Tuesday 16 February 2016
Local Board Chamber
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board
OPEN MINUTE ITEM ATTACHMENTS
23 Ward Councillors Update
24 Board Members' reports
25 Chairperson's reports
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board
16 February 2016
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board update – Councillor Chris Darby
Feb 16 2016
The business year is just now beginning in earnest so my update this year is somewhat singular – I look forward to supporting your work in what will undoubtedly be a busy year for us all.
Additional Waitematā Harbour Crossing and the Northern Busway
The Prime Minister announced on January 27 that the government contribution to the City Rail Link will be brought forward to 2018 from 2020.
With certainty on the CRL timing, the additional harbour crossing looms more clearly on our planning horizon. The NZTA are scoping this out this year. Depending on the route designation and mode configuration, this capital project could potentially come at double the cost of the CRL.
Given this and given its specific significance for the North Shore, it is imperative that the planning for this project is public and extremely robust, just as the planning for the CRL has been. The CRL has only moved forward with numerous stakeholders around the table, backed by a solid business case predicated on surging rail and bus patronage.
The AWHC’s business case should be every bit as stringent. Early indications from the NZTA seemed to have signalled a presumption towards additional general traffic lanes, and you’ll know that I’m a huge believer in the possibilities of a pure light rail designation. Opinions will vary so to move forward with the public on board, the different options for mode configurations need to be accurately costed and the real benefits and disbenefits properly assessed. The public need to be properly consulted on this throughout.
Getting this off on the right foot is one of my early focuses this year. I expect that this will be an area of local board advocacy as well, and welcome opportunities to coordinate our efforts as this issue unfolds.
Northern Busway extension
The future focus on rail is not at the expense of our staggeringly successful Northern Busway. Besides the CRL, the Prime Minister’s speech more quietly confirmed that “the Northern Corridor improvements package will see the completion of the Northern Busway extension through to Albany.
This is a turn-around that’s been awaited since the Northern Busway extension dropped off the Northern Corridor Package work programme in the government’s 2014 budget. From that time, I’ve pushed for its inclusion through an extended dialogue with the NZTA’s director and through letters to the government’s ministers domiciled north of the bridge, so this is great to see. Public feedback to NZTA’s own consultation on the Northern Corridor package also showed strong support for the Busway extension.
Continuing support of the Busway will be a key ingredient in reducing congestion and keeping our network moving ahead of the transformation that an AWHC, done well, can bring.
Public Transport fare increases
On Sunday 28 February, PT fares across all modes are set to increase, with relatively few exclusions. Today, I’ve contacted Auckland Transport to raise my concerns about this, as below.
From: Councillor Chris Darby [mailto:Chris.Darby@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, 16 February 2016 9:47 a.m.
To: Mark Lambert (AT)
Cc: Wally Thomas (AT); Marilyn Nicholls (AT)
Subject: AT announcement - Public transport fare increases
Over recent months I have been monitoring the plummeting price of diesel at the pump when infrequently filling my Golf TDi. In that time I’ve pondered the likely flow through reductions in public transport fares and anticipated AT's announcement in that regard.
Just yesterday it came to my attention the little publicised announcement of fare increases rather than fare decreases for public transport users, particularly bus and ferry passengers. https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/service-announcements/public-transport-fare-changes/
Since June 2014 retail diesel prices have dropped 40%, from $1.54c/litre to 95c/litre, with more cuts likely according to fuel price commentators. In 2014 operators and Auckland Transport took great pains to explain the impact of skyrocketing diesel prices on operational costs.
Auckland Transport’s seemingly innocuous announcement of fare increases effective from 28 February contains no logical explanation of why fares are being increased.
Would you kindly explain in detail what the arguments are for the fare increases, especially so in light of plummeting diesel prices as outlined?
What specific operational expenditure increases lead to AT’s decision to increase fares?
Did operators approach AT to increase fares on services and if so what are the specific points of their submissions?
Did AT instigate the changes in any way?
Is AT’s fare box recovery percentage being increased on the routes/services affected?
Why are fully commercial (unsubsidised) ferry services like the cash-cow Devonport ferry seeing increases at a time when the service is in complete disarray and late notice vessel cancellations are common, e.g. this morning?
Why are ferry fares being increased ahead of the announcement pending of successful tenders for ten services effective late 2016?
I’m sure you are fully aware of the public interest in this matter and look forward to your comprehensive reply.
North Shore ward
16 February 2016
Portfolio Reports to Devonport-Takapuna Local Board Meeting
16th February 2016
Parks and Reserves Portfolio
Parks Portfolio Meeting held on 11th February 2016
Kennedy Park walkway to Rahopara Pa Signage
Council Park Officers were seeking clearance to spend $1,800.00 for signage. I had initial concerns over the cost. After further clarification given that it was not for just one directional sign but over six, plus it would have also the latest dog bylaw information (as requested by the CBRRA) I felt more comfortable, but we have requested that if possible it should also clarify the latest alcohol restrictions
Update on Sand Management at Devonport Wharf
There continues to be a build up of sand at beach abutting Devonport Wharf.
As members are aware if sand blows into the carpark in Marine Square it is treated as contaminated as is therefore disposed of.
Initially we need to spread the sand on a need to do to avoid the build up near the entrance and sea wall.
Secondly given the value, cost and obstacles involved in sourcing new sand if required for our Devonport Peninsula beaches it is imperative to reduce this loss of such a valuable asset.
We need to find a cost effective way to return the sand migration from our beaches. In Queensland Australia they manage the sand movement by pumping back the sand from the area that has built up to their prime tourist beaches from where it has come.
That the DTLB
Request that Council Officers report back to the Board on options to:
1. Short term to initially re-spread the sand build up at the Devonport Wharf as needed
2. To manage long term the sand by taking excess sand from the Devonport Wharf Beach to re-sand other appropriate Devonport Peninsula Beaches.
Castor Bay Community planting abutting and near the Salt Cafe
There was support to work with the CBRRA on this community initiative.
Rubbish on Beaches and Collection
A number of local residents have highlighted a problem of rubbish on our beaches.
Aside from cigarette buts etc a lot of our problem is between our last collection at about 17:30 and the next morning. Those beaches that are attractive for people to have takeaways in the early evening (especially pizzas) overload the available rubbish bins. The seagulls are very innovative in pulling out takeaway rubbish from the bins in search of throwaway food. It does not need much wind to spread the rubbish. Most people are endeavouring to do the right thing either putting bottles and rubbish into the bins but if full stacking close to it.
1. Have been replacing rubbish bins with those of greater capacity, there seems to be no adverse feedback todate, so can be extended further on our very popular local beaches
2. Have agreed to review the opportunity to have the last rubbish collection later to reduce the problem
In Surfers Paradise I notice bins like our wheelies padlock to a stack.
This could provide, in a relatively cost effective method, extra capacity on our beaches over our popular summer season in certain appropriate places.
In response to a site meeting with representatives of the body corporates abutting sacred grove last year
Have received an initial report on a number of trees in the sacred grove as to recommendations involving the current cable support. These have been requested to be sent to the representatives of the body corpoartes and iwi
Still awaiting Council reports:
On the sea wall and its current poor state.
Opportunities for pruning and planting
Propose to meet on site with representatives of the body corparates to bring them up to date.
Once all the reports are completed the Board can consider the appropriate action to be taken given the sensitivity of the area.
Water Quality and state of Lake Pupuke
This was obviously discussed at the Portfolio meeting even without the current flurry of emails.
Parks spent $40k in December on weed removal in the Lake, which given the Lakes current condition clearly indicates the magnitude of the problem.
We requested that Parks seek ways to address in the short term and the options long term.
Parks this week were having a multi sector meeting of officers within council that could contribute to a way forward.
Obviously everything is in the mix from the weeds, the swans and the storm water run-off.
That the DTLB support Park’s efforts to report on the opportunities to address both in the short term and the long to improve the water quality and condition of Lake Pupuke
Stanley Bay Wharf
Locals have drawn it to our attention that given the popularity of the wharf as a recreation amenity as a magnet for youth and a jump off spot that the surface is becoming very slippery when wet.
Parks have acknowledged that they will address this issue most like water blast
The other local suggestions given the wharf’s popularity was the need for a shower.
Parks will assess the opportunities there.
Abuse of and lack of compliance relating to Council Bylaws and conditions imposed (on events) with the enforcement capacity on reserves and beaches at weekends and after hours.
There have been a number of local residents frustrated/angry with the lack of enforcement when complaints have been made eg
1. Yachts on the Northern Part of the Takapuna Beach Reserve. Preventing people being able to access the barbeque equipment etc in front of the Takapuna Beach Cafe.
2. A rogue wedding on Balmain Reserve
Now that we are charging people $300 to use our parks they feel that it entitles them to exclusive use.
On one hand Council is seeking new ways to make money but are creating real frustration and anger locally in our popular Reserves and Beaches when they do not provide sufficient staff to enforce their own rules or ensure the conditions imposed are complied with outside of the 9:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday.
It is imperative that the Board is appraised of the current lack of enforcement and the action necessary to address the problem.
If it is not addressed, in that local people who are experiencing the consequences of a lack enforcement this is going to cause a local backlash with pressure for the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board to significantly curtail activities occurring on our beaches and reserves.
We need to respect the high tolerance level of many of our local citizens to events and activities occurring on our reserves and beaches, which requires action to be taken when people are not playing the game.
16 February 2016
Period covered by report: The months of January and February 2016
1. As the Board will be aware, there is no Chair’s Forum usually in the month of January. The first one for the year therefore will be next week. The draft agenda at this stage is:
a. Update on Procurement’s improvement initiatives
b. Update on the Business of Leisure programme
c. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Smoke-free Policy, Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy and gambling venue policies
d. Introduction to Christine Olsen, Manager Community Empowerment
e. Wai Ora Wai Maori update
f. Local board work programme improvement project
g. Marine protected areas legislation
2. On Thursday 11 February, I attended
the Parks Portfolio update which covered many significant updates. Mike, as
Parks portfolio holder has supplied an excellent report covering these issues.
In addition, I wish to add to his points around the water quality and general
state of the Lake Pupuke ecosystem. Parks have had a number of complaints
forwarded to them from all Board Members and through the complaints hotline.
This is a very complex issue given the overall nutrient level in the lake, the
extensive lakeweed, and the odour emanating from the lake. Parks are
considering all options for both short and long term management and as keen as
we all are to get a speedy resolution to this issue, we have to be extremely
careful not to forsake the long-term health of the Lake with quick-fixes.
Inevitably I am sure we will need to consider community responses available as
much as full-blown Council intervention, whether that be a working-bee or
community composting strategy.
3. On Tuesday 9 February, I attended
the Devonport-Takapuna Youth Board’s first meeting for the year. The Youth Board
have started off the year with a bang and are looking forward to getting
involved in the Annual Plan consultation and a membership drive to swell
numbers. Most importantly, the Youth Board, currently chaired by Ian Lim (most
ably I add), are extremely interested in the discussions around the future of
the Takapuna RSA building and the Barclay report due to be considered by the
Board next month. It is safe to say we are the closest we’ve been to a major
breakthrough with a youth centre in over a decade.
4. Like many other members, I have
heard from a number of concerned residents around the current state of the
Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) and what the impact is of various
Independent Hearings Panel directions on residential zoning, policy changes,
out-of-scope zoning etc. Following a meeting jointly hosted by the Orakei Local
Board and Auckland 2040 over at the ASB Stadium in Kohimarama, there have been
requests for the Local Board to help facilitate a similar meeting in our patch
for the North Shore. I would like to explore this option with the Deputy Chair
to see whether we can help give our community as much relevant information we
can and to see whether there is anything that can still be done to address
these legitimate concerns on the process. I had initially suggested we could
look to host a meeting somewhere like the Bruce Mason Centre, but due to cost I
would suggest we discuss an appropriate venue and date off-line.
Economic Development and Town Centres |Finance
5. On Wednesday 10 February, I had a
meeting with Council’s community safety and community empowerment teams,
Auckland Transport Operations Centre management, the Takapuna Beach Business
Association and North Shore Police to discuss the Board’s resolutions on the
provision of CCTV cameras in Takapuna. During the discussion it was
recommended that as a first step, a Crime Prevention through Environmental
Design (CPTED) audit should be undertaken over CBD Takapuna. Although Council
would usually have the capacity to do this in-house, Takapuna had not been
anticipated to need one urgently and so the Community Empowerment Team has
recommended that they share the costs of using a contractor to complete this
work with the Board. They suggest that the Board’s contribution would only need
to be $5,000. I would request the Board make this sum available in order to get
a report back this side of the financial year.
6. On Thursday 11 February, I attended
the Milford Business Association on behalf of the Board. The business
association indicated that it would like to approach the Board earlier than
last year to start planning the next carols on the lake given its enormous
success last year. They also reiterated their frustration over the delays in
getting consent from Auckland Transport to install the outdoor chess tables in
the Village Square and the entrance gardens on Kitchener Road. I am following
up with these concerns at Auckland Transport.
That the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board:
a. receive the Chair’s written report.
b. approve a budget of up to $5,000 from the Economic Development Response Fund as a contribution towards the cost of employing a community safety consultant to undertake a CPTED audit of Takapuna CBD .
c. endorse in principle co-hosting a community information meeting with Auckland 2040 and concerned residents groups regarding the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and the hearings process.
d. delegate responsibility to the Chair and Deputy Chair to liaise with Auckland 2040 around the details of this community meeting.