Month: November 2014

Excellence Awarded

Two awarded for community excellence


And some good news today from Auckland Council:

Two West Wave staff win leisure awards


Cindy Stewart and Romina Veseli from West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre have scooped prizes at the 2014 New Zealand Fitness Awards held in Auckland on Saturday night.

Cindy won the Community Excellence Award while her colleague Romina took out the Outstanding Club Support Person title.

The West Wave pair were among four Auckland Council staff who were recognised at the annual awards. The other two were Matt Nash (Marina Fitness) and Barbara Joseph (Otara Pool and Leisure Centre), who were both finalists in the Gym Instructor of the Year category.

Auckland Council Pools and Leisure Manager Rob McGee says to have two winners and two finalists is a superb achievement for the council’s network of leisure centres, and shows that they are delivering not only top quality programmes but some ground-breaking initiatives.

One of those initiatives is the West Wave Wellness Long-Term Programme, driven by Cindy.

The senior fitness instructor has been at the Henderson-based centre for 12 years, and for the past eight has worked closely with Health West and the Green Prescription programme opening doors to referrals from the community.

“To achieve our vision of getting people into exercise we needed to illustrate the benefits of physical activity, which has improved our clients’ motivation and self-belief,” says Cindy.

Recently she has also been able to deliver hydrotherapy and aqua aerobic classes to help people with health issues such as stroke, arthritis and cardiac problems.

Her colleague Romina has worked at West Wave since 2009 and is currently the Fitness Team Leader. She helps run the club’s events and special initiatives such as the weight loss club, running club and the wellness programme.

Auckland Council is committed to increasing individual and community wellbeing through participation in recreation and sport.

Now in their 10th year and coordinated by industry association Fitness New Zealand, the awards celebrate the dedication and success of the country’s world-class fitness leaders and the important role they play in the health of our society.




Congratulations and well done indeed

What Do We Want at Waterfront Auckland

What we want


From Auckland Council

Fun, sun and a run – what Aucklanders want from their waterfront


Fun and quirky spaces, sunshine, sea views, places to eat, public gatherings and events, areas to swim, walk and run, and children’s play space.

These are some of the recurring themes on the list of what Aucklanders want from new downtown spaces.

Auckland Council’s City Centre Integration team is seeking feedback on what people want to see in the downtown spaces, from outside Britomart train station to the waterfront areas between Princes Wharf and Captain Cook Wharf. The survey runs until 12 December 2014 and has elicited a variety of responses since it began earlier in the month.

Waitemata Local Board Chair Shale Chambers says: “We’re seeing a range of requests coming through; basically we are finding that Aucklanders want a lot of different things.

“There are some trends emerging from public feedback, for example, we can see that people want views of the water rather than the city, they want sun rather than shade options, they want to be able to run and walk, to attend events and gatherings and free play space for their kids.”

The survey asks people to rank a variety of options under different headings. It also asks what else they would like to see, with ideas put forward so far including bike parking, family sporting events, places to swim, improving transport connections and an outdoor cinema.

From feedback received to date the top two options under each heading are:

Environment and setting:

–       Looking at harbour views

–       Relaxing in sunny, open spaces

Community, Arts, Culture and Heritage:

–       Spaces that are fun and quirky

–       Attend public gatherings, demonstrations, events, performances and celebrations

Hospitality and retail:

–       Eat or drink at café and restaurant tables

–       Picnic at freely available eating spaces

Recreation activities:

–       Walk and/or run

–       Playspace for children in a natural area (trees, rocks, grass, sand etc)


Findings from this public consultation will help to inform the design and planning processes. The survey is open until 12 December 2014 and can be accessed through



I have done the survey have you?


Cracking Down on Window Washers

Tougher Line to be taken


From Auckland Council – and to be distributed widely please:

Crackdown on window washers for public safety


Auckland Council is clamping down on window washers’ intimidating behaviour at intersections throughout the city and is targeting repeat offenders.

The council has begun pursuing the prosecution of window washers found to be in breach of the Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw. The bylaw, which came into effect six months ago, was designed to protect the public from nuisance but, after taking a graduated enforcement approach, council officers have had to take a harder line.

“When the bylaw first came in staff took an educational approach with offenders, focusing on voluntary compliance. However this has not deterred people window washing in an unsafe way, which makes drivers feel uncomfortable and even threatened, so council is taking a tougher line,” says Max Wilde, Manager Bylaws and Compliance.

As the lead agency for enforcement on window washing, council is working closely with the Police to address problem hotspots around the region where there has been a noticeable increase in window washers. As part of a targeted approach to tackle this continuing issue and better protect public safety, an increase in enforcement activity is expected. The court can impose a fine of up to $20,000 on a person convicted of breaching a bylaw under the Local Government Act.

The Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw is in place to make sure public spaces feel safe and are convenient for people to use and enjoy without being disturbed or experiencing offensive behaviour. Auckland Council wants to ensure that residents and visitors to the region can freely drive on public roads and enjoy shopping and other activities in public areas without feeling intimidated or unsafe in any way.



What to do if you encounter a window washer:

  • Make it clear that you don’t want your window washed – shake your head or say no
  • Roll up your car windows and don’t engage in conversation
  • If they continue to wash your car and demand payment in an intimidating way, make a complaint to the council by phoning 09 301 0101
  • Take a photo on your phone of the offender if you feel unsafe and send to the council or Police
  • In cases of criminal activity such as assault or wilful damage, call 111.





Auditor General on our Infrastructure

Not a good situation


Earlier this week the Auditor General released a rather damning report against both our central and local governments about addressing infrastructure needs for New Zealand (not just Auckland). Now by infrastructure I am talking about physical which includes but often most forgotten until something goes wrong fresh water, waste water, and storm water.

This extract from Bob Dey:

Auditor-general issues blunt warning on infrastructure

Auditor-general Lyn Provost issued a blunt warning yesterday: New Zealand communities, in general, need to sharpen their information about & commitment to infrastructure or they will guarantee failure of services.

Mrs Provost warned that population shifts could make some communities unable to continue paying to maintain basic services such as sewers & water supply, while growth in others – such as Auckland – would need to match housing, working & services very carefully to avoid failure.

New Zealand’s economy for the past 200 years has been mostly about growth, although removal of some services such as post offices from rural towns, starting in the 1980s, was a warning about what might befall small communities.

Mrs Provost’s report, Water & roads: Funding & management challenges, was presented to Parliament yesterday, along with findings from research carried out by the NZ Institute of Economic Research that provides an historical perspective of local government investment trends, the forecast investment outlook and observations on differences in investment between regions.

The economic research showed infrastructure investment came in waves, creating investment “echoes”, and that large renewal cycles were pending.

Ironically, there’s been a tendency to underspend infrastructure budgets. Mrs Provost gave some explanation of this – that visible assets such as roads did need more frequent renewal than underground pipes. But, in short, her report can be summed up thus:

  • What you can see is politically sexier than what you can’t, but the infrastructure you can’t see is essential
  • Population shifts could make it impossible for shrinking communities to pay for continuing infrastructure maintenance.

Implicit in the report is a requirement to examine funding: Underground infrastructure is funded locally, roads & bridges nationally.


Source and full post:


The Auditor General’s Infrastructure Report can be seen below:


Further commentary on this at a subsequent podcast