Strong voice for Kaipatiki

Giving Kaipatiki a stronger voice is a top priority for new local board members.

Several developments, such as the Hinemoa St boarding house, Birkenhead Wharf bike shed and Onewa Rd Z station, have gone ahead despite a public outcry.

Approval for these has come from Auckland Council officers.

Kaipatiki Local Board members want more thorough consultation on projects such as SkyPath and the second harbour crossing.

Two tickets vied to secure a majority on the board.

Kaipatiki Voice won a mandate, with Ann Hartley, Lindsay Waugh, Richard Hills, Kay McIntyre and Danielle Grant winning seats.

Grant Gillon, John Gillon and Lorene Pigg of the Team of Independents got in but will struggle when it comes to decision-making.

Mr Gillon says a lack of meaningful dialogue has Aucklanders feeling disempowered.

Kaipatiki has worked hard and had successes, such as Beach Haven’s civic square project, he says.

But the contentious bike shed needs to be moved or got rid of, Mr Gillon says.

“When the wrong decisions are made, we need to have the fortitude … to admit a mistake was made.”

He says a decision was made on “erroneous” information given to the board.

Richard Hills says any decision on the $66,000 shed needs to respect the community.

More than 600 people signed a petition opposing its location.

Changes to the Unitary Plan and details on SkyPath also need to be discussed, Mr Hills says.

Ann Hartley says “misinformation” and lack of understanding over Unitary Plan changes saw her miss out on a council seat.

She hopes a deal between the SkyPath group and the council will be made within 12 months.

Several exits may be needed on the northern side to ease traffic, Lindsay Waugh says. More analysis of the $28 million pathway is needed, she says.

Crossing the harbour by tunnel, however, will impact on North Shore residents either side of the motorway.

A route is to be outlined by the New Zealand Transport Agency by December.

Mrs Waugh says bringing the tunnel’s landing to Onewa Rd would impact on congestion.

But bringing the tunnel up to Esmonde Rd may boost Northcote’s economy, she says.

Public transport will also make a drastic turn this term. Buses could run every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week on The New Network.

John Gillon says new routes connecting Beach Haven and bus stations should ease Onewa Rd traffic.

The biggest loss for the board was former police officer and lawyer Nick Kearney.

He is disappointed he was not re-elected.

Kaipatiki is the most underfunded local board per capita in Auckland so securing a decent budget from the council will be crucial, he says.

Mr Kearney says he will continue his triathlon training, join a Kaipatiki placemaking group and learn to play the clarinet.

Credits:

Written by: Jess Etheridge
Published: Auckland Now / North Shore Times 17 October 2013
– © Fairfax NZ News

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