This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during August 2014 as Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee, Deputy Chair of the Hearings Committee, Lead portfolio holder of Parks and Open Spaces portfolio, Co-portfolio holder of the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio and Local Board representative on the K Road Business Association.
Sharps Bins Installed in Karangahape Rd Area
In a win for rational health and safety policy and after lengthy negotiation by officers, Council has agreed to have needle bins installed in the Beresford Square, Myers Park and Symonds Street (by the cemetery) public toilets. This is in response to an appreciable need as security staff and contractors have found numerous used syringes in each of these locations. This installation will be on a trial basis for six months from August 2014 to January 2015. If the trial is successful, the bins will stay in place.
On the evening of the 25th of August 2014, I attended my second citizenship ceremony as a Local Board Member at the Auckland Town Hall. It is an obligation of Local Board Members to attend these events (although many don’t) as citizenship ceremonies are one of the areas of responsibility of Local Boards under the Auckland Unitary Council structure. I really enjoy them. It is great to see the happiness of new citizens as they collect their certificates and it is a reminder of what’s special about New Zealand. I’ve written a separate piece on my thoughts on the night here.
Submission to Local Alcohol Policy Hearings Panel
On the 26th of August, the Board Chair and I submitted the Local Board’s feedback on the Local Alcohol Policy. This feedback was as follows:
That the Waitematā Local Board provides the following feedback on the Draft Auckland Council Local Alcohol Policy:
a) That the local board considers appropriate conditions and the enforcement of those conditions are the primary tools in achieving a reduction in alcohol-related harm in relation to licenced premises.
b) That the local board supports the approach of two broad areas in the policy, with Area A having a more liberal approach to licensing.
c) That the local board considers that Area A should be extended to cover the whole of the city centre and the city centre fringe so that Parnell and Newmarket do not experience unfair economic disadvantage in relation to Ponsonby Road and Newton and that their future economic development is not unreasonably hindered.
d) That the local board considers there should be no priority overlays in Area A. This is an area designed for the clustering of late night venues and late night entertainment and the draft policy does not provide sufficient reasons to support the proposed priority overlays in this area.
e) That the local board does not consider the proposed temporary freeze to be a useful tool in Area A. It will not achieve the proposed policy objectives and merely delays the introduction of the longer term solution.
f) That the local board considers this approach seems reasonable and it should be introduced immediately the policy becomes effective.
Environmental and cumulative impact assessments
g) That the local board considers this can be a useful tool. However, there should be no sensitive site element in the city centre and a reduced sensitive site perimeter in the city centre fringe to reduce the impact of sensitive sites on existing potential and new licences in these areas.
h) That the local board supports the maximum proposed hours for off-licences, on-licences and club licences and the case-by-case approach for special licences.
i) That the local board supports the provision of extended hours, with a maximum of two additional hours and with any combination of morning and evening extension of hours, for example, one hour in the morning and one in the evening.
j) That the local board supports the proposed discretionary conditions as they give potential applicants a good idea of the limitations within which they are likely to have to operate if they succeed in obtaining a licence.
We gave particular emphasis to point (c) as the draft Area A is a rather arbitrary exclusion of Parnell and Newmarket, two areas that have real potential to be vibrant nightlife districts. We further submitted that we disagree with the implementation of a ‘one-way door’ policy after a set time as this can foreseeably have the unintended effect of separating people from their group causing safety concerns.
Complimentary Tickets to Kiss The Fish by Indian Ink Theatre Company
On the evening of Saturday 30 August, I saw Kiss The Fish by Indian Ink Theatre Company at the Q Theatre. I declare in this report that I accepted two complimentary tickets from the producers. I will be starting a register of interests on this website. I will also be reporting any such gifts in my monthly reports to the local board.
Portfolio Report: Parks & Open Spaces
I am honoured to have been asked by the Local Board Chair to assume the position of Lead of the Parks and Open Spaces portfolio. Of course, the portfolio will be no less of a team effort but I look forward to taking on the challenge of keeping track of and progressing projects in this very substantial portfolio area.
Salisbury Reserve Site Visit
Each month, the portfolio holders and Parks adviser, Mark Miller, visit a park in the Local Board Area. This month we inspected Salisbury Reserve. This park has a renewal and upgrade of the playground planned. We see the opportunity to move the playground along the boundary to free up the area around the entrance of the park and allow for a wider path and more open entry. This is subject to discussion with the affected landowner. While we were there, as often happens, local residents came to talk to us and expressed enthusiasm for the idea as well as bringing the attention of the Parks adviser to some fallen tress than needed attention.
Western Springs Pine Stand Restoration Plan
Work is ongoing on assessing the health and longevity of the wilding pines on the slopes above Western Springs. The pines were planted in the 1920s and many of them are at the end of their life. Meanwhile a programme of native bush regeneration that has been running for over a decade is beginning to show real results with an established understory attracting native birds.
Portfolio Report: Heritage, Urban Design & Planning
Confirming the pre-1944 Overlay at the Interstices
Following on from the revelation last month that the pre-1944 demolition overlay is not as comprehensive as we at first thought, I have requested clarification from Heritage about what areas have had sites removed. I am told that there is no list or record of these decisions and have been sent maps of the Local Board Area with overlays as per the Draft Unitary Plan and the current Proposed Unitary Plan. I will checking the two maps against each other to identify sites that have been removed with a view to following up on these, by site visit if necessary. The search has been narrowed to areas on the boundary of industrial or commercial areas but it is still a large undertaking. The challenge is to identify at-risk sites before the hearings at which Heritage will be submitting to the Independent Commissioners. This work will be fed to the Pre-1944 Survey Team that has been established by the Heritage department. The project is set to run for two years with the possibility that they may be called to the Hearings Panel possibly as early as April next year. The approach of the Survey Team is to identify 12 priority areas (including Grey Lynn and the Res 1 fringe). Through a mapping exercise the Team will identify ‘hot spots’ where there is high development pressure and map proposals for Special Housing Areas in the pre-1944 overlay areas.
The Karangahape Road Plan
The Plan is in the final stages of development. We are awaiting the final draft for approval by the board.
- Local Board Workshop
- Long Term Plan Options
- Auckland Transport Update
- Greenways 2
- Wynyard Quarter
- Upper Symonds Street
- K Rd Plan
- Meeting to discuss re-allocation of Western Springs outer field maintenance budget
- Parks Portfolio monthly meeting
- Finance & LIPS Committee meeting
- Local Board Finance Support changes review
- Local Board Business Meeting
- Western Springs Pine Stand restoration and accessibility plan meeting
- Update to Local Board from Waterfront Auckland
- Newmarket Laneways Plan briefing
- Local Board Workshop
- Bi-Monthly Local Board Work Programme / Issues Tracker
- Forward Plan – Regional Policy
- Community Facilities Network Plan
- Grey Lynn Park Greenways Plan
- Local Board workshop
- CAPEX Review deferral proposal
- Weona-Westmere Walkway update
- CRL Briefing
- K Road Business Improvement District Presentation to the Local Board
- Ponsonby Business Improvement District Presentation to the Local Board
- K Road Business Association meeting
- K Road Plan meeting
- Finance Committee Meeting
- Parks Portfolio site visit to Salisbury Reserve
- K Road Plan update meeting
- Citizenship Ceremony
- Local Board Workshop
- Psychoactive Substances Policy
- Property Strategy Implementation: Whole of life tool and asset benchmarking
- Heritage Incentives Policy Engagement
- Auckland Cycle Network and City Centre Cycle Routes Investigation
- Alcohol Control Bylaw Review
- Local Alcohol Policy Hearing: Submitted to the hearings panel with the Board Chair
- Public Meeting about resource consents on the Arch Hill ridge with Arch Hill Residents, Grey Lynn Residents and Grey Lynn Business Association
- Heritage, Urban Design and Planning Portfolio meeting