Month: February 2014

Council Looking for New Independent Hearing Commissioners

Calling those who want to help shape Auckland


Auckland Council is looking for new Commissioners to take up the reigns from mid-year. Note these are not Commissioners for the Unitary as they have already been appointed.

From Auckland Council

Applications invited for independent hearing commissioners


Applications are invited from qualified people to join Auckland Council’s pool of independent hearing commissioners.

A current “Making Good Decisions” accreditation by the Ministry for the Environment is preferred, and will be essential from 12 September 2014, along with skills in general planning or resource management law.

Applications close on 14 March 2014 for positions starting 1 June 2014 for a three year term, reviewable annually. 

The council currently has contracts with about 60 independent commissioners and these contracts are due to expire on 31 May 2014.  Under this review, the council is seeking to appoint about 40-50 independent commissioners.


Independent commissioners will sit as panel members, some as chairpersons.

They will sit on hearings for such purposes as resource consents, Section 357 objections, bylaw dispensations, reserve management plans, plan changes, special consultative procedures and notices of requirement.

Expertise in one or more of the following is required:

  • planning
  • resource management law
  • engineering (transport and infrastructure)
  • landscape architecture
  • ecology, biodiversity and environmental management
  • freshwater management
  • the Treaty of Waitangi and kaupapa Maori
  • community
  • coastal management
  • heritage and conservation management
  • urban design
  • air quality
  • rural planning and land management
  • waste management


Hearings Committee chair Councillor Linda Cooper said the council had been well served by independent commissioners in the first term. The opportunity now arose to review and refresh the pool as the council moved forward under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and Resource Management Act changes.

“We are entering a new planning era providing great prospects for skilled professionals and I’m sure that will be reflected in the quality of the applicants,” she added.

Two selection panels, each comprising senior managers from the council’s Democracy Services and Regional and Local Planning departments and a member of the Independent Maori Statutory Board, or person nominated by the IMSB, will present a list of preferred candidates to the Hearings Committee in May 2014.


Applicants should apply via including Curriculum Vitae, a copy of their accreditation from the Ministry for the Environment, and, if they wish to be considered for a chairperson role, an example of a recent decision they have written.

Further information is available from Elizabeth McKenzie on 09 307 7557



So send your applications now and be at the leading edge of helping shape Auckland’s future


NZTA Announces Expert Panel on Cycling

Lets Talk Cycling


From NZTA in response a Coroners report in Cycling in NZ:

Expert panel on cycle safety announced

28 Feb 2014 09:22am | NZ Transport Agency: Auckland and Northland

The NZ Transport Agency has selected a group of ten New Zealand-based experts to develop recommendations for making the country’s roads safer for cycling.

The Transport Agency was asked to convene the panel in response to the findings of a coronial review of cycling safety in New Zealand, released in November last year by Coroner Gordon Matenga.

NZ Transport Agency Director of Road Safety Ernst Zollner said the agency had canvassed the views of a wide range of stakeholders with expertise in cycling and road safety as part of the process of establishing the panel.

“There is a huge amount of passion and a great depth of knowledge on cycling and cycle safety in New Zealand. We’re looking to harness that passion and knowledge to encourage cycling as a transport choice by making it safer. This panel is tasked with developing a comprehensive and practical set of recommendations for central and local government to achieve that.”

The panel is expected to meet for the first time next month and will aim to deliver its recommendations by the end of September.

Mr Zollner said the Transport Agency and other members of the National Road Safety Management Group would also continue existing work to improve the safety of cyclists in New Zealand by investing in separated cycle paths, improving the safety of roads and roadsides, making intersections safer, reducing vehicle speeds in urban areas to reduce the risks that motor vehicles can pose to continue existing work to improve the safety of cyclists in New Zealand by investing in separated cycle paths, improving the safety of roads and roadsides, making intersections safer, reducing vehicle speeds in urban areas to reduce the risks that motor vehicles can pose to pedestrians and cyclists and promoting safe cycling through a range of education programmes.

The Transport Agency recently launched a Share the Road education and advertising campaign designed to personalise and humanise people cycling so that motorists see beyond the bike. More information is availablehere.

New Zealand Cycle Safety Panel – Profiles

Richard Leggat (Chair) 

Richard is the Chair of Bike NZ and the New Zealand Cycle Trail and is a board member of Education NZ, SnowSports NZ, NZ Post and Tourism NZ.  Richard is an enthusiastic recreational cyclist and is actively involved in his children’s sport. Following an economics degree Richard worked for apparel manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin before switching into the finance sector and working as a share broker initially in Christchurch, followed by four years in London and then Auckland.

Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is the first New Zealander to win an Olympic cycling gold medal, which she won in the individual pursuit at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, setting a world record.  When she left Athens at the end of the Games, Ulmer held the Olympic title, the Olympic and world records, the Commonwealth Games title and the Commonwealth Games record for the 3000m individual pursuit.  In mid-2011, it was announced that she would be the official ‘ambassador’ for the New Zealand Cycle Trail.  In the 2005 New Year Honours, Ulmer was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to cycling. 

Marilyn Northcotte

Marilyn has more than twenty years of involvement in cycle skills training, originally in Canada (CAN‐Bike I and II, Cycling Freedom) and has also trained in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.  Marilyn has developed and delivered cycle skills and road safety programmes for adults and children in a variety of settings and regularly undertakes work for councils, cycle advocacy groups, schools, holiday programmes, Police and community groups, as well as offering one‐to‐one training.  Marilyn heads up the regional cycle skills training programmePedal Ready.

Mike Noon

Mike joined the Automobile Association in September 2005 as General Manager Motoring Affairs.  Mike started his career with Mobil Oil NZ where he held the position of Marketing and Communications Manager.  Immediately prior to joining the AA, Mike worked as a consultant specialising in tourism, issue management and communications.  Before that Mike worked with the Office of Tourism and Sport, and as its Director saw through the establishment of the Ministry of Tourism.  Road safety is a particularly important issue for the AA, and it has lobbied strongly on issues like young driver training, cell phones, alcohol and drugs and road engineering.

Dr Hamish Mackie

Hamish is a human factors specialist with seventeen years of research and consultancy experience in a range of areas where the interaction between people, their surrounding environments and the things they use are important. Over the past eight years Hamish has focused on self-explaining roads, high risk intersections, school transport and other areas where a ‘human-centred’ perspective is essential.

Simon Kennett

Originally a power systems engineering officer, Simon helped to found ‘Kennett Brothers Ltd’ in 1993, a business devoted to cycling books, event management, trail design and construction, and strategy development. In 2004 he co-wrote and published ‘RIDE’ – a history of cycling in New Zealand. In 2007/08 he coordinated the Cycling Advocates’ Network networking project under contract to NZTA. Since 2009 Simon has been the Active Transport and Road Safety Coordinator at Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Dr Alexandra Macmillan

Alex is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health at the University of Otago’s Department of Preventive and Social Medicine. She also holds an honorary senior research position at the Bartlett – University College London’s global faculty of the built environment. She trained in Medicine and is a Public Health Physician. Alex’s teaching and research focuses on the links between urban environments, sustainability and health. Her PhD included futures modelling of specific policies to successfully increase commuter cycling in Auckland. In London, she extended this work to understand the factors influencing trends in cycling in London and Dutch cities.

Professor Alistair Woodward

Alistair is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His first degree was in medicine and he undertook his postgraduate training in public health in the UK. He has a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Adelaide, and 30 years’ experience in road safety and injury research. He has studied the epidemiology of head injury, the effectiveness of helmets for cyclists, the relation between vehicle speed and injury severity, the effects on health and the environment of increasing walking and cycling, and the health impacts of transport policy. He initiated the Taupo bicycle study, which has followed 2,600 cyclists for eight years to learn about factors that promote and inhibit everyday cycling, including injury.

Axel Wilke

Axel holds an ME (Civil) from Canterbury University and has been active as a traffic engineer and transport planner in New Zealand since 1998. He specialises in urban traffic engineering, traffic signals, road safety, intersection design & modelling and industry training. He is a director of ViaStrada Limited, a traffic and transportation consultancy specialising in sustainable transport based in Christchurch. Clients of ViaStrada are mostly road controlling authorities in New Zealand, but some work (mostly research) is undertaken for Australian clients, for example Austroads. Axel instigated professional industry training, and the Fundamentals of Planning and Design for Cycling workshop has been taught since 2003, which is part of the curriculum at Canterbury University. Advanced courses were added later, and he has taught nearly 1,000 attendees in total. 

Dr Glen Koorey

Glen is a Senior Lecturer in Transportation Engineering at the University of Canterbury. He has a particular interest in the areas of road safety and sustainable transport, including speed management and planning & design for cycling. Glen is a Member of the Bicycle Transportation Research Committee of the US Transportation Research Board and over the past 15 years has investigated many aspects of cycling safety in New Zealand. His wide-ranging research and consulting experience also includes sustainable transportation policies, planning & design for walking, crash data analysis, and the design and operation of rural highways.




The panel reports back in September. I wonder what they will come up with.


Jostling Over Roading Projects

So This One or This One


Cruising through the media outlets this morning I saw this pop up over the East-West Link verse the “Holiday Highway.”

From the NZ Herald

City business lobby prefers freight route

By Mathew Dearnaley 5:30 AM Wednesday Feb 26, 2014

Group says Onehunga-East Tamaki truck corridor more urgent than Govt’s pet road.

Auckland’s main business lobby says a freight corridor through the industrial belt from Onehunga to East Tamaki is far more urgent than the Government’s $760 million “road of national significance” to Warkworth.

But the Auckland Business Forum has admitted erring in a submission on the extension of the Northern Motorway from Puhoi, for which it says predicted economic benefits are far below what a freight road beside the Manukau Harbour would deliver.

The submission claims incorrectly that there are estimated benefits of $4 to $6 for every $1 which the freight link may cost to build – even though a route has yet to be determined, and a likely price is unknown.

That compares with just 60c to $1.10 which the Transport Agency expects to gain from the motorway extension from the Johnstones Hill toll road tunnels to the northern side of Warkworth.

When questioned by the Herald about the southern freight road estimate, business forum project co-ordinator Tony Garnier said it appeared to be incorrect and would need amending in evidence to a board of inquiry hearing in April into the agency’s planning applications for the northern project.

You can read the full article over at the Herald site.


I am wondering though if there is simmering tension with the allocation of limited funds and resources to large road projects.

That said we could make the limited funds stretch further with some more sane projects such as these two here:

In other news the combined Governing Body and Local Boards are meeting in the Aotea Centre today to ‘set the scene’ for the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan – the master Council budget document



News from Auckland Transport

Some News from Auckland Transport


Two releases from Auckland Transport, one on customer service and the other on public transport patronage:


From AT on the Customer Service Group:

‘Customers the focus’ at Auckland Transport

Tuesday, 25 February, 2014 – 16:53

The Board of Auckland Transport today established a Customer Focus Committee (CFC), which will drive continuous customer service and customer experience improvements throughout the business.

Mark Gilbert (pictured), who has a background in senior management that incorporated marketing and customer service roles, will Chair the committee.

He says it will provide oversight and advice on a range of initiatives from project planning and market research to implementation. A major priority is an increase in public transport patronage. “Our overarching vision is to put an excellent customer experience at the heart of everything we do” he says.

“We aim to provide outstanding customer service, every time and be a trusted and positive contributor to the lives of all Aucklanders.“That means a greater emphasis on customer needs and wants no matter what part of the organisation or its services they are engaging with.” The CFC is a full committee of the Board, with all AT Directors invited to attend. It will meet monthly, beginning in March.



And on the Public Transport Patronage (AT’s report is below the presser):

Jump in Auckland public transport patronage

Tuesday, 25 February, 2014 – 16:40

January saw a jump of three point three per cent in the number of people using public transport in Auckland. The number of trips on rail was up seven point six per cent in January compared to the same month last year.

Auckland Transport’s Group Manager, Public Transport, Mark Lambert says the increase for rail is pleasing considering the disruption to services in January because of on-going work to electrify the rail network.The Northern Express bus service saw a rise in patronage of seven per cent, while the number using all other bus services was up just under five per cent compared to January 2013. Auckland Transport has been running promotions to encourage more people on the North Shore to use the Northern Express. Ferry patronage was down in January. One of the reasons for the drop in the numbers using ferries was the poor weather over the holiday period.

On an average weekday some 236,000 trips are taken on public transport in the region and Aucklanders are now travelling on more than 200,000 AT HOP cards.


The Accompanying Report


Council Submission to Unitary Plan

You Can Hear Those Deliberations This Thursday


As I made a brief note in the Main Council to Review CCOs this morning as well as in Unitary Plan Update last week, Auckland Council is preparing its submission to the Unitary Plan.

From Auckland Council:

Council to finalise submission on Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan


Auckland Council’s submission on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan will be finalised in open council meetings this week.

A draft of the submission will be discussed at the Unitary Plan Committee tomorrow. Committee chair Alf Filipaina says the scale and size of the proposed plan, and the new legislation that guides the submission and hearings process, meant a council submission was appropriate.

“Following notification, the next step was to go back and review everything in the proposed plan. Our submission covers the corrections and refinements found in this review, but not policy changes, as it is up to Aucklanders to have their say on the proposed plan and make their own suggestions for changes.”

All submissions on the plan need to be in by 5pm on Friday 28 February. These will then be coded and published online by the end of May, along with summary reports of the decisions requested in them.

There will then be a round of further submissions in mid-2014, where people will have an opportunity to address any of the points raised – including those raised in the council submission – to say whether or not they agree.

Councillor Filipaina says, “The further submissions phase is all about people having a chance to look at what others have said and respond. It’s especially useful if someone has said something that affects your property – it’s then your opportunity to get what you think across to the hearings panel.”

The Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel, led by Judge David Kirkpatrick, will set out the process for the hearings once it has assessed the volume and extent of submissions, as well as the topics they cover.


Issues covered in the council submission include:

  • –       More accurately defining Public Open Space zones
  • –       Addressing inconsistencies in the zoning of some parcels of land based on flood risk data
  • –       Clarification of how provisions that protect sites of value to mana whenua should be interpreted
  • –       Amending some of the extent of Significant Ecological Areas, where these are found to no longer be appropriate
  • –       Including new precincts and/or rules  as a result of recent Environment Court decisions
  • –       Correcting areas of inconsistent numbering
  • –       Corrections to some heritage overlays
  • –       Correcting zoning errors for some individual sites


The council website – – has a range of material Aucklanders can use to find out more about the plan and help them to have their say:


Agenda containing the Council’s submission


My Own Submission



Main Council to Review CCOs

Council Controlled Organisations to be reviewed


As Mayor Len Brown said in the elections last year, the Council Controlled Organisations (the CCO’s) were to be reviewed by the main Council. The CCO’s include (but not limited to):

  • Auckland Transport
  • Watercare
  • Auckland Council Investment Limited
  • Auckland Council Property Limited
  • Waterfront Auckland

From Auckland Council on the review:

Council to review super-city organisations


Auckland councillors will be asked to approve the draft terms of reference and timeline for a wide-ranging review of Council-Controlled Organisations (CCOs) at the next Governing Body meeting on 27 February, says Mayor Len Brown. The draft terms of reference can be found here (item 12, page 9).

Len Brown said: “Our CCOs deliver a huge range of services for Aucklanders, from water management, to major events, through to the big improvements we’re making in public transport. We need to ensure that as ratepayer owned and funded organisations, they are as lean and efficient as possible, with no waste and no duplication of effort.”

A key election pledge from Len Brown, the CCO review will aim to ensure Aucklanders are getting value for money from the seven council controlled organisations set up during amalgamation, and that they are fully accountable to ratepayers and elected representatives.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, Chair of the CCO Governance and Monitoring Committee said:

“Having had three years to work with the CCOs, we are at an ideal point to assess how well CCOs are performing on behalf of our communities, and to look at potential changes where they are needed across council. The review will assess what worked well in the first term and what we could do better going forward.
“It is very important that while the review is going on we continue to work with our CCOs to deliver for Auckland.”

Councillors, local board members, CCOs and the Independent Maori Statutory Board have all been given an opportunity to provide feedback on the review’s draft terms of reference. These groups have also contributed to the development of two CCO current state assessment reports that councillors will receive ahead of the Governing Body meeting.

The seven CCOs are Auckland Tourism Events Economic Development (ATEED), Auckland Transport (AT), Watercare, Auckland Council Investments Limited (ACIL), Auckland Council Property Limited (ACPL), Waterfront Auckland, and Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA).



The Governing Body Agenda which outlines the Terms of Reference for the CCO Review (and the Governing Body’s submission to the Unitary Plan)


Another post will be drawn up on the Council’s Unitary Plan Submission