Have your say month: feedback time on issues and priorities for Auckland

A massive Council “Have your Say” month of consultation is underway (28 Feb -28 March).  This is the opportunity every three years to look in depth at Auckland’s 10-year budget.  As Aucklanders we have major decisions to make about how we fund the infrastructure needed to deal with the pressure of growth and bring existing services up to a sustainable standard for a world class city.  As part of this budget cycle local priorities for the next financial year 18/19 are also up for discussion.

The Mayor is leading the regional consultation on what is also known as the draft Long-Term Plan (LTP) that determines the level of rates.  You can respond to questions covering the proposed introduction of a Regional Fuel Tax to pay for improvements to transport and targeted rates to fund protection of endangered species such as kauri and the cleanup of our habours, beaches and streams.

As the board representing the main area in Auckland without stormwater separation we are particularly focused on the long overdue infrastructure investment being brought forward by Council and Watercare to stop the flow of sewage into the Waitemata Harbour. The big question will be whether the wider region is willing to support with funding through additional rates.

Other plans that are out for consultation include the Regional Pest Management Plan, Waste Management and Minimisation Plan and the refresh of the Auckland Plan.  The draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) budget that was “inadvertently” released in January by Auckland Transport with a massive reduction to the cycle budget, low prioritization of light right and cuts to rail operating funds is now due out for consultation in April.

The AT Board has directed management to redraft the RLTP budget to more accurately reflect priorities that Council and the new Government give to walking and cycling, public transport and reducing carbon emissions.  If the family friendly Bike to the Future ride organized by Generation Zero on 17 February is any indication there is strong local support for safe cycling infrastructure and funding for transport choice.   At the same time we welcome that the new CEO of AT, Shane Ellison who attended the ride, has committed to the organization taking a fresh approach to community engagement and working with local boards so that mistakes are not repeated.

Further transport funding for projects like streetscape upgrades, safer speed zones and greenway connections is possible through the Board’s transport fund. We’ve got a question on how we should allocate the approximately $500k available per year.  This is in the local board section of the online feedback form along with questions about our priority project, Ponsonby Park, and funding the elimination of agri-chemical spraying, public facilities and further waterway restoration.

Details of consultation events and submission details on the Auckland Council website akhaveyoursay.nz.

A version of this post first appeared in the March Ponsonby News 

More on Waitematā Local Board priorities

Each year we plan the projects and initiatives we will deliver in your local board area. These are based on our 2017 local board plan, which sets our three-year direction. We are seeking your input on our proposals for the 2018/2019 financial year.

We have recently consulted with you during the development of our 2017 local board plan. This plan has now been adopted and will guide our priorities for the next three years as we respond to more people choosing to live, work, visit and study in Waitematā.

We propose to focus on restoring key waterways, maintaining our community facilities and providing cycling and walking greenways. We will continue to activate and improve our local parks and to advocate for the development of a new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road.

You have told us that you would like us to support the vulnerable and rough sleepers in the inner city. One way that the local board can support rough sleepers as well as cater for other visitors to the city centre is through awareness raising and provision of public facilities. We would like your input about whether we should contribute funding towards this.

Hearing from you is important as it helps us understand the community’s views and ensures that we deliver the projects and initiatives you value the most. We welcome your involvement as we finalise our proposed budget priorities for 2018/2019.

What we propose in the Waitematā Local Board Area in 2018/2019

We plan to invest $41.5 million ($7.4 million capex and $34.1 million opex) to renew, maintain and operate assets in your local board area as well as provide other local initiatives.

Our priorities for the 2018/2019 budget include:

  • Continue to improve and activate our local parks in line with the adopted development plans.  New areas of focus include creating a pathway, improving drainage and investigating the need for a playground at Basque Park. At Heard Park in Parnell we plan to upgrade onsite facilities to provide a more usable space for recreation and events.
  • Restore Waiparuru, Waipapa and Newmarket Streams in collaboration with residents, community groups and iwi and partner with Albert-Eden and Puketāpapa Local Boards to develop a protection and restoration strategy for Meola and Motions Creek catchments and the Three Kings to Western Springs Aquifer Initiative.
  • Continue to improve our transport network by using our Transport Capital Fund to deliver safe and high amenity walking and cycling options, such as the connection from Newmarket to Parnell through the old Parnell rail tunnel, as set out in the Waitematā Greenways Plan 2013, streetscape improvements and slow traffic zones in residential areas.
  • Raise awareness and enhance provision of city centre facilities based on a needs and gaps assessment. Examples include toilets, showers, lockers, drinking fountains and device charging stations.
  • Work towards the elimination of agrichemical spraying at our local parks. Given financial constraints we propose to make Albert Park and Myers Park agrichemical spray free in 2018/2019.

Our key advocacy project

A full site civic and green space at 254 Ponsonby Road will provide a much-needed area for the community’s growing population.

We are seeking the Governing Body to include $5.5m in the 10-year budget for stage 1 of this project. The first stage includes the delivery of a civic and green space, the repurposing of the existing canopy structure for markets and events and the development of public toilet facilities. Stage 2 will repurpose the existing building and improve the adjoining streetscape.  Potential funding options for stage 2 include our Auckland Transport capex fund and other alternative funding sources.

What do you think?

Have we got our priorities right? Please provide feedback.

  • Do you support the 10-year Budget to include first stage funding to create a full site civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road?
  • Should we expand our waterways restoration programme in 2018/2019 to include Waiparuru Stream (Grafton Gully) and partner with Albert-Eden and Puketāpapa Local Boards to develop a protection and restoration strategy for the Waitītiko, Waiateao (Meola and Motions Creek catchments) and the Three Kings to Western Springs Aquifer?
  • How do you think we should prioritise our Auckland Transport capex fund over the next three years? Options include:
    • improved walking and cycling infrastructure though completing greenways routes, such as the connection from Newmarket to Parnell through the old Parnell rail tunnel
    • streetscape improvements
    • implement slow traffic speed zones in residential areas
  • Do you support allocating funding towards raising awareness and enhancing provision of city centre public facilities? If so, what kind of facilities should we prioritise?
  • The elimination of agrichemical spraying may have some impact on the visual presentation of the parks and reserves. Do you support the local board allocating $40,000 funding for agrichemical free weed control methods in specific parks such as at Albert Park and Myers Park in 2018/2019?

Feedback form online

Other ways to give feedback:

Visit the Waitematā Local Board office at 52 Swanson Street (off St Pats Square) to view hard copies of all the consultation documents. You are welcome to complete a feedback from at the office reception and drop in the submissions box.

Email: akhaveyoursay@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Post: You can complete the AK Have Your Say feedback form and send it to our freepost address:

AK Have Your Say
Auckland Council
Freepost Authority 182382
Private Bag 92300
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142

Consultation events

Waitematā Local Board is partnering with the community to host two Have Your Say events so that we can hear your feedback. We also have a hearing style meeting scheduled:

  • Thursday 8 March, 6-8pm, Grey Lynn Library Hall, 474 Great North Rd; with the Grey Lynn Residents Association
  • Thursday 15 March, 6-8pm, Parnell Jubilee Hall, 545 Parnell Rd; with the Parnell Community Committee and the Grafton Residents Association
  • Thursday 22 March, 3-5pm, Waitematā Local Board Office, 52 Swanson St. If you would like to present at the hearing please RSVP waitematalocalboard@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Social media

Comments made through these channels will be considered written feedback:

 Twitter: Comments using @aklcouncil and #akhaveyoursay

 Facebook: Posts on the facebook.com/aklcouncil – using #akhaveyoursay