March 2015 Newsletter

St Mary’s Bay Association Inc.

PO Box 47-376, Ponsonby, Auckland 1144. E-mail

Member Update, March 2015

40th anniversary celebrations in August

This is the 40th year of the work of the St Mary’s Bay Association, and to mark the occasion all members will be invited to a celebration to be held in conjunction with the AGM, at the Richmond Yacht Club on Thursday, August 13. Without the enthusiasm of the founding members and the hard work of the various committees over the years this historic little suburb would have lost its unique charm.

(Please note that the anniversary celebration was originally planned for March 29, but has been transferred to coincide with the AGM on August 13.)

Stop Sealing Our Harbour!

The St Mary’s Bay Association fully supports the Stop Stealing Our Harbour Campaign protest against the Ports of Auckland decision to extend Bledisloe Wharf 100m into the Waitemata Harbour, without public notification or consultation. Work is due to start next month.

A protest against this extension into the Waitemata Harbour and loss of views will be held at 3.30pm on Queens Wharf, Sunday, March 22. If you care about this, consider showing your support.

An Open Letter from the Stop Stealing Our Harbour support group and “before and after images” are attached to this e-mail.

Executive changes – is it your turn?

Long-time SMBA chairman (and founding member), Tony Skelton will be stepping down from the role of chairman at the next AGM, in August. He has steered the organisation as chair for the last 30 years.

And, after 10 years as secretary, Wendy Moffett will also be vacating that role. If you could be interested in taking on the role of secretary, do give Wendy a call on 3786489 to talk it over.

There will be committee vacancies at the AGM and it would be great to see some new faces on the committee to share the workload. We’re a small band of volunteers and would appreciate support from members, especially those with the professional experience to help the SMBA respond to the increasingly complex issues requiring consultation. In particular, if you have a background in town planning, environmental law or communications, and would like to know more about becoming involved with the SMBA, please contact the chairman, Tony Skelton 021 988 822; or Wendy Moffett on 3786489

SkyPath Resource Consent Application

The group promoting SkyPath has applied for Resource Consent for the construction, operation and maintenance of a combined pedestrian/cycle pathway (SkyPath) to be attached below the southbound land of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The SMBA believes that the Westhaven entry/exit portal will have a significant impact on the area, particularly in terms of extra cars and buses, toll booths and other amenities, plus large numbers of cyclists. The association is supporting the Westhaven Marina Users Association, yacht clubs and other Westhaven organisations in their joint submission which has been prepared by a town planner and environmental barrister.

Changes for College Hill, Jervois Rd and Westhaven in Unitary Plan

  • Westhaven:

Under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) Westhaven would be re-zoned to become a City Centre Zone (like Wynyard Quarter).

A number of Westhaven organisations have prepared a joint submission to ensure that the future of Westhaven remains as a marina, and does not become an area of high rise apartments. The SMBA committee has decided to support the Westhaven submission to the PAUP.

  • College Hill/Jervois Road:

The PAUP proposes a “mixed use” zone with a height of 16.5m (4 storeys) on the St Mary’s Bay side of College Hill, between New St and St Mary’s Rd and parts of Jervois Rd. This is of concern to owners of adjoining “single residential” sites, given the potential scale of new developments to dominate the small low-rise residential sites which give St Mary’s Bay its unique character. There is also concern that developers can apply for exclusion to the stated height and argue for permits for additional storeys. Such rule exemptions are non-notifiable.

The SMBA and a number of local individuals have made submissions to the PAUP on this issue. We are currently preparing our case for an appearance at the PAUP hearings.

Parking Zone – good news for St Mary’s Bay

This month the board of Auckland Transport is due to consider Auckland Transport recommendations on new parking policies for Auckland. Following the board’s decision, revised parking policies for individual areas will be gradually implemented, in consultation with each group of local residents. At a recent meeting with Auckland Transport, the SMBA was told that the St Mary’s Bay Zonal Parking Trial is likely to remain as is, with residents of the five streets currently not included, to be surveyed regarding their desire for inclusion.

AT proposes to cap the number of permits at 60% of available parking spaces. Allocation will be based on a priority scale, eg: garage, no garage etc, with apartments at the end of the scale, and no permits for residents of apartments built after a certain date. The SMBA wishes to argue that the 60% figure is skewed in the St Mary’s Bay area by the large number of car parks (60) given to St Mary’s College.

Noisy air traffic over St Mary’s Bay at night?

Two people have reported an increase in noisy low flying aircraft and helicopters over St Mary’s Bay at night. If you have any more detailed information about this, please let us know.

Auckland Council noise control has no authority regarding noise from aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Authority has jurisdiction only near airports and suggests that noise complaints be taken up directly with the aircraft operators. It appears that we would need more information.

How to join the St Mary’s Bay Association

The St Mary’s Bay Association is a voluntary group of residents working on your behalf to maintain the character of this historic area. If you have neighbours who may be interested in joining, but don’t know how, please forward the link below, which contains full details. (Right click, then click Open Hyperlink).