Current issues we are working on
Past issues and submissions
Proposed 8 story development in Mission Bay
Many of you will have seen Saturday's announcement about a $200M development proposed for the Mission Bay restaurant area. Here is a link to the Herald article.
While we like the idea of any development which would enhance our community, our first look at this proposal indicates it will have massive negative impacts on both neighbours and the community as a whole. The fundamental issue in our mind is the proposal for a building or buildings of up to 8 levels high. It doesn't really matter how such a building is designed, it will be totally out of character in an area which is currently predominantly 2 storied, and zoning which anticipates 4 stories. It should be noted that the height of the buildings will be well over the allowable height in the Unitary Plan.
Auckland has just been through a long drawn out process to arrive at the Unitary Plan, and now the first significant mixed-use development in the area wants to totally ignore the rules established in that plan. It really makes us wonder why we spent millions and millions developing the Unitary Plan if developers are simply going to ignore it and ask for whatever they want, then use their greater financial capacity to override the wishes of the community.
A resource consent application is to be filed this Wednesday, after which there will be public notification to allow the community to have their say. We will await further details, but at this point believe that any proposal for an 8 story building is totally inappropriate in this location.
The developer's press release has preceded the resource consent filing, presumably to try to build some public support for a project they know will be difficult to push through. We understand that they want to create the most favorable impression they can, but we do expect them to present honestly without attempting to mislead the public. In this case we take exception to several statements they make.
"The project has been designed to ensure that its scale and intensity is suitable for the iconic location…"
This is simply not true. An 8 story building would be seriously out of character in this location, ignoring the context of the existing environment and walling off the community from the beach and foreshore. In our view, this would have a substantial negative impact on the local community and is inappropriate. Saying it is suitable does not make it true. You can judge for yourselves.
"Community interests were a priority"
If community interests were a priority, then the developers would have worked with community organisations such as the Mission Bay Kohimarama Residents Association during the design phase. Instead, we have been ignored, the design has been fully developed without local input, and local community groups have been left to find out about the project by reading the Herald. That does not sound like a genuine concern for community interests.
"The site's Business – Local Centre zoning allowed for more intensive mixed-use development than had previously occurred"
It is true that the Local Centre Zone allows for more intensive development than was allowed under the previous zoning rules. However, the developers presumably make this statement to imply that the development is allowed under the new Unitary Plan, but this is blatantly untrue. This development is not consistent with the Local Centre Zone rules and at 8 stories is very much higher than the 16m inhabitable height allowed.
"The buildings' height will peak at eight levels or 22 metres"
This height is way above the allowable height of 16m for the zoning under the Unitary Plan, but we are suspicious that it could go higher again. 22m does not seem enough for 8 levels of high quality development, being under 3m for each level, and so we would not be surprised to see an amendment to increase this.
"Urban Partners requested [the resource consent application] be publicly notified"
This statement is intended to make it look as though they welcome public submissions. In reality, for a project which violates the planning rules as much as this one, it was almost certain that the Council would require it to be notified. By asking for it to be publicly notified, the developers have simply reduced the amount of time from when the project is first announced to when the public have to respond.
We are not sure of the process and timeline just yet, but will let you know as we learn more. The resource consent is to be filed on Wednesday, and presumably notification to affected parties and the public will be made shortly thereafter. At that point, the public will have 20 working days to respond either supporting or opposing the development.
What can you do?
If you don't like the idea of an 8 story development here, then please make your views known.
- Initially, you can email the Orakei Local Board to help them understand the depth of feeling on this. Their email address is RLBOLogin@aklc.govt.nz , and you can email them now to help them decide whether they will support or oppose this project.
- You can also post messages on Neighbourly, Facebook and other social media immediately to try to ensure everyone is aware of what is planned.
- Talk to your friends about this. Encourage them to join the Resident's Association if they want to keep up to date.
- Once the resource consent application has been notified, then you can make a submission directly. We will advise how to do that at the appropriate time.
Tamaki Drive cycleway
Auckland Transport is proposing a cycleway on Tamaki Drive between Ngapipi Rd and Quay St, linking to the recently constructed Quay St cycleway. The asked for comments on the plan. Here is a link to their plan.
We co-hosted a public meeting at the Outboard Boating Club to allow Auckland Transport to explain their approach, and for the public to comment and make suggestions. This was a very successful meeting, with 130 people attending (the maximum capacity of the room) and some lively debate.
We made a formal submission to AT, outlining some concerns. You can see our full submission below, but key points included:
- endorsing the Bike Auckland alternative as a better plan;
- suggesting that solving the problem of flooding beside the Outboard Boating Club be incorporated into the plan by raising the road;
- suggesting a longer term view be taken to work towards implementing the goals of the Tamaki Drive Master Plan in a coordinated manner with coordinated funding to try to achieve a better overall outcome, rather than the current approach of designing each project individually with consequent constraints on funding and practicality.
Here is our submission.
Draft Local Board Plan
The Orakei Local Board has prepared a draft Plan to guide them through the next year, and put it out for consultation. You can see the draft plan using the links below.
- We wanted to see an exlicit commitment to progressing the Tamaki Drive Master Plan
- We wanted the great work on playgrounds to continue
- We wanted more focus on threats to ouyr beaches from pollution
- We wanted an explicit acknowledgement from the OLB that their role included lobbying on behalf of residents on issues outside of their area of direct responsibility, eg while they are not responsible for footpaths, we expect them to lobby Auckland Transport on behalf of residents to ensure footpaths are of a suitable standard (and that they do not waste money on upgrading footpaths that do not need upgrading!)
Selwyn Reserve disorderly behaviour
Residents have complained about the noise, vandalism and threatening behaviour regularly occurring at Selwyn Reserve between midnight and 7am.
Measures have been put in place to try to address this, including CCTV cameras and parking restrictions, but to date they have had little if any impact. We have therefore asked the Orakei Local Board to organise a public meeting where all interested parties, including Police, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, community organisations and residents can hear what plans have been developed, and discuss further measures that might improve the situation. At this time, we have no response nor any date for such a meeting, but we will keep you informed.
Our letter to the Local Board can be found here.
Auckland Council draft budget consultation
Auckland Council have prepared a draft budget and wants feedback from the public. They have identified 5 key issues that they would particularly like feedback on;
- Keeping rates increases low for everyone
- Rating stability
- How we pay for tourism promotion
- How we pay for housing infrastructure
- A living wage for council staff
Two public meetings have been arranged to discuss the proposals;
Tuesday 21 March from 7 pm at St Heliers Community Centre, St Heliers Bay Rd
Thursday 23 March from 6 pm at St Chad's Community Centre in Meadowbank
Melanesian Mission House redevelopment
The Stonehouse is one of New Zealand's oldest remaining buildings, dating back to 1859, and is a national heritage site. It is currently undergoing earthquake strengthening and restoration. At the same time, the old restaurant pavilion has been demolished, and a new restaurant pavilion is under construction.
Update June 2017
The public meeting on 31 May was very successful, with around 80 people attending, and very interesting presentations on the construction progress, the archaeology and history of the site, and a preview of the new restaurant.
We will be holding a public meeting to provide an update on progress on the Melanesian Mission Stonehouse.
At the meeting, we will show you progress on the rather technically challenging earthquake strengthening, and will have a presentation on the results of an archaeology survey of the site, relating it to the very varied history of this site. We will also have a sneak preview of the new restaurant to give you an idea of what will be available later in the year.
Madills Farm reinstatement
Sand on Kohi Beach
A resident has raised the issue of the sand on Kohimarama beach steadily encroaching on the seawall, to the point where now sand is being blown ovewr the footpath and grass in large quantities.
Update April 2017
We have been informed by the Council that there is indeed an ongoing maintenance plan for the sand on all of the beaches in the Bays. In general, they move sand around the beach to keep the levels where they should be twice a year. They are aware of the issue with sand overflowing onto the grass and road at Kohimarama in particular, but the regular realigning of sand is intended to deal with this. Their plan seems reasonable, and so we propose taking no further action on this issue at this time.
We are following this up with the Council to see whether they are monitoring this and whether there are plans to redistribute the sand where necessary.
Selwyn Reserve disorderly behaviour
- Liquor ban in Selwyn Reserve after 10pm
- Car parks are closed overnight
- CCTV cameras have been installed in the Reserve, and are connected back to the Newmarket Police Station. These were to allow police to respond faster, but also to provide evidence of specifically who was doing what, which was not always easy to determine by the police on the ground.
- No parking zones after 2am have been established on Tamaki Drive adjacent to the reserve
To date, these measures do not appear to have been effective. While this is primarily an issue for the police, we are keeping a watching brief. The Local Board has arranged for the Area Commander, New Zealand Police, to speak about crime and policing in the Ōrākei Ward at the Ōrākei Ward Local Board meeting, and we will attend to ask questions and determine what additional actions might be appropriate.
Madills Farm playground parking
Mission Bay clock
The clock at Mission Bay has not been working for some time, and is looking very grubby.
Update June 2017
The clock is working again. We are still trying to get the structure cleaned to make it look like an asset rather than a liability.
We have followed up with Auckland Transport, who advise that the entire mechanism needed to be replaced. The new mechanism is now in the country and will be installed shortly, we beleive by the end of April 2017. We have asked that the tower be cleaned, but have had no response on that as yet.
Future use for Mission Bay Bowling Club
The Mission Bay Bowling Club has closed. The land and buildings are owned by the Local Board, who are wondering what the best use for this asset could be.
If you have any ideas for how this asset could best benefit the community, please let us or the Local Board know.
Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive cycleway
Auckland Council and NZTA are building a shared walkway/cycleway which will eventually extend from Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive. More information can be found on this project here.
We are working with the Local Board to try to ensure we get the best connections to this path for Kohimarama and Mission Bay residents. This is not as easy as it sounds, as there are limited opportunities to connect from Kohi Rd or Kepa Rd, but the benfits our community can get from the propject are directly related to the quality of connections we can achieve.
Guidelines for events in parks in the Tamaki Precinct
The Local Board produced a set of guidelines for the booking, assessing and use of parks throughout our area. This includes Selwn Reserve and Madills Farm in the Mission Bay Kohi area.
We reviewed this document and felt that while it would be good to have a clear set of guidelines in place so that all parties knew what was required, this document in its current form was not good enough. We felt it was overly complex, was targeted primarily at large scale events, did not adequately allow for community concerns to be addressed, and did not provide clarity around rules for small events.
We made a submission (read it here) in November 2016 to the Local Board to outline our suggestions for improvement, and are waiting for a response.
Ngapipi Rd – Tamaki Drive Intersection
Update: The resource consent has been granted and construction will start mid 2017, with completion planned for mid 2018.
Auckland Transport has recently applied for resource consent to upgrade the Ngapipi Rd – Tamaki Drive intersection. They intend to reclaim a small area on the northern side of Tamki Drive to allow the road layout to be altered, and to put in traffic lights. Their primary goal is to improve safety, with a secondary goal of improving right turning traffic flows into and out of Ngapipi Rd.
There is a long history to this project, with AT going out for publiuc consultation on traffic lights, roundabouts or another solution back in 2012. The overwhelming response from the community was to put in a roundabout. At has elected to go with the traffic signal option instead.
We have made a submission objecting to the project. Our primary concerns, to quote from our submission, are:
- First and foremost, we are concerned that this project has been conceived and designed in isolation. There are numerous other problems and opportunities relating to Tamaki Drive and its environs, and it is important that this project is evaluated in this context to ensure that it is consistent with other future projects and that the highest priority projects are undertaken first. We see no evidence that this has been done.
- Secondly, we are concerned about the scale and cost of this project for relatively minor benefits.
- Thirdly, we do not believe that there has been an adequate analysis of the impact of future sea level rises.
You can see our full submission here.
Unitary Plan Outcome
As of September 2016, the Unitary Plan has been finalised by Auckland Council. Our various representations have been completely ignored, and the rights of individuals impacted by the changes to have a chance to argue their case have been overridden. This was not a battle against intensification, but a battle to ensure that local residents have some level of input to decisions that have the potential to dramatically impact them. However, this battle has been fought and lost. It is now time to move on. While a number of appeals have been filed against all or parts of the Unitary Plan, we have chosen not to participate in any appeals. At this point, the chances of achieving anything significant for our community seem low, the cost would be high, and it is probably beneficial for us all to move on and start building the new homes that Auckland so desperately needs.
Presentation to the Unitary Plan Independent Hearing Panel on Zoning Changes
On 29 March 2016, the Mission Bay Kohimarama Residents Association presented to the IHP on proposals to make major changes to zoning in our area. Originally, the massive upzoning was instigated by the Council, but a public backlash forced them to withdraw their proposal. Now, Housing NZ has taken over the Council's position and proposed a much more extreme upzoning, again with no public consultation. MBKRA appeared before the panel to argue against the proposal.
To learn more about the issue and our position, read the MBKRA speaking notes.
New Bus Network
The key changes are:
- The route from Kohi Rd/Kepa Rd to Britomart which was to be dropped has been reinstated.
- The route from our area to Newmarket which had been dropped has been reinstated, although in a slightly different form. This route will now run from Mission Bay to Newmarket, instead of previously from St Heliers.
- While the previous plan had been to drop all routes in the interior of the suburbs (between Tamaki Drive and Kepa Rd), a new loop services has now been added route 766, which will link Mission Bay, Kohimarama, St Heliers and Glendowie, and connect the waterfront to Kepa Rd.
The changes are expected to be implemented in the second half of 2017. You can find the new route map here.
We have made a submission to AT, which you can read here.
Draft Pourewa Creek Recreation Reserve Management Plan
The Pourewa Creek Recreation Reserve is basically the land around Kepa Rd from the Orakei shops down to the Orakei Bridge. The land is owned byNgāti Whātua Ōrākei and jointly managed by them and the Council through the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Reserves Board. They have prepared a high level management plan for the area to guide its future development. This is now out for consultation, and can be viewed either at the St Heliers Library or online here.
Public Meeting to Discuss Zoning Changes
On 9 February 2016, a group of residents' associations from the Eastern Suburbs, including Mission Bay Kohimarama, held a public meeting to inform people about proposed zoning changes. The presentation from this meeting is attached below.
The following link will bring up the council maps showing before and after zoning for the Eastern Suburbs.