Here are some things that are happening in our area that you might be interested in.
In this issue:
Mission Bay 8 storey development - we won!!
The verdict is in and the proposed development has been rejected by the Hearing Commissioners. All of our hard work has paid off, and we have avoided having an inappropriately tall and bulky development undermining Mission Bay's character.
While a big part of our success comes down to the quality of the submissions and presentations by our team led by Barrister Gill Chapell, we cannot underestimate the impact of the sheer weight of numbers of people attending the hearings. This clearly demonstrated that the proposed was not welcomed by the local community, and that so many people felt so strongly about it that they made the effort to come along to the hearings. This is unusual in hearings of this type, and so made a big impression on the Hearing Commissioners. Thanks to everyone who was able to support us in this way; you can be proud that your efforts did make a difference.
Likewise the strong arguments put forward by our barrister and planner that carried so much weight with the Commissioners was only possible because of the strong financial support from our members. It is an unfortunate fact of life under the planning laws that it costs a fortune for locals to defend their communities from the impacts of non-complying development. Regardless of whether this is fair or not, that is the way it is. To be successful we have to ensure we have the funding to allow us engage with the community and put forward a strong technical case.
Here is a rough summary that will help you understand the costs and where we got our funding for this campaign.
Public meeting and flyers$2,500
Barrister and planner$24,500
Sources of funds
Orakei Local Board grants$2,500
Donations from members$13,500
Funds from our reserves$11,000
As you can see, the fantastic level of donations from you, our members, was absolutely critical in allowing us to make such a strong case opposing this development. Thank you to everyone who contributed so generously.
It is perhaps worth noting that other local groups, particularly the Support Mission Bay Group, also had to spend heavily to help achieve this result. Collectively, local organisations spent well over $100,000 to defend Mission Bay against a proposal that was outside the rules of the Unitary Plan. This doesn't seem much like democracy, more like "money talks".
We don't know what happens next. The Applicant could file an appeal to the Environment Court, they could just accept the verdict, or they could redesign the project and resubmit it. All will become clear over the coming weeks.
Thanks once again for your support.
Auckland Transport speed reduction proposal
The Auckland Transport are putting their recommendations for speed reductions throughout Auckland to their Board on 22 October. This proposal is separate to the engineering solutions proposed for Mission Bay and St Heliers, involving multiple pedestrian crossings and various other changes, but is simply to determine whether to proceed with reducing speed limits on various rural and urban roads and 7 town centres. The town centres include Mission Bay and St Heliers.
You will recall that the engineering proposals for Mission Bay were taken off the table, and a working group set up, of which we are part, to determine whether any changes are justified, and if so, what they should be. Rightly or wrongly, the 30 km/h speed reduction was always a separate consultation and process, and so despite us continuing to work on the pedestrian crossing proposal, the speed limit decision will be made independently.
While this seems foolish, we don't consider it to be a major problem. Traffic through Mission Bay is typically travelling at speeds close to 30 km/h already, so new speed limits will have little impact. Our concern was always more about putting in multiple speed humps and pedestrian crossings that would severely impact traffic flow through Mission Bay, and we are in a good position to influence the final outcome on any changes of this nature and ensure that they are sensible.
The bottom line is that it is likely that while there will shortly be a decision to reduce the speed limit in Mission Bay and St Heliers to 30 km/hr, this will not impact our work with AT to ensure any engineering changes or pedestrian crossings are sensible and balance the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and other road users.
If you are interested, there are a lot of papers going to the AT Board that you can find here. The relevant item is 13.1
Mayoral Debate a great success
The Mayoral Debate meeting on 30 September was a great success. It opened with all three of the Orakei Ward Councillor candidates outlining their positions and answering questions on specific issues, and then moved on to the head to head debate between Phil Goff and John Tamihere. All of the candidates spoke well, capturing their positions concisely, and keeping to our time limits.
Around 250 people attended and were entertained and informed by the speakers. The Selwyn College Theatre is a great venue with comfortable seats and excellent viewing, making for a thoroughly successful evening.
Mayor - Phil Goff
Orakei Ward Councillor - Desley Simpson
Orakei Local Board (in order of votes received)
Check out our new website
We have launched an updated website which we hope will be easier to navigate, more informative, and also provide an easier way for you to comment on issues. It will also be much easier and cheaper for us to maintain.
There is not much point describing it further; why don't you just take a look for yourselves here. Feel free to let us know any comments, corrections or bugs you find.
Mission Bay Kohimarama Residents Association