February 2015 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during February 2015 as Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee, Deputy Chair of the Hearings Committee, Lead of the Parks and Open Spaces portfolio, Co-holder of the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio and Local Board representative on the K Road Business Association.

Executive Summary

  • Auckland Transport Board decided to decline the Notice of Requirement for removal of the six pohutukawa trees at 820 Great North Road
  • The Karangahape Road Plan, a document on which I led, was released at the end of January to much positive feedback
  • The Auckland Domain Committee, a joint committee of members of the Governing Body, Waitematā Local Board and Independent Māori Statutory Board has been formed to effect better co-ordinated governance of the Domain
  • Seddon Fields bench seat completed from LIPS fund at cost of $1,500
  • Arch Hill Reserve clean-up completed under budget of $24,563
  • Renewal of steps through Western Springs Bush Reserve began this month
  • New bench seats installed at Taurarua Point Resolution Reserve as renewals
  • I was deemed elected as the Zone One (Auckland and Northland) member of the Local Government New Zealand Young Elected Members Committee


Karangahape Road Plan

The Karangahape Road Plan, a document on which I led, was released at the end of January to much positive feedback. The cycling and walking aspects of the plan were particularly well-received and have provided integrated direction to Auckland Transport’s plans for the area. I have been pleased to see progress on the planning stages of a K Rd protected cycleway which was a very popular proposal attracting a large number of submissions in the consultation stage of the Plan.

St Luke’s Intersection Notice of Requirement Declined by Auckland Transport Board        

AT Board Meeting Pohutukawa

A packed house at the AT Board meeting in the Kauri Room of NZTA Auckland headquarters

On Friday 20 February, the full Auckland Transport Board met to consider the Notice of Requirement for works, including removal of six mature Pohutukawa trees, at 820 Great North Road. The meeting, normally sparsely attended by the public, drew a full house with some members of the public being turned away. The controversial proposal to remove the trees had become widely-reported as a symbolic conflict, emblematic of AT’s interface with the community. The Local Board was the main objector in the Notice of Requirement hearing and when the panel recommended the application to AT to accept as the requiring authority a community movement developed which was very effective in raising awareness of the issue among the community and in the media. We are very pleased with the unanimous decision of the AT Board to return the project to the planning stage with the specific requirement that the trees be saved.

Young Elected Members Committee of Local Government New Zealand

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) have recently formed a Young Elected Members Committee to advise the LGNZ National Council. The average age of LGNZ membership is such that young is considered to be under 40 years of age. Below are the Committee’s purpose and functions from the Terms of Reference:

Committee purpose

The purpose of the Committee is to:

  1. Provide advice to the Local Government New Zealand National Council, including its Governance and Strategy Advisory Group (GSAG) or staff (as appropriate) on any matter that the National Council or the Committee deems relevant. This could include, but is not limited to:
  • enhancing youth participation in local government processes;
  • building strong relationships between councils, young people and youth organisations;
  • practical matters likely to have specific implications for younger elected members, such as remuneration and professional development; and
  • matters of Local Government New Zealand policy, and Central Government policy and legislation, on which young elected members share a view.
  1. Coordinate opportunities for young elected members to:

–      network and exchange ideas;

–      peer mentor and access practical support; and

–      access appropriate professional development.

  1. Provide support for young candidates standing for election to local government.


In order to achieve its purpose the Committee will need to undertake a number of functions:

  1. Providing timely advice to National Council and its GSAG when approached to do so, seeking input from the Network on substantive issues where reasonably practicable;

  2. Providing a platform for young elected members to discuss, and where possible form collective views on, LGNZ policy and New Zealand Government policy and legislation (including but not limited to current consultations);

  3. Initiating and promoting dialogue with National Council and its GSAG on priority matters identified by the Network;

  4. Providing opportunities for young elected members to network, exchange ideas, and peer mentor;

  5. Facilitating opportunities for young elected members to access appropriate professional development and support;

  6. Developing, implementing, reviewing and monitoring projects set out in the agreed annual Work Plan.

  7. Any other activity deemed by the Committee appropriate and necessary to achieve the Purpose.

I was deemed elected on 27 February 2015 as no other successful nominations were received from Zone One which covers Auckland to the northern tip of the North Island. I thank Waitematā Local Board Chair, Shale Chambers, and Dunedin City Councillor, Aaron Hawkins, for moving and seconding my nomination.

Portfolio Report: Parks & Open Spaces

Arch Hill Reserve Clean-Up

The Arch Hill reserve has been used as an illegal tip for some years. It is on a steep slope and has been covered in everything from household refuse to large items of white-ware to toxic waste such as car batteries, motor oil and paint. The project was budgeted at $24,563 to be funded via LIPS (Local Improvement Projects) and was delivered under-budget.

Seddon Fields bench seat

This is a LIPS project to supply and install a wooden bench seat on a concrete base at the edge of Seddon Fields in Western Springs overlooking the rapids of Motions Creek. The seat was installed for $1,500.

Western Springs Pine Stand Steps Renewal

Renewal work on the steps at Western Springs Pine Stand started on 23 February and is anticipated to take two to three weeks. The path will remain open during the works, except when digger work is taking place, and signs will be placed at either end of the track. An arborist, archaeologist and iwi representative will be monitoring the works.

Jaggers Bush Restoration

On 19 February, I toured the Jaggers Bush Reserve with members of the ecological restoration team and the contractors who are working on the restoration. The reserve was mostly privet trees which are persistent plant that is extremely difficult to eradicate. The heavy privet planting has required a long-term staged strategy of ‘toteming’ (cutting off the top part of the trunk but leaving the remainder standing to provide habitat for flora and fauna) mature privets and injecting pesticide in a manner that poisons the plant but does not leach into the soil; they are then inter-planted with native trees to suit the site. The trees need to be removed gradually as a total clearing of the area only perpetuates re-seeding of the plants. Water quality in the stream running through the reserve has been improving, I was very pleased to see some juvenile Banded Kokopu (a native fish) while walking by the creek.

Portfolio Report: Heritage, Urban Design & Planning


We have, as usual, given feedback on significant resource consent applications and this month reviewed which resource consent applications trigger our criteria for notification to the Portfolio.

Of particular significance is the following notified consent:

  • Great North Road – Strategic Special Housing Area, R/LUC/2015/410, R/REG/2015/412, lodged on 10/02/15 by Maidstone Holdings Ltd. Resource consent application seeking consent to undertake a mixed use development, incorporating 37 apartments, six townhouses and a number of ground floor retail tenancies at nos. 189 & 193-197 Great North Road and 1 Turakina Street, Grey Lynn.

Meetings/Events Attended

3 February:

  • Long Term Consultation briefing on key issues for Local Board members
  • Local Board Workshop
    • Low Carbon Action Plan
    • Auckland Transport update
      • Parnell Station and Cowie Street
      • Scotland Street intersection designs
      • Grafton Bridge Taxi trial

4 February:

  • Heritage Portfolio Meeting

5 February:

  • Parks Portfolio meeting
  • Water and Wastewater Bylaw review

10 February:

  • Local Board monthly business meeting

11 February:

  • Briefing on NZ International Convention Centre
  • Finance Committee Portfolio meeting
  • Briefing on Trading and Events bylaw

12 February:

  • Local Board workshop
    • POP Programme
    • Community Grants Policy
    • Regional Land Transport Policy
    • Auckland Transport/NZTA Update
  • Meeting with Body Corporate representatives of Endean Building 2 Queen Street, 152 Quay Street and 148 Quay Street about inner-city issues and buses around Britomart Transport Centre
  • Launch of Twist and Thief, a public artwork on Beresford Square by artist, Misery
  • Panellist (with Nigel Haworth and Phoebe Fletcher) at event organised by NZ Fabian Society: ‘The Centre-Left Economy and why it needs to be talked about’ at University of Auckland

15 February:

  • Myers Park Centenary celebrations

17 February:

  • Local Board Workshop
    • Alcohol Ban Review
    • Western Springs MOTAT Precinct
    • Western Park Draft Development Plan
    • K Road Walking/Cycling Project

18 February:

  • Symonds Street Cemetery briefing
  • Briefing on St Lukes junction design
  • Site visit to Elam Street Walkway and Bentley Steps

19 February:

  • Finance Committee
  • Myers Park Stage II briefing
  • Meeting with constituent about issues around Poynton Terrace
  • Tour of Jaggers Bush Reserve with ecological restoration team

27 February:

  • Attended Auckland Lantern Festival

About Vernon Tava

Barrister. Lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
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