November 2018 Local Board Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-October to mid-November 2018 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 moved a Notice of Motion at the 16 October business meeting of the Local Board to support in principle the re-installation of bollards at the north-east and north-west ends of Saint Patrick’s Square as per the request of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Diocese of Auckland and request from Auckland Transport a rough order of costs. This was supported unanimously by the board: carried as resolution WTM/2018/153.
  • I attended the K’ Road Business Association AGM on 25 October
  • I attended the Saint Mary’s Bay Resident’s Association AGM on 29 October
  • I attended the Parnell Festival of Roses on 18 November
  • 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’

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October 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-September to October 2018 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

  • At the business meeting on the 16th of October I will be moving a Notice of Motion to support in principle the re-installation of bollards in Saint Patrick’s Square and request a rough order of costs from Auckland Transport
  • I led the Heritage Foreshore Guided Walk – a 3.5-hour walk that traces the pre-1840 shoreline of Auckland – on Sunday 30 September. This was the Local Board’s contribution to the Auckland Council Heritage Festival. More details below
  • I took part in a Resource Management Act Commissioner’s Forum on 25 September at the Town Hall Council Chambers
  • I attended the Parnell Business Association’s AGM on the evening of 27 September as the Local Board’s representative
  • I attended the Parnell Heritage AGM on 13 September
  • 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’

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Hundreds Advised to Reapply for Resource Consents

Auckland Council recently announced that about 420 property owners to reapply for already issued resource consents to protect them from possible legal challenges. And the council says some of those who reapply may not get a resource consent after seeking a new one!

It may be that as many as 130 of the affected property owners have already obtained building consents for work on their dwellings.

The re-applications will be fee-free and expedited as quickly as possible. Council have done this so that issued consents are not vulnerable to being overturned by judicial review after building has been completed – which would be far more expensive and inconvenient.

The issue arose when the Auckland Unitary Plan became operative in part in November 2016. The final wording of the rules for Special Character Overlay Areas and the underlying Single House Zones were, in places, inconsistent and created uncertainly about which should take precedence.

It is important to note that Auckland Council obtained external legal advice to determine the correct interpretation of the rules. They adopted an approach that was consistent with this advice when processing resource consents between December 2016 and December 2017. This approach was that the Special Character Areas Overlay rules took precedence over the underlying zone rules.

Because there was still some uncertainty, Auckland Council sought clarification on the rules from the Environment Court. On 19 December 2017 the Court agreed that the relevant Unitary Plan rules were not clear and thanked the Council for seeking clarification. The Environment Court did not agree with Council’s existing interpretation of the rules and declared that both sets of rules – the Special Character Areas Overlay and the underlying zoning rules – should apply when considering resource consent applications.    Continue reading

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September 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-August to September 2018 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 attended a meeting of the Parnell Plan reference group on 27 August 2018 and the Principal Planner leading the project came to the Local Board workshop on 28 August. More detail on the latest on the project 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’

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Emerging Auckland

Emerging Auckland is a Development Tracker & ‘Urban Showcase’ recording and tracking significant private developments and civic infrastructure projects across Auckland City Centre and within the City Fringe, or ‘inner Auckland’ isthmus area – that are proposed, under construction, or recently completed. N.B.: This is not my work, I’m just sharing it.

 

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My Commentary on NZME Herald Focus: 2017 General Election

nzme-logo-1In the lead-up to the 2017 General Election I was a commentator on the Herald Focus video segments. This culminated in being on the live panel for NZME’s election night coverage. I thought it would be worth putting all these posts in one place.

The Herald’s media writer, John Drinnan, said of the 1 August segment, ‘Has Jacinda got what it takes?’ [if you were only going to watch one of the links below, I’d recommend that one]:

I don’t normally give plugs to presenters, but Tava and Curtin are impressive. Herald Focus presenter Tristram Clayton confirms that they have been signed for election coverage, among other things.

In my opinion, their performance after the Labour leadership change suggests the pair should play a central role, avoiding a widespread trend towards partisan commentary.

Curtin is an associate professor of politics at Auckland University and has frequently appeared on TVNZ’s Sunday morning politics show Q+A. Tava is a businessman and former candidate for the Greens’ co-leadership. He has been a political commentator for Paul Henry and on RadioLive. More please, Herald Focus.

19 July 2017: Election survey surprise

1 August 2017: Has Jacinda Arden got what it takes?

4 August 2017: No Minister Turei

10 August 2017: What now for imploding Greens and soaring Jacinda?

18 August 2017: Greens, National in trouble

25 August 2017: A week in politics with Fran O’Sullivan [and me]

1 September 2017: How Jacinda overtook the PM [First Leader’s Debate]

5 September 2017: Who topped the Bill & Jacinda debate? [Second Leader’s Debate]

8 September 2017: English struggles in face of fiery Ardern [Third Leader’s Debate]

25 October 2017: Ardern’s cabinet surprises

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August 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-July to mid-August 2018 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 attended the official opening of the Teed Street renovation and sculpture
  • I attended a Parnell Plan meeting on 30 July
  • I have attended Parnell Business Association committee meetings for July and August as well as the PBA’s presentation to the local board on 9 August
  • I met with Warren Wilson of the Newton Business and Residents Association on 16 August to discuss liquor licensing issues in the area
  • Auckland Domain has picked up a bronze award in the World Urban Parks 2018 International Large Urban Parks Award. The Domain is the only NZ urban park amongst the winners
  • 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’

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The Goodman Integrated Development Plan 2015 – Wynyard Quarter Area 2

Decision: Integrated Development Plan (IDP) QA2 for 121-127 and 129-135 Beaumont Street; 184 and 200 Pakenham Street; and 61- 69 Daldy Street

GRANTED with conditions: R/LUC/2015/2098. Application made by Goodman (Paihia) Limited. The IDP is to enable the future integrated development of 9,793m2 of land in Quarter Area 2 (QA2) of Wynyard Quarter to provide a framework of permissible built form, massing, open space, traffic and parking effects and activities across the block of land. In addition, the proposal seeks to modify development controls relating to the maximum height, site intensity, office GFA, maximum parking rates, reduction in exclusive marine and fishing activity, removal of the required north-south lane, and various other traffic related matters. The application proceeded on a non-notified basis. Continue reading

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Bledisloe Wharf ‘Car Handling Facility’

Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) have lodged a resource consent application (LUC60323081: Plans and AEE) for earthworks at 1-19 Quay Street (on the Bledisloe Terminal) required to facilitate the construction of a new, 5-storey car handling facility building.

The consent matters are limited to earthworks and National Environmental Standard (NES) only – new buildings within the Port Precinct which comply with the relevant standards are a permitted activity.

The works will involve 3000 sqm and 2000 cum of earthworks, which primarily relate to the construction of the footings and foundations required to support the proposed building. Consent matters include the undertaking a proposed volume of earthworks exceeding  2500 sqm and undertaking a proposed volume of earthworks exceeding  2500 sqm within the Sediment Control Protection Area (i.e. within 100 m of the coastal area). The works also trigger consent matters under Section 9(1) of the Resource Management (National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health) Regulations 2011 (NES) as a controlled activity, as the works exceed the permitted earthworks volume. No discharge consents are being applied for, as the applicant (Ports of Auckland) is the holder of a permit to discharge contaminants from an industrial or trade activity (Discharge Consent 25179). 

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It should be borne in mind that this approach by POAL is in direct response to widespread public pressure, opposing expanding the POAL land area by reclamation of the harbour for cargo storage, including cars, (especially for cars). I strongly oppose further reclamation so I find it difficult to object to intensification of the use of Port land. However, given the strong public interest in the port and the environmental sensitivity of the area, I think that public notification is appropriate.

My formal input on behalf of the Local Board is below:​

The Local Board recommends PUBLIC NOTIFICATION of this consent on the basis that ‘special circumstances’ exist as per s 95A(9) RMA 1991.

The special circumstances are the very high level of public interest in development of the port land and the consistently expressed expectation of our constituents that they will have the opportunity to have input on such works​. It is understood that this consent is for earthworks and NES matters only, not the building (as it is a permitted activity if complying with the relevant standards); nonetheless, there are likely adverse effects from the earthworks which exceed the permitted earthworks volume particularly given the proximity of these works to the water (within the Sediment Control Protection Area), and it is the Local Board’s view that the external expertise on these matters that can only be accessed by way of a public notification process is important for the matter to be adequately considered.

This facility is included in the POAL Masterplan, covered in detail by Simon Wilson at The Spinoff here.

The building is the first part of the proposal pictured below. Only the consent application relevant to the car building (the green covered building to the left) has been lodged. We have no indication of when the other buildings will be built although it has to be assumed that this is some years away given the current operational use of the land.

Carpark Hotel

Pictured: The POAL plan for a ‘green’ carpark building with proposed hotel in front. NB: Council’s plans for Quay Street with a bus station, single lanes for cars are not represented in the image. Image: POAL

UPDATE: As at 28 August 2018, I was informed that the applicant has reduced the volume of earthworks proposed to comply with the Auckland Unitary Plan’s standards. The only consenting matter is now in relation to the NES, where the proposal involves soil disturbance that doesn’t comply with Clause 8(3) of the NES. This removes the possible grounds on which the Local Board can request notification.

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July 2018 Local Board Member Report

WLB logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities in mid-June to July 2018 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 submitted to the hearings panel for the 144 Parnell Road resource consent on behalf of the Local Board on 9 July. More detail below under ‘Significant Resource Consent Matters’
  • 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’

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