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


  • 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


  • 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.


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.

Long Term Plan Feedback

Auckland Council is currently seeking submissions on its 10 year Long Term Plan.This is a document which sets out the activities, services and investments planned for the next 10 years and how they will be paid for. This year’s iteration is an important one, as the Council has suffered revenue loss and needs to prioritise its spending.

The online consultation process hasn’t been made easy! You visit this site, https://akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/…/10-year…and there are 5 ‘key issues’ to look into.

However, I’ve found the main consultation document and supporting info document far more useful: https://akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/documents…

The consultation document shows the effects the difference in rates rise would have. At a standard 3.5% rates rise, there are heaps of delays in community projects, including our own Waikōwhai landfill.

May be an image of text that says "$100m CAPEx OVER 3 YEARS With proposed additional funding of $10m we could also: work at Waikowhai Landfill to stabilise slopes and address health and safety concerns"

There are also questions around extending the Natural Environment Targeted Rate and the Water Quality Targeted Rate. These have both been really useful programs, and having the money ‘ringfenced’ for them means it has been spent where it is needed. The proposed extension to the Water Quality Targeted rate would see sped up investment in cleaning up the Manukau Harbour, so it is one that is very close to my heart.

There are also a whole lot of other questions, including about removing late fines from Library books, and rates being set in other areas.

However, to my mind the most important things are to show your support for: 1) The proposed 10 year budget. 2) Proposed increased investment in climate change. 3) An extension and increase in the Water Quality Targeted Rate. Under Question 5, Support extending the Natural Environment Targeted Rate as well.

There is also space for you to comment on our Local Board priorities for this 10 year period, please have a read of those as well.

I realise that this is a lot to ask! There is enough material there to keep you reading for hours. It’s super important that we get submissions from a good range of people on this. Happy to answer any questions you may have.

First annual report

Releasing trees by Wairaki Stream

It has now been a full calendar year (and a bit!) since I was elected to the Puketāpapa Local Board, and it is almost a cliché now to say that it has been a year no one expected. I have put together my ‘year in review’ as a summary of what I, and the rest of the local board, have been up to.

It would be remiss not to mention the effect of Covid-19 on the past year, so I will get it out of the way first. At the beginning of the year we were halfway through the work program set out by the previous board and working on “our” first work program. This had lots of exciting initiatives, with a start soon to be made on a number of long-awaited projects. With the much-needed belt-tightening, many of these projects have been deferred to future years.

However, we have managed to get quite a lot done this year, and what follows are some of my personal highlights of the year.

The biggest piece of work we have finalized this year has been the Local Board Plan. This is a strategic three year document that we will use to guide us in our decision making roles, as well as being a reference point for the wider council group and the community. We consulted with the community extensively, and this was often a very interesting experience. We went and visited schools, cultural groups, events, businesses, as well as running an online consultation. I found it heartening to see the high percentage of youth engagement in the process, and especially the focus that came through on protecting our environment. Throughout the plan, we have a focus on Māori aspirations, and these are intertwined with the 6 outcomes we see as a focus. Our plan has an emphasis on a strong community, well-looked after environment, future-focused infrastructure, and a strong local economy. I was pleased to have the inclusion of Volunteering as a focus in the plan, as I am a firm believer in the power of volunteering to build a community.  We finalized the document in November and it is available to read on the board’s website.


Speaking to the Environment and Climate Change Committee on behalf of the Manukau Harbour Forum

I was extremely proud to be appointed to the Manukau Harbour Forum as our board rep, and doubly so when I was elected by the members of the forum to represent the forum as Chair. The forum is made up of the 9 local boards that surround the Harbour and provides an advocacy role for the harbour within Council, as well as running a number of initiatives externally. My first task as chair was to speak to the Environment and Climate Change committee about a report discussing the Manukau Harbour, and the steps that Auckland Council are taking towards cleaning up and protecting the Harbour for future generations. Puketāpapa has excellent beaches that sit on the harbour, with Taumanu Bay and Wattle Bay and the water quality is usually excellent for swimming, as confirmed by the Safeswim website. However, the harbour has been degraded immensely over the past century. It is our hope that by working with Mana Whenua, Auckland Council and Central Government, we can remediate some of that degradation.

One difficulty that Council seems to face is getting information out to the community well. Over the past year I have written a number of blogs to help with understanding of the issues we face as a local board, which can be read on my website www.jonturner.nz. I also worked with Bobby Shen to put out an informative video on the Local Board Plan, which was received very well. We are looking at producing more of these throughout the year to highlight the great facilities we have in Puketāpapa, as well as to bring attention to opportunities for community involvement. Our board realizes the difficulties people face in keeping up with what the Board is up to, and hosts monthly community forums which all are welcome to attend.

My role alongside Julie Fairey as the transport contacts has provided a lot of work, and also a lot of frustration. Puketāpapa suffers a number of issues in the transport realm, both from long term underfunding and also short-sighted decision making. Our role is to serve as intermediary between constituents and Auckland Transport, and we have had a number of issues throughout the year, with our ‘issues’ spreadsheet running to 53 items at last count. There have been some small wins – seeing the completion of the Frost Rd safety routes, getting a commitment to install broken yellow lines on Hillsborough Road, having a few trouble areas added to AT’s safety improvements program – but it has been a struggle getting the larger, long-term issues looked at. This largely comes down to funding, and the small amount of say we have on how money is spent on transport. The two funds we have a say over – the Local Board Transport Capital Fund and Community Safety Fund – were slashed, which meant projects long-planned were put on hold, such as the Hillsborough Road pedestrian crossings by Goodall Street and Waikōwhai Primary, the “Greenway route” from Britton Ave, and a number of other ‘small projects.’ This has meant the list we put together earlier in the year of important jobs – such as bus stops on Richardson Road and a pedestrian crossing on Beagle Ave – has been stored away. Seeing these projects disappear, while works that we hadn’t been notified about, such as the Lynfield bus layover, take place, has been difficult to say the least. The next year will require a renewed focus in the transport realm from us, as we meet our new AT liaison and establish that relationship again.

Amazing Bike Rice

It has been really great seeing the uptake in people using our active transport network over the past year. Global Hope missions put on the “Amazing Race” which utilized nearly all of our cycleways, and locals were amazed to realise how far they could go without riding on the road. Hopefully we can extend this network in the future so people feel safe riding to school, work and recreation. Thanks also to the Puketāpapa Active Transport Haven who have created maps and installed them around the area to help improve awareness.

Image may contain: 10 people, people standing and outdoorThe Puketāpapa Youth Foundation, formerly known as the Puketāpapa Youth Board, have done great things this year. They put on an excellent Youth Summit, with students from local high schools coming together to discuss ideas for improving Puketāpapa and wider Tāmaki Makaurau, as well as feed forward into our local board plan. They put on an excellent youth award ceremony, and I had the pleasure of selecting the winners of the awards. They have also been extremely helpful throughout the year at events, as well as running a number of great activities for youth and the wider community – such as the street cleanup along Mt Albert Road. I look forward to seeing what they achieve in the future.

It has been exciting and slightly mindboggling to see the changes in our community due to Kāinga Ora’s redevelopment of their housing portfolio. It is great to see modern, warm housing being provided and the great design of the homes adds amenity to our area. I have several concerns about the lack of amenity in some developments but having seen plans for the wider area I believe our area will become a great example of well-built density in the future. Our role is as advocates for the community, to fight for better parks and transport outcomes, and I encourage members of the community to reach out with their concerns so we can pass these on.

No description available.One flow-on effect from the intensification that Auckland is going through has been the need for massive infrastructure investment, and with that comes the headache of roadworks. We have seen a number of main routes closed to through traffic at times throughout the year, and this will continue. The work that is being done is vital to keeping Auckland ‘flowing’ – with the Central Interceptor a massive project that is going to be very visible in our parks over the next few years. We have good communication with the team running this project, and I have managed to get fixes for a number of issues already.

There have been some great community groups I have been involved with over the last year. Friends of Wairaki Stream managed to have a great second year, despite losing a planting season and a number of community volunteer days. Seaweek down in Lynfield Cove was a great success, and throughout the year over 700 trees were planted alongside the stream in Lynfield Reserve.

The buy in from the local community has been great, with lots of volunteers turning up to put their hand to improving the local environment. There are some exciting plans for 2021, with trapping projects, plantings and of course more weeding on the cards.

It has also been very rewarding being a part of the Owairaka “parkrun”, which started in November of this year. Set up by Julie Collard, this sees people walking and running alongside Te Auaunga through our beautiful parks for  a 5km race. It has been great seeing more and more locals join us every Saturday. A great way to keep fit and meet new people.

A focus for me has long been the Waikōwhai Coast, with its numerous parks, beaches and walkways. It has been great to see the walkways well kept this year – I reported a fallen tree and received a phone call at 8pm the same night from the arborist who went out looking for it! They had it fixed within days, a great result. We are still waiting on the final design for the Waikōwhai landfill remediation, and continue to face issues with dumping and fires being lit on the beaches. Even with these difficulties, I think it is hard to find a better track anywhere in Central Auckland, and whenever I take guests on a walk they always leave enchanted.

We are really well supported by our Local Board staff, who work tirelessly to provide us the guidance and information that we need to govern well. I have been impressed with how good the Puketāpapa area has been looking over the last 3 months, with pathways well kept, signs being replaced and parks looking great. There is always room to improve, and I encourage people to use Auckland Council’s ‘report a problem’ tool when they see rubbish dumping, graffiti, fallen trees or any other problems. It is heartening to see these get fixed up very quickly. I am always happy to help keep an eye on any problems you report and can chase up the ‘right people’ if need be!

Over the next year I look forward to putting together our Work Program. Although we will still have a reduced budget for capital expenditure, I am hopeful we will be able to get progress on projects that will improve our community. I would love to see drinking fountains in Monte Cecilia and Waikōwhai Park, signage through Walmsley/Underwood parks and along Te Auaunga, more public tree plantings, better footpaths and to finalise the concept plans for Hillsborough Cemetery, Margaret Griffin and Keith Hay Park. I would also like to see a strengthened relationship with Mana Whenua who have a long relationship with the Puketāpapa area.

Thank you once again to the people of Puketāpapa for electing us as your Local Board members in 2019. We have a great team, with Chair Fairey running a very tight ship and it is a privilege to serve our area. Please feel free to contact me any time, via email at jon.turner@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or give me a call on 0211903734.

Waikōwhai Bay

The bay that gives the area its name, Waikōhai can be beautiful on the right day. The name Waikōwhai means “Kōwhai trees by the water’s edge” and the valley used to be full of the beautiful flowering trees. There are some sections of the walkway that still feature impressive mature Kōwhai trees but unfortunately down by Waikōwhai Bay most of the trees are relatively young.

This is because of the very short-sighted decision to turn this into a dumpsite in the 1960’s. It’s hard to comprehend the thought process our civic forefathers went through. “We need somewhere to dump all our home furniture, car parts and building material.” “I know just the place Reginald, a beach on the Manukau. Far away from our stately residences on the Waitemata.”

Eventually the tip was closed and covered and replanted, and once again the beach is a nice place to swim, constantly achieving great results on http://www.safeswim.org.nz. This beach is not as tidal as Wattle Bay, but it is still important to give yourself 40 minutes either side of high tide to get the maximum swim time.

To get down to Waikōwhai Bay, park up at the top carpark of Waikōwhai park by the playground and head down the track to the right. Follow the signage to the beach, ensuring you check out the old changing rooms, then try to walk as far along the beach itself to the left as you can, as the ocean floor is nicer down by the point.

Waikōwhai Bay Ranking:


Waikōwhai Bay is surrounded by native bush and is a “twitcher’s delight.” You are almost guaranteed to spot a variety of native birds, from Kōtare, Petrels, Tui, Oystercatchers to Kereru. The view out to Puketutu and Mangere mountain is great on a nice day. However, the built infrastructure drags this place down. Broken chairs, unsightly pipes and overgrown gardens.



The water can be quite murky here, especially on an outgoing tide and there is an unsightly pipe on the beach itself. Apparently this is just a stormwater pipe but it definitely doesn’t add to the natural beauty of the area. This is a bay that needs some love and will hopefully be getting it soon.



A five minute walk from the carpark, or a 20 minute one from the bus stop on Hillsborough Rd.



Not a lot going on here. A missing bench seat and a rubbish bin. The historical changing rooms make it a bit more interesting than others around.


The ‘feel’

The walk down to Waikōwhai Bay is nice, and if you can get to the far end it is a nice spot to enjoy the incoming tide. However, it is not the greatest spot by a long way and needs a lot of TLC to get up to scratch.


Total score:


Now that I’ve added it up, the score seems a bit harsh. The bay is a nice enough spot, but there are better bays close by. However, if Faulkner is packed, pop over here. It’s fine.

Granny’s Bay

Granny’s Bay on the outgoing tide

A slightly more interesting name than Taylor’s Bay, yet still relatively uninspiring, Granny’s Bay is a quiet little private beach accessible only via a walkway down from Bagley Street or from the walkway down from Hillsborough Cemetery.

The privacy of this beach is what sets it apart – the beach itself isn’t the nicest, with the gas pipeline running from Whangarei to Wiri to the right-hand side of the beach.

Historically, this was an important spot – old maps have it as a ‘sheep landing’ point and many locals moored their boats here.

New Zealand must be one of the few places in the world that has sheep on its maps.

This painting from the 1850’s is believed to be set at Granny’s Bay judging by the cliff-face behind it, and you could arguably recreate this today. You could hire a kayak from Taylor’s Bay and paddle round to Granny’s, cook up a feed and have a swim. Delightful!

Granny’s Bay Ranking:


Have to be honest, Granny’s Bay isn’t the most beautiful. The “Warning- Pipeline” signs, the accumulated seaweed, the pebbled beach…. its not quite the classic kiwi postcard beach.



Fortunately, Granny’s Bay is one of the tested spots on http://www.safeswim.org.nz and is usually clean. Its isolation means people don’t usually go there to dump rubbish. The seaweed buildup can get a big much as the tide goes out – its definitely a high-tide beach.



Whichever way you choose to get here, you will be walking. The ‘quicker’ way is from Bagley Street but the walk through Hillsborough cemetery is more enjoyable.



Not much going on here.


The ‘feel’

If you feel like a private swim, Granny’s is one of the best spots. If you want amenities, cleanliness and beauty, pick somewhere else.


Total score:


Seems a bit ruthless -Granny’s Bay isn’t that bad, but it definitely rates lower than the other beaches. Nice for a dip at high tide, maybe not the best place for a first date.

Taylor’s Bay

Taylor’s Bay, an hour after high tide.

Rather unimaginatively named, Taylor’s Bay is arguably the most accessible and well provided for beach in Puketāpapa. There is plenty of nice white sand, a playground, a nice long grassed area, bushwalks heading over to Granny’s Bay and eventually there will be a boardwalk connecting it up to Taumanu Reserve.

Taylor’s Bay used to be fed by a stream coming down from Belfast Reserve and the street behind it was split into two. In the 20th Century, the stream was covered up and the road connected together – saving drivers a couple of minutes off their journey, but at what cost?

Getting there:

You can catch the 68 bus from Onehunga, 27H from the CBD and get off on Hillsborough Road at the top of Carlton Street. There’s a bit of a walk down, but the 68 route will eventually go down Carlton Street.

If you are driving, you can park on Bluff Terrace.

Taylor’s Bay Ranking:


At high tide, Taylor’s Bay is geeeee-orgeous. White sand, flanked by Pohutukawa trees, views over to Onehunga port. The water is OK – a little bit murky. However, the tide goes out quickly here and you will be knee-deep an hour and a half after high tide, not so nice.



Taylor’s Bay is well looked after. The grass area is kept well, rubbish is picked up quickly and the toilet is usually clean. The water itself can be a bit murky but overall, a fine place for a swim.



Very easy. You can park right beside the beach. Public transport is about a 10 minute walk away too.



A toilet, drinking fountain, playground (including a sand laboratory), swings, and Kayak hire across the road. Great place to come with the whanau.

The ‘sand lab’ in the playground


The ‘feel’

Taylor’s Bay is a good place to come with a group for an afternoon swim and picnic. It lacks some of the privacy of other beaches but the facilities here are arguably the best along the coast.


Total score:


Arguably the best spot for a whanau picnic along the coast. Swimming is pretty good – when the tide is in. If you have young kids or others who cant walk too far, this is probably your best bet.

Nice summer’s afternoon down at Taylor’s Bay