I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 9 September 2021

10.00am

This meeting will be held remotely and can be viewed on the Auckland Council website:  https://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/

 

Kōmiti Whakarite Pārae, Mahi Toi, Hapori, Kaupapa

Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

 

OPEN ADDENDUM AGENDA

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

Chairperson

Cr Alf Filipaina

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Dr Cathy Casey

 

Members

Cr Josephine Bartley

IMSB Member Mr Terrence Hohneck

 

Deputy Mayor Cr Bill Cashmore

IMSB Member Tony Kake

 

Cr Fa’anana Efeso Collins

Cr Tracy Mulholland

 

Cr Pippa Coom

Cr Daniel Newman, JP

 

Cr Linda Cooper, JP

Cr Greg Sayers

 

Cr Angela Dalton

Cr Desley Simpson, JP

 

Cr Chris Darby

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Cr Christine Fletcher, QSO

Cr Wayne Walker

 

Mayor Hon Phil Goff, CNZM, JP

Cr John Watson

 

Cr Shane Henderson

Cr Paul Young

 

Cr Richard Hills

 

(Quorum 11 members)

 

 

Maea Petherick

Kaitohutohu Mana Whakahaere Matua / Senior Governance Advisor

7 September 2021

Contact Telephone: (09) 890 8136

Email: maea.petherick@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 


Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

09 September 2021

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS            PAGE

 

15        Proposed variation of agreement to facilitate transfer of land at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields    5

 


Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

09 September 2021

 

 

Proposed variation of agreement to facilitate transfer of land at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields

File No.: CP2021/13673

 

  

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To seek approval to proceed with a land exchange by varying a Private Development Agreement with a third party, so that the land located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields is transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for Part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       Under an existing Private Development Agreement (PDA) between Auckland City Council (now Auckland Council) and the developer (now Templeton Stonefields Limited (Templeton)) part of the land at 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields (2970m2) (Part 25 Barbarich Drive) is to be vested in the council as recreation reserve upon deposit of the relevant subdivision plan.

3.       For this to occur the owner of Part 25 Barbarich Drive must first subdivide the remaining undeveloped Stonefields land, and upon the deposit of an approved land transfer plan, vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive in Auckland Council.

4.       Once the land is owned by council the Reserves Act 1977 (RA) permits council to pursue an exchange of part or all of the land by way of transfer for other land.

5.       In 2018, Templeton proposed a substitution of Part 25 Barbarich Drive with 19,425m² of land located at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields (Lot 901 DP 478725) (see Attachment A).

6.       Fifty Tihi Street was assessed by staff against the council’s open space policy as a high priority for acquisition. It would establish a significant area of contiguous park or open space that enhances recreation and improves accessibility to a heritage trail and Maunga. 

7.       For this substitution to occur, the PDA would have to be amended by consensus. This will allow for the Tihi Street land to be vested, rather than the Barbarich Drive land, thereby releasing the owner from the obligation of vesting Part 25 Barbarich Drive. This would result in council receiving larger, better connected open space.

8.       Staff previously involved in this matter considered that the Reserves Act 1977 was an appropriate means by which to effect the ‘exchange’. 

9.       Following a report to the Ōrākei Local Board on 19 November 2020, and approval from the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee on 10 December 2020, Community Investment staff carried out public notification. This was followed by a public hearing on the proposed land exchange, in accordance with section 15 of the Reserves Act 1977 (RA).

10.     A Commissioner was appointed to independently assess public feedback and make recommendations. Their recommendations supported the intent of the proposed land exchange and recommended a strip for a pedestrian right of way being retained (Attachment B).

11.     With public consultation and the Commissioner’ work complete, staff now consider that the role of the RA is also complete.

12.     Rather than continuing with the RA to effect the exchange, the most appropriate and efficient way to implement this proposed transaction is through a variation to the PDA. This will enable the land located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields to be transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for Part 25 Barbarich Drive.


 

13.     The PDA variation process will ensure that the original land transfer intent remains, but the unnecessary steps under the RA are avoided. This will result in significant time, process and resource cost efficiencies, whilst also allowing Auckland Council greater flexibility with regard to future uses of 50 Tihi Street.

14.     The Ōrākei Local Board has supported the acquisition of 50 Tihi Street to enable improved access to the Maungarei / Mount Wellington continued walkway access to Stonefields from Gollan Road, Mount Wellington and a continuation of the Stonefields Heritage Trail.

15.     Staff recommend that the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee approve council officers negotiating a variation of the PDA with Templeton, to substitute the requirement to vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive with the 50 Tihi Street land, with no requirement to retain a strip for a pedestrian right of way.

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee:

a)      approve council officers negotiating a variation of a Private Development Agreement, dated 20 May 2009, between (now) Auckland Council and Templeton Stonefields Limited, to effect a proposed land exchange so that 19,425m² of land located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields (Lot 901 DP 478725) is transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields.

b)      approve the variation of the existing Private Development Agreement in substitution for part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields (2970m2) provided that there is no payment required by Auckland Council to Templeton Stonefields Limited for such substitution.

c)       agree that there be no requirement to retain a strip of Part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields for a pedestrian right of way.

d)      note that:

i)          Auckland Council staff will negotiate and agree with Templeton Stonefields Limited the final valuations of both Part 25 Barbarich Drive and 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields; and

ii)         the final terms and conditions of the variation to the Private Development Agreement, will be signed under existing staff delegations.

e)      note that the land at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields will be transferred to Auckland Council and held under the Local Government Act 2002.

Horopaki

Context

16.     Stonefields is a master-planned suburb in the old Winstone Quarry in Mount Wellington with an objective to transform 100 hectares of quarry into a residential development of over 2,000 dwellings for more than 6,500 people.

17.     To satisfy the development contributions policy, the then Auckland City Council required the developer to complete a parks and reserves assessment.

18.     The Stonefields developer (now Templeton Stonefields Limited) entered a Private Development Agreement (PDA) with Auckland City Council (now Auckland Council) on 20 May 2009, to meet the obligations of the development contribution policy.

19.     The legacy Auckland City Council accepted 28,882m2 of neighbourhood reserve land, with Part 25 Barbarich Drive intended to be vested in Auckland Council as a recreation reserve at a later date.

20.     Templeton Stonefields Limited (Templeton) has proposed an in-principle exchange of 2,970m2 of land at Part 25 Barbarich Drive, with 19,425m2 land located at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields, significantly increasing the open space.

Figure 1 below shows the two land parcels proposed for exchange.

Map

Description automatically generated

21.     Under the existing PDA with Templeton, Part 25 Barbarich Drive is to be vested in Auckland Council upon deposit of a land transfer plan for an approved scheme plan of subdivision by the developer.

22.     Templeton has subsequently sold Part 25 Barbarich Drive to Fletcher Residential Limited (Fletcher) under a conditional agreement, requiring Templeton to seek a release from the obligation to vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive in council.

23.     Fletcher wishes to develop housing on Part 25 Barbarich Drive which is currently zoned as Residential – Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings under the Unitary Plan.

24.     The land at 50 Tihi Street, if transferred to council, would establish a significant extra area of contiguous park or open space that enhances connectivity, recreation and walking opportunities and improves accessibility to a heritage trail and Maunga.  It would also formalise an existing walking route that is used by children at Stonefields School.

25.     Until July 2021, this proposal was managed under the Reserves Act. Ōrākei Local Board had indicated a desire for the public to be consulted. The RA process was a means to provide public feedback. Under the Reserves Act, notice of intent is required prior to an exchange of reserve land. This offers residents and interested parties the opportunity to have their say on the land substitution and additional open space provision.

26.     The Reserves Act allows councils to exchange classified reserve land they own, with other land. Part 25 Barbarich Drive however was not owned by council, and under the current PDA, cannot be owned by council until the existing landowner completes a subdivision. Therefore, the process adopted was one of an ‘in principle’ exchange.

27.     The optimum usefulness of the RA, in this proposal, is its ability to seek public views, and appointed Commissioners assess those public views and make recommendations. After that the RA has a complex set of statutory steps which absorb significant officer and elected member time and resource, and which are not required to effect an exchange of land to council and the public’s benefit.

28.     Preliminary steps under the RA were taken, including public notice and a public hearing which took place on 3 June 2021 to hear the community views on the proposal. The Commissioners’ report dated 16 June 2021, in attachment B, supports the intent of the proposed land exchange and recommends that a strip for a pedestrian right of way is retained.

29.     Due to the complexities of the RA statutory processes required to complete the transaction, the RA is no longer the optimum tool and can be discontinued. The RA is the best tool to use if council already owns and manages land. In this case the land is owned by another party, which wishes to develop it. To achieve the intended outcome the PDA variation is recommended.

30.     The proposed means to acquire the Tihi land is more direct, appropriate, cost efficient and achieves the original intent. The acquisition of 50 Tihi Street land in place of the Part 25 Barbarich Drive land has been supported by staff, the Ōrākei Local Board and this committee.

31.     For the avoidance of doubt the PDA would have had to be varied regardless of whether the RA process continued.

32.     The Ōrākei Local Board support the proposed acquisition of the land at 50 Tihi Street Stonefields.

33.     Staff recommend that the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee approve council officers negotiating a variation of the PDA with Templeton to substitute the requirement to vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive with the 50 Tihi Street land, with no requirement to retain a strip for a pedestrian right of way.

 

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

Public Hearing 

34.     Following public notification under the RA, 104 submissions were received – 42 recorded in support and 62 opposed.  Seven submitters indicated a desire to be heard.

35.     On 3 June 2021 the public hearing took place to hear the submissions which are summarised, as follows:

a)   the reasonable expectations of those who had purchased property in the immediate vicinity

b)   the local value and importance of green space, however small

c)   the importance of casual pedestrian access provided, particularly for school children, between Barbarich Drive and College Road

d)   the inappropriateness of exchanging land areas of unequal commercial value

e)   the merits of 50 Tihi Street.

36.     The Commissioner’s response to the submissions are summarised, as follows:

a)   reasonable expectations – there is no evidence that expectations as to future use of Part 25 Barbarich Drive are contractually binding.

b)   value of green space - the exchange enhances the overall green space publicly available and secures public rights of access to the Heritage Trail.

c)   pedestrian access - a pragmatic and appropriate option is to form a connection between Barbarich Drive and College Road – noting that part 25 Barbarich Drive is used informally mainly by school children and saves little in terms of distance.

d)   unequal commercial value - not a matter for direct consideration by the Commissioners.

e)   50 Tihi Street – no submitter disputed the merits of public acquisition and the connection to Maungarei and the Stonefields Heritage Trail.  The open space values merit positive consideration.

 

Commissioners’ Recommendations

37.     The Commissioners’ recommendations from the public hearing on 3 June 2021 are as follows:

a)   that the proposed land exchange of 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields (proposed Lot 1) with 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields proceed as proposed.

b)   that as part of the exchange agreement, a public strip be retained for the purpose of forming a pedestrian footpath connecting Barbarich Drive and College Road. The formation of which should be at the expense of the owner.

c)   on the matter of apparent disparity in dollar value we make no recommendation but bring that to council’s attention.

38.     The recommendation in (b) above, to retain land on Part 25 Barbarich Drive for pedestrian access from College Road, was made mainly to address some submitter information that school children currently informally use the private land as a thoroughfare to walk to and from Stonefields School.

39.     The current formal pedestrian route from the Ngahue Drive/College Road traffic lights to Searle Street is approximately 200 metres. Any perceived “shortcuts” by a limited number of users through Part 25 Barbarich Drive are only a few metres shorter. Refer to the plan in attachment C. 

40.     Creation of a walkway through Part 25 Barbarich Drive will not provide any significant additional public benefit, as the existing footpaths leading along College Road to Searle Street are of almost equal distance, and of a lesser gradient and slope.

41.     The steep topography of Part 25 Barbarich Drive makes access and compliance with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles challenging, which is already mitigated by existing pavement access along College Road and along Searle Street. 

42.     Neither Fletchers nor Templeton are agreeable to the creation of a public strip through Part 25 Barbarich Drive. This would require over 700 m2 of land and would significantly reduce the development potential and commercial viability of the site. 

43.     A suggested pathway through Part 25 Barbarich Drive would only result in any tangible public benefit if the site was fully retained in council ownership.

44.     Staff recommend that Templeton be released from the obligation to vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive in council without inclusion or provision of public access.

 

Pedestrian Access from Gollan Road to Tihi Street

45.     The local board has placed high priority on formalising the existing informal walking path over Templeton’s land from Gollan Road to Tihi Street. Currently, public access terminates at Gollan Road.

46.     The addition of 50 Tihi Street will provide public access from Gollan Road through to Tihi Street, Papango Street and Stonemason Avenue, onto Tauoma Crescent and ultimately to Colin Maiden Park.

47.     The land will form an adjoining buffer at the base of Maungarei, protecting and securing Maungarei from future development.

48.     This pathway will serve students of Stonefields School and will be an extension to the Stonefields Heritage Trail, which, unlike the Commissioner’s recommended access across Part 25 Barbarich Drive, has no available alternative.

 

Process for land exchange

49.     Reports to this committee and to the local board on this proposal, prior to the report to the Ōrākei Local Board on 26 August, were based on a proposed land exchange process prescribed under section 15 of the Reserves Act 1977.

50.     At the commencement of this process the use of the RA was considered by staff to be the best means to achieve the acquisition of the 50 Tihi Street land.

51.     Subsequent legal advice received by staff on the suitability and efficacy of the RA process, beyond the hearing, is that the most appropriate means to achieve the land acquisition of 50 Tihi Street is via an agreed amendment to the PDA.

52.     For the process to continue under the RA, the owner of Part 25 Barbarich Drive would first need to subdivide the remaining Stonefields land and then vest the Barbarich Drive land in council as recreation reserve under the RA, upon the deposit of an approved subdivision land transfer plan by Templeton.

53.     Staff would then need to seek a resolution by the Ōrākei Local Board for the land to be classified as a recreation reserve as required by the RA.

54.     The classification gazettal would then be published in the New Zealand Gazette. 

55.     To then exchange the Barbarich Drive land for the 50 Tihi Street land, further statutory steps would be required to give effect to a land exchange. This would include a decision by the Minister of Conservation or delegate, to agree to the exchange, and a further Gazette notice recording the Minister’s approval. 

56.     In doing this, the part 25 Barbarich Drive land would lose its recently acquired recreation reserve status, and the land received in exchange, 50 Tihi Street, would adopt recreation reserve status.

57.     The above process would only be available if Templeton owned the Barbarich Drive land. As Templeton have sold the land to Fletcher, conditional to the PDA being amended, the amendment of the agreement is crucial to the outcome of Auckland Council acquiring the Tihi Street land by way of transfer.

58.     The intention behind the above described proposal is that 50 Tihi Street will vest in or is transferred to Auckland Council in place of Part 25 Barbarich Drive.

59.     The local board, committee, public and staff support for this intent has not changed.
A more efficient approach, to achieve the same outcome, requiring less officer time and council resource, is for council staff to negotiate a variation to the PDA with Templeton, rather than continuing with a land exchange under the RA.

60.     Upon transfer, the 50 Tihi Street land will be held by Auckland Council under the Local Government Act 2002, as it will provide Auckland Council with greater flexibility for future use and management of the site.

61.     It remains open to the council however, to subsequently resolve to declare and classify the 50 Tihi Street land as a reserve in future. If the purpose of the reserve classification provides for the future protection and flexible management of the land. The power to classify land for a RA purpose has been delegated to local boards.

 

 


 

Options available

62.     The following options are available to the council:

Option

Analysis

Recommendation

Option 1 - Do nothing – but await the vesting of Part 25 Barbarich Drive in the council under the existing terms of the PDA.

 

Option 1 is not realistic because the land is owned by Fletcher by virtue of an agreement for sale and purchase with Templeton. This is subject to Templeton using its reasonable endeavours to obtain, from council, release of the obligation to vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive from the PDA.

Not recommended

Option 2 - Approve the release of Part 25 Barbarich Drive from vesting in the council as reserve under the PDA on condition that a public pedestrian access strip is retained.

Option 2 can only occur with agreement from Templeton and, as noted in paragraphs 38 to 44 above, staff do not consider that the creation of a public access is necessary or desirable.

Not recommended

Option 3 - Require Part 25 Barbarich Drive to vest in the council as recreation reserve as per the PDA and investigate separate acquisition of the land at 50 Tihi Street.

Option 3 would require the council to fund the acquisition of 50 Tihi Street from its existing acquisition budget which would divert or reduce funds for other growth driven open space purchases. A budget would need to be secured in outer years, as existing land acquisitions are already subscribed.

Not recommended

Option 4 - Agree to:

i.     Not proceed with the proposed land exchange of Part 25 Barbarich Drive with 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields under section 15 of the Reserves Act 1977; and

ii.    Vary the existing Private Development Agreement between Auckland City Council (now Auckland Council) and Templeton dated 20 May 2009 so that 19,425m² of land, located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields (Lot 901 DP 478725), is transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields (2970m2), with no requirement to retain a strip for a pedestrian right of way.

Option 4 is recommended by staff as this provides the opportunity for 50 Tihi Street to be transferred to council at no capital cost and meets a number of public and amenity outcomes as described in paragraphs 45 to 48.

Recommended

 


 

Possible Future Management by Tūpuna Maunga Authority

63.     If the transfer of 50 Tihi Street is approved, the Tūpuna Maunga Authority have indicated that they would seek to include the property in the Contiguous Lands Project. The Maunga Authority would be likely to recommend that the management of this land be transferred from Auckland Council to the Tūpuna Maunga Authority. 

64.     At this stage the proposed future management is noted as a possibility but will require future decision making if the land at 50 Tihi Street was to be transferred.

65.     A transfer of the land for management by Tūpuna Maunga would provide future protection of the land that adjoins the base of Maungarei.

66.     Transfer of the land would be a matter for the Governing Body or the relevant Auckland Council committee at the appropriate time.

67.     In the meantime, if the land does come into Auckland Council ownership it would be a local park under the management of the local board. The matters raised in paragraph 53 around whether to declare and classify the land as reserve under the RA, could then be considered.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

68.     Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Action Plan sets out two core goals:

a)  climate mitigation: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050

b)  climate adaptation: to be resilient and adapt to the impacts and effects of climate change by ensuring we plan for the projected changes.

69.     Vegetation on parks and open space can serve as temperature regulators through shade and evapotranspiration. Plants can also process and store carbon, helping to offset the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

70.     The decision transfer the land at 50 Tihi Street for open space (instead of Part 25 Barbarich Drive) is likely to have a positive impact on climate change as the site is 16,455m2 (1.6 hectares) larger than Part 25 Barbarich Drive.

71.     Any new or additional development at 25 Barbarich Drive may result in a climate change impact, although this cannot be assessed at this stage.

 

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

72.     The proposed transfer to the council of 50 Tihi Street, in substitution for Part 25 Barbarich Drive, was supported by Community Investment staff in 2020 as a high priority. It is supported by Community Facilities and Parks, Sport and Recreation staff.

73.     There is limited recreational value in retaining the 2,970m2 Part 25 Barbarich Drive land, which could only function as a passive reserve.  College Road and Ngahue Drive are both busy roads running along its boundaries, which makes it less safe and less appealing for play, games and ball sports.

74.     Having the Tihi Street site transferred to the council will benefit the local community by:

a)   ensuring public access to the existing informal walking path, formalising the path, making connections within Stonefields and connections to other existing parks

b)   protecting Stonefields and Maungarei cultural and natural heritage

c)   enlarging and enhancing the reserve on Maungarei/Mount Wellington by re-attaching a part of the Maunga which had been subdivided off and became a boundary of the previous quarrying work.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

75.     On 19 November 2020 the Ōrākei Local Board resolved as follows: [resolution number OR/2020/134]

a)      support in principle public notification as an initial step to provide an opportunity for the community and residents to provide their views, under section 15(2) of the Reserves Act 1977 of a possible exchange of part of the presently privately-owned land Lot 100 DP 529532, containing approximately 2,970m², corner College Road and Ngahue Drive, and at 25 Barbarich Drive,  Stonefields, with the privately-owned land Lot 901 DP 478725, containing approximately 19,425m2, at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields, noting:

i)       Lot 100 is not presently Council-owned reserve land, but under an existing agreement this privately-owned land will vest in the Auckland Council under section 239 of the Resource Management Act 1991 as an unclassified recreation reserve upon deposit of a subdivision of this land with Land Information New Zealand.

         ii)       that part of the subdivided land will remain with the owner which will develop the land currently zoned Residential - Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings under the Unitary Plan and the balance of the land in Barbarich Drive will be held by the Auckland Council as a non-service asset until decisions are made regarding its future use, noting that it was proposed to be developed as open space under the Stonefields Master Plan.

         iii)      Council staff have assessed this exchange to be a high priority against the Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy (2013).

         iv)      the Board has received advice that 2,970m² of Lot 100 is not needed to meet the provision targets in the Open Space Provision Policy (2016) and is not a priority for retention.

         v)      if the land exchange were to proceed, the site at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields could be administered by the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority in accordance with the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014.

         vi)      that decision-making on this possible land exchange rests with the Auckland Council's Governing Body.

b)      express its strong desire that the informal walking path from Gollan Road to Tihi Street, which is needed to be maintained for students to travel safely to Stonefields School and as an extension to the Stonefields Heritage Trail, be formalised through the possible exchange either by transfer from the developer to the Council or other legal mechanism.

CARRIED

76.     Decisions to acquire land are made by the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee but it is noted that the Ōrākei Local Board resolution OR/2020/134, states that it understands that decision-making on this possible land exchange rests with the Auckland Council's Governing Body (i.e. a committee of the whole).

77.     The public consultation process provided an opportunity for the local community to express its views on the proposal as set out in paragraphs 34 - 36 of this report and recorded in the Commissioners’ report in Attachment B.


 

78.     On 26 August 2021 the Ōrākei Local Board resolved as follows: [OR/2021/137]

That the Ōrākei Local Board:

a)      receive the proposed variation of agreement to facilitate transfer of land at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields report and request staff use it to develop a more comprehensive report to the Parks, Arts, Community and Events next Committee meeting on
9 September 2021.

b)      support the property acquisition by Auckland Council of 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields to enable improved access to the Maungarei / Mount Wellington continued walkway access to Stonefields from Gollan Road, Mount Wellington and a continuation of the Stonefields Heritage Trail.

c)      request the right to present to the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee meeting on 9 September 2021 to speak to this matter.

CARRIED

79.     A copy of the report on the proposed variation of agreement to facilitate transfer of land at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields dated 26 August 2021 to the Ōrākei Local Board is attached. (see Attachment D)

80.     A representative of the Stonefields Residents Association attended the Ōrākei Local Board Extraordinary Meeting on 26 August 2021. They supported the officers report to the local board, including the proposed variation of agreement to facilitate transfer of land at 50 Tihi Street, noting that the intent has been to acquire 50 Tihi Street.  The report’s recommendations were acceptable to the Stonefields Residents Association.

 

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

81.     Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki are the ancient iwi Mana Whenua of Tāmaki Makaurau and they have an intrinsic connection to Maungarei. Maungarei and its surrounding landscapes are within their heartland rohe - as adjoining land-owners due their Cultural Redress site at Homestead Drive.

82.     After reviewing the proposal Ngāi Tai have confirmed their support this proposal. The substitution of land will provide improvement to connectivity and will ensure the preservation of the immediate Maungarei landscape. Ngāi Tai have interest in engaging on the management/development of this space upon acquisition.

83.     If the transfer of 50 Tihi Street to the council proceeds, the site could be administered by the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority in accordance with the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014.

84.     Integrated management of the site as part of Maungarei would benefit open space outcomes. It would also reflect the significance of the land to mana whenua.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

85.     Council and Templeton have obtained independent registered valuations to determine the market value of the land.

86.     Council’s preliminary valuation advice indicates that Part 25 Barbarich Drive has a higher market value than 50 Tihi Street. The council is therefore likely to receive the difference in value, the proceeds of which are to be applied to the council’s general account.

87.     If approved, staff will negotiate and agree the final valuations with Templeton.

88.     Council’s Finance and Performance Manager has reviewed the proposal and approves the implications.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

89.     There is a financial risk that the council and Templeton will not be able to reach an agreement on the value of the sites. This risk has in part been mitigated by obtaining independent valuations that can help inform negotiations of the final valuations.  

90.     Due to contractual deadlines between Templeton and Fletcher, there is a risk that not obtaining council committee approvals will result in a lost opportunity to have 50 Tihi Street transferred to the council. This risk can be mitigated by proceeding with a variation to the PDA, rather than the Reserves Act process which would take longer.

91.     If the proposed transfer to the council of 50 Tihi Street does not proceed, and the site remains in private ownership, current or future owners may withdraw the informal public access to the existing path. This represents a low reputational risk to council as some members of the public may consider it to be part of the adjacent Stonefields Heritage Trail.

 

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

92.     If approved, council staff will work with Templeton to negotiate and agree the final valuations of both Part 25 Barbarich Drive and 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields. Final terms and conditions of the variation to the Private Development Agreement will be signed under existing staff delegations.

93.     Further discussions with council staff and iwi, and any reporting to the local board or council committee in relation to the possible future management or transfer to Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau, can occur post transfer of 50 Tihi Street to Auckland Council ownership.

 

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Aerial Plan - Stonefields

17

b

Commissioners Report dated 16 June 2021

19

c

Barbarich pedestrian route

27

d

Orakei Local Board report dated 26 August 2021

29

      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Katerina Marinkovich - Specialist Technical Statutory Advisor

Authorisers

Taryn Crewe - Acting General Manager Community Facilities

Claudia Wyss - Director Customer and Community Services

 


Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

09 September 2021

 

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

09 September 2021

 

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

09 September 2021

 

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

09 September 2021

 

 

Proposed variation of agreement to facilitate transfer of land at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields

File No.: CP2021/12614

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.        To update the local board on the public hearing of a proposed land exchange of part 25 Barbarich Drive with 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields under the Reserves Act 1977.

2.       To seek the local board’s support to cease the Reserves Act process, and to instead proceed with the land exchange by varying an agreement with a third party so that the land located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields is transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

3.       Under an existing Private Development Agreement (PDA) between Auckland City Council (now Auckland Council) and the developer (now Templeton Stonefields Limited (Templeton)) part of the land at 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields (2970m2) (Part 25 Barbarich Drive) is to vest in the council as recreation reserve upon deposit of the relevant subdivision plan.

4.       Templeton has proposed a substitution of Part 25 Barbarich Drive with 19,425m² of land located at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields (see Figure 1).

5.       The land at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields has been assessed against the council’s open space policy as a high priority for acquisition and would establish a significant area of contiguous park or open space that enhances recreation and improves accessibility to a heritage trail and Maunga. 

6.        Community Investment staff carried out public notification followed by a public hearing on the proposed land exchange under section 15 Reserves Act 1977 (RA). The Commissioners’ recommendations supported the proposed land exchange subject to a strip for a pedestrian right of way being retained (attachment A).

7.        Staff consider that, rather than proceeding with RA exchange, there is an alternative and more efficient way to implement this proposed transaction, if it is approved by the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, that being through a variation to the PDA so that the land located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields is transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for Part 25 Barbarich Drive.

8.       Staff recommend that the Ōrākei Local Board support council officers negotiating a variation of the PDA with Templeton to substitute the requirement to vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive with 50 Tihi Street land, with no requirement to retain a strip for a pedestrian right of way.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Ōrākei Local Board:

a)      support the cessation of the proposed land exchange of part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields with 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields under the Reserves Act 1977.

b)      support the variation to the existing Private Development Agreement between (now) Auckland Council and Templeton dated 20 May 2009 so that 19,425m² of land located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields (Lot 901 DP 478725) is transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields (2970m2) provided that there is no payment required by Auckland Council to Templeton for such substitution.

c)       support the recommendation by Auckland Council staff that there not be a requirement to retain a strip of part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields for a pedestrian right of way.

d)      note that

(i)         a report will go to the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee for approval of the above, and,

(ii)        if approved, Auckland Council staff will negotiate and agree with Templeton the final valuations of both part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields and 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields and

(iii)       the final terms and conditions of the variation to the Private Development Agreement, to be signed under existing officer delegations.

e)      note that, if approved, the land at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields will be transferred to Auckland Council and held under the Local Government Act 2002.

Horopaki

Context

9.       Under an existing Private Development Agreement (PDA) with Templeton Stonefields Limited (Templeton), Part 25 Barbarich Drive is to vest in the council as recreation reserve upon deposit of the relevant plans for subdivision by the developer.

10.     Templeton has sold Part 25 Barbarich Drive to Fletcher Residential Limited (Fletcher) under an agreement requiring Templeton to seek a release from the obligation to vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive in council as reserve under the PDA.

11.      Fletcher wishes to develop housing on Part 25 Barbarich Drive which is currently zoned as Residential – Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings under the Unitary Plan.

12.     Templeton has proposed to council a substitution of Part 25 Barbarich Drive with 19,425m² of land located at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields (see Figure 1).

13.     The land at 50 Tihi Street, if transferred to council, would establish a significant area of contiguous park or open space that enhances recreation and improves accessibility to a heritage trail and Maunga.  It would also formalise an existing walkway for school children at Stonefields School.

14.     To date, it has been proposed that this was handled as a reserve exchange under the Reserves Act 1977 (RA). Preliminary steps under the RA were taken, including a public hearing which took place on 3 June 2021 to hear the community views on the proposal. The commissioners’ report dated 16 June 2021 in attachment A, recommends the proposed land exchange subject to a strip for a pedestrian right of way being retained.

15.     Due to the complexities of the RA statutory process, council staff consider that there is an alternative and more efficient way to implement this proposed transaction, if approved by the Parks, Arts and Community Events Committee, that being through a variation to the PDA so that the land located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields is transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for Part 25 Barbarich Drive.

16.     Community Facilities staff recommend that the Ōrākei Local Board support the proposed variation of the PDA with Templeton to remove the obligation to vest Part 25 Barbarich Drive in Auckland Council in substitution for the Tihi Street land, with no requirement to retain a strip for a pedestrian right of way.

 


 

Figure 1: The proposed land exchange is the area shaded green for the area outlined in blue at the base of  Maungarei/Mount Wellington

Map

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Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

Public Hearing and Commissioners Recommendations

17.     The Commissioners’ recommendations from the public hearing on 3 June 2021 are as follows:

Text

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18.     The recommendation in (b) above, to retain land on Part 25 Barbarich Drive for pedestrian access from College Road, was made to address concerns of parents of school children currently informally using the private land as a thoroughfare to walk to and from Stonefields School.

19.     The current formal pedestrian route from the Ngahue Drive/College Road traffic lights to Searle Street is approximately 200 metres. Any perceived “shortcuts” by a limited number of users through Part 25 Barbarich Drive are only a few metres shorter. Refer to the plan in attachment B. 

20.     Creation of a walkway through Part 25 Barbarich Drive will not result in any significant public benefit as the existing footpaths leading along College Road to Searle Street are of almost equal distance, and of a lesser gradient and slope.

21.     The steep topography of Part 25 Barbarich Drive makes access and compliance with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles challenging, which is already mitigated by existing pavement access along College Road and along Searle Street. 

22.     Neither Fletchers nor Templeton are agreeable to the creation of a public strip through Part 25 Barbarich Drive which would require over 700 m2 of land and would significantly reduce the development potential and commercial viability of the site. 

23.     A suggested pathway through Part 25 Barbarich Drive would only result in any tangible public benefit if the site was retained in council ownership.

24.     Staff recommend that Part 25 Barbarich Drive is released from the obligation to vest in council without inclusion or provision of public access which is not necessary.

Pedestrian Access from Gollan Road to Tihi Street

25.     The Tihi Street land will provide council with the opportunity to formalise the informal walking path from Gollan Road to Tihi Street.

26.     This path is needed for students to travel safely to Stonefields School and as an extension to the Stonefields Heritage Trail, as, unlike the recommended access way across Part 25 Barbarich Drive, there is no reasonably available alternative.

Statutory Process - Reserves Act issues

27.     All reports and actions by council staff to date in relation to this proposal have been based on the assumption that a land exchange under section 15 of the Reserves Act 1977 is required.

28.     The intention behind the land exchange proposal is that 50 Tihi Street vests in or is transferred to Auckland Council rather than Part 25 Barbarich Drive and the most efficient approach is for council staff to negotiate a variation to the PDA with Templeton.

29.     For Part 25 Barbarich Drive to vest in council as reserve under the RA, the reserve must first be classified by way of a report to the Ōrākei Local Board and gazettal published in the NZ Gazette.  Upon classification gazettal, further gazettal action and Ministerial consent is required under section 15 RA to record the exchange. This is an unnecessary use of officer time and resources.

30.     Staff recommend that the Ōrākei Local Board support the proposal to substitute Tihi Street for Part 25 Barbarich Drive by way of a variation to the PDA and cease the section 15 RA exchange process.

Options available

31.     The following options are available to the council:

a)  Do nothing – retain the status quo with Part 25 Barbarich Drive vesting in the council under the existing terms of the PDA.

b)  Approve the release of Part 25 Barbarich Drive from vesting in the council as reserve under the PDA on condition that a pedestrian access strip is retained in accordance with Commissioners’ recommendations.

c)  Require Part 25 Barbarich Drive to vest in the council as reserve as per the PDA and investigate separate acquisition of the land at Tihi Street.

d)  (Recommended) Approve the:

i.   cessation of the proposed land exchange of Part 25 Barbarich Drive with 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields under the Reserves Act 1977; and

ii.  variation to the existing Private Development Agreement between Auckland City Council (now Auckland Council) and Templeton dated 20 May 2009 so that 19,425m² of land located at 50 Tihi Street in Stonefields (Lot 901 DP 478725) is transferred to Auckland Council in substitution for part 25 Barbarich Drive, Stonefields (2970m2) with no requirement to retain a strip for a pedestrian right of way.

32.     Option b) above can only occur with agreement from Templeton and, as noted in paragraphs 18 to 24 above, retention of the access way is not reasonably necessary.

33.     Option c) above would require the council to fund the acquisition of Tihi Street and approval of funding is not guaranteed.

34.     Option d) is recommended by staff as this provides the opportunity for Tihi Street land to be transferred to council at no capital cost.

Management by Tūpuna Maunga Authority

35.     If the transfer of Tihi Street is approved, Management of Tūpuna Maunga Authority would seek to include the property in the contiguous lands project and will recommend that the management of this land be transferred from Auckland Council to Tūpuna Maunga Authority.  This will allow for greater protection of the Tupuna Maunga and unified management along with the adjacent Maunga.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

36.     Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Action Plan sets out two core goals:

·    climate mitigation: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050

·    climate adaptation: to be resilient and adapt to the impacts and effects of climate change by ensuring we plan for the projected changes.

37.     Vegetation on parks and open space can serve as temperature regulators through shade and evapotranspiration. Plants can also process and store carbon, helping to offset the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

38.     The decision to have transferred to council the land at Tihi Street for open space (instead of Part 25 Barbarich Drive) is likely to have a positive impact on climate change as the site is much larger than Part 25 Barbarich Drive.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

39.     The proposed transfer to the council of Tihi Street in substitution for Part 25 Barbarich Drive was supported by Community Investment staff in 2020 as a high priority and is supported by Community Facilities and Parks, Sport and Recreation staff.

40.     There is limited recreational value in retaining Part 25 Barbarich Drive, which could only function as a passive reserve.  College Road and Ngahue Drive are both busy roads running along its boundaries which makes it less safe and less appealing for play, games and ball sports.

41.     Having the Tihi Street site transferred to the council will benefit the local community by:

·    ensuring public access to the existing walking path

·    protecting Stonefields cultural and natural heritage

·    enlarging and enhancing the reserve on Maungarei/Mount Wellington.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

42.     On 19 November 2020 the Ōrākei Local board resolved as follows: [OR/2020/134]

a)      support in principle public notification as an initial step to provide an opportunity for the community and residents to provide their views, under section 15(2) of the Reserves Act 1977 of a possible exchange of part of the presently privately-owned land Lot 100 DP 529532, containing approximately 2,970m², corner College Road and Ngahue Drive, and at 25 Barbarich Drive,  Stonefields, with the privately-owned land Lot 901 DP 478725, containing approximately 19,425m2, at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields, noting:

i)       Lot 100 is not presently Council-owned reserve land, but under an existing agreement this privately-owned land will vest in the Auckland Council under section 239 of the Resource Management Act 1991 as an unclassified recreation wszexdreserve upon deposit of a subdivision of this land with Land Information New Zealand.

         ii)       that part of the subdivided land will remain with the owner which will develop the land currently zoned Residential - Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings under the Unitary Plan and the balance of the land in Barbarich Drive will be held by the Auckland Council as a non-service asset until decisions are made regarding its future use, noting that it was proposed to be developed as open space under the Stonefields Master Plan.

         iii)      Council staff have assessed this exchange to be a high priority against the Parks and Open Space Acquisition Policy (2013).

         iv)      the Board has received advice that 2,970m² of Lot 100 is not needed to meet the provision targets in the Open Space Provision Policy (2016) and is not a priority for retention.

         v)      if the land exchange were to proceed, the site at 50 Tihi Street, Stonefields could be administered by the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority in accordance with the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014.

         vi)      that decision-making on this possible land exchange rests with the Auckland Council's Governing Body.

b)      express its strong desire that the informal walking path from Gollan Road to Tihi Street, which is needed to be maintained for students to travel safely to Stonefields School and as an extension to the Stonefields Heritage Trail, be formalised through the possible exchange either by transfer from the developer to the Council or other legal mechanism.

CARRIED

43.     Decisions to acquire land are made by the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee but it is noted the Ōrākei Local Board resolution OR/2020/134 set out in paragraph 42 above states that it understands that decision-making on this possible land exchange rests with the council's governing body.

44.     The public consultation process provided an opportunity for the local community to express their views on the proposal as recorded in the Commissioners’ report in Attachment A.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

45.     Ngāi Tai ki Tamaki are the ancient iwi Mana Whenua of Tāmaki Makaurau and they have an intrinsic connection to Maungarei and its surrounding landscapes being within their heartland rohe -as adjoining land-owners due their Cultural Redress site at Homestead Drive.

46.     Iwi advised after reviewing the proposal that they confirm Ngāi Tai support this proposal. The substitution of land will provide improvement to connectivity and will ensure the preservation of the immediate Maungarei landscape and they have interest in engaging on the management/development of this space upon acquisition.

47.     If the transfer of 50 Tihi Street to council proceeds, the site could be administered by the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority in accordance with the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014.

48.     Integrated management of the site as part of Maungarei would benefit open space outcomes. It would also reflect the significance of the land to mana whenua.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

49.     Council and Templeton have obtained independent registered valuations to determine the market value of the land.

50.     Council’s valuation advice indicates that Part 25 Barbarich Drive has a higher market value than the Tihi Road land and so council should receive the difference in value, the proceeds of which are to be applied to the Council’s general account.

51.     Council’s Finance and Performance Manager has reviewed the proposal and approves the implications.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

52.     There is a financial risk that council and Templeton will not be able to reach an agreement on the value of the sites. This risk has been mitigated by obtaining independent valuations.  

53.     There is a risk that the delays in obtaining council committee approvals will result in a lost opportunity to have 50 Tihi Street transferred to council as part of this transaction due to contractual deadlines between Templeton and Fletcher. This risk can be mitigated by abandoning the section 15 RA reserve land exchange process.

54.     If the proposed transfer to council of Tihi Street does not proceed and the site remains in private ownership, current or future owners may withdraw existing informal public access to the existing path. This represents a low reputational risk to council as some members of the public may consider it to be part of the adjacent Stonefields Heritage Trail.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

55.     The local board’s views on the proposed land exchange will be included in a report to the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee (PACE) on 9 September 2021.

56.     If approved by PACE Committee, Council and Templeton will enter into an agreement to vary the PDA.

57.     Further discussions with Council co-governance staff and iwi in relation to the possible management transfer to Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau can occur post transfer of 50 Tihi Street.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

25 Barbarich Dr - Recommendation Decision

 

b

Barbarich Pedestrian routes

 

     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Authors

Katerina Marinkovich - Specialist Technical Statutory Advisor

Authorisers

Trina Thompson - Local Area Manager