Tag: Auckland Council

Our Council Controlled Organisations

How Well do Our CCOs Rate?

 

Bernard Orsman of the NZ Herald wrote a two part series about Auckland‘s Council Controlled Organisations – a.k.a The Auckland Bureaucracy.

You can read the respective articles in the list below:

 

 

What was interesting first up was the fact that the some of the CCO‘s could be up for a merge, or downsizing. That is fine with me to get some savings back to the ratepayer so long as our services are not affected.

 

Although what was more “interesting” is what Orakei Local Board Chair Desley Simpson had to say on the Herald’s series about our errant CCOs:

 Saving $ is great but what I am interested in is the improvement in communication and interaction with local boards Hope this will be reviewed at the same time Happy to input!

That prompted this remark from me:

  • Ben Ross Might be finding both Local Boards and normal ratepayers wanting to give input to OUR errant CCOs. But the CCO that needs the largest kick up the backside can not be touched due to the law…
  • Desley Simpson No guesses needed as to what you are referring to there Ben!

 

Upon reflection of that comment, ATEED is the CCO that needs the biggest kick up the backside for the amount of grief that CCO has put Auckland through. From the Rugby World Cup to the V8 Pukekohe saga, ATEED seems to have the knack in really annoying Auckland ratepayers from either daft decisions or being all Secret Squirrel with Councillors and the public over some of its decision-making processes (The V8s being the most recent). So using Desley’s remark on interaction and communication, ATEED fails badly there.

As for that other CCO that we shall not name and I was initially commenting about, well I can not exactly give it a kick up the backside for interaction and communication as that CCO which we shall not name has actually improved, especially if their Twitter communication and interactions are anything to go by as that has gone for strength to strength. So thumbs up there. As for a few other things, well we shall say that is a work in progress folks and leave it that.

 

But at the end of the day it is the communication and interaction that the CCOs really need to work on. While at arm’s length from Council Governing Body, having a healthy and open relationship with the GB, Local Boards and the ratepayers would be a wise idea unless the CCOs want open hostility from the ratepayers on a really good day.

So I recommend to the CCO’s if they want to help boost their “street-cred” with the Local Boards and ratepayers adopt these simple philosophies and stick to them:

 

  1. Open Governance: I believe in open governance where the public can sit in, listen and where possible discuss “matters-of-state” as much as possible with their representatives. None of this hiding behind closed doors (except for commercially sensitive material that does come up from time to time), and fessing up when you know you have stuffed up. You might find the public are more sympathetic you one acknowledges and apologies for a legitimate mistake
  2. Basics first: One thing I learnt when I moved out from the parents’ home and struck it out in the real world (including getting married and owning our first house) is that with the limited resources you have got, you did the basics first then with anything left over you just might be able to afford a luxury. Same applies to our civic institutions; they have limited resources so get the basics right first then “treat yourself or others” to a luxury if you are able to do so once the basics are taken care of.
  3. Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions:  you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.

 

That was from my What Do I Stand For and Believe In – For a Better Auckland. Something I will be using as benchmarks if elected to Papakura Local Board next year to see how our CCO’s are  treating the ratepayers and their money. But if the Herald article from yesterday was anything to go by, all three points above need some serious working on from ALL our CCOs.

 

In the meantime back to submission writing!

 

In Brief

A Brief View of Auckland

 

 

Was a busy day in the NZ Herald today with two different articles on Auckland’s Transport, and another two on our Council Control Organisations.

 

The two transport articles were:

 

In both these cases I have run commentary on these and are giving specific mention in my submission to Auckland Transport‘s Regional Public Transport Plan. Further commentary will be at hand as the week advances and I continue my RPTP submission.

 

As for the other two articles covering our CCO‘s, they were:

 

In regards to these issues, I have run commentary on this before and it seems I will be doing so again here at BR:AKL again this week if not next week. CCO’s being secretive is one of my pet hates and a campaign plank as I run for Papakura Local Board in next year’s Local Government 2013 Elections.

 

So yes today was a very busy day in the NZ Herald, with plenty more to campaign on for a Better Auckland here at BR:AKL!

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light –
To a Better Auckland

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

 

Dodgy Governance

White Water Rafting in Manukau or White Water Shafting in Auckland?

 

It seems Dodgy Governance at Auckland Council continues, again around the White Water Rafting Shafting facility that was “approved” (subject to public “consultation”) by – oh look the Auckland Council Strategy and Finance Committee. The very same committee blasted over The Long Term Plan and the V8 saga down in Pukekohe!

 

A press release from Councillor Cameron Brewer – Orakei

 

Rafting’s compelling economic story news to economists

Tuesday, 9 October 2012, 6:44 pmPress Release: Cameron Brewer

Whitewater rafting’s compelling economic story news to Council’s economists

Today’s revelation that neither Auckland Council’s own economic development unit nor Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) were asked to have input or to review last week’s proposal to support a $20m – $30m ratepayer investment into a whitewater rafting facility in Manukau, shows the poor process surrounding the project going from bad to worse, say Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer, who chaired today’s Economic Forum.

“At today’s forum some councillors were genuinely surprised to hear from representatives of ATEED and council’s own EDU that neither were involved in the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust and Regional Facilities Auckland’s proposal for proceeds of a council land sale to go into converting a South Auckland paddock into a whitewater rafting facility.”

Mr Brewer says that’s concerning given the controversial proposal narrowly got through last week largely off the back of all the economic development promises sold to councillors.

The report circulated to the 4 October 2012 Strategy & Finance Committee promised that the project would create 110 full-time equivalent jobs, attract 31% of its visitors from outside the Auckland region and New Zealand, act as a catalyst to attracting quality development within the surrounding area, and contribute an additional $7.4m annually to Manukau’s GDP.

“Now we learn that the compelling economic story that helped to successfully sell this project was never audited or even inputted by council’s own economic team or ATEED which employs 60 people in its economic development operations alone. That’s not good enough, particularly when you consider the proponent’s business case for this facility was completed in July last year. As councillors we need to be confident that what is promised can stand up to scrutiny and that should start with internal reviews of such big economic promises at the very least.

“I support those councillors who now want to see this project’s economic feasibility and business case peer reviewed by either council’s own economic development unit or ATEED. That needs to be done before this project becomes part of council’s draft annual plan for 2013/14.”

“This project was rejected outright by the former Manukau City Council three years ago. It then somehow escaped this council’s proper 10-year Long Term Plan budgetary process, and now we learn it has also avoided the scrutiny of council’s two economic development teams despite it being sold as an economic development project. Ratepayers should be even more worried,” says Mr Brewer.

ENDS

 

Well this sorry saga flies in direction contravention to just about every fundamental I stand for – for a better Auckland, specifically these points:

  1. Basics first: One thing I learnt when I moved out from the parents’ home and struck it out in the real world (including getting married and owning our first house) is that with the limited resources you have got, you did the basics first then with anything left over you just might be able to afford a luxury. Same applies to our civic institutions; they have limited resources so get the basics right first then “treat yourself or others” to a luxury if you are able to do so once the basics are taken care of.
  2. Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions:  you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.

 

Council is not getting its basics right if it splashes out on this rather large-scale luxury item. Council is also not listening nor even consulting those who should be auditing this facility proposed in Manukau City so how the hell are we meant to display the remotest of confidence in our civic leaders which Councillors and the Mayor are.

The answer is we can NOT!

Council has infringed on my fundamentals with this White Water Shafting deal and I am not very happy about it – in fact I am disgusted by those Councillors who voted for the proposal…

 

Can I spin a positive out of this? Well apart from standing for Papakura Local Board next year the answer in short is sadly NO!

 

Although I have to ask this question: Do I continue to stand for Local Board, or try my hand at Council itself and try to tip out a centre-left sitting Councillor north of me (in other words NOT contesting Papakura as the current councillor centre-right and it is pointless trying to tip out one of your own). It is a question that I will need to think long and hard over as the elections draw near.

In the mean time it is back to submission and speech writing – before Council does anything else rather daft!

 

SUBMISSION TO RPTP – CTD

Part One Down, Onto Parts Two and Three

 

As mentioned in my SUBMISSION TO RPTP post, my submission is currently being written in response to Auckland Transport‘s call for feedback on the Regional Public Transport Plan:

Have Begun Writing Submission to Regional Public Transport Plan

As mentioned in the ALL THINGS PUBLIC TRANSPORTAuckland Transport has released the Regional Public Transport Plan for public submissions. I have read the 138 pages of the RPTP document and have begun writing my submission to the plan. My submission will be covering five main points on the RPTP which will be further reinforced in the subsequent hearings panel afterwards – the points being:

  1. Lack of direct Manukau to Papakura South Rail Link from Manukau Station
  2. Constructive Criticism and Praise to Chapter Five – Key Directions which looks at the proposed network (and services) through to 2022
  3. Chapter 6.4 – Fares and Ticketing. Specially my counter proposal around zone fares and pricing
  4. Chapter 6.5  – Infrastructure of the physical Public Transport network and facilities (building on from my submissions to The Auckland, and Long Term Plans)
  5. Chapter 6.6 – Customer Service Interface – and how best it can be used and improved for a clean,easy, efficient and “happy” portal for customer service interactions

I will endeavour to keep a running commentary as I write my submission and get it in by the deadline of Monday 4th November 2012…

 

I have completed Point Three: Fares and Ticketing. That part of my submission is around introducing zonal fares rather that fares based on distance travelled, coupled with suggestive fares public transport passengers would be charged. You will be able to see the full submission as I send it to AT once I have completed it.

And so I move onto the next part which is Points One and Four: The Lack of direct Manukau to Papakura South Rail Link from Manukau Station; and Chapter 6.5  – Infrastructure of the physical Public Transport network and facilities (building on from my submissions to The Auckland, and Long Term Plans).

 

In regards to the lack of a direct link from Manukau to Papakura; I will continue to lobby and advocate to Auckland Transport on getting a firm timeline of completion for that link. As I have commented in the past here at BR:AKL (formerly VOAKL) Manukau Station is handicapped by access and pathetically low patronage due to a lack of a direct link from Papakura to the station. In my experience, the bulk of your peak and off-peak passengers (regardless of the tertiary institution campus being built on top) to and from Manukau come from your: Homai, Manurewa, Papakura and Pukekohe stations. Currently the passengers from the south have to catch a train and go as far as Puhinui Station before transferring to Manukau from Britomart service (it is vice versa if leaving Manukau and wanting to go back south)  which runs hourly in the off-peak and weekends, and around 20-30mins in the morning and afternoon peaks.

To me this is unacceptable to which I actually put the blame on Auckland Council and the former Manukau City Council rather than Auckland Transport. Auckland Transport got lugged with the Manukau mess so I am strongly recommending to AT to help clean up the situation and pressure Kiwi Rail to build that South Link by 2018!

 

In regards to the infrastructure point, I am basically looking at rail and bus stations in regards to: facilities on the stations, ease of access, whether Park and Rides should be build adjacent to the said stations, and whether the tough call needs to be made in closing down or relocating stations for better patronage and access to the travelling public. I will also investigate looking in establishing a light rail system that spans the Waterfront to St Heliers Bay along with running up and down Dominion Road as far as Lynfield. Now I said investigate as Light Rail was part of my Auckland Water-Frontier proposal especially around Wynyard Quarter, so I will “see” if this system can be expanded further in its reach and access. Now if anything, this part of the submission and the fares part will be the most prickly in the hearings with AT after I submit my submission (unless AT really take to task my points on the Customer Service Interface – and how best it can be used and improved for a clean,easy, efficient and “happy” portal for customer service interactions knowing how err sensitive our CCO can be).

But at the end of the day I am submitting fair and balanced, but constructive feedback to Auckland Transport on their RPTP. There will be no defaming, there will be no harsh negative comments. Any thing I do constructive criticise will have ideas, proposals and alternatives from what I believe can make our public transport submission better.

And this is the goal of this submission; “To a Better Auckland”

 

My RPTP, along with all other submissions I have done to Auckland Council or Auckland Transport (Auckland Plan, Long Term Plan, CBD Parking Regime Change, City Centre Master Plan, the Regional Land Transport Plan, soon the Unitary Plan, and currently the Regional Public Transport Plan) form my policy platform (extending on my What I Stand For fundamentals) as well as I stand as a candidate for Papakura Local Board in next year’s Local Government Elections – for a Better Auckland.

 

Updates will continue as I continue to write the submission to the RPTP

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light –
To a Better Auckland

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

Auckland Got The Bums Rush Again

Crony-ism Much with White Water Shafting Deal?

 

So it seems we (the ratepayer) got the absolute Bums Rush for due process and all things fiscal responsibility when it came to this White Water Rafting proposal for Manukau.

From The NZH:

Water facility clears first rapid

By Bernard Orsman

5:30 AM Friday Oct 5, 2012

 

Rafting and kayaking venue approved, but the vote leaves some councillors fuming

A controversial $30 million white-water-rafting and kayaking facility in Manukau is back on the drawing board after coming through the political rapids at Auckland Council.

After a lengthy and testy debate yesterday, the council voted 11-9 to allow the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust to build the facility at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, subject to public consultation.

The trust will receive $20 million from the sale of a piece of adjacent council-owned land and promised to raise the remaining $10 million.

Trust chairman and business leader Sir Noel Robinson gave a guarantee to councillors that the project would not require any ongoing funding from ratepayers.

Sir Noel said the trust was proud of what it had achieved for the community and the youth of South Auckland with the Pacific Events Centre and wanted to complete the next stage, the white-water facility.

The commercial venture, with an entry fee of $35 for kayaking and $55 for rafting, is budgeted to run profitably, which will enable the trust to subsidise 15,000 local schoolchildren annually.

 

You can read the rest of the article over at the NZH site.

 

The feeling that I am seeing coming through right across the spectrum from main stream media to social media outlets is one of pure and utter condemnation and disgust against the 11 idiots who voted for this proposal behind the Telstra Pacific Events Centre in Manukau.

This remark from Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton surmises the current feeling out there in Auckland:

Angela Dalton shared a link.
This morning I spoke alongside colleagues from 6 other Boards at the Auckland Council Strategy and Finance meeting. We told the Councillors we are struggling with the money we have been given in our budgets. To find another 3% savings they
must first look to the regional budgets and projects such as the Waterfront and CDB. They should also look to the CCO’s before coming to the nickel and dime budgets that the Local Boards have to operate on. Following that I stayed to listen to a four hour debate on why we should or shouldn’t sell ratepayers land in my ward to fund the construction of a White Water Rafting Project that is touted to deliver many of the outcomes of the Southern Initiative. In a deja vu vote of 11-9 the Manurewa Local Boards wishes were once again discarded, 11 votes that included the 2 Maori Statutory Board is the same scenario that saw us have 1.75 million dollars stripped from our budgets a few months ago. I can tell you most assuredly that a trip down a white water rafting shute is not going to turnaround the lives of young people in Manurewa. I thank the Councillors who supported Manurewa in the debate, Cameron Brewer, Calum PenroseDick Quax,Christine FletcherGeorge WoodSharon Stewart. I hearBernard Orsman who was at the debate today will have a piece in the Herald tomorrow about the Trust who are leading this project. Today was jacked up politics once again marginalsing Local Boards advocacy on behalf of their communities.

And this from Orakei Ward Councillor Cameron Brewer:

The most outrageous decision in the two years of this council’s existence was made today. Nine councillors agreed to sell council land and for the proceeds (worth $20 – $30m) to go towards a whitewater rafting facility in the paddock between Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau and the southern motorway, subject to public consultation. Another nine of us councillors were against this controversial project which was rejected by the Manukau City Council 10 votes to 3 back in 2010. However this time the proponents secured the support of two non-elected Independent Maori Statutory Board members so it just got through 11/9. This is a project that’s been 10 years in the making but leaped frogged the exhaustive Long Term Plan consultation and budget processes, which was only signed off on 28 June! Disgusting when you also consider the growing debt mountain, the core council service and local board cuts, and the rates increases. This money needed to be spent much much more wisely

 

With this final remark from me personally:

Ben Ross I suppose I raise this challenge here as well for those who do care genuinely for Auckland: 
Okay so Council led by our now wayward Mayor has failed beyond doubt with this White Watering Rafting project. So where is our Alternative Mayor and Council (candidates) willing and ready to stand now against this failure and say to Auckland,”We stand for Shining the Light for a Better Auckland” come 2013. 2013 Shining the Light for a Better Auckland.

I said Council failed as the motion got passed 11-9, meaning that motion now constitutes going into Council policy for which all of Auckland feels the effects of.

 

I looked at my What Do I Stand For and Believe In – For a Better Auckland page which is located one over here at BR:AKL and looked at which of the eight fundamentals which have been “breached” by yesterdays decision at Council. Apart from numbers two and eight (as urban planning and transport were not in effect here per-se) the Council basically breached the rest of the fundamentals ESPECIALLY numbers six and seven:

  • Basics first: One thing I learnt when I moved out from the parents’ home and struck it out in the real world (including getting married and owning our first house) is that with the limited resources you have got, you did the basics first then with anything left over you just might be able to afford a luxury. Same applies to our civic institutions; they have limited resources so get the basics right first then “treat yourself or others” to a luxury if you are able to do so once the basics are taken care of.
  • Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions:  you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.

 

So because six of the fundamentals were breached and especially two of the “heavies” that I believe in were totally disregarded by nine Councillors and those two useless Independent Maori Statutory Board Members who voted for the proposal, I am in total opposition to them with me showing no confidence in them what so ever!

 

The question is then ‘now what?’

Well I am running for Local Board in Papakura next year in hoping to do my part in restoring sense and responsibility back into our civic institutions (for a better Papakura and Auckland), but for the rest it is a case of what I said above: “So where is our Alternative Mayor and Council (candidates) willing and ready to stand now against this failure and say to Auckland,”We stand for Shining the Light for a Better Auckland” come 2013. 2013 Shining the Light for a Better Auckland.

 

Auckland now waits for that alternative!

 

As what I stand for – in Shining the Light for a Better Auckland; you can check my fundamental principles below:

THIS IS WHAT I STAND FOR AND BELIEVE IN FOR A BETTER AUCKLAND

  1. Strong but no interfering Governance: Meaning Council  shows active and real leadership but does not interfere with the daily lives of residents and businesses
  2. Finances: If my family has to live within its means then so does the civic institutions that impact on us greatly (that being Council and Government). You work out your income, then what you can spend on – NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND as with Auckland Council
  3. An Integrated Approach to Transport: None of this “all for one but not the other approach” we get from both roading and Green lobbyists. Road and Mass Transit both have their places here in Auckland – albeit more balanced like the Generation Zero 50:50 campaign
    This integrated approach also applies to many other things out there – I call it The Best of Both Worlds.
  4. Open Governance: I believe in open governance where the public can sit in, listen and where possible discuss “matters-of-state” as much as possible with their representatives. None of this hiding behind closed doors (except for commercially sensitive material that does come up from time to time), and fessing up when you know you have stuffed up. You might find the public are more sympathetic you one acknowledges and apologies for a legitimate mistake
  5. Keeping It Local: Large centralised civic institutions seem impersonal (if not frightening) to most us. So how about keeping it Local and allow our Local Boards to be resourced properly so they can execute their true functions of local advocacy and providing our local community parks and services for us.
  6. Basics first: One thing I learnt when I moved out from the parents’ home and struck it out in the real world (including getting married and owning our first house) is that with the limited resources you have got, you did the basics first then with anything left over you just might be able to afford a luxury. Same applies to our civic institutions; they have limited resources so get the basics right first then “treat yourself or others” to a luxury if you are able to do so once the basics are taken care of.
  7. Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions:  you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.
  8. Stay out of my way: I believe in the following strongly “Individual Freedom -> Individual Choice -> Individual Responsibility (oh and do not forget the consequences)”   I am an adult who can make choices for myself (whether it was right or wrong), treat me as such rather than a child.

 

Hauraki Gulf

Divisions Within About The Hauraki Gulf

 

I have noticed one heck of flare up over the Hauraki Gulf, The Hauraki Gulf Forum and the attempt to set up a bureaucratic nightmare in regards to implementation of The Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan.

This flare up is what is inspiring me to compose my technical first speech of my campaign in the Local Government Elections next year as I contest for a seat on the Papakura Local Board.

 

I will continue to keep an eye on the Hauraki Gulf developments and possibly follow-up with some commentary this weekend.

 

But it seems Auckland ratepayers are being taken for a ride by those who voted AGAINST Councillor Mike Lee’s amendment yesterday…

Meetings for More Meetings

Was at Transport Committee Meeting Today

 

I finally managed to squeeze some time in my hectic work schedule to trundle along to a Auckland Council committee meeting today. And today it was the Transport Committee chaired by Councillor Mike Lee that I was able to rock up to and sit quietly down the back and observe around about two-thirds of the proceedings before I wanted lunch and carry on with other things.

I also saw for the first time although I did not introduce myself (bit shameful on me) to them were; MP Julie-Ann Genter and Principle Transport Planner Joshua Arbury. Both were due to give their respective reports or presentations in front of the Transport Committee today.

You can see the agenda (the hard copy was thicker than a piece of 4 by 2) in the embeds below. But from observations today out of that Transport Committee; the bulk of the resolutions were: “To Hold another meeting to discuss what was in this meeting which was about the previous three meetings WHICH was about the meeting last year.”

I say we are getting progress somewhere if today’s resolutions were anything to go by…

 

One thing that I will single out though was the immature behaviour of Councillors Quax and Morrison against Julie-Ann Genter and her first class presentation (which reminds me to email her to get a copy of that presentation). Councillor Quax raised a point of order as Ms Genter was explaining a finer point in her section of the presentation about abolishing ‘minimum parking requirements for a development’ due to “time.” While the Chair might of not been keeping time I certainly was and 10 mins was not up to the point anyone that passed a motion for extension of time (which Cllr Dr Cathy Casey did raise in the end) I would have been grateful so I could hear Ms Genter finish her presentation fully. What Councillor Quax was doing was trying to “stomp” on Ms Genter’s presentation as it would have been a direct affront to his flawed and dead ideology which Auckland is trying to shake the legacy from off.

I for one Councillor Quax do not support Minimum Parking Requirements and made that extremely clear in my submission to the Auckland Plan, and will make it even more extremely clear in my submission to the Unitary Plan.

As for Councillor Morrison and asking Ms Genter had she read the Auckland Plan. That to me was implying that the MP had no idea what she was talking about in her presentation when speaking on land and transport planning. Most likely also Councillor Morrison was also implying that he supported the extremely flawed ideology on having Minimum Parking Requirements. I’ll tell you want Councillor, I would be falling head over heels to get Ms Genter into a working party on the unitary plan as some of her ideas were pretty damn solid and much better than what I am seeing coming out of Unitary Plan discussions at the moment.

So to both Councillors – SHAME ON YOU! Then again both of you I would oppose and are in opposition to what you represent any how…

 

And on that note, I wonder if I rock up to the Governing Body meeting coming up – should be a lively debate in that meeting.

Oh and good to see my local Councillor Calum Penrose also participating in the Transport Committee today 😀

The Agenda

[update from Admin: Embeds now working]

 

 

Quay Street Nuts Ctd

Follow Up on Quay Street

 

 

After yesterday’s initial post on Quay Street Nuts, I had a few discussions with others as well as a general head scratching session last night on the Quay Street issue. Basically I came to the same conclusion as I did yesterday in which I said:

 

So from what I can gather unless my English and interpreting documents some what out of whack, these incoming changes have been signalled well in advanced in three sets of plans (The Auckland Plank, The City Centre Master Plan, and The Long Term Plan 2012-2022). Whether I agree with the changes or not is a different story although it can be seen above in my comments to the Facebook thread.

In short I have no issue with the Quay Street works, but as I said:

“I think the problem is that this part of Quay Street flipping over to a boulevard is somewhat too soon without actual alternative in place. Stanley Street and State Highway 16 is not somewhat of an alternative heading from the east seeming our engineers can not phase traffic lights for peanuts” 

 

Outside of that issue, I am not having major issues here with Quay Street (west) although I am looking at alternatives here (not whole scale Quay Street west – just some minor tinkering to smooth the works transition). As for Quay Street east, I already drew up a plan for that and submitted on it. However works in that sector are not due to after the CRL I believe, so still time to keep the dialogue going there.

 

Oh if you are wondering what I meant about sticking the boot in at that particular Hearings Panel; it means I strongly disagreed with Parnell and do not want that station built, was not overtly fond of Quay Street work so soon in the game, and as for the CRL – well you all know how I advocate for that mega project on a delayed timetable. But as I said, there was both constructive criticism and as I said singing the praises too. So I am not always a grumpy old fart :P

Due credit is give when it is due – such as Councillor Wood is about to find out.

 

George will still get his due credit tomorrow when he goes into bat for the 380 Airport buses at tomorrow’s Transport Committee meeting.

 

Just to provide clarification here on Quay Street-west and Quay Street-east as they are treated as two distinct entities by both Auckland Council and the CCO’s as well as myself. Quay Street-west is Quay Street from the Viaduct Harbour through to the Tangihua Street/Tinley Street/Quay Street Intersection (where the Z petrol station and port entrance is); while Quay Street-east is from that same intersection through to the Stanley Street/Tamaki Drive/Quay Street intersection.

 

Further explaining: with Quay Street-east; that is being “dealt with” in my Auckland Water-Frontier work as I create a boulevard and an expressway in that section of Quay Street. This run of commentary on Quay Street-west is where this post (and the current “angst” from Orakei) is focusing on (again mentioned above).

 

I also had a read of a few letters to the Editor in the Herald this morning which were somewhat scathing of basically Orakei (mainly the Councillor, Local Board Chair and the Tamaki MP), while one was supportive of light rail along Tamaki Drive. And again after a ponder I would also tend to be in agreement with Mr Sheehan of Milford and his letter to the editor as well as Mr Broome’s letter to the editor on Light Rail – although I would look into the timetable of that. I would look at the light rail timetabling plan (for roll out) due to the fact I had mentioned something similar in the Wynyard Quarter section of my submissions where a light rail line would run from Wynyard Quarter to (as of now after some progression post-submission) east end of The Auckland Water-Frontier project zone.

 

And where does all this bring me too? It brings me to politely disagree with Orakei and their assertions around Quay Street and offer support behind Ludo Campbell-Reid and the works soon to start on Quay Street-west (although I can withdraw that support too).

A respected former centre-right councillor did raise with me:  “I think its more the lack of communication than the vision.” My reply to that was: “The question though  is where (the lack of communication). I found it in three sections of the City Centre Master Plan, a section of the Long Term Plan and sections in the main Auckland Plan. Heck even I was aware of Quay Street west (although I paid little attention to it as I was focused on Wynyard Quarter and Quay Street east) when writing submissions and having frank discussions with Ludo, Cathy Casey, and George Wood in the hearings panel. I am of the current opinion Quay Street might have snuck up on some more quickly than first anticipated”

 

 

So the issue in my eyes with Quay Street-west is basically done and dusted with works soon about to begin – of which I have as said many times above and before, no problems with. I might email Ludo Campbell Reid around some minor “transitional” concerns with Quay Street-west to endure traffic movements are smooth and not heavily disrupted pre CRL however to seek some reassurances.

 

 

 

References

 

Letters to The Editor

 

Reference to City Centre Master Plan

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/plansstrategies/ccmp/Pages/home.aspx#ad-image-0