reported on the feedback we gave Auckland Transport on their draft berm planting guidelines. As part of the feedback the Board requested that Auckland Transport re-write the guidelines in conjunction with Local Board Services and that the guidelines include:

  • details about why berm planting is encouraged and supported
  • sets out an empowering and enabling criteria
  • clarifies the local board role
  • identifies how to mitigate potential hazards and maintenance expectations
  • tips on working with neighbours to achieve the best outcomes for the community from private plantings in the road corridor

However Auckland Transport has advised that a new draft of the guidelines will go to Auckland Transport’s Executive Team and the AT Board, with a final version of the guidelines likely to be available in the new year. In other words AT has ignored the Board’s request to have input BEFORE the guidelines are finalised.

I have therefore written to the CEO of Auckland Transport bringing his attention to the flawed process his senior managers are pursuing with regards to the berm planting guidelines and to ask that he takes action to ensure the guidelines are only finalised after AT has sought the input of Local Board services as requested (by Waitemata and many other Boards).

In ignoring the request for further input from Local Board Services AT is failing to recognise the Local Board’s placemaking role and desire to work with the community on this issue.  AT is also acting contrary to the governance structure and engagement agreement with Local Boards. The current process proposed by AT is unacceptable and is likely to lead to Local Boards having no choice but to draft our own guidelines together with the community.

Freemans Bay Residential Parking Scheme

The results of  Auckland Transport’s consultation on the Freemans Bay Residential Parking Scheme showed 59% overall support (78% support from residents).  However AT advised the Freemans Bay Residents Association that further consultation may be necessary due to the low response rate  (2439 letter sent out, 305 responses received). This led to over 140 emails from concerned residents to Board members asking that the scheme be implemented as soon as possible. I assisted the chair in drafting the following response to Freemans Bay residents:

Thank you for your email and for showing your support for the Freemans Bay Residential Parking Scheme. The Waitematā Local Board is very concerned about the ongoing parking issues in Freemans Bay.

We have asked Auckland Transport (AT) to implement the scheme as soon as possible.

The Board has been advocating for the introduction of the Freemans Bay Residential parking scheme since 2011 and we have actively supported the work of AT together with the Freemans Bay Residents Association to develop the proposed scheme that was recently been consulted on by AT.

One of our key advocacy areas in our Local Board Agreement 2015/16 is Auckland Transport to implement the residential parking zone scheme to manage commuter parking in central Auckland suburbs following consultation with residents.

On 3 November Auckland Transport’s parking team briefed Local Board members on their analysis of the consultation feedback. Although AT advised that they are satisfied they carried out a robust and thorough consultation process, the AT parking team raised with the Board their concern about the low response rate from residents and whether this might require further directed consultation such as door to door enquiries to ensure residents understand and support the scheme.

However we confirmed with AT that we do not think there is any reason to delay the implementation or undertake further consultation given the level of support at the public meeting we attended and that a low response rate is to be expected when the majority are favourable to a proposal.

I, on behalf of the Board, have therefore given AT a very clear direction of the Board’s support for the scheme which has also been backed up by the many positive messages of support, including your own, that we have received from residents.

The parking team confirmed that they will be recommending this month to the Auckland Transport Executive (the final decision maker) that the implementation of the scheme goes ahead based on the consultation results and the support of the Waitematā Local Board. AT have undertaken to get back to the Board with an implementation plan very shortly.

At our November Board meeting we also directed Auckland Transport to implement the scheme as soon as possible (thanks to the Freemans Bay Residents Association for supporting this work and attending the meeting).   AT has now confirmed implementation will take place in March 2016.

Community Grants

Applications for the Quick Response Round Two 2015- 2016 were considered at the Community Grants Committee meeting on 2 December. 17 applications totally $36,622.00 were received for a remaining grants fund of $53,298.58.

Details of the applications and the committee’s decision is available on the Council website under agenda and minutes.

Franklin Road lights 2015Franklin Road lights

The annual switch on of the Franklin Road lights took place on 1 December. This is a very special community event that the Board supports with a grant for the opening night celebrations and additional waste services.

Thanks to the organiser Roscoe Thorby who is to be congratulated on a fantastic opening night with record crowds and special guests Buckwheat and Tess.

Nelson St cycleway opening

cycleway-opening-ceremony_500x620The Nelson St cycleway and Canada St bridge opened on 3 December by Hon Simon Bridges. It is fantastic to see this cycleway project progress so quickly since receiving funding from the Urban Cycleway Investment fund. It is the most exciting and interesting cycling project happening in New Zealand if not the world right now. The magenta colour, lighting installation and clever repurposing of a disused motorway off ramp are sure to be award winning and a huge visitor attraction.

Workshops and meetings

From 1 November – 5 December 2015 I attended:

  • Central Local Boards briefing on financial policies for Annual Plan 2016/2017 on 2 November
  • Surrey Crescent working group meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss the Grey Lynn transport project on 2 November
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 3 November
  • Media and communications catch up on 4 November
  • Business Improvement Districts policy workshop for Councillors and Local Board member representatives on 5 November
  • Meeting for Board members to discuss proposed Unitary Plan rezoning
  • Meeting to discuss Waitematā Local Board Grants programme
  • Auckland Transport presentation to Parnell Inc members regarding the New  Network bus consultation
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 10 November
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 11 November
  • Meeting  on 11 November to discuss Ellen Melville Hall art concept proposals
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 12 November
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss Franklin Road upgrade options and process
  • Presentation by 5 year two AUT students of their innovative ecological design project for Western Bays.
  • GHD hosted breakfast on 13 November and ‘Bikes are good for business’ presentation by Kyle Rowe, Transport Planner with the Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Catch up with NBA General manager on  13 November
  • Weekly update with Relationship Manager including update with Senior Advisor on 16 November (as acting Chair)
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 17 November
  • Transport portfolio monthly meeting with Auckland Transport on 18 November
  • Meeting at MacKelvie St  organised by the Ponsonby Business Association with Auckland Transport to discuss the Ponsonby Road pedestrian experience project consultation
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 24 November
  • Meeting with Julian Hulls from Nextbike to discuss bike share
  • Waitematā Local Board extraordinary meeting on 24 November
  • Community Development Portfolio meeting on 25 November
  • Inner City Network meeting organised by ADCOSS on 26 November at Ellen Melville Hall
  • Meeting to discuss Greenways route through Parnell Station
  • Waitematā Local Board annual plan presentation to the governing body (presented by the Chair)
  • Tamaki Drive (Plumer St to Ngapipi Rd) cycle route workshop organised by Auckland Transport on 30 November at Beca
  • Ponsonby Community Centre Committee meeting on 30 November
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 1 December
  • Attended the Step it Up conference organised by Centre for NZ Progress  opening plenary on 30 November  and with Michael Wood (member Puketapapa Local Board ) presented at the Step It Up conference on 1 December Local government elections in 2016 – Fighting for progress
  • Waterfront Forum hosted by Panuku Development Agency on 1 December
  • Waitematā Local Board grants committee meeting on 2 December
  • Local Board Members briefing on Housing Affordability on 3 December

Events and functions

From 1 November – 5 December 2015 I attended:

  • All Blacks parade in Victoria Park on 4 November
  • Launch of the Low Carbon Community Action plan at Auckland Museum on 4 November
  • Community information event for the POP programme 2016 held at Studio One on 6 November
  • Hudson & Halls at the Herald Theatre on 6 November at the invitation of Silo Theatre
  • Opening of the Salisbury Reserve playground upgrade on 7 November
  • Auckland Transport’s New Network Consultation at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on 8 November
  • Freemans Bay School’s Think Big Project launch (Auckland Kids Voice website)
  • Armistice Day commemoration held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on 11 November
  • Opening of the Short me Shorts Film Festival at the Civic Theatre on 11 November
  • Grey Lynn Business Association networking drinks
  • Opening of the Onehunga Foreshore Taumanu on Saturday 14 November
  • Parnell Festival of Roses on Sunday 15 November
  • Auckland Architecture Association Awards and Lecture by the chief judge Rewi Thompson at the Auckland Art Gallery on 17 November
  • Parnell Community Committee AGM on 17 November
  • The Grey Lynn Book Launch at the Grey Lynn RSC on 18 November
  • Opening of the Air New Zealand 75th anniversary exhibition at the Auckland Museum on 19 November
  • Herne Bay Residents Association AGM on 19 November
  • Launch of the Arch Hill Art Wall at Lot 23 on 20 November
  • Bike Market organised by Auckland Transport at the Pitt St YMCA Hall
  • Announcement event for the Phil Goff mayoralty campaign on 22 November
  • Civic Trust AGM at the Leys Institute Library on 22 November
  • Cycle Action Auckland relaunch as Bike Auckland on 24 November
  • White Ribbon march on 25 November
  • Ponsonby Community Centre Christmas drinks on 25 November (I received coasters as a Christmas gift from the staff at the centre)
  • Drinks with Jarret Walker , author of  Human Transit How clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our communities and our lives  hosted by MR Cagney on 27 November
  • climate change christopherGrey Lynn Park Festival on 28 November
  • People’s Climate March on 28 November (photo right with Christopher Dempsey on the Climate March)
  • Ponsonby Community Centre AGM on 30 November
  • Waterfront Forum hosted by Panuku Development Agency on 1 December
  • Franklin Road Christmas lights opening on 1 December
  • Silo Park Christmas launch on 2 December
  • Dawn blessing and opening of the Nelson St cycleway on 3 December
  • First Thursdays on K’rd
  • Grey Lynn Community Centre Christmas gathering on 3 December
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 5 December
  • Bike Rave on 5 December

Monthly Board report November 2015

This report provides highlights from my Waitematā Local Board activities during October 2015. It is included on the agenda of the Board’s November business meeting.

Penelope Carroll (Massey University) and children from central schools present on the children’s audit carried out as part of the Freyberg Square consultation
Penelope Carroll (Massey University) and children from central schools present on the children’s audit carried out as part of the Freyberg Square consultation


Public Forum

Public forum at the Board’s October business meeting was one of our most interesting and thought-provoking with seven presentations covering a range of projects and issues. We are really fortunate that people in the Waitematā Local Board area are willing to take the time to engage with local government through our public forums.

Charlotte Fisher and Erwin van Asbeck bring along the litter collected from a Herne Bay beach to highlight local stormwater, sewage and pollution issues.
Charlotte Fisher and Erwin van Asbeck bring along the litter collected from a Herne Bay beach to highlight local stormwater, sewage and pollution issues.

Friends of St Davids, Grey Lynn Surrey Crescent shopsworking group, Hauora Gardens at Studio One, Brian McClure a local business landlord and the Grey Lynn pump track society also presented at the public forum.

Presentations that were tabled are available on the Council website.

Berm planting

Auckland Transport has done a great job sparking interest in berm planting!  Local Board feedback on Auckland Transport’s draft berm planting guidelines was made available in October (our feedback was attached to the October agenda) leading to media coverage extending all the way to the BBC and a NZ gardener petition.

Disappointingly Auckland Transport incorrectly claimed in the media that the draft had been provided to local boards in confidence. Throughout the development of the draft guidelines AT has shown a lack of understanding of Local Board’s placemaking role and processes.

Photo Credit: Nick Young
Photo Credit: Nick Young








Ponsonby Road feeder lane
Ponsonby Road feeder lane

Ponsonby Road safety improvements

A new feeder lane and advance stop boxes (“fresh Kermit) have been installed on Ponsonby Road as part of Auckland Transport’s resurfacing project.

Report back: Future of Cycling symposium: Challenges and Possibilities

I attended the Future of Cycling symposium hosted by the University of Waikato and Cycling New Zealand at the Avantidrome in Cambridge on 2 October 2015.

The symposium was a first for bringing together academics, sports administrators, cycle advocates and representatives from transport agencies to discuss a range of cycling related issues and opportunities.

The symposium was opened by Andrew Matheson, CEO of Cycling NZ. He shared some interested statistics from research Cycling NZ has carried out:

–       23% of adults get on a bike at least once a year

–       Half have high engagement with cycling

–       High engagement riders are estimated to save our health economy $1 billion per year

I was particularly interested in presentations about safety and making cycling an everyday transport option.  For example from a  report back from the Cycle Safety conference in Germany we heard about new bike technology to make cycling safer for older people (in Holland cycling injuries and fatalities are very low by international standards but older people make up the largest and growing group of victims). It was recommended that rather than follow the lead of Europe we need to find our own safety solutions to meet them in the future.

Gerry Dance from NZTA reported that we are now “riding with a political tailwind” due to the increase in cycling investment from the government.

I attended the symposium with members Christopher Dempsey and Rob Thomas. Registration of $80 was paid from the Board’s professional development budget.

October events and functions

In addition to Local Board workshops and meetings I attended:

  • Cycling symposium in Cambridge on 2 October
  • Pecha Kucha Maritime edition at the Voyager Museum 8 October
  • Art Week opening at Silo 6 on 9 October
  • Auckland Refugees Council AGM on 10 October at the Grey Lynn Community Centre
  • Kelmarna Spring Festival on 11 October
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 14 October
  • Introduction to Local Board members by the new Panuku Development Agency
  • At the Beach NZ Fashion Museum launch at Voyager Museum on 15 October
  • Spring Fling in the Myers Park underpass on 16 October
  • Diwali Festival opening ceremony in Aotea Square on 17 October
  • Grey Lynn Farmers Market AGM on 18 October  (I have now resigned from the Grey Lynn Farmers Market management committee after 5 years as Chair )
  • Bikes vs Cars documentary screening on 18 October
  • Ports of Auckland community reference group meeting
  • Presentation by the world homeless expert Dr Sam  Tsemberis, Pathways to Housing, NYC  at Merge Café hosted by Lifewise on 20 October
  • Opening of the Screenies International children’s film festival at TAPAC on 22 October
  • Inner city network meeting to discuss neighbours day 2016 preparations
  • Ponsonby Business Association AGM on 27 October
  • The Lesson opening night at Basement Theatre on 27 October
  • Franklin Road community liaison group meeting on 28 October (to discuss the latest options for the upgrade of Franklin Road)

Monthly Board Report October 2015

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities from 17 August – 30 September 2015 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, and Chair of the Grants Committee, and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.


Portfolio updates: Transport

Beach Rd Stage 2 opening
Beach Rd Stage 2 opening

Beach Road stage 2

I was delighted to join the celebrations for the opening of Beach Road stage 2 especially as the Board (through our Chair Shale Chambers) played a role in securing the funding for the project to get underway. The opening brought together the Mayor, NZTA regional director, Hon Nikki Kaye, Kaumatua Matt Maihi (on what was also the 175th anniversary of Ngati Whatua’s signing over of land to the Crown, which officially began the process of creating Auckland city), local politicians and the many people from across multiple organisations who are all committed to Auckland being a great place to cycle.

The design adds to the city centre’s growing network of cycleways and

Walkers on the Beach Rd cycleway
Walkers on the Beach Rd cycleway

provides attractive street amenity to the soulless apartment frontages on Beach Road.

Unfortunately there are already concerns about the design of the separated pathways for cycling and walking. The layout and signage is confusing so that both pathways have become “shared” by default putting more vulnerable walkers in conflict with riders.

We hope to see Auckland Transport address these issues as well as improving the connections from Beach Road to Britomart and Fort St (a cycle crossing phase has been requested on the intersection of Customs, Britomart Pl and Beach Rd).

Update on the footpath programme: Making Auckland’s footpaths safer, easier to navigate and more convenient

I have previously reported on the streets we would like to see included in Auckland Transport’s footpath work programme 15/16 including footpaths requiring maintenance.

In August Christopher and I went on a site visit with Auckland Transport’s maintenance team leader to ascertain what works can be leveraged from the renewal budget to deliver local board priorities. Attachment B outlines the actions we logged with Auckland Transport for follow up.  

Ponsonby Rd safety

Following concerns regarding the safety of people on bikes using Ponsonby Rd (highlighted by a painful and concerning account of a “dooring” on the Cycle Action Auckland website) I have provided the following update on what the transport portfolio is doing regarding education, enforcement and short term fixes:

  • For some time now we have been asking AT to work with the Police to enforce the speed limit (frustratingly no sign of this happening on any of our city centre streets)
  • We have requested safety campaigns aimed at drivers – passing rules, driveway rules etc (we have raised concerns about AT’s campaigns aimed at vulnerable road users and the lack of evidence that these campaigns work eg “Pay attention or pay the price” type messages)
  • Ponsonby Rd feeder lane "Fresh Kermit"We advocated for the recent resealing of Ponsonby Rd to be used as an opportunity to include new “greening” for cyclists at the intersections (unfortunately AT have recently confirmed that despite earlier assurances the feeder lanes to new advance stop boxes at the Franklin Rd intersection are not going ahead)
  • We have requested a barnes dance at the intersection with Richmond Rd
  • We have a “Ponsonby Rd pedestrian experience project” underway funded with approx. $500k from the Local board transport capex fund. This is aimed at providing improvements (raised tables) to all the side streets between Franklin Rd and McKelvie St (this project is not directly delivering cycle infrastructure but it will assist with calming the traffic)
  • We’ve supported residential parking zones being rolled out in Freemans Bay and Ponsonby which will release short term parking for visitors and take the pressure off Ponsonby Road as the main parking area
  • We’ve asked for data to be collected on how people are currently travelling to Ponsonby Rd and the % of through traffic v local traffic to assist with future planning
  • Since the latest dooring that CAA alerted us to recently we’ve asked AT to provide data on crashes involving cyclists on Ponsonby Rd and an update on how AT is going to respond with a specific campaign.

Longer term the board has committed to a solution under Outcome 3 of the Ponsonby Plan (“Pedestrian and Cyclist safety- develop Ponsonby Road with various transport options that prioritise the safety of pedestrians and cyclists”)

We are looking to AT to confirm how quickly the investigation of cyclelanes can be investigated given that Ponsonby Road is not currently in AT’s 3 year work programme. Personally I think the best time to start will be after we have effective parking management in place (residential parking zones) and once the connections at either end on K’rd and Great North Road and to Westhaven have been installed.  

Best practice in walking

Jim Walker, the founder of the Walk21 conferences and global expert in walking, gave a lunchtime presentation hosted by the NZ Institute of Architects and Auckland Transport. Jim talked about the importance of walking, promoting the formula for effective investment in walking; showcasing examples of best practice internationally.

Key messages:

  • Walkability the best indicator of a liveable city
  • By far the biggest percentage of trips are under 5km (63%) but most resources are allocated to trips over 30km which are only 7% of all trips
  • Need to make walking visible with data. For example when trips were measured in Sydney’s CBD 92% were found to be walking trips with 50% of each trip made up of waiting time (it would Sales revenues increase after pedestrianisation (in a Munich example up to 40%)
  • People walking to town centres are found to spend more per week than drivers
  • It is safer for everyone in cities where people walk and cycle
  • In the UK it is estimated that for every pound spent on walking 7 pounds are saved in health costs

In making observations about Auckland Jim recommended:

  • making walking as appealing and enjoyable as possible
  • deliver streets that are safer, easier to navigate and more comfortable
  • promote walking as the first choice for every day short trips

This presentation confirmed for me the need for Auckland focused trip data (at the moment most of the data is derived from pedestrian counts and census journey to work data) and more NZ based evidence about the benefits of investing in walking (refer Attachment C for a Grey Lynn example).

High Street parking issues

High St Chris Cherry in the HeraldConsultation on the upgrade Ellen Melville and Pioneer Womens Hall and Freyberg Square (with the proposed removal of the road in front of the hall) has highlighted a number of current High St parking issues that could be addressed before the project goes ahead.

The city centre team, who are project managing the upgrade, have been asked to investigate the following with Auckland Transport:

  1. Removal of the High St exit from the Victoria St carpark
  2. Change to light phases at the High St /Victoria St intersection to speed up access from the Victoria St car park
  3. Re-configuration of the Victoria St car park to better provide for short term parking (ie moving long term parking from the lower levels)
  4. Management of the number of trade vehicles on High St to free up short term on -street car parking  (through permits and encouraging tradies to use the car park)
  5. Promoting Victoria St car park as the “pop in” short term parking for visitors to High St/O’Connell St/Vulcan Lane precinct (ie changing perceptions that it is difficult to access the shopping area)
  6. Undertake a parking survey on High St to confirm current vacancy/occupancy rates and make the data publicly available and for Heart of the City to share with members
  7. Depending on the results of the parking survey discuss with AT the tools available to increase availability and turn over

Portfolio updates: Community

Age – Friendly Cities Forum

I attended the ADCOSS organised Age- Friendly cities forum on 27 August. This was an opportunity to hear from a wider range of speakers about how an age-friendly city benefits people of all ages. A youth perspective was provided by members of the Waitematā Youth Collective.

Key messages for me:

  • We need to be designing and building age and disability friendly housing that can support existing communities not just in isolated suburbs  (David Haigh, Lecturer in social practice at Unitec)
  • We should implement the UK’s “Shopmobility” initiative that can benefit retailers (Vivian Naylor, CCS disability Action)
  • We need to be including dementia-friendly perspectives in our design (Karen Smith, Clinical Research nurse at Auckland University’s Centre for brain research)
  • Connectedness is the most important factor for enhancing well-being. Strong, cohesive communities are the best thing for people’s health and psychological sense of control (Prof. John Raeburn)

Smokefree Auckland 2025  

smokefree outside areas forumThe board has supported the bringing forward of the review of Council’s Smokefree Policy and the earlier implementation of the planned stage 3 including extending smokefree areas to beaches, shared spaces and outside dining.

Following a meeting with Auckland Cancer Society we have also confirmed our commitment to promote our current smokefree events and facilities and ensure phase 1 has been fully implemented (covering  signage and smokefree bus stops).

I also attended the Auckland Cancer society’s smokefree outside areas forum where I heard that there is increasing evidence of the public’s approval to extend smokefree areas to all public places such as beaches and outside dining. There is evidence that smokefree outdoor areas help to limit exposure to smoking and decrease the chances of former smokers relapsing. Outdoor policies also help people quit.

Investigations are underway on whether it is preferable to adopt a regulatory rather than non-regulatory approach (as is currently taken in the smokefree policy). In Ontario there is very effective use of signs and very little enforcement.

We are at a similar point to when indoor venues went smokefree – business ended up having nothing to fear and it was also good for hospitality workers.

Community Grants

The Waitematā Local Board grants committee that I chair considered the applications for round one 2015/16. For the first time we have a “Quick Response Grants” process for applications up to $3000 and Local Grants for applications up to $7500. In total $280,920.46 was requested from round one from our total community grants fund of $100,000. This massive over subscription was partly due to the demise of the Community Group Assistance Fund and Accommodation Support Fund benefitting boards in the old Auckland City Council area. These funds have been distributed between all 21 local boards unfortunately leaving a large funding shortfall for organisations based in the Waitematā area.

Think Big mural project at Richmond Rd School
Think Big mural project at Richmond Rd School

The round one decisions and recommendations of the committee are attached to the agenda.

Photo right: students from Richmond Road School with their ‘Think Big’ project ‘The Colour Project’ certificates presented by member Deborah Yates at the school assembly on behalf of the Board

Further meetings and activities relevant to the community portfolio are detailed below

Workshops and meetings

From 17 August – 30 September 2015 I attended:

  • Local Boards greenways collaborative meeting on 17 August
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss Grey Lynn transport project presentation
  • Auckland Transports’ public meeting on 17 August to present Grey Lynn transport project proposals
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 18 August including meeting with Auckland Museum representatives
  • Waitematā Youth Collective introductory meeting on 18 August
  • Meeting with Auckland Cancer Society to discuss the progress on the regional Smoke free policy and the upcoming review that is planned for later this year
  • Lunchtime Learning: The housing we’d choose: A study of housing preferences, choices and trade-offs in Auckland.
  • Meeting with GM Ponsonby Business Association 21 August
  • Elected member professional development working group meeting 24 August
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 25 August
  • Newmarket Laneways working group
  • Grey Lynn park pump track presentation
  • Pre-view of the proposed Nelson St Off-ramp Cycleway – amenity lighting on 25 August
  • Community Development portfolio monthly update on 26 August
  • ADCOSS age friendly cities forum at Western Springs Hall on 27 August
  • Meeting to discuss achievements report photos on 27 August
  • Jim Walker – founder of Walk21: International best practice in walking seminar on 28 August
  • Ponsonby Community Centre committee meeting on 31 August
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 1 September
  • Catch up with NBA General manager on 4 September
  • New footpath programme – site visit on 4 September
  • Attended the Seniors Advisory Panel on 7 September
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 8 September
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 9 September
  • Auckland Development Committee workshop on 9 September (covering SHAs, City Centre Integration Group update, Downtown Car park  and the Chief Economist housing report)
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 10 September
  • Visit to the Auckland Central Library CAB
  • Meeting with Cowie St residents 14 September
  • Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Square consultation drop in
    Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Square consultation drop in

    Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Square consultation drop- ins on 11 and 14 September (photo right)

  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 15 September
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up and site visit to MacKelvie St (part of the Ponsonby Road pedestrian experience funded from the local board capex fund)
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss Curran St/Sarsfield St intersection proposals
  • Consultation meeting on 17 September for Heart of the City members to discuss Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Square proposals
  • Interview with a representative from Hay Group on 18 September (As part of their regular three-yearly job sizing exercise, the Remuneration Authority has commissioned Hay Group to meet with a cross section of elected members from Auckland Council to conduct an assessment)
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 22 September
  • Media and communications meeting
  • Community Development Portfolio meeting on 22 September
  • Waitemata Local Board Grants Committee meetings on 23 and 29 September
  • Smokefree outdoor areas forum on 23 September
  • Inner City Network meeting organised by ADCOSS on 24 September
  • Meeting on 25 September to discuss elected member professional development
  • Ponsonby Community Centre management committee meeting 28 September
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 29 September
  • Local Board greenways collaborative meeting on 30 September

Events and functions

From 16 August – 30 September 2015 I attended:

  • Opening of the Tole Reserve playground on 22 August
  • Officiated at the citizenship ceremony at the Town Hall on 24 August
  • Cycle Action Auckland AGM on 27 August
  • Richmond Road School ‘Think Big’ project ‘The Colour Project’ assembly presentation of certificates to the working group on 28 August
  • Ponsonby presents NZ Fashion Festival show at the invitation of PBA on 29 August
  • Heroes at Maidment Theatre at the invitation of ATC
  • Wallace Art Awards at Pah Homestead on 7 September
  • The Events at Q Theatre at the invitation of Silo Theatre Trust on 9 September
  • Grey Lynn Business Association networking drinks
  • Auckland Conversations on 10 September Building Bridges not walls, Gill Hicks, peace advocate
  • Diversity Job Fair 2015 (morning tea for invited guests) at AUT on 12 September
  • Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Square open day on Saturday 12 September
  • Circability Trust  afternoon tea on 13 September celebrating one year at Campbell Free Kindergarten
  • Cats the musical at the Civic Theatre at the invitation of Regional Facilities Auckland
  • Aotea Quarter consultation walking tour
    Aotea Quarter consultation walking tour

    Aotea Quarter Framework consultation walk on 17 September (photo right)

  • Opening of Beach Rd cycleway on 18 September
  • International Park(ing) day installations on High and Lorne St on 18 September
  • Suffrage Day celebration at Khartoum Place on 18 September hosted by National Council of Women
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 19 September
  • Newmarket Business Association AGM on 24 September
  • Opening of the Heritage Festival at Pah Homestead on 24 September
  • Screening of the movie Everest at the invitation of Santa Parade Trust
  • Grey Lynn Farmers Market 6th birthday celebrations
  • Festival Italiano opening and lunch in Newmarket at the invitation of Dante Alighieri Society Auckland on Sunday 27 September (photo below: Osborne St open for people to enjoy the festival)

Italian festival 2015

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