Notable Trees in the Waitematā Local Board Area

I have mapped the Auckland Unitary Plan Notable Trees (Schedule 10) in the Waitematā Local Board area. Scheduling offers a high degree of protection and I ask for publicly notified resource consent hearings as a matter of course when removal of the tree is requested.

Apart from these specifically protected trees, trees are also protected within reserves, any area subject to a conservation management plan or conservation management strategy, and trees within a Significant Ecological Area (SEA).

Trees in streets, parks and the Hauraki Gulf Islands will remain protected because they don’t meet the Resource Management Act’s definition of ‘urban environment’.

Council holds a wealth of information about our historic, natural and cultural heritage but it isn’t always in a form that is readily accessible. It is hugely important that we protect our significant trees and I am dedicated to sharing them with as many people as possible, so I created this map as a way to visualise them. Google Maps is an ideal tool as anyone can load it on their phone or tablet and can take their own walking tour with just their device as their guide.

More detailed information for each site appears when you tap or click on the marker. Some of the markers cover multiple trees on a site.

If you tap in the top right corner to ‘expand’, the map will open in Google Maps in a separate page.

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Heritage Sites & Areas in the Waitematā Local Board Area

I have mapped the Auckland Unitary Plan Historic Heritage A & B sites and Areas and the Heritage New Zealand Category 1 & 2 listed sites in the Waitematā Local Board area.

Council holds a wealth of information about historic and cultural heritage but it isn’t always in a form that is readily accessible. I am very proud of our heritage sites and am dedicated to sharing them with as many people as possible, so I created this map as a way to visualise them. Google Maps is an ideal tool as anyone can load it on their phone or tablet and can take their own walking tour with just their device as their guide.

There are four different hierarchies of historic heritage listed in two different places: in the Auckland Unitary Plan (Historic Heritage A & B-listings) and two created by Heritage New Zealand (formerly the Historic Places Trust, categories 1 & 2). This map puts them all in one place and allows the user to compare and contrast the lists by toggling the ‘layers’ on and off in the map’s legend. More detailed information for each site appears when you tap or click on the marker.

This map is quite crowded so it is useful to turn layers on and off in the legend (top left of the map). If you tap in the top right corner to ‘expand’, the map will open in Google Maps in a separate page.

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June 2017 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during June 2017 as Lead of the Planning and Heritage portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

 Executive Summary

  • I have created a public, online map of all the bonus floor provision through-site links and viewing platforms in the central city; as well public toilets and drinking fountains. The map can be found here.
  • On 26 June I sat as an Independent Hearings Commissioner on a Special Housing Area consent hearing for a development in Meadowbank.
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’.

Continue reading

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Bonus Floor Spaces, Public Access Ways, Viewing Platforms, Lanes, Public Toilets and Drinking Fountains in Auckland’s Central City

There are over 60 public access routes around or via private buildings throughout central Auckland.

I have mapped them below with accessibility taken into account by marking stairs or escalators with a stair icon. Also mapped are toilets and drinking fountains. Any of these can be turned on or off by clicking on the icon in the top left corner of the map and selecting the relevant tick boxes.

These features have been created by the operation of ‘bonus floor provisions’ of resource consents. This is a way for developers to increase the floor space of a private development by providing public access or benefit from the change. These usually take the form of pedestrian access ways through buildings, referred to as ‘through-site access’ and may include widened footpaths. Bonus provisions may also provide for public viewing decks, plazas and privately-owned art works that are accessible to the general public.

In the city centre the Unitary Plan still provides for developments to contain activities or features that provide a benefit to the public and be awarded bonus floor area.  Rule H.6.11 is relevant and table H.6.11.1 lists the types of bonus features that apply.  There have been some changes between the legacy plan and the AUP (OP) in the list of bonus features and ‘quantities’, e.g. there are no longer bonuses for childcare facilities but bonuses still apply to the following:

  • Residential activities
  • Public open space
  • Through site links
  • Works of art
  • Light and outlook

There are also now heritage-related bonuses.

Council is responsible for monitoring the consent conditions that result in bonus floor provisions and for working with building managers or owners to ensure that public access remains as agreed over time.

Until recently there has been no central register of these conditions; they were recorded only in the consents granted for each site. This was an issue that was first picked up in 2011 by Shale Chambers, the first Chair of the Waitematā Local Board of Auckland Council. At the Local Board’s direction, over the past five years, staff have undertaken the painstaking process of unearthing all the bonus provisions so that we can create a list to both share with the public and protect the features from variations of conditions of which we would otherwise be unaware.

A more detailed site-by-site examination of the sites was undertaken by Master of Urban Planning students at University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning who produced this 2016 report.

The Local Board released this list of bonus floor provision features, upon which the map is based, in early 2017.

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May 2017 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during May 2017 as Lead of the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and, member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

 Executive Summary

  • Heritage Foreshore Trail signs have been installed across the Local Board area.
  • Resource consent has been lodged for the Mansons TCLM Special Housing Area apartment development at 1 Kelmarna Avenue, Herne Bay. There is significant history behind this application which is detailed in the report below.
  • Resource consent application has also been lodged for a Special Housing Area apartment development at the King’s Arms Tavern site, 57-59 France Street South, Eden Terrace. More on this below.
  • AT is stopping the road at 6-8 York Street, Parnell. Currently used as a car park.
  • AT will be trimming trees along Great North Road in the inner western suburbs to make way for double decker buses being added along this route.
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’.

Continue reading

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April 2017 Local Board Member Report

PurposeLogo cropped

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during April 2017 as Lead of the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

Executive Summary

  • I laid the wreath on behalf of the Local Board at the Anzac Day Civic Ceremony at the War Memorial Museum.
  • A very significant variation of conditions for the Bunnings on Great North Road, Grey Lynn, was countered by my sharing of the (publicly-available) application information with residents who then passed it on to the New Zealand Herald. Following an on-site meeting with Council’s Urban Design and Consents teams, Bunnings resiled from much of the application which would have altered conditions that were hard-won in the original hearings process. There is more detail on this below under ‘Resource Consents’.
  • I drafted the Local Board’s feedback on the proposed Urban Development Agencies legislation, a law that is of potentially major significance in the area although a significant duplication of the role of Panuku Development Auckland. This is set out in full below.
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’.

Continue reading

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March 2017 Local Board Member Report

PurposeLogo cropped

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during March 2017 as Lead of the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio; co-holder of the Transport portfolio; Local Board representative on the Parnell Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

Executive Summary

  • Facilitator selected for Reimagining Great North Road community-led plan.
  • Formulating a consistent approach to digital billboards – see Consents section below for more detail
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’

Continue reading

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What Does It Mean To Make a River a Legal Person?

The River That Owns Itself

Whanganui 1The Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2016 has been passed by the Parliament of New Zealand and gives effect to the Whanganui River Deed of Settlement signed on 5 August 2014, which settles the historical claims of Nga Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui, the seven Whanganui Iwi who had Treaty of Waitangi claims relating to the Whanganui River. It declares the river to be:

‘[A]n indivisible and living whole, comprising the Whanganui River from the mountains to the sea, incorporating all its physical and metaphysical elements.’ -s12

and that

‘Te Awa Tupua is a legal person and has all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person.’ -s14(1)

According to Attorney-General and Treaty Settlements Minister, Christopher Finlayson:

“The Crown will not own the river bed. The river will own itself. That’s a world-leading innovation for a river system.”

Whanganui 3This marks the conclusion of the longest-running piece of litigation in New Zealand legal history and is particularly remarkable in extending legal personality to the Whanganui River. Although, this is not a first in New Zealand as Te Urewera (a former national park) was granted legal personality in 2014.

The most common confusion about this law is that the river is being made a natural person, the same as a human, with human rights. This was at the centre of much of the mainstream media commentary and some prominent commentators conflated the two concepts of the Natural Person and the Legal Person.

Natural Persons and Legal Persons

So what is the difference? A Natural Person is a human. A Legal Person is one of the many entities that can be created at law. Legal Persons include companies, trusts, incorporated societies, even ships. They are all entities that are capable of having legal rights, duties and obligations such as suing and being sued, and entering into contracts.

Only a Natural Person can have human rights to the fullest extent but Legal Persons can have a right to, for instance, freedom of expression or natural justice. Any right that it makes sense for a Legal Person to have will also be accorded to the river. If the river is by any legal means considered to be supplying goods and services, it will be liable to pay the Goods and Services Tax the same way that a company would. If corporate manslaughter laws were introduced in New Zealand it would be possible that the river could be held liable for the death of anyone who drowned in the river, but the prosecution would still need to prove that the river did something ‘wrong’ – proving this requisite intent seems a very remote possibility.

This all seems very abstract at first blush so it is helpful to look at the origins of this idea and the problems it was designed to solve. I wrote about this in my Master of Laws thesis at the University of Auckland in 2010 and have summarised my research below.  Continue reading

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LL.M Thesis – Resisting Enclosure: The emergence of ethno-ecological governance in a comparative study of the constitutions of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia

PDF of thesis

Vernon I. Tava

LL.M Thesis (First Class Honours)

The University of Auckland

2010

ABSTRACT

This thesis focuses on the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA) with comparative case studies on Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. These three countries were among the first to which the ‘Washington Consensus’ of neoliberal globalisation was applied. Examining what the indigenous and environmental movements that formed in resistance to this globalisation mean for the evolution of new forms of ecological governance. This paper will trace the emergence of a counter-hegemonic, ‘ethno-ecological’ form of law and governance with its origins in grassroots agrarian movements. As these movements gained in momentum and formed alliances across local, regional, national, and global levels, they drew on their indigenous cultural traditions and cosmology to articulate a holistic and ecocentric worldview which views planetary nature not as ‘natural resources’ but as a Mother Earth deity. A process of constitutional transformation by way of constituent assemblies led to the incorporation of indigenous holistic and ecocentric conceptions such as ‘living well’/ sumak kawsay / suma qamaña and ‘Rights of Nature’ into the constitutions of Bolivia and Ecuador. The global alliances formed in this process of constitutional transformation and their axial concerns with a global enclosure of the commons offer a glimpse of a trans-civilisational shared vision preparing the ground for a coherent global constitutionalism. Continue reading

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September-October 2016 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during September-October 2016 (due to the intervening election) as (up to and including September 2016) Chair of the Hearings Committee; Lead of the Parks and Open Spaces portfolio; Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio holder; and Local Board representative on the K’ Road Business Association.

Executive Summary

  • This is my first report to the Local Board for the 2016-2019 term of Council. I am grateful to the electors of Waitematā for the opportunity to serve the community in this capacity for a second term
  • We saw something of a rush in SHA (Special Housing Area) applications in September as the empowering HASHAA legislation came to the end of its term. The controversial 1 Kelmarna Avenue site saw an application made by Manson TLCM and no less than four new applications were submitted in September in the Great North Road Strategic Housing Area. The Housing New Zealand pensioner housing at 32-36 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, will be demolished and replaced with more than double the number of apartments all to be populated by HNZ tenants
  • Representatives of Fukuoka City, Japan, visited the city in mid-September to advise on the construction of the Fukuoka Garden
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’

Continue reading

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