Monthly Board Report April 2013

This report covers my activities from 1 March – 31 March 2013.

Board activities

Annual plan hearings for Waitemata Local Board

I found our hearings day held on 19 March to be extremely interesting, worthwhile and productive. We were fortunate to have a range of passionate submitters and to be joined by three governing body members who added to the value of the hearings.

I would just query why the Orakei Local Board decided to submit to a number of fellow boards including Waitemata. There are a range of projects we may wish to collaborate on but the annual plan process is not intended nor structured to provide for different parts of the Auckland Council family to submit as members of the public. I would like to see Local Board services give a clear direction on this issue for next year.

Grants Committee meeting

The Grants Committee met on 27 March to consider 18 applications totally $68,573.98 to the Waitemata Local Board’s third round of discretionary funding. The committee agenda is available online. Thank you to all the applicants who came along to speak in support of their applications.

The recommendations of the committee will be referred to the Board’s business meeting on 9 April. The last and fourth round of funding for this financial year is open until Friday 26th April.  (application form available here)

Relationship between CCO’s and Local Boards

At our February meeting we received the report and resolutions from the Accountability and Performance Committee – Relationship between Local Boards and Council Controlled Organisations

It was delegated to the Board Chair and Deputy Chair to work with Local Board Services officers to provide feedback to the Committee on the type of engagement the Waitemata Local Board would like with Council Controlled Organisations.

This feedback is attached as ATTACHMENT A.

It should also be noted that CCO’s are required to report to the Governing Body on their engagement with Local Boards and that Auckland Transport has been directed to hold workshops with Local Board on their prioritisation criteria in early 2013. This workshop has yet to occur and Auckland Transport, Waterfront Auckland and ACPL have not provided Local Board Services with their engagement plans for 12/13.

Professional development

During March I have taken advantage of a number of excellent learning opportunities available to board members.

Re-thinking Pacific Auckland,  Damon Salesa, Associate Professor, Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland – a lunchtime learning hosted by the Research, Investigations and Monitoring Unit.

This presentation highlighted the high degree of racial segregation occurring in Auckland (using census and demographic data) which is not talked about and therefore not addressed. There are serious consequences of this segregation not just within lower socio-economic areas. Pakeha who attend racially segregated schools are also educationally disadvantaged.

It means differences of opportunity and attainment and damages confidence in democracy.

The presenter gave as the number one solution building social housing in wealthier areas – he felt strongly that no development should happen at the waterfront without social housing.

I would like the Waitemata Local Board to ensure it meets the challenge given by the presenter of working to create the World’s most liveable city for EVERYONE.

Innovation Auckland Conference

SOCANZ conference on 25 and 26 March (conference report to be provided next month)

The conference presented energetic experts on social entrepreneurship and a range of workshops on a cross-section of subjects.

Place making session – connecting Auckland Place Makers

Ethan Kent, International Place advocate for the Project for Public Spaces. Hosted by Waterfront Auckland at the Cloud

 “If you plan for cars and traffic you get cars and traffic, if you plan for people and places you get people and places”

 The presentation held up place making as a transformative agenda going through the key attributes that make a good place, describing place making opportunities and benefits.

Natalie Nicholles, associate director, new economics foundation (nef) London

Local economic development – a community development approach for the ‘toolbox’ – a session for Local Board members

Provided a practical overview of nef’s innovative, tried-and-tested local economic development tools:

–       developing community knowledge about local wealth creation, and why it matters

–       building community capability to assess where and how money and resources leak out of local

I also used a private visit to Melbourne to learn more about what it takes to create the world’s most liveable city with lots of people cycling for transport (report here)

Parking seminarGetting Parking Right for Auckland Seminar

Invites went out in early March for the seminar on 3 April to all of the business associations, CBD advisory board members, local board members and a number of councillors.

An impressive line up of experts, including Chief Economist, Geoff Cooper are included in the programme.

Portfolio reports


The Transport portfolio monthly briefing with Auckland Transport took place on 21 March 2013.   We covered:

  • Road safety campaigns
  • Parking issues in Parnell, Freemans Bay and the Strand
  • Eden Terrace parking zone update
  • St Mary’s Bay parking business permits
  • Road Corridor Operations latest updates

Full details of current proposals and issues are outlined in Auckland Transport’s monthly report attached to the Board agenda.


Parking continues to be an issue for many neighbourhoods in our board area. In Freemans Bay nearly all the unrestricted on-street parking is taken up daily by commuters making it difficult for visitors and residents to access parking spaces. Freemans Bay is the number one priority for a residents parking scheme applying the lessons Auckland Transport has learnt from the St Marys Bay trial.

In February we heard from residents of Scarborough Tce at our monthly board meeting about the parking issues on their street. Auckland Transport is investigating a number of options for a scheme that needs to be effective in a mixed use area with high occupancy rates into the evening.

In Eden Tce we heard that Auckland Transport successfully presented to the Business Association on a proposal for a paid parking zone with a limited number of free on -street parking areas. As part of implementing a new parking scheme Auckland Transport is able to work with the local businesses to offer free public transport for 3 weeks, bike hire and car pool software with a travel plan for the area.

In St Marys Bay Auckland Transport is continuing to assess the trial and how best to deal with the request for business permits. One option being considered is to allow for a limited number of coupons for daily parking (similar to the coupon scheme in Wellington).

What is clear from all the investigations that AT is undertaking is that each neighbourhood will require an appropriate parking scheme to be developed to fit the particular community needs.

Road safety

I have raised concerns with Auckland Transport that their latest campaign aimed at pedestrians is ill-conceived and unlikely to resonant with the target audience. The Pay Attention or Pay the price campaign is aimed at young people who are involved in large number of accidents in the city centre.

However what I have learnt from safety campaign experts such as Jonathan Daly is that these kinds of messages don’t work as they are missing the key ingredient of empathy. It is human nature to switch off to messages such as “Slow down”, “Pay Attention”, “Be polite “

I think this campaign also doesn’t  recognise current realities regarding how people – especially young people -choose to move around the city and how Auckland streets are being designed that even work to encourage distractions (such as shared spaces).

Of course pedestrians need to take care but I believe this campaign will lead to a greater tendency to blame the victim of road accidents involving pedestrians which is nearly always the pedestrian.

Interestingly we found out that AT uses a very small focus group sample on which to test safety messages. From the representative sample that we were shown all of the responders asked AT to not waste money on the campaign but to invest in more pedestrian friendly street design.

Richmond Road School

After more than 4 years of pushing for improved safety improvements on Richmond Road the school has been successful in Auckland Transport approving a range of measures.

I attended a meeting with the principal, Stephanie Anich, representatives of Auckland Transport and Cycle Action on 22 March to discuss the current proposals which are either underway or about to start. These improvements include:

  • Relocating the bus stop near the school to provide for greater visibility
  • Installation of electronic repeater 40km/h signs
  • Installing school zone signs
  • Improvements to the crossing layout
  • New markings and raised speed strips to encourage slower speeds

These safety improvements are being undertaken as part of the overall Richmond Road safety action plan which is a local board project.

Promoting active transport for events

Pasifika by bikeI have raised with Auckland Transport and ATEED the lack of promotion for active transport as an option for travel to events over the summer.  For example the promotion for travel to Pasifika was just focused on using the park and ride facilities. No bike parking was provided at the event despite it taking place right next to the north western cycle way.

 I am also aware of the large number of complaints that have been directed to Auckland Transport regarding the lack of planning to cope with the large numbers using public transport to attend events particularly over the weekend of 9/10 March.  AT have advised that their Special Events Team will review all available data and apply the learnings to planning for future events so that the travelling public is better served.

Other board activities

Local Board Workshops and meetings

I attended during March:

  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 5 March
  • Meeting to discuss Waitemata Local Board feedback on the Unitary Plan & current status of the draft Unitary Plan
  • Symonds Street cemetery public meeting on 5 March
  • Waitemata community facility needs meeting
  • Informal meeting with Waterfront Auckland CEO, John Dalziell
  • AT Briefing on cycle connections to the Grafton Gully Cycleway
  • Coxs Bay Advisory Group meeting  on 7 March
  • Local Board briefing on the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 changes to the current liquor licensing framework
  • Planning for Parnell Baths Centennial Celebration in March 2014
  • Ponsonby Road Master Plan – Working Group Workshop 2: Issues, Opportunities and Aspirations on 11 March
  • Meeting with Philip Jones, Architect for Ponsonby Central to discuss proposed parking and bus stop changes on Ponsonby Road and Brown Street
  • Communications fortnightly update
  • Meeting with the solid waste team to discuss the work underway to encourage zero waste events
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting in Parnell on 12 March
  • Waitemata Local Board workshop on 12 March
  • Initial meeting of the working group on neighbourhood planning convened by Roger Blakely on 15 March
  • Unitary plan launchLaunch of Unitary Plan and attendance at the business and heritage sessions held during the day (pictured)
  • Meeting to discuss Pioneer Women’s Hall redevelopment budget and process
  • Fortnightly catch up on the Ponsonby Road master plan progress
  • Annual Plan hearings for Waitemata Local Board on 19 March
  • Re-thinking Pacific Auckland lunchtime learning. Presentation by Damon Salesa, Associate Professor, Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland
  • Auckland Transport monthly catch up for Transport portfolio holders on 21 March
  • Richmond Road School meeting on 22 March organised by Auckland Transport to discuss the proposed safety measures to be introduced outside the school
  • Meeting with representatives of Albert – Eden, Puketapapa Local Boards and the solid waste team to discuss the next stage for the resource recovery centre
  • SOCANZ innovation Auckland Conference on 25 and 26 March
  • Workshop for place makers with Ethan Kent on 25 March hosted by Waterfront Auckland
  • Waitemata Local Board Community Grants Committee meeting on 27 March
  • Ponsonby Road fortnightly update meeting
  • Briefing from Rob Cairns, Manager, Region wide Community Planning and Policy regarding Auckland Domain Governance
  • Natalie Nicholls, new economics foundation for an in-depth conversation for Local Board members regarding local economic development

Events and functions

The Auckland Arts Festival 2013 was a big highlight of the events calendar during March. I was fortunate to attend the following performances

  • The opening night of The Factory and drinks afterwards at the Festival bar (at the invitation of AAF)
  • Breath of the Volcano at the Auckland Domain
  • Hui at Q Theatre (at the invitation of AAF)
  • One Man, Two Guvnors
  • Urban by Circolumbia (at the invitation of AAF)
  • Cantina at the Festival tent

 I also attended during March

  • International women’s day celebration at Khartoum Place on 8 March
  • Pasifika Festival at Western Springs
  • Grafton Cricket Club’s 150th birthday celebratory dinner (at the invitation of GCC)West Lynn Street Party opening
  • BeSpoke – Cycle Style at Silo Park (I was part of the organising team as coordinator of Frocks on Bikes – Auckland)
  • Grey Lynn Business Association March networking drinks
  • Ponsonby Road Market Day
  • Movies in Parks at Grey Lynn Park on 16 March
  • West Lynn Street Party and Twilight market in celebration of neighbours day Aotearoa on 21 March (I had the privilege of opening the event with Rev Faasoo (pictured)
  • Genesis Energy Whio Breakfast at the Auckland Zoo on 22 March
  • Opening of the Sir Paul Reeves Building at AUT on 22 March
  • Urbis Design Day off ramp installation (viewed from the K’rd over bridge) – how would you like the city to move?  (pictured)

Urbis design day off ramp

Monthly Board report: December 2012

Rachel Brown, Len Brown and Pippa Coom at the Sustainable City Showcase2012 in Review
This is my last report for 2012. Looking back over the year I think it has been characterised by the significant progress we have made as a Board on our projects and initiatives following an inaugural year of planning and figuring out how the new Super City structure fits together. It has also become noticeable this year that the role of the Board is far better understood by the community. I think we have become the go to people on a huge range of local issues.

Inevitably there have been challenges and frustrations but personally I have found 2012 to be hugely enjoyable and rewarding. I have particularly welcomed all the opportunities to learn from international experts, to meet the people we represent and to fully take part in civic life.   I feel very privileged to represent such a dynamic, interesting and diverse area at the centre of Auckland.

I very much appreciate the skills and passion that officers bring to their role that has enabled local board projects to be advanced and implemented quickly.  We still have lots to do but I think we are fortunate to have a great board team with excellent leadership that will ensure 2013 is a good one.

Board activities for the period 1 November – 1 December 2012

A number of meetings were held with Auckland Transport during November. These are covered in the Auckland Transport monthly report and included:

  • the Board’s greenways aspirations and potential locations for AT to fund on-street routes
  • Update on a public bike hire scheme for Auckland
  • Draft Regional Public Transport Plan
  • Location of the bus stop outside Ponsonby Central

Good for business seminar
Good For BusinessIn February this year I asked Auckland Transport to consider bringing international expert Rodney Tolley to Auckland to be the key note speaker at a seminar aimed at our business associations and their members. I would like to thank Auckland Transport for making it happen and their work in organising the “Good for Business” seminar in partnership with the Board that was held on 28 November at the offices of AECOM.
Dr Tolley spoke about the economic benefits of investing in walkability to an audience of over 60 including representatives of business associations from across Auckland
My presentation that concluded the seminar is attached (Attachment A).

Community Funding
I represented the Board a the Central Joint Funding Committee meeting on 9 November that decided the allocation of grants from the Accommodation Support Fund, Cultural Heritage Fund and Community Group Assistance Fund (round one). These funds are legacy Council funds that following a recent decision by the Regional Development and Operations Committee are going to be rolled over for a further year (2013/14).
The minutes of this meeting are available online.

Local Government
LGNZ Zone 1 meeting
I attended the Local Government New Zealand Zone 1 meeting in Whangerei on 16 November (at no cost to the Board).
The presentations covered:
–       Alcohol Reform Bill – Charlotte Connell Senior Advisor Ministry of Justice – update on the Bill and what the changes to the supply and sale alcohol regime is likely to mean for TA’s
–       Mayor’s taskforce for jobs, Jan Francis
–       Strategic Plan introduced by Malcolm Alexander, CEO LGNZ
–       TRAFINZ update from Karen Hay
I found Malcolm’s presentation to be particularly interesting because of the energy, leadership and skills he is bringing to local government. The new strategic work plan has specific actions to bring about a brand shift to LG with LGNZ’s aim to be the Strong voice for great local government.
Malcolm intends presenting the LGNZ strategic plan to local board members next year.

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill
I was extremely disappointed that the Government passed the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill on 28 November with the slimmest majority, with no mandate and no evidence what so ever that Councils are operating ineffectively and uneconomically because of the “four well-beings”
I agree with LGNZ’s President, Lawrence Yule assessment that in its drive to have councils move their focus away from the four well-beings, the Government has instead injected uncertainty into the law by increasing the scope for council decisions to be judicially reviewed.As Lawrence said on the day the Bill was passed “The lesson from this legislation is that processes that are not based on facts, principle and constructive dialogue between central and local government do not serve the public well.”

Building a Better Newmarket Seminar
I attended this one day seminar for members of the Newmarket Business Association and was invited to sit on the panel that concluded the day.
At the seminar Westfield New Zealand Director, Justin Lynch outlined plans for a proposed new retail development on the Dominion Motors/Levene Extreme/Farmers site which borders Mortimer Pass and Broadway. In addition to a proposed flagship 9,500 sqm Department store, 95 new specialty stores are planned, along with a six-screen cinema, gymnasium and 1,400 car additional parking spaces. Westfield is waiting for the right market conditions to commence the multi-million dollar complex.

NZTA Senior Urban Design Advisor, Jacque Bell presented on the draft master plan for the area under the Newmarket viaduct which provides for a mix of commercial and office space, active retail frontages, car parking buildings and multi-functional open space. Consultation is currently underway on the plans.

Other speakers included Dr Libby Weaver (building a better you), and Hon Stephen Joyce (the big picture)

Community empowerment and the strengthening of democracy
During November local board members had the opportunity to attend presentations by two international speakers on the related areas of participatory budgeting and building community capacity.

Giovanni Allegretti, an architect, planner and senior researcher at the Centre for Social Studies at Coimbra University (Portugal) spoke about the benefits of entrusting citizens to decide how to allocate Council budgets in his presentation on participatory budgeting.

The following week Jim Diers, who is internationally recognised for his work with communities, gave his presentation on the Power of Community and how to get people to cherish their government and strengthen citizen participation. He also gave examples of neighbourhood planning process and the value of community driven planning.

Support social enterprise A4 eInvite_Page_1Social Enterprise conference 26 November

The Social Enterprise conference was organised by the CDAC team with the support by the Waitematā Local Board, University of Auckland Business School, Mira Szászy Research Centre, and The Kitchen with the aim of supporting the sector, celebrating best practices and exploring initiatives to support social enterprises.

The conference included Pecha Kucha style presentations from a number of social enterprises based in the Waitemata Local Board area.

Key speakers included:

  • Di Jennings, Community Economic Development Trust
  • Nicky Benson, New Zealand Centre for Social Innovation
  • Andrew Hamilton, ICEHOUSE
  • Assoc. Prof. Manuka Henare University of Auckland Business School

The CDAC team are to be congratulated on successfully organising the conference.

My welcome on behalf of the Board is attached (Attachment B)

Local Board workshops and meetings

Attended during November:

  • Parks Renewals Programme – Workshop on 1 November
  • Community leases meeting 1 November
  • Meetings to finalise the Board’s Unitary Plan report on 1 November, 5 and 12  November
  • One to one engagement meetings on the Unitary Plan with key community groups. I attended the following:
    o   Westmere Heritage Projection Group on 1 November
    o   GLBA and Grey Lynn 2030 on 5 November
    o   Western Bays Community Group on 5 November
    o   Newmarket Business Association on 7 November
    o   Parnell Community Committee on 7 November
    o   NZ Historic Places Trust on 8 November
    o   Parnell Heritage on 12 November
  • Local Board workshop on 6 November (Thriving communities discussion document , Pioneers Women’s Hall redevelopment and Pt. Erin Pools)
  • Communications update on 6 November
  • Meeting on 7 November with Team Leader, Community Facilities to discuss Parnell Trust’s request for financial assistance
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport and Council officers to discuss the Board’s Greenways priorities on 7 November
  • Workshop with Auckland Transport on the Draft Regional Public Transport Plan to assist with preparing the Board’s submission on the plan
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss the options for the location and design of the bus stop outside Ponsonby Central on Ponsonby Road
  • Meeting with Julie Fairey, Community spokesperson,  Puketapapa Local Board
  • Central Joint Funding Committee meeting on 9 November
  • Waitemata Local Board business meeting at Graham Street on Tuesday 13 November in Parnell
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to discuss portfolio processes
  • Introduction to the new reporters for the Central Leader and the Auckland City Harbour News on 15 November
  •  Meeting on 15 November to discuss the City Centre Noise Management Action Plan 2012-2015 and how Waitemata Local Board can respond in support of the latest Noise Report to the Unitary Plan submission process and what actions can be initiated going forward through the Noise Action Plan
  •  Waitemata Christmas event organisation in Western Park meeting on 15 November
  • Resource Recovery Centre workshop with transition town groups looking to support the development of a centre – hosting by Puketapapa Local Board on 15 November with Warren Snow
  • LGNZ Zone One meeting in Whangerei on 16 November
  • Meeting with the Central Relationship Managers to discuss options for dealing with applications for Facilities Partnership funding on 19 November
  • Financial information and support for Local Boards meeting prior to the Chair’s forum on 19 November (part attended for the Chair )
  • GLBA meeting on 20 November
  •  Local Board workshop on 20 November
  • Meeting with Auckland Transport to receive an update on the Public Bike Hire scheme  on 22 November
  • Meeting and site visit at Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on 22 November with Christopher Dempsey
  • Participatory Budgeting presentation by international guest, Giovanni Allegretti. on 23 November
  • Waipapa Stream project update on 23 November
  • Grey Lynn Park Advisory Group meeting on 26 November
  •  Breakfast presentation by Jim Diers for elected representative on 27 November
  • Local Board workshop on 27 November to discuss the Board’s draft annual agreement
  •  Ports of Auckland Briefing to Local Boards on 27 November
  • Good for Business seminar on 28 November
  • Transport portfolio monthly meeting with Auckland Transport (informal catch up)

Events and functions
I attended the following events and functions during November:

  • Cycle Action’s Associates breakfast on 1 November
  • Square Art – opening of the art exhibition in Station Square as part of the Newmarket Festival
  • Art in the Dark event on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 November
  • Highwic House Cycle Style (part of the Festival of Flowers) on 18 November
  • Taste Auckland at Victoria Park on 18 November (at the invitation of Taste Auckland)
  • Opening of Ponsonby Central on 20 November
  • Building a better Newmarket conference hosted by the Newmarket Business Association
  • Grey Lynn Business Association AGM (I have been re-elected to the Board )
  •  Sustainable Business Network’s  Sustainable City Showcase 22-24 November including:
    o   SBN Sustainable Business Awards
    o   Conscious consumer breakfast
    o   Ethical Fashion Show
    o   Walk around with Cr Mike Lee
    o   Carrot mob launched by Mayor Len
  • Social Enterprise Conference organised by CDAC on 26 November
  • Regional Facilities Auckland Limited’s end of year drinks for  Local  Board  Chairs and Deputy Chairs at the Auckland Art Gallery on 28 November
  •  Cycle Action Auckland Christmas gathering in support of Bikes for refugees
  • Invite from Royal NZ Ballet – RNZB season of Giselle on 30 November
  • Ponsonby Market Day on 1 December
  • Launch of the Franklin Road Christmas lights at the Rob Roy plaza on 1 December