The year 2023 was the first full year for the reduced C&R Waitematā Local Board (WLB) team consisting of Greg Moyle, Sarah Trotman and Allan Matson.
It was a challenging year of both successes and disappointments.
An early achievement was the resolution of the controversial Erebus Memorial proposed for Dove Myer Robinson Park. The extreme weather events of January demonstrated the folly of placing such a huge structure on the cliff edge of the north-facing part of the park. Had this project not been delayed by the actions of a determined group of local residents, we could have had a 'Cave Creek' moment with the structure collapsing into the void beneath it.
The continued success of two major local board community events – the Parnell Festival of Roses and the Grey Lynn Festival – were able to proceed without intervention from the weather or Covid-type restrictions.
Our engagement with and support of the BID (business investment districts) in the WLB area, namely Heart of the City, Newmarket, Parnell, Ponsonby, K’ Road and Uptown, has continued. We hope to see a new BID, the Grey Lynn Business Association, in the near future. All these organisations ensure that those important businesses in our area, both large and small, can contribute to the Auckland economy.
Another success on a personal level for Greg Moyle was the planting in the Western Springs native forest of 500 assorted native trees that he had either propagated or sourced locally. These trees were planted with the assistance of volunteers from Westpac and the support of Chris Severne, local environmental champion, at no cost to Auckland Council as they were donated by Greg and represented almost 50 percent of the trees planted in the forest last year. The use of volunteers resulted in significant saving to the WLB project of reforestation of the former area of the pines of Western Springs.
This year, Greg hopes to partner with Trees for Survival and the Rotary Club of Downtown Auckland to allow Ponsonby Primary School to plant the native trees grown from seedlings by the school pupils in the Western Springs forest. Trees for Survival already partners with Freemans Bay Primary and the Rotary Club to plant trees at Western Park.
Other highlights of 2023 were the opening of the walkway and entrance to Myers Park via Greys Avenue and the progress towards the reopening of the Leys Institute.
2023 saw the new Food Scrap Bins rolled out across Central Auckland. Auckland Council's Waste Solutions team are to be commended for the smooth transition, ensuring this significant change to our waste strategy was implemented with community buy-in.
The C&R team supports the transition of management of the Freeman's Bay Community Hall to Ponsonby Community Centre, thus providing better use of the hall and quality engagement with hirers.
We are also supportive of the developments proposed for the Tank Farm and Wyndham Quarter and look forward to this important jewel on the shore of the Waitematā being accessible to Aucklanders and visitors.
The major disappointments and concerns revolve around our interaction with Auckland Transport where the local input does not seem to be heard – examples of which are the work currently underway in Meola Road and that proposed for Ponsonby Road and Great North Road. Also, the lack of effective policing and resulting perceptions of public safety in the city centre continue to affect the viability of businesses and the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.
It was also disappointing to experience a significant cut in funding to the Local Board, thereby reducing the board’s ability to progress initiatives in respect of heritage, local park and waterway upgrades, improved recreational facilities and community events.
A quick Google search will give you information on the Waitematā Local Board Plan. This three-year strategic plan has been developed in consultation with our community. The key pillars of the plan are People, Environment, Community, Places and Economy. We look forward to working hard for you to ensure this plan becomes reality.
Once again, the end-of-year highlight for our community, and indeed many visitors, was the spectacular joy of the Franklin Road Christmas lights. Warm thanks to Ross Thorby and the Franklin Road residents for the delight you bring to so many of us at Christmas time.
Martin, Jay and the team at Ponsonby News – thank you for giving the community a voice through your quality publication. We repeatedly get feedback from constituents who have read about topical issues in Ponsonby News. You set the benchmark for a community magazine.
In closing, it is a privilege for the C&R team of Greg and Sarah and Allan to represent our constituents on the Waitematā Local Board. Don't hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do to ensure a positive experience with any aspect of Auckland Council services. (Greg Moyle)
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