Manukau Harbour Forum Chair’s report – February and March 2021

This period has largely focused on submissions, particularly as a number of events were cancelled due to Auckland going into lockdown again. I also managed to fracture an elbow in early March so had to miss out on SeaWeek activities this year, but I have appreciated seeing pictures of the mahi undertaken, particularly around removing rubbish from the foreshore.

Our Last workshop was February 12th 2021. Topics on the agenda included:

  • The coordinators work on the stocktake of Local Board initiatives which will be available to read on the next business meeting agenda. A high level analysis shows over $2 million spent from Local Board work programme initiatives that benefit the harbour. Forward work needs to look at creating programmes that work across Local Board boundaries, and focusing on marine ecosystems such as benthic communities.
  • An update from Watercare on projects affecting the Manukau – particularly around the treatment plant. There was a lot of new information for Forum members, one highlight for me was hearing about a baseline study for the Southwest treatment plant taking into account matauranga Māori. We also received an update on the Hydrodynamic model and the holdup with the model overpredicting algal blooms. More to come on this in future.
  • An update on the Freshwater management tool run by Wai Ora. This is a huge piece of work that will be invaluable in discussions of intensification in Tāmaki Makaurau, and was really impressive to hear about. There is the ability to ‘model’ what the effects of projects will be on the ‘current state’ such as adding impermeable surfaces as part of a housing development.
  • An update from Healthy Waterson how the  Water Quality Targeted Rate extension would benefit the harbour. Most of the focus was on the Southern Catchments Alignment, which will be used to clean up waterways entering the Harbour. There was a desire to get more information on this from the forum.  There was also discussion of how the Safe Networks team is working to track where pollution comes from in residential areas.

Sadly this was the day that we learnt of the pollution spill into the harbour from an industrial site in Penrose. Investigations are continuing into how this happened, what procedures were not followed and what needs to be in place to stop this happening.

The Forum have also written submissions on the Auckland Council Long Term Plan and the Climate Change Commission Report. These will be available on the next business meeting agenda. Both express a clear desire for both documents to do far more in the space of water quality and wider environmental protection. Thanks to Fraser Stobie for his hard work in collating these, well worth a read as they set out the mahi for the Forum quite well.

The Youth Sustainability Wananga invitation has been sent out and students are being contacted soon with this beginning in April. This wasn’t able to run last year under Covid so we are very excited about this mahi.

Local Boards are all working on their work programs, and the stocktake from last year will be useful in this development. The forum is awaiting confirmation of funding for next year before finalizing any work program but beginning discussions around what we would like to include.

Manukau Harbour Forum Chair’s Report November 2020- January 2021

Following our election in early November, the first important task Deputy Chair Cole and I faced was to present in support of the report given to the Environment and Climate Change Committee regarding the future of the Manukau Harbour Forum. It was heartening to hear of the support from Councillors for increased investment in the Manukau Harbour, as well as a commitment to improving the governing arrangements around the Harbour and working with mana whenua. A copy of my speaking notes is available at: https://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2020/11/MHFJC_20201127_AGN_10359_AT.htm#PDF3_Attachment_77911_4

On November the 17th I attended the Western Isthmus Water Quality group meeting hosted by Watercare. Although this largely focuses on the Works being undertaken around the Waitemata, there was discussion around the Meola and Whau catchments, as well as some discussion about stormwater separation along the Waikōwhai/Blockhouse Bay coastline.
On November the 23rd the Forum held a workshop and meeting which discussed Water Quality, the I&ES stocktake, an analysis of the report, meeting our new coordinator Fraser Stobie and finalising the work programme for the financial year. Later that evening I joined in with a volunteer group mulching some new plantings above Wattle Bay which will protect the critically threatened dwarf mistletoe which can be found there.

On December 4th I attended the Mangere Community Liaison group hosted by Watercare at their Māngere treatment plant. These meetings cover a wide range of topics and are well attended by community groups involved in the area. Items covered included reports on the plant, a discussion on the use of Oysters and other sealife as sampling organisms, the effects of the Central Interceptor on the plant, the success of a midges control programme introduced recently, COVID in sewage and the Hydrodynamic model. I also presented as a representative of the Forum.
On December the 7th Deputy Chair Cole and I met with the Coordinator and other staff and discussed future ideas for the forum and the role we can play. Fraser brings a lot of strengths and has experience with the Tamaki Estuary Forum so I feel we are in very capable hands.

On December 14th I attended, along with other Local Board members the unveiling of Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, the boring machine for the Central Interceptor. This project is huge and will have a range of flow on effects on the Harbour and the surrounding area.

Over the Christmas and New Year period I have enjoyed swimming in the Manukau at Taumanu Reserve. This beach is a testament to what can happen with political will and community activism. Thanks to the safeswim programme, the community can enjoy swimming there knowing the water is safe.

I was very happy to sign a letter of recommendation for an application to the Freshwater Improvement Fund which focuses on removing sediment and erosion around waterways in the Franklin region. To quote from the letter “Sediment and other pollutants coming down our awa into our moana are a major concern and are having a significant effect on our marine ecosystem. The Manukau Harbour is a taonga for the communities living around it, however the mauri of the Manukau has suffered because of ongoing pollution impacting upon water quality – this requires urgent action. Stopping those pollutants at source is the most effective and durable solution. The MHF is supportive of this ki uta ki tai approach to restoring the mauri of the Manukau Harbour.”

I thank the communities of the Manukau Harbour for allowing us to play a role in the preservation and improvement of the Harbour and look forward to continuing our work this year.

Jon Turner (Puketāpapa Local Board)
Chair of the Manukau Harbour Forum

September 2021 Board Member Report

1st  September – 30th September

General / assigned roles update

  • Transport portfolio:
    • The board approved the allocation of the Local Board Transport Capital Fund at our September business meeting. The projects funded include the completion of the Greenway from Frost Road through to Monte Cecilia Park, a pedestrian refuge outside Monte Cecilia Park, a signalised crossing on Hillsborough Road near Goodall Street, a pedestrian refuge on Melrose Road at the shops, pedestrian safety improvements at the Hillsborough/Mt Albert Road intersection. There is a small sum of money left which the board may choose to allocate to bus shelters, roadside seating, or other minor improvements. The majority of these projects were shortlisted by the previous local board but were held up by the reduced budget last year due to Covid-19.
    • Auckland Transport have begun a public consultation about small pedestrian changes at the corner of Lilac Grove, Frederick Street and Carlton Street. While it is good to see some attention being paid to the area, I feel it doesn’t go far enough in enhancing pedestrian safety.
    • With the shift to level three, operations were able to resume on the works for the Greenways project from Frost Road through to Monte Cecilia. This is “stage 1” of the project, with stage 2 to be implemented afterwards.
    • Auckland Transport is consulting on speed limit changes across the region. An area of streets in our rohe is around Wesley Primary School, which would see the speed reduced to 30km/h to make it safer for pedestrians and other modes of traffic.
    • I spoke at an online event hosted by Auckland Transport looking at parking issues across the area. One of the significant issues our area faces is people parking on footpaths and limiting access to those in wheelchairs, with prams, or who have walking difficulties.
    • Auckland Transport moved their consultation for the Safer Communities online. There were lots of questions around the poor provision of cycling infrastructure at and between the intersections.
  • Manukau Harbour Forum:
    • The Forum is very lucky to have secured the services of Dr Julie Chambers as the Forum’s new coordinator. Dr Chambers has co-chaired the Tamaki Estuary Environmental Forum and has bought some excellent energy to the role. Julie has five ‘focus areas’ – Strategy and planning to achieve the vision of the Forum, collaboration with friends of the Forum, building the knowledge base of the Forum, building relationships with mana whenua and administration. I look forward to working with her over the next year.
    • I was pleased to be able to connect members of the community with the correct council staff to get navigation lights in the Harbour fixed. These lights have an interesting list of owners, with a mix of private and public ownership, meaning a fix is not always easy.
    • I presented an update to the Southern Local Board Chairs Forum on the Forum’s work programme and the highlights of the first half of the term.

Meetings / events attended

n.b – for this month, all meetings were held online either on Skype or MS Teams.

  • 1st September – Meeting with Community Facilities and Chair Fairey.
  • 1st September – Meeting with Local Board advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 2nd September- Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 3rd September – Three Waters discussion hosted by Local Government New Zealand.
  • 3rd September – Elected Member Discussion hosted by Auckland Transport.
  • 5th September – Three Waters hui with the LGNZ Young Elected Members network.
  • 8th September – Finance and Performance Committee workshop
  • 8th September – Meeting with Local Board advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 9th September – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 13th September – Local Board Chairs Forum.
  • 13th September – Puketāpapa Local Board agenda run through.
  • 13th September – AT-hosted Mt Albert Road Safer Communities consultation.
  • 15th September – Environment and Climate Change Committee workshop on Water Strategy.
  • 15th September– Catch up with advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 16th September – Puketāpapa Local Board Business Meeting.
  • 16th September – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 21st September – Joint Governance Working Party conversation.
  • 22nd September – Meeting with Chair Fairey and the Local Area Manager
  • 22nd September – Environment and Climate Change Committee Workshop.
  • 22nd September – Catch up with advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 23rd September – Integrated Area Plan meeting via SKYPE.
  • 24th September – Presented to the Southern Local Board Chairs on behalf of the Manukau Harbour Forum.
  • 27th September – AT’s Cycling Single Stage Business Case update with Chair Fairey and member Doig.
  • 29th September – Catch up with advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 29th September – Finance and Performance Committee workshop
  • 30th September – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.

August 2021 Monthly Report

Jonathan Turner Board Member Report

1st  August – 30th August

General / assigned roles update

  • Transport portfolio:
    • The Light Rail engagement finished at the end of August, and I compiled the board’s feedback with the help of Samantha Tan Rodrigo and the input of the other board members. We now wait to hear the results of the initial engagement.
    • Auckland Transport were very quick to adapt to the announcement of moving to level 4, changing to a Sunday bus timetable, moving to back door boarding, and separated seating. Our relationship advisor was able to add additional crossings to the automated pedestrian crossing setting, including the crossing at the base of Puketāpapa maunga.
    • We received construction updates on two roundabout projects but will wait and see the effects of the latest lockdown on construction timelines.
    • We received an update on some pedestrian crossings in the area that may be raised as part of Auckland Transport’s focus on Vision Zero. More information will be coming in the near future on this.

Meetings / events attended

  • 2nd August – AT Business Improvement Review discussion via SKYPE.
  • 3rd August – Catch up with Chair Fairey and Kainga Ora representatives.
  • 4th August – Meeting with Local Board advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 5th August- Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 6th August – Puketāpapa Community Forum at the Wesley Community Centre
  • 9th August – Local Board Chair’s Forum via SKYPE.
  • 9th August- Catch up with Community Facilities and Chair Fairey.
  • 11th August – Meeting with new Manukau Harbour Forum Coordinator and Member Cole from Franklin Local Board
  • 11th August – Meeting with Local Board advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 11th August – Catch up with Strategic Broker and Chair Fairey.
  • 12th August – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 12th August – Puketāpapa Community Network meeting.
  • 16th August – Puketāpapa Local Board agenda run through via SKYPE.
  • 18th August – Planning Committee Workshop on City Centre to Mangere Rapid Transport consultation.
  • 18th August – Catch up with advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 19th August – Puketāpapa Local Board Business Meeting via SKYPE.
  • 19th August – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop via SKYPE.
  • 20th August – Light rail briefing for the Central Isthmus Local Boards via SKYPE.
  • 20th August – Three Waters Reforms discussion via SKYPE.
  • 25th August – Advisors meeting with Chair Fairey via SKYPE.
  • 26th August – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop via SKYPE.
  • 26th August – Integrated Area Plan meeting via SKYPE.
  • 30th August – Attended Watercare Board meeting via SKYPE.
  • 30th August – Manukau Harbour Forum executive team meeting via SKYPE.

Disclosures

  • I am working with Friends of Wairaki stream in an admin role and will excuse myself from any decision making relating to this group.
  • I am a volunteer run director at Owairaka parkrun.

July 2021 Member Report

General / assigned roles update

  • Transport portfolio:
    • The Light Rail engagement is proceeding and there was an initial discussion with a targeted group of residents on the 15th July. We have pushed for more events to take place within the Puketāpapa area and there will be multiple events taking place during August.
    • Last month I wrote that I was excited to see the wayfinding signage installed along the Southwestern Cycleway. This was achieved through Waka Kotahi’s “Fix it Fast Fund” which I raised with Auckland Transport in November. These signs allow for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility users to identify where this ‘spine’ of our Greenway network leads to. This program is being rolled out slowly along the network and I have attached a picture ot this report.
    • I logged a poorly repaired section of the newly opened Safer Communities project outside Mount Roskill Grammar School and was pleased to see this fixed in a relatively short space of time. There remain issues further along Frost Road and I have raised these again with Auckland Transport.
    • We received an initial proposal for some raised footpath works around Roskill South Shops which we will be discussing in the coming weeks before it goes out to public consultation.
    • As part of the Huia Watermain works, White Swan Road has been closed to traffic heading towards the city. This has required a detour for both the 68 and 25B bus routes. Member Shen passed on a resident’s concerns around the extremely long walk they now had, and Auckland Transport re-routed the 68 bus to reduce the walk and connect residents on Richardson Road with the bus service.
    • The final design for the Hillsborough Road/Commodore Drive roundabout has been circulated to the public and will be constructed in this financial year.
  • Manukau Harbour Forum:
    • The “Synthesis of State of the Environment Monitoring in the Manukau Harbour” report was published at the end of June. The report provides a reliable data set to refer to in our advocacy around improving the Harbour, based on data going back to 1965.

The report confirms that the Manukau has been degraded due to decades of human activity surrounding the Harbour. Massive deforestation over the course of human occupation, high levels of nitrates in the horticultural flatlands, high levels of sediment runoff in the Northern Harbour and along the Awhitu peninsula, high levels of zinc and copper runoff from roads in the catchment, high level of pest plants and animals, and degraded streams feeding into the Harbour all contribute to a degraded ecosystem.

The report shows that there have been improvements in water quality and air quality; however, these are primarily minor improvements, starting from a low level. Coastal water quality in the Harbour is the worst in Auckland, and I believe this should be reflected in the investment allocated by Governing Body. Thankfully, the Harbour has some great swimming spots which can be seen on https://www.safeswim.org.nz/ but there are also a high number of unswimmable beaches.

The report will be published yearly from here on, and we have asked that the next iteration include an analysis of fish stocks based on the data gathered by MPI.

The report outlines much of the work being done by the Council to improve the Harbour, and it has been heartening to see the support from Councillors to improve the Harbour. To ramp up addressing the issues around the Harbour will require investment from Central Government, with potential regulatory changes needed down the line. I would like to see a stocktake of the volunteer work being done around the Harbour, although it would probably double the size of the report!

There is a need for a restoration plan for the Harbour’s ecosystem, one developed in partnership with mana whenua and looking at all of the avenues we can take to rehabilitate the ecosystem, including looking at how we manage contaminants entering the catchment on land.

  • We had an update from Sophia Olo-Whaanoa and Kowhai Olsen from Makaurau Marae on the excellent work they have done around the Oruarangi Creek and the Harbour itself.
    • We finalised the budget for the next financial year, with confirmation of funding for our co-ordinator, a comms plan, mana whenua hui and the youth sustainability wananga that has been very successful.

Meetings / events attended

  • 1st July – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 1st July  – Community Forum at Lynfield Community Centre hosted by the Puketāpapa Youth Foundation
  • 2nd July – Manukau Harbour Forum Workshop and Business Meeting
  • 3rd July – Puketāpapa Youth Foundation intergenerational planting day at Lynfield Reserve.
  • 3rd July – Puketāpapa Business Voice Launch
  • 6th July – Spoke to Technology Students at Mount Roskill Grammar School about their designs for water monitoring in Te Auaunga/Oakley Creek.
  • 7th July – Meeting with staff from Community Facilities and Chair Fairey
  • 7th July – Meeting with Local Board advisors and Chair Fairey
  • 8th July – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 8th July – Puketāpapa Community Network.
  • 12th July – Puketāpapa Local Board Agenda run-through (via SKYPE.)
  • 13th July – meeting with new strategic broker and Chair Fairey.
  • 14th July – Meeting with Chair Fairey and Local Board Staff.
  • 14th July  –  Meeting with Local Area Manager, Chair Fairey and Local Board Advisors.
  • 15th July – Puketāpapa Local Board business meeting.
  • 15th July – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 15th July – Light rail listening session at Wesley Community Centre.
  • 24th July – Tupuna Maunga Authority planting on Puketāpapa. Over 2000 plants planted on the side of the maunga.
  • 28th July – Meeting with Chair Fairey and Local Board Staff.
  • 28th July  –  Meeting with Local Area Manager, Chair Fairey and Local Board Advisors.
  • 29th July- Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 29th July – Integrated Area Plan working group with mana whenua representatives.
  • 30th July – Auckland Transport Innovating Streets discussion with members of the Central cluster of Local Boards.

Disclosures

  • I am working with Friends of Wairaki stream in an admin role and will excuse myself from any decision making relating to this group.
  • I am a volunteer run director at Owairaka parkrun and organised the 17th July event and volunteered at the 3rd, 10th and 24th July events.

Recommendation

That this report be received.

Note: if other recommendations are proposed they may be subject to a Notice of Motion (refer to Standing Orders or Appendix 1 pg. 5-6 in the guidance document).

June 2021 Board Member Report

1st June– 30th June

General / assigned roles update

  • Transport portfolio:
    • Last month I received an update on Waka Kotahi’s plans for Queenstown Road. Initially they were planning on a raised pedestrian crossing but have downgraded this to a raised, unmarked crossing.
    • Received an update on the Mt Roskill Safer Communities Project Stage 2. This includes a signalised intersection at Mt Albert Road and Frost Road and potentially making Dormwell and Hayr entry only from Mt Albert Road with a signalised crossing.
    • I was excited to see the wayfinding signage installed along the Southwestern Cycleway. This was achieved through Waka Kotahi’s “Fix it Fast Fund” which I raised with Auckland Transport in November. These signs allow for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility users to identify where this ‘spine’ of our Greenway network leads to.
    • We received an update on the Arundel Street/Stamford Park/Rogan roundabout, with a design circulated and proposed to be delivered in the 21/22 Financial year.
    • Auckland Transport had two community consultations under way this month, with the most exciting the Denbigh Avenue/Winstone Road pedestrian crossing upgrade, a long awaited project and the first step in improving safety in the area. There was also a small targeted consultation on some bus works on Hayr Road.
    • Attended the follow-up “Single Stage Business Case” for cycling hosted by Auckland Transport. This looked at what small changes can be made to make cycling safer, as well as more investigation of the routes heading into town.
    • We received an update on John Davis Road. There are some extremely high speeds being reached on the road and the initial work to be done will involve ‘slow’ markings on the road. I have requested further investigation in the next financial year.
    • Chair Fairey and I shared attendance at a 3 day engagement workshop with Auckland Transport looking at how they engage with Local Boards on ‘minor’ projects. The ideal outcome from the workshop is that Auckland Transport will be working with Local Boards early on in the process of developing projects in their respective areas, rather than going out to consultation with the public at the same time they approach the Local Board.
    • Members Doig and Shen attended a Skype briefing with me on the Public Transport Operating Model review.
    • I presented the Local Board’s feedback on the RLTP to the planning committee. The final version of the RLTP includes an extra 20 million for footpath renewals, a result of Local Board advocacy.
  • Manukau Harbour Forum:
    • I met with Panuku’s Onehunga Wharf team to have a high-level conversation around plans for the wharf in the near future. It was interesting to learn about all the different interests involved in the wharf, and how projects that may happen in the future affect the plans for the wharf – with the East-West Link playing a large role in discussions. Although there were no formal plans to show, the priority for Panuku is opening up public access to the wharf in the near future, as well as working on developing the coastal walkway with mana whenua. We all agreed that having access to the water from the wharf would be a great asset for the harbour in future.
  • The ‘State of the harbour’ report for the Manukau Harbour is due to be released on July 1st and provides a clear picture of the environmental state of the harbour, allowing us to advocate for more investment in fixing the issues identified. The report identifies that the harbour’s health has been degraded by decades of human activity, something we know very well anecdotally. It is good to have the data that clearly states that coastal water quality is poor compared to other harbours, which means we can push for proportionate funding for projects around the harbour. Before the report’s release, I attended the Environment and Climate Change Committee Workshop focused on the harbour and the resolutions passed in November 2020. Councillors had a lot of interest in how we can have a more equitable spend in the harbour, noting its place as the most degraded Harbour in Tāmaki Makaurau. Available to read at https://knowledgeauckland.org.nz/media/2120/synthesis-state-of-the-environment-monitoring-manukau-harbour-final_web.pdf

Meetings / events attended

  • 2nd June – Cycling Single Stage Business Case at Auckland Transport.
  • 2nd June – Meeting with Chair Fairey and Local Board Advisors.
  • 2nd June – Meeting with Local Area Manager and Chair Fairey.
  • 3rd June – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop. During this session I presented the Local Board’s feedback on the RLTP to the planning committee.
  • 3rd June – Community Forum at Wesley Community Centre featuring volunteer groups.
  • 9th June – Onehunga Wharf Update with Panuku representatives.
  • 9th June – Meeting with Chair Fairey and Local Board Advisors.
  • 10th June – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop. Board members also attended the Puketāpapa Community Network meeting. Members Doig and Shen also joined the PTOM call after the workshop.
  • 11th June – Light Rail meeting with members from Waitemata, Albert-Eden, Mangere-Otahuhu, Maungakiekie-Tamaki and representatives of the Light Rail Establishment Unit Board.
  • 14th June- Community Breakfast hosted by the Puketāpapa Youth Foundation.
  • 14th June – Local Board Chairs Forum (via SKYPE.)
  • 16th June – Meeting with Chair Fairey and Local Board Staff.
  • 16th June –  Meeting with Local Area Manager, Chair Fairey and Local Board Advisors.
  • 17th June – Puketāpapa Local Board business meeting.
  • 17th June – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 18th June – Keith Hay Park playground celebration.
  • 21st June – Puketāpapa Local Board Citizenship ceremony.
  • 23rd June – AT Local Board engagement with Chair Fairey.
  • 24th June – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop.
  • 24th June – Integrated Area Plan working group with mana whenua representatives.
  • 25th June – AT Local Board engagement sprint development with Chair Fairey.
  • 26th June – Puketāpapa Manu Aute Kite Day with all members of the Board.
  • 26th June – Bike Maintenance workshop at Wesley Community Centre.
  • 28th June – SKYPE meeting with Local Area Manager and Chair Fairey.
  • 29th June – Catchup with Chair Fairey.
  • 30th June- Met with Whau Local Board member Piper to discuss working together on advocacy for the Avondale-Southdown link.
  • 30th June – Planning Committee Workshop about Light Rail.
  • 30th June – SKYPE meeting with Local Board Advisors and Chair Fairey.
  • 30th June – Environment and Climate Change committee workshop on the “State of the Manukau Harbour” report.           
  • 30th June – Phone call with Sergeant Daniel Wright around Waikōwhai and the wider area.     
May be an image of 1 person, standing and outdoors
Keith Hay Park South playground reopening

Disclosures

  • I am working with Friends of Wairaki stream in an admin role and will excuse myself from any decision making relating to this group. We held a planting day on the 26th June in Lynfield Reserve which was a success.
  • I am a volunteer run director at Owairaka parkrun and organised the 5th June event and volunteered at the 19th June event.

May 2021 Board Report

I had a bit of feedback that having my board reports uploaded as a Word document was a bit unwieldy, so will post them directly to here from now on. You can read past reports at Monthly Board Reports

Jonathan Turner Board Member Report

1st April – 30th April

Roles assigned by the local board

  • Deputy Chair.
  • Transport portfolio.
  • Chair of the Manukau Harbour Forum.
  • Appointed to the Weed Management Political Advisory Group.

General / assigned roles update

Transport portfolio:

  • I followed up on an OIA with Waka Kotahi about the planned cycle link between Queenstown and Hillsborough Road. I received information that the investigation has been deferred until the route for light rail has been investigated. I will continue to push for better cycling improvements here.  Following this, I received word from Waka Kotahi that work is planned to upgrade the crossing on Queenstown Road. I am waiting for more information on this.
  • I attended the Single Stage Business Case for cycling hosted by Auckland Transport. This was the initial discussion around how AT will implement cycling within the Connected Communities Program, which focuses on getting commuters into the city. I raised that we need to be doing more cross-town routes, such as Mount Albert Road and Balmoral/Greenlane roads, key examples of this.
  • 388 Hillsborough Road footpath, which I logged in March, has been fixed.
  • 12 Memorial Avenue footpath, which I logged in March, has been fixed.
  • Frost Road speed bump marking, the contractor advised that this is an ongoing issue at this site due to heavy vehicles (buses/trucks) coming out of a private driveway that is in poor condition. The markings have been repainted.
  • Alex Boyd Link bus shelter- there are ongoing discussions about whether to move the shelter and where to. This has been closed since the new network began and could be better used elsewhere.
  • Beagle Avenue – disappointing result in our advocacy to have this become a formalised pedestrian crossing. Auckland Transport found a lack of demand but will be proposing new broken yellow lines adjacent to the existing crossing to improve visibility between pedestrians and cyclists crossing and approaching drivers.
  • Hillsborough Road bus layover discussions between residents and Auckland Transport are ongoing, with a final design on its way.
  • One of the May Road pedestrian improvements has been put into place while the others await the enabling infrastructure works further along the road to be completed.
  • Broken yellow Lines on Olsen Avenue and Hillsborough Road. An engineer visited the site during the afternoon peak hours. During the site visit, the traffic volumes observed exiting Olsen Avenue were relatively low. There was a car parked in the parking space closest to the intersection during the time of the site visit. Congestion was not considered to be a significant issue. During a 30-minute period, the longest queue observed was approximately 20m (equivalent to 4 vehicles) from the intersection with Hillsborough Road. Queues extended that far only once during the site visit.
  • Visit to Freeland Reserve with Kainga Ora and the surrounding areas of development was interesting, with rain gardens, one-way streets and improved footpaths a highlight.
  • Auckland Light Rail discussion with the Minister of Transport at the Fickling Centre.

Green Pavlova Conference

I attended this on behalf of the board on the 25th- 27th May. It was an incredibly useful conference with some extremely valuable workshops and speakers.

  • The first panel was on Climate Change and the role Parks can play in response to it. Auckland’s very own Pippa Sommerville spoke and talked about how Auckland has developed Te-Taruke-a-Tawhiri to guide our response, based heavily on the idea of walking backwards into the future, looking at the past. She highlighted the importance of parks in a crisis, referencing Christchurch Earthquake and Covid as well as a financial crisis. We also heard from Rumi Satoh, the Park manager for 72 parks in Tokyo, Japan, with a large focus on volunteer-led initiatives in the parks.

  • Hononga Tangata, Hononga Whenua looked at a co-design process with Rangatahi from a Kura Kaupapa in Glen Eden. This looked at working with youth to design what they want to see in a local park and provided them with the chance to earn NCEA credits, experience what a Landscape Architect does and connect with Te Ao Māori. I thought about our ‘new park’ in Roskill South and how we have an opportunity to do something similar there. We could look at working with the communities we have in the area and come up with something that reflects local stories and dreams.
  • Targeted Community Programmes was hosted by Martin Van Jaarsveld. He spoke about the loss of connection to nature that people have experienced and the effect of that on physical and mental wellbeing, a sentiment that was shared in probably every workshop I attended. As a way of getting people who don’t feel comfortable with parks into them, the council runs a number of “connect to nature” programmes, with a highlight being bush camps targeted to primary schools and families, providing all the equipment and experience needed for a family to experience a night in the bush. Hopefully we can have one of these in our area, potentially at Waikōwhai Park.
  • Community Empowerment, Codesign and active parks. This workshop focused on the experience of a group in Marton who fundraised over 1 million dollars to build their neighbourhood a ‘dream park.’ They discussed the issues they faced with codesign, as well as the huge benefits of the process and the incorporation of Māori values into the design.
  • Live Nature Wise –  this was presented by an Australian group who focus on the disconnect from nature that people have and the effects of this on mental health. They highlighted that since 2005 the majority of the world live in an urbanised setting, the increase in mental health issues and chronic diseases, and the fact that people who live in greener, leafier suburbs have better health outcomes on all fronts. Their solution is a range of ‘micro doses’ of immersion into nature, including a ‘nature locator’ that allows people to find ‘nature’ near and far. This was super important during the Covid lockdowns, allowing people to get into nature without having to travel from their homes.
  • The right to Risky Play – this focused on Article 31 of the UN human rights declaration – the right of a child to play. NZ is signed up to this and the workshop questioned whether we provide enough ‘risky’ play to satisfy the proclamation. Risky play can happen ‘beyond’ the playground – such as going into the bush, riding bikes, going for walks in the neighborhood.
  • Urban Ngahere –  I couldn’t miss this one as Howell Davies has worked extensively on our Local Board Urban Ngahere plan which we signed off this month. His program highlights the need to ‘plan ahead’ when planting trees – how will they look in 10, 30, 50, 100 years? Auckland’s area is as big as the next 12 biggest cities combined so we have a lot of room for trees and a great need for them. He discussed the science used to create the Urban Ngahere strategy and acknowledged the Local Boards who have worked with him on creating this.
  • International Indigenous Presentations – How is your indigenous knowledge influencing sustainable and environmental management of parks and open spaces- This panel discussed how different countries allow indigenous knowledge to thrive within our parks. Ihirangi Heke spoke about the Atua Matua framework for good health. In his research, he found that the single best way to improve Māori health outcomes was to reconnect with the environment. They focus on teaching rangitahi how to read the environment, the signs that it tells us and how that connects to western science. We then heard from Aboriginal elder Jeffrey Newchurch, who spoke about reconnecting with long lost land and the effects of climate change, and Adrian Goulet, a first nations Canadian who spoke of the importance of connecting elders with youth in developing environmental knowledge and reconnecting with the land.
  • Issues facing Parks Panel: this was a wide-ranging discussion looking at the 3 big issues facing parks. The speakers highlighted a range of issues including access for seniors to parks, pointing out that over 25% of the population will be over 65 very soon; money being given out to build new parks while we cannot pay for upkeep of parks we already have; getting ethnicities who are nervous about parks into them and using them; the need to see urban parks as ecological zones and the tension that may cause with current park use and the need for parks to be multi purpose and multi functional.
  • A Māori world view –  this was a brief rundown of some of the concepts within a traditional Māori world view. The presenter Paora Te Hurihanganui discussed aspects of traditional atua, matariki, the ‘triangular’ world view, how humans are affected by the environment and how we affect the environment. Health was traditionally environmentally centred rather than human centred ie, understanding whakapapa connections to certain environments such as the maramataka, may lead to improved health outcomes. He discussed how humans fast to replenish the body, but when do we give the environment a chance to “fast” and have a break and replenish itself?
  • Can sports clubrooms be more sustainable and add more value if seen as community spaces? This workshop looked at how we can make better use of clubrooms, particularly single-use ones that are underutilised. The presenter highlighted that there are between 3 to 4 thousand clubrooms, which could be worth between 3 to 4 billion dollars. They also represent hundreds of millions of dollars in liability. There is a tendency for there to be ‘too many clubrooms’ for one park, although this isn’t a problem we generally face. Many of these club rooms are not fit for purpose in the modern world and are ‘time locked’ in the 20th century. Bowls New Zealand says that the “future of clubrooms is as community facilities first and bowling second,” and the presenter was keen to see this extended out to other sports codes. There is a need to relook at what success looks like for sports clubs and facilities, with a focus on them becoming high occupancy and high use venues.
  • Tree Cities of the World – this was presented by Mark Roberts and spoke about the setting up of this organisation across the world. Over 100 cities are signed up to this programme, which aims to help councils meet the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN which we have signed up to. I hadn’t realised Auckland was signed up to this, and that it ties in very well with our Urban Ngahere strategy. I particularly liked the idea of signposting trees with information on their age, type, carbon sequestration and how much oxygen they produce in a year as a way of highlighting the importance of trees.
  • Thinking Water- Napier recently developed a water conservation plan for their parks. This was driven by their water take guidelines as well as a recognition of the increasing frequency of drought there. The plan set out to identify how much water parks used, where it went and what could be done to reduce water usage. They limited the scope of the plan to water features, amenity gardens and sports grounds, and chose representatives of these rather than every single park. This allowed for this to be both quicker and cheaper than doing every single park. They found a lot of water was wasted in summer on watering amenity gardens during the day, which causes shallow root growth and loss of a lot of water to evaporation. They also identified issues with water features and the prior avoidance of reticulating the water supply to these to save costs. The plan made a number of high level recommendations, including the importance of Council ‘walking the talk’ when it comes to water restrictions and modelling good behaviour for the public.
  • Welcome to Te Urewera, you may want to buckle up – Tamati Kruger of Tūhoe spoke as the final keynote speaker on the experience of Tūhoe in Te Urewera. This land was taken from Tūhoe in the 19th century, turned into a national park in the 20th, and very recently, Tūhoe have become caretakers for Te Urewera, which exists as a ‘living park.’ He spoke of the initiatives Tūhoe have taken in the park, including creating the first “living building” outside of the USA, which is the most sustainable a building can possibly be. The goal for Tūhoe is to be as autonomous as possible while living with the land, and this was an interesting and thought-provoking discussion as to how that can become a reality.

Manukau Harbour Forum role:

  • On the 14th May the forum and a range of community and council representatives boarded the Ratahi for a field trip around the Manukau Harbour. Jim Jackson was generous enough to allow the trip to leave from his place in Clark’s Beach, and after a round of introductions and a karakia from George Flavell of Ngati Te Ata we headed out. We first went down the Waiuku River to see the Glenbrook Steel Mill and heard from them about the operations and the upcoming resource consent. Following this, we went up the Waiuku Channel, past Clarks Beach township, and alongside the Awhitu Peninsula, looking at the cliff erosion that creates significant sediment loadings into the harbour.

We heard about the CREST project, a community conservation project that aims to protect coastal wildlife along the coastline from Clarks Beach to Karaka; Te Korowai o Papatūānuku, a 1 Billion Trees project on Āwhitu; Healthy Waters Water Quality work programmes in the Franklin area; public wharves boat ramps sedimentation; fish, seaweed and shellfish stock in the harbour; long term economic redevelopment of the harbour including the potential for a frequent ferry from Onehunga to Clarks Beach; establishment of cycle and walking tracks along the harbour’s foreshore; development of a marine facility at Kahawai Point and a Manuka planting plan for Awhitu Peninsula. We went across to Cornwallis Wharf and then headed back.

During the trip, Jim Jackson and Ian Ruthe raised concerns about non-functioning navigational markers on the harbour, and I subsequently raised this with Auckland Transport. Interestingly the lights in the Wairopa channel are ‘owned’ by Panuku since purchasing the port but are maintained by AT. The lights in the Papakura channel are owned by Liquigas, and it was raised that these also have issues that are being looked into. 

This has been a long-sought for trip and was vital for the Forum members and high-level Council staff to get a feeling for being on the harbour and seeing a side of it many of us don’t usually get to see. We all have our connections to different parts of the harbour and being able to experience it through a new lens was a great opportunity.

  • As part of the LTP process, I raised concerns with councillors around the lack of funding earmarked for the Manukau Harbour out of the Water Quality Targeted Rate. The “Southern catchments programme” is focused on the Tamaki Estuary and Manukau Harbour, intended to leverage other major infrastructure projects which will need to invest in improving water quality. There is also investment into the safer networks programme which looks at investigating the ‘high problem’ areas and finding the illegal connections which often exist in areas of high pollution. There was widespread agreement that there is a need to tell the story of what is being done in the Manukau across the Council’s spending better. I note that in the final LTP consultation report, four local boards specifically expressed support for using the Water Quality Targeted Rate to improve water quality in the Manukau Harbour.

Meetings / events attended

  • 1st May – Kāinga Ora Whānau Fun Day at Hay Park School
  • 1st May – spoke on behalf of the Local board at the Puketāpapa Business Voice event at the Fickling Centre
  • 3rd May – Finance and Performance Committee workshop based on the targeted rates proposals.
  • 4th May – Cycling Single Stage Business Case workshop.
  • 5th May – Meeting with Local Area Manager, Chair Fairey and Local Board Staff.
  • 5th May – Catch up with Chair Fairey
  • 6th May – Extraordinary Puketāpapa Local Board business meeting.
  • 6th May – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop. 
  • 6th May – Community Forum at YMCA Lynfield Rec Centre. Discussion with constituents focused largely on Footpaths and Cycling.
  • 7th May – Auckland Light Rail discussion with the Minister of Transport at the Fickling Centre.
  • 8th May – Mount Roskill Community Patrol AGM at Roskill South Oasis Hub.
  • 12th May – Local Board input at the Finance and Performance Committee on the LTP with Chair Fairey. Presented on the Local Board’s feedback on the RLTP.
  • 12th May – Meeting with Local Board staff and Chair Fairey
  • 13th May – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop. Included the Puketāpapa Community Network meeting at which I volunteered to take the minutes.
  • 14th May – Manukau Harbour tour.
  • 17th May – Represented Puketāpapa at the Chairs’ Forum discussion around selecting a Local Board representative for the Light Rail Establishment Unit.
  • 18th May – meeting with Manukau Harbour Forum coordinator and MHF Deputy Chair Cole on a comms plan for the Forum.
  • 19th May – Meeting with Local Area Manager , Chair Fairey and Local Board Staff.
  • 20th May – Puketāpapa Local Board business meeting.
  • 20th May – Puketāpapa Local Board workshop. 
  • 21st May – Meeting with the Ministers Association regarding the Christmas event.
  • 24th May – Kāinga Ora tour of Freeland Reserve and surrounding development.
  • 25th May – Zoom meeting with Minister Wood and Chairs from Mangere Otahuhu, Maungakiekie Tamaki, Albert Eden and Waitemata.
  • 26th May – 27th May – Green Pavlova Conference. 
  • 28th May – Ngāti Tamaoho hui with members Doig and Shen

Disclosures

  • I am working with Friends of Wairaki stream in an admin role and will excuse myself from any decision making relating to this group. 
  • I am a volunteer run director at Owairaka parkrun.

Recommendation

That this report be received. 

Note: if other recommendations are proposed they may be subject to a Notice of Motion (refer to Standing Orders or Appendix 1 pg. 5-6 in the guidance document).

Monthly Board Reports

All Board members have the choice to do a board report and have it added to the agenda. I endeavour to do a monthly report, some are more indepth than others. You can view each one individually below, or read my first annual report at the link.

Missing links, missing limbs

“F***!” was my first thought.

“Thank god I’m wearing a helmet”, my second, as my head hit the ground.

“Why haven’t NZTA done anything about this,” was the third, as I skidded along the chipseal road, nicely tearing up my right thigh.

“Everything hurts” was the fourth.

“Look cool” was number five, as I stand up, wheel the bike to the side of the road, lie under a tree and hurt.

What happened? How did I end up with a broken radial bone , sprained wrist, and a moonboot?

May be an image of Jon Turner, standing, indoor and hospital

I had been told not to go running anymore and rest my Achilles. The best way to rest it but still work it was riding a bike.

 So on a  nice Sunday morning I decided to head out to check out the low traffic network in Onehunga then ride up to Cornwall park.

The interesting thing about this journey is most of it is on a separate cycle path, the path that runs alongside State Highway 20. This path was built while the motorway was extended in the early 2000s and it connects up to the Waikaraka cycleway in Onehunga.

However, there’s a massive gap in the middle and this gap comes in the form of Hendry Ave. This is a very steep street, it has 8 speed bumps, it narrows to a single lane in the middle and has a whole lot of driveways as well as rat runners trying to avoid the motorway. It can be fun to ride down but coming back up again isn’t for the faint of heart.

The other issue is that Hendry Avenue has been chipsealed, despite it being a key link in this cycle route. Auckland Transport say “Chip seal is used in areas where foot traffic and active modes are not typical and is not meant to be used for such activities.’’

Always fun meeting cars here.

I was coming down the hill on my mountain bike, slowing for speed bumps but going relatively quickly as I neared the bottom of the hill (which has a speed bump on it), a car reversed out of a driveway five or six ahead of me. I hit the brakes, hit the speed bump and went flying.

You have to wonder who signed off on leaving this the way it is. At one end you have a nice separated cyclepath running all the way from the Northwestern motorway, at the other end it’s nice and flat with a little bit of Orpheus Drive to navigate. In the middle is this bumpy, steep, narrow road that puts cars and cyclists together.

The worst thing is, the path doesn’t have to go here! There’s a very wide shoulder on State Highway 20 , when the motorway was built  there could have easily been a path along the motorway coming down from Queenstown Rd. It seems like a classic case of “oh we might have to spend some money – forget it, no-one cycles anyway.”

There’s also the potential for sending cyclists over the motorway and up Pleasant Street towards Trafalgar St which would then connect up to Monte Cecilia park and the wider central isthmus.

See- room for cars and bikes!

My sixth thought was “how many emails have I sent about this now? Hendry Ave receives lots of complaints. Check out this from Twitter user @DaveHarton

I raised it with AT last year, about three or four times, including possibly putting it on our Local Board Transport and was told it is on the list for minor improvements – which sadly seems to mean it has been put on a list and forgotten.

So I did a bit more digging, and found (thanks to Julie Fairey) that in the RLTP from 2018 this area is identified as a focus:

Sounds great, right, 3 million to fix a clearly missing piece of infrastructure? One that will link up Southern Auckland with the excellent infrastructure? Definitely something AT and NZTA would want to focus on, right?

In fact, it has now completely disappeared from the draft RLTP – which is being consulted on. As well as funding being cut from the RFT that was going to Walking and Cycling, which now disappears into the ambigous “Connected Communities program.” One of the few projects named in the last RLTP in our area has been deleted, without a word.

Auckland Council has set a goal of having 7% of trips taken by bicycle by 2030, as part of the drive to fight the climate crisis. It’s hard to believe this will happen when funding is being cut, projects get downgraded constantly and the strongest themes in a consultation get ignored as they are ‘out of scope.’

It’s no wonder we have such a low level of engagement in consultation – when people write submissions on things like Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri, the RLTP, the Long Term Plan, stuff might get written down but it is hard to believe anything good will actually happen. Instead, projects like Mill Road get pushed to the top of the list, crowding out projects that could make a difference across the city and cost a whole lot less.