Boundary Changes for 2019 elections
Legislation dictates that the ratio of people to elected member in a ward should not vary from the average across the whole of Auckland by more than 10 per cent. This is to ensure "fair and effective representation for individuals and communities". Auckland currently has 13 wards and a review of these showed our city ward (Waitemata and Gulf) was well in excess of that -43%! Population growth in the city centre has been unprecedented so, following public consultation Council made the decision to move the communities of Parnell, Newmarket, Grafton and Newton into the Orakei ward to lower the ratio for the city. In doing that Orakei was too big so the communities of Ellerslie and St Johns (east of St Johns Rd) have been moved into the Maungakiekie Ward.
Wards are represented by Councillors, but within Wards there can be more than one Local Board area. The changes are for the Wards (Councillors) and will NOT affect the local Board boundaries.
If you live in Ellerslie and are currently part of the Orakei Local Board area, this will not change.
If you live in Parnell, Newmarket, Grafton or Newton you will still be part of the Waitemata local board area.
For more details of the changes and a link to the agenda item you can visit the council website here.
The Local Government Commission are expected to give final approval to these changes in early 2019.
Sadly, even though there has been large signage added to the entrance of the Clonbern Carpark alerting drivers of large vehicles to keep off the upper deck, this doesn’t appear to have worked.
This carpark is integral to the Remuera Town Centre but due to its durability issues, the structural capacity is being compromised. While currently the carpark is safe, unless weight is reduced there is a serious and very high chance that the upper level will close. Re-development is dependent on factors outside of Council control but we do know how important it is for Remuera to have this carpark so over the next 2 weeks a security guard will be on site handing out information to reinforce the signage. Please help us spread the word as to close the carpark would take 70 much needed parking spaces away from the 199 total spaces available at the carpark, making parking even more difficult for Remuera.
King's School now has a pick up/drop off zone
One project I have particularly championed was for King's School in Remuera to have some sort of pick up/drop off zone. I am pleased to advise this is now in operation and is well loved by the King's School parents, staff and wider community. I facilitated discussions between the two landowners (Auckland Transport and King's School) and following a year’s ‘debate’ the project was completed over the September school holidays and paid for by the school. Portland Rd continues to have two lanes operating both ways and rather than holding up that traffic the drop off zone provides a much safer option for the boys and their parents and does not affect commuter traffic.
Fireworks – should they continue to be sold for private use or should we only have public displays?
With Guy Fawkes Day just this week, it draws attention to a section of the new by law out for consultation which asks your views as to whether fireworks should be allowed to be sold for private use or not. As always when we ask your views, my vote will reflect the feedback from our ward, so please have your say on the Auckland Council website here.
The bylaw review seeks feedback on changes to the Public Safety and Nuisance bylaw and aims to consolidate and simplify rules that have been previously set by council (or legacy councils) by making them enforceable under legislation from central government instead of via bylaw. This will also cover issues such as window washers at traffic lights, mind altering substances, graffiti, street names and property numbering.
Orakei Basin section of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared path
This project seems to have one issue after another. Consultation is out for re-design feedback on this section and the next section from Meadowbank up through the Purewa Valley to St Heliers Bay Rd.
Nowhere in the consultation document does it say that NZTA and AT have FINALLY agreed that the rail can be lowered from 1.4m to 1.2m alongside the Basin nor does it show a picture of a fully wooden option. The current 1.4m high metal railings will be repurposed for use on a different walkway project. Click here to see the options and here to have your say. Happy to chat this through with you further if you’d like, but please be aware consultation closes on November 9 ( this Friday!)
Remuera Golf Club and the Mayor
I am pleased to advise that things are looking up re the Mayor and Remuera Golf Course.
I requested Mayor Goff meet with the Club so he could fully understand their long held objective to increase public use. The meeting was last week and ended positively. I believe the Mayor now has a better understanding of the site and how it integrates with other surrounding facilities. The Mayor was open to all options including lease extensions, purchase of the land by the Club, and their development of facilities for community use. It is now back in the hands of Remuera Golf Club to develop some specific options, work with Council officials and present back in 2019. It’s a positive attitude change by the Mayor and one which I know many in our community will welcome (the meeting was also the day before the Herald contacted me as to my opinion of Mayor Goff so was well timed!)
Portland Road flooding prevention
Another of my strong advocacy based initiatives has been to lock in a work stream to reduce flooding on the Shore Rd end of Portland Rd and the flooding of Portland Reserve from the ‘creek’ during heavy rain events. Staff advise they are progressing with the design of the two major elements to this project; raising the road and environmental works to improve the functioning of the wetlands in Waitaramoa Reserve and Portland Reserve. As the design progresses, Council will be in touch to inform residents in the immediate area of the works of what is planned, seeking feedback. I have also requested they hold a community meeting to answer any questions from the community. ( I’ll probably ask the Remuera Residents Association to facilitate if they are willing) At this point I’m asking you all to ‘watch this space’ but rest assured, work is happening. We are finally getting closer to resolving this longstanding issue of flooding which has been a major hazard for residents of the area and those driving along Portland Rd, especially at night.