Follow Up To Mayor Has a Moment

Following Up on Milford and The Mayor

 

After comments both here at BR:AKL and BR:AKL’s Facebook Page (by the way I checked three times over – The Auckland Plan is Operative or we have a a few Councillors and bureaucrats giving out wrong information here) I thought in doing a follow-up post to the MAYOR HAS A MOMENT (AGAIN?) post published on Monday.

 

The actual post is still being composed (got a few other tasks at hand taking up scarce time) but what I will cover is the following:

  • Difference between Low, Medium and High Density in regards to developments
  • Why I think Milford can support some taller residential buildings (not as tall as what is proposed in Takapuna)
  • Some replies to the comments generated from the Moment post
  • And observations around current situation with the Unitary Plan and The Environment Court

 

So stand by while I get the post composed (should be up tomorrow)

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light –
To a Better Auckland

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

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Waterfront Issue Back Again

Auckland Apparently Wants Their Waterfront Back – Again

 

It must be another slow news day at the NZ Herald with them running a story based on a survey about Auckland’s Waterfront. Either that and credit is due to keep this matter at the front of civic leaders minds.

 

From the NZ Herald:

 

Aucklanders’ plea: Give us back our waterfront

By Michael Dickison

5:30 AM Monday Sep 24, 2012
Wynyard Quarter and the World Cup gave us a taste of harbour fun… now we want more.

More than three-quarters of Aucklanders questioned in a Herald poll want more wharf space opened up to create world-class public areas on the waterfront.

Local authorities have responded by saying bringing Aucklanders to the harbour area around the end of Queen St will be the next chapter in the city’s development.

A thousand Herald readers have given their views on the waterfront, presenting a wide range of ideas that reflect their pride in the Waitemata Harbour.

Ninety-six per cent of respondents said the waterfront was important for the city.

The Herald today starts a five-part series investigating options for a more vibrant, people-friendly waterfront.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden, who oversaw last year’s Rugby World Cup tournament, said this was the city’s chance to get it right.

“Right here, right now, Auckland has a wonderful waterfront opportunity,” he said.

It needed people’s support to give it “character, heart and buzz”.

Reader views focused on bringing more public attractions to Queens Wharf and its vicinity.

More than three-fifths did not like the wharf’s current facilities. It has the Cloud and Shed 10 for generally exclusive events – but otherwise is mostly vacant space.

About the same number wanted the adjacent Captain Cook Wharf to become public space.

Ideas for the waterfront stressed the importance of making it accessible to everyone, including families and pedestrians.

Suggestions for achieving this ranged from markets, parks, festivals, walkways and fishing spots to sports fields, art galleries, convention centres and stadiums.

“It’s entirely understandable that people want more access to the waterfront, and over time we’ll make more wharves available,” said Ports of Auckland spokesman Matt Ball.

“It is our ambition to release Captain Cook Wharf and to open Marsden Wharf for public access.”

But the ports company would have to replace the existing facilities on the wharves first, Mr Ball said, and that could take 10 years.

The Auckland Council’s policy planning manager, Ludo Campbell-Reid, said authorities acknowledged that the waterfront had a problem where the city met the sea.

“The surprising thing is there’s no place on the waterfront that’s necessarily for pedestrians,” he said. “You have to go left or you have to go right. You don’t go down the middle.

“We’re competing with the world every day for jobs and investment, and the waterfront is our biggest opportunity.”

The central wharves would be the next area to be worked on, following the opening of the Wynyard Quarter.

Auckland architect and urban planner Graeme Scott said Waterfront Auckland, the council’s waterfront agency, had listened to submissions and put together a good blueprint.

One problem was having too many passive concrete areas, he said.

“Queens Wharf is a good example of what’s wrong with hard paving and buildings. If there are thousands of people on Queens Wharf, it’s fantastic. But if you walk out there mid-week or Sunday morning, it’s not a very nice place to be.”

The Herald poll was taken during the first week of September, assisted by Nielsen Research.

Last year’s opening of Wynyard Quarter and Rugby World Cup festivities opened the eyes of thousands of Aucklanders to new waterfront possibilities.

Since then, local authorities have been issuing plans sketching out possible developments, in line with Mayor Len Brown’s plan to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city.

And a review of the waterfront’s long-term future is being made after a public outcry against expansion of port facilities.

 

You will need to see the actual Herald article for the graphic attached at the bottom of their story.

 

But my question is ‘Why are we raising this again – when this has been asked in The Auckland Plan and subsequent documents despite their apparent short-comings?’

 

Never-mind as to be honest Thank You NZH for keeping the issue bobbing along and in our minds – because it needs to if we want our Auckland Water-Frontier.

 

The Herald is asking for ‘your views’ on this as well. Well my views can be seen here at BR:AKL through The Auckland Waterfront Index which lists my commentary on both the Port of Auckland and opening our Waterfront to turn it into our Auckland Water-Frontier. The work and graphics on both my projects is still a work-in-progress but none the less you can see what I am pitching so far.

Yes it is bold, but we need bold here for the sake and vibrancy of a 21st Century Auckland.

 

Now then, time to pester the Herald with my indexes again 😛

Getting Ready For Summer

 

Getting Ready For Summer on The Home Front

 

One of my hobbies is a spot of gardening. Currently Rebekka and I are preparing our first home for our first summer in our new home (purchased January this year) as well as the many more years building memories that we shall have in our own little place down in Papakura.

 

Being the green-thumb that I am and Rebekka being the DIY-er she is this is what has progressed so far with the landscaping on our property:

 

Enjoy the pictures

 

Garden 2012 – Papakura

 

 

And for those more inclined not to click – the slide show

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Will upload more tonight including an endorsement 😀

 

Happy Gardening Folks

 

Response from AT

Letter From AT on RLTP

 

Got a letter from Auckland Transport acknowledging and thanking my submission to the Regional Land Transport Program. The letter I will show in the embed below, but upon reading it I can appreciate what could be just about literal hell for everyone concerned as the city goes about not building a world-class transport system – but rebuilding the existing system so THEN we can build that world-class system (the only other method is start afresh and I don’t think we will like that option much (Christchurch?))

 

The letter from AT on the RLTP and difficulties that are going to be faced:

 

And as I write this, the CRL debate is still going around and around the same circle again – more on that later

Auckland Parking Regime Change

 

Changes to Parking in Auckland CBD

 

A little while ago I had commented (and submitted to Auckland Transport) that there was consultation taking place for the impending parking regime change in Auckland CBD. Well Auckland Transport released yesterday the final version of the regime change after the consultation (some 700+ submissions including mine) which can be read below:

 

From Auckland Transport:

 

New initiatives for City Centre Parking Zone

Last reviewed: 20/09/2012 8:12 a.m.

Media release: 19 September 2012

A new City Centre Parking Zone, along with some other new parking initiatives, will be introduced by Auckland Transport in mid-October.

Auckland Transport’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Edmonds says: “As Auckland’s population continues to grow, we are committed to delivering convenient access to parking both on and off street as part of the transport mix which includes public transport, walking and cycling.

“The main objective for Auckland Transport in changing the management of on-street and off-street parking in the City Centre is to prioritise short-term parking over long-term parking in an area of the city which has a high degree of visitation for business and leisure activities.”

The proposal for the creation of a new zone and associated pricing went out to public consultation in June this year.

Auckland Transport received 718 submissions on the proposal and has made changes as a result of that feedback.

On-street parking prices will remain unchanged at $4 per hour for the first two hours in the core CBD. After two hours prices will increase relative to the zone, the purpose of this is to prioritise short term (less than two hours) parking on streets.

The scheme will commence with three parking zones rather than the two initially proposed with lower prices around Union Street and Wynyard Quarter. There will be no time limits on any of the zones.

Auckland Transport will also introduce a ten minute “grace period”, which effectively means free parking. It will also remove most P5, P10 and P15 restrictions for on-street parking. The grace period will allow the removal of short-term parking restrictions as people will be able to stop anywhere for ten minutes before payment is required.

“This is a customer friendly option allowing quick pick-ups and drop offs and extends parking options for the likes of couriers and delivery companies,” says Mr Edmonds.

Auckland Transport will also extend paid parking from 6pm to 10pm in the central CBD area. This will improve access for visitors to premium on-street parking in the city in the evenings for leisure activities and reduce congestion during the evening peak.

Additional changes as a result of public feedback include; reducing peak casual hourly rates to $3 an hour in Auckland Transport’s Civic, Downtown and Victoria Street car parks. The current rate is $5.50 per hour for the first two hours and $4 or $5 per hour thereafter.

Mr Edmonds says “Car parking buildings are also a good option, particularly at night, because they are well-lit and have security measures.”

In a further effort to encourage off-street parking in the CBD, a daily maximum charge of $17 per day will be introduced in Auckland Transport parking buildings for longer stays. The daily maximum currently sits at $29.

Both on-street and off street parking prices will be reviewed after six months.

The revenue impacts from these changes are not known at this stage but Auckland Transport expects it to be revenue neutral.

Chief Executive of Heart of the City, Alex Swney says: “For many years parking has been seen as a major reason not to come into the city. We see today’s announcement as a significant change in approach to parking in the city. It recognises the ‘moving feast’ of parking demands of our businesses and their customers. It’s a major step forward and we are sure we will be looking back in a year and see significant improvement as a result.”

Mr Edmonds said the changes will be implemented from mid October 2012. Details of the changes will be communicated to the public through the Auckland Transport website  and through a public information campaign closer to the date.
Map of the Proposed Zone (PDF 4.7 MB – please allow time for download)

 

The Map can be seen in the embed here:

 

Personally all things considered especially per my submission to Auckland Transport on the parking regime change, I am quite happy with how the final product turned out. Of course still work to be done – but happy with the outcome.

 

Well done to Auckland Transport 😀

(even I can praise AT when warranted)

 

References

 

PARKING CHARGE CHANGE FOR CBD

 

ALTERNATIVE TO CENTRAL CITY PARKING ZONE REGIME  (basic form of my submission to the regime change)

 

 

$20m for Fried Snapper

Snapper Asked Auckland Transport for $20m

 

 

Well knew this was coming from a few light years out. Auckland Transport (finally) dumped Snapper and in return Snapper wants compensation.

You can read it here from the NZ Herald:

 

Dumped bus card firm seeks $20m compo

By Mathew Dearnaley

6:00 AM Wednesday Sep 19, 2012

Electronic payments card supplier Snapper says it will claim up to $20 million in costs from Auckland Transport after being dumped from the region’s $98 million integrated ticketing project.

That is on top of an extra $12 million it says the council organisation must now pay the main Hop ticketing project contractor, French company Thales, to supply replacement ticketing equipment to be leased to the region’s various bus fleets.

Snapper chief executive Mike Szikszai says it simply wanted to recover its costs, rather than try to halt the project and sue for lost business.

“We are aiming for this to be as quick as it can be and we want to move on,” he said.

Szikszai said Wellington-based Snapper was still itemising its costs “but I think we’re looking at a range of between $10 million and $20 million”.

“It’s significant – we haven’t been paid a cent for our work in Auckland.”

Szikszai denied Auckland Transport’s contention that Snapper was unable to meet an extended deadline for the rollout of Hop cards across buses, trains and ferries by November 30, saying it had “delivered against all of our milestones”.

“We met all of our obligations and Auckland Transport didn’t stand up to their side of the deal,” he said.

That included a failure to provide Snapper with the specifications it needed to plug its technology into the wider Hop system.

Szikszai said there were about 200,000 Snapper-enabled Hop cards in circulation in Auckland, and the company would continue to support these, even though it would ultimately have to remove its machines from the NZ Bus fleet.

The row over Snapper means it will be April before Thales starts adding the new cards to fleets run by NZ Bus and a consortium of other bus operators which were originally to have been supplied by a third ticketing company.

$20m to fry Snapper – dang that is expensive Snapper indeed.

 

I suppose our resident Prude – The Mayor might want to err “divert” the Cruise Ship Terminal money he has “earmarked” to paying out Snapper quickly so this saga does not need to drag on more than it already has.

But will he?

Nah Pigs Shall Fly First before that would ever happen which means the hapless ratepayer gets stung yet again.

 

 

An Introduction

Auckland since 2010 thanks to one Royal Commission of Enquiry into Auckland Governance and some good old fashioned central politics in Wellington has been united under a unitary authority.

Gone are the days since 1989 where Auckland had five city councils, three district councils and one regional council. Auckland now has one single authority – the Auckland Council led by just a single mayor. Affectionately I give the name The Auckland Senate to the council and Praetor to our mayor who reside of the City State of Rome (this is while the Emperor (the Prime Minister) has his throne in Wellington). That single authority along with the hulking bureaucratic bodies called the Council Control Organisations are “in charge” of spending our ratepayers dollars in making this city work. (For more on Auckland Council, click HERE )

Per the Local Government Act (Auckland Governance) 2009, the authority and the bureaucracy are required to produce a set of documents that will guide their “intentions” over a time frame. For the Council Controlled Organisations (CCO’s) this is done through their Statement of Intent which is produced around and up to every ten years and reviewed annually. For the authority that is Auckland Council two primary (and a pile of secondary) documents set out and guide the governing body for periods from one year, right up to thirty years.

The thirty year plan is the Spatial Plan, more commonly known as The Draft Auckland Plan provides a series of aspirational  goals that city wants to achieve or see itself by by 2030. The Draft Auckland  Plan and supplementary documents can be found HERE. A warning though, it is a fair bit of light reading at a combined length of around 800 pages long.

The Ten Year Long Term Plan (or simply Long Term Plan) is the action plan that oversees and budgets activities of Auckland Council and its bureaucracy over a ten year time frame. Simply put; The Draft Auckland Plan is the vision, the Long Term Plan tries to action activities to lead to the achievement of that vision (including funding and setting rates). The process leading up to the implementation of the Long Term Plan (and subsequent Annual Plans) can be found HERE.

Now I personally recommend participating when plans such as the Draft Auckland Plan and Long Term Plan are drawn up. Submissions have closed for The Draft Auckland Plan, and hearings for business groups, lobbyists, members of the community/public, etc.. have already closed and been heard. We are waiting on the final version of the plan to come out from Auckland Council sometime early next year. However public feedback and submissions on the Long Term Plan is still to happen and will do so from February 2012. Keep an eye out at the Auckland Council Website or your local community newspapers for more information on times.

Remember:

What’s in it for you?If your kids play sport at a local park, you own a property, run a business, enjoy Auckland’s magnificent land and seascapes or use any council services – getting involved by having a say on the draft LTP is important for all Aucklanders.

When The Draft Auckland Plan was published and called for submissions, I spent many an hour producing my submission to the Plan. My submission and its supporting documents should provide an insight how my views and aspirations for Auckland. In time through this blog I will be expanding on my submission as well as presenting external material and providing commentary and debates on issues around Auckland. Especially as the Draft Auckland Plan and Long Term Plan get finalised and adopted, as well as local government elections in 2013.

The links below will direct you to my submission and supporting documents. Also as time allows, more works by myself or others will be linked into my blog.

Supporting Documents (opens in separate window)

Tamaki Transformation Program Assignment

Wynyard Quarter Assignment

PPT to the Draft Auckland Plan Hearing Panel