Tag: Weymouth

Oh Dear – Toys out of Cot – Again

Someone down in the South is not happy


Oh dear it seems someone (or rather some Association) has spilled their cup of tea and decided to have a moan in the media. Yes I am being rather unflattering towards the Karaka Residents and Ratepayers Association but, upon reading the following Courier article can someone explain on earth is really going on here please?

Lets take a look at the said article to get some context shall we?

From the Papakura Courier and the ever-so reliable Dubby Henry

Community groups aim to speak out 



Franklin residents could soon have a powerful new voice if community groups get their way.


Groups across the area want to form a united “de facto community board” to rival the Franklin Local Board as a voice for disenfranchised residents.


The group will speak on key overarching issues such as the Auckland Council‘s Unitary Plan, transport and infrastructure.


The Karaka Residents and Ratepayers Association is driving the move and is working on signing up the 20-plus groups stretching from Kawakawa Bay to Waiuku and Buckland in the south and Alfriston in the north.

Association chairman Steve Bird says many groups have already expressed interest.


He says the move has been in the works for some time but its necessity has been highlighted by the recent furore over the Karaka-Weymouth bridge.


That saw residents’ groups in Weymouth and Karaka arguing with each other when they could have united earlier against the development.


Many Franklin residents feel voiceless in the super city, he says.


Big turnouts at residents’ meetings suggest people are not getting information from the local board or from Auckland Council so “we are circumventing that system”, Mr Bird says.


He hopes a united group will have “strength in numbers” and will force the council to listen.


Smaller groups in outlying communities will especially benefit from a bigger group going in to bat for them, he says.

Right let me get this right? Weymouth and Karaka residents were arguing against one another over the now shelved Karaka-Weymouth Bridge?

Last I looked and I was there personally at the those meetings over THAT bridge I saw Weymouth and Karaka residents UNITED against the Karaka Collective and their supporters. Both over and AGAINST that bridge as well as the Karaka North and West Rural Urban Boundary issues.

It was also due to superb planning by Council Planners, some very fine work by the Franklin Local Board, and the united stand in Franklin, Karaka and Weymouth that is seeing the “Corridor” option of the Southern RUB being advanced through the Unitary Plan as the best option. The Karaka North and West options like THAT bridge have been shelved.

So apart from a Council Comm’s cock-up with the Deputy Mayor acknowledged (and most likely someone got roasted for it back in Council) I’d say for the most part in regards to the Southern Rural Urban Boundary and that bridge, Council did listen.

In saying that I realise there are issues with the Large Lot and details around the Rural Zones – that was apparent in today’s Committee meeting. I did hear today from the planners that those issues are still being worked through with the respective Local Boards at the moment.


As for force in numbers and “forcing” Council to listen. Good luck with that guys. If anything the Council will more likely go tell you to jump rather than listen to what will most certainly be an enlarged unresponsive NIMBY group.

And as a demonstration that Council listens to the small fellow, watch the Manukau developments.


Although elections are approaching, the move is not political.


“The idea is to act unofficially as a local board in terms of being a sounding board. So we’ll get the information that people are finding they’re not able to get through the council.


“The council treats us like mushrooms – we’re in the dark and they feed us garbage.”


The proposal is doing the rounds but there will be some delay for each group to vote on the move.


The combined group will be an incorporated society with its own constitution while those it represents will stay independent and continue their local work.


It will focus on key issues that affect big areas, such as the Unitary Plan, the Rural Urban Boundary lines, transport, infrastructure and education although “we’ve got to put our toe in the water to see where the strength lays for particular subjects”, he says.


Now that I had to laugh over: “”The council treats us like mushrooms – we’re in the dark and they feed us garbage.”

I was called a mushroom once and I took a complement – why? Because to turn crap/garbage and turn it into a very valuable product that is worth quite a bit (think how much do mushrooms cost at the supermarket) to the wider community/people.

So the Association might want to think that quip again owing that the Southern RUB outputs are becoming quite valuable from a rather crap start.

As for the rest of it, running parallel to the Local Board must be the most daft thing to do in advancing the interests of the South. I recommend contacting Desley Simpson – Chair of the Orakei Local Board and ask how she works so well with her Associations she has in her area.

And so I wonder if it is the Karaka Collective stirring behind the scenes after their “proposal” with the RUB and bridge were shelved by the Council and are looking at RUB sentiment from the east Takanini and Alfriston area after Council said they were not moving the RUB further east.

I believe the Takanini/Alfriston RUB issues are owing from Veolia Water not wanting to put in the infrastructure in that area. Also the fact that the particular area concerned sits on a natural flood plain that floods usually after each decent rain dump…

Still I wonder what is really going on here with this mega association push. Seems some minorities are wanting to “circumnavigate” due process and the sound majority…


Roll the eyes material after concessions made in advancing the South… Typical


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The Karaka Collective Presentation

Musings on the presentation


I have been meaning to get this piece up onto the blog for a while about the Karaka Collective presentation recently. I have not got the Physical Powerpoint presentation on me but, will chase it down from the Collective and upload it to the blog ASAP.


On May 13 at Karaka Hall, Peter Fuller representing the Karaka Collective gave a presentation of the Collective’s “submission” and vision for Karaka West and Karaka North. This also included the Weymouth-Karaka Bridge which seems to be causing enough upset from both sides of the harbour.

I have been asked for comments on the meeting as I was there. These are my thoughts and some responses to queries I got asked which covered both the physical presentation and the subject matter at hand:


The meeting in itself was civil and hats off to residents knowing the issue is both passionate and a sore issue (for both Karaka and Weymouth).
For the presentation it was too long and should have only be at maximum 10 minutes for the matter presented. Anything beyond a 20 minute mark in presentations and you lose the audience. I nodded off at the 20 minute mark to which I decided to go over and start talking to Councillors Fletcher and Penrose on the matter at hand.

I would have recommended to follow what is called a split presentation when giving a talk on material that can be quite heavy or quite extensive.

The split presentation format I used for the Auckland Plan Committee last week in my Manukau Presentation ( https://voakl.net/2013/05/15/the-manukau-presentation/ ) had both a short power point presentation covering the main points and a “booklet” with all the information at hand.

Both the presentation and the booklet is sent to the committee in advance for advanced reading leaving me to go over briefly the main points of my argument. The committee with the booklet in hand then asks questions they might have. It was a useful technique and allowed maximum time for the main purpose; questions or what I like to call dialogue if executed properly.

Peter Fuller should have split the presentation with both a short 10 minute brief covering the main points, followed by a booklet with all the finer details for further reading – and had it released a week in advance. Bloggers like myself would have picked up on this and both republished the information and ran commentary on it.

Although in saying that there is a risk of preempting the Collective’s presentation of information and allowing the residents to form questions before hand. Or allow bloggers like myself to take control of a debate and frame the argument. Risks but risks the Collective will have to take if they want their plan to progress. Also something a particular Herald journalist and elected representatives on the North Shore find out too when they get debunked for utter misrepresentation of information. So the remedy is simple; tell the truth from the beginning and you have nothing to fear. Tell a porker and don’t expect much forgiveness from people nor bloggers in return. The Collective were being honest and their ambitions known.

While the material in Fuller’s presentation was too long and too heavy with the presentation too full of planning and officialdom jargon. It could also be taken that the information presented in a way that was talking down to everyone in the room. So a patronising effect that will chill residents and elected representatives

As for the questions they were pretty good, as for the answers they were not. Fuller was okay with the answering but the other two that were land owners I had real issue with. Their answers were put in a way of both putting down the room and issuing a challenge to the room to “meet them” in the Environment Court which is likely where this issue will end up. I have taken note from Brigid her comment which was (it is public):

“I was at that meeting and there seemed to be a difference between how Bruce Wallace envisioned a Weymouth-Karaka link and what Peter Fuller showed in his presentation. Bruce Wallace seemed to be wanting de facto motorway that would get him quicker to and from the airport and lower congestion on SH1 so he could get to work in under 20mins. However Don McKenzie the traffic expert on the Collective team said any Weymouth-Karaka link would not lessen congestion. And Peter Fuller spoke of a 60-80k Te Irirangi Drive/Te Rakau Drive equivalent. ”


This folks is what you call an effective “Buggers Muddle” – that is a pile of different answers that basically contradict each other to the point oxymoron becomes the norm. Three different answers that would have three very different consequences on that particular bridge. Not entirely confidence material nor helpful for both Auckland Transport and NZTA if they ever decided to run with the project. So lets look at the points individually:


  • Bruce Wallace seemed to be wanting de facto motorway that would get him quicker to and from the airport and lower congestion on SH1 so he could get to work in under 20mins.

Umm no and won’t happen. Auckland Transport and NZTA would have to overcome hell and high water from Southern Auckland to get a de-facto motorway put in and the bridge built. The Benefit Cost Ratio would be below 1.0 owing to the massive environment (physical and social) consequences (mainly negative) to the entire area of the de-facto motorway proposal. The “motorway” would not lower the congestion on State Highway One especially when the Greenfield areas get built up. The only way to bet congestion on State Highway One is to 6-lane the motorway all the way to Drury interchange, get the rail service more effective and efficient, and development some large employment centres close to home (Manukau, Wiri and Drury). If one wants a quick trip to the airport then may I suggest throwing your support and money behind the Airport Line from Manukau Station to the airport. Coupled with the EMU’s you could be there in well 30 minutes without the traffic crap on the roads…


  • However Don McKenzie the traffic expert on the Collective team said any Weymouth-Karaka link would not lessen congestion.

Excuse the language but No Crap Sherlock. It will not lessen congestion any where. All that bridge will do is cause rat running through an established community causing misery and literal hell. Yes I see Weymouth has the strip to allow a 4-lane road but it is now too late for the road. That road and bridge should of been built 50 years ago to 4-lane specifications before Weymouth took firm settlement. The settlement could of then be built around the road and bridge rather than the community now being built around the road. As I said the only way to lessen congestion is what I mentioned above. Through in a proper Regional Public Transport Plan and I would say you could remove all together 33% of the cars off the road at a minimum while still allowing transit choice


  • And Peter Fuller spoke of a 60-80k Te Irirangi Drive/Te Rakau Drive equivalent. “

So an expressway option. Last I looked that the communities around Te Irirangi Drive were built in a way that they were mitigated from the most serious aspects of that road. That is the road was built around the community with green shelter belts and lane ways to access the houses (that is no house has a direct driveway access to Te Irirgani Drive in the new sections of that road). The older sections at the Manukau end of the road and along Te Rakau Drive which do have direct driveway access to the road show the implications of planning not done properly. What we see in the older sections of Te Irirangi Drive with direct driveway access rather than green belts and lane ways off the road is what we would get in Weymouth. Not fun for the residents nor particular safe for an 80km expressway either… It is of note that the Manukau end of Te Irirangi is at 60km/h while the new Botany sections are at 80km/h. That 80km/h section has the greenbelt and lane ways shielding the houses from the road. I wonder if the Collective would be willing to stump the cash up to retrofit Weymouth Road with those lane way shields if they want their bridge built. Probably not, so I wouldn’t want a 80km/h expressway either without the proper mitigation in position FIRST.

In regards to Bruce Wallace (seem to remember him rather well for some odd reason), I don’t particularly care if one has had issues with the old Councils. Most of us would have had crap from the legacy Councils so we know what it is like (Manukau Station being a pet peeve for me with the old Manukau City Council that I am still trying to fix up with the current Council). But what I do care is them short circuiting the RUB process and apparently trying to buy their way into outcomes favouring them via the Unitary Plan.

I did ask the final question for the night regards to the Collective supporting existing and new infrastructure projects before backing the Weymouth Bridge. Those projects include Glenora Road Station, Spartan Road Station, the Manukau Rail South Link, the RPTP with the bus routes and so on. While they said they would and might have done so (meaning I need to dig up submissions), I highly doubt it unless they prove me wrong over the next 7 years.
In saying that I am working on my submission to stave off that bridge as long as possible through a formation of a new regional park on the Karaka side. This has been mentioned before in this blog before

The submission will go up on my blog as soon as its finished.

Otherwise the meeting was handled well by the residents from a group short circuiting the processes the rest of us have to go through via claiming it is for the good of Auckland.



Those were my thoughts in the presentation. As I point out to the Collective, those ARE MY THOUGHTS AND INTERPRETATIONS of that presentation. If the Collective differs to my interpretations they are free to share a guest post – that is less than 2500 words and in plain English. Graphics help and can be facilitated easy into the blog.


In the mean time people do not forget your submission to the Unitary Plan in before May 31 – 5pm




Public Meetings on The Clunker

Preconceived Motions Do NOT Help Anyone


At times I have to play the devils advocate and go into bat for those I often would not. Last night at the Weymouth Public Meeting on the Southern Rural Urban Boundary and the Karaka-Weymouth Bridge, the poor planners pretty much got ambushed by some (not all – as I am being fair) of the Weymouth residents last causing the presentation to be cut short considerably. After talking to some of the other residents, then going one-to-one in front of the Unitary Plan maps with more interested residents  I can concluded (to my own opinion) some points out of that meeting:

  1. The majority of residents  have not read The Unitary Plan (I know it’s an 1854 page clunker but do what I do and read specifics to your area of concern (so anything south of Otahuhu)) at all including the Rural Urban Boundary Addendum. Meaning a minority have read at least some of The Clunker and (to be frank) showed in the line of questions they were asking. 
  2. Are not actually asking key players questions they might have on issues. The Karaka Bridge I would be hammering the AT Board for an answer until a resolution came out of there (sorry Christine I know that means more pressure but they need certainty in Weymouth)
  3. Someone in AT has shot their mouth off on the Karaka Bridge before the Board has made any firm decision on the bridge (I need to get a hold of that letter that particular resident had from AT)
  4. Majority of residents holding of preconceived motions – this comes from point one and they most likely not reading The Clunker. I really wanted to those residents holding a preconceived motions on the Karaka Bridge that at this point and time no FINAL decision has come out of AT (if it has then the Board is hiding something). Like the Eastern Highway the designation (if there is one for Karaka in the first place) has to be in the maps for all to see, this is in case NZTA decide to go run with the particular project and decide to build it. The only way to have the designation removed from a map for good is to get NZTA to remove the designation formally!
  5. If one does not know something, we will just go insult the planner anyway – not acceptable nor mature from residents who should know better. I don’t personally have time to rock up to public meetings to go learn something, talk to people, and enter dialogue if all some residents are able to do is fling insults. For your information South Auckland is anything south of Portage Road Otahuhu to the Franklin Local Board area in which it then becomes Counties Auckland. Overall the area is known as Southern Auckland! 


I wish I had my maps with me last night along with Councillor and AT Board Member Chris Fletcher‘s comment on the Karaka Bridge – as well as the RUB (as I had it in A4 colour) to help the planners. But I did not know the meeting would turn out the way it did, and I am hating to think how this is going to turn out in two weeks when the Mayor and Deputy Mayor trundle along.


This is Chris’s comment on the Karaka Bridge made recently:

Christine Fletcher There is strong opposition from the Karaka Residents I know to the proposed Weymouth Bridge. I am aware of a number preparing submissions in objection. It is a ridiculous proposal. It has no funding and does not appear in any planning document. Given that we don’t have sufficient funding for our existing and approved transport projects it is wrong to distress so many people on a proposal that will never go anywhere. Further evidence of the flawed thinking around the ill-considered Unitary Plan. You can imagine Penny Hulse and Roger Blakely playing with a big felt tip pen oblivious to the respective communities. I don’t think that I can attend that meeting but I will put you in touch with the independent planner consultant who is helping residents to draft their submissions.


I stress that Chris’s comment be read and taken into account. I also stress then grill the Deputy Mayor in two weeks on the bridge and how the heck it got there – but please residents; READ THE SOUTHERN RUB DOCUMENT FIRST PLEASE!


These are the maps on the Southern RUB last night that the residents would not have been able to see (yes you can print them):


I also stress the following point made in the maps:

  • Waste water treatment plant and transport link likely to be required


Emphasis on likely but not a “must” (although that treatment plant is going to end up as a “must”)


I am also going to reiterate what I said yesterday:

I have commented on this with my “THE RURAL URBAN BOUNDARY – SOUTH END“” post last week – briefly recapping:

Personally I am in favour of the Draft Southern RUB Options – Corridor Focus (Page 4 of the embed) which contains primary urban development to Drury and Karaka (Core’s K and D), along the State Highway 22 and North Island Main Trunk Line rail corridor, the North East Pukekohe flank, and the Pukekohe South East flank. This option keeps the main development either near existing development or along a transit corridor making infrastructure provisions (Drury and Paerata Rail Stations) and access more easier than the other options such as those that include Karaka North and West. Per The Unitary Plan there is an option to retain a green belt between Pukekohe and Paerata which would provide a wildlife corridor as well as park space. While development is kept away from the highly valuable Pahurehure Inlet which according to the maps contains colonies of wading sea birds. In any case that area slated as Karaka North and West if need be can be converted either into lifestyle blocks with strict covenants or over time into a new regional park and green lung for the ever-growing Auckland (which is what I would prefer Council would do (like an Ambury Farm or Puhinui Reserve set up)).

I have also noted as potential transport link from Whangapouri to Weymouth via a new bridge over the inlet as well as talk of a new waste water treatment plant. With me preferring the corridor option thus Karaka West and North not being developed – but actually wanting to be flipped over to lifestyle blocks or even better a regional reserve I can not see the need for a transit link through that area connecting to Weymouth. That link would create a rat-run from State Highway 20 at the Cavendish Drive Interchange, down Roscommon and Weymouth Roads (Route 17), over the new bridge, down the new transit link and through to State Highway 22 just north of Paerata rather than containing it to State Highways 1 and 22. That kind of rat running would lower the amenity of the new Greenfield developments and do nothing to solve congestion issues. As for the waste water treatment plant, well with Karaka North and West no longer under development you can away plop the new plant there out of the urban road but near the potential outfall site.


Submission wise I am going to follow through and “recommend” toAuckland Council that the Corridor Option for the RUB being the preferred southern Greenfield development options, providing there is:

  • A green belt maintained between Pukekohe and Paerata

  • New waste water treatment plant is built

  • That transit link over the Inlet is not built

  • What was labelled Karaka North and West either be allowed to be converted to Lifestyle blocks or even better a regional reserve seeming wading birds live in those areas

  • And that Auckland Transport will build the Drury and Paerata Mass Transit Interchanges (rail and bus station, and park and ride)



So what I am getting at in this post is the following:

  • Do your reading first and dump any preconceived ideas you have at the door
  • A submission simply opposing something is useless, you need to play the Council and AT at their own game and get an actual alternative across that is viable and a win-win for all. I have as seen in the above statement and is a card I am using in working with Council and the Unitary Plan that is a win-win for most (just not the land banker in Karaka West)


There is another meeting in two weeks time with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor being invited to be present at Weymouth School Hall. I will be present again and this with my maps and hopefully a clarification from Auckland Transport in that cursed bridge. In the meantime I am off to Milford tonight to go listen in on the intensification plans IN THAT AREA which is causing a certain amount of heart ache for residents over there.


One final thing: I know what the residents in Weymouth are staring down as I am staring down the exact same thing with the Mill Road corridor and the consequences it will cause (rat running being the main one) on the transport side. With intensification I also know what the Weymouth residents can be staring down as my house is up for re-zoning from Residential-1 to “Mixed Zoning”  (see my:  ) and the fact I am only 100 metres away from the Papakura Metropolitan Zone which allows buildings to go up to 18 stories high (economic conditions permitting). RUB wise I can also share the Weymouth residents concerns and the impacts that can actually cause. For me it affects the trains and State Highway One transport wise as more people need to be moved from the south. To the north of me I could be staring down 15,000 new houses if the RUB at Addison gets moved eastwards despite it being a floodplain. So Weymouth and Papakura are in the same boat here with The Clunker in all regards. I can understand anger and frustration but I do not tolerate preconceived motions nor insulting planners who are the messengers. You have a beef; take it with the Councillors and the Mayor…