Month: July 2014

5:16pm and 5:46pm Britomart – Onehunga Services running – as Electric Trains

Good news. Lets hope this holds up


I received my usual updates on Twitter about whether the electric trains are running or not after facing Day 11 of being grounded since power infrastructure faults became significant two Sunday’s ago

And this is what greets me

The 5:16pm main peak service from Britomart to Onehunga coming out of the Newmarket tunnel heading towards Britomart


And just a few moments ago as I write this


The second main peak service the 5:46pm also got away on time as well.


So our electrics are back after 10.5 days being grounded. The catch is will they hold out or will that fault return? We wait and see.


New By-Laws Coming into Effect

Aucklanders helped shape new By-Laws


From Auckland Council

Aucklanders help shape new bylaws


Community feedback has played a major part in the final content of two new regional bylaws adopted by Auckland Council’s Governing Body today.

In adopting the final Navigation Safety and Cemeteries and Crematoria bylaws, Regulatory and Bylaws Committee Chairman Calum Penrose says both are excellent examples of how the consultation and hearing process can have a positive outcome for the community and council.

“With both bylaws we came up with a series of proposals aimed at managing a particular issue – such as public concerns over the number of drownings involving people not wearing lifejackets – and how to protect public health and safety in both situations.

“By the community getting involved in these decisions through the submission process, we could see that in some cases we didn’t quite get it right.  So we listened, we considered and we made changes that the council and the public can work with – it’s been a great outcome.

“I think with navigation safety in particular it has transferred the responsibility for keeping people safe back to the skipper,” he says.

Also at today’s meeting, councillors agreed the proposed Animal Management and Alcohol Control bylaws and that an amendment to council’s Health and Hygiene Bylaw are ready to be released for public consultation.

Auckland Council inherited 158 bylaws from Auckland’s former legacy councils and, under the Local Government Act, is required to review all of these by October 2015.  The council has now implemented 12 of 30 region-wide bylaws, all of which introduce a fairer and more consistent experience for our customers, no matter where in Auckland they live or own a business.

Reports included on all these bylaws are in the Governing Body agenda, available on the council’s website. 


Information on the new and proposed bylaws below:


Navigation Safety Bylaw


Will replace the current Auckland Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2008 and includes new regulations as follows:

  • Everyone on a vessel of six metres in length or less will have to wear a lifejacket at all times unless the skipper says it can be removed.   This is a change of the original proposal which did not include skippers’ discretion
  • That on board every boat there must be some form of communication to enable persons on board to contact the shore if they get in to difficulty.   Changes from proposal requiring carrying of a communication device such as a phone or radio.
  • That people in charge of a vessel should not be intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

The new bylaw will come in to effect at Labour Weekend and council is developing an awareness and education programme to ensure people are aware of the new regulations and their responsibilities.   It will also write to the Minister of Transport to review the Maritime Transport Act to allow the council to issue infringements for breaches of the new regulations.


Cemeteries and Crematoria Bylaw and Code of Practice


This bylaw and code of practice will replace eight bylaws inherited from former councils and replace with a single approach to managing facilities across the region.  It will come in to effect from 1 November 2014.

Changes made as a result of consultation including added a series of explanatory notes to the code to provide clarity.

Other changes include

  • Giving cemetery managers discretion on how many people can be in the immediate area during a cremation
  • Continuing to support family and friends’ desire to be able to fill their loved ones’ grave, but ask that they give cemetery staff notice so that provisions can be made, including having equipment available
  • That floral tributes and adornments on graves will be moved to the concrete berm to allow grave maintenance to be carried out

Changes were also made to clarify that approval is not required for the scattering of ashes in public places but that information will be provided about this activity in sensitive areas such as playgrounds and sportsfields.


Proposed bylaws being consulted on from later this month: 

Animal Management


Will replace 18 bylaws relating to the management of animals with a single region-wide approach to minimise nuisance and risks to public health and safety.

Includes proposals relating to the keeping of stock (including chickens) and bees and  in urban areas and on public places and horse riding in public places.


Alcohol Control Bylaw


Will establish a process for the review of the region’s alcohol control areas (liquor bans).  Also proposes that local boards are given delegation to make review the those bans located in their areas.

New legislation requires that all alcohol control areas must be based on evidence of crime and alcohol related harm before a control can be put in place.


Amendment to the Auckland Council Health and Hygiene Bylaw


We propose amending the bylaw to exempt pharmacies from needing a licence to carry out ear piercings as they are already licenced under the Medicines Act 1981 and undergo regular audits by the Ministry of Health.

The bylaw requires health premises piercing the skin (including commercial ear piercing) to get a licence from council.




Have You Submitted on your Local Board’s Plan Yet?

August 6 is when submission close


From Auckland Council

Still time to help shape your Local Board Plan


Aucklanders are reminded that they have until 5pm on Wednesday 6 August to make a submission on their draft Local Board Plan. 

Each board, from Great Barrier, to Franklin in the south and Rodney in the north, has produced a draft Local Board Plan which provides a framework that will guide its decision-making, actions and priorities over the next three years.

Common themes from the draft plans include:

  • protecting, enhancing and restoring the natural environment, with a particular emphasis on improving waterways and harbours
  • a well-connected transport system offering real choice, plus the development of cycleways and walkways for recreation and to get around
  • providing community facilities and  parks, open spaces and sports facilities to encourage active and healthy lifestyles and places for play and relaxation
  • fostering strong local economies which offer a range of local employment opportunities.


Board members were out and about in their communities in February and March talking about the ideas that helped shape the draft plans and during July have been seeking formal submissions at consultation meetings around the region.

Aucklanders can still make a submission on their draft Local Board Plan either by filling out the freepost form that was sent with a summary document to every household during July or by going online at

People can read the draft plan in full at the shapeauckland website or by going to selected libraries and Auckland Council service centres.

Once the submission period ends on 6 August, hearings to consider all feedback will be held between August and September, with the Local Board Plans due to be adopted in October.

For more information or additional submission forms, people should call 09 301 0101.

Public feedback will help each board decide what its priorities are. These will then be considered through the process now underway for the next draft Long-term Plan (LTP) for 2015-2025.


About local boards

Local boards have a significant and wide-ranging role that spans most local government services and activities. Local boards make decisions on local matters, provide local leadership and support strong local communities. Local boards provide important local input into region-wide strategies and plans including those of the council-controlled organisations (CCOs). Details of each local board can be found at the ‘About Council’ page at

Each local boards’ budget for each year is subject to agreement with the governing body as part of the discussion on the annual local board agreement.

Local boards are responsible for:

  • making decisions about non-regulatory local matters, including negotiating the standards of services delivered locally
  • identifying and communicating the views of local people on regional strategies, policies, plans and bylaws to the governing body
  • developing local board plans every three years and negotiating local board agreements with the governing body
  • providing local leadership and developing relationships with the governing body, the community, community organisations and special interest groups in the local area
  • providing input to CCO plans and initiatives
  • identifying and developing bylaws for the local board area and proposing them to the governing body
  • monitoring and reporting on the implementation of local board agreements
  • any additional responsibilities delegated by the governing body, such as decisions within regional bylaws.




At the moment I am finishing up both the Papakura Local Board, and the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board draft plan submissions. After that it will be onto the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Area Plan


DejaVu All Over Again: A Reality Check on SkyTrain

A note when you do not fund something properly.
Also shows the paradox between roads and public transport.
That is if the road fails you throw more money at it. If public transport fails you punish it and take away its money it needs to prevent the failures

Price Tags

Here’s a VanCity Buzz piece by Kenneth Chan, dated July 2013.  Yup, a year ago:

REALITY CHECK: Why is SkyTrain breaking down so frequently?

There is no question that SkyTrain breakdowns have been happening far more frequently over the last few weeks and months, particularly with the Expo Line. Yesterday morning’s failure was the second time this month a malfunction led to major delays across the SkyTrain network. …

However, there is only so much that can be done on a system that is clearly wearing down with age and restrained from undergoing the improvements necessary with its severe lack in funding.  …

Prior to the recent strings of power rail service disruption incidents, TransLink already recognized that a major replacement of the Expo Line’s aging power rails was needed. In November 2012, TransLink began a $33-million project to replace 34-kms of power rails on the Expo Line…

View original post 367 more words

Auckland Council Correcting a Resolutions Error

Whoops – bit too quick off the mark there


From Auckland Council

Auckland Council correcting minor issue on rates resolution – no change to rates bills



Auckland Council is correcting a minor technical issue in the setting of this year’s rates.


At the 26 June Governing Body meeting, the Council voted to set its rates immediately prior to adopting the Annual Plan, rather than immediately after as required by the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.


To remove any potential ambiguity created by this issue, Auckland Council’s Governing Body will be asked to repeat its 2014-15 rates resolutions as part of its ordinary meeting on 14 August.


The resolution will not change rates as set on 26 June, and there will be no change to what appears on people’s rates bills.


A Council spokesperson said:


“Unfortunately the ordering of the agenda was not strictly in line with what is required by the Act. This resolution will remove any potential ambiguity this may have created. It will have no impact on the rates that were set by Council.”


Auckland Council will publish a notice in the New Zealand Herald tomorrow, pursuant to section 119 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.