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Have your say on local priorities

Auckland’s 21 local boards have each prepared a draft local board plan that sets out local aspirations and priorities that will guide decisions local boards make over the next three years and beyond.  Local board plans will feed into other key Auckland Council plans, such as the Auckland Plan and 2012-22 Long-term Plan.
Grey Lynn 2030 is taking a keen interest in the Waitemata Local Board draft plan as it will help shape the future of our community.   The priorities in the plan are:
  • a distinctive high quality built environment that embraces its heritage
  • connected healthy transport options
  • places for people
  • strong, connected vibrant communities
  • a world class city centre
  • respecting and enhancing natural environments
It is easy to make a quick submission as to whether you agree or disagree with these priorities or think other priorities are more important. You can also suggest specific projects and initiatives.
Here is the Grey Lynn 2030 draft submission. Please use it to help with your own submission or of you have any comments on the draft please email greylynn2030@gmail.com.
Submissions are due by 4pm on Monday 8 August
Submission on draft Waitemata Local Board Plan by Grey Lynn 2030: Transition Community

About Grey Lynn 2030: Positive Vision, Practical Action

Grey Lynn 2030 is a participatory community organisation that facilitates and supports local focus groups working towards a positive, connected, sustainable, resilient community through practical action.

We take our terms of reference from the international Transition Town movement which encourages local communities to respond to current environmental and economic challenges with positive solutions that tap into the skills and innovation available in the local community. There are currently 55 Transition Town groups throughout New Zealand.

Grey Lynn 2030 has over 1200 direct subscribers to regular updates, we host monthly meetings and have active focus groups promoting community gardens, traffic calming, waste reduction, regeneration of local streams and a range of innovative activities that contribute to the community. We also have a lively website and over 2600 Friends on Facebook. Our steering committee is run by 5 volunteers.

Grey Lynn 2030 is based in Grey Lynn, Auckland, encompassing the surrounding neighbourhoods that are in the west side of the Waitemata Local Board area (including Westmere, Ponsonby, Freeman’s Bay, Herne Bay and St Mary’s Bay).

Key message

The Grey Lynn 2030 steering committee strongly supports the vision of the Waitemata Local Board to foster and develop vibrant, connected and sustainable communities. We agree with the Board playing a key role in transforming Auckland into the world’s most liveable city.

We believe that to make Auckland the most liveable city in the world it is necessary to respond to the challenges of climate change and the end of cheap oil. The Waitemata draft local board plan (the plan) must take into consideration the impact of changing availability and prices of oil. The plan must recognise the central place of the environment as underpinning the quality of life, economic and social wellbeing of Auckland and the limited timeframe available to take decisive action.

We therefore ask the Board to support local communities to work on local solutions to meet these challenges so that the Auckland region is more resilient, sustainable, connected, compact and efficient.

Specific Comments on the Waitemata draft Local Board Plan

We agree with all the priorities and initiatives in the plan and wish to make the following additional comments with a particular focus on what is most relevant to Grey Lynn 2030.

A distinctive high quality built environment that embraces its heritage

We support the need to protect our built heritage and character both in our town-centres and our residential houses. We support the Board in developing projects that promote, identify and celebrate our heritage.

We would like a heritage study to be carried out for greater Grey Lynn. We are concerned that not enough has been done to protect this historic area (the largest concentration of wooden houses in the world) through the current district plan.We would like the local board to be given “teeth” on planning decisions so that historic buildings and buildings with character are not able to be removed or substantially altered without the input of the community.We would like new development to meet high environmental standards and for the local board to take an active role in encouraging “green building” design. For example we would like to see solar panels and water tanks installed in all new building and retrofitted into existing Council properties.We would like the Board to advocate for the restoration of Carlile House on Richmond Road and to undertake a community needs assessment for its use (that supports the Strong, vibrant, engaged communities priority). We believe one option would be to use the stables at the back of the property as community workshops as part of a resource recover centre.

We support a development in the Soho Square hole that is sympathetic to the surrounding neighbourhood and gives us a sense of pride in the built environment.

We would like the Board to support affordable housing and mixed use developments in planning for growth in our area. We would like to retain the diversity of our area which is not possible with unsustainable house prices.

In addition we ask that any signage to identify historical locations (plaque’s on buildings etc) is bi-lingual.  We would also like the plan to better reflect the Polynesian perspective of our communities and our place in the Pacific.

Connected healthy transport options

An important aspect of a sustainable and resilient community is the ability to safely walk and cycle to local facilities, schools, entertainment and shops we therefore strongly support this priority.  In particular we support:

  • Connected, dedicated and safe cycleways starting with key routes such as Richmond Road. This is necessary to encourage more people to cycle.
  • Traffic calming tools used on all  residential streets to reduce the speed to under 40km. We support this as it improves safety and amenity for pedestrians and cyclists.  We would also like the speed reduced through our local shopping areas for example on Richmond Road.
  • A  masterplan for Richmond Road that takes a “whole road” approach so that it improves the amenity of the street for all users particularly for children walking and cycling to school.
  • a public bike hire scheme in the city centre that extends to the central suburbs as far as Westmere and Grey Lynn. We support this to provide an innovative form of public transport that allows short trips to be made conveniently and at short notice
  •  a parking policy that discourages commuters parking all day in residential streets and encourages carpooling and the use of public transport.
  •  We would like priority given to safety improvements that will encourage children to use active modes of travel (including skate boards)

We would also like the following new initiatives to be considered for better transport:

  • Great North Road from Ponsonby Road to Surrey Cres made into a “Boulevard” with provision for segregated cyclelanes.
  • local connections to the planned CMJ cycleway that will connect Grey Lynn through the Central Motorway Junction (“CMJ”) down Grafton Gully to Beach Road.

  • A new bus route that connects Westmere/Grey Lynn with Kingsland Station and Mt Eden and potentially on to Mission Bay. This is also necessary to support “connected communities”

  • The board supporting an education campaign for retailers to understand why encouraging residents to walk and cycle (rather than providing more car parking) is good for business

In addition we support making streets into public spaces that are used for recreation, rather than just for transit, through good design, public art, more use of shared space, and speed reductions and other traffic calming measures;

Strong, connected vibrant communities

We support the Board providing opportunities and events for our communities to develop and interact with each other. In particular we support:

  • Community-led events such as the Grey Lynn Park Festival and Art in the Dark.
  • events for our local communities and events which cater for our youth including movies and music in the park
  • All events requiring Council approval to meet minimum environmental standards that include a commitment towards zero waste

We strongly support the section on urban food production. It is essential that food is grown within the city so that we are not reliant on transporting our food needs.  We would like land to be identified that is suitable for community gardens and/or fruit tree planting.

 We support local jobs and training opportunities through initiatives to encourage social enterprise, innovation and a “green” economy. We support the establishment of a “hub” for social entrepreneurs and creative practitioners.

 We support the Board advocating for Auckland to be made Fairtrade and for the Council to continue supporting  the conscious consumer project

We support improved communications from the board but without the creation of “junk mail” and paper waste. We would suggest the Board makes better use of social media.  We would however support targeting communications to groups without internet access (for example older people)

Places for people

We support the Board maintaining and improving our current assets including community facilities, our Grey Lynn library, open spaces, beaches, parks and cultural venues. We would like the following initiatives included in the plan:

  • Equipment provided in parks to allow people of all ages to play. For example equipment for older people.
  • Renovation of the club rooms in Grey Lynn Park
  • Implementation of a  management plan for the bush area at Western Springs off West View Road (including naming of the area, signage, removal of the pine trees, reforestation with natives and walking route (as a urban tramping track) and a multi-purpose route (suitable for push chairs and cycling)
  • Connection via a “Green link” from Francis Street reserve to Cox’s Bay via Wellpark Reserve
A world class city centre
We believe that the Mayor’s goal to create a world class city centre and for “Auckland to be an internationally competitive, prosperous economy that benefits all Aucklanders through a step change in exports and internationalisation” (as outlined in Auckland Unleashed)  is only achievable through development and implementation of strategic priorities that recognise that a transition to a resilient, sustainable, low carbon, “green” economy is essential to future prosperity. We would like the board to support this approach to prosperity.

We support the identification of Grey Lynn as an “urban village” (in the Auckland plan) and this area being able to maintain its distinct identity on the city fringe. Creative, vibrant communities like Grey Lynn support economic prosperity for the wider Region.  We would like support for Grey Lynn to become a business improvement district with the lead taken on this initiative by the Grey Lynn Business Association so it is appropriate to fit the needs of local businesses.

We support more shared spaces, traffic calming and road diets as proposed in this priority to improve our urban environment by creating more space and respect for pedestrians and cyclists. However, we would also like these concepts used outside the city centre, such as being considered for parts of Grey Lynn

We would also like the city centre to better reflect the Polynesian perspective of our communities and our place in the Pacific.

Respecting and enhancing natural environments

We strongly support this priority and the approach proposed to protect and enhance our natural environments. In addition we support for inclusion in the plan:

  • A smokefree policy to include all public open spaces and parks to reduce cigarette litter contaminating our harbour and waterways and killing wildlife
  • Programmes to discourage littering that are funded by producers of the waste
  • Education on what to plant to encourage bees and a project to plant bee friendly plants
  • worm farms and compost bins for local shops,  households and schools.
  • Creation of a wildlife corridor (“Wild link”)
  • Planting on berms to encourage bio- corridors
  • Community composting facilities such as Wilton Street Community Garden
  • Advocacy by the Board for Container Deposit Legislation
  • Restoration of cox’s bay as a sensitive coastal area
  • All Waitemata Local Board events on public land to be Zero Waste events
  • Council support and accreditation for businesses that recycle, minimise carbon emissions and waste.
  • Establishment of a local transfer station and  local resource recovery centre
We commend the Board for recognising the global challenges we face and for taking a proactive, leading role in reducing carbon emissions.

Grey Lynn 2030  supports the identification of strategies, within a localised plan, to reduce carbon emissions including clean energy, efficient buildings, decentralised renewable energy, public transport, local food production and waste reduction, walk ways, cycle ways and urban planning to reduce the need to travel; electric and low emission buses and vehicles, planting carbon sinks and reducing organic waste in landfills.

General feedback for the submission forms, brochures and the submission process
We would like to see all board documents and brochures printed on recycled paper or on paper with recycled paper content supplied by a sustainably managed forest. We suggest that brochures do not need to be matt laminated – this will save money and make brochure recycling easier.
We would also support a reduction in the size of the plan (for example with smaller photos) to reduce costs.

We would like to speak to this submission.

Grey Lynn 2030 Steering committee