Monthly Board report July 2015

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities from 1 June – 7 July 2015 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board, Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.

I have also been acting Chair from 19 June – 10 July.


Costley Reserve playground opening on 27 June

Costley Reserve playground board members at the opening



 Urban Cycleways programme

Auckland urban cycleways Since December 2014 I have been a member of the Urban Cycleways Investment Panel.  The Panel considered proposed cycleway projects that Councils from across the country put forward for funding from the $100m urban cycling fund, and provided recommendations to the Minister of Transport on the final Urban Cycleway Programme.

On 25 June I attended the launch of the programme by the Prime Minister and Minister of Transport in Rotorua (see Attachment A). On the same day as the launch the governing body signed off the Long -Term Plan budget including the local share of a $124m three year walking and cycling programme which should deliver 52 kilometres of new cycleways.

This is great news especially for the Waitematā Local Board area. After many years of the Board advocating for dedicated cycleways and the completion of the Auckland Cycle Network we will see the acceleration of projects with safe connections on Great North Road, Surry Crescent, Gladstone Road,  a Western Connection via Sarsfield St together with city centre routes.

 Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan

Newmarket laneways open dayThe 10-year budget that was adopted on 25 June by the governing body includes the funded priorities for each local board. The Waitematā Local Board consulted on the following proposals for the next 10 years:

  • complete the Weona-Westmere Coastal Walkway
  • upgrade Newmarket Laneways public realm to provide a safer and more vibrant environment for pedestrians and shoppers
  • deliver the Western Springs Native Bush Restoration Plan
  • redevelop Pioneer Womens and Ellen Melville Hall as a city centre community hub
  • continue the delivery of the Waipapa Stream restoration and ecological project
  • support local community services, events and grants
  • continue to deliver initiatives from our local board plan.

Of the 1,412 submissions received, 745 made comments on the local proposals. Overall the majority of these respondents supported the local proposed projects for 2015/2016 and 2016-2025. In particular, there was support for the implementation of the Waipapa Stream and the Western Springs native bush restoration, the completion of the Weona-Westmere walkway and delivery of local events. There was also strong opposition towards reducing local library opening hours.

After considering the feedback, the board has funded the proposals listed above, and has reduced the budget from $100,000 to $75,000 for a temporary arts and culture POP  programme for which there was lower support. The Board has also allocated funding to support increasing Grey Lynn Library’s opening hours by half an hour a week. (refer Auckland Council media release Attachment B)


Resource consent for the walking and cycling pathway over the Auckland Harbour Bridge (Skypath) was granted on 3 July.  This is a significant milestone in a 10 year long campaign to establish this critical link in Auckland’s cycling network.

The Waitematā Local Board has consistently supported the Skypath project. (Photo right from the Get Across protest in 2009 when thousands enjoyed walking and cycling over the bridge)

Grandstand driveGrandstand Drive improved for people to enjoy the Domain

It is surprisingly difficult to move around the Domain without coming into conflict with cars or running out of footpath so it is great to see the parks team have closed the parking on Grandstand drive (due to the risk posed by the oak trees). This is hopefully the start of many further improvements that will progress through the Domain masterplan (to be consulted on in August) and the Museum’s work to improve walking connections.

New footpath programme 15/16

The Transport portfolio provided input to Auckland Transport’s new footpath work programme 15/16.  In Attachment C I explain how I finalised a list of locations with assistance from the public. 

Tactical Urbanism workshop

I attended a workshop with Mike Lydon, Principal Street Plans Collaborative – New York to and author of Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change, a book that shares techniques for ambitiously jump starting projects in the urban realm.

tree pit Great North RdThe workshop (hosted by Waterfront Auckland, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport) focused on the opportunities afforded by tactical urbanism, how the ‘lighter, cheaper, faster’ methodology can better deliver desired outcomes for the city, what obstacles lay in the way of achieving the desired outcomes and how we best work together to mitigate these obstacles and achieve the vision for Auckland as the world’s most liveable city. 

The city centre team have a budget of $800k for tactical urbanism projects like pop-up parks. It is great to see that many examples of “tactical urbanism” are already springing up in the community without any support from Council (for example the tree pit in the photo was recently planted after being empty for some time).

New initiative: Vision Zero

Fanshawe StreetTragically Mr Robert Su was killed on Fanshawe St on 2 June (early indications are that he was crossing at the pedestrian crossing with the green man when he was hit by a speeding truck).    In Attachment D I outline why I think the time has come for Vision Zero Auckland.

Not long after the crash on Fanshawe St Auckland Transport started a misguided and patronising “cross safely with the green man” campaign aimed at the victims of traffic violence. I have raised my concern with Auckland Transport that this kind of approach is shown not to be effective and that resources should be directed at measures that improve pedestrian safety (eg road design, enforcement, speed reduction).

 Workshops and meetings

From 1 June to 7 July I attended:

  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 2 June
  • Two days of the Skypath resource consent hearing
  • Visit to the Art of remembrance installation at St David’s church to meet Paul Baragwanath, Trustee Friends of St David
  • Communications update with the Local Board communications advisor
  • Engagement adviser update
  • Draft Newmarket Laneways plan open day on Osborne St, Newmarket on Saturday 6 June
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 9 June in Parnell
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 10 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 11 June
  • Draft Newmarket Laneways plan- Stakeholder Workshop at the Rialto Cinema on 11 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on  16 June
  • Community Meeting  on Western Park Development Plan consultation feedback on 16 June
  • Newmarket Laneways Member Working Group Update on 17 June
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on 17  June
  • Meeting to discuss up- coming playground openings
  • Tactical Urbanism workshop with Mike Lydon hosted by Waterfront Auckland  on 22 June
  • Local Board Chairs Forum on 22 June
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 23 June
  • Meeting with Ponsonby Business Association reps to discuss parking proposals
  • Franklin Road residents meeting hosted by Auckland Transport to discuss progress on the upgrade of Franklin Road on 23 June
  • Elected member professional development working group meeting
  • Central joint funding committee reestablishment meeting with representatives from Albert-Eden, Orakei, Maungakiekie-Tamaki and Puketapapa Local Boards
  • Senior Advisor/ Relationship manager weekly chairs meeting
  • Ponsonby Community Centre management committee meeting
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 30 June
  • Meeting to discuss Auckland Transport’s wayfinding signage proposals
  • Auckland Cycle Forum on 30 June at GridAKL
  • Community Development portfolio monthly update on 1 July
  • Meeting with Matt Ball, Ports of Auckland to discuss proposed Rainbow Warrior memorial art installation
  • Lunchtime learning: Auckland’s Green Lifeline – presentation by Andrea Reid about a new movement that aims to connect Auckland’s parks and reserves together to make pollination pathways.
  • Visited the homelessness Wānaga at Tātai Hono Marae, Grafton hosted by Te Puni Kokiri for Matariki

 Events and functions

Parnell Baths book launchFrom 1 June – 7 July attended:

  • Parnell Baths book launch at the Parnell library on 4 June (photo right)
  • Italian National Day piano concert at the invitation of Dante Alighieri Auckland
  • Parnell Heritage and RSC-Anzac Celebration with member Greg Moyle as guest speaker at the Parnell RSC
  • Kiss the Fish at Q Theatre at the invitation of Indian Ink Theatre Company
  • Waipapa Stream planting day on Saturday 13 June
  • Waipapa planting day July 2015Waitemata Local Board Good Citizen Awards at the Town Hall on 17 June
  • Newmarket Business Association business awards at the Auckland museum at the invitation of the NBA on 19 June
  • Launch of Greater Auckland on 21 June at Golden Dawn
  • Launch of the Urban Cycleways Programme in Rotorua on 25 June
  • Costley Reserve playground opening on 27 June
  • Breakfast celebration at the Zoo to welcome the new elephant Anjalee at the invitation of Regional Facilities Auckland
  • Associates breakfast – urban design, cycling and transport discussion on 2 July at the Auckland Art Gallery
  • Auckland Conversation: Mary Jane Jacob Public Art – what is it good for? on 2 July at St James Theatre
  • Opening of the World Press Photography exhibition at Smith & Caughey on 3 July
  • Skypath resource consent approval celebration at the Northcote Tavern on 3 July
  • Pecha Kucha cycling edition on 7 July at Shed 10 hosted by Auckland Transport

 pecha kucha cycling edition Barbara Grace


Monthly Board Report February 2015

This is my first report for 2015 covering highlights from December 2014 and January 2015.

Welcome Queens WharfOpening up the city centre to people

Despite the transport messaging that the Central City was “closed” the streets of Lower Queen St and Quay St were very much full and open to people over Auckland anniversary weekend.

I enjoyed the impressive 3 days of events for Auckland 175th birthday that included the Waitematā Local Board supported International Buskers Festival and the Story of Auckland in Shed 10 (I attended the launch of both). It was great see so many people enjoying the waterfront and finding time to give feedback about improving the city centre.

The weekend really showed the huge potential for improving downtown by re-prioritising road space.

Saving the Pohutukawa 6

I have provided regular updates on the Board’s opposition to Auckland Transport’s proposal to remove 6 mature Pohutukawa trees on Great North Road. The latest update is attached (ATTACHMENT A) following on from the Commissioners decision on 17 December to recommend removal.

Cycling & walking investment

I am really delighted to have been appointed to the Urban Cycling Investment Panel by the Transport Minister on the recommendation of LGNZ.  The launch of the urban cycling programme was held on 30 January 2015 on the old Nelson St motorway off- ramp (ATTACHMENT B). I attended the first meeting of the panel in Wellington on 8 December.

causeway opening group2015 is going to be the year to celebrate new cycling infrastructure in Auckland starting on 20 January when I joined the Albert- Eden community, Cycle Action, David Shearer MP and NZTA to celebrate the opening of the new causeway bridge on the NW cycleway.

The much anticipated and beautifully constructed Westhaven Promenade opened at the end of January. It is perfect for cycling with children in a safe, attractive environment but still needs to be connected to all the way to Silo Park. Auckland Transport announced on 30 January that Westhaven promenade January 2015construction of the final leg of the shared path on Westhaven Drive continuing along Beaumont Street is starting in February with a completion date in March (the shared path is intended as an interim measure).

Over the summer break I enjoyed one of the many cycling adventures now possible in Auckland (ATTACHMENT C)

Speed enforcement

In response to the many unjustified and ill-informed attacks over the summer on the NZ Police in response to speed limit enforcement I decided to write up my personal experience that influences my personal support for the safer systems approach to road safety (ATTACHMENT D). On the positive side I think there is a growing demand for slower speeds especially on residential streets and in the city centre.

Kelmarna Community Gardens

I attended the Kelmarna Community Gardens Trust public meeting on 29 January that gathered people together to reflect on their connections to the garden and to help plan the future now that Framework has withdrawn as a tenant.

It was an incredibly positive, well attended meeting demonstrating a huge amount of support for the gardens to continue as an organic farm with a place for everyone.  The Trust, with the assistance from Council officers, is considering options for managing the gardens going forward.

Everyday is your chance to make this city a little betterPlacemaking

The January Inner City Network meeting was hosted by Waterfront Auckland. Frith Walker gave an excellent presentation on placemaking that inspired the many people who attended to consider what it is possible to achieve in Auckland with clear vision and creativity.

Way finding

Street signage has been a topical local issue over the summer in response to Auckland Transport’s trial new signs on city streets (so far mainly in the Fort St no exitAlbert- Eden area). The Board has not yet been asked to give formal feedback on the design.  In the meantime I continue to push for way finding signage for pedestrians and cyclists on streets that are only NO EXIT for vehicles (such as on Fort St).

I was impressed to see the new way finding signs that have gone up in Myers Park. They are clear and well-designed providing a best practice template for future way finding designs.

Berm planting

At the Board’s December meeting we passed the following resolution in an attempt to progress Auckland Transport’s draft guidelines to encourage responsible plantings on grass verges. In the meantime “happy berms” have appeared over the summer.

Some of the events I attended during December and January

Grey Lynn library cake cuttingThe centenaries of Parnell Pool and the Tepid Baths were celebrated in December and the Grey Lynn Library’s 90th birthday.

Mayoral Reception on the occasion of the Battle of the River Plate 75th anniversary commemoration with the remaining 5 survivors.

The final Citizenship Ceremonies of 2014 were held on 1 December at the Town Hall (I was in the official party for the afternoon ceremony)

Auckland put on a beautiful morning for the Ironman 70.3 on the waterfront. I attended the welcome function on 16 January.

I attended the Breakers game on Friday 23rd January as a guest of the Mayor

It was sad to farewell Chris Davidson at the end of January as the CEO, Parnell Trust but he leaves the Trust in great shape.