Month: December 2014

And The Winners for the Environment Are…..

Awards for sustainability


From Auckland Council:

The colour of sustainability is Bronze, Silver and Green-Gold


A number of kindergartens and schools across Auckland will be recognised at the annual Enviroschools celebration this Friday for their outstanding commitment to sustainability.

The event takes place at Royal Road School in Massey on Friday 5 December, where 26 Enviroschools will receive Bronze, Silver or Green-Gold certificates of achievement.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse will present the Enviroschools certificates at the ceremony along with Councillors Wayne Walker and Linda Cooper as well as representatives from local boards.

Ms Hulse says: “Enviroschools teaches such important life skills – it shows our children they can become the environmental leaders of the future by taking action and making a real difference in their community.”

The Enviroschools programme allows children to apply their ideas and energy to real-life situations. They, as well as their schools and families, are encouraged to think and act sustainably by participating in a range of fun and useful projects, including community gardens, native tree planting and stream clean-ups.

The programme lets children introduce initiatives to improve their own kindergartens and schools, while also helping their wider community. Initiatives include recycling to reduce waste going to landfill, saving water by installing water tanks, and increasing biodiversity by planting native gardens.

There are currently 966 Enviroschools in New Zealand, which includes early childhood centres, primary, intermediate and secondary schools. In Auckland there are 181 Enviroschools, with more starting their sustainability journey every year.

The celebration will be attended by the students, teacher and parent representatives from each school, and representatives from Auckland Council. The Enviroschools programme is facilitated in the Auckland region by Auckland Council in conjunction with the national Enviroschools Foundation.

To find out more visit or


Further Information:


Elm Park School, Forrest Hill School, Western Springs College


Avondale Kindergarten, Chelsea Kindergarten, Colwill Kindergarten, Early Discoveries Centre, Freemans Bay Kindergarten, Glenfield Kindergarten

Milford Kindergarten, Pt Chevalier Kindergarten, Takapuna Kindergarten

Waiheke Kindergarten, Dawson Primary, Pakuranga Heights School, St Leo’s Catholic School, St Thomas’s School, Taupaki School


Ararimu School, Arohanui Special School, Howick Intermediate School, Milford School, St Francis Catholic School, Vauxhall School, Waiheke Primary School 

Green-Gold review

Grey Lynn Kindergarten


Award Definitions

Bronze Enviroschools have been on the Enviroschools journey for up to two years. Students have started work on getting to know their environment and are exploring options and finding ways to take action for a sustainable future.  There are some students and staff actively involved, and everyone else in the Enviroschool is aware.


Silver Enviroschools have been on the Enviroschools journey for at least four years and involves students, teachers, boards of trustees, parents and community members. In a Silver Enviroschool you can expect to see sustainable practices and projects that have grown in strength, variety, depth and number since formally becoming part of the programme. Students are fully involved in making decisions about sustainable actions and can show what change has happened because of their learning and action.


Green-Gold is the highest level of achievement in the Enviroschools journey and takes at least five years.  Environmental sustainability is part of decision-making within the community and Maori perspectives are embraced to enrich the journey of the Enviroschool. Students have a strong sense of connection to the environment and lead much of the on-going action. They understand how they can effect change for a sustainable world and can measure the difference made by previous initiatives. Green-Gold Enviroschools are involved with their community and honour the diversity of the people within it.


Green Gold ReviewEnviroschools will continue to holistically reflect on their journey at least every three years using the Green-Gold descriptive paragraph and will decide if there is still a comfortable fit with that paragraph. During this review they will explore how understanding and practices have deepened and broadened.





Well done to those recognised


Auckland Development Committee – December Meeting

Area Plans, Mill Road, and Special Housing Areas


Tomorrow for the last time this year the Auckland Development Committee meets in Town Hall. The agenda items cover:

  • Public Input around the Mill Road Corridor, and Special Housing Area Tranche 4
  • Adoption of a couple of Area Plans including the Otara-Papatoetoe Area Plan
  • Takapuna Centre Plan
  • Updates around various items including housing, infrastructure, and a growth study


The Agenda and Addendum Agenda for December



Podcasts on a walk through of Manukau, plus why the Auckland Development Committee has attracted my ire will be going up today and tomorrow


Helping the Homeless Needed

More help and coordination needed


From Auckland Council

Council wants more Government help with homelessness


Auckland Council, in a briefing to the new Government, is asking for more help as it tries to deal with the growing issue of homelessness and the need for emergency housing.

The briefing paper asks the Government to recognise homelessness as a significant national issue and to take a multi-sector approach to addressing both the short and long term issues facing the voluntary sector that supports the homeless.

The council already works in partnership with Government, the business community and voluntary agencies to fill the gap in emergency housing.

Albert-Eden-Roskill Councillor Cathy Casey says homelessness is a serious social issue where services are under severe pressure.

“In Auckland added pressure comes from high rental and housing costs, reductions in philanthropic support and long waiting lists for access to social housing,” she says.

Dr Casey, who is the chair of Auckland Council’s Community Development and Safety Committee, says the help so far has been welcome.

“We are already working closely with the government to increase the amount of available emergency housing.

“Council also wants to ensure that Housing New Zealand works closer with council, local boards and communities in developing Special Housing Areas so the best outcomes can be achieved for tenants and for supporting a sense of a local community,” says Cr Casey.

Cr Casey is among those who have slept rough for a night as part of the Lifewise Big Sleep Out campaign to draw attention to homelessness as part of seeking more government involvement in the issue.

She says young people are especially vulnerable and she worries that more youth will fall through the cracks and end up on the street.

“This is a social issue, not a crime. We are talking about society’s most vulnerable who are often trapped in poverty, addiction and deprivation.”


What Auckland Council is doing about the issue 

Auckland Plan: The Auckland Plan has a target to end sleeping rough on city streets by 2020.

The Auckland Plan notes there are about 160 to 320 rough sleepers in the city centre. There is a serious lack of emergency housing in Auckland, especially for women, young people and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (GLBTI) people. This gap must be filled, to ensure adequate emergency housing across all population groups. More urgent, multi-agency collaboration is required, such as the Auckland Homeless Action Plan, in which the Auckland Council is a partner. The council will seek central government support in dealing with homelessness and in adequately resourcing agencies dealing locally with homelessness issues.

Auckland Homeless Action Plan: Auckland Council has a role in the Auckland Homeless Action Plan, a partnership with other government and non-government agencies involved in supporting the homeless focussing on better interagency collaboration on initiatives and improvements to services to assist rough sleepers. Council contributes $50,000 a year to the Homeless Action Plan.

New Beginnings Court: With its partner agencies, the council also contributes funding to the New Beginnings Court which deals with homeless people’s minor offending. Instead of traditional sentencing, the Court works with individuals on a monitored plan to facilitate recovery, obtain accommodation and prevent repeat offending. The aim is to assist people off the streets and back into society.

Auckland City Mission: The council also part funds the Auckland City Mission to routinely provide Outreach services to rough sleepers and provide people with information and support, including housing, financial assistance, mental and physical health care, and other social needs.  Council continues to play a lead advocacy role with central government to recognise the need for increased funding to assist with providing effective wrap around services.



Tips for our DIYers This Summer

Some safety tips


If you are like me and Rebekka you might be spending some of your Summer time doing renovations and/or landscaping around the property. And so Auckland Council has some released some tips so you don’t end up in A&E on ACC over the Summer break….

From Auckland Council:

Tips and traps for holiday DIYers


Home DIY projects are as much part of the Kiwi summer as jandals or barbeques, but they need a bit of planning.

While some rules around home renovation have been relaxed in recent times, Aucklanders are being reminded to check before they get the tools out.

Councillor George Wood says DIYers should find out if the planned work needs either building or resource consent and check what you can do versus what needs a qualified tradesperson.

“With the better weather and longer evenings Aucklanders may be spurred on after watching ‘The Block’ on television. We just need to remind people to take the simple steps to make sure that the project is safe, they are going to be within the law and their work isn’t going to harm the environment,” Councillor Wood.

“It’s always best to ask first, and remember that building is covered by both the Building Act and Resource Management Act so both need checking.”

Ensuring DIY work is compliant will also help property owners ensure they don’t compromise any future property sales. To learn more about what does and doesn’t require consent,  or contact 09 301 0101 to find out more.

“It’s also important to think about how we build, especially how we clean up afterwards, as building activity can have a real impact on our environment,” adds Councillor Wood.

“What goes down drains will end up in the sea via the stormwater system, so it is important to keep the drains for the rain,” he says.

Concrete waste, paint, and even soil particles can have a devastating impact if they get washed into the stormwater system, streams or the sea.

Paint brushes should be washed with running water onto open ground which will absorb the waste water and prevent the chemicals from reaching more vulnerable stream or marine environments.

To learn more about minimising potential pollution from home renovations and landscaping visit



Stay safe and some common sense please people 🙂


Public Transport Users Association Launched

To ‘represent’ public transport users


From the Public Transport Users Association

Public Transport Users to get a voice

On Monday 1st of December, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) will be launched in Auckland.

Jon Reeves, Co-ordinator of the PTUA said “Until now, bus, train and ferry users had no independent group they could approach over their issues or concerns. Our Association will look at issues and developing trends which affect the actual users. We want all decisions to be focused on one core question, is this in the best interests of the actual public transport user.”

The Public Transport Users Group is chaired by Christine Rose, a former Councillor from Auckland Regional Council. Deputy Chair is Vernon Tava, Councillor on the Waitemata Local Board. The Committee is made up of public transport users covering nearly all points of the Auckland region.
Raise issues instantly
Users will be able to raise issues instantly via the facebook site, via twitter or by simply emailing the PTUA. Reeves said “We will use the power of the people to ensure public transport users come first with transport authorities and operators. To that end, we have set the membership fee at just $5 which we use to help fund our voluntary organisation.
National aspirations
The PTUA has already been approached via the facebook site by public transport users wanting to set branches up from Whangarei and Wellington. Reeves said “Once we roll out in Auckland I am confident we can help public transport users around New Zealand”.
First campaign to be announced
The first campaign will be announced at the official launch on Monday morning. Passenger liaisons and a public meeting are planned in West Auckland this week.
While the PTUA will represent the coal face of public transport, the users, it will work with other pro-public transport groups in the mission of promoting and improving public transport.

Further Information

About us
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) is a politically independent, voluntary incorporated society and is run by a committee. The PTUA represents current and future public transport users. It promotes public transport use to ensure councils, transport agencies and central Government listen to bus, train and ferry users.


Contact/SM Listings

Facebook/Public Transport Users Association
Twitter: @ptuaNZ