Thursday 13 November 2014
Ranges Local Board Office
Waitākere Ranges Local Board
OPEN MINUTE ITEM ATTACHMENTS
8.2 Violence Free Waitakere
12 Waitakere Ranges Local Board Transport Fund Application
17 Draft Community Facilities Network Plan
13 November 2014
1. The Waitakere Ranges Local Board welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Community Facilities Network Plan, to be considered in the final report to be presented to the governing body.
2. The board understands the purpose of the plan is to guide council’s provision of community facilities for the next 10 years and beyond. The key drivers being optimise use and efficiency, address gaps and needs, and meet current and future demands. Our comment would be that in investigating those key drivers the analysis is not primarily based on desktop type studies, but also involves actual community engagement, that is getting out there and speaking with the people and understanding their needs at a community level. Statistics from legacy council facilities usage may not be a true reflection of the actual use of those facilities, as processes for capturing data may not have been adequate.
3. The board has read the proposed key objectives and would comment that there is not currently listed any objectives relating to the well-being of our communities. The health and well-being of our communities should be a priority of a plan such as this which seeks to contribute to building strong, healthy and vibrant communities.
4. We would expect further consideration and connection to be made to important social issues such as levels of deprivation and how those at risk communities will access or pay to use such facilities if they were not locally available, unable to cater for smaller scale meetings or costs to use them were increased. If income is low and you live some distance away from a facility, would you use it? We understand that service levels and operation of facilities which would cover matters such as fees and charges are not included in this part of the plan.
5. The proposed provision framework for community centres set at a minimum size of 600-800m2, should be broadened. The board appreciates that for communities particularly those in urban areas, such multi-purpose facilities would serve its intended purpose however we are concerned whether larger scale facilities would suit our smaller remote villages, which generally remain static in terms of population numbers.
6. The board does not support the proposal to no longer invest in venues for hire as a proposed option for new community facility development, as these currently serve an important infrastructure particularly if they are located within remote villages. Remoteness and relative isolation of rural communities should also be a factor when looking at the role of rural halls. Although some venues for hire may be old, if they still serve a community purpose, options to upgrade the facility should be thoroughly explored in the first instance. Many of our venues for hire serve a similar role as community centres (despite not technically meeting the plans definition in that they may not have an on-site manager). In such instances they should also have the same recognition as community centres and continue to be maintained where necessary.
7. The potential for encouraging other providers to share bookable space as an alternative solution should be fully investigated as these can have limitations. An example given is schools which are zoned as ‘Ministry of Education’ designation under the current Auckland Council District Plan. This means that to use school halls or buildings for non-school purposes is technically not permitted and you would require resource consent approval to change the use in the first instance e.g. ‘Zumba’ classes being run in the evenings from a school hall, have had to be shut down by Council’s District Plan Compliance team, as the use was not a school or ministry of education related activity.
8. There is only one aquatic facility within the Waitakere Ranges local board area which is privately owned but on Council land, the ‘Waterhole Swimming Centre’ at Parrs Park. The board supports the plan to include the Western corridor from Mt Albert to Glen Eden – aquatic and leisure facilities as a potential area of need for new facilities to be investigated. This would be a much needed addition to the network to address the current gap in this type of facility within our area. We recommend that further work be undertaken to understand how decisions relating to destination aquatic and leisure facilities are considered and the impacts these decisions could have on local boards in their decision-making.
9. The Waitakere Ranges Local Board welcomes the opening of the redevelopment of Lopdell precinct and Te Uru, Waitakere Contemporary gallery in November 2014. It is envisaged that this exciting Arts and Culture facility will become a destination facility attracting visitors from across the city and a treasure for those within our board area. We recommend further work be undertaken to understand how decisions relating to destination arts and culture facilities would be applied, and how this may impact on local boards in their decision-making.
10. With respect to section 5 relating to factors to rank actions, the board recommends that local board priorities and initiatives are included as a factor when considering existing community facilities and investigating new community facilities. One of the outcomes in our local board plan is ‘thriving communities’, and some of the key initiatives include supporting and strengthening community networks, advocating on key social issues, including housing and for a living wage, supporting sports clubs in working together to improve facilities and new facilities in Parrs Park.
11. Local boards should be given the opportunity to provide feedback when reviews of existing community facilities and potential areas for new community facilities are undertaken.