Monthly Board Report March 2015

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during February 2015 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association Board and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee and Board liaison for the Parnell Community Centre.


Victory for a liveable city

Save the trees Barbara at AT Board meetingPeople power and common sense won the day on February 20th when the Auckland Transport Board went against officer advice in deciding not to go ahead with the planned widening of Great North Road that would have required the removal of six heritage Pohutukawa trees. A well organised campaign challenged an Auckland Transport and NZTA culture that was only willing to consider one option for over 3 years.

It was an important win not just for saving 6 trees but for forcing a rethink about the design of all roading projects.  It was also a win for trees in general by raising awareness about the huge range of benefits that a magnificent stand of trees can provide the community and the landscape.

I was proud to be part of the Waitematā Local Board that stood with the community and that has consistently told Auckland Transport the plans needed to be re-considered.

Child friendly Waitematā

The Waitematā Local Board has recently become the first of Auckland’s local boards to be nominated and registered as ‘child friendly’ through the international UNICEF ‘Child Friendly Cities’ accreditation process.  UNICEF defines a child friendly city as “a local system of good governance committed to fulfilling children’s rights.  It is a city where the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children are an integral part of public policies, programmes and decisions. It is, as a result, a city that is fit for all”.

Claire Stewart, Community Development Facilitator, organised a workshop in February for participants to find out about the work already being done to make Waitematā child friendly, to share their own work and to support the journey towards Waitematā’s child friendly status

Dr. Rodney Tolley, Conference Director of Walk21 and experienced consultant in the field of active, sustainable transport gave a presentation to the workshop.  Rodney has a focus on public space and transport and is passionate about equality of opportunity for children. As he points out children are a great indicator of the liveability of a city. Some of the key points from his presentation about growing a child-friendly city:

  • Loss of ubiquitous play space – children should be able to play everywhere but there has been a societal change and a change in the function of streets. He quotes from a study that found the failure of an urban environment can be measured by the % of playgrounds.
  •  Management of risk – risk of a child being abducted by a strange 1 in x (infinitesimal) if use active travel. If don’t use active travel 100% risk that child will have poorer coordination; less likely to be cooperative; have health issues etc
  • More car travel diminishes physical health. Only 11% of Kiwi kids meet daily activity guidelines – 10% obese.
Rodney Tolley "child friendly" workshop walkabout on Queen St
Rodney Tolley “child friendly” workshop walkabout on Queen St

The presentation considered what’s being done, for example:

  • Safe routes to school “if not safe make it safe”
  • At heart of initiatives – controlling speeds. Highlighted the benefits to children in overseas cities eg 75% of NYC now 20mph; Paris all streets 30kmph

Conclusion – cultural or physical changes needed? A walking city is a paradise for children. A city where kids invited to sit, play and walk. There are co-benefits in getting it right for kids gets it right for everyone.

The workshop included a discussion on what we are doing for children in different parts of Council and a walk around to explore parts of the city from a child’s point of view. The group I walked with along High St and Queen St (including Rodney) found the city centre to be empty of children under 10 and a very unwelcoming place.

 Myers Park Centenary

Myers Park kids The brief to the event team responsible for the Centenary celebrations was to take a community development approach so that it involved local groups for the benefit of city centre residents (the community portfolio was involved in the early discussion on the centenary)

Congratulations to the organising team who did such a great job. The centenary event on 15th Feb was child- focused, organic and non- commercial.  I thought it was a really successful celebration, attracting local residents and all on a tight budget. I would be very supportive of the centenary event being a template for an annual Myers Park kids festival.

Community Development conference

The Unitec hosted conference brought to together practitioners, academics and students to share their knowledge, research and stories about community development. Major themes included placemaking, community economic development, diverse communities and re-claiming democracy. My conference registration of $270 was paid for from the Local Board professional development budget (I cycled to and from the venue).

I enjoyed the conference as a networking opportunity and a chance to hear about the evolution of the practice of Community Development over the last 25 years and to reflect on the role of Local Government.

Key points mentioned by a variety of speakers:

  • Community Development has to connect most closely with Local Government. LG is the natural unit of CD.
  • Auckland has suffered from politicians without vision (No social housing; Lack of community centres)
  • Community Development and Economic development  need to merge– not flip sides
  • Community development is an indirect art
  • Most important thing that local government can do: Treat people as citizens and not as customers; Stop doing things to people or for them

Long Term Plan consultation

Consultation on the Auckland Council’s 10 year budget (LTP) got under way at the end of January and continues through February until 16 March. The Local Board held 2 community engagement events in February in the City Centre and Parnell (co-hosted with Parnell Community Committee)

Richmond Road feeder laneAs at 1 March Auckland Council had received 6320 written submissions, 427 eligible digital submissions (374 pieces of feedback had been received from the Waitematā Local Board area) and 423 Aucklanders have attended a “Have Your Say “event.

All LTP information and upcoming events are on

 Richmond Road safety improvements 

After many years fighting for road safety improvements Richmond Rd School can finally enjoy a signalised crossing and traffic calming treatments. The Transport portfolio were responsible for ensuring a feeder lane was incorporated into the design (as a first step towards cycling lanes for the length of Richmond Road)

Bob, Paul and LenWesthaven Promenade

The much anticipated and beautifully built Westhaven promenade was officially opened on 16 February.

My partner Paul Shortland (Deputy Chair of Cycle Action Auckland) had the honour of cutting the ribbon on the invitation of Sir Bob and the Mayor.

I have received only positive feedback about the promenade especially from locals using it with children.

Congratulations to the Waterfront Auckland team responsible for the promenade.

 Ponsonby Road walk aboutWalk About on Ponsonby Road with the Ponsonby Business Association

Following a serious injury suffered by a visitor to Ponsonby Rd, who tripped on the footpath, the Ponsonby Business Association General Manager & Deputy Chair invited representatives from the Board, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to take part in a walk round. The purpose of the walk was to identify urgent repairs and to discuss options for a full upgrade of the footpath as anticipated in the Ponsonby Plan finalised in 2013.

Workshops and meetings

During February I attended:

  •  Meeting with the organisers of Art in the Dark, ATEED reps and events portfolio on 2 February
  • Ponsonby Community Centre Management Committee meeting on 2 February
  • Meeting with volunteers from community group Plastic Diet
  • LTP Consultation briefing on key issues for local board members on 3 February
  • Local Board Workshop on 3 February
  • Community portfolio meeting with Youth Advisory Panel representative to handover from Isabella Lenihan-Ikin (before she departed for Otago) to Alex Johnston
  • Transport Portfolio meeting on 4 February
  • Central Local Board cluster briefing on draft Corporate Sponsorship Operational Guidelines on 9 February
  • St Lukes Intersection design/ Pohutukawa Trees discussion with Auckland Transport on 9 February
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 10  February
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 10 February
  • Briefing on the New Zealand International Convention Centre on 11 February
  • Meeting with Matthew Luxton, Envision to discuss social enterprise in Waitemata
  • Briefing on Trading and Events Bylaw: Communication to businesses
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 12  February
  • Richelle tour guide Orakei Trust BoardPonsonby Road Walk About with representatives of Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and the Ponsonby Business Association to discuss the disrepair of the footpaths
  • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Reserves Board meeting and induction – 16 February – The purpose of the hui was to provide an in-depth insight into the history, current projects and aspirations in respect to the Whenua Rangatira and Pourewa Creek Recreation Reserve (photo right of Richelle Kahui- McConnell leading the tour)
  • St Lukes Intersection design (Pohutukawa tree removal) – follow up meeting with Auckland Transport and NZTA
  • Community Development Conference (opening Powhiri at Unitec Marae and one day at Unitec, Henderson)
  • Urban Cycling Investment Panel – meeting 2 in Wellington on 20 February
  • Local Board Greenways Plans and Walking and Cycling Networks Collaboration Meeting on 23 February
  • Cycling Action Group and Urban Cycling Investment update presented to the Local Boards Forum on 23 February
  • Rodney Tolley – Child Friendly Cities workshop at Pioneer Womens Hall
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 24 February
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 25 February
  • Long Term Plan – 10 year budget community engagement events on 25 February (City Centre) and 26 February (co-hosted with the Parnell Community Committee)
  • Meeting to discuss RLTP feedback on 25 February
  • Central Boards cluster meeting: BIDs and service delivery and policy review
  • Attended the Auckland Development Committed extraordinary meeting on 26 February
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on  26 February
  • LGNZ Zone One meeting in Auckland on 27 February

Events and functions

During February I attended:

  • Bike Market at Silo Park on 1 February
  • Friends of the Festival lunch at Q Theatre on 3 February
  • Screening with Nga Tāonga – Sound & Vision of two documentaries at Auckland Museum on 5 February to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi. Pita Turei, director of Waka: The Awakening Dream, presented at Q&A session following the screening.
  • Tour of the Light Show exhibition with Rhana Devenport, Director Auckland Art Gallery (organised for local board members and Councillors) on 5 February
  • Waitangi Day powhiri at Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Marae
  •  Waitangi on the bins with ChristopherZero Waste Volunteer with Christopher Dempsey at Takaparawhau (Bastion Pt) for the Waitangi Day Festival organised by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei
  • Big Gay Out, Coyle Park
  • Green Desk interview on 10 February (as occasional host of the Green Desk, 95bfm) with Isabella Lenihan-Ikin, Waitemata Youth Advisory Panel representative
  • Dropped by the NZTA/Auckland Transport Nelson Street cyclelane open day at Tukutai Square on 10 February
  • Go by bike day pit stop on the Grafton Gully Cycle way on 11 February (free coffee provided by Auckland Transport)
  • Opening Night Party of Auckland Fringe and X0X Pride at the Box, Aotea Square on 11 February
  • Cycle Action’s Associates breakfast on 12 February
  • Launch and Blessing of Twist & Thief by Tanja McMillian (Misery)  on K’rd
  • ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 – Opening of Fanzone at Tukutai Square by the Mayor on 14 February
  • Valentine’s Day bike ride and afternoon tea with Frocks on Bikes
  • Myers Park Centennial Celebration on 15 February
  • Blessing and official opening of the Westhaven Promenade on 16 February
  • Kelsey Montague AngelWith the Deputy Mayor visited the Angel by Kelsey Montague sponsored by the Ponsonby Business Association on the Brown St wall of Ponsonby Central (photo right)
  • Regional Arts Trust Awards at Q Theatre (congratulations to Shona McCullagh, Hynds Creative Entrepreneur 2015 Award winner)
  • Auckland Conversations – Shaping Resilient and Collaborative Communities – Milenko Matanovic,  Founder & Executive Director The Pomegranate Centre Washington USA
  • Save our Harbour rally on Queens Wharf (photo below)
  • Regional Facilities Auckland – refreshments with the Board and senior management at the Aotea Centre
  • Finns at the Zoo on 27 February (at the invitation of Auckland Zoo)
  • Grey Lynn RSC commemorative mural blessing (funding provided by the Local Board)
  • Art in One Day prize giving (event sponsored with a Community Grant)
  • Save our harbour rally

Monthly Board Report November 2014

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board activities during October 2014 as Deputy Chair, lead for the Community and Transport portfolios, Chair of the Grants Committee, Deputy Chair of the Central Joint Funding Committee and with positions on the Ponsonby Business Association and Ponsonby Community Centre Committee.


Greenways proposal - Grey Lynn ParkGreenways

At our October meeting the Board approved a budget of $350,000 from the Auckland Transport capex budget, for the Waitematā Greenways Project (Route G1) in-park route. Consultation on the route design will take place alongside the draft Grey Lynn Park Development Plan.

In addition we have asked Auckland Transport to bring forward the budget to progress the on-road sections of  Route G1 to connect Coxs Bay and Grey Lynn Park with the North Western Cycleway  (the designs are with Auckland Transport ready for public consultation).

Franklin Road upgrade

Franklin Road cyclists
Photo Credit: Non- Motorist @ByTheMotorway

The much needed upgrade of Franklin Road has been in the too hard basket for many years due to the challenge and costs of accommodating historic trees, utilities, parking and transport requirement.  Fortunately the Board and Freemans Bay residents’ persistent advocacy has paid off and Auckland Transport is now planning a major upgrade to get underway in early 2016.

Auckland Transport is consulting on 2 possible options for the design of the road. While it is really positive to see the upgrade progress I have raised with Auckland Transport my concern about the lack of Local Board input at an early stage of the option development and the failure to recognise the Board objectives for the Franklin Road which were finalised following community consultation. The two options only go part way to achieving the improvements we would like to see for this iconic Auckland street:

Franklin Road optionsAuckland Transport to undertake the planned upgrade of Franklin Road including road resurfacing, undergrounding of services, footpath upgrade, pedestrian crossings, cycle path and on road parking and to provide for safe and continuous walking and cycling pathways from Ponsonby Road to Victoria Park including continuous pedestrian facilities (i.e. an unbroken footpath on both sides of the road) across all side streets, driveways and intersections (for example by installing raised tables).  Local Board Agreement 2104/2015


One of the Board’s Transport priorities is for Auckland Transport to implement a residential parking zone scheme to manage commuter parking in central Auckland suburbs (Local Board Agreement 2014/15 Transport Advocacy area). The extension of the successful St Mary’s Bay scheme to city areas suffering the biggest impact from on- street parking has been on hold while Auckland Transport consults on the parking discussion document.

The good news is that Auckland Transport has confirmed at our October catch up that parking occupancy surveys are going to start in Ponsonby and Freemans Bay in November with the aim of consulting on a proposed zone in March 2015.

A zonal approach to parking has the potential to benefit local residents and businesses and provide for short term parking for visitors.

Gladstone Road/Avon Street intersection

Auckland Transport has consulted on safety improvements at the intersection of Avon Street and Gladstone Road in Parnell that involve the removal of angle parking outside the local shops. Following a site visit, consideration of the feedback on the proposal and a public forum presentation from the local building owner and Parnell Community Committee the Board passed the following resolution:

The Waitemata Local Board requests Auckland Transport take a holistic approach to improving cyclist and pedestrian amenity on Gladstone Road and consider traffic calming and mitigation measures that do not require the removal of angled parking at the Gladstone Road/Avon Street Intersection.

Legible Auckland

Waima Street wayfinding signWayfinding signage continues to be installed by Auckland Transport where a request is logged. It is surprising how few directional signs exist to guide pedestrians and cyclists around our city.

Although it was great to see this sign (photo right) appear on the corner of Waima Street/Great North Road I have followed up with Auckland Transport regarding the curious content on the sign with the following queries:

The original request was for a directional sign to the NW cycleway however the information on the sign covers everything except that. What is the reason? Has this design come out of AT’s wayfinding project? Is this now the template or just temporary? NZTA have used distance for their cycleway signage. Why has AT used travel time? Is the time intended for the walker or rider?  Is this now a standard approach?

Cycling Advisory Group Meeting

At the Advisory Group meeting in October discussions continued on the prioritisation of cycling projects. Richard Leggart, Chair of the NZ Cycle Safety Panel discussed the recommendations in the panel’s Safer Journeys for People who Cycle report which was open for feedback until 24 October.

We also heard from Auckland Transport about improvements to the existing network and the development of a customer charter.

I emphasised at the meeting the need for early Local Board input into Auckland Transport’s work programme to best leverage the maintenance budget to address deficiencies on the network.

pohutukawa treesFight to save 6 mature pohutukawa trees on Great North Road

Preparations have been underway during October for the hearing taking place on 5 and 6 November regarding the Board’s objection to Auckland Transport’s Notice of Requirement to remove 6 mature Pohutukawa trees on Great North Road. The removal is sought by AT for road widening to provide for two lanes turning from Great North Road on to a new St Lukes bridge.

The Board’s objection is based on our view that there are alternatives available to Auckland Transport that could retain the trees but achieve the same transport outcomes. All the experts agree that removing the trees will result in a significant adverse effect to the environment. As one submitter put it “the trees provide a buffer of civility amid 19 lanes of tarmac”.

Monthly transport update

A monthly update with Auckland Transport took place on 29 October.  Current issues are reported back monthly by Auckland Transport on our public agenda including the details of the consultation undertaken with the Transport portfolio on behalf of the Board.


Parnell Festival of Roses Accessibility

For a second year the Waitemata Local Board is aiming to make the Parnell Festival of Roses accessible for all. With the support of the community portfolio, member Christopher Dempsey has been working with Paul Brown, Strategic Advisor Disability to confirm the initiatives to be funded from an accessibility budget of $2000.

At the Festival on 15 and 16 November there will be an audio described walk and rose-potting workshop for blind and vision impaired visitors taking place from 11:45 -1.15pm and Rudd (the Bugman) Kleinpaste’s talk 1:30-2.00pm will be audio described.  Rudd’s talks on both the Saturday and Sunday are being signed in New Zealand Sign Language. Accessibility Information has also been circulated.

Family, Whanau and Sexual Violence

We received an update from Kelly Maung on the work she is doing to progress a multi- sector strategic action plan to deal with Family, Whanau and Sexual Violence.  Commitment to this initiative by Council has developed out of the Auckland Plan goal to be the world’s most liveable city and involves partnering with central government.

Kelly has challenged the Board to proactively contribute to White Ribbon day next year. Member Deborah Yates is progressing this with our male colleagues.

Western ParkPark site visits

I joined the Parks team and iwi representatives on site visits to Western Park and Grey Lynn Park.

The visits identified exciting opportunities to promote cultural values and the unique historic features of the parks.  There is particularly strong support for day-lighting Tunamau – the stream that is currently piped through Western Park.

Pioneer Womens Hall activation

Work to activate Pioneer Womens Hall as a community hub prior to major refurbishment taking place next year continues.  We recently confirmed a modest budget to support the Jedi Knights Chess Club initiative led by a previously homeless man who has become a regular contributor to the Pioneer Womens Hall working group.

The community portfolio holds a monthly meeting with relevant officers to discuss the on-going work programme.  I also attended a range of meetings during October relevant to the community portfolio – these are detailed below.

Auckland Conversation Brent Toderian: Liveable cities – vibrant waterfronts

Brent Toderian Waterfront AucklandThe former chief planner for Vancouver returned to Auckland at the invitation of Waterfront Auckland to continue his city-shaping advice with a talk on how rethinking our waterfront can transform our city.

Brent was introduced by John Dalzell, CEO Waterfront Auckland as an “Urban Design Warrior”.

Key points I took away from the presentation at Shed 10:

  • Urban planning & city building best way to influence public health and confront the convergence of global issues such as climate change and aging population.
  • Millennials are pre-disposed to urban living as they interact with technology like previous generations interacted with the car (baby boomers “broken hipsters” are also turning to urban living)
  • We need to aim for “density done well on the waterfront” Land use and movement need to be aligned. We need to recognise “induced demand”. It is just politically popular to build roads.
  • Vancouver shows that if you design for multi-modality it is better for drivers. It is about prioritising not being anti-car. Allows for shorter commute times  (20% fewer cars; 40-60% increase in PT; 10-20% increase in cycling)
  • Brent is a fan of the expression “making streets sticky” for people – it is not just about moving through but how to make people stay
  • “Walk score” is a powerful measurement tool used in North America that shows the positive impact on property values of walkable neighbourhoods. In Auckland the evidence is that we don’t care about walkers just drivers.
  • He noted that the conversation about cycling is picking up but believes we will only make progress with separation (ie protected cycleways). This will be the key to a higher bike share. He also noted that there are enough women riders yet
  • Brent calls buses the heroes of PT as nimble & cheap but we need to change the conversation around buses and to provide a better service
  • Mobility is a space problem that benefits from car sharing. One car in  a car share can replace 20 cars
  • We need to aim for consistently high density design. We have the challenge of a working Port but we should use this to our advantage. Height is just a design challenge
  • We also need to ensure that amenities and facilities are built into any development (in Vancouver achieved through density bonusing)
  • Lots of simple but can be hard to do simple

Brent Toderian Auckland ConversationFinal slide (pictured right)

  • Plan like you love cities
  • Listen like you love opinions
  • Design like you love people – and always challenge the word “cant”

Workshops and meetings

In the period 1 October – 31 October I attended:

  • Meeting with Allan Young from ACPL on 1 October to discuss and the implications for Parnell Station, access to the Domain and the regeneration of Waipapa Stream of Kiwi Rail’s proposals to sell the development site where Mainline Steam is currently located
  • Engagement adviser catch up on 1 October
  • Communications catch up on 1 October
  • Local Board Member briefing in Takapuna on spatial priorities and the draft infrastructure strategy that is being developed through the LTP process.
  • Community-led Placemaking Champions Group workshop
  • Local Board Workshop on 7 October
  • AT/Franklin Road Resident’s Meeting on 7 October – Franklin Road Upgrade
  • Meeting to discuss the Child Friendly City project
  • Meetings with the Local Board’s lawyers regarding Notice of Requirement hearing to remove 6 Pohutukawa trees on Great North Road
  • CCO review – Governing Body / Local Board discussion ­– workshop on 8 October provided an opportunity for local board members, councillors and IMSB members on the CCO Governance and Monitoring Committee to receive an update about the CCO review.
  • Review of the Ponsonby Road Plan by Stuart Houghton. A presentation to Board members on 8 October  (on 28 October I arranged for Stuart to present his review to Council and Auckland Transport officers involved in the development of the plan)
  • Meeting with GM of the Ponsonby Business Association
  • Site Visit to Avon Street/ Gladstone Road intersection to meet a representative from Parnell Community Committee and the building owner to discuss AT’s proposal to remove angle parking
  • Meeting with GM of Parnell Community Centre
  • Communications catch up on 13 October
  • Ponsonby Business Association Board meeting on 14 October
  • Cycle Advisory Group Meeting
  • Waitematā Local Board business meeting on 14 October
  • Auckland Transport Taxi operations Plan presentation and discussion with stakeholders
  • Attended the Events portfolio meeting to discuss the Myers Park centenary celebrations and opportunities for community development
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 16 October
  • Long Term plan presentation to budget committee
    Photo Credit: Cathy Casey

    Attended the Waitemata Local Board presentation to the Budget Committee led by the Chair as part of the local boards discussions with the governing body held over 2 days  to inform final decision-making on the LTP for consultation. Each local board was given 20 minutes to present and discuss key priorities and advocacy areas (photo right – looking far too happy!)

  • LTP financial policy discussion on 20 October with Local Board representatives
  • Waitematā Local Board workshop on 21 October
  • Community Development portfolio monthly catch up on 22 October
  • Queens Wharf site visit: Briefing in partnership with Waterfront and Auckland Council
  • Western Park site visit and workshop on 24 October with iwi representatives
  • Attended the Waterfront Auckland Board meeting public forum in support of Ponsonby Cruising Club on 29 October
  • Monthly Transport portfolio catch up on  29 October
  • LTP Local Board Cluster Workshop – Central.  Auckland Transport’s engagement with Local Boards about transport priorities for the next decade and how AT has arrived at a prioritised programme, following the Mayor’s budget proposal for the Long Term Plan.
  • Meetings with Auckland Council planners and the Local Board’s lawyers in preparation for the Notice of Requirement hearing to remove 6 Pohutukawa trees on Great North Road
  • Meeting with the CE, Newmarket Business Association
  • Grey Lynn Park Development Plan – site visit to discuss draft update with iwi on 31 October

Events and functions

Smokefree dining with Shale Chambers and Greg MoyleIn the period 1 October – 31 October 2014 I attended:

  • Newmarket Young Fashion Designer Award on 1 October at the invitation of the Newmarket Business Association
  • Cycle Action’s Associates breakfast
  • Pop up smokefree outdoor dining event organised by Auckland Cancer Society in Aotea Square (photo right)
  • Grey Lynn Business Association AGM on 8 October
  • Launch of Art week at Silo 6
  • Opening of Victoria Park Market Art week event
  • Look at K’rd Art Week event
  • Opening ceremony of Auckland Diwali Festival 2014 on 11 October
  • NZ Fashion Museum’s pop-up exhibition, Elle and the Youthquake: The changing face of fashion, at The Nathan Gallery in Britomart.
  • Heritage Festival events on Sunday 12 October: Civic Trust a toast to heritage and the Grey Lynn RSC’s Gaylene Preston WWI presentation
  • Auckland Girls’ Grammar Old Girls’ Association Annual Dinner
  • Great Mugging on Ponsonby Road for Art Week
  • POP 10 : Hauora Garden of Health and Happiness community planting day on 18 October at Studio One Tu Toi 
  • Auckland Conversation with Brent Toderian at Shed 10. Liveable Cities – Vibrant Waterfronts
  • Ponsonby Business Association AGM on 21 October
  • Auckland Arts Festival Launch at the Town Hall on 23 October
  • The New Zealand Dance Company’s Studio Showing at the Wellesley Studio on 28 October at the invitation of the NZ Dance Company
  • Rod Oram in conversation with Sir Stephen Tindall at the Auckland Museum on 30 October hosted by  Anglican Diocese of Auckland’s Diocesan Climate Change Action Group (at the invitation of Rod Oram)

Ciclovía on Quay reclaims Auckland’s streets

Ciclovia on QuayThe idea for holding a Ciclovía in Auckland was first proposed over four years ago by Cycle Action Auckland (I was on the committee back then). It was at a time when the concept for “open streets” was becoming popularised overseas following on from the first Ciclovias in Bogota, Columbia where streets are closed for promenading at the weekend.

During the Rugby World Cup Quay street was closed every weekend for party central and people could see how possible it was to reclaim the streets for people.   In 2012 the Playing in the Streets event on Queen Street also demonstrated what could be achieved from a temporary road closure.  (and on Waiheke they held their own Ciclovia in 2010 in support of keeping traffic off the Esplanade)

Over the last year further momentum has been been building for a Ciclovía as plans get underway for the transformation of Quay Street into a pedestrian Boulevard. A Ciclovía is a logical way to trial the use of the space and to give a glimpse of the future opportunities for our waterfront.  The Waitemata Local Board has been championing for an event to happen and was fully supportive of the proposal when it was first suggested by the city centre transformation team at the end of last year.

So it was fantastic to take part in Ciclovía on Quay on Saturday 8 February organised by Auckland Council, Waterfront Auckland and Auckland Transport. I especially enjoyed seeing children take advantage of the wide open space to experience freedom on their bikes and scooters.

As I cycled around the comment I heard the most was “can this happen every weekend”!

Video of Ciclovía on Quay here

 Pippa Coomimpromptu ciclovia before the Pride parade on Ponsonby Road Feb 2014Impromptu Ciclovia on Ponsonby Road

In preparation for the Pride Parade on 22 February 2014 Ponsonby Road was closed to traffic from 4pm.  This was a fabulous opportunity to experience the freedom of cycling and walking along the strip without any conflict with cars.

Perhaps next time we can take advantage of all the expense and time that goes into the Parade’s traffic management plan with an official Ciclovia beforehand on Ponsonby Road.