Advocacy

April 2020

Independent Panel – Council-Controlled Organisations Review

An Independent Panel appointed by the Council is seeking feedback about Auckland Council’s five council-controlled organisations (CCOs): Auckland Transport; ATEED; Panuku; Regional Facilities Auckland; and Watercare.

The Independent Panel are interested in opinions about what is working, what is not and what could be improved.

The Rosebank Business Association took the opportunity to make a submission.

Our RBA Feedback

The CCOs have been a common feature in Auckland’s local government. They are usually established to create some distance between the council that owns them, and the trading operations or services provided by the CCO.

Prior to amalgamation over 40 CCOs existed in the Auckland region. Some of these were local Economic Development Agencies (such as Enterprising Waitakere). The Royal Commission recommended a rationalization, but for the CCO model to continue to be used for major commercial, trading and infrastructure activities.

The CCOs were a contentious part of the amalgamation. At the time, the RBA held concerns that the local focus of Enterprising Waitakere would be lost through ‘regionalisation’ under ATEED. This fear came to pass. Many who supported the use of CCOs wanted ‘robust governance frameworks’ to ensure transparency and accountability. Opponents expressed concern that the CCO model would remove major assets and services from direct council control, reducing local accountability. Others were concerned that large, powerful, commercially focused CCOs would not be well placed to meet broader economic and social goals.

By comparison with CCOs established by other councils in New Zealand, both Auckland Transport and Watercare are also unusual CCO models in that they combine both policy and regulatory functions along with ‘trading/operational’ functions (although Watercare to a lesser extent). Auckland Transport is not a CCO in the usual sense, but instead a ‘regional transport agency’.

With regard to Auckland Transport, although the goal of a single regional transport agency has been achieved, this has made balanced integration with the multiplicity of other place-making local government responsibilities more difficult to achieve and for Auckland Transport to operate efficiently and effectively at a local level. The RBA can point to numerous examples where transport goals have been put ahead of community and economic development objectives, especially at a local level. In addition, as one agency, Auckland Transport must at the same time make decisions on whether to paint no parking ‘Broken Yellow Lines’ on a local road and also deliver significant transport projects, such as AMETI.

Recently, in light of these concerns, Dr Stephen Rainbow was commissioned to prepare a report for Auckland Transport. His recommendations have been to: (1) treat BIDs as key stakeholders; (2) take a structured approach to the engagement of BIDs (as there are too many entry points within Auckland Transport); (3) address the lack of geographic focus and planning; (4) break down the functional silos that exist within Auckland Transport and reorient the management structure with a place-based focus; (5) recognise the significance of parking to many BIDs; (6) establish a dedicated line of contact for operational issues within AT; (7) involve BIDs early in the design and development of projects; (8) place an emphasis on Development Response; and (9) ensure AT staff are upskilled about the needs of ‘business’. Although the Report naturally had a focus on Auckland Transport, the RBA believes that many of the recommendations could equally be applied to the other CCOs.

Overall, although the restructuring of Auckland’s governance in 2010 removed geographic silos, the RBA has been concerned that it created instead – especially with the CCO model – functional silos, and has also unnecessarily advanced ‘regionalism’ (where services tend to be delivered with a predominantly regional perspective) at the expense of localism (where multiple services should be delivered with a sense of local place and integration).

 

March 2020

ROSEBANK INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION PREVENTION PROGRAMME – 2018 TO 2020

To help improve water quality in the Whau River and Waitemata Harbour, the Whau Local Board is working with the RBA and businesses to reduce water pollution.

This is part of the Whau Local Board key initiative to ‘fund more waterways education and awareness-raising activities’. The Board has decided to continue to fund an industry pollution prevention programme in the 2019/2020 financial year. The board allocated $20,000 towards the first year of this programme in 2018/2019 (Phase One) and recently allocated $29,000 towards this programme in 2019/2020 (Phase Two).

The educational programme aims to inform urban industries and businesses in Rosebank about the impacts their activities may be having on local waterways. The initiative uses a proactive, non-regulatory, flexible approach to advise businesses on their current practices and ways to prevent contaminants entering waterways. The programme includes on-site inspections and discussions with business owners about potential pollution issues, as well as waste minimisation techniques and spill training, chemical handling and storage. Reports are sent to the respective businesses if changes are recommended. The programme involves a GIS mapping exercise to ensure that commercial businesses understand the stormwater network connections in relation to local waterways. A second visit is made to check progress and offer further assistance if needed. A key aspect of this programme is to develop an understanding of, and build relationships with, local industrial sectors and in some areas the programme is implemented in partnership with local iwi.

Consultants Wilkinson Environmental have received the funding from the Whau Local Board to run the business pollution prevention programme in the Rosebank Rd area.  Wilkinson Environmental has visited businesses on Patiki Road, Rosebank Rd and the side streets from Honan Place to SH16.

To date 172 businesses have been visited and Wilkinson Environmental plan to visit 42 more businesses this year.

The results of the visits have shown that 46 sites (27%) have issues with their current practices and reports have been sent by Wilkinson Environmental to these businesses. Seventy eight recommendations have been made. The issues include:

  • Liquids being stored outside without secondary containment (such as waste oil, cleaning products and chemicals);
  • Vehicles being washed with carwash/detergent with the resulting washwater going into stormwater drains (many businesses think that ‘green’ products can go into stormwater drains, but they cannot);
  • Some businesses have no spill plan in place for handling liquids (such as no written plan, no spill kit/s and no spill training);
  • Some businesses have solid raw materials found in yards but no filters in nearby stormwater drains; and
  • Some businesses are not making the connection between the stormwater drains and the Whau River (with staff needing continual reminders of this).

Overall, Wilkinson Environmental have reported that there is a good uptake by businesses in following the recommendations they have made, but there are still significant risks of spills in the Rosebank area.  They note that companies face large fines if there is a spill and they are prosecuted.

Wilkinson Environmental also noted that there was a significant spill of paint into the Whau River in 2018 at Glendene and that the company, Vac-U-Digga, was recently prosecuted and fined $28,125 under the Resource Management Act.

Mayor Phil Goff said the conviction sent a strong message that anyone found pumping chemicals into the city’s waterways would be held to account.

 

Feb 2020

Climate Change: Think Global – Act Local

Even here in Auckland, we have not been immune from the effects of the massive and unprecedented bushfires that have been burning in Australia. The smoke and haze have on occasion turned the blue skies of Auckland’s summer a dull orange.

Mayor Goff has said that this underlies the importance of the task we face in addressing climate change – a global threat requiring action at a personal, local and global level.

Addressing the challenges of climate change is one of the Mayor’s priorities and the recent 2020/2021 Budget proposal recognises the need for Auckland Council to lead by example.

“Meeting the reductions needed in greenhouse gas emissions requires changes to the way the council operates as an organisation and wider changes in the way the city and country operates”. The Mayor says the there is a need to improve awareness, understanding and buy-in of the public and every sector across Auckland.

The initial response in the 2020/2021 Budget to the urgency of climate action includes up to $6.3 million for decarbonising the council’s vehicle fleet over the next five years (funded from existing budgets), $9 million for phasing out gas boilers in council aquatic centres over the next five years (with $1.5 million in 2020/2021 and with these two measures reducing the council’s emissions by nearly 20 per cent), $2.7 million for planting an additional half a million trees over the next three years (totalling a million and a half trees this term) and $900,000 for foundation work for climate change interventions.

At a local level, the Whau Local Board adopted ‘Becoming a Low Carbon Community Action Plan’.  This includes actions related to a Low Carbon Economy.

The vision of the Whau Local Board is for more successful and resilient businesses in Rosebank, New Lynn, Kelston and Avondale, all working together to innovate as part of the emerging low carbon economy. The Board believes there is a significant opportunity to reduce the carbon emissions created by local businesses.

The Board’s targets in its action plan include creating a low carbon network for Whau businesses and social enterprises to foster the development of a profitable local low carbon economy, with at least 100 local businesses implementing low carbon plans and carbon reduction targets by the end of 2020.

The Board is looking for Low Whau Carbon Leaders to support the development of a low carbon business network

The  Action Plan also looks to the Local Board:

  • working with experts to create, identify or deliver programmes from the council, CCO’s and other organisations that support business and social enterprise becoming part of a low carbon economy;
  • supporting emerging businesses and social enterprises to adopt and generate low carbon outcomes;
  • working with the Avondale, Blockhouse Bay, New Lynn and Rosebank Business Associations to develop a network to support the adoption of low carbon practises by the local business community; and
  • encouraging the development of businesses and social enterprises that reduce resource consumption and carbon emissions, especially those that involve the sharing, re-use or recycling of resources.

What you can do?

The Whau Low Carbon suggests Whau businesses can:

  • Buy quality, local, preloved or recycled products;
  • Measure your carbon footprint;
  • Get an energy audit, monitor and manage your energy consumption;
  • Join the Sustainable Business Network (sustainable.org.nz); or
  • Join the NZ Sustainable Business Council (sbc.org.nz)

 

January 2020

Mayoral Proposal for the Council Annual Budget 2020/2021

The Auckland Council Finance and Performance Committee has received the Mayoral Proposal for the Annual Budget 2020/2021.

The Mayoral Budget begins by noting that 2020/2021 is the third year of the 10-year Budget and will be year that Auckland hosts the 36th America’s Cup (AC36), Te Matatini and APEC.

Prior budget decisions, in particular City Rail Link (CRL) but also AC36 infrastructure and Eden Park have significantly reduced the Council’s funding capacity over the next four years. As a consequence, the Mayor has warned that the Council must maintain discipline and financial prudence in order to serve Aucklanders within the committed average general rate increase and to keep within the ceiling for the debt to revenue ratio.

Nonetheless, the Mayor says the Council also needs to act urgently on the challenge of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. “Meeting the reductions needed in greenhouse gas emissions requires changes to the way the council operates as an organisation and wider changes in the way the city and country operates”. The Mayor says the there is a need to improve awareness, understanding and buy-in of the public and every sector across Auckland.

Last but not least, the Mayor wants to meet growing demand on public transport services and network infrastructure. “Offering choices in transport modes, in particular convenient and reliable public transport, is necessary both to reduce traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.

The key matters included in the proposal are:

  • a $2.7 billion investment in capital assets and operating expenditure of $4.4 billion
  • a 3.5 per cent increase in average general rates and the Uniform Annual General Charge
  • a continuation of the reduction in the business differential
  • no changes to the Regional Fuel Tax, Water Quality Targeted Rate, Natural Environment Targeted Rate, and Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate (though there is a judicial review outcome pending)
  • cumulative annual savings of $63 million by 2020/2021(including at least $16 million in 2020/2021, $24 million saved in 2018/2019 and $23 million budgeted saving in 2019/2020)
  • progressively extending the living wage to contracted cleaners over the next three years with expenditure of up to $1.3 million in 2020/2021
  • continued support in the council’s coordination and facilitation role in tackling homelessness in Auckland at $500,000 per annum for the next three years
  • an initial response to increased urgency of climate action ahead of the next 10- year Budget, including up to $6.3 million for decarbonising the council’s vehicle fleet over the next five years funded from existing budgets, $9 million for phasing out gas boilers in council aquatic centres over the next five years (with $1.5 million in 2020/2021 and with these two measures reducing the council’s emissions by nearly 20 per cent), $2.7 million for planting an additional half a million trees over the next three years (totalling a million and a half trees this term) and $900,000 for foundation work for climate change interventions
  • $4.13 million per annum to increase the subsidy for child fares across public transport services (excluding exempt ferry services).

 

December 2019

ROSEBANK BUSINESS POLLUTION PREVENTION PROGRAMME UNDERWAY

The Rosebank Peninsula sits at the headwaters of the Waitemata Harbour and at the mouth of the Whau River. Te Whau (taken from the whau plant) is the Maori name for the tidal river flowing into the Waitemata Harbour.

Once divided by the Auckland Regional Council, Waitakere City and Auckland City Council boundaries, the Whau River Catchment is now united under the Auckland Council and is administered by several local boards (including the Whau Local Board).

All rainwater from the area drains into underground stormwater drains and then into either the Whau River on the south or the Ara Patiki Bay/Motu Manawa (Pollen Island) Marine Reserve on the north and east. Ultimately all rainwater ends up in the Waitemata Harbour.

Historic pollution has left the Whau River with high levels of heavy metals and other contaminants. However, water quality is slowly improving and can continue to improve with the help of the Rosebank business community. Now, one of the biggest potential sources of pollution entering the river and harbour is from incidents like spills on yards that get washed into stormwater drains, into streams and eventually into the harbour.

To help improve water quality in the Whau River and Waitemata Harbour, the Whau Local Board is working with the RBA and businesses to reduce water pollution.

This is part of the Whau Local Board key initiative to ‘fund more waterways education and awareness-raising activities’. The Board has decided to continue to fund an industry pollution prevention programme in the 2019/2020 financial year. The board allocated $20,000 towards the first year of this programme in 2018/2019 (Phase One) and recently allocated $29,000 towards this programme in 2019/2020 (Phase Two). If there is budget remaining after completing the Rosebank area work, then the Whau Local Board has directed that additional work be undertaken in Kelston.

Since it started in 2012, the programme has run in nine areas throughout Auckland, with the support of six local boards, and a further four are in the pipeline.

The educational programme aims to inform urban industries and businesses in Rosebank about the impacts their activities may be having on local waterways. The initiative uses a proactive, non-regulatory, flexible approach to advise businesses on their current practices and ways to prevent contaminants entering waterways. The programme includes on-site inspections and discussions with business owners about potential pollution issues, as well as waste minimisation techniques and spill training, chemical handling and storage. Reports are sent to the respective businesses if changes are recommended. The programme involves a GIS mapping exercise to ensure that commercial businesses understand the stormwater network connections in relation to local waterways. A second visit is made to check progress and offer further assistance if needed. A key aspect of this programme is to develop an understanding of, and build relationships with, local industrial sectors and in some areas the programme is implemented in partnership with local iwi.

Consultants Wilkinson Environmental have received the funding from the Whau Local Board to run the business pollution prevention programme in the Rosebank Rd area.  Wilkinson Environmental will be visiting businesses on the southern side of Rosebank Rd and also both sides of Patiki Road.  The visits started in November 2019 and they will run over couple of months.

If you have any questions, contact Cushla Barfoot, Wilkinson Environmental Ltd, cushla@wenz.co.nz, phone 022 657 2132.

Wilkinson Environmental have successfully run similar programmes across Auckland over the last 4 years, and have now visited more than 3,000 businesses, providing practical advice on risk reduction without a big compliance stick.

In addition to the support provided to the Pollution Prevention Programme, the RBA is also providing support to the Whau River Trust. The Whau River Catchment Trust is working to restore the natural environment and reduce pollution all around the Whau River Catchment. It is a charity based in New Lynn that was started in 2012, made up of full and part-time staff dedicated to conservation and restoration in the area.

The Whau River Trust works with Friends of the Whau (FOW), Auckland Council and others, to coordinate community-based environmental restoration and conservation projects in the area. For example, the Trust organises regular education and volunteer activities including: ecological restoration by planting stream banks and other land within the catchment; pest control – animal trapping and weed removal; monitoring the biodiversity and ecosystems of the catchment; reducing pollution and removing litter; and wildlife habitat restoration. The Trust works for healthier streams and rivers through community participation and kaitiakitanga.

A key focus on the Whau River Trust is restoration of Ara Patiki Bay, which is one of the best examples of mangrove and salt marsh habitat in the Waitemata Harbour. It was once famous for flounder. Today it is a haven for juvenile fish and other native wildlife. It’s a rich feeding ground for white faced herons, royal spoonbill, pukeko, spotless crake, kingfisher, the endangered fernbird and the endangered banded rail.

Today there are just a few areas of native bush remaining and the wildlife is threatened. The Trust is looking for support to restore and protect this special place. The Trust wants to get rid of the weeds that have taken over the coastal fringe of the peninsula. It wants to restore native plants and habitat, to continue keeping the weeds out and to encourage more special coastal plants and animals to come back into this area and thrive. The Trust has been working with local businesses so they can: contribute to funding raising for the project; adopt areas of coast to look after and control pests within their area and plant native bush in their area; reduce pollution (especially hazardous waste); and raise awareness of the Rosebank Peninsula East reserve and estuary as an environmental hotspot that is truly a unique area.

You can contact The Whau River Catchment Trust on Phone: 09 827 3374 and by Email at : info@whauriver.org.nz.

 

November 2019

Auckland Council Elections (Final Results)

The final results for the 2019 Auckland Council elections were confirmed on Saturday 19 October.

Phil Goff has been re-elected Mayor. The Ward Councillor results included a change in the Whau with Tracy Mulholland elected.

Elsewhere in the region, John Watson and Wayne Walker were re-elected in Albany, Christine Fletcher and Cathy Casey in Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa, Sharon Stewart and Paul Young in Howick and Faanana Efeso Collins and Alf Filipaina in Manukau. In Manurewa-Papakura, Angela Dalton becomes a new Councillor while Daniel Newman was re-elected. Josephine Bartley has been re-elected in Maungakiekie-Tāmaki, Richard Hills and Chris Darby in North Shore and Desley Simpson in Orākei. In Waitākere, Shane Henderson has become a new Councillor while Linda Cooper has been re-elected. In Waitemāta and Gulf, Pippa Coom has become a new Councillor.

In addition, two Ward Councillors were ‘elected unopposed’ (Bill Cashmore in Franklin and Greg Sayers in Rodney).

At the Whau Local Board, Catherine Farmer (Labour), Susan Zhu (Labour) and Te’evā Matāfai (Labour) have been re-elected along with four new members, Warren Piper (Independent), Fasitua Amosa (Labour), Kay Thomas (Labour) and Jessica Rose (Green Party). During the election, each candidate set out their priorities if they were elected.

Catherine Farmer: Maintaining free access to our wonderful community libraries at Avondale, Blockhouse Bay and New Lynn and ensuring that library staff are recognised for providing the highest quality services. Continuing to support environmental groups and programs working to restore the Whau River, pest eradication, and weed control. Supporting community groups working with our communities. Protecting council reserve green space for future generations. Promoting walking and cycling paths.

Susan Zhu: 1. Rates; 2. Transport – more “Park and Rides” near train stations; 3. Housing; 4. Town Centres – New Lynn and Avondale; 5. Safe Communities; 6. Parks and Libraries; 7. Environment and Climate Change; 8. Cultural, Diversity, Arts and Heritage.

Te’evā Matāfai: I will continue to advocate towards, ‘Becoming a low carbon community’ and the ‘Whau Neighbourhood Greenways’ plans.

Warren Piper: Some of my priorities are to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly Whau. Developing and building a smarter city for the future. Improving our public transport and roading network to decrease traffic congestion and get us moving. Doing more with less of our rates money and spending wisely. Breathing fresh life into our town centres and local economies and celebrating our diverse communities.

Fasitua Amosa: Arts. I want to support Whau artists to sustain a life in the arts and I want everyone in the community to have access to artistic endeavours. Improved public transport and continuing to evolve the cycle ways. Encourage well designed green spaces. Encourage large developments to include public artwork and well designed green spaces. Support environmental initiatives.

Kay Thomas: • Advocating for affordable high quality housing; • Advocating for more accommodation for rough sleepers and the homeless;  • Develop a collaborative approach to deal with issues of youth unemployment and underachievement; • Continue the work on cleaning up our waterways and beaches; • Ensuring that regeneration and residential development include adequate green space; • Ensuring we retain public facilities such as reserves and libraries; • Advocating for the protection of most mature trees and the planting of more trees.; • Investigating ways of attracting more businesses in knowledge intensive industries; • Advocating for an inorganic recycling facility to be established.

Jessica Rose: We really need to sort out how new housing opportunities. I’m particularly strong in placemaking, environment, and transport, obviously the need to build resilience into our neighbourhoods. This relates to making sure that it’s safe and easy for all people of all abilities to get around. Providing space for scooters to get off the foot path, people to get to the bus or train station, and people on bikes off the road. Not to mention a local pool would be nice…

October 2019

Success in advocacy on Water Strategy and Waste Bylaws

Auckland Council has been considering a new Water Strategy and changes to waste bylaws. Feedback from the Rosebank Business Association has resulted in some useful amendments.

Our Water Future

The ‘Our Water Future’ Strategy looks to set a framework across all water issues in the region so that the Council is prepared when it needs to make decisions about how to manage water.

A key recommendation arising from the Association’s advocacy is that the Strategy will now include the importance of water for businesses, industries and economic development. Water will also look to be valued for commercial and business purposes alongside other values.

Recognition has been given to finding new water supplies to accommodate population and business growth beyond 2050. Council will also look to work directly with industry and business in developing future planning processes. Further, the Strategy will include a priority to identify revenue sources to pay for water infrastructure that equitably shares the burden of the costs of cleaner water across the community instead of relying just on rates and targeted rates.

Trade Waste Bylaw

As all business premises across Auckland discharge waste into the public wastewater system, Auckland Council decided they must all be regulated under the new Trade Waste Bylaw, either as low risk dischargers, or by being subject to a trade waste agreement.

The Council wanted effective controls in place as they determined that all discharges could have some effect on wastewater pipes, the environment and public health. The bylaw seeks to reduce these effects by requiring all businesses that discharge waste to meet minimum discharge standards.

Submissions made on behalf of the Association raised concerns that if all businesses were subject to the bylaw, then the rules relating to low risk dischargers needed to be very clear to avoid these kinds of businesses having to meet higher restrictive standards.

Following feedback, the Council has recommended that the new Bylaw be adopted, but with some minor changes to address these concerns.

In particular, the Bylaw will clarify that unavoidable discharge of rainwater into trade waste systems from low risk businesses does not require a trade waste agreement. New definitions have been added for clarification and completeness. Additional related information will be included in the Bylaw to better inform low risk business dischargers. Further, the grounds for varying a trade waste agreement have been clarified.

Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw

The new Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw seeks to manage and minimise waste, protect the public from health and safety risks and nuisance and to manage the use of council-controlled public places.

Of particular concern to businesses was the regulation of kerbside collection bins in retail and high density town centre areas. Discussions are planned between Council and business associations to identify the reasons for the problem and to work towards a solution. It was also suggested that an ‘Explanation’ be included in the Bylaw setting out in plain English the rules regarding the storage of kerbside collection bins.

Ongoing issues were raised about the ‘zero waste event’ obligations in waste management and minimisation plans and the consequent high operational costs for small scale community events. Again, discussions are planned to work towards a solution.

The waste management and minimisation plans for residential and mixed-use multi-unit developments were also raised as a concern. Of importance has been recognition that these plans be drafted to cover the needs of businesses in mixed-use multi-unit developments as well as other businesses adjacent to these developments.

Ongoing Advocacy

Finally, as Auckland Council looks to develop future strategies or bylaws, the Association will ensure the interests of its members are made clear to the Council through submissions.

 

September 2019

AUCKLAND TRANSPORT MEETING WITH RBA OUTLINES PLANS

Representatives of the Rosebank Business Association (“RBA”) met with Stephen Rainbow and Melanie Alexander of Auckland Transport (“AT”) on 8 August 2019.

In opening the meeting, Stephen Rainbow, Stakeholder Engagement Specialist at AT, noted that the Mayor expected AT to build trust and confidence with the community and business stakeholders over 2019/2020. Stephen Rainbow highlighted that working with businesses and business improvement districts (BIDs) to improve relationships was his key immediate task.

Stephen Rainbow is a former senior employee within wider the Auckland Council organisation and has been engaged by AT to give advice on improving relationships with business improvement districts.

Melanie Alexander, who is the Traffic Operations Manager, noted that safety is a key issue for AT as the deaths and serious injuries (DSI) for Auckland is still at very high levels.

Representatives of the RBA pointed out a number of traffic and transport issues in the area.

Waterview Tunnel

The representatives for AT said there had been changes in the transport flows with the opening of the Waterview Tunnel and the completion of the SH16/20 works.

The Rosebank area was being monitored and AT does share the concerns of the RBA that there has been an increase of demand during peak traffic periods at Patiki Road. AT is monitoring the situation and is looking at options but is also assessing traffic patterns post Waterview as they ‘settle down’.

The RBA noted that traffic volumes were linked to schools and redevelopments in the area, such as at the Kilpatrick’s site, and would lead to increases.

The Patiki Road On-ramp – Dynamic Laning

RBA representatives raised concerns about the Patiki Road onramp and the merging of traffic into the motorway.

The ramp signals are managed automatically across the network to get optimum flow. While this may give an impression that signal phasing is not working efficiently at Patiki, because they are part of a wider network, the phasing is taking into considerations activity further up and down motorway system.

A current option is to trial dynamic lanes using overhead and in ground signals so that different lanes are used at peak and non-peak times. This has been successfully trailed in Whangaparoa and Patiki Road is high on the list for implementation.

Heavy Vehicle Movements

A particular concern of the RBA was that heavy vehicles were struggling at times to get out into the Rosebank Road corridor across traffic. The RBA was also interested in ways to give priority to freight rather than smaller private vehicles. The representatives from AT said that wider monitoring was occurring for traffic flows in and out of the Rosebank Peninsula.

Rosebank Road Roundabout

Investigations were ongoing concerning the roundabout. While there are constraints (especially with the width of the road), AT is going to look again at how to support a freer flowing southern turn.

Pedestrian Refuges

AT will soon be building the pedestrian safety improvements along Rosebank Road, including: pram crossings with tactile pavers, side islands, and pedestrian refuge islands outside the addresses of 607, 519, 437, and 391 Rosebank Road; the relocation of bus stop 8557 (outside 437 Rosebank Road) and the associated bus shelter slightly southwest along Rosebank Road; minor changes to footpaths; alterations to lighting, road markings and signage; and the removal of one tree in order to improve visibility for pedestrians and drivers.

Connected Communities

It was noted that as a key arterial, Rosebank will be included in the Connected Communities programme. This aligned with the RBA’s strategy around the ‘Western Gateway’. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, Stephen Rainbow offered opportunities for further engagement and his commitment to ensure the concerns would be progressed.

August 2019

Dynamic Laning Trial a Success in Whangaparaoa – Time For Rosebank?

A number of roads throughout the Auckland region experience tidal congestion, including Patiki/Rosebank.

In an attempt to find an innovative solution to address this congestion, Auckland Transport initiated the trial of a dynamic lane system on Whangaparaoa Road in 2018. While other sites in Auckland already operate dynamic lanes, this is the first location with side roads and private accesses to trial dynamic lanes and the design and technology used in this trial may have a broader application across the region.

During the year-long trial, the central area on Whangaparaoa Road, between Hibiscus Coast Highway and Red Beach Road operated as a general traffic lane during peak periods and reverted to being a flush median at other times. Overhead gantries and directional LEDs along the route provided drivers with information on lane usage. For the purposes of the trial, the speed limit along the route was reduced form 60km/hr to 50km/hr and regular monitoring was undertaken to provide information on how the lane operated.

Evaluation of monitoring data shows that the criteria for success was being met in 10 of the 11 trial monitoring measures. These measures included travel time, safety, compliance and public and emergency service feedback. This positive result was especially true for travel time savings which were consistently met or exceeded in both the AM and PM peaks despite increased traffic volumes. This successful aspect of the trial has generated high levels of public support and has also led to the extension of the dynamic lane operating hours.

In general, driver understanding and use of the scheme has been excellent following the initial settling period. There have been some isolated instances of misuse of the dynamic lane which typically involved prolonged merging by turning vehicles.

The only monitoring measure which did not meet the criteria for success concerned the LED road studs which have required higher than anticipated maintenance.

Overall the trial is having the intended effect of easing congestion and improving travel times for commuter traffic on Whangaparaoa Road without compromising safety and thus it has a high level of public support.

Auckland Transport is seeking agreement from NZTA that the Rules be amended to allow for dynamic laning. Additionally, Auckland Transport  is seeking approval from NZTA to allow AT to continue to use the trialled controls in their current location in Whangaparaoa and to authorise the trial of the controls in other locations.

The RBA has been advocating for dynamic laning to be trialled in Patiki/Rosebank roads.

Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw Review

Auckland Council has been consulting on a proposed new Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2019 and amendments to the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw 2015.

The new bylaw proposes to:

  • align the definition of clean-fill with the Auckland Unitary Plan, which may require some previously exempt waste management facilities to obtain a licence (such as bricks, ceramics, concrete, tiles, pavers and pipes)
  • require a waste management and minimisation plan for all trading, events, and filming that takes place in a council-controlled public place
  • requires a waste management and minimisation plan for any existing or planned multi-unit developments (including those with mixed use business and residential), and
  • clarifies the rules to minimise the potential for shopping trolleys and unaddressed mail to become waste.

Of particular interest is the emphasis on replacing the word “waste” with “material” in the Bylaw to focus on a circular economy, the advanced requirements for ‘zero waste events’ in council-controlled public places and the new requirements for waste management and minimisation plans for multi-unit developments (including those with mixed use business and residential).

January 2018

To voice concerns on behalf of businesses in Rosebank about the traffic congestion at the Patiki onramp, the Rosebank Roundabout and along Rosebank Road during peak hour, RBA Chair Bernie McCrea, CEO Mike Gibson and RBA advisor Grant Hewison met in late 2017 with representatives of Auckland Transport and Whau Local Board Chair, Tracy Mullholland.

The Patiki Road On-ramp

First up, the RBA representatives raised concerns about the Patiki road onramp and the merging of traffic into the motorway.

The representatives for Auckland Transport said there had been changes in the transport flows with the opening of the Waterview Tunnel and the completion of the SH16/20 works. The Rosebank area was being monitored and Auckland Transport does share the concerns of the RBA that there has been an increase of demand during peak traffic periods at Patiki.

Auckland Transport is monitoring the situation and is looking at options, but is also assessing traffic patterns post Waterview as they ‘settle down’.

The ramp signals are managed automatically across the network to have optimum flow. While this may give an impression that signal phasing is not working efficiently at Patiki, because they are part of a wider network, the phasing is taking into considerations activity further up and down the motorway system.

A current option is to trial dynamic lanes using overhead and in ground signals so that different lanes are used at peak and non-peak times. This is currently being trailed in Whangaparoa. Auckland Transport will have insights on how this works by March 2018.

Rosebank Road traffic – post Waterview

Next up were concerns about the apparent increase in traffic going to the Airport using Rosebank Rd to get into Waterview southern tunnel.

The RBA was also interested in what was known by Auckland Transport about the traffic flow across the day. The RBA also noted that traffic volumes were linked to the schools in the area.

A particular concern of the RBA was that heavy vehicles were struggling at times to get out into the Rosebank road corridor across traffic. The RBA representatives asked if there was there an opportunity to utilise smaller ride on roundabouts at side street intersections as a way for heavy traffic to get into the traffic flow.

The RBA was also interested in ways to give priority to freight rather than smaller private vehicles.

The representatives from Auckland Transport said that wider monitoring was occurring for traffic flows in and out of the Rosebank Peninsula. Auckland Transport is looking at traffic flow impacts not only at Patiki Rd, but also at the main Rosebank Road roundabout.

Investigations were underway concerning the roundabout. While there are constraints (especially with the width of the road), Auckland Transport is looking at how to support a more free flowing southern turn through remarking and reshaping within current lane corridors going through the roundabout.

Work on the Rosebank Road roundabout is planned by Auckland Transport and likely to occur in the short term, with the aim for works to be undertaken in the 2018/19 work programme.

With regard to issues about access from side streets, while more roundabouts was not a preferred option for these intersections, Auckland Transport was nonetheless looking at the performance of the main Rosebank arterial corridor.

On the issue of prioritising freight, Auckland Transport noted that while no engineering solutions were in the pipeline, perhaps there was an opportunity to educate private car drivers regularly using the route by way of ‘educational signage’ on Rosebank Road.

Follow up

While RBA Chair Bernie McCrea and CEO Mike Gibson were pleased with the meeting and the actions that came from it, they also insisted that there be a follow-up meeting early in 2018 to look at progressing the transport options and reviewing further information.

 

 

December 2017 

Transpower and Roading outcomes from Auckland Transport .. 

A key aspect of the RBA is to endeavor to manage your wishes and concerns into making viable submissions in the first instance to the Whau Ward local board Annual plan, and then to successfully see them through implementation at a Council Level.

Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, RBA and Ateed representatives met and discussed with intent the productivity and efficient movement of freight and service traffic in, out and through the Rosebank BID area. Naturally increasing this ease of access includes all who work in Rosebank as growing road congestion steming from the Tunnel opening is becoming increasingly frustrating. There are further such meetings planned for 2018 as all agreed they were fruitful and a good means of keeping all interested parties informed.

The major issues bought up during these discussions were:

Patiki Rd. 

  • The merging of traffic onto the Patiki Road North bound on-ramp making two lanes and incorporating a signal phasing system. Currently some vehicles are just running along the median strip which is not safe, nor legal, and police are aware of this practice. The Waterview tunnel is still in its bedding-down phase as to how it affects contributory roads such as Patiki and whether it has had a substantial bearing on traffic flows throughout the area.

Rosebank and Patiki Road traffic. 

  • Since the Tunnel opening the north bound traffic flow has increased noticeably as we all attest to more- with added people going to the airport, parents and children increasing the traffic head count as they add to the school traffic. Additional congestion is created by heavy industrial related traffic as they attempt to manoeuvre their loads across the main roads and into our premises . But this activity is transporting the life blood of our many industrial businesses and is actually necessary to do what we need to keep our businesses going.
  • The Rosebank /Patiki roundabout is currently being investigated to enable it to support a more free – flowing northern turn and incorporating it with the general peak flow throughout the region by adding an additional lane during peak time traffic. The Transport Authority are aiming for a 2018/19 start on this project.
  • They believe that driver education will help the freight problems as longer vehicles and side street roundabouts are not a preferred method of solving main arterial traffic problems.

Workforce Transport Options: 

  • The train and bus connections are working well from Avondale, but there are challenges with the street configuration at Layard St. We need to help move activity along from further West, particularly the Westgate area.
  • There is a 10 year time frame for the Northwestern busway which will have interchanges at Te Atatu and Lincoln Rd, with direct services to Rosebank Rd.

 Corridor Management: 

  • Within the greater context it is noted that one of the 33 CMPs developed across the region is a plan to widen the Rosebank/ Patiki Rd corridor and given due process it should proceed and receive priority funding. This would also help with the roundabout problems.

Transpower. 

A major success this year was resisting Transpower’s demands for extensive regulation of land and buildings in buffer zones around its transmission lines.

Following some well resourced advocacy by Transpower throughout the Unitary Plan process, the Independent Hearings Panel went with Transpower and recommended the buffer zones be increased to a distance of 32 metres each side of the centrelines of the 110kV lines and 37 metres each side of the centrelines of 220kV lines.

However, the Council (largely because of pressure from industrial business groups, including the RBA) rejected these recommendations and reduced the buffer zone to 24m (12m either side of a transmission line centreline).

Transpower then appealed this decision to both the High Court and Environment Court. The RBA together with other industrial business groups argued in both courts for the buffer zone to be limited to 24m and ultimately were successful.

For certain RBA businesses, especially those under the Transpower lines in Timothy Place, the reduction in the size of the buffer zones means far less regulation of their land and buildings than would otherwise have been the case.

 

 

 

 

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