Geek Camp 2015
Source and Credit to Accelerating Auckland

Park Jam (A Digital Community Event) In April

A Digital Community Event

From Accelerating Auckland


We are pushing aside books at Māngere Town Centre Library on April 11th to make room for digital devices and a whole lot of free workshops on how they work.

Many of us know how to send a text or take a photo from our phones but far too often the skills stop there. That can be a problem when, these days, the confident, critical and creative use of ICT is just as important for getting a job as reading, writing and arithmetic used to be.

Māngere’s ‘Park Jam‘ builds on the highly successful Otara Park Jam (2014) where nearly 1500 locals tried their hand at everything from beat making to game design and digital art.

For the Māngere programme organisers Accelerating Auckland have partnered with Auckland Libraries, the Town Centre, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board along with local education providers and Creatives, including University of Waikato, AwhiWorld, Coconut Wireless, Good Seed Trust, NZSE, The S.M.A.R.T.B.U.S NZ! from Fountain of Knowledge Trust, Auckland Council Early Childhood Services and Eyes Wide Open Web Design. Critical contributions in Park Jam’s delivery are a set of 30 Galaxy Notes provided by Samsung and a large number of sausages sponsored by the wonderful folk at Five Star Pork.

Around 3,000 locals are expected along to enjoy a fun-filled day including local performances from Adeaze, Southmade and Fresh Movement, free sausages, face painting and even a bouncy castle! More than 10 different digital workshops will include leading edge tech like Augmented Reality, “Social Media for Nannies”, Gaming making, 3D printing, Stop Motion animation and Web Design….and preschoolers are going to be really excited when they check out the S.M.A.R.T.B.U.S.

The following week, workshops continue with Geek Camp for Year 7-8 students from Robertson Road School and Good Seed Trust’s Holiday programme. Feedback from the Māngere Community has been enthusiastic:

Coconut Wireless Founder and Managing Director, Mary Aue: “We can’t wait to share these workshops with our awesome tech savvy Māngere community” Māngere Town Centre Library Manager, Sonia Munro: “We are really excited about Māngere Park Jam –as it is focused on informing people about the options and opportunities available in the digital space” Māngere Town Centre Manager Dave Fearon: “The Town Centre is really pleased to be participating in this work supporting our locals to navigate digital pathways to the future” Leading the programme is NGO Accelerating Aotearoa Inc, working hard to support Choices for Aucklanders through digital skills as the foundation for skilled work.


Further Information


Plentiful jobs and high wages are offered by the growing technology sector but many South Aucklanders do not have access to the infrastructure or the skill sets to participate.

Accelerating Aotearoa has established the Accelerating Auckland programme to address this issue by supporting oung Aucklanders – focusing on those most in need – to prepare and qualify for works this lucrative and rapidly growing employment opportunity.

Accelerating Auckland is improving learning success within early learning facilities, schools, tertiaries and across communities. Together we’re opening up possibilities for South Auckland youth to access the lucrative work opportunities in the technology sector. Supported by Auckland Council’s “Digital Leadership Forum”, delivery is made possible by an innovative collaboration of nearly 40 organisations and over 100 volunteers. In 2014 Accelerating Auckland reached 2000 South Aucklanders; in 2015 they are aiming to reach 18,000 more with plans in place to reach 100,000 by 2020.




A great initiative to help the youth in the South to being able to connect with the digital work which encompasses the 21st Century.

I am hoping to make it to Park Jam 2015 to see the wonderful opportunities and experiences at the event and of course (hopefully) be able to tell their stories experiencing the Park Jam 2015.

End to End of the two outer wharves forming a super imposed limit

The Bledsole extensions sit in side that limit

Mayor Meets With The Concerned Over Ports of Auckland

Not sure yet if Court action will continue

Just in from the Office of the Mayor:

Mayor meets community and key stakeholders on Ports debate

The Mayor today met with representatives of Ports of Auckland, key stakeholders and interested community groups to discuss the ports debate.

“The first step to resolving this debate is getting all the relevant parties around the same table,” says Len Brown.

“It is critical we all work together to strike a balance that is in the best interests of Auckland and after today’s meeting I can see we are all prepared to do just that.”

The Mayor met with Sir Stephen Tindall, Andy Anderson and Steve Mair of the Auckland Yachting and Boating Association, Julie Stout of Urban Auckland lobby group and representatives of the Ports of Auckland (Graeme Hawkins, Alistair Kirk, Liz Coutts).

In addition, the Mayor has directed the council to begin work early on a major study of the economic, environmental and social impacts of the various options for the port.

Originally intended to start at the end of the Unitary Plan process mid-2016, first steps are now underway for the study.

“We are currently working to put together the best process, so we can carry out the study thoroughly and thoughtfully with a wide range of Auckland voices taking part. And we will be keeping Aucklanders updated about its progress.

“This is the opportunity to have the most informed discussion yet about the role of Auckland’s port.”

The terms of reference for the study will be developed in consultation with councillors and wider community stakeholders.

Alongside this, councillors are continuing to debate and shape the rules that will govern any future applications by the Ports to expand, a process that will conclude towards the end of next year.


It is not known yet whether Urban Auckland who was one of the participants at the meeting today will continue its legal action in seeking a Judicial Review on the consenting of the Bledisole Wharf extensions next Thursday.

Electric Train heading to Newmarket from Britomart

And The Rail Failures Keep on Coming UPDATED

One service not running most of the week, Electric Train Disabled at Meadowbank

The disaster fortnight for the rail system (overseen by Auckland Transport) with the rail system keeps on going.

For most of the week the 3:18pm Britomart to Papakura via Newmarket service on the Southern Line has been cancelled owing to “train fault” with subsequent trains delayed over five minutes. The service is a diesel unit.

And for the electrics we have an EMU disabled at Meadowbank (Manukau Line) as I write this with a traction motor fault. Meaning it isn’t moving far fast.

UPDATE: Apparently the EMU 6 car set was disabled indeed and they had to do a full reboot of the computer system on the train before anything else could be attempted. it is not known if the Eastern Line is clear yet.

Just in from the Western Line a service was cancelled owing to a lack of a Train Manager.

This tops off a horrid fortnight for Auckland Transport and sadly passengers as well.

Wonder what next week will bring?

Berths along water front including length

Papers for High Court Review into Port of Auckland Wharf Extensions to be Filed

Port also to embark on PR Campaign for Extensions

It has finally happened but took a while to get there. This morning it has been heard that pressure group Urban Auckland is to file papers in the High Court seeking a review on the consent granted to Ports of Auckland for the Bledisole Wharf extensions.\

From Radio NZ:

Group to seek legal review of port expansion

Updated at 7:03 am today

Ports of Auckland has said the work will start next month.

Urban Auckland says resource consents for the Bledisloe Wharf extensions were granted unlafully.

Chairperson Julie Stout says Ports of Auckland should stop work that relies on the resource consents.

Ms Stout said the group believed it was in the public interest that the decisions and processes are scrutinised in the High Court.

A public protest against that the plan, and possible future reclamation of the harbour, drew around 800 people on Sunday.

The imminent wharf extensions of nearly 100 metres took Auckland councillors by surprise last month, during debate over the port’s longer term future.

Ports of Auckland says it did not think it needed to publicly flag that it was seeking consent from the work, as it was part of a long-term development already known by its council owner.

Chief executive Tony Gibson did not consider that to have been a mistake.

“We run on a commercial basis under the Port Companies Act. I think what we should have done was make sure the public was very much aware why we need to do it, and the implications of not doing it.”

Mr Gibson said an information campaign would begin this weekend.

“The reality is if we don’t move ahead with the extension, you won’t see the cruise liner Queen Mary here, because that can no longer go on Jellicoe Wharf, that’ll be used by cement ships,” said Mr Gibson.

“So we have a burning issue and if that’s not solved, we will have to turn away cruise ships in the 2016 cruise season.”


Also an audio clip from Radio NZ with POAL CEO Tony Gibson indicating a campaign to start tomorrow on the benefits of the wharf extensions:



There is no indication yet that the papers filed by Urban Auckland to the Court will be accepted as I believe the bar to trigger a review is quite high. However, if the review is to proceed then it will have no qualms for me as I would like to see what went wrong and how to avoid it again (if the Court believes something went wrong in the first place).

Also here is a picture on possible locations to berth the cruise ships along with how much berth is available. Remembering the larger ships like the Queen Mary will be wanting around 320 metres of berthing for safe docking.

Berths along water front including length

Berths along water front including length

I have a couple of appearances on various media outlets talking about the Port issue. I will let you know when they are due to either screen or show up on Twitter.

Cultural Assessments in Unitary Plan Maintain Support

Council to take position into mediation

From Auckland Council

Support for Cultural Impact Assessments re-stated   

Auckland Council has confirmed its support for the Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) requirements in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. 

Some amendments agreed by the Auckland Development Committee (24 March, 2015) will ensure the requirements only apply in situations where there is the potential for a resource consent to have an adverse impact on the cultural values of Auckland’s Mana Whenua.

“This will be the council’s position going into mediation with Aucklanders who have made submissions on this aspect of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan,” said chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley. “The council remains open to discussing the views of submitters and exploring ways of reaching a common ground.”

When the CIA requirements came into effect in September 2013, concerns were raised about the difficulty applicants might have engaging directly with Mana Whenua to confirm whether or not a CIA is required, and if so, how one might be prepared.

To address these concerns, the council set up a facilitation service in March last year which has dealt with almost 300 applications in that time. Of those, 36 resulted in Mana Whenua confirming a CIA is required. This is from a total of over 10,000 resource consent applications in roughly the same period.

“The council has received a considerable amount of positive feedback about the CIA facilitation service and intends to continue it into the foreseeable future,” Dr Blakeley added.

“Protecting Auckland’s rich cultural heritage is fundamentally important as our city grows. Maori cultural heritage is a key component of this,” he said.

“The council’s Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan takes a step forward from the work a number of Auckland’s former councils had undertaken in addressing this issue. The CIA requirements do not provide Mana Whenua with a ‘right of veto’ over development in Auckland.

“They are a critical tool that ensures the council is in an informed position when it comes to assessing the impacts of development on cultural heritage and the values held by Mana Whenua, but ultimately decisions still rest with the council.”

Mediation on submissions starts next week, with the hearings scheduled in May.



Tsunami Siren Test Soon

Six Monthly Test to mark end of Daylight Savings

From Auckland Council and Civil Defence

Listen out for the tsunami siren tests

Tsunami siren testing will take place at midday this Sunday (5 April) at North and West Auckland beaches. The sirens are tested twice a year in line with daylight savings, a handy reminder to check your civil defence survival items, household plan and getaway kits.

“The sirens are tested to check they are still operating effectively and to familiarise locals with the emergency siren tones,” says Head of Emergency Management Operations Angus McKay.

As well as the warning sirens, Civil Defence has just relaunched a new version of their app available for both iPhone and Androids. You can also register to receive text message notifications for emergencies.

“This is a test only,” says Angus. “There’s no need for anyone to do anything different and please don’t panic.”

The test sequence will be three sets of tones, each with a different meaning: alert, evacuate or all clear. They will sound for one minute each with 15 seconds in between.

“In a real emergency situation, the tones sound for longer, from between five and 15 minutes, depending on which message it is,” says Angus.

For more information on how to get ready or to sign up for emergency alerts visit

Follow Civil Defence on Twitter @AucklandCDEM and Facebook “Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management”, or download the app.


Sirens are located in Rodney at Point Wells, Whangateau, Omaha and Waiwera. In the west they are at Bethells Beach Te Henga, Piha North, Piha South, Karekare, Whatipu, Little Huia, Te Atatu South, Harbour View Road (Te Atatu Peninsula), Te Atatu Peninsula North, Westpark Marina, Harrier Point (Hobsonville Airbase) and Herald Island.

The siren patterns and the way they will sound in an emergency are:

Alert (dash – dash – dot – dot) sounds for 15 minutes and indicates threat of tsunami. Evacuate beaches, prepare for full evacuation and monitor the radio or television for more information.

Evacuate (dot – dot – dot) continuous bursts for 15 minutes indicates immediate evacuation to the nearest safe high ground and to avoid using personal transport unless essential.

All clear (continuous tone) sounds for 5 minutes indicate threat has passed. Return to premises if they have not been affected and follow directions of the emergency services if your area has been affected.

Civil Defence Public Alerting – Evacuation Siren System maps of Rodney

and Waitakere are available online.

For more information check out or


Electric Train at Britomart

Second Week of Failures from Auckland Transport and Transdev on the Rail Lines UPDATE

Apologies not enough



I just saw this now:



Last week was an atrocious week on the Auckland passenger rail network with constant delays and cancellations especially on the Western and Manukau Lines (so both diesel and electric trains affected). To make matters worse the lack of information whether it be Twitter, text messages, or announcements on trains and stations were lacking.

It resulted in Auckland Transport apologising to the public although I wonder how far that apology went.

Cue this week and we are having the exact same problems again but this time on all Lines.


So what is Auckland Transport going to do?

Apologise again or take some meaningful action against Transdev Auckland that runs the passenger rail road?

Because the actions of a select few (mainly the Transdev Control Room and its managers that oversee it) will affect the many’s confidence in using the rail system.

And I am sure the Mayor, Auckland Council, and Auckland Transport do not want confidence in the rail system to fall resulting in losses in that hard-earned patronage just before the City Rail Link construction starts this year!


So then AT, we going to take some action against Transdev to get their performance up to scratch or you willing to risk the confidence of those rail passengers?


Bad Minion Coffee

Third Advisory Panel Member Quits

This is after Mayor Gives Reassurances


Short story:
  1. Two Advisory Panel Members quit
  2. Mayor has meeting and says all excellent
  3. Third Advisory Panel Member quits soon after


Long Story:


Today a presser from the Mayoral Office went out reassuring Auckland that the Mayor has met with the leaders of the different Advisory Panels and all is excellent.

From the Office of the Mayor

Outcome of meeting with advisory panels chairs

Mayor Len Brown says Auckland Council’s advisory panels have an important contribution to make to Auckland.

The Mayor met with the chairs of the council’s advisory panels today, along with the councillors who serve as liaison between the council and the panels.

“I support the work of the panels, which are all doing excellent work on behalf of their communities.

“After talking with the chairs and liaison councillors today, we have identified a few operational improvements which could be made, and our staff will work to make those happen promptly.”

“One of the fundamental improvements is making sure that the council closes the feedback loop for panels, that we give them better information on what has happened with their advice.”

“I am satisfied that the panels are well-positioned to continue to play an important role in Auckland governance,” says Len Brown.

The start of this council term saw the focus of the panels tightened and the development of annual work programmes.

“I encourage any panel members in future who have concerns about the effectiveness and the role of the panels to get in touch with my office or council staff, so we can discuss them.”

Advisory panels identify and communicate the interests and preferences of the their communities to the council, committees and council departments.



Well soon as that presser came out this from Auckland Now came out:

Third Auckland Council panel member quits

MARIA SLADE Last updated 17:46 25/03/2015

Huhana Hickey received a NZ order of merit at the New Years Honours.

A disability advocate recognised in the New Years Honours list has quit an Auckland Council panel, saying it’s no longer independent.

Huhana Hickey is the third member of the council’s community advisory panels to step down over concerns they are ineffectual.

Feroz Ali, chair of the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel, resigned last week saying the panel lacked legitimacy and was a waster of ratepayers’ money.

Panel member Kafeba Mundele then also stepped down.

Auckland Council has a group of panels advising on community matters, including heritage, youth, rural and seniors.

Mayor Len Brown met with some of the chairs on Wednesday to discuss the issues.

The rules on how the panels operated were changed late last year and their independence had been significantly watered down, Hickey said.

“I joined up (thinking) that we were going to be kind of, like, the conscience in the ear.

“It’s quite frustrating when you’re trying to make a difference to be only allowed to make a difference if it suits council.”

The AUT Maori health expert said an example was that the panels were no longer allowed to make external submissions.




And yes I have heard the quips of the ‘wheels falling off the bus’ numerous times before this post went to publication already.


But it does show that something is not right. Coupled with the South Auckland Community Empowerment Workshop on Tuesday night being deeply suspicious of any thing meaningful to happen and we have a serious issue – of community empowerment.

And that suspicion will not go away quickly when Auckland Transport was singled out as the worst offender in not endeavouring to be part of the community empowerment approach.

So what next?


Glenora Road Station, Park and Ride, and Bus Interchange

Southern Line Stations Review Paper Out

Still non-committal on the new station near Addison

Auckland Transport released last month (probably a reason why I missed it in a Local Government Official Information Act request at the time) the Southern Line Stations Review which can be read below:

From what I can see the following is in play:

  1. Auckland Transport are non-committal on Te Mahia remaining opening beyond another two years. This is unless Auckland Council redistributes some money for a large-ish upgrade
  2. Tironui Station seems the preferred option if another station is to be built while Takanini stays open (and also needing an upgrade)
  3. If Tironui is to go ahead it is in the medium to long-term

As we are trying to run a heavy rail metro system here the idea is to have stations on the outer network actually far apart to allow for speedy trips along the line. Feeder buses and park and rides would plug the gaps between the stations while cycle parking can also extend the reach of a station. Walking catchment in my opinion applies more to inner stations rather than outer for a heavy rail system.

Thus I would be inclined to shut both Te Mahia and concedingly  reopen Tironui while upgrading Takanini in the interim.

So the question is now what will the Auckland Development Committee do as it oversees urban development and planning.

If nothing comes up by June I might go prod them to see what response we get knowing the Long Term Plan deliberations are under way.

Britomart station drawing
Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Transport to Showcase City Rail Link BUT Somehow Manage to Screw That Up

You want support for the City Rail Link? You go TO the people!

Check this from Auckland Transport:

Head to the upcoming City Rail Link design showcase

23/03/2015 09:43 a.m.

A design showcase for the City Rail Link’s new stations and their adjacent public spaces will give Aucklanders a peek into the future.

The CRL, which starts construction late this year, will re-shape the city by bringing Britomart, Aotea and Karangahape Road within 3 to 6 minutes of each other and Mt Eden within 9.

Each station, new ones at Aotea and Karangahape and a redeveloped Mt Eden, has been designed in partnership with Mana whenua, who shared their considerable knowledge of the local areas to provide a unique look and feel.

“We think people will be excited when they see these new spaces and what they’ll do for the city,” says Chris Meale, CRL Project Director.  “Together they represent the city’s most significant place shaping opportunity in the next decade. Visitors to the design showcase in mid-April will also find out how the first stage of construction will roll out later this year.”

The design showcase is being held in an AT Bus by the No.1 Café in QE11 Square, 10am to 4pm daily from Saturday 11 to Wednesday 15 April 2015.



The Flyer

Source: Auckland Transport

Source: Auckland Transport

So how did Auckland Transport screw up?

Well AT and Council keep saying that the City Rail Link benefits all of Auckland right?

It might pay for Auckland Transport to take their showcase bus not only the the City Centre where arguably the CRL is but also maybe a tour starting with the ten Metropolitan Centres if the CRL is meant to benefit all of Auckland. After the Metropolitan Centres the tour could hit the top 15 stations by patronage, then transport interchanges after that. Also just maybe the tour should be at or near the locations of the new CRL stations as well so people can visualise what will be happening over the next wee while.

This way the City Rail Link that is meant to benefit all of Auckland is shown to all of Auckland, not just people travelling to the City Centre.

Classic screw up that does not help the perception of a Council and a CCO that is City Centre Centric…..