It’s a wrap after 12 years on Auckland Council

Now that the official results are confirmed it is time to call a wrap on the election campaign and my council career. It certainly wasn’t the result I was hoping for as I really thought Auckland was ready for a visionary progressive Pasifika Mayor Collins who is an empathetic and constructive leader.
I wish the Wayne Brown Mayoralty the best and hope that he will quickly figure out what really needs to be fixed but early indications are not promising. I find it particularly worrying that he is calling for the heads of the Council Controlled Organisations before he has even met the directors or been briefed on what they actually do. Former Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, as CCO Oversight Committee Chair, spent a huge amount of time working on the CCO relationship and implementing the CCO review. That work is now being trashed by Mr “Fix it”. I would suggest Wayne listen to IMBS Chair Taipiri and show some respect.

However, there are a lot of successes to acknowledge and celebrate. I am super proud and happy that City Vision’s Julie Fairey has been elected and will be joined by Labour’s Lotu Fuli and Kerrin Leoni (there is now one more Labour councillor than previously). They are going to be a formidable team of newbies. The re-election of Councillors Richard Hills, Shane Henderson, Josephine Bartley, Chris Darby and Angela Dalton is especially sweet as they were up against some hideous personal attacks. They have strongly represented their communities and campaigned with integrity so really deserve their wins.

Congratulations and many thanks to my City Vision whānau. I was fortunate to campaign with an impressive and diverse group of candidates with fantastic support from a team of volunteers. It was a mixed overall result for City Vision but I am really happy for all those elected, especially Richard Northey, Alex Bonham and Anahera Rawiri elected on to the Waitematā Local Board. I know they will continue to do great work.

Congratulations as well to the Aotea Great Barrier and Waiheke Local Boards. It is good news the boards are very likely to remain under strong leadership of Izzy Fordham and Cath Handley with a committed group of local board members (the chairs are decided at the inaugural board meeting). I reported every month to the three local boards in my ward and worked closely with them on issues of concern such as the proliferation of helipads and ferry fares . I share my commiserations with outgoing Linda Cooper and Paul Young, both excellent councillors who will be greatly missed for their hard work and regional focus.

I am of course really gutted about my own failure to win re-election to Auckland Council. It has been a huge privilege to serve as Councillor for Waitematā and Gulf ward following 9 years on the Waitemata Local Board. I’m grateful to have been on a Phil Goff led Council. He’s shown incredible leadership through a really difficult time and always kept his good humour.
Over the last term there had been lots of progress and achievements that I am really proud about. From work on local issues like safety outside schools and the covid recovery to being part of a leadership team that saw the adoption of Te Tāruki ā Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Pan, the Climate Action Targeted Rate with almost $1 billion of climate action investment over the next 10 years and the bold Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway. (I wrote up my reflections on the 2019-2022 term covering many achievements here) In particular, I’m proud of the progress we made on the Hauraki Gulf Forum following the adoption of co-governance leadership in February 2020. There is no going back from the path the Forum is now on.
I went out with a progressive, positive campaign to continue this work but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I don’t have a Plan B at this stage but I remain committed to progressing restoration of the Hauraki Gulf, climate justice, and expansion of safe transport choices for Aucklanders. I will never be far from causes towards a fairer, more just and equitable society. I will keep fighting against misinformation and disinformation and holding the spreaders to account (here’s one example from the election campaign on Council’s “out of control budget” ). I will be pushing for electoral reform as the privatised local government elections with antiquated postal voting is clearly not fit for purpose, disenfranchising a large percentage of the population.

I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received and the many working relationships I’ve built up that I hope to maintain. I need further time to reflect on what I should have done differently and why I didn’t secure support from those who share City Vision’s progressive values. What I certainly hadn’t anticipated was the need to fight an election on two fronts: against an opponent willing to stretch the truth (to put it kindly)* and an often nasty and misogynistic personal attack against me led by the Taxpayers Union. Their extensive database built up from many “anti” campaigns combined with the disinformation campaign against co-governance engineered by Democracy Action against the Hauraki Gulf Forum were all intended to influence the result in favour of C&R endorsed Mike Lee without directly campaigning for him. It was also the first election with very little media coverage at a ward level to counter all the fact-free and alarmist messaging (RNZ Mediawatch: The media and low local election turnout). It is difficult to know whether that had an impact on turnout and the result.

Having said that I absolutely recognise that I must take responsibility for not winning enough votes and support when it counted. There is clearly a lot of anger built up over covid that motivated voters who don’t want further change but also disappointment in what hasn’t been achieved over 12 years of a progressive council that I have been part of. Ironically it is failure to deliver on cycleways that worked against me! I think Hayden Donnell quoted in the Guardian is bang on the money in summing up what has happened.

“I don’t think that this is a complete rejection of progressive politics,” says Donnell, noting that Wellington’s rejection of the Labour-backed candidate took a swing left. “I think that the progressive vote … is disillusioned with how incremental the changes have been, and how their lives are not really meaningfully better than they were three, six or nine or 12 years ago. So you have these two things: you have an energised conservative movement, and you have disillusioned progressive counter-movement. And so you’ve got real gains for the conservative reactionaries across the country.”

I have written to Mike Lee to congratulate him and will continue to stay close to all the communities across Waitematā and Gulf. I know that the kaupapa is strong and there is no going back to the Auckland he, and the other anti- “woke” councillors, want to represent. I’m sad, but probably shouldn’t be surprised, that after campaigning for Mike over three elections he wasn’t able to gracefully pass the baton but ended up aligning himself with C&R and the National party to win re-election. It will be interesting to see how he works with Mayor Brown on issues like Ports of Auckland and adapts to the expectations of a far more respectful way of working with staff than he has previously experienced.

Despite the final result this time around I remain positive and, regardless of the opportunities that come along for me next, I think this election will end up being seen as a turning point that actually strengthens the Hauraki Gulf Forum (especially the debate for co-governance) and the Super City for the best of Auckland rather than rips it apart. The 9 progressive Councillors on the governing body are now the biggest and most capable grouping who I am sure will put up a strong fight to continue the excellent work under way in the interests of all Aucklanders.

I wish the new Mayor and council well and will stay close to the action as much as I can.

Photo taken from the shores of Lake Wanaka where I am clearing my head post election

*Some examples from Mike Lee’s election manifesto


The final breakdown of elections results confirmed I won in Waitematā (city centre and central suburbs) but unfortunately it was a very different picture on Waiheke.  I wrote the following for the Waiheke Gulf News (published on 1 December 2022) to set the record straight on a number of the election issues.   It is also an opportunity to give thanks for the privilege of serving the Gulf Islands for the 2019-2022 term

Reflections on the Auckland Council term 2019-2022

Kia ora, this is my final Councillor report for the 2019 – 2022 triennium of Auckland Council. I have reported monthly throughout my time as Councillor for Waitematā and Gulf.   This month I take the opportunity to reflect on the last three years.

It has been an unusual and challenging term.  It got off to an ominous start with the Auckland Convention Centre fire forcing an evacuation of the Council’s HQ at Albert Street and the cancellation of the hui for all elected members that traditionally kicks off the new term.  Little did we know that we would not have another opportunity to meet all together again in person as elected representatives from across the Auckland Region.

The pandemic has of course dominated much of the last three years and created new challenges. It has been a really difficult time for communities, businesses and for Council the impact of COVID-19 has knocked a $900 million hole in the budget.  I think Auckland Council has an important role in the recovery and in responding to the safety and well-being needs of the community.

COVID-19 response and recovery

Governing Body Meeting held via Teams

Following the first lockdown in March 2020 Council quickly pivoted to online working  and supporting the community with essential services. Health & safety and maintaining supply lines to all our communities were priorities.  I worked with the Aotea Great Barrier Local Board to ensure Council’s emergency freight subsidy for Covid-19 Alert Level 4 was secured for Barrier Air to continue operations.

As we moved to recovery from lockdowns I supported council assistance to business, for example, through extensions to street trading licenses and the waiving of street trading rents.  The recovery plan for the city centre is currently underway with a focus on marketing, activation, events and placemaking as well as work to clean streets and improve safety.  Funding secured from government provided $60m business support package  through Activate Tāmaki Makaurau and $25.5m for visitor vouchers (almost 106,000 distributed) through Reactivate Tāmaki Makaurau both administered through Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.

From 13 September face masks will no longer be required at Auckland Council facilities or offices, following the decision by the Government to remove the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

Local Issues and funding

I’m fortunate to work with three effective and constructive local boards who are responsive to their communities.  I have been available to lend support as required and to champion local issues, for example, securing funding for the restoration of the Leys Institute Building and advocating for ferry fare equity for Waiheke.  I am an advocate for Waitematā and Gulf around the Governing Body table.

I’ve been working with all three local boards on the proliferation of heli-pads and the increase in helicopter movements which is having a detrimental impact particularly on Waiheke.

On Aotea Great Barrier the detection of the invasive seaweed Caulerpa and its ongoing spread continues to be a serious concern and a threat to the wider Gulf. I have raised awareness of the issue through the Hauraki Gulf Forum and back the local board in supporting efforts to control and research exotic Caulerpa (photo right from Biosecurity New Zealand’s presentation to the Forum on 23 August 2022).

I have also responded directly to hundreds of issues raised by constituents.  Over the last three years I have dealt with everything from complaints about resident parking permits (successfully resolved for the residents) to fencing disputes between neighbours (ensured an independent report was undertaken) to following up on maintenance and graffiti issues.

Recently I have been able to support the ward’s smallest island community by assisting the Rakino Residents Association on their long-time initiative to rebuild the Rakino wharf building as a community facility.  With support from the Waiheke Local Board this is now a funded project.  I attended the Association’s meeting on 3 August to see a presentation of a design concept by acclaimed architect Pip Cheshire.

Crew at the Love Our Wetland community planting day at Rangihoua on 14 August

I’ve appreciated opportunities to join local board members and community volunteers at planting days in local parks  and I’m really pleased to see the regeneration of the Western Springs Native Bush since the pine trees were removed.

A local issue I continue to work on is increasing the maintenance for plane tree lined streets and working with residents on a best practice approach to the leaf fall collection.

I am committed to the Governance Framework Review delivering more local decision-making to local boards, and an equitable share of resources for local boards. This will be a council focus for next term.

Council’s finances and performance

Chair Desley Simpson and Deputy Chair Shane Henderson, Finance and Performance Committee

The impact of COVID-19 put an estimated $900 m revenue hole in council’s budget.  Through the Emergency Budget in 2020 and the 10-year Recovery Budget in 2021 and more recently the Annual Budget 2022/23 I have supported the Mayor and Cr Desley Simpson Chair of the Finance and Performance Committee together with her Deputy Cr Shane Henderson taking a financially prudent and responsible approach.  Council has kept well below the 290% debt to revenue level agreed with credit rating agencies and even the long-term target of 270%.  In the coming financial year, it is projected to sit at 255%.

Some of the key points to note about Council’s finances as the term ends:

  • Council has taken significant steps to find savings through focusing on value for money analysis and efficiencies since 2011/12. Council has achieved total cumulative savings of $2.4 billion, without which rates would have been 14% higher.
  • We took extraordinary measures to reduce expenditure in the Emergency Budget and last year found record savings of $126 million. This year and for future years we have locked in a target of $90 million in annual savings.
  • We’re taking a smarter approach to procurement, delivering more for less.
  • This term alone, operational savings and efficiency achievements total in excess of $239 million with group procurement savings of just under $150 million.
  • Council debt was at $10.7 billion at the end of the last financial year which is 17.6% of the total assets of Council valued at $60.8 billion. It is now at 16%.
  • At the same time, we are working towards achieving 100% funding of depreciation at an additional annual cost of $25-40 million and are targeting full funding by 2028.
  • Importantly throughout the challenges of the pandemic Auckland Council has retained the credit ratings with S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investor Services of AA and Aa2 respectively.

While making significant and necessary investments, we have kept our debt at prudent levels and our general rate increases have been below those of other metropolitan cities.   Auckland has never had the highest average general percentage increase of any council in NZ as some candidates are claiming.  Currently Auckland is 4th of the metropolitan cities (after Tauranga, Wellington and Dunedin).

The failure of many of our legacy councils in the past to fully fund depreciation is a cause of past inadequate levels of renewals of Council’s asset base. Former councils, in particular Auckland City Council, also failed to properly invest in the infrastructure needed to meet Auckland’s growth.

Natural Environment and Water Quality Targeted rates

The natural environment and water quality targeted rates were established in 2018 to enable Auckland Council to invest in protecting and restoring our natural environment and improving water quality.

I supported the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 extension of both targeted rates to 2031 and an increase to the water quality targeted rate, enabling the eastern isthmus water quality

improvement and southern catchments alignment programme to be brought forward six years.

Natural Environment targeted rates 2021/22 reported highlights: 

  • Sunset from the HomeGround roof garden

    Completed the first long-term kauri health monitoring survey in the Waitākere Ranges

  • 24,000 of ground based possum control delivered across the region.
  • 3700 pest animals trapped on the Gulf Islands
  • Kōkako surveys counted 258 pairs in the Hunua Ranges – more than double the count from 2018 thanks to intensive pest control
  • Over $600,000 awarded to community groups to support capacity to support their activities
  • 1257 vessel hulls were inspected in-water for level of fouling and marine pests at marinas, moorings and anchorages on the mainland and Aotea Great Barrier. Also inspected by our dog handlers and their detection dogs: 365 scheduled vehicle sailings, 21 scheduled passenger sailings, 66 unscheduled charter sailings, 198 sailings to Waiheke, 151 sailings to Aotea Great Barrier and 11 sailings to Rakino.

Water Quality targeted rate 2021/22 reported highlights:

  • Five major water quality projects have been completed since the beginning of the western isthmus programme
  • 7km of major pipes constructed with 3.1km completed in the last year
  • 7km of public stormwater and waste water networks inspected as part of Safe Networks
  • 45,000+ onsite wastewater assets actively monitored through a new SAP database
  • Kaipara Moana Remediation programme installed 198,000km of fencing and planted 391,000 plants this year.

Climate Action

Considerable progress has been made on Climate Action this term building on the Climate Emergency unanimously declared in 2019.  Work that came to the Environment and Climate Change Committee under Cr Hills as Chair and me as Deputy included:

  • Te Tāruke ā Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan
  • Auckland’s Water Strategy; Auckland Council’s strategy to protect and enhance te mauri o te wai o Tāmaki Makaurau the life-sustaining capacity of Auckland’s water 2022 – 2050
  • Regional Streets for People Programme (now named Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau – The Vibrant Streets Programme)
  • Climate Action Fund Delivery of $152m as part of the 10-year budget climate package
  • Regional Natural Heritage Grant
  • Kauri Dieback work programme including the long-term kauri health monitoring survey
  • Coastal Management and Shoreline Adaption Plans
  • Natural Hazards Risk Management

In addition, on 29 June, Auckland Council formally adopted the Annual Budget 2022/23, locking in a bold billion-dollar package to combat the climate crisis and laying the foundations needed for Auckland to reach its climate objectives.  Funded from a Climate Action Targeted Rate the new climate package will enable $600m in new investment in bus services, funding for the procurement of new electric and low-emissions ferries and 79 new electric or hydrogen buses, completing links in the city’s cycling network and 35km of improved footpath.  The rate also provides funding for native trees on streets, in parks and in road reserves, providing more green space in areas that need it most, particularly in the south of our city

On 4 August it was a proud moment when the Committee adopted the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway, to give effect to Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri’s required 64 per cent reduction in transport emissions.  The Pathway recognises that tackling climate change requires transformational rather than incremental change, and that all sectors have a role to play, including central and local government, business and industry, agriculture, NGOs, local communities, and individuals.

It is exciting to have such a comprehensive strategic document in place that will be used to guide planners and decision- makers across the council group during the development of future transport plans, helping to ensure they meet the objectives outlined in Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri.


As mentioned above there has been a significant increase in funding for tree planting through the Climate Action targeted Rate. This is in addition to the Recovery Budget’s $14m investment in growing our urban and rural forests, including:

  • planting an extra 11,000 mature street trees;
  • partnering with community to provide an additional 200,000 native seedlings per year to support council projects, plus community and marae planting programmes; and
  • an additional 200 hectares of native forest in regional parks
Cr Richard Hills, Chair Environment and Climate Change Committee and Deputy Chair Pippa Coom at Black Bridge nursery

Unfortunately advocacy to government to re-introduce the tree protection rules has not yet been successful but we continue to press on this issue led by the Mayor and Cr Hills.

The Tree Council took legal action against Auckland Council to get tree scheduling going again. Working in with a budget amendment I put up in 2020 to support scheduling when resources allow, the Tree Council’s action has resulted in council planning staff agreeing to progress the work needed to re-open the scheduling process.  Those efforts are now underway and recently the Planning Committee notified the first group of trees to be considered for scheduling in years.  Plan Change 83 (PC83) currently out for consultation will add 24 individual trees and four groups of trees to the schedule.

Zero Waste 2040

I have supported the council’s move to standardise waste services and charges across Auckland and move to a region-wide rates-funded rubbish collection service with a choice of three bin sizes to accommodate different household needs. Standardised services and charges across the region will mean everyone with the same sized bin pays the same rate no matter where they live.

As part of the standardisation, I support the Aotea and Waiheke local boards’ advocacy for on island solutions for the food scrap service and ensuring city centre residents have access to the same services as suburban residents.

I have been a long-time champion for establishing Auckland’s Resource Recovery Network so was especially pleased to see the Waiheke Community Resource Recovery Park open in July 2020, Te Waiorea Resource Recovery Centre at Western Springs make progress this term and the Claris Landfill transitioning to become the Aotea Transfer Station on 1 July with the continuation of iconic Anamata/Tip Shop.

The heart of Tāmaki Makarau – the City Centre

In a recent presentation to Downtown Rotary I had the opportunity to speak on the topic of City Centre Future with the brief: As the borders open, cruise ships return and pedestrian numbers trend upwards there are positive signs for the city centre after a very difficult couple of years. A multi-agency approach has responded to safety and homelessness. A number of projects have recently been completed or are back on track transforming the heart of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Issues top of mind for the audience were safety followed by parking and the proliferation of orange traffic cones. I talked about the step-up in police patrols and the security provided by Heart of the City. The importance of making the city centre people-friendly to increase foot traffic rather than cram in more cars which is not good for business. Driving to the city is always going to be possible it is just that how we do it and where we park is going to change. Very few in the audience knew that it is now possible to get to the airport from Britomart in 55 mins for $2.70 (train to the new Puhinui Station transfer to an e-bus). This isn’t going to suit everyone but visitors who arrive into Auckland expect to have a congestion free option.

I also talked about the 45,000 plus residents who live in the city centre and the importance of making it an attractive place to live. There are some exciting projects underway including Wynyard Point, 4.5 hectares of new urban park, the redevelopment of the Downtown Carpark and the City Rail Link (CRL).   As I wrote in an opinion piece in February 2020 I think the orange traffic cones are a positive sign of progress for Auckland.

Auckland City Centre Advisory Board final meeting of 2019-2022 term

The City Centre targeted rate paid by city centre businesses and residents generates over $20m each year for upgrades such as the newly completed upper Federal Street shared space and Te Waihorortiu the Queen Street Project.  I’m the Councillor representative on the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board which assists and advises on city centre issues and achieving the vision and strategic outcomes of the City Centre Masterplan and Auckland Plan. The board also advises the council on how to spend the city centre targeted rate.

The final breakthrough of the Dame Whina Cooper tunnel boring machine to Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) Station on 15 September

I have been a long-time champion of CRL currently due to be completed in 2025. The CRL project has been significantly impacted by lockdowns, with approximately 153 days lost. Further impacts have resulted from staff needing to isolate. All infrastructure projects are seeing major inflation in material costs. Concrete, steel, and labour costs are all rising, some by as much as 16% per cent. The costs pressures are very real, but CRL is an alliance contract formed from a consortium of seven companies delivering the project. They are taking a collaborative approach to handling these pressures as effectively as possible. At the time of writing the the Tunnel Boring Machine is a few days away from its final breakthrough midtown around Mayoral Drive where Te Waihorotiu Station (Aotea) is being built.

Throughout the term I have been a member of the Central City Community Safety Taskforce first initiated in 2012 to address alcohol and safety issues within Auckland’s central city. The Taskforce has been given greater resourcing and focus this term to operate as a collaborative network of key organisations that influence positive safety outcomes for people living in, working in, studying in or visiting the central city.

In May I joined the Mayor and Cr Darby on a late night tour of hotspots with NZ Police including Wynyard Quarter where anti-social behaviour and noise from cars has been a particular issue.  Since then, patrols have increased and the return of foot traffic has improved the perception of safety.  There is still more to do but I think we have turned the corner especially as Te Wai Horotiu the Queen Street project moves toward completion in the next couple of months.

Timely, not just for city centre safety, but the whole of Auckland, the Safety Hub recently launched on the Auckland Council website is a new resource that gives Tāmaki Makaurau residents and visitors information on how to keep safe in their communities and what to do if they need support.


In the last few years there have been a massive turnaround in the measures in place to tackle homelessness and the support available for our most vulnerable. This really got underway with the adoption of Housing First in 2017 and then took off with the government funding for emergency accommodation as a result of the first lockdown.

Sunset from the HomeGround roof garden

Auckland City Mission – Te Tāpui Atawhai  award winning HomeGround opened earlier in the year bringing together permanent housing, health and social services, and lots of community spaces in a warm and welcoming environment. HomeGrown was 11 years in the making and cost $110m to build including a $5m contribution from Auckland Council.  After many years advocating for Council to provide shower and locker services HomeGround now fills that gap.

I have also supported the Mission’s investment in two residential transitional housing services – the James Liston Hostel and Te Whare Hīnātore as well as the Mission’s plans for taking a lease of 60 apartments on Day Street for permanent housing.

Housing reforms

One of the final big decisions of this term of council was the 4 August Planning Committee approval of the public notification of a proposed plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan to meet government’s requirements for greater height and density across the city. Consultation on Plan Change 78 is currently underway until 29 September.

I have taken the position that it is possible to confront the housing and climate change challenges the city faces and aim for the best possible urban environment at the same time as accommodating a range of qualifying matters including one that covers high quality special character. There are lots of issues with the government’s housing reforms but I have been one of a group of councillors led by Planning Committee Chair Darby who have attempted to make the legislative requirements work as effectively as possible and to look at ways council can achieve better intensification through the plan changes.

Once the submissions process has closed, an Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) will consider all submissions and hear directly from the people who submitted. They will then make recommendations to council in early 2024 on the necessary changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan. Council must then decide to accept or reject the IHP recommendations. If a recommendation is rejected, the Minister for the Environment makes the final decision.


I would have liked to have seen far more progress on the rollout of safe walking cycling infrastructure this term. The completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancement Project was a highlight but projects like Great North Road improvements, originally funded from the Urban Cycling Investment Fund, are now 6 years behind schedule.  AT has been slow to deliver the quick wins needed to encourage more Aucklanders to walk and cycle for short trips.

In March 2021 I joined Cllrs Bartley, Hills and Darby in writing to Auckland Transport’s Board Chair about concerns with Auckland Transport’s delivery of “Healthy Streets” and the cycling programme. There were positive suggestions in AT’s response that have now been realised including the proposal to appoint a new single point of leadership within AT to oversee cycling outcomes, and there has been stronger direction from council on the integration of cycling improvements with renewals work.  Going forward this will now be addressed as part of the implementation of Auckland’s Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway.

With regards to renewals, after years of advocacy there are now signs AT has moved on from delivering just ‘like for like’ renewals and is looking for opportunities to build assets to a higher standard. As part of footpath and kerb and channel renewals AT is contributing to delivering climate emission reductions by improving pedestrian facilities (such as footpath widening) realignment and installing missing pram crossings), installing tree pits and road side berms and generally increasing the road corridor vegetation coverage. (photos below show a small win after I went direct to the AT Maintenance manager about the opportunity to tighten the kerb line as part of the renewal).

An issue for next term will be the implementation of Auckland’s new parking strategy following considerable negative feedback on the draft that went out for consultation earlier in the year.  I would like to see the strategy reframed as an “Accessibility” Plan that recognises the management of parking is just the means to improve safety, access and mobility around the city.

There has been some progress for Waiheke locals facing the brunt of high ferry fares and poor reliability.  I will continue working with the Waiheke Local Board for fare equity and free children fares on weekends.   I also support the Aotea Great Barrier Local Board’s advocacy for a public transport trial.  On my most recent visit it was great to see the new Locky Doc secure parking and charging station located at the local board office.

Hauraki Gulf Tīkapa Moana Te Moananui-ā-Toi

When I was first elected Councillor I had no idea I would become inaugural co-chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum alongside Nicola MacDonald. (Or that it was even a thing!)

The Forum’s adoption of Co-governance leadership in February 2020 has increased the ambition for the Gulf and made the Forum relevant. At our final meeting of this term at AgriSea in Paeroa on 28 August we tabled our annual report and shared our progress. There is much to be hopeful for about the future of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. The images with the school of haku/kingfish  represent progress we have witnessed over the past two and a half years which will, in time, lead to a healthier Gulf thanks to the amazing mahi of so many.

One of the challenges has been the misinformation campaign against the Forum and members sadly amplified by a few who have resisted the new partnership approach. However, we have been able to keep focused on our four big goals for the Gulf and share the rewards.

Support for the creative sector

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of our creative sector that was particularly hit hard because of the pandemic.

Opening of the members show at Waiheke Community Art Gallery with Chair Handley, Richard and artist Anne

It has been great to see events and shows come back into Auckland’s calendar.  As Councillor I try to accept as many invites as I can to attend events and openings at our cultural institutions and venues that are supported by ratepayer funding.

Auckland Libraries continues to be a big success of the Super city providing a seamless service across the region.  I was happy to support the removal of library fines through the Recovery Budget in 2021.

The council is joining the global trend of removing library overdue fines with almost 600 libraries worldwide now fine free.

Local Government NZ 

This term I have been the Auckland Councillor rep on LGNZ’s National Council and co-chair of the Auckland Zone with Waitematā Local Board Chair, Richard Northey. At the Governing Body meeting on 28 August 2022 I reported back on the term and conference and acknowledged LGNZ President Stuart Crosby and CEO Susan Freeman-Greene who have had a tremendous workload dealing with the multiple government reforms.  The LGNZ conference report back, written on behalf of the Governing Body attendees is attached.

I’ve appreciated the opportunity to attend the annual LGNZ conference nearly every year over the last decade. I find it a great networking and professional development opportunity. It has also been fantastic to see how much the face of local government has changed with far more young elected members encouraged through LGNZ’s Young Elected Member group and greater Māori representation.

Acknowledgements and thank yous

As Councillors we are fortunate to be supported by an amazing team of CSAs.  Many thanks to them all and the whole governance support team, especially Rachel and Jamie who are amazing at dealing with every issue that heads their way.   Thanks to Alex Rogers, for his steadfast support, diplomacy, and guidance as Executive Officer of the Hauraki Gulf Forum.  It has been an honour to work alongside Nicola McDonald as co-chair.

Many thanks to the wider Council whānau who are all dedicated to making Auckland a better place.

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside Cr Richard Hills as his Deputy on the Environment and Climate Change Committee.  It has been the best kind of productive, fun and positive working relationship.

Retiring Councillor Cath Casey, Mayor Phil Goff and Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore

Acknowledgements to Mayor Phil Goff, Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore and Councillor Cathy Casey (photo right taken in October 2019) who are all retiring after years of dedicated public service and hard work for the people they serve.  They have been great role models and awesome to work with as a new Councillor this term.

I also acknowledge retiring local board members Sue Daly, Luke Coles (Aotea Great Barrier), Graeme Gunthorp, Julie Sandilands (Waitematā) and Bob Upchurch (Waiheke). They have all made a significant contribution across the three local boards that make up my ward.

It has a been a great privilege to serve all the communities of Waitematā and Gulf ward.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa

Councillor report June-July 2022

My Councillor report covers the period from 11 June to 8 August and included a two week recess period.  During the second recess week, I represented Auckland Council at the Local Government New Zealand annual conference  (my conference report back will be on the Governing Body meeting agenda on 25 August).

The report has been prepared for the August business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.


Climate action Annual Budget

Waiheke Ferries

  • A new quality partnership agreement (QPA) was signed between Fullers360 and Auckland Transport on 15 July. Although there are some immediate benefits for Waiheke with regards to greater accountability and a reduction in the cost of the monthly pass I share the local board’s disappointment and concern about services and fares.
  • In parallel to the QPA the Minister continues the process to fully integrate the Waiheke ferry service into the Auckland-wide public transport network as a contracted service inside PTOM.
  • In the meantime, I have supported the local board’s advocacy and asked AT to continue to negotiate integrating all trip tickets into the HOP card so Waiheke locals can enjoy integrated fares and free connections (this will also encourage greater bus use to the ferry). I’ve also asked that we look at options for funding free fares for children at weekends as we work towards fare parity for Waiheke (while Waiheke services are outside of PTOM legally Waka Kotahi is not able to provide any funding to reduce fare costs).

NPS-UD new government housing rules

  • On 4 August the Planning Committee approved the public notification of a proposed plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan to meet government’s requirements for greater height and density across the city. It will go out for consultation from 18 August for 6 weeks. ( Attachment A: Why I supported public notification )
  • A majority of the proposed changes were decided by the Planning Committee on 30 June in response to feedback on a preliminary response to the new rules.


Matariki was celebrated for the first time with a public holiday.  To mark the day Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust working in collaboration with Revive Our Gulf deployed 150 tonnes of kūtai into te moana to regenerate the mussel beds. (I was invited as co-chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum but unfortunately was unable to attend due to post covid illness

Engagements and events attended

  • Judy Gilbert, Windy Hill Sanctuary at Motairehe Marae, Aotea Great Barrier

    11 June – attended a community hui at Motairehe Marae, Aotea Great Barrier on the proposed temporary rāhui to stop people taking the threatened species of scallops, pāua and koura.

  • CCO site visits:
    • 17 June – With Auckland Transport visited the new station at Albany, the ATOC centre and Northcote town centre
    • 4 July – On a visit to Port of Auckland we met the CEO Roger Gray and did a comprehensive tour of the site
  • 13 June – CCRG meeting on noise
  • 15 June – 2022 Auckland Writers Festival Programme launch
  • Motutapu Planting Day with Hauraki Gulf Forum Executive Director Alex Rogers

    18 June – Motutapu Planting Day  and a special evening with Dr Rangi Matamua to launch Matariki: A Light Show Celebration at Stardome Observatory

  • 19 June – launch of Green Global Solutions and attended the Pathway Festival (music encounters along the hidden Opou stream, Grey Lynn to Cox’s Bay)
  • June – Matariki: Te Umu Kohukohu Whetū a dawn event to start the Matariki Festivalat Takaparawhau  hosted by Ngāti Whatua Ōrākei  and also on 21 June the grand opening of Alan Wang Art Gallery at the invite of Cr Young
  • 5 July – Girl from the North Country, at The Civic at the invite of Tataki Auckland Unlimited
  • 7 July – As Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee attended the Repair Cafe Aotearoa NZ’ s presentation of a petition to Minister Parker at the Central Library to introduce legislation to make to easier for the community to get goods repaired.
  • 7 July – Long Day’s Journey into Night, Q Theatre at the invite of Silo Theatre
  • 9 July – Frieda’s community market in West Lynn and obtained a free rat trap from Urban Arc Manawa Taiao at Coxs Bay
  • 10 July – NZ Eid day Festival at Eden Park
  • With Waiheke Art Gallery Director Fiona Blanchard and Waiheke Local Board member Kylie Matthews

    13 July – Councillor Clinic on Waiheke and met with the new Waiheke Art Gallery Director Fiona Blanchard

  • 18 July – joined the Mayor’s media briefing for the new Federal
    Federal Street upgrade with Mayor Phil Goff

    Street upgrade

  • 19 – 22 July attended the LGNZ conference in Palmy
  • 23 July – As part of the Federal Street upgrade community celebration attended the Auckland City Mission‘s tour of the award winning Homeground. The beautiful building brings together
    Tour group of the Mission’s Homeground with guide Mahara

    permanent housing, health and social services, and lots of community spaces in a warm and welcoming environment. Homegrown was 11 years in the making and cost $110m to build including a $5m contribution from Auckland Council

  • 25 July – Commemorative service for He Taonga Te wai World Drowning Prevention Day 2022 at the invite of Drowning Prevention Auckland
  • 26 July – Reception to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Auckland/Los Angeles Sister City Partnership 26th July
  • 28 July – Wynyard Quarter Neighbours’ Forum hosted by Eke Panuku
  • At the World premiere of Muru with star of the film Tame Iti and Waiheke’s Jeanne Clarkin

    28 July – opening gala of Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival with the World Premiere of Tearepa Kahi’s powerful film Muru at The Civic for the first time since 2019 at the invite of the NZIFF Trust

  • 29 July – MC for the Fill your Keep Cup event especially curated by Suzanne Kendrick for Plastic Free July 2022 on behalf of Waitematā Waste Away to hear from a range of presenters including MP Eugenie Sage and Min David Parker on waste legislation and waste solutions (I gave a tribute to Warren Snow at the event – see below)
  • Speakers, hosts and many of the attendees at Piritahi Marae, Waiheke to hear the results of the second annual koura/crayfish survey

    30 July – Presentation at Piritahi Marae to hear the results of the second annual koura/crayfish survey run by the Waiheke Marine Project.  Really impressive presentations bringing together citizen scientists, divers and matauranga Māori.  The results however are really troubling. Only 22 koura found across 28,000 sq m. This was a survey across 10,000 more square metres than the 2021 survey but found one less koura

  • 2 August – Rough Lives Speak book launch and poetry reading at the Central City Library and University of Auckland’s Raising the Bar talk Auckland City, What a Pity by Julie Stout
  • 4 August – Skytower 25th birthday celebration at the invitation of SkyCity Auckland
  • 6 August – Haumi Wynyard Quarter’s 11th birthday celebrations
  • 7 August – Friends of Regional Parks AGM

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions  

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.

On 10 June the Council Controlled Organisation Oversight Committee

  • Received the 2021/2022 third quarter reports of the substantive Council-controlled Organisations and Ports of Auckland Limited
  • Approved proposed content for Auckland Council’s letter of expectation to Ports of Auckland Limited.

On 23 June the Governing Body   

  • Endorsed the development of Auckland Council’s submission on the Water Services Entities Bill (the submission opposes many aspects of the Bill)
  • adopted the Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau Te Ture ā-Rohe Noho Puni Wātea ā-Waka 2022 / Auckland Council Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw 2022
  • Approved reallocation of $25,000 of Regional Events Anzac Day budget underspend from the current FY21/22 financial year to provide a one-off grant to the Auckland Returned and Service Association

On 27 June the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board

  • Noted the change of lead agency for the city centre to Eke Panuku.
  • Noted update from Auckland Transport regarding progress on the transport workstreams associated with implementation of the City Centre Masterplan.

On 29 June the Extraordinary Governing Body

  • Adopted the Auckland Council Annual Budget 2022/2023, as the council’s annual plan for 2022/2023, including 21 local board agreements

On 30 June the Planning Committee

Walkable catchments of the City Centre zone, Metropolitan Centre zones and stops on Auckland’s Rapid Transit Network

b) confirm the walkable catchments referred to in Policy 3(c) of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development as defined in resolution PLA/2021/80 (see Attachment A to the agenda report), subject to:

i) clarifying that the walkable catchment is from the edge of the City Centre zone and the edge of the Metropolitan Centre zone

ii) the ongoing review of feedback on specific walkable catchments (e.g. modifying factors that might affect the distance in a particular location) as well as carrying out a consistency check on the mapped catchments across the different walkable catchments in Auckland

iii) more work being undertaken to determine the suitability of a walkable catchment of 1,200m from the edge of the city centre following the ongoing review of the feedback.

On 7 July Environment and Climate Change Committee

  • Supported a notice of motion from Councillor Bartley- Fishing control Kawau/Shag species in the Panmure Basin. The committee requested that staff support Councillor Bartley in advocating to the appropriate crown agency or agencies to introduce a fishing ban or other such control in the Panmure basin to protect the Shag species.
  • Discussed natural hazards risk management action plan and received the one-year update.
  • Received an update on the exposure draft of the national policy statement for indigenous biodiversity.

On 26 July Finance and Performance Committee

  • Considered a notice of motion from Councillor Stewart to revoke or alter previous resolution on 9R Fortyfoot Lane, Sunnyhills.
  • Received public input from residents of the area and local board input on Councillor Stewart’s notice of motion. The motion was declared lost by 8 votes to 13.
  • Discussed council’s group’s insurance renewal placement and the self-insurance fund.

On 28 July Governing Body

  • Discussed Climate action targeted rate and proposed governance framework.
  • Established a governance and oversight group for the duration of the climate action targeted rate. Some responsibilities of the group will include providing direction to and endorse annual CATR programmes and projects. Reviewing any variations from the programmes and projects. They are to meet bi-annually and often if required. Report progress on implementations and delegate authority to the mayor to endorse on behalf of the governance group.

On 4 August the Planning Committee

  • approved public notification of the proposed plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan – the city’s planning rulebook – to meet central government requirements for greater building height and density across the city, with people being able to make submissions from 18 August 2022 and endorsed additional policy directions:

Low Density Residential zone

A new Low Density Residential zone was endorsed to provide a lower level of development than the three storeys required by the government. It will be used in areas where some qualifying matters, or exemptions, to limit required building heights apply.

Water supply, wastewater and stormwater QM

New qualifying matters were endorsed for areas where long-term water supply, wastewater and stormwater network constraints exist and need to be managed.

Rural and coastal settlements

A number of rural and coastal settlements were endorsed as not having the Medium Density Residential Standards apply because they have a population less than 5,000 people and are not part of Auckland’s urban environment.

These include: Helensville, Clarks Beach, Glenbrook Beach, Karaka, Maraetai, Riverhead, Snells Beach – Algies Bay, Wellsford, Kingseat, Te Hana, Parakai, Matakana, Whitford, Waimauku, Patumahoe, Stillwater, Kawakawa Bay, Omaha, Point Wells, Waiwera, Clevedon, Okura and Kumeu-Huapai.

  • I moved the motion to approve proposed plan change to make additions and amendments to Schedule 10 Notable Trees Schedule (this was made possible on the back of a motion I moved in November 2020 to agree to schedule trees when resources allow)
  • approved the strategic direction to guide development of a draft Future Development Strategy.


bFM interviews:

In memoriam

John Elliott

John Elliott receiving his Outstanding Contribution certificate at the Waitematā Local Board’s Good Citizen Awards

The wonderful John Elliott sadly passed away on 12 July.   He leaves a tremendous legacy including the huge contribution he made reporting locally on the big issues through Ponsonby News (was also the founder and long time editor).

I’m really grateful to John for his consent presence throughout my political life – a mentor, adviser, supporter and always quick to call me up about the decisions he wasn’t happy about. Smart, witty, compassionate, thoughtful and a gentleman. Deservedly acknowledged with a QSM and a Good Citizen Award from the Waitematā Local Board (photo right presenting the award).  John will be greatly missed.

Warren Snow

At the Zero Waste event on 29 July I gave the following tribute to Warren Snow who has since passed away (unfortunately he wasn’t able to attend as planned).

Many of you will have been inspired by Warren over many years for this work on many zero waste projects including the Kiwi bottle drive and the container bottle scheme.  I’d like to share why I am immensely grateful to Warren.

In 2009 I went along to one of the early Grey Lynn 2030 transition town meetings.  Warren was the guest speaker sharing his ideas for a network of resource recovery centres. For me Warren put it altogether in a way that made complete sense. This was something that had to happen.  The idea for a community-led centre became a Grey Lynn 2030 project and then was picked up by the Waitematā Local Board in the first local board plan – a central site supported by Puketāpapa and Albert-Eden Local Boards too.   Scoping got underway about a decade ago and then a real project with real council money a few years later.

What is so awesome is the Te Waiōrea Western Springs resource recovery centre is going to open very soon. Warren can be super proud of his vision and encouragement.   In acknowledging Warren I also think of his words at that meeting in 2009 that have stuck with me and I always come back to –  we should always remember and acknowledge the “founders”  .  As Warren would say many people contribute to a successful project and idea.

However for me, and I am sure for all Grey Lynn 2030, Warren will always be the originator of Te Waiōrea and because of that Suzanne Kendrick has proposed a tribute to Warren at the centre.  Thanks to Parul, General Manager Waste Solution who has picked up the idea and is making it a reality in the form of a tree and a plaque.

Before I close my tribute to Warren, I acknowledge there is so much more to say and thank Warren for.  At the end of May Elisabeth Easter profiled Warren for her Herald column My Story.   I suggested Warren when Elisabeth asked me to recommend a zero waste hero.  Warren wrote on his facebook that he was really pleased with the full page story and especially being able to call out the Warehouse’s sustainable and affordable marketing campaign.  Thank you Elisabeth for giving Warren the recognition he deserves.

Ema Barton, from Song Writers for Climate Action dedicated a song to Warren to close the event

Councillor monthly report June 2022

My Councillor report covers the period from 7 May to 10 June. It has been prepared for the June business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Climate Political Reference Group
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group
  • All Councillors are members of the Planning, CCO Oversight, Finance & Performance and the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committees


  • Consultation on council’s preliminary response to the NPS-UD and MDRS closed 9 May. The feedback will help inform council’s proposed changes to the AucklandUnitary Plan that are required by government to be notified in August.
  • Hauraki Gulf Forum co-chairs and Executive Officer with Ministers Allan and Parker

    As co-chairs of Hauraki Gulf Forum, myself and Nicola MacDonald visted Wellington 11-12 May with Executive Officer Alex Rogers to meet in person with our Ministers, and separately with a variety of members of Parliament from across the House. I stayed on in Wellington to attend the LGNZ Metro meeting on 13 May. The Forum’s public meeting was held on 23 May in Taupiri.

Engagements and events attended during the month included:

  • 10 May the CCO Oversight Committee visit with Auckland Unlimited to the Aotea Centre
  • 13 May joined the panel (photo above) following an international launch of a Lancet publication series on Healthy and Sustainable Cities where members of AUT’s Te Hotonga Hapori team participated and contributed data for Auckland in this international collaboration. The panel of IMBS member Tony Kake, AT Board Director Abbie Reynolds, VC Damon Salesa and Urban Designer George Weeks were invited to reflect on the findings.
  • 19 May official opening of the new Auckland Central Library living “green” roof installed as part of repair work on the building.
  • 24 May attended Auckland’s Future, Now conference hosted by Auckland Unlimited (morning sessions)
  • Also on 24 May paid respect to kaumatua Joe Hawke with a delegation from Auckland Council (see below)
  • 25 May opening of the stage 2 of Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path – Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai
  • 26 May community meeting hosted by the Minister of Conservation, Hon Kiri Allan on Waiheke
  • NZ Muslim Association president Ikhlaq Kashkari, his sister and her husband together with Councillors Efeso Collins and Paul Young

    28 May Eid celebration dinner at the invite of the NZ Muslim Association

  • 30 March attended the City Centre Residents Group meeting at the Ellen Melville Centre to hear a presentation on Koi Tū report, Reimagining Tāmaki Makaurau
  • 3 June Objectspace opening for twisting, turning winding: takatāpui + queer objects exhibition
  • 4 June opening of the New Lynn to Avondale shared path by the Minister for Transport and Mayor
  • Also on 4 June SEVEN METHODS OF KILLING KYLIE JENNER at Basement at the invitation of Silo Theatre
  • 5 June attended the anti-war march for Ukraine at the Auckland Museum cenotaph for the speeches including from Mayor Phil Goff, Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan and MP Ricardo Menéndez March honouring all the innocent victims and to express solidarity with Ukrainians.
  • Also on 5 June visited Taste of Pasifika at the Cloud with the Mayor and City Centre Residents Group representative Antony Phillips
  • 8 June attended the opening for Auckland Museum’s Ancient Greeks exhibition
  • 9 June Leaving reception for Her excellency Laura Clarke who is departing Aotearoa after 4.5 years as the British High Commissioner and Governor of the Pitcairn Island at the Auckland Art Gallery
  • 10 June attended the Mayor and councillors’ site visit to Watercare’s wastewater pump station at Ōrākei

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.

On 19 May Finance and Performance Committee

  • Received the Auckland Council Group and Auckland Council quarterly performance reports for the nine months ended 31 March 2022. Noting that:

o Results for the nine months ended 31 March 2022 confirm many of the pressures anticipated in our Recovery Budget and was further exacerbated as the full impact of the Omicron variant took hold affecting usage of facilities, venues and public transport

o Uncertainty and disruption caused by both the COVID-19 pandemic and unfavourable economic trends has placed pressure on the operations and finances of the group and council for this period

o Despite a challenging environment, capital investment delivery for the council group was 74 per cent or $1.48 billion of the $2 billion budget for the period

o Progress of $83.5 million (92.8 per cent) achieved towards the council’s $90 million operating budget savings target for the 2021/2022 financial year

o Customer satisfaction targets across many of our services were met despite the impacts of COVID-19, although challenges related to the high demand for consents and staff shortages have impacted regulatory performance, for which there are improvement initiatives in place to address this

o Regional parks had over five million visits for the nine months ended 31 March 2022 which is on track for record visitation to regional parks in the financial year.

  • Considered a number of items under confidentiality (pursuant to section 48(1)), including:

o Council Group Insurance Renewal 2022

o Transit-Oriented Development in the Eastern Busway Corridor

o Auckland Film Studios

o Alternative Commercial Opportunities

On 26 May the Governing Body

  • Approved the 2022/2023 funding agreement between Auckland Council and Independent Māori Statutory Board, which comprises total direct funding of $3,025,326 (operational expenditure).
  • Adopted the Auckland Council and Auckland Transport Ture ā-Rohe mo nga Tohu 2022/ Signs Bylaw 2022

On 2 June the Planning Committee

  • Requested staff to pause any further work on the preparation and notification of a proposed plan change to rezone 1023 and 1039 Linwood Road, Kingseat from Open Space – Sport and Active Recreation pending the forthcoming central government release of the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land, and the resolution of water supply and wastewater infrastructure issues, and advise the land owners of this direction.
  • Requested staff to instruct the council’s solicitors to lodge appeals with the Environment Court against each of the three decisions made by the council’s independent hearing commissioners relating to Private Plan Changes 48 to 50. (Drury Private Plan Change Decisions)

On 7 June extraordinary meetings of the Finance and Performance Committee and the Governing Body

The main purpose of the meetings was to pass the Mayor’s Climate Action budget 22/23 and a targeted rate (CATR). Following are my comments after the decision: The Climate Action budget will enable more than $1 billion of investment to reduce emissions and tackle climate change across Auckland. Council unanimously declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and adopted Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan in 2020 led by Cr Richard Hills laying the foundation for change but not backed up with budget.

I have to admit I was sceptical last year when the Mayor first proposed a CATR that it would be possible to achieve support round the table especially as the economic outlook worsened. What has been decisive is the amazing public feedback. A record number of submissions, with 68% support for Climate Action. There was majority support across age, ethnicity and geography. Council’s engagement team have done great work ensuring we heard from a diverse range of Auckland voices and responded nimbly to the challenges of holding community events during a pandemic.

The Mayor’s budget proposal was discussed over 55 hours of workshops led by Cr Desley Simpson. Desley, supported by her Deputy Shane Henderson, was awesome in bringing everyone, including local boards, along on the process. There was ample opportunity to put up alternatives or suggest cuts.

5 Councillors voted against the budget but for CATR even though they know there is no climate action(or investment in their wards) without the entire budget package.

In the finish the clear majority 14-7 supported the Climate Action budget. I think the Mayor can retire on a high. Many thanks and congratulations also to the amazing team behind the scenes led by Matthew Blaikie for building a climate package with the highest impact across Auckland.

On 9 June the PACE Committee

  • Approved the scope to re-imagine Toi Whītiki as an arts and culture sector strategy, developed by council in collaboration with the creative community.
  • Approved the 2022/2023 Arts, Culture and Heritage Regional Work Programme.
  • Approved the Cultural Initiatives Funding grants for marae development and papakāinga/Māori housing for the 2022/2023 financial year
  • Allocated funding from the Regional Sport and Recreation Grants Programme 2022/2023.
  • Approved the reclassification of 30 parcels of reserve land, pursuant to section 24(2)(b) of the Reserves Act 1977
  • Approved submission of a request to the Minister of Conservation to uplift the reserve status on three sites ( 2R Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga, 72R Karaka Road, Beachlands, 9R Fortyfoot Lane, Sunnyhills0 that are no longer required by Council for reserve purposes:

Other Meetings – Key decisions

On 16 May the Auckland Domain Committee

  • Approved in principle the 2022 World Rally Championship Super Special Stage and Opening ceremonial to take place in the Auckland Domain on Thursday 29th September 2022
  • Approved in principle the Spring City Music Festival to take place on Saturday 19 November 2022 at Auckland Domain.
  • Endorsed the proposed Community Facilities Regional Work Programme for the Auckland Domain 2022 – 2025
  • Received the overview of council’s response to the protest at Pukekawa / Auckland Domain.

On 23 May the Hauraki Gulf Forum

  • Agreed to strongly urge the Minister of Conservation, Hon. Kiritapu Allan, to place high priority and resourcing on the research and elimination of Koi Carp in all affected catchments, and to have the Department of Conservation liaise with the Ministry of Primary Industries, Ministry for the Environment and Local Government to achieve those outcomes.
  • Approved the 2022-2023 forum’s budget proposal

On 30 May the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board

  • Received the Koi Tū report, Reimagining Tāmaki Makaurau: harnessing the region’s potential.
  • Noted the update on the existing Te whakahou i tō tātou pokapū tāone o Tamaki : Regenerating our city centre programme with a focus on Regeneration Conversations Phase Tahi led by Auckland Council in conjunction with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and Eke Panuku.

In memoriam

Joe Hawke

Prominent kaumatua, activist and leader of the long-running Takaparawhau occupation, Joe Hawke has left a lasting legacy for Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei and all Aucklanders.

It was an honour to attend his tangihanga held at Ōrākei Marae over a week in May.  The delegation from Te Kaunihera a Tāmaki Makaurau- Auckland Council was led by His Worship the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and Councillors, and staff.

A time also for all Aucklanders to reflect on the significant legacy of a great man.

E te rangatira, moe mai rā.

Annette Isby

Talented local artist Annette Isbey passed away in May. I first met Annette in 2010 when I organised an art tour by bike as part of a sustainability week event. She generously hosted us in her studio to talk about her work.

After I was elected I would often receive a call from Annette about the poor condition of the Western Springs bush track though an area that was very dear to her.

I wrote about Annette and the track a few years ago for Ponsonby News.

Western Springs native bush and pine stand update

Councillor monthly report April 2022

My Councillor report covers the period from 8 March to 5 April.  It has been prepared for the April business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • At Wynyard Quarter with the Cr Richard Hills doing a final shout out to give feedback on the Annual budget

    Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee (photo right with the Chair Richard Hills doing a final shout out to give feedback on the Annual budget)

  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Climate Political Reference Group
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group
  • Member, Future Development Strategy steering group (new this year)


  • Public consultation on the Annual Budget 2022/23 closed on 28 March.
    • As part of the consultation process council held several webinars on Waste and Climate where I was a panel member.
    • I attended the Pasifika Fono, an online forum for Pasifika community members to give feedback.
    • I also attended presentations by regional stakeholders.

Planning Committee

  • Helicopter activity – Resolutions from the Aotea/ Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā and Local Boards.
  • The report due to go to the Planning Committee 30/03 has been deferred until May.
  • Cr Darby and I requested that a Helicopter Practice Note regarding the relevant provisions and considerations of the Auckland Unitary Plan and the Hauraki Gulf Islands be developed by the Resource Consents team.
  • Auckland Transport’s parking strategy was endorsed to go out for consultation (Good for Auckland parking: my speaking notes in support).
  • NPS-UD – The committee endorsed public consultation on the pre-notification engagement. The timeline is to be confirmed.

Environment and Climate Change Committee

  • The committee adopted a new Water Strategy for Auckland. The vision of the strategy is “te mauri o te wai o Tāmaki Makaurau, the life-sustaining capacity of Auckland’s water, is protected and enhanced”.
    • The strategy is designed to guide the council group in relation to its responsibilities and aspirations for water over the next 30 years.
  • The meeting was also an opportunity to acknowledge the death of young bike rider Levi James and to have, a heartfelt discussion that brought home the costs of delaying “genuine streets for people” ( Our Auckland: Auckland Council launches Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau – The Vibrant Streets Programme).
  • Half price public transport fares started on 1 April for three months. However, unfortunately the price cut excludes the Waiheke ferries because the route is not a contracted service within PTOM.  I am supporting the local board in the on-going fight to bring Waiheke in line with PT fares across Auckland.

On-line meetings continue including the Waiheke Community Forum, Local Board meetings and all workshops and committee meetings.

City Centre Safety

Safety in the city centre is an on-going concern.  I attended a Friday night “walkabout” with new Acting Area Commander and the Mayor with Cr Darby of some of the hot spots (more details below)


I attended as a member of LGNZ’s National Council, the Local Government/Central Government Forum Plenary Session on 1 April chaired by the PM.  The theme for this year’s forum was Working together in a time of major change.

The Auckland Arts Festival

The festival went ahead with a limited programme due to current covid restrictions. I was fortunate to see Live Cinema: The Little Shop of Horrors – Lockdown edition online at the invite of the festival.

City Centre Resilience

The resilience of the city centre has faced one of its toughest tests in recent years due to COVID-19, and efforts are being made by many organisations including Heart of the City, Britomart, Auckland Arts Festival, NZ Fashion Museum, Auckland Council and city centre businesses to bring back its mojo. (Our Auckland: City centre dresses up for fashion shoot)

Myers Park

Work will begin in April to update the Myers Park underpass  This project has been a decade in the making so I’m very excited to see it go ahead.

Hauraki Gulf Forum

The Hauraki Gulf Forum submitted in favour of a complete closure of the Hauraki Gulf’s scallop fishery. We also want to see scallop dredging gone for good.  The Minister’s decision on 29 March to close the scallop fisheries is a big step forward but concerningly still leaves open two areas of the Gulf to commercial and recreational dredging. (Press release: Partial closure of Hauraki Gulf scallop fishery puts Hauturu/Little Barrier at risk)

Key decisions from the Committees of the Whole 

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.

Environment and Climate Change Committee – 10/03/22

  • adopted the Auckland Water Strategy
  • approved the “Too Much Water – A statement of Auckland Council’s current role and direction” as an accurate representation of council’s current response to the water-related impacts of climate change
  • approved the Whangaparāoa Pilot Shoreline Adaptation Plan
  • endorsed the proposed Regional Streets for People projects for management and delivery by Auckland Transport, on behalf of Auckland Council. (Now named Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau – The Vibrant Streets Programme see Attachment 1)
  • approved the Auckland Council submission to the Department of Conservation on the proposed Hākaimangō-Matiatia marine reserve application, northwest Waiheke Island (subject to minor editorial changes)
  • approved the forward work programme as agreed to at the meeting, to October 2022 including a new item added at my request to develop berm planting guidelines.

Finance and Performance Committee – 17/03/22

  • received a presentation from Eden Park Trust Board
  • confirmed the 16 July 2020 approval to dispose of 4 Blomfield Spa, Takapuna as it is not required to be retained by council for open space or recreational purposes
  • received the Auckland Council Group and Auckland Council quarterly performance reports for the six months ended 31 December 2021, noting that the results for the six months ended 31 December 2021, confirm many of the pressures anticipated in our Recovery Budget.

Council Controlled Organisation Oversight Committee – 22/03/22

  • received the 2021/2022 second quarter reports of the substantive Council-controlled Organisations and Ports of Auckland Limited
  • approved an amendment to the Watercare Services Limited constitution to remove the restriction on directors serving more than three consecutive terms
  • received update on the implementation programme for the Council-controlled Organisations Review
  • agreed to receive a verbal update in relation to the Auckland Unlimited report: Reimagining Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland: harnessing the region’s potential
  • Considered the agenda item “Defining Auckland Council’s Ownership Objectives for the Ports of Auckland Limited” as confidential due to risks that publicising it may prejudice or disadvantage council’s commercial activities

Governing Body – 24/03/22

  • On behalf of council Fa’anana Efeso Collins and I received the Save our Sands petition

    Accepted a petition from Jessie Stanley relating to Sand Mining from the Pakiri and Mangawhai Embayment

  • unanimously supported the Notice of Motion of Councillor Josephine Bartley to support the proposed private members’ bill: Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill
  • Governing Body meeting during the presentation by MP Chlöe Swarbrick in support of Cr Bartley’s Notice of Motion Notice of Motion of Councillor to support the proposed private members’ bill

    Agreed to timeline for consultation on Māori representation in local government, noting that feedback from the engagement with mana whenua and mataawaka, will be reported to the August 2022 meeting of the Governing Body.

 Planning Committee – 31/03/22

  • endorsed the Draft Auckland Parking Strategy 2022 for public consultation in April 2022
  • Made a series of decision in response to the government’s National Policy Station Urban Development (NPS-UD) including:
    1. endorsed the further investigation of changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan and the Auckland District Plan (Hauraki Gulf Islands Section) to address issues arising from the mandatory removal of parking minimum
    2. endorsed the further investigation of changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan to:
    3. i)           introduce planning provisions for residential private ways to achieve better quality outcomes
    4. ii)         amend the zone provisions to:
  • enable building heights of least six storeys in walkable catchments as required by the Policy 3(c) of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development
  • incorporate the Medium Density Residential Standards in the relevant residential zones, as required by the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021
  • provide for quality-built environment outcomes in residential areas of Auckland as discussed in the agenda report.
  • approved the following policy direction for implementing Policy 3(a) in the NPS-UD relating to the city centre:
  • i)       Fewer, simpler, more targeted controls
  • ii)      Protecting sunlight and daylight to open spaces
  • iii)     Protecting amenity and retaining the “human scale” of streets
  • iv)     Enabling tall slender towers with space between them to allow sunlight, daylight and views to permeate the city centre
  • v)      Protecting local and regionally significant views
  • vi)     Protecting the outcomes achieved by the existing city centre precincts
  • vii)    Protecting the relationship between the city centre and the Waitemata Harbour
  • viii)   Protecting historic heritage in the city centre
  • ix)     Promoting climate change resilience.
  • approved in principle the removal of the general building height and floor area ratio standards in the city centre, and the application of alternative built form standards in line with the principles set out above.
  • endorsed “Thriving Town Centres – Guidance for urban regeneration in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland” (Attachment A of the agenda report) as a guidance document for Eke Panuku.
  • In confidential the Committee endorsed the Auckland Council’s preliminary response to the NPS UD for pre-notification engagement. The timeframe for this engagement is not yet confirmed.

Note: After 11 hours the committee was closed with agreement to defer the Auckland Cycling and Micro mobility Programme Business Case and the report responding to resolutions from the Aotea/Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā Local Boards regarding concerns about helicopter activity to the next Planning Committee meeting

City Centre Safety

The visibility of crime and anti-social behaviour and the perception of safety are ongoing issues in the city centre brought about by several factors including lockdowns, the emptying out of people (workers, international students etc) with eyes on the street, and emergency accommodation bringing new people into the city centre with no place to go during the day.

The City Centre Community Safety Taskforce led by council’s community team has been given additional resourcing and is working on several actions across multiple agencies including Heart of the City, residents, MSD and the Police. At the last meeting on 25 March participants reported the city centre has turned the corner and things are improving.  We are likely to see further improvements as university students return from 4 May and restrictions are lifted.

Meeting the beat Police on Fort St during a Friday night “walkabout” with the Acting Area Commander, the Mayor and Cr Darby of city centre hot spots

Also, on 25 March I attended a Friday night “walkabout” with the Acting Area Commander, the Mayor and Cr Darby of city centre hot spots.  What we heard is that police resourcing has ramped up since the end of MIQ and the worst of the outbreak that had a big impact on staffing numbers covering shift work.  The Area Commander has introduced beat police who are out in the city centre on foot and in patrol cars.  Fort St is one problem area that has been a focus of operations.

In response to requests for the return of a city centre police station the Commander explained that the way people now interact with the police and contact the police makes a bricks and mortar police station unnecessary and not a good use of resources.  For example, people will use their own phone on the spot rather than run to a police station. Police can now gather evidence and respond in lots of different ways backed up by units in patrol cars and the eagle helicopter.

A police station might be a visible way of giving people comfort that the police are actively working on crime, but it doesn’t serve the same purpose as it once did in terms of how police can effectively respond and how the police can be contacted.

Following the walkabout, we have followed up on the need to improve the design of the Fort St area through a CPTED review.   This is being worked on by Council and Auckland Transport.  Te Komititanga, Wynyard Quarter and Vincent Street are areas I have also been focused on following concerns raised by residents.

On Vincent St I have secured the placement of physical barriers to deter illegal parking. The rocks have been funded from the city centre targeted rate.

Rocks provide a physical barrier to deter parking on Vincent St, City Centre, Auckland

Councillor monthly report March 2022

Annual budget 22/23 Climate Action webinar on the panel with Cr Richard Hills

My Councillor report covers the period from 1 February to 7 March.  It has been prepared for the March business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Climate Political Reference Group
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group
  • All Councillors are members of the Planning, CCO Oversight, Finance & Performance and the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committees


  • All meetings and workshops continue to take place online.
  • Consultation on the Annual Budget 2022/23 including the Climate Action targeted rate got underway on 28 February. Consultation events are being held online. The first online community webinar was on the topic of the Climate Action Targeted rate (photo above on the panel with Cr Richard Hills)
  • Wynyard Point, January 2022

    The transformation of Auckland’s city centre waterfront continues. The next stage is a Wynyard Point Te Ara Tukutuku plan (what was tank farm and site of America’s cup bases). It will be the largest new park created in Auckland for 100 years.  Eke Panuku has put a call out to designers for this exciting regeneration project

  • This month I also provide updates from the Hauraki Gulf Forum and progress on the scheduling of notable trees.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.

On 3 February the Planning Committee

  • Delegated authority to the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee and an Independent Māori Statutory Board member to approve council’s input into Transforming Aotearoa New Zealand’s resource management system: Our future resource management system
  • Approved Private Plan Change 58 – 470 and 476 Great South Road and 2 and 8 Gatland Road, Papakura to the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part), under clause 17(2) of Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991.
  • Considered private plan change request – O’Hara Farm, Waiuku
  • Agreed to consider the agenda item “Auckland Film Studios budget update” as a confidential item.

On 8 February the Finance and Performance Committee

 On 8 February the Governing Body

  • Adopted the Supporting Information, and the Consultation Document for the Annual Budget 2022/2023, which include a statement of proposal for the proposed amendment to the council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2018.
  • Approved consultation material for Rating of Whenua Māori Changes to Financial Policies noting the need for the correction of minor errors.

 On 14 February the Auckland Domain Committee

  • Approved in principle the Symphony event to take place in the Auckland Domain for early 2023,
  • Received the Auckland Museum Update report.
  • Received the Auckland Domain – general and financial update report noting:
    • achievement of a green flag award for 2022 which recognises and rewards the Auckland Domain as providing a high quality and innovative recreational experience
    • that the Auckland Botanic Gardens will now be responsible for the horticultural outcomes at the Domain, which will deliver improvements in the curatorial management of the plant collections
    • that the addition of $700,000 of lighting and wastewater pipe renewal projects to this financial year’s programme will ensure that assets in the Domain are fit for purpose and Aucklanders can enjoy a world class park
    • that all the projects within the Auckland Domain work programme are on track and within budget.

Auckland Domain was cleared of anti-mandate protesters after a week-long illegal occupation thanks to a joint operation between Police and Auckland Council officers and with the strong support from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Ending the occupation as safety and as soon as possible had the full support of the Mayor and Councillors.

On 24 February the Governing Body

  • Considered the public feedback and local board input received on the proposed changes to the Significance and Engagement Policy and adopted the Significance and Engagement Policy 2022 with the following retained as strategic assets in the policy:
    • freehold interests in central Auckland waterfront land
    • shares in substantive Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).
  • Noted the Auckland Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Report
  • Noted the recommendation from the Appointments and Performance Review Committee – Chief Executive Remuneration Review be released to the public
  • Considered the following under confidentiality:
    • City Rail Link C9 Works Update
    • Eke Panuku Strategic Development Partnership Opportunity

 On 3 March the Planning Committee

  • Approved the grant allocations for the 2021/2022 Regional Historic Heritage Grants Programme funding round
  • Approved Auckland Council’s submission on the proposed amendments to the National Environmental Standards for Sources of Human Drinking Water
  • Endorsed the following principles for the application of the new policy 3(d) in the National Policy Statement – Urban Development for the purpose of developing draft proposals for public engagement in mid-April to early May in order to give effect to what central government has required of council:
    • no change to building heights and density of urban form withinNeighbourhood, Local and Town Centre zones (subject to a review of the Height Variation Controls to ensure consistency with the heights of proposed new zones surrounding the centres)
    • no additional Policy 3(d) intensification (beyond the application of zone(s) containing the Medium Density Residential Standards) for:
      • A)     All Neighbourhood Centres
      • B)      Local Centres that are small in size and/or have low accessibility
      • C)      Town Centres that have low accessibility
    • apply the Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings zone to residential zoned sites adjacent to the edge of a centre zone (up to around 200 metres) for:
      • A)      Local Centres that are both large in size and have high accessibility
      • B)      Town Centres that are small in size, but have high accessibility
    • apply the Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings zone to residential zoned sites adjacent to the edge of a centre zone up to around 400 metres for:
      • A)Town Centres that are large in size and have high accessibility.

Hauraki Gulf Forum

Photo James Liddell

The Hauraki Gulf, Aucklanders’ marine playground, is in a dire environmental state. This was seen first-hand on a visit to The Noises on 21 February at the invitation of the Neureuter family who hold the islands in a private trust.  The visit included representatives of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, the Helen Clark Foundation, Waiheke Marine Project and the Auckland Museum.

We heard about the collapse of the scallop beds, the depletion of key species, and the decline of sea bird populations all in a couple of generations. We also saw the kina barrens, a key indicator that the marine environment is dying. This is in contrast to the lush bush and bird life on the main island Ōtata where the removal of pests opened the way to phenomenal regeneration.

Fortunately, the family, working with mana whenua, are determined to restore the mauri of the moana. They have joined forces with Auckland Museum and the University of Auckland to put forward a marine protection proposal to government for The Noises (60km 2) to be included as a High Protection Area. It is an incredible place just 30 mins by boat from downtown Auckland.

The following Monday, the Hauraki Gulf Forum agreed to adopt an advocacy position for updating and strengthening the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000.  What should have been a very straight forward and logical step became the subject of a misinformation campaign leading up to the Forum’s meeting on 28 February.

The Forum’s decision, which is about how we can better advocate for the Gulf by raising the status of the Gulf for decision-makers and through revitalisation of the Forum under a Treaty partnership model, will have no impact on the ownership of private or public land such as Auckland’s Regional Parks, nor will it restrict access to the Hauraki Gulf in any way.

As I said in our co-chairs’ media release following the decision  “I look forward to taking our proposal to Ministers as I am convinced that we will see far greater action and transformational change by raising the status of the Hauraki Gulf for decision-makers and through revitalisation of the Forum under a Treaty partnership model.”

Scheduling of notable trees

Auckland Council is commencing assessment of 610 tree nominations for inclusion in the Notable Tree Schedule, with work underway to prepare a plan change for notification in 2023 to add trees that meet notable tree criteria to Schedule 10 of the Auckland Unitary Plan.

It follows a Planning Committee decision in November 2020 to schedule the trees when resources permit, with a longer-term focus on seeking the reinstatement by the government of general tree protections.

The November 2020 decision came about because I got support to change the recommendation from “agree that it is NOT financially viable to undertake tree scheduling” into a positive decision to “agree to schedule trees when resources allow”.  It has taken longer than anticipated to secure the resourcing but in the meantime lobbying to the government to reinstate tree protection has continued.

City Centre safety

A number of issues were brought by Chair Northey and me to the City Centre Community Safety Taskforce meeting on 18 February including the need for action on car sirens and the noise from modified vehicles (particularly an issue at the moment for Wynyard Quarter residents), hotspots in the city centre as a result of emergency housing and the safety concerns raised by representatives of the hospitality industry in a meeting I attended organised by MP Chlöe Swarbrick.

The taskforce has a new “Intention to collaborate” replacing the terms of reference of the original group and increased resourcing from council.

The taskforce provides a formal platform to connect key stakeholders including NZ Police with an interest in alcohol and safety management within the central city, and to build effective relationships and coordinate action in line with council’s safety plan.


With Cr Cathy Casey at the ATC production Grand Horizons

Due to the rising cases of Omicron and the on-going red restrictions there have been limited opportunities to attend in person meetings or events.  I was fortunate to work from the Waiheke Local Board office on 18 February from where I participated in an online Kāwanatanga workshop (enhancing the mana and mauri o te moana) as one of the panel members to talk about the Waiheke Marine Project future search experience.  I also met with a constituent to discuss the work underway on the Transport Emissions Reduction plan.

The production of Auckland Theatre Company’s Grand Horizons was able to go ahead but with limited audience numbers (photo right with Cr Cathy Casey)

Community mulching day at Harry Dansey Reserve, Freemans Bay

On 12 February I joined Waitematā Local Board members and volunteers to help spread mulch at Harry Dansey Park in Freeman’s Bay.  The project to revitalise a local park was orchestrated by local gardener Mark van Kaathoven and organised by Local Board member Adriana

Monthly Councillor report October 2021

General update 

My Councillor report covers the period from 10 September to 8 October 2021.  It has been prepared for the October business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Climate Political Reference Group
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group


Bruce, owner of Big Sur cafe in West Lynn serves up a contactless coffee at Alert Level 3

At the time of writing this report, Auckland remains at Alert Level 3 but with an easing of restrictions (step 1). This is the first phase of a three-part plan by the Government to ease COVID-19 restrictions across the region. In line with restrictions, all meetings and workshops are taking place online.

  • As a result of advocacy on behalf of local businesses a range of support for businesses from council during alert levels 3 and 2 has been progressed. I requested council collate all the business support information in one place on the Auckland Council website.
  • On 2 October an anti-lockdown protest was staged at the Auckland Domain. As the landowner of the Auckland Domain, the council (via the Domain Committee) strongly objected to the event going ahead and did not give consent.
  • On 23 September, Auckland Council’s Governing Body finalised our feedback to government on the Three Waters Reform (decision in full here and Our Auckland story here)
  • On 7 and 8 October I attended the LGNZ strategy day and National Council meeting on behalf of Auckland Council. While the event was hosted live in Wellington, I along with other members in Level 3 areas attended virtually.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions  

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of key decisions.

On 16 September the Finance and Performance Committee

  • Agreed to consult on the draft Draft Development Contributions Policy 2021 which has been updated for the capital expenditure in the 10-year budget and includes the following key proposed changes:
    • addition of capital expenditure planned for 2032 onwards in Drury
    • requiring payment of development contributions for all development at grant of building consent except non-commercial development on Māori land
    • identifying that facilitation of the development of Māori land is made through grants under the Māori Cultural Initiatives Fund
    • exempting not-for-profit development on Māori land from contributions for reserve acquisitions.
  • Consultation on the draft policy was open until 17 October

On 21 September the Council Controlled Organisations Oversight Committee

  • Received fourth quarter reports of the substantive Council-Controlled Organisations.
  • Received an update on the implementation programme for the Council-controlled Organisations Review.

 On 23 September the Governing Body

  • Received the Waitākere Ranges Local Board input regarding flooding, land slips and clean up in the Waitākere Ranges after the August 2021 storm.
  • Received report on the North west Auckland floods and thanked those who were instrumental in coordinating welfare and relief efforts.
  • Received briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Auckland Emergency Management status update.
  • On the matter of Three Waters Reform: Feedback on government’s reform proposal [in full in my report – refer to item 13 of the minutes]
  • Approved the draft Significance and Engagement Policy for consultation
  • Adopted the Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw Statement of Proposal 2022 and appointed the hearing panel. Following advocacy from local boards agreed that should additional prohibited or restricted sites come from consultation – which are supported by evidence, these will be discussed  and can be assessed and consulted on following the adoption of the bylaw.  Consultation on the proposed Freedom Camping in Vehicles bylaw is now open until 5 December

 On 27 September the Governing Body

  • Adopted the audited Auckland Council Annual Report 2020/2021
  • Adopt the Auckland Council Summary Annual Report 2020/2021

 On 28 September the Appointments and Performance Review Committee

  • Considered the following as a confidential item

On 30 September the Planning Committee

  • Received public input from Otara Bike Burb
  • Approved a number of Private Plan change requests
  • Approved amendments to Auckland Unitary Plan Historic Heritage Schedule
  • Delegated the drafting of council’s submission to the proposed amendments (wetland provisions) to the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater 2020

Other meetings 10 September to 8 October 2021 

  • On 10 September I co-chaired the Local Government New Zealand’s Auckland Zone meeting with Chair Northey.
  • On 13 September I participated as a panelist interviewing candidates for Auckland Transport Director, the successful candidate will chair Auckland Transport’s Audit and Risk committee.
  • On 14 September I attended the inaugural Transport Emissions Reduction Plan reference group meeting
  • On 17 September I attended a meeting with Minister Poto Williams and all councillors. The Minister gave updates on Police, housing/building and construction, and youth development.
  • Also on 17 September I attended the live streamed event co-hosted by the National Council of Women- Auckland Branch and Auckland Council celebrating Women’s Suffrage.
  • On 20 September I attended an update on Wai Horotiu Queen Street project design
  • On 22 September I delivered my monthly report to the September Waiheke Local Board business meeting.
  • On 24 September I attended a session for the Mayor, all councillors & local board chairs with Superintendent Jill Rogers, District Commander Counties Manukau; Superintendent Karyn Malthus, District Commander Auckland City; Superintendent Naila Hassan, District Commander Waitematā, and Inspector Jared Pirret, District Prevention Manager
  • On 27 September I attended the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting
  • On 28 September I delivered my monthly report to the September Aotea Great Barrier Local Board business meeting.
  • On 29 September I was a panel member for the Fabian Society’s discussion on local government
  • On 30 September I attended the Karanagahape Business Association AGM as a guest
  • On 1 October I attended a wellbeing seminar for elected members delivered by Lance Burdett.
  • Throughout lockdown I have attended the regular covid briefings held for elected representatives.

Hauraki Gulf Forum

On 9 September we received great news for the Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana, Te Moananui-ā-Toi. The Minister of Oceans and Fisheries approved the s186A temporary closure request from Ngāti Hei.

Fisheries NZ received over 2000 submissions with the majority in support of a closure of the east Coromandel scallop fishery. The closure takes effect from this Saturday.

Huge acknowledgements to Ngāti Hei and Matua Joe Davis for their incredible leadership. The Hauraki Gulf Forum backed the closure and we continue to call for the end to all bottom-impact fishing right across the Marine Park.


In the year up to July 56 people were killed on Auckland’s roads up from 29 the year before. This is despite speed limit reductions across the city and Auckland Transport adopting Vision Zero. The Herald reported on the some of the causes of this tragic increase in deaths and serious injuries.

I also discussed this issue on RNZ’s The Panel on 14 September and on my fortnightly slot on 95 bfm’s “City Counselling.”


Acknowledgement for Matua Bob Hawke

Moe mai rā e te Rangitira Wirihana Takanini (Bob) Hawke.

It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of Matua Bob on 15 September. As Renata Blair said in acknowledgement at the Finance and Performance Committee meeting he was a gentleman with a kind heart and loving words.

Matua Bob made a huge contribution to Auckland’s civic life. I will remember him for the many openings and blessings he led over the years and especially for his leadership at Citizenship ceremonies in the Town Hall. He would open by acknowledging his tipuna, Chief Āpihai Te Kawau who made land available to Hobson in 1840 to establish Auckland. He welcomed all new citizens with a hongi and a friendly Kia ora! To close the ceremony he liked to sing the third verse of the National Anthem and remind everyone that it was written originally as a prayer. It was always a memorable occasion.

Thoughts, aroha and deepest condolences to Matua Bob’s wife Arohanui, whānau and iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei at this really sad and difficult time. He will be greatly missed.

Councillor monthly report August 2021

My Councillor report covers the period from 11 July 2021 until 7 August 2021.  It has been prepared for the August business meetings of the Waitematā, Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.

LGNZ conference 2021 in Blenheim


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council and Auckland Zone co-chair
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group


  • The governing body took a two-week recess 11 July – 26 July (when there are no official meetings and it is an opportunity to have a break). During this time I attended the LGNZ Conference in Blenheim 14-17 July (photo above for the mihi whakatau I attended as a National Council board member), held a Councillor clinic on Waiheke, presented my monthly report to the Waitematā and Waiheke Local Board meetings and attended the reopening of the upgraded Puhinui train station.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions  

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only.

On 29 July the Governing Body

  • received report from Ports of Auckland Limited on progress with implementation of the recommendations from the independent review of health and safety at Ports of Auckland.
  • noted the third quarter 2020/21 report of Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • received confidential Auckland Council Shaping our Future Programme update on Optimise our Service Outcomes work

On 29 July the Finance and Performance Committee

  • confirmed that the resolutions and report Optimise our Service Outcomes remain confidential until the reasons for confidentiality no longer exist, including communication with potentially affected staff.

 On 3 August the Appointments and Performance Committee

  • approved the brief for Watercare Services board appointments
  • approved appointments to the Contemporary Arts Foundation and reinstatement of the CCO Board intern programme (decisions to be made public at the conclusion of the appointment process)
  • received and approved the reviewed 2021 Appointments and Performance Review Committee forward work programme
  • noted the confidential decisions and related information that is now publicly available:
  1. i) Appointments to Auckland Council’s Council-Controlled Organisations
  2. ii) Board Appointments to Tamaki Redevelopment Company Limited

iii)     Board Appointments to Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board

  1. iv) Appointments to the board of Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust
  2. v) Board Appointments: Panuku Development Auckland
  3. vi) Appointments to the board of Auckland Unlimited

vii)    Appointments to the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board.

On 5 August the Planning Committee

  • received the Quiet Sky petition from Kim Whitaker in relation to the control of helicopter traffic on Waiheke Island and referred it to staff for consideration and response
  • received the Waiheke Local Board input from Chair Cath alongside Nalayini Brito from Dark Sky Waiheke regarding a Dark Sky Park application for the east end of Waiheke Island
  • revoked the previous resolution from Planning Committee to develop a Marina Strategy
  • endorsed the preliminary approaches in response to the intensification provisions relating to “all other locations” in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.

 Attendance at events 11 July -7 August 2021 

  • with Cr Hills and the PM who was just about to give the government’s address to the LGNZ conference 2021 in Blenheim

    During 14-17 July I attended the LGNZ National Council board meeting, the Te Maruata Hui the annual conference deferred from 2019 and the LGNZ AGM (a report back on the conference will be available on my next report).

  • On 19 July I MC’d Zonta’s International Women’s Day event celebrating achievements of notable women in our communities. The event had been previously postponed due to the pandemic.
  • On 20 July I attended the Waitematā Local Board Business meeting to present my July report
  • On 21 July I visited Waiheke island, hosted a Councillor’s Clinic at the Local Board offices to meet with locals. In the evening I also attended the Waiheke Local Board Business meeting.
  • Downtown’s Te Kōrimurimu with artist Tessa Harris and the Mayor

    On 22 July I attended with the Mayor the opening of Kōrimurimu, interactive art work laid down at Te Wānanga on Quay St is a modern take on traditional raranga (weaving).

  • Also on 22 July I attended in an LGNZ update about Three Waters
  • On 24 July I attended the re-opening of Puhinui station, unlocking fast, frequent and easy connections to Auckland Airport
  • On 26 July I attended the ACCAB meeting and joined the ACCAB and Waitematā Local Board members for an Auckland City Mission evening at their new HomeGround Pop-Up on Wellesley Street. I also attended the GLBA meeting with AT to discuss connected community plans for Great North Road through the Surrey Cres shops (AT confirmed these plans are 3-5 years away)
  • Receiving a copy of the Quiet Sky Waiheke petition

    On 28 July I was presented with a copy of a petition from Quiet Sky Waiheke to reduce helicopter traffic over Waiheke. The petition was officially presented to Auckland Council Planning Committee meeting on 5 August.

  • The Auckland Council team at the Zero Waste Awards 2021

    On 29 July I attended the Zero Waste Awards 2021 at AUT where 114 individuals, groups, schools, marae, local businesses and social enterprises were nominated for this year’s awards, recognising those doing great things to help Auckland achieve its vision of zero waste by 2040. EcoMatters Environment Trust organised this year’s awards, in partnership with Auckland Council

  • On 30 July I attended a workshop with the Future for Local Government Panel for all Auckland Council elected representatives (photo right) and attended Auckland Transport’s isthmus elected representative Discussion Series – Innovating Streets
  • On 5 August I attended the leaving function for Damon Birchfield, Eco Matters CEO
  • On 6 August attended the opening of the new Ponsonby Road office for Labour List MPs Helen White and Camilla Belich
  • On 7 August I spoke after the pōwhiri led by Ngāti Whātua Orākei for the new re-imagined birthday event HAUMI, celebrating the people, places and spaces of Wynyard Quarter on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Waterfront. It was an opportunity to acknowledge the amazing Eke Panuku placemaking that makes Wynyard such a great environment and to remember the opening 10 years ago.

Councillor monthly report June 2021

My Councillor report covers the period from 10 May 2021 until 5 June 2021.  It has been prepared for the June business meetings of the Aotea Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā Board Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events and meetings, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group


  • Recovery Budget, Auckland’s Long Term Plan (2021-2031) was passed on 25 May. My reasons for supporting the budget and response to the 600+ emails generated from a ratepayers group campaign “listen to your electorate: 43% rates hike is unjustified”
  • At the Waitematā Local Board on 18 May I provided a verbal update on the release of Council’s staff well-being report that found some staff are dealing with inappropriate behaviour from elected representatives and members of the public. Unfortunately, my councillor report to the local board provoked abuse and a violent threat made to a Local Board member (Stuff article: Auckland politician verbally abused by public while delivering report on bullying)
  • A decision was made to continue with the existing design for Queen Street redevelopments after feedback from a survey showing a clear preference for the original concepts. This is a move based on the principles backed by the co-design group, which had included stakeholders and residents.  (Our Auckland: Auckland Council’s people-focused design for Queen Street on track)
  • The Hauraki Gulf Forum workshop and meeting was held on Waiheke on 24 May.
  • I spoke at the Liberate the Lane rally on 30 May calling on Waka Kotahi (NZTA) to trail a lane on the Harbour Bridge for cycling, in a three-month trial this summer.I also took part in the peaceful protest that extended onto the bridge.
  • I continue to work with Waiheke Local Board Chair Cath Handley on compliance issues that have been raised at the Kennedy Point marina development site and the concerns regarding the Kororā Little Blue Penguin habitat.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions  

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only.

On 13 May the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee 

  • Approved the demographic advisory panels’ strategic work programmes,
  • Received presentations from Action Education.
  • Agreed to implement changes and improvements to the Auckland Council whānau approach to minimise alcohol related harm in Auckland communities
  • Agreed to proposed land exchange Taniwha Reserve and Maybury Reserve, Glen Innes.
  • Declined the transfer of Papakura Senior Citizens Hall to Auckland Council (with the support of the Papakura Local Board)

On 18 May the Council Controlled Organisation Oversight Committee Reviewed shareholder comments on draft CCO Statements of Intent 2021-2024  and agreed to disestablish the Highbrook Park Trust as of 30 June 2021

One of the forum workshop presentations: Love Our Wetlands, Michael Maahs, General Manager, Waiheke Resources Trust & Pieter Tuinder, Programme Manager, Sustainable Business Network

On 24 May the Hauraki Gulf Forum reviewed the Governance Statement and Work Plan. Endorsed the continuation of the co-governance model. Adopted our budget for the next financial year.  We are on track to meet the specific outcomes we set for the 2020-2022 period (5% increase in marine protection, 3×100 ton restored shellfish beds, 100km of new riparian planting), except for ending marine dumping, which requires a legislative fix the current government is yet to commit to.

On 25 May the Finance and Performance Committee strongly supported the Mayor’s $31.8 billion Recovery Budget proposal. The Budget will now be formally adopted by the Governing Body next month. LTP Key decisions:

  • $90 million ongoing savings for Auckland Council.
  • $70 million annual asset recycling target for the first three years, with additional targets in subsequent years to reflect timing changes for asset recycling opportunities not realised in 2020/2021.
  • Additional borrowing as represented by the debt to revenue ratio of up to 290 per cent for the first three years, gradually returning to 270 per cent, with an intention to maintain council group’s current credit rating and a strong commitment to long-term financial prudence.
  • 5 per cent average general rates increase for 2021/2022 and 3.5 per cent annual average general rates increase thereafter.
  • A package of new climate actions totalling $152 million above existing spending to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change.

On 27 May the Governing Body received Auckland Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing performance report and adopted the Auckland Council Elected Members Code of Conduct. The Governing Body also agreed to amend the Animal Management Bylaw, create a new Trading, Events and Filming Bylaw, and include General Rules in A Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw.

Chair Cath presenting over Skype on behalf of the Waiheke Local Board

On 3 June the Planning Committee heard from all 21 local boards on their feedback on the Regional Land Transport Plan 2021 – 2031.  The themes were remarkably consistent: transport choices, mode shift, more walking and cycling options, equity, responding to growth, safety, local solutions to local issues and more action on climate change and emissions.

The Committee also approved the strategic transport outcomes for the Downtown Car Park site which, together with strategic outcomes previously agreed by the Planning Committee will inform a competitive market process. This, together with the removal of the Hobson St flyover has been long proposed as part of the city centre masterplan. I raised the issue that the Waiheke Local Board hadn’t been given the opportunity to provide input as requested.

The agreed strategic transport outcomes for a redeveloped Downtown Car Park site:

  1. i)        provision of a bus facility, either as part of the site redevelopment or by removing the Lower Hobson Street flyover and replacing the space underneath it with an on-street bus facility;
  2. ii)       provision for an accessible, flexible, multimodal transport hub that supports public access to micromobility, including end of journey facilities, mobility parking, and a micro freight distribution hub;

iii)      with no specification on the number of short stay car parks but responses to include details of the car parking required to meet the objectives of the development and any additional public short stay car parking they propose to provide

Other key meetings and events 

  • Caroline Lambert, EU Head of Trade, Wellington with Cr Richard Hills and Matthew Blaikie, Acting Chief Sustainability Officer

    On 10 May met Caroline Lambert, EU Head of Trade, Wellington and visited the Quay Street enhancements and Te Wānanga sites

  • Boopsie Moran, finalist for the 2021 3M Safety Innovation Award

    On 11 May I attended the opening of the Amazon Web Services and presented at the Decarbonising Transport Awards 2021 3M Safety Innovation Award

  • On 12 May I attended the Ockham NZ Book Awards.
  • On 13 May I attended the Auckland Writers Festival Gala.
  • On 14 May I attended the LGNZ Metro Sector meeting in Wellington via Zoom
  • Next Wave Youth Week panel discussion with local board member Alex Bonham and MP Chloe

    On 15 May took part in a Q&A at the Next Wave Youth Week final day gala at Ellen Melville Centre .

  • On 17 May I attended the NZ Herald premium debate on the future of Auckland’s Port.
  • Community members, staff and elected reps who attended the Waiorea Western Springs Resource Recovery centre blessing

    On 18 May attended the dawn blessing for the Waiōrea Community Recycling Centre which will be the new community-led resource recovery centre for Central Auckland and took part in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 Working Group

  • On 19 May I attended a session on Auckland’s strategic recovery from COVID-19.
  • On 21 May attended the LGNZ National Council meeting in Wellington
  • On 25 May I attended Media Design School Opening at Grid AKL
  • On 26 May attended the Waiheke Local Board meeting via Skype
  • On 27 May I attended NZ Ballet’s production of Gisele at the Aotea Centre
  • On 28 May and 4 June I was interviewed on bFM and attended the ‘Women’s Work – Underexposed’ exhibition launch at Ellen Melville Centre
  • On 30 May I spoke at the Liberate a Lane rally and took part in the peaceful protest on to the bridge
  • On 31 May attended the ACCAB workshop with a facilitated panel discussion led by Cr Hills regarding the Future Prosperity of the City Centre
  • Matariki Festival launch at Auckland Museum with local board members Alex Bonhan, Maria Meredith and Nick Bakulich

    On 1 June was invited to lunch with Professor Tony Ballantyne from the University of Otago and was gifted.

  • On 3 June attended Bike Breakfast at Sierra Café in the Viaduct hosted by Auckland Transport the Matariki Festival opening at Auckland Museum
  • On 4 June I attended the opening preview of Auckland Museum’s Te Whiwhinga The Imaginarium
  • On 5 June to mark World Environment Day and Arbor Day event got invited by Splice to take part in a Dedication of the Herbs with Auckland Central MP Chlöe. The stars of the show were definitely the city centre kids who did the planting in boxes on High St and readings for us too about the importance of plants.

Councillor Report April 2021

General update

My Councillor report covers the period from 6 March 2021 until 11 April 2021.  It has been prepared for the April business meetings of the Aotea Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā Board Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the public and local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events and meetings, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party
  • Member, Waste Political Advisory Group
  • Chair, Auckland Council Hauraki Gulf Political Reference Group


  • At Aotea FM Great Barrier Island following an interview together with Chair Izzy Fordham about the Recovery Budget and its implications for Aotea.

    The Recovery Budget (Council’s 10 year plan) public consultation process concluded on 22 March. I took part in a series of webinars which each focussed on a specific area of Auckland or a specific topic. These were not impacted by the lockdown and an example of council adapting to our current situation and ensuring people have the opportunity to ask questions of councillors and subject matter experts before submitting their feedback. In total, approximately 25,000 pieces of feedback were received. Workshops will be held throughout April and May to discuss the feedback, budget issues and implications before the final documentation will be adopted by the Governing Body in late June.

  • From 17-19 March I attended the 2Walk&Cycle Conference which was held in Dunedin and had the theme ‘Walking and Cycling: Everybody’s Business’. My plenary session presentation is on an issue I’m currently seeking to resolve: ‘Why is it taking so long to deliver an urban cycleway?’ (conference report -attached to my Councillor report on the local board agenda).
  • Following a brief period of lockdown, Auckland moved to Alert Level 2 at 6am on 7 March, and then to Alert Level 1 at midday on 12 March. All of New Zealand continues at Alert Level 1.
  • Over the weekend of 10/11 April I was alerted to the impact on the habitat of Kororā/ Little Blue penguins as a result of the marina construction at Kennedy Point. I am deeply concerned about this and have been working closely with Chair Handley on next steps including a halt to work until all issues are resolved.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only of the meetings I attended.

On 8 March the Auckland Domain Committee approved the application from the Auckland Holocaust Memorial Trust to create a memorial “the Garden of Humanity” within the Domain and approved progress towards removing car parking in front of the museum, on Cenotaph Road and the Museum Circuit to improve access and views to the Museum.

I didn’t support the Committee decision to endorse a license to the Auckland Bowling Club for 15 car parks at the Grafton Mews car park at 100 Stanley Street (I would have supported the proposal going out for consultation prior to endorsement)

On 11 March an extraordinary meeting of the Planning Committee was held in confidence to approve the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) 2021-31 Package and endorse the draft 2021 Regional Transport Plan prior to approval by the AT Board for public consultation.  The minutes of the meeting are now publicly available.

Approval of ATAP was with the expectation that the following actions are undertaken:

  1. i)        that the Auckland Council Group works with the government to:
  2. A)      ensure transport funding settings enable delivery of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project 2021-31 indicative package
  3. B)      confirm normal requirements around developer mitigation and development contributions apply to Kāinga Ora developments as they apply to all other developments
  4. C)     investigate complementary levers to reduce transport-related emissions in areas such as:

1)      vehicle fleet and fuel decarbonisation

2)      land transport pricing reform

3)      urban growth management

4)      behavioural change

5)      joint development of a transport emissions reduction plan for Auckland

6)      addressing inequities from the impacts of decarbonisation

  1. D)     address inequity of access and transport choice, particularly for south and west Auckland and areas with high Māori population
  2. E)      support transport network safety in areas such as:

1)      enforcement and compliance mechanisms

2)      regulatory changes to improve safety for vulnerable road users

  1. F)      jointly develop appropriate targets to measure progress against key outcomes such as emissions reduction and mode shift
  2. ii)       that the Auckland Council Group:
  3. A)      ensures the Auckland Transport Alignment Project 2021-31 indicative package is a key input to decisions on the Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-31
  4. B)      fully utilises the levers available to it to reduce transport emissions, including:

1)      assessing its growth management approach and programmes against the delivery of climate compatible outcomes and emissions reduction analysis

2)      increasing the focus on intensification within brownfield areas, in particular along the rapid transit corridors

3)      supporting and promoting urban development at a local level that encourages reduced car use and accelerates the uptake of public transport and active modes (including new forms of mobility)

4) prioritising the delivery of public transport and active modes including walking, cycling

5)      showing leadership in encouraging communities and businesses to take practical steps in response to the climate emergency and Te-Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan

On 11 March the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee approved a proposed land exchange in Avondale and approved the decision-making of Colin Dale Park be allocated to the governing body from the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board (with the support of the that local board)

On 23 March the CCO Oversight Committee received the second quarter reports of the substantive council-controlled organisations and received the Ports of Auckland Interim Report for six months ending 31 December 2020.

 On 25 March the Governing Body appointed Governing Body delegates and attendees for the 2021 LGNZ Conference in Blenheim in July (I will be one of 4 Councillors attending plus the Mayor and Deputy Mayor) and agreed to make a by-law to control freedom camping on reserves.

On 1 April the Planning Committee deferred a decision on Downtown Carpark development transport options until further information is received (I do not support Auckland Transport’s current recommendation to include a bus terminal and short term parking in the redevelopment) and approved new Auckland Plan 2050 Environment and Cultural Heritage measures. I voted against Cr Walker’s Notice of Motion to retain the Wasp Hanger in Hobsonville for a temporary recreation and sports facility (the Hanger will be retained as part of a sale process).

Other key meetings and events

  • On 7 March I took part in the Recovery Budget consultation webinar focussing on issues in the North of the Region and attended an online discussion around water quality issues with the Ōrākei and Waitematā Local Boards.
  • On 8 March I did a walkabout with the Karangahape Road Business Association GM and the Recovery Budget consultation webinar focusing on community investment.
  • On 9 March I met with Mayor Goff to discuss Auckland Transport’s delivery of the cycleways programme and took part in Waitematā Local Board’s Recovery Budget Hearing Style consultation event.
  • On 10 March I attended the Regional Stakeholder presentations on the Recovery Budget (a Finance and Performance committee workshop)
  • On 11 March I took part in the Recovery Budget consultation webinar focusing on the Water Quality Targeted Rate.
  • On 12 March I attended the LGNZ Auckland Zone meeting, an all Councillor meeting with Minister Wood (photo right) and an online Three Waters Reform engagement workshop. I also travelled to Manukau Bus Station for the Mayor and Minister Wood’s press conference on ATAP
  • On 13 March I attended the Recovery Budget consultation drop-in session at Waiheke Library (photo right).
  • On 14 March I took part in the Recovery Budget consultation webinar focusing on rates.
  • On 15 March I attended the Governing Body/Independent Maori Statutory Board Joint Meeting and the Joint Governing Body/Local Board Chairs meeting via phone as I was on my way to Waiheke for the Local Board’s Recovery Budget consultation roundtable.
  • On 16 March I attended the unveiling of the plaque at Three Lamps dedicated to the work of the Polynesian Panther Party as part of the Auckland Arts Festival (photo right) and the Waste Advisory Political Group meeting
  • From 17-19 March I attended the 2Walk and Cycle Conference in Dunedin (conference report back attachment 1)
  • On 20 March I attended the Ngāti Paoa deed of settlement signing ceremony at Wharekawa Marae (photo right taken from behind Ministers Little and Mahuta)
  • On 22 March I attended a meeting with Waikato District Council representatives in Hamilton as co-chair of the Hauraki Gulf Forum to discuss marine park collaboration and co-chaired the Hauraki Gulf Forum meeting in Te Aroha (photo right)
  • On 23 March I was interviewed in relation to renewal of the Natural Science Galleries at Auckland Museum and attended the Joint Governance Working Party Meeting
  • On 24 March I attended the Waiheke Local Board meeting (via Skype) to give my Councillor report
  • On 25 March I met with Viv Beck, GM Heart of the City
  • On 26 March I attended the Whakawatea for the Rainbow Crossing on Karangahape Road
  • On 29 March I attended a Watercare briefing ahead of the workshop regarding the development of Auckland’s Water Strategy; met with the AT CEO, AT Board Chair, AT Board member Tommy Parker and Mayor Goff and Councillors Darby and Hills to discuss concerns regarding AT’s delivery of the cycling programme; and attended the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting
  • On 30 March I attended a Hauraki Gulf Forum hui with Minister David Parker, attended the Appointments and Performance Review Committee meeting and attended a Grey Lynn and Around Q&A event with guest Chloe Swarbrick. I also co-chaired the Auckland Council Hauraki Gulf Political Reference Group (the first meeting of the group for this term)
  • Councillors and one of the attendees Elia from MyRvr, and speakers Tania Pouwhare, Manager Community and Social Innovation, and Assoc Prof Damon Salesa

    On 31 March I attended a session on Auckland’s Strategic Recovery from COVID-19 at the Aotea Centre following a full day of workshops

  • On 1 April I attended with the Mayor and Councillors the Living Wage celebration in the Council Chamber
  • During the week of 5-11th April, the governing body held a ‘recess week allowing a break from formal meetings.

Regional Consultations

Feedback opened on 29 March until 2 May for consultation for the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP), the 10-year investment programme for transport in Auckland. The draft RLTP is developed by AT together with the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail to respond to growth and challenges facing Auckland over the next decade. It also outlines the proposed 10-year investment programme for specific transport projects.

Councillor monthly report November 2020

General update

Opening night of  SALTWATER/Interconnectivity at Tautai Gallery for Artweek 2020 with Katharine Losi Atafu- Mayo, artist Shawnee Tekii, Tautai Director, Courtney Sina Meredith and Councillor Josephine Bartley

This is my Councillor report covering the period from 7 October to 2 November.  It has been prepared for the November business meetings of the Aotea Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events and key meetings, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, Local Government New Zealand National Council
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee
  • Member, Appointments and Performance Review Committee
  • Member, Joint Governance Working Party Member, Waste Political Advisory Group


  • Some of the new MPs elected to parliament on 17 October 2020

    An historic NZ General Election result on 17 October looks like being good news for Auckland (Ponsonby News: A new government to deliver for Auckland).

  • Weekly Finance and Performance workshops continued as part of the Long Term Plan (2021-2031) process.
  • Auckland Council has so far made $78million of savings towards our target of $120million (OurAuckland Performance on Track with Emergency Budget)
  • Our new CCO formed through the merger of Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) will be named ‘Auckland Unlimited
  • 1 November marked 10 years since the amalgamation of 8 former councils into Auckland Council (Ponsonby News update: Super City turns 10)

Covid-19 Response

All of New Zealand continues at Alert Level 1. The majority of my meetings have returned to face-to-face format but with the option of Skype where required.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only.

On 15 October the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee approved the Public Art Regional Work Programme

The committee also approved the Sport and Recreation Facility Investment Fund preliminary allocation programme for 2020-2023.

On 22 October the Finance and Performance Committee received an update on progress for financial year 2020/2021; an update on the Value for Money programme and an update on commercial arrangements for the 36th America’s Cup.

The committee also recommended adoption of the draft Annual Report 2019/2020 to the Governing Body.

On 27 October the CCO Oversight Committee agreed that the name for the council-controlled organisation comprised of the merger of Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) will be: Auckland Unlimited.  It was noted that work on a Te Reo Māori name is also progressing, with involvement from the Mana Whenua Forum and individual iwi. Te Reo Māori name will be gifted to the new organisation in the near future.

On 29 October the Governing Body agreed to a two year extension of the Tripartite Economic Alliance between Auckland, Los Angeles and Guangzhou.

The Governing Body also adopted a proposal to put in place a new bylaw regarding Navigation Safety and adopted the Auckland Council Annual Report 2019/2020.  For the first time the Annual Report includes a Volume 4 highlighting disclosures on climate-related financial risk. Disclosures of this type play a key role in how organisations direct capital flow towards climate positive solutions and investments. Reporting of the group’s response to climate change risk also holds the group publicly accountable, and ensures the business maintains its focus on addressing climate change risk at all levels across the group.

The preparation of Volume 4 using the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework represents global best-practice in climate disclosure. It aligns with the government’s plan for mandatory TCFD disclosures from 2023 and provides an example for other organisations seeking to disclose their approach to managing climate risk.

Other key meetings and events

  • Councillors had a recess week 5 – 9 October (no official meetings) but I took the opportunity to meet with the GMs ofHeart of the City and Karangahape Road Business Association; met with staff from Auckland Transport for an update on the Road Safety Programme; met the new CEO and carried out a site visit with a constituent regarding coastal enhancement in Mechanics Bay.
  • On 10 October I attended the first opening of Artweek Auckland 2020: Waiheke sculptor Anton Forde’s MINE. This is the 10th year of the week-long festival. We made it to Alert Level 1 just in time to celebrate the visual arts of Auckland.
  • On 12 October I met with Panuku to discuss the Wynyard Point Masterplan consultation and attended the Kelmarna Gardens consultation meeting held at Bread and Butter to share future plans for the organic farm
  • On 13 October I attended Late Night Art in the City Centre for Art Week
with Councillor Josephine Bartley and artist Telly Tuita at Tautai Art Gallery
  • On 15 October I attended Open Late in the Arts Precinct on K’rd and opening night of  SALTWATER/Interconnectivity at Tautai Gallery for Artweek 2020 with Councillor Josephine Bartley
  • On 16 October Councillor Richard Hills and I attended the Manukau Harbour Forum workshop
  • On 19 October I supported Councillor Josephine Bartley standup at the Raw Comedy Festival Semi-Final (she made it through to the finals)
  • On 20 October I attended the International Women’s Caucus hui at the invitation of Pacific Women’s Watch-NZ, the Waitematā Local Board meeting and the Weed Management Political Advisory Group meeting
  • On 22 October I attended the Connect Art opening at Galleria. A major City Rail Link contract has ended after 4 years with the completion of the tunnel under Albert St and reinstatement of the street with wider footpaths, trees, and new furniture. To celebrate the contractor Connectus and CRL commissioned local artists to create artworks using old project signage
  • On 23 October I visited the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki with Councillor Richard Hills for an introduction to new work at the gallery I’m Your Man (A Portrait of Leonard Cohen) by the internationally acclaimed artist, Candice Breitz with director Kirsten Lacy. We also met MP (elect) for Auckland Central Chloe Swarbrick.  The backdrop to the photo right is a climate catastrophe work explored in performance art by acclaimed NZ artist Alicia Frankovich. AQI2020 is a commissioned choreographic work drawing upon the imagery, personal stories and news media that emerged during the Australian bush fire season of summer 2019–2020.
  • On 24 October I was invited to be a panelist at the New Zealand Institute of Planners (Auckland Branch) climate change discussion: ‘A well-timed disaster’ (I was gifted a bottle of wine)
  • On October 25 I volunteered to do surveying as part of Biketober valet bike service offered at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market.
  • On 29 October, Executive Officer Alex Rogers, Hauraki Gulf Forum and I met with MP (elect) for Auckland Central Chlöe Swarbrick. We discussed the state of the Gulf and how we can heal it together, something Chlöe has identified as a priority.
  • On 29 October I spoke at the Again Again Auckland crowdfunding to build a tech platform to open access to reusable serveware launch. Again Again is a circular, sharing economy system for reusable cups.
  • For 3 days 30 October to 1 November I attended the Waiheke Marine Project’s Future Search Hui: How to protect and regenerate Waiheke’s marine environment. There were no costs for me to attend the Hui.
  • On 2 November I attended the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting and workshop and the Western Bays Community Group AGM (via Zoom)

Councillor report August 2020

General update

This is my Councillor report covering the period from 8 July 10 August.  It has been prepared for the August business meetings of the Aotea Great Barrier, Waiheke and Waitematā Board Local Boards.

The purpose of my report is to detail my main activities and to share information with the local boards in my ward regarding governing body decisions, my attendance at events and meetings, regional consultations, media updates and key issues.


  • Deputy Chair, Environment and Climate Change Committee
  • Co-Chair, Hauraki Gulf Forum
  • Member, Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB)
  • Board Member, LGNZ National Council
  • Member, Auckland Domain Committee


  • Auckland Council adopted the Emergency Budget on 30 July.
  • On 21 July the Environment and Climate Change Committee unanimously voted to adopt Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Action Plan
  • As of 4 August, water levels in Auckland’s nine water collection dams remain at 59.5% per cent. Water restrictions continue.

Governing Body meetings – Key decisions

The minutes for all meetings are available on the Auckland Council website. The following is intended as a summary only.

On 16 July the Finance and Performance Committee agreed by 20 votes to 3 to recommend to the Governing Body that the Emergency Budget be based on a package of a general rate increase of 3.5%.

The committee also agreed to recommend that Governing Body adopted the Rates Remission and Postponement Policy.

The committee approved implementation of the Asset Recycling Budget and recommended that Governing Body approve disposal of the properties named in the budget.

On 21 July the Environment and Climate Change Committee voted unanimously to adopt Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan. The final plan will be launched digitally on council’s website later this year.

The committee also received a progress report on implementing Auckland’s Urban Ngahere Strategy ( Our Auckland: Auckland’s tree canopy cover grows by 60 hectares).

The committee approved a programme of work to develop a 100 year management policy to respond to the hazards caused by ‘too much water’ – specifically flooding, coastal inundation and coastal erosion.

On 30 July the Governing Body adopted the Emergency Budget 2020/2021, including 21 Local Board Agreements, and set rates for the 2020/2021 financial year.

The committee also agreed the Tupuna Maunga Authority Operational Plan 2020/21; adopted the amended Elected Members’ Expenses Policy; and confirmed appointments to the Demographic Advisory Panels.

The committee agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Crown, Kaipara Uri entities and the Northland Regional Council to progress the proposed Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme, and establish a joint committee to provide stewardship and governance for the programme.

Other key meetings and events

In the period 8 July -10 August I attended:

  • Co-Chairs met to Hauraki Gulf Forum business with Minister Eugenie Sage on 9 July
  • On behalf of the Hauraki Gulf Forum I spoke at Hauraki Gulf Watershed // The Awakening on 11 July at Maungauika. An event bringing together tikanga, science, technology and art to bring attention to the need to restore the mauri of Tīkapa Moana
  • Councillor Richard Hills and I received an update on the Regional Pest Management Plan on 13 July
  • I met with Auckland Arts Festival Chief Executive David Inns and Artistic Director Shona McCullagh on 14 July
  • Cr Cathy Casey, Council colleagues and Auckland City Missioner, Chris Farrelly

    Launch on 15 July at the Auckland Central Library of ‘Opening Little Boxes’ a book written during lockdown by Cr Cathy Casey, partner Kees Lodder, daughter Alex Casey and Manu Bertao. All author royalties go to help the homeless through Auckland City Mission and Lifewise.

  • Auckland transport announcement by Ministers Phil Twyford and Julie Anne Genter at the Te Atatu Boatclub on 18 July (photo right)
  • On 20 July I attended an introduction by the joint central and local government Three Waters Steering Committee to the recently announced National Three Water Reform Programme.
  • Waiheke Local Board meeting on 22 July (via Skype)
  • The Karangahape Road Business Association hosted Mayor Goff and I for a walkabout on 23 July. We observed progress on the K’rd City Rail Link station; met with Business Association Chair Muy Chhour and General manager Michael Richardson for an update on issues they are facing; and visited local businesses including Monster Valley (photo right).
  • Manaaki Tāngata event hosted by Lifewise, Auckland City Mission and the Police at the Ellen Melville Centre on Saturday 25 July
  • Aotea Great Barrier Local Board meeting on 28 July (via Skype)
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board Meeting 29 July
  • Mayor Goff and I met with Auckland Police District Commanders on July 29 where we discussed post-COVID-19 issues around the city (photo right: Superintendent Jill Rogers from Counties Manukau, Superintendent Karyn Malthus from Auckland District and Inspector Michael Rickards standing in for Superintendent Naila Hassan from Waitematā)
  • Waitematā Local Board Plan consultation – Hearing style event on 29 July
  • 3 August – 7 August was arecess week for the governing body (no official meetings). I was fortunate to enjoy part of the break on a “busman’s holiday” on Waiheke. I spent a morning in at the Waiheke Local Board office for councillor catch ups.

Other matters

Emergency Budget 2020/2021 

On July 16, the Finance and Performance Committee agreed, by 20 votes to 3, to recommend to the Governing Body that the Emergency Budget be based on a package of a general rate increase of 3.5%. On July 30, the Emergency Budget was formally adopted by the Governing Body and rates were set for the 2020/2021 period.

The Governing Body also voted to adopt the Rates Remission and Postponement Policy to assist those financially impacted by COVID-19 with rates payments. ( Ponsonby News Column – Emergency Budget 2020/2021 Decision)

I read the feedback on the budget proposal carefully. A majority of submitters in my ward supported the package based on a 3.5% rates increase. Importantly the majority of organisations across Auckland supported the Mayor’s proposal – organisations representing union members, businesses, employers, faith, environment and arts groups. A lot of the feedback asked council to invest in jobs and communities to assist the recovery and rebuild rather than taking an austerity approach.

Once we had worked through all the financial information carefully – including the need to find an additional $224m to respond to the drought – every councillor supported the budget except one.

Auckland’s rates and annual increase continue to be comparably lower that other cities (eg Tauranga 4.7%, Hamilton 4.7%, Wellington 5.1% and Christchurch 3.5% 2020/21 increases).  It is important to note that Council is supporting financially distressed ratepayers with targeted assistance via the rates postponement scheme.

There is still a lot of pain in the budget and cuts to jobs, projects and services but retaining the commitment to extend the living wage to contracted cleaners is one of the positives the Mayor and councillors were able to celebrate with the Living Wage team straight after the budget was adopted on 30 July (photo right).

Auckland’s Climate Plan

Photographed with Committee Chair Richard Hills and I are mana whenua representatives, Katrina Cole from Generation Zero and some of the key council staff who have been integral in putting this piece of work together.

On 21 July the Environment & Climate Change Committee unanimously passed Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan. A plan to halve our emissions by 2030, to get to net zero by 2050, keep to 1.5 degrees of warming and to adapt our city to cope with the affects of climate change which we are seeing more intensely each year. The final plan will be launched digitally later this year.

Hauraki Gulf Forum

Hauraki Gulf Forum Co-Chair Nicola Macdonald and I met with Minister Eugenie Sage on 9 July to discuss Hauraki Gulf Forum Business (photo right). On July 24 we met with Minister Nanaia Mahuta via Zoom on 24 July to discuss the Forum’s shift to a co-governance leadership model; our goals for the Haukaki Gulf Marine Park; and our commitment to delivering for Māori.

On 19 July I was hosted by Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki at the inaugural launch of the Hukunui Pā restoration project on Te Motu Tapu a Taikehu (Motutapu Island). The project was launched with a special Matariki planting day as part of the One Billion Trees programme. The aim for the day was to plant 2500 trees of the 123,000 that will be planted over the next 3 year in a partnership between the Iwi and the Ministry for Primary Industries and with Te Papa Atawhai (Department of Conservation).

On 31 July, Hauraki Gulf Forum Co-Chair Nicola Macdonald, Executive Officer Alex Rogers and I spent the day visiting with Forum members in the Waikato – a great opportunity for regional collaboration as we work to heal the Gulf. We met with Mayor Sandra Goudie and Regional Councillor Denis Tegg in Thames; Councillor Donna Arnold in Te Aroha; Councillor Phillip Buckthought in Paeroa and Councillor Rob McGuire in Hamilton.

Acknowledgement to Hon Nikki Kaye

Many thanks to Nikki for all her hard work as MP for Auckland Central.  She can be really proud of everything she has achieved during her time in parliament.   We’ve enjoyed a positive working relationship and I have valued her advice and support in my role.  Nikki is tireless in following up on issues for constituents and fronting at meetings and events.   I wish Nikki all the best for her next adventure.

Other attachments:

Our Auckland:  Building a resilient city

Our Auckland: New public spaces in Auckland’s city centre coming to life this summer