Chair’s report: Reflections on the 2016-2019 term

This is my final report after nine years on the Waitematā Local Board.  I have reported monthly throughout my time on the local board.  This month I take the opportunity to provide my reflections on the 2016- 2019 term and to give thanks and acknowledgements. ( It is on the agenda for the final local board meeting for the term on 17 September 2019)

Since the local board’s establishment in 2010, for the first two terms under the leadership of Shale Chambers, we have put in place a clear direction for being an accessible, connected, sustainable, inclusive, vibrant local board area.  We have built a reputation for being an effective, collaborative, hardworking local board that takes our local responsibilities seriously, but always considers the bigger strategic picture.

The “Super City” governance structure was imposed on Aucklanders and came with ongoing concerns about what it would mean for local decision making and identity.  We have focused on making Auckland Council, together with the CCO’s, work properly and deliver for the community.  We can see the impact we have made across our responsibilities for local parks, events, arts and recreational services and facilities, community facilities, libraries, and environmental management. A key role of the local board is also place making and shaping responsibilities, which has required active involvement in wider transport and heritage, urban design and planning issues affecting the local level.

At times far too much energy has gone into “educating” all the parts of the council family about the governance structure and the role of local boards.  After nine years we have seen huge improvements but there is still more to do.  I welcome a proposed review of the Council Controlled Organisations next term.

It has been a real honour to Chair the local board for the 2016-2019 term and a privilege to represent the city centre and central suburbs of Auckland. We are the beating heart of Tāmaki Makaurau, the economic engine room of the region, and home to outstanding cultural, educational and arts institutions, and major events. It is an exciting place to live, visit, work, play and study. Our local board area is the front door for international visitors and increasingly the place to experience Māori culture in Auckland. It is home to vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods and a growing city centre population who are embracing urban living.

This report seeks to cover some of the highlights of what we have achieved this term. Shale, in his report, has comprehensively covered the 2010- 2013 and 2013- 2016 terms.  I’ve tried my best to capture as much as possible and to acknowledge everyone who has provided a huge amount of support and encouragement.  Apologies in advance if I have missed anything significant – at a certain point I had to bring to a close what was becoming a very long report!

A local board of firsts

Living Wage celebration with Mayor Goff who moved all council employees to a living wage on 1 September 2019

As a progressive board we are committed to social justice and have been willing to take risks and adopt policy often before any other part of council.  We are the first local board to approve an Accessibility Plan and a Low Carbon Community Action Plan.  We led the way in committing to a City for Peace, Smokefree parks and playgrounds, the Living Wage, to Auckland becoming a Fairtrade City and CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women).

And if agreed at our final meeting we will be the first local board to adopt a localised urban ngahere action plan, which is intended to deliver on Auckland Council’s Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy.

Community Engagement and Partnerships

We are fortunate to have very active, engaged community members.  Over nine years it has been a pleasure to build relationships, work with a wide range of community leaders and to seek out new ways of engaging and consulting to reach our diverse and growing residential populations. I made a point of reading every piece of feedback received by the board through the many consultation processes.

Our Local Board Plans 2011, 2014 and now 2017 have provided an opportunity to sweep up the community’s projects and initiatives to deliver on the priorities we have been told are important.  I have enjoyed taking an active role in the process of developing each plan.

A few highlights of our approaches to engagement include:

    • Beating the bounds a walk of the local board boundary at the beginning of each term (first initiated by myself and Andy Smith of Walk Auckland in 2011)
    • A one-off Pecha Kucha Town Hall edition that launched our 2014 local board plan
    • Taking part in Auckland Council’s first Facebook live engagement event with board member Adriana Christie as part of the Annual Budget consultation 2019/2020 (photo right)
    • Hearings style feedback sessions – we are one of the few boards to continue with this format
    • Taking consultation events into the community with co-hosted public meetings, library pop-ins and info stands at events

There is still more to improve engaging with the hard to reach particularly with city centre residents, residents with English as a second language and young people.

Kelmarna Gardens spring festival

Our partnerships have continued to flourish this term with established organisations and emerging ones.  As a former Trustee of Kelmarna Gardens I’m pleased to see how the board’s support has provided stability and allowed the organic farm to become more sustainable.

I’ve maintained close relationships with our well-run community centres – Parnell, Grey Lynn and Ponsonby and regularly attended the lively and informative Central City Community Network meetings funded by the local board.

Planning for the future

The drafting, consultation on and approval of development plans covering all our major parks and town centres has been a major focus of the board first initiated by Shale Chambers.  The plans guide renewals and planning to avoid ad hoc projects and investment.

Western Park news stairs opening

The value of development plans can be seen in places such as Western Park where we have ticked off nearly every project listed in the implementation plan as budget has become available including new lighting, new paths, upgrade playground, new boardwalk and stairs down from Hopetoun Street, new toilet block and new fitness equipment.  Further work is underway on a tree management plan.

Plans completed or underway include:

    • Meola Reef Development Plan
    • Western Springs Lakeside Park (to be signed off by the incoming board in February 2020)
    • Western Park Tuna Mau Development Plan
    • Point Resolution Taurarua Development Plan
    • Grey Lynn Park Development Plan
    • New paths in Symonds St cemetery

      Symonds Street Cemetery development plan (photo right: new paths in the cemetery)

    • Newmarket Laneways Plan
    • Karangahape Road Plan 2014-2044
    • Newton Eden Terrace Plan (2016-2046)
    • Ponsonby Road Plan 2014-2044
    • Parnell Plan

We were also only the second local board to develop a City Fringe Economic Development Action Plan in 2014 that was then further revised in 2017.

Iwi relationships and working with Māori

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Kaumatua Bob Hawke

Delivering on Council’s commitment to Māori at a local level is a priority for the local board.  I’ve worked to strengthen our iwi relationships.  I’ve particularly valued the constant presence during my time on the local board of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Kaumatua Bob Hawke and Matt Maihi who have led us through many significant opening and blessings.

For 2019/2020 we have allocated funding to a new programme called Te Kete Rukuruku, which aims to showcase the Māori history and stories of Tāmaki Makaurau. One element is to add names significant to Māori to local parks.

It was with great sadness that we heard the news that Dean Martin, Principal Advisor, Māori and Te Tiriti Relationships and Governance, Te Waka Anga Mua ki Uta passed away suddenly in April.  Dean provided steady guidance to the local board, led our visit to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Marae early in the term and wrote my mihi for the opening of Ellen Melville Centre.

The bigger picture

The local board has taken every opportunity to take a strategic view of national and regional issues. We are able to sustain a substantial output of work thanks to the portfolio structure (established under Shale’s leadership) that has allowed local board members to take responsibility for specific areas of interest.   In this term we have provided input into the following policies, bylaws proposals and plans:

    • QEII Square Private Plan Change
    • Auckland Plan Refresh
    • Urban Development Authorities Discussion Document
    • Justice and Electoral Select Committee’s Inquiry into the 2016 local authority elections
    • Tākaro – Investing in Play discussion document
    • Governance Framework Review
    • Four Wellbeings Bill
    • Dog Bylaw and Policy
    • Single Use Plastic Shopping Bags
    • Residential Tenancies Act 1986
    • Healthy Home Standards
    • Low emissions economy draft report
    • Regional Pest Management Plan
    • Presenting on a submission to the governing body with Shale Chambers and Richard Northey

      Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2018

    • Draft 2018-2028 Regional Land Transport Plan
    • draft Regional Fuel Tax proposal
    • draft Contributions Policy
    • Rates Remission and Postponement Policy
    • Child and Youth Wellness Strategy
    • Natural Environment Targeted Rate
    • Draft Facility Partnership Policy
    • Auckland Water Strategy
    • Regional Public Transport Plan
    • Sports Investment Plan 2019 – 2039
    • Productivity Commission Issues Paper – Local Government Funding and Financing
    • Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw
    • Department of Conservation’s proposed revocation of certain delegations to Territorial Authorise under the Reserves Act 1977
    • Trade Waste Bylaw 2013
    • The Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Bill
    • Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill
    • Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2019 and amendments to the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw 2015
    • Moving light vehicle fleet to low-emissions: discussion paper on Clean Car Standard and Clean Car Discount
    • Road to Zero: A New Road Safety Strategy for NZ
    • Proposed priority products and priority product stewardship scheme guidelines
    • Proposed biodiversity strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand

I would particularly like to acknowledge board member Richard Northey who always takes the time to review and comment on every local board submission (even when not within his portfolio areas) and has drafted many pieces of feedback directly.

Community-led Development

The local board has embraced the opportunities to fund, facilitate and encourage community-led development and empowerment.  I am particularly proud of the role I played in initiating the Ponsonby Park design through a community-led process.

In 2006 the former Auckland City Council purchased a site on Ponsonby Road to create a civic space. In 2011 Shale Chambers identified this as a project for inclusion in the first Waitematā Local Board plan. Consultation on options for the site followed in the Ponsonby Road masterplan led by me and former local board member Tricia Reade.

As the feedback was split between three options and as, following further consultation, we had reached an impasse I suggested we kick off a community-led process (inspired by Jim Diers community building presentation on his visit to Auckland) but never tried before on such a large project.

Seed funding from the local board led to the establishment of the Ponsonby Park working group. After lots of work and community engagement a winning design by Landlab became the board’s priority project for delivery (in Council speak known as an OLI – One Local Initiative).

It was fantastic news for the project in August when the Finance and Performance Committee agreed to fund the project from the sale of 200 Victoria Street (in addition to funding secured through the OLI process). If all goes to plan sod turning on “Ponsonby Park” will take place towards the end of next year.

We’ve also been open to innovative and creative approaches to achieving community outcomes.

Following determined advocacy of the Parnell Business Association and Parnell Community Committee we developed a Parnell Plan through a community working group process.

Other community-led projects that are flourishing include the Grey Lynn Pumptrack, Pollinator Path at Hakanoa Reserve, new Waiatarau Freemans Bay Park, Kelmarna Gardens, and OMG Organic Market Garden.

The launch and celebration of a Local Living Compost Hub at O.M.G – Organic Market Garden funded by the Ministry of Environment (photo above) shows how there is workable alternative using urban farms and localised collection points that is far better for the environment and healthy communities.

Sarah Smuts-Kennedy is the vision holder who has done an amazing job leading the way with a fabulous team. The transformation of a piece of dirt on Symonds Street is super impressive.

Stream restoration, natural environment and water quality

Restoring and caring for the environment has been a core part of the local board’s kaupapa.  For many years we have allocated $70,000 to top up of the council’s ecological restoration contracts to control pest plants and improve reserves like Jaggers Bush, Meola and Lemmington.

Other projects include:

    • Waiparuru stream in Symonds Street Cemetery

      Waipapa Stream: community-led project funded by the local board over many years. If it wasn’t for Parnell Community Committee and Parnell Heritage this stream would have ended up piped and lost for ever

    • Newmarket stream: community-led restoration and planting project (known as “off the Deck” in partnership with the Gecko Trust) co-funded with the Ōrākei Local Board
    • Restoration of Waiparuru stream in Symonds Street Cemetery

I would have liked to have seen the restoration of Western Springs Native Bush get underway in partnership with the community this term (a project I have been involved in since 2011 when I first walked the bush area with officers to assess the potential for native tree planting and track renewals after the zoo had tried to take the area for walking an elephant herd). However, the project is currently held up by the appeal of the Council’s resource consent to remove the remaining pine trees to make way for planting.

More on how targeted rates are being put to use for the environment and waterways across Waitematā (Attachment 1 Our Auckland Waitematā environment enhanced and protected by targeted rates).

Vibrant, local, zero waste events and support for the arts

We are host to a multitude of events and support the delivery of many more through event grant funding including:

    • Festival Italiano
    • Buskers Festival
    • Lightpath Festival held in 2017 and 2018
    • Santa Parade
    • Franklin Road Christmas lights
    • West End Tennis Cup
    • Art Week
    • Fringe Festival

We also directly deliver the popular Myers Park Medley (photo above with AK Samba) and Parnell Festival of Roses.  Through our advocacy and leverage with funding we’ve been successful in pushing events towards zero waste and promoting active travel.

We have committed to supporting our creative community, professional artists and arts organisations through the delivery of arts programmes.

A few firsts in the 2019/2020 budget include a $85,000 grant to TAPAC and the establishment of an Arts Space coordinator.

I was delighted to see that Walking in Trees is back in Albert Park – a project the local board first funded through the POP programme in 2014 (photo right with artist Richard Orjis).

The Rainbow Machine  was eventually delivered earlier this year as a regionally funded project, but first came to life as a local board initiative to create pop up child friendly play spaces (eg swings in bus stops) but morphed into a major art project picked up by the Public Art Team.

Progress on maintenance and renewals

A major restructuring a couple of years ago saw a new “Community Facilities” department take over all project delivery and maintenance for all Council assets. For local boards this was a source of frustration as local knowledge disappeared and local boards lost direct points of contact especially for Park projects.

In 2017 Ventia became the contractor covering the Waitematā Local Board.  There were notable teething issues to start with but recently we have seen huge improvements in maintenance.

Albert Park (photo right) is an example of where a big push has been made to improve the levels of service to maintain it as a premier park.  Ventia also took over street and town centre cleaning from Auckland Transport on 1 July 2019.  This has led to a noticeable improvement and areas being cleaned for the first time especially in the city centre.   The maintenance in four city parks is being done without any agrichemical sprays thanks to funding from the local board.

Before and after of the stairs at Point Resolution with the inclusion of a bike channel

We’ve also made a lot of progress in the organisation’s approach to renewals.   We’ve pushed to ensure that every renewal is an opportunity to enhance a community asset rather than done on a like for like basis.  This has resulted in wider park paths, new seating, and enhanced community facilities (photo right: before and after of the stairs at Point Resolution with the inclusion of a bike channel).

Other changes at Community Facilities have resulted in more streamlined project delivery and a dedicated point of contact for the local board.  Rod Sheridan, General Manager, Community Facilities was thanked at the August Chairs’ Forum for the success of Project Streetscapes, the many improvements and hard work that has been seen across all local boards.

New and improved playgrounds and parks

The local board has been responsible for upgrading and improving play opportunities across Waitematā, including new playground equipment at:

    • Myers Park
    • Vermont Reserve
    • Ireland Street Reserve
    • Grey Lynn Park
    • Coxs Bay Reserve
    • Sackville Reserve
    • Tirotai Reserve
    • Western Park
    • Old Mill Road
    • Francis Reserve

New playgrounds are also about to get underway at Western Springs, Outhwaite Park, and Home Reserve (indicative image right).

We’ve identified gaps in the play network in Newmarket especially for young people and in the city centre.  There is also the need to improve shade at our playgrounds.

A long running initiative of the local board has been to install drinking fountains into every park and streetscape upgrade. We’ve also installed three on-street drinking stations via Local Board Capex Transport Funding.   The locations of all the city centre drinking fountains are about to go live on the Project AKL website.

Following extensive consultation on the Te Wai Ōrea Western Springs Development Plan and feedback from bird experts we have recently confirmed a new local board policy that feeding the birds at Western Springs park will now be “actively discouraged” due to disease and environmental risks, with new signage and on-site education.  Attachment 3:  Bird feeding at park “actively discouraged” amid fowl and public health concerns.

I’m really pleased that long-standing project to build new changing rooms in Grey Lynn Park that will be available for use by the Richmond Rovers Rugby League Club is about to start construction.

Action on homelessness

Homelessness has become a growing issue and one that traditionally local government didn’t get involved with.  Fortunately, the Mayor has embraced Housing First with the support of the local board. The City Centre Targeted rate provided $2 million of funding for a major restoration of James Liston Hostel emergency accommodation and more recently $600,000 for outreach services.

We’re the only local board to support the wider regional strategy by allocating $20,000 last year and this year to support homelessness solutions.

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board member Maria Meredith is one of the volunteers at Sunday Blessings

We also opened up Outhwaite Hall for outreach services while James Liston Hostel was being upgraded and have supported groups through our community grants including a trial of showers at Ellen Melville Centre, support for Lifewise Merge Café, St Columba for their community lunch and Sunday Blessings for their weekly dinner outside Central Library .

I was able to play a role helping the City Mission navigate Council processes to secure a $5million grant for the HomeGround housing and social services project.

 Support for Local Business

We have focused on initiatives that bring prosperity to our town centres, empower start-ups and social enterprise and underpin the important work done by the seven business associations in Waitematā.  We provide funding to the Young Enterprise Scheme to reach students from all secondary schools in the area.

I have been on the Ponsonby Business Association for six years and am really pleased to see the organisation is going from strength to strength under new leadership.  I’ve enjoyed regular catch ups with Newmarket Business Association’s Mark Knoff-Thomas, Parnell’s Cheryl Adamson and Karangahape Road Business Association’s Michael Richardson. It is a pleasure to work with all the General Managers who are determined, focused and passionate on behalf of their members.  More recently I have been working more directly with Viv Beck, General Manager of Heart of the City in her role as Chair of Auckland City Centre Advisory Board, since I replaced Shale as the Board’s representative earlier in the year.

As a foundation committee member of the Grey Lynn Business Association I was particularly pleased to hear a recent presentation to the local board covering a range of activities and the difference an annual grant of $10,000 from the local board has made to the volunteer-led association.

Looking ahead the Newmarket Business Association has brought a proposal to the local board to investigate the possibility of a targeted rate to fund improvements that were identified in Newmarket Laneways Plan (building on the upgrade of Teed Street completed in 2018). At our August board meeting we confirmed our support in principle and referred the matter to Financial Strategy and Planning to provide advice on the process, governance and feasibility of introducing a new targeted rate for Newmarket.

Through the City Rail Link (CRL) project we have seen how important a Development Response package is to assist businesses.  Barbara Holloway in the Auckland Design Office has done some great work on the template involving a package of support such as business advice, mentoring, activation around projects, signage, and communications.

A Development Response package was trialled initially for CRL on Albert Street by CRL Ltd (the organisation responsible) but it took my intervention and Heart of the City for it to be properly rolled out.  I’ve also escalated issues for the Karangahape Business Association to ensure the Development Response is effectively in place during the enhancement project and City Rail Link construction.  The ongoing issue of how our severely impacted businesses will be supported during the civil works, for example through a hardship fund, is yet to be resolved.

As part of Auckland’s City Fringe Economic Development Plan implementation, we’ve allocated $57,000 for a web branding ap that can be skinned by each individual Business Association. At our August meeting we heard an update on how the project is progressively positively.

Placemaking and tactical urbanism

One of the roles of the local board I enjoy the most is placemaking to create inviting people-focused places.  As a progressive local board we’ve enabled and promoted innovative approaches to placemaking and encouraged the organisation to embrace tactical urbanism and the use of trials.   One of the first trials I helped make happen was the installation of a bike parking corral on Ponsonby Road.  I’ve also played a role in the removal of parked cars from the Eastern Viaduct (photo right) for a public plaza.

A local board responsibility that is often overlooked is the naming of streets and public spaces.  I’m proud that we’ve been very receptive to adopting names recommended by mana whenua such as the new Tīramarama Way and recognised the civic contribution of women with two new names Amey Daldy Park and Freda Barnes Plaza soon to open at Wynyard Quarter.

The renaming of lower Khartoum Place as Te Hā o Hine Place (photo right with Ngāti Whātua representatives who gifted the name and National Council of Women) was a project I initiated following the upgrade of the stairs and successful fight to retain the suffrage memorial located there.


From the outset the local board has made it a priority to provide accessible, connected, safe transport networks with well-designed streets.  As the transport portfolio lead for nine years (this term with co-portfolio holder Vernon Tava) I have been involved in many projects that have made a contribution to better public transport, safer streets and increased numbers giving cycling a go.  A few highlights include:

    • Franklin Road:  This project took years to get underway due to it being in the too hard basket.  We kept the pressure on resulting in a $21million transformation including new lighting, storm water separation, undergrounding, traffic calming, cycle lanes and new tree pits.
    • Opening of Parnell Station March 2017:  The local board was instrumental in helping to make this happen by funding a new pathway connection between the station and Carlaw Park
    • Opening the Grey Lynn Greenway 2017

      Grey Lynn Greenway opened June 2017.

    • Ponsonby Road pedestrian safety project completed in 2018 part funded by the local board. The side street raised tables on Ponsonby Road and as part of the Franklin Road are as a result of the local board’s advocacy.
    • Victoria Park lighting improvements currently underway will create a safe pathway between Franklin Road and Wynyard Quarter.  Securing the budget took a lot of wrangling.
    • Freyberg Place pedestrian mall:  Thanks to the local board advocacy AT went ahead with re-classifying the road as a “pedestrian mall” well in advance of the agreed timeframe that was originally negotiated.  In the end there was very little objection.
    • Return of the bus service to Williamson Ave:  A win for people power.
    • New and improved pedestrian crossings: My heart sings when I see kids able to get to school safely because of a new crossing.
    • Cycleway openings:  There haven’t been enough, but every one has been cause to celebrate including Grafton Gully, Ian McKinnon Drive, Quay Street, Beach Road and Te ara I whiti/ Lightpath (see below).  After five years of debate and planning I am delighted that the Karangahape Road enhancement project including cycle paths in the design got underway in July.
    • Renewals:  As with the renewal of community assets (covered above) we have aimed to ensure that every Auckland Transport renewal is leveraged to provide a better outcome for the community for example through the inclusion of street trees or safety improvements.  The local board often has funding to contribute.  Recently we have made significant progress with the renewals team to ensure we don’t get any more “like for like” renewals.
    • Proposed quick win contra flow on Crummer Road

      Quick wins:  A cultural shift at Auckland Transport has opened up the way for more willingness to consider “quick wins” to improve safety for active transport.  I’ve suggested a number of ideas including a contra-flow on Crummer Road (image right) and a dedicated cycling route from Queen Street to the Domain.

I’ve particularly appreciated the support I have received from all local board members to take a leadership role on safe speeds, vision zero, pedestrian safety, effective parking management, removal of slip lanes, wayfinding, route optimisation for active transport and cycle infrastructure.

A couple of issues that remain unresolved that I am determined not to give up on with Auckland Transport include the current non-enforcement of berm parking that is causing damage and is unsafe and the unacceptable practice of unsafe and illegal unloading from car transporters on Great North Road.

Effective parking management

We’ve provided consistent support for effective parking management that provides access to parking for residents, businesses and short-term visitors.  During the Unitary Plan process I organised a “good for business” seminar about the economic and wider benefits of removing parking minimums.

It was through our advocacy that AT was able to trial the first residential parking zone in St Marys Bay in 2014 and push ahead with zones for all the city fringe suburbs.


One of my pet projects over nine years has been to improve the wayfinding experience of people travelling around on foot or by bike.  After sustained advocacy there is finally wayfinding on the North-Western Cycleway and the local board is funding new signage for all vehicle no exit streets (if approved at our September meeting).


When I was first elected in 2010 riding a bike was considered to be a fringe activity and not taken very seriously.  Since then there has been a massive increase in people cycling especially where there are connected, safe cycle paths.

Lightpath Te ara i whiti opening 2015

Through numerous consultations and surveys we know that the majority of Aucklanders own a bike and would like to cycle if they felt safe.  The local board has been a strong advocate for transport choice including increasing opportunities for walking and cycling.  We’ve celebrated the opening of Te ara I whiti / Lightpath, the Quay Street cycleway, Grafton Gully shared path, Ian McKinnon Drive and new greenway connections but overall the rate of progress has been incredibly slow. No new work has been started in Waitematā for over a year.

I never imagined when I became a member of the Urban Cycling Investment Panel in 2014 that allocated $100 million New Zealand wide for urban cycling infrastructure that so much would remain undelivered by 2019.  The original 2018 delivery date has now been pushed out to 2021.

Unfortunately, the mistakes AT made over the West Lynn and Garnet Road/Surrey Crescent project has contributed to the delay to the programme as well as the increasing costs of meeting community expectations to deliver a whole range of streetscape improvements beyond just cycle lanes. Following further consultation regarding fixes to the design at the West Lynn shops AT is looking to progress with improvements to the crossing (image right of the preferred design following consultation with the local businesses and affected residents).

AT has a target of only 10km of new cycleways a year across Auckland – a significant chunk of which has been funded and delivered by the local board. However, I am hopeful that going forward, AT will take a new focus on safety to push ahead with a connected network with temporary designs and solutions where possible. This is absolutely essential work especially with the explosion of micro-mobility and the need to prioritise footpaths for people on foot.

School Safety

At the Waitematā Local Board’s August meeting we voted on a package of safety improvements from a one-off $1.4m community safety fund. The fund was launched following the introduction of the fuel tax. I’ve worked with my co-transport portfolio holder Vernon Tava on putting together the recommendations of what should be prioritised based on community feedback.

The following safety improvements will be made across the local board area:

    • A suite of safety improvements will be introduced outside and around Newton Central School in Grey Lynn

      A raised pedestrian crossing will be introduced on West End Road / Fife Street by the bus stops next to the West End Lawn Tennis Club in Westmere

    • Hopetoun Street in Freemans Bay will see various additional safety improvements as part of a wider footpath renewal project
    • Pedestrian crossings on Lower Domain Drive at Lovers Lane and Domain Drive in the Auckland Domain will be formalised
    • A raised pedestrian crossing will be introduced outside ACG Parnell College on Davis Crescent next to Olympic Reserve in Newmarket
    • A suite of safety improvements will be introduced outside and around Newton Central School in Grey Lynn.
Western Springs College students presenting a petition seeking a pedestrian crossing

We also received a petition from Western Springs College students seeking a pedestrian crossing on Meola Road that Auckland Transport has reassured the local board will be delivered as part of the Pt Chev cycleway project.

Attachment 2 Our Auckland: Road safety improvements on the way in Waitematā

Vision Zero – safer speeds

The Waitematā Local Board was the first to adopt Vision Zero as an advocacy position and three years ago I was part of a coalition – Brake New Zealand, Living Streets Aotearoa, NZ School Speeds, Cycling Action Network- that launched Vision Zero NZ.

At the Auckland Transport Board September meeting we achieved a truly significant milestone with the announcement that Auckland is now a Vision Zero region – under the Tāmaki-Makaurau Road Safety Governance Group’s new safety strategy. For the first time there’s a goal, backed by a partnership of agencies, of no deaths or serious injuries on our transport network by 2050.

Many thanks to all the people who have worked so hard to bring this strategy together to save many lives.

Auckland Domain Committee

The local board, under Shale’s leadership was instrumental in initiating the Domain Masterplan (2015) and the setting up of a joint governance committee. I have been the Deputy Chair of the Domain Committee this term.  I would have liked to have seen much quicker progress on making the Domain more accessible and safe.  It is currently dominated by the 600 car parks that are predominately used by commuters and there is a lack of continuous footpath around the Domain.

Officers have been able to progress some exciting new projects such as refurbishment of the Wintergarden, a new path Te Ara Oranga to the museum, a new natural play area, and the Kari commons that is about to be built (multi-sport area with part to be used by the University while their gym is rebuilt).

Other projects that have progressed thanks to the local board coming to the party with over $1.5 million in new funding including for signage, new footpaths and car parking improvements (to allow for on road car parks to be removed on shared paths).

The final Auckland Domain Committee of this term of Council voted to remove 40 car parks from in front of Auckland Museum to improve safety and open up views to an iconic building and war memorial. This is an important step towards improving accessibility in one of our premier parks. The Museum is right behind it and doing their own bit by increasing public car parks at the southern entrance and reducing fees in their car park.

Auckland’s City Centre

We’ve seen major changes to the city centre since 2010 when the residential population was approximately 20,000. It is now almost 60,000.  The majority of commuters arrive other than in private cars, and vehicles entering the city centre continue to decline.

Opening of the restored Ellen Melville Centre with Mayor Phil Goff, Kaumatua Bob Hawke, amd members of the Melville family

In anticipation of the growth and the needs of the city centre residents, the refurbished Ellen Melville Centre was opened in 2017 as a vibrant community centre (photo right).  Programming at the centre is becoming more focused on the needs of residents.  We have also allocated funds so that the Central Library can open for an extra hour on weekends.

We’ve adopted the role of toilet “champions” by advocating for a full review of amenities in the city centre and the identification of gaps in the available toilets and information about locations. We’ve taken up the issue of the need for the new CRL train stations to have toilets available other than behind ticket barriers.

We’ve worked with Auckland Transport to identify locations for new toilet blocks that include drinking fountains and bus driver facilities (photo right: new toilet on Victoria Street).

The local board contributed to the development of the 2012 City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) and Waterfront Plan.  We’ve been supportive of the CCMP refresh that presents a vision of a city centre that is more family-friendly, more pedestrian-friendly and more environmentally-friendly.

The CCMP has recently gone out for consultation with eight place-specific transformational moves that will unlock the potential of the city centre.

Climate Action

Waitematā Local Board welcomed the decision in June by the Environment and Community Committee to declare a climate emergency. This followed a resolution passed by the local board a week prior calling on Auckland Council’s Governing Body to declare an ecological and climate emergency for the Auckland region.

We have funded for a number of years low carbon initiatives projects aligning with the Live Lightly themes: Eat, Move, Shop, Grow, Talk and Energy including:

    • Low carbon lifestyles project – behaviour change actions such as reducing shower times implemented at 165 households resulting in savings of 19,356kg of CO2
    • Low carbon Multi-unit Dwellings – energy and carbon assessments resulting in savings of $27,000 and 37,178kg of CO2. Three more apartment blocks will be assessed in 2019/2020 to move towards a tool available to property managers
    • Waitematā Low Carbon Network – a platform to connect individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses to empower and enable local climate champions to meet the Local board’s respective carbon emissions reduction targets. The network members were instrumental in taking the Climate Emergency declaration to Council
    • And a business food waste initiative

Going forward the aim of just “low carbon” is looking woefully inadequate. Auckland Council’s new goal is to achieve a zero net emissions by 2050, but bold moves will need to come out of the Climate Action Framework currently out for consultation until the end of September if we are going to have any chance of limiting temperature rises to the IPCC recommended 1.5 degrees.  (photo right with the School Strike for Climate student organisers).

A model of the proposed community recycling centre at Western Springs

Another important goal that we have consistently supported is to achieve Zero Waste by 2040.  Following strong community support through our first local board plan consultation we identified the need for a local Community-led resource recovery centre as part of a regional network that developed into the Western Springs joint project with Puketāpapa and Albert-Eden Local Boards.

It is fully funded with plans ready to go for consent but unfortunately the project has been held up by the Horticultural Society wanting to remain in the main building and not shift to a repurposed Western Springs community hall (image right: a model of the proposed centre at Western Springs)

Civic Duties

Richmond Road School assembly

I have really enjoyed all the civic duties that come with being Chair especially officiating at citizenship ceremonies, delivering the Anzac Day address at the Grey Lynn RSC service and attending events and school assemblies.

Most recently I attended the Richmond Road School assembly on behalf of the Mayor. Anna and Daneka (photo right) wrote to him with their concerns about so much plastic going into the ocean. The assembly was led by the school’s Mua I Malae (the Samoan bi-lingual unit) and celebrated Tongan language week as well as the students’ environmental projects.

Local Government New Zealand

Auckland Council’s Local Board chairs 2019

It has been a privilege to serve on National Council, LGNZ, as an ex-officio member since May 2018 representing local boards with the support of all the local board chairs.

Next term a local board representative will be voted on to National Council following a rule change at the LGNZ conference in July.  The rule change is the accumulation of many years of advocacy seeking appropriate local board representation and recognition and was made possible with the support of LGNZ CEO Malcolm Alexander who works tirelessly for the sector.

I’ve also appreciated the opportunity to attend the annual LGNZ conference when all of local government comes together to network and share ideas and information (I have reported back on every conference I have attended).

Looking ahead

There are a number of key projects that I’m excited about but it will be for the incoming Chair to lead including:

  • the refurbishment of the Plunket building in Heard Park
  • the Waipapa Valley Greenway connecting Newmarket to Parnell via the old Parnell train tunnel (image right)
  • Myers Park underpass
  • upgrade of Hobson Bay walkway
  • Myers Park Cottage restoration
  • Meola Reef improvements including new pathways, improved off leash area, restoration work and closing the end of the reserve to dogs
  • New paths and playground in Basque Park
  • Bi-lingual park naming
  • Accessibility Plan refresh
  • Rose Road Plaza (a project identified in the Ponsonby Road masterplan- indicative image right)
  • Establishment of the community-led resource recovery centre at Western Springs

In addition to the many transport projects and issues that are currently underway (Attachment 4 – to be tabled).

There are also regionally significant projects supported by the local board that I would like to have seen delivered by now, but I hope to stick around to see them through including:

    • Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway (Skypath)
    • Restoration St James Theatre
    • Removal of the Dominion Road flyover
    • Grafton Gully Boulevard (first supported in principle by the local board in 2016 and now part of the City Centre masterplan refresh)
    • Major corridor enhancements including Hobson/Nelson streets, Broadway and Ponsonby Road
    • Implementation of slower speeds in the city centre.

Acknowledgements and Thank Yous

We are fortunate to be supported by an amazing Local Board Services team.  I would like to thank them all for their support, quality advice and good humour.

Thanks to those who have been part of my term as Chair: Relationship Managers: Kathryn Martin (on secondment) and Trina Thompson; Senior Local Board Advisor: Simon Tattersfield; Local Board Advisors: Corina Claps, Caroline Teh and Heather Skinner; Democracy Advisors:  Sybil Mandow and more recently Liz Clemm. Engagement Advisors: Carlos Rahman, Maria Hernandez-Curry and Zigi Yates. PA Supports; Tammy Hendricks and Priscila Firmo (photo right with some of the team on a visit to Ellen Melville Centre).

We have always been able to rely on the support of Dee Sims, David Kemeys and Cathy McIntosh as our Communications Advisor; Shamila Unka, our Strategic Broker, and Pramod Nair and Mark Purdie as our Finance Advisors.

Karl Beaufort and Jacqui Thompson Fell are doing a tremendous job on behalf of the local board in Community Facilities.  Ben Halliwell as our Auckland Transport Liaison has been instrumental in ensuring so many of our transport projects have progressed. I’m also thankful for the constant support and guidance provided to me personally by Otene Reweti, Senior Advisor Maori Relationships.

Across the council family I’m impressed by the dedication and hard work of the many people who are all committed to making Auckland a better place.

I’m grateful to be Chair of a local board with members who are positive, skilled, constructive and focused on achieving results. My heartfelt thanks to Deputy Chair Shale Chambers, Richard Northey and Adriana Christie, who are both standing again, and Vernon Tava, Denise Roche and Rob Thomas.

In my latest Ponsonby News update  I acknowledge all the retiring board members.   All board members have embraced taking on responsibilities through portfolios, are passionate about serving Waitematā and work hard for the community.

A special thanks to Vernon Tava, my co-portfolio holder for transport and portfolio lead for Planning and Heritage with me as he co-portfolio holder.  I’m grateful that in practice he does all the planning work for the board leaving me to focus on my role as chair.  Vernon has been a huge asset to the board, he is smart, focused and super-efficient at reviewing and reporting on the substantial number of resource consent applications (far more than any other board).  Among his many achievements, that he has detailed in his own report reflecting on his time on the board over six years, is the mapping of all the amenities in the city centre long before council got on to the task.

Throughout this report I have highlighted Shale Chambers’ leadership in a range of areas. His contribution to establishing the local board and setting the foundations for strong local decision making across council can’t be underestimated.  His ability to work tirelessly and make difficult decisions at crucial times has achieved impressive results for Waitematā.  As the Chair and Deputy Chair combo over nine years I have been fortunate to have learned a huge amount from Shale.  I thank him for his support, guidance and for becoming such a strong advocate for making Auckland a great place to cycle even though he has no wish to ride a bike!  I wish Shale and all the board members the best for the future

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

Waitemata Local Board launches Smokefree across Central Auckland on World Smokefree Day

Auckland Council and Cancer Society Media Release  25 May 2012

Cancer Society congratulates Waitemata Local Board on being one of the first Auckland areas to make all playgrounds and sportsfields Smokefree. To mark the occasion, Waitemata Local Board is launching their Smokefree playgrounds and sportsfields with an event at Victoria Park.  The official unveiling of Council’s new Smokefree signage will take place and students from Ponsonby Intermediate will be competing in a skateboard and scooter competition.

“It’s about Whānau” is NZ’s theme behind this year’s World Smokefree Day”, says John Loof, CEO, Cancer Society Auckland.  “Smokefree is about looking after our whānau, and protecting our future generations.  When children use the parks, they should be learning how to play sports and have fun, not learning how to smoke.  By removing smoking from the areas where children play we will no longer normalise smoking behaviour.    Research shows that when children are surrounded by smoking they are more likely to start, and in New Zealand the average age that children are starting is 14 years and even younger for Māori at  11 years old.

This Smokefree Day Waitemata Local Board are launching Smokefree sportsfields and  playgrounds, this will mean that Smokefree signage will now be part of the landscape and smoking will no longer be accepted in these areas across central Auckland. “Auckland Council has committed to Smokefree in the Auckland plan which is a very positive step towards a future with less cancer. It is great that Local Boards have also taken a lead around Smokefree with Smokefree areas, and we look forward to Auckland Council making Smokefree the norm more and more across the city.      It’s about our Whānau, our communities, our future”.   John Loof, CEO, Cancer Society Auckland.

“The Waitemata Local Board is delighted to drive home the Smokefree message by becoming one of the first boards to roll out signage across sportsfields and playgrounds in the area. The focus is on encouraging culture change through education, awareness and public monitoring.  We are committed to providing clean, healthy and fun environments where our children and young people play and offering ongoing support for Smokefree.”  says Shale Chambers, Chair for Waitemata Local Board.



Monthly Board Report – June 2012

Covering Local Board activities from 1 May – 31 May 2012

Portfolio reports


Monthly transport update

The monthly Transport catch up was held with the Transport portfolio (attended by myself, Members Dempsey and Moyle) and relevant officers from Auckland Transport on 24 May. The issues discussed are reported back monthly by AT on our public agenda.  Specific issues include:

  • Community Garden proposal on the roof of the Cross Street car park
  • Cycling route from the Airport to downtown as part of the National Cycleway Network (the last stages of the route from Newton Road to Britomart are through the Waitemata Local Board area )
  • Parking Survey for Parnell
  • Westend Bus terminus and the potential for a bus turn around point at Coxs Bay

Follow up: a parking survey for the Grey Lynn surrey Cres shops in conjunction with the Grey Lynn Business Association briefing from NZTA to update the Board on NZTA/AT projects in the Waitemata area

Bike Parking

Auckland Transport has responded positively and promptly to requests for additional bike parking in Grey Lynn and West Lynn shops at four new locations. The owner of Kokako café is particularly happy that AT has installed parking on the corner of Great North Road and Williamson Ave and wrote: “Just wanted to say thank you for organising the bike racks in front of Kokako – they are awesome and our customers are loving them!”

During May, I joined AT for meetings with the Ponsonby Business Association to discuss a trial bike parking corral on Ponsonby Road and the K’rd Business Association to discuss locations for trial mini “bikerakks” (bike stands attached to existing poles) on K’rd. Auckland Transport is supporting both of these initiatives and has purchased 10 bikerakks minis for use on K’rd.

Member Dempsey and I met on site with our Elected Member Liaison Manager to discuss the lack of bike parking near Britomart station. This was prompted by the removal of bikes (including mine!) that were considered safety hazards by security at the station.

K’rd over bridge On behalf of the K’rd Business Association, I have been following up on the incorrect installation of the panels on the K’rd overbridge. Auckland Transport has advised that the architects preferred the current height in order to shield the unsightly landing/bridge area from the view while the business association did not support this design.

Next Steps: Auckland Transport is arranging a meeting with Barbara Holloway from the KBA to discuss two potential options.

Allocation of transport capital budgets to Local Boards

A Local Board cluster briefing was held during May on a proposed $10m Local Board transport capex fund. At the briefing, we were informed that this fund would be available for Local Board projects NOT in the current transport programme.   I followed up with a query to Stephen Rainbow asking AT to confirm what  Local Board transport projects and priorities (identified in either Local Board plans or agreements)  are included in AT’s work programme. I am yet to receive a response. Local Boards have been asked to respond to a discussion document however I do not consider it possible to provide feedback on how the proposed fund is allocated until AT’s understanding of the current framework and prioritisation process has been clearly articulated.

Good for Business” workshop

In my February monthly board report I reported back on the Auckland Walking Seminar “stepping into the future” hosted by Auckland Transport with guest speaker Dr Rodney Tolley, author of the Good for Business report. As a follow up to this seminar I have met with Auckland Transport to look at arranging a jointly hosted workshop for business associations interested in understanding the economic benefits of making streets more walking and cycling friendly. Next steps: AT to invite Rodney Tolly to present at a workshop


Community Engagement

During May, I attended two Board events to seek community feedback. After the Mayor officially opened the Campbell Free Kindergarten on 5 May, an open day was held to hear ideas about possible uses for the building. We are yet to receive an official report on the submissions but there was good turn out and lots of positive suggestions about community uses. Weona Reserve Walkway open evening was held at Seddon Fields football club on 17 May. Many of the affected residents took the opportunity to discuss the plans with Board members and officers.  A report on the feedback will be on the agenda for the Board’s meeting on 19 June.

Community Assistance Framework

The community portfolio worked with officers to finalised high-level feedback on the draft Community Assistance Framework (comprising on the draft Community Funding Policy, draft Community Occupancy Policy and draft Facility partnership Policy).  This feedback is attached to the agenda. Specific concerns about the changes to the Accommodation Support Fund, Arts Alive Funding and Events funding as part of the Funding Policy were made by way of resolution at the Board’s May meeting (refer item 40 of the minutes).

Western Springs College presentation of Enviroschools Silver sign

I was honoured to have the opportunity to present Western Springs College with their Enviroschools Silver sign at a student-led junior assembly on 15 May. (A copy of my speech is attached as Attachment A) After the presentation, the Waste Wise students led a tour of the waste minimisation projects around the school such as the separated waste bins and a composter.

Smoke free launch

I assisted Member Tricia Reade with planning for the launch of smokefree playgrounds with an event on World Smokefree Day at Victoria Park Skate Park. We met with the Principal and Deputy Principal of Ponsonby Intermediate to discuss the launch and how it could best involve students from the School. We also met with officers and the Cancer Society to plan the event. The official unveiling of the Board’s new Smokefree signage took place on 31 May with a display by Ponsonby Intermediate’s cheer leading squad and  skateboard and scooter competitions.

Accessible Business Cards

In our Local Board Plan, we have made a commitment to become an accessible board and area. When the opportunity came to have new business cards printed, on the advice of Auckland Council’s disability advisor, I requested a font size of 14 for details on the card. It took 2 months but with the assistance of Emma Monk, communications advisor, I am very proud to now have, what I believe to be, Auckland Council’s first large font size business cards (see Attachment B). I recommend the design as simple and effective and that it should become the default for all business cards within the organisation.

Other issues relevant to the Community portfolio A range of meetings were attended during May relevant to the Community portfolio – these are listed below.

Other board activities

Fairtrade Auckland

On 4 May, Mayor Len Brown launched Auckland’s status as a Fair Trade City joining a network of 1000 towns and cities around the world. The Waitemata Local Board kicked off the process through Auckland Council to meet one of the key requirements of being certified a Fair Trade City. It took exactly a year from our own resolution to be the first Fair Trade Local Board in May 2011 for the decision to go to through the Council’s Economic Forum, the Tenders and Procurement sub-committee and finally to the Regional and Operations Development Committee in March when the Mayor and Council voted unanimously in support. The Mayor received Auckland’s Fair Trade certificate from Michael Toliman, the coffee farmer from Papua New Guinea in New Zealand for fairtrade fortnight. The Board held its Fair Trade coffee break at the Board office on 17 May raising $100 for Oxfam. Chris Morrison and Julia Collins from All Good Bananas were our special guests who generously provide a box of Fairtrade Bananas.

Grey Lynn Business Association I attended the GLBA business meeting on 1 May. I am following up a number of issues for the GLBA board including parking issues and streetscape improvements at the Surrey Cres shops.

Waste Management & Minimisation Plan

I am taking a close interest in the development of the Council’s waste plan. I attended the deliberations meeting of the Hearings Panel on the draft plan on 29 May. The recommendations to be made to the governing body on 8 June are consistent with the Board’s support for waste to be considered a valuable resource with appropriate incentives to encourage recycling and waste minimisation. The panel gave particularly strong support for the development of a resource recovery network to replace the inorganic collection and noted the initiative of the Waitemata,  Albert – Eden and Puketapapa Local Boards to develop a pilot resource recovery centre.

Local Board Agreement

Following consultation and deliberations on the Waitemata Local Board Agreement the final amendments were agreed at our May public meeting. I took a particular interest in the Advocacy to Auckland Transport section of the Agreement and recommended amendments that ensure all the proposed projects for 2012/13 are consistent with Auckland Transport’s work programme and the Local Board priorities. I supported the Chair in preparing for our “Discussion” with the governing body and spoke to the transport issues at the meeting. Although Section  21(1) of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2010 requires that for each financial year, the Auckland Council must have a local board agreement (as agreed between the governing body and the local board) for each local board area,  it is disappointing that at no point in the process has a “negotiation” occurred between the local board and the governing body.

LGNZ  Joint Zone One and Zone Two meeting

I attended the LGNZ meeting on 11 May travelling to Manukau on the new train service. At the meeting, Mike Cohen reported back on behalf of Local Boards. He highlighted his views oon the restructuring issues and gave the example of the parks budget, which does not provide the Boards with any incentive to find efficiencies and cost savings. However if Boards seek improvements this has to be found from the Board’s budget. I was also interested in the update from TRAFINZ (the New Zealand Local Authority Traffic Institute) that represents local authority views on road safety and traffic management in New Zealand. Like the Board, TRAFINZ supports speed violations being delegated from the Police to Local Authorities.

The Love NZ public place recycling manager gave an update on the Love NZ nationwide recycling initiative, which is co-funded by Central government and industry through the Glass Packaging Forum. In the first 6 months including through the RWC, the Love NZ Board claim to have diverted over 1000 tonnes of packaging from landfill through the Love NZ recycling bins. It was confirmed at the meeting that Glass Packaging Forum does not support container deposit legislation which is considered to be the most effective means of reducing packaging waste.

Local Board workshops and meetings


  •  All 3 Local Board workshops held during the month on 1, 15 and 22 May
  • Parnell Festival of the Roses meeting to hear the results of the event assessment survey
  • Art in the Square – meeting to discuss ideas for the activation of Newmarket Station Square Herne Bay Residents Association meeting – regarding the Wellington Street on ramp on 4 May
  •  Myers Park Development Plan meeting 4 May (part only)
  • Meeting with Puketapapa and Albert Eden Local Boards to discuss the development a pilot resource recovery centre on 7 May
  • Meeting with a member of the public concerned with the level of spitting in the city centre that creates a hazard for those using walking sticks Meeting to discuss the Local Board transport advocacy for inclusion in the Local Board Agreement
  • Draft LTP – Budget & Advocacy Finalisation in preparation for the Local Board public business meeting
  •  Meeting at Ponsonby Intermediate to discuss plans for the launch of the Board’s smokefree park signage on World smokefree day Local Board business meeting in Parnell on 8 May
  • Public Art Workplans for 2012/13 on 9 May
  • Visit to Auckland University of Technology to be briefed on the contribution made by AUT on 9 May
  • Hīkoi with Waitemata Local Board members and Malcolm Patterson on 10 May to discuss the Māori heritage of the foreshore and how this can be respected and celebrated through developments such as an extended coastal walkway or arts trail Meeting with officers to discuss the planning for the smokefree launch
  • Meeting with AT Community Transport  and Barbara Holloway to discuss the trial of mini bike stands on K’rd Meeting with Heart of the City to discuss the “Parklet” proposal
  • LGNZ  Joint Zone One and Zone Two meeting on 11 May in Manukau
  • Communications meeting with the new Local Board Communications Advisor, Chris Baldock on 15 May  C
  • ommunity Development and Partnerships monthly meeting with Shane Ta’ala
  • Parks Maintenance contracts Local Boards cluster meeting on 16 May – a follow-up workshop to the one held on 6 December 2011 to discuss new parks maintenance contracts across Auckland and levels of service.
  • Waitemata Local Board’s “discussion” with the Governing Body on 16 May
  • Meeting with Judith Webster; Programme Manager City Transformation Projects and Michelle Prattley; Project Leader, City Transformation Projects to discuss the city centre noise project involving a range of mechanism to reduce and manage noise
  • Weona Walkway open day at Seddon Fields on 17 May
  • Meeting with Ponsonby Business Association to discuss a trial “bike parking corral” on Ponsonby Road
  • Catch up with Ashley Church, Newmarket Business Association General Manager (as alternate on the Board) on 18 May
  • Monthly transport portfolio catch ups with Auckland Transport on 24 May
  • Deliberations meeting on the draft Auckland Waste Management and Minimisation Plan on 29 May
  • Allocation of transport capital budgets to Local Boards cluster meeting at the Town Hall on 21 May
  • Waitemata Local Board – Parnell Festival of Roses presentation to the Parnell Community on 22 May
  •  Strategy and Finance Committee meeting attended from 1pm – until 7pm on 23 May (where the LTP budget was approved)
  • Meeting with Chorus to discuss UFB rollout in Waitemata Local Board area on 24 May
  • Good for business workshop planning meeting with AT on 28 May
  • Victoria Park Management Plan meeting on 30 May
  • Ann McAfee – International Advisor to the Unitary Plan presentation to Local Board members and Councillors on 30 May
  • Britomart site visit with Christopher Dempsey and Lorna Stewart to evaluate bike parking
  • Meeting with Jo Wiggins, David Parker and Brian Palmer of the Auckland Sport and Recreation Reference Group (ASRRG) on 31 May

Events and functions

I attended the following events and functions during May:

  • AECOM’s Global Cities Institutes book for Auckland Official Launch on 2 May at the District Dining Room- The book, Auckland, Connected, examines how the city can address the challenges and opportunities facing its urban development in four areas: economic growth, transportation, urban form and liveability.
  • Hospice Cuppa launch on 3 May with guest speaker Alan Whetton
  • Fair Trade Fortnight breakfast launch event at the Britomart Country Club on 4 May (at the invitation of the Fairtrade NZ)
  • Fairtrade presentation to the Mayor on 4 May at the Central Library
  • Official opening of Campbell Free Kindergarten on 5 May
  • A Midsummer night’s dream on 5 May (at the invitation of ATC)
  • Sustainable Business Network AGM on 9 May
  • Cycle Action Associates Breakfast at the Box café on 10 May
  • GLBA networking drinks on 10 May
  •  Community Tree planting at Harry Dansey Reserve, Freemans Bay on Saturday 12 May
  • Easy Green Living Show (including the Auckland Council’s retro fit your home and composting displays) and Green Drinks at Alexandra Park
  • SAVE TVNZ7 Public Meeting , Freemans Bay Community Hall
  • Waitemata Local Board Fairtrade Coffee break raising $100 for Oxfam
  • Carrot mob at Cosset Café on Sunday 19 May
  • Auckland Conversation: How Effective Transport Planning and Efficient Public Transport have Transformed London, Councillor Daniel Moylan – Deputy Chairman Transport for London, Chairman of Urban Design
  • Launch of the Auckland Plan on 29 May at the Auckland Museum
  • Launch of smoke free signage at Waitemata Parks event on 31 May
  • Cycle Action Auckland, NZTA and Auckland Transport presentation –  North-western Cycleway connection to Beach Road