Studio One opens door to creative community

Studio One OpenAfter a major refurbishment by the Waitemata Local Board, the new look Art Station was officially opened on 25 June as Studio One  Toi Tu.  As acting Chair I had the good fortune to represent the Board at an event to reveal the new name.

Media Release:  Creative Spark ignited in Ponsonby

Studio One on Facebook


Kia ora hui hui mai tātau

E te iwi tenā koutou

E ngā mana, e ngā reo E ngā hau e whā

Nau mai, piki mai, haere mai

Welcome on behalf of the Waitematā Local Board and thank you, Louise [Louise Mason, Manager, Community Development, Arts and Culture]. It is fantastic to be here on such an exciting evening representing the Board.

Studio One reveal speechShale Chambers, Chair of the Waitematā Local Board, really wanted to be here for the BIG REVEAL but unfortunately he is away for his 30th wedding anniversary (I think that is an acceptable excuse even if he is in the sun in Greece). With me from the Board are Greg Moyle (Arts and Culture portfolio holder with Shale) , Deborah Yates, Christopher Dempsey and Vernon Tava.  Rob Thomas sends his apologies. I’d like to acknowledge Tricia Reade who is here and was very much part of this project when she was on the Board.

As Louise has mentioned, we are in a very special heritage building, in the heart of a vibrant, passionate community.  I understand we are in fact in Auckland Council’s first creative precinct.

I’d like to acknowledge the founders and those before us who laid the foundations and kept a creative precinct alive through many challenges.

Waitemata Local Board members outside Studio One Ponsonby RoadThe Waitematā Local Board is highly aware of the changing demographics of residents and businesses in central Auckland. We know that we need to provide places and spaces that are flexible, versatile and meet the needs of our community within ongoing budget constraints.  This led us last year to take a fresh look at the precinct.

We pride ourselves on putting our communities at the heart of our decision-making but I recognise that it hasn’t been an easy process. I’d like to acknowledge and thank those who were involved in the extensive review and consultation process last year to develop a new vision for 1 Ponsonby Road.

The precinct is now a collection of collaborative spaces for artists, creative businesses and individuals, and community organisations to meet, to make, to learn, to listen, to practise, to create and to exhibit.

Creative people can propose, present and host courses, programmes and events – anything is possible here, and every idea is welcomed. To support the new vision, a new name and identity was needed to signal the change and to invite new people to explore and be part of the precinct and its spaces.

New names can be a risky. We want to respect and acknowledge the history of the land, the place and the people who have come before us. We want an ‘open’ name and identity: one that signals we are a community precinct that can be used by many different communities for many different uses in many different ways.

We also would like to clearly communicate the buildings’ many functions. So without any further delay, I take great pride in welcoming you all to STUDIO ONE – TOI TU, a place for many purposes, many people and every possibility.

Residential parking policy for inner city Auckland

St mary bay parkingI gave an update on the work Auckland Transport has underway on a residential parking policy in my September board report

Parking – Residential parking in St Marys Bay

The St Marys Association has recently raised, in a letter drop, concerns about possible changes to the residents parking scheme that has been successfully trialled for the last year (and recently extended for another year). They do not want to see any moves to encourage commuter parking on residential streets and have not been reassured by the responses received from Auckland Transport..

At our monthly catch up in August Auckland Transport confirmed that a parking strategy is going to the Auckland Transport Board in September which will include residential parking principles. They then intend to consult on a residential parking policy.

My understanding is that the policy is still very much under development and that there are a number of issues the policy needs to cover such as:

  • The appropriate level of on-street parking capacity for each specific zone or suburb: The St Marys Bay trial has been such a success the average capacity is now at 50%.  The consultation needs to give residents an opportunity to respond as to what they think is appropriate in their community.  The Association has made it clear that 50% is about right for St Marys Bay. In areas closer to the city centre or with more mixed use (such as Parnell) there is likely to be greater tolerance for higher  levels of on street parking  (in the city centre the aim is to have capacity at about 75-80% which always guarantee car parking).  In areas with narrow streets and heritage homes a lower level of capacity may be more appropriate.
  • How the scheme prioritises users: The residential policy should seek to prioritise residents but there needs to be consultation on who else the on-street parking can be made available for. For example Freemans Bay and Ponsonby residents may be more receptive to local workers and business owners using the available on street capacity because there are a higher proportion of home based businesses.
  • The appropriate tools to manage the additional capacity through pricing: My understanding is that the parking team are investigating a range of options. A coupon scheme has been given as one example by AT which was strongly rejected by the Association. Through any scheme it is possible to prioritise residents and discourage commuters – it is just a matter of getting the pricing tools right.

I have also been reassured that AT is not working on a policy that seeks to apply a one size fits all scheme to distinct suburbs. There needs to be flexibility about how a residential scheme is applied. For example in Parnell there is a greater need for late night restrictions because of the visitors coming to the bars and restaurants.  Pricing may also need to vary depending on the desirable level of on street parking.

My understanding is that all these issues are going to be covered in the AT policy and it will be consulted on.  It is through the policy development that we need to ensure that St Marys Bay ends up with an appropriate scheme based on the successful trial. I also want to ensure the policy is not delayed as there is a need for effective residential parking schemes in the other central suburbs particularly Freemans Bay.

Parking issues should be reported to Auckland Transport by calling 3553553

Glamour bike ride pedals eco-friendly message

Frocks on Bikes happens tomorrow – Saturday the 12th in Ponsonby.

JANIE SMITH – Auckland City Harbour News had this to say in an article called Glamour bike ride pedals eco-friendly message

“Frocks on Bikes co-ordinator Pippa Coom says the concept was launched last December to raise awareness about climate change and using alternative transport.

“It’s trying to encourage women to get out on bikes and feel glamorous about it. Riding a bike is going to be a big part of reducing our carbon footprint.”

Ms Coom hopes at least 350 riders will get involved in the event, which is being held in conjunction with the Ponsonby Market Day.”

Pippa Coom, left, and Sue Sparks get ready for the Frocks Day Out. Phot Jason Oxenham Stuff.
Photo: JASON OXENHAM -FROCKS AND BIKES: Pippa Coom, left, and Sue Sparks get ready for the Frocks Day Out. Auckland City Harbour News

Frocks Day Out will start at 10am at Western Park on Ponsonby Rd, with a parade at 1pm.

For more information go to