I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Waitākere Ranges Local Board will be held on:




Meeting Room:



Thursday, 26 April 2018


Waitākere Ranges Local Board Office
39 Glenmall Place
Glen Eden


Waitākere Ranges Local Board









Greg Presland


Deputy Chairperson

Saffron Toms



Sandra Coney, QSO



Neil Henderson



Steve Tollestrup



(Quorum 3 members)




Brenda Railey

Democracy Advisor


23 April 2018


Contact Telephone: (09) 839 3512

Email: brenda.railey@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz




Waitākere Ranges Local Board

26 April 2018



ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                        PAGE


21        Chair’s report - April 2018                                                                                            5 



Waitākere Ranges Local Board

26 April 2018



Chair’s report - April 2018


File No.: CP2018/05777




1.    The April Storm

       The big news this month has been the storm that hit Auckland on April 10 and the subsequent aftermath.

       It caused severe disruption to the west’s supply of power and to the day to day lives of westies.

       As I write this the repercussions are still being felt.  Thankfully most of West Auckland has now had its power supply restored.  But for many areas, particularly on the west coast, the return of power took quite a while.

       Now that things are settling down it is time to review what happened and what needs to be done to lessen the disruption that will be caused by the next significant storm event.

       Because it is clear that with climate change and particularly the increase in temperature in the waters surrounding New Zealand the frequency and intensity of these sorts of storm events are going to increase, not decrease.

       The storm was determined to be a category two storm with category one being the weakest and four being the strongest.  Category four storms are meant to cause widespread damage and power outages.  The question will be asked why did a category two storm cause this much damage, and what will happen when a really big storm hits.

       Wind speeds of 140 kph were recorded in various parts of the city with the peak of 210 kph occurring near the Manukau Heads.  

       But the recent tropical cyclone Gita which battered Tonga had wind speeds of up to 278 kph.  And the highest ever recorded figure was 408 kph in Western Australia in 1996.

       It is important that a thorough review of Auckland’s ability to handle the next big storm is conducted.  Because as a city we need to be better prepared.

       Undergrounding of the electricity supply is clearly something that is going to have to be considered.  But the problem will be the budget required.

       And for the coastal villages such as Piha localised power generation should be given serious consideration. With enough solar panels and a wind turbine or two combined with an intelligent localised network it could become self sufficient in power and show the rest of the country how it is done. Great Barrier Island Aotea relies on solar power and generators. Maybe Piha should think about doing the same.

       Vector’s information supply was frankly woeful. The phone App is a great idea but the data it was supplying did not reflect my on the ground experience. The data should be seamless. The App should be showing Vector’s synopsis of its own data. Clearly things needs to change things if this is the case.

       The community response was magnificent. Local fire brigades did what they could to make sure that residents had somewhere to go to for basics such as a wash or a toilet stop. Local community groups and individuals volunteered the use of the resources that they had. Council officers volunteered their time to go door to door in some areas to check that each household was ok.

       The local community facebook pages performed a good job in disseminating information. Bethells Te Henga’s Bukino Faso quality communications infrastructure needs a rethink because in times of crisis reliable communications channels are vital.

       Council’s response will need to be reviewed. I had the benefit of regular information updates which I then posted on social media. But we will need to check to make sure this is sufficient and if the supply of urgent resources was adequate.

       We need to review what has happened. And make sure that next time we are better prepared.

2.   Kauri dieback

       Auckland Council has confirmed that much of the Regional Park out west will be closed in an attempt to deal with Kauri dieback.

       This issue has been a bit of a roller coaster for Auckland Council and for the local board over the past few months.

       A few months ago Te Kawerau A Maki declared a Rāhui over the Waitakere Ranges.  I have every respect for their rationale and for their deep abiding interest in the ongoing health of Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa, the great forest of Tiriwa.  The declaration of the Rāhui was caused by concern at Council’s ongoing delay at doing something to meet this crisis that the forest is facing.

       The local board’s initial position was  that all tracks deemed to be high and medium risk of the further spread of the disease should be shut.  It was clear over Christmas that this was not working and we reviewed our position and decided that the forest should be closed and tracks only reopened when they were determined to be safe.  We also believe that a comprehensive review of the use of the forest has to occur and a vision for its future formulated.

       We made representations to the relevant committee and the Council has decided to close the forest.  Some safe tracks will be permitted to remain open but the list will have to be worked through with Te Kawarau A Maki.

       This issue is a really tough issue and I suspect that for as long as I remain in politics, however long that is, the health of Kauri will continue to be one of the most important issues requiring attention.  But the King of Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa is threatened and we all elected members owe it to do what we can to preserve it.


3.    Greenways consultation

       The Waitakere Ranges Local Board is consulting on our draft greenways plan.  The intent is to show current walkways and formulate a plan to help guide future improvements to the walking and cycling network in this area.

       The draft plan covers the urban and near-urban areas of the Waitakere Ranges, including the eastern foothills.

       The aim is to ensure that locals can easily and safely get around using pathways.

       If we are going to create a sustainable city then we need transportation networks that do not rely in cars and that are safe and reliable.  Walking and cycling are important, healthy, and sustainable modes of transport that we need to continue to promote.

       The consultation is important because the results will inform future development decisions.

       The documents can be located at https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/waitakere-ranges-greenways-plan/Pages/default.aspx.  Consultation closes on May 21, 2018. 

4.   Kauri Karnival

       One of Council’s flagship events is the Kauri Karnival which has been held each year for the past three years.

       The Karnival is for two reasons, to celebrate Kauri and educate people on its plight and for kids to have fun.

       A lot of background work went into this year's Karnival by Saffron Toms and she deserves special praise for her work.  The event went without a hitch and there were many happy kids present.

5.   Henderson Centre

       During my term as a Councillor on Waitakere City Council one decision that I was proud of was the decision to build the new civic centre and to locate it adjacent to the Henderson Train Station.  The decision allowed for the development of the station and helped with the kick start of the new Rail system and was a statement that the future of the city involved support for public transport.

       We are now seeing the results of the past two decades investment in rail which includes the double tracking of the Western Line and the introduction of electric trains.  Back in 2002 the total passenger count in the region was about 2 million trips a year.  Last year the figure was 20 million trips with almost 7 million of those occurring on the Western Line alone.

       The Henderson development was ideal.  It was the home for Council activity and provided citizens with a variety of means to get there including train and bus.

       And the civic centre was quite special with its focus on the Waitakere Ranges and its Te Kawarau A Maki inspired design.  TKAM contributed to the project with two magnificent Pou and in foregoing a Treaty of Waitangi claim so that the land could be utilised.

       It is clear that Henderson has had a difficult time lately.  I believe a major cause is the opening of the North West shopping centre.  This and the Henderson Shopping Centre both have struggled ever since.  It seems clear to me that we have too many shops and not enough shoppers.  The staging of the opening of the North West Shopping Centre should have been managed so that shops were opened as the projected population growth occurred.

       Council decisions have not helped.  Moving Auckland Transport employees out of Henderson to a more expensive central location has reduced the viability of the centre.  My personal view is that AT staff should walk the walk and embrace public transport.  And what better place to have a Public Transport manager than on top of a railway station?

       Recent news that Panuku is intending to sell the Centre has been met with dismay by many out west. It feels like we are going to lose what was the proud civic centre of Eco city.

       The Henderson Massey Local Board and its chair Shane Henderson have been doing their best to slow down the sale process so that the best for West Auckland can be achieved.  The Waitakere Ranges Local Board was happy to endorse a series of resolutions that the Henderson Massey Local Board had passed.

       And I am pleased that Auckland Council has decided to have a rethink on the proposed sale.

       The Henderson Civic Centre was a brave attempt to create a civic space entwined with public transport.  To my way of thinking it represents the future and not the past of urban renewal.  I hope that Council can find a way to retain the current civic spaces and to invigorate the area so that Henderson and West Auckland can benefit.

6.   Ecoday

       Ecomatters has again held its annual ecoday event in New Lynn.  The Local Board again had a stall.

       The day shows clearly how interconnected West Auckland and the various environmental movements are.  I personally had a direct affinity with three different stalls and most people there had a similar relationship.

       The event is a great opportunity to network and talk about issues and cultivate thinking as well as exposing the general public to new strands of environmental thinking.

       Well done again to Ecomatters Trust for their continued dedication to all things environmental.

7.    What Now

       One of the more fun things I have had to do as part of this job is appear on the kid’s programme What Now.

       They recently filmed an episode at Glen Eden Primary and I was invited on to receive a gift from Otara (thanks Otara!) and to then give a gift to the next town which was Orewa.

       The show was two hours of professionally organised chaos.  It was amazing how amongst so many random events the production crew managed to keep things organised.

       Thanks to Jennifer Conlon and the Glen Eden Business Improvement District and in recognition of Oratia’s past as a fruit basket I gave away a fruit tree.  There are not enough fruit trees in the world and for us it seemed a really apt gift.

       I also got to give (and failed) a westie hand sign live on National TV!

       I declined the invitation to be slimed …


Greg Presland

Chair Waitakere Ranges Local Board



Ngā tūtohunga / Recommendation/s

That the Waitākere Ranges Local Board:

a)      receive the Chairperson’s report for April 2018.


Ngā tāpirihanga / Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.     

Ngā kaihaina / Signatories


Brenda  Railey - Democracy Advisor


Glenn Boyd - Relationship Manager Henderson-Massey, Waitakere Ranges, Whau