One of our objectives this year is to bring you “into the loop” regularly on significant matters affecting our neighbourhood – hence the special newsletter just over a week ago.
This newsletter is to update you on several other matters that are coming up shortly, and on which you might like to have a say. This applies to two matters in particular – Council consultation on its annual plan and sewage outflow into the marina. On the former there are meetings coming up in the coming week, and on the latter there is a need to make our presence felt now, in the summer period, when the marina gets its greatest use.
Council’s annual plan
Waitemata Local Board (our local board) has approached various community groups offering an opportunity to meet to discuss possible matters for inclusion in this year’s plan. The executive chose not to seek a separate meeting just for St Mary’s Bay residents given that there are two public meetings planned:
- A ‘Have Your Say’ event from 6pm on the 3rd of March (tomorrow) at the Town Hall to talk to elected members (Councillors, Local Board members and possibly the Auckland Mayor although his attendance is yet to be confirmed).
- Waitemata Local Board is organising a meeting from 6pm to 8pm on the 10th March, in its office at 52 Swanson Street, Auckland City. If you wish to attend you will need to let the Board know (contact Corina Claps, PA/Liaison to the Waitematā Local Board, by phone 09 353 9654 extn (46) 9654 or 021 679 912, or by email Claps@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
You can also have a say using the online form on www.shapeauckland.govt.nz or filling out a form that will be available at the Leys Institute library, or at the local board office, or in the March edition of Our Auckland (the form must be sent to the freepost address provided or by email to Annualplan@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz). For those familiar with social media, comments can also be made on Twitter using both @aklcouncil and #aklbudget or by posting on Council’s Facebook page – facebook.com/aklcouncil – using #aklbudget .
St Mary’s Bay issues: the following are issues which the St Mary’s Bay Association executive believes should be considered within the annual plan, and will be raising with the Board:
- Better maintenance of weeds within the St Mary’s Bay Reserve
- Council liaison with Watercare over sewage problems in St Mary’s Bay
- Plans for the Nosh site
- Intensified tree planting along St Mary’s Road
Any members who have views on these issues should make them known to the council at the contact options above.
Continued concerns over sewage spills into Westhaven marina
The executive learned last week, through the marina management, that there is reason to have continuing concern about sewage spills into the marina, as reported in our December newsletter. We have been given a report from a bio-engineering firm that states that on further testing in mid January the bacteria levels at the sample points were unsafe, and that the entire “embayment” (which we understand includes the beach within the marina) could be taken to have been unsuitable for “contact recreation” at that time. Worse still, the report says that there is reason to believe the cause is a malfunction in the drainage system.
The marina management has been trying to get this problem addressed by Watercare for some time. We have written to Watercare to establish what it is doing about this, and to clarify our understanding that the problem lies in the unsatisfactory state of Watercare’s combined stormwater and sewage pipes, upgrade of which will not be completed until 2025.
In our view, a public health hazard should not be left until 2025 for a permanent solution. We have written to Watercare asking for it to clarify what it is doing. Please let us know if you share our concern about the apparent delay in finding a permanent solution to this: by writing to me or to Wendy Moffett at the email address at the end of this newsletter.
Will this be the last emailed newsletter?
Work is progressing well on an Association website. The executive committee hopes it will be in place before the next newsletter is needed, in which case the newsletter will be posted on the website. Remember, we are looking for any old photographs or other mementoes to put on the site. Any potential contributions should be sent to Wendy Moffett by the end of March (the executive reserves the right to decide what in fact is posted!).
St Mary’s Bay heritage and the PAUP
As many of you will have learned from the NZ Herald or television, the Council at its extraordinary meeting on 24 February made an unprecedented decision to withdraw “out of scope” changes to zoning maps for the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) – the controversial removal of single house zoning in many areas of Auckland. It is unclear, as this newsletter is being prepared, what Council will be saying to the Independent Hearing Panel hearing on 24 March, when the panel will consider submissions on zoning. As reported previously, as far as the executive can see, St Mary’s Bay was not affected by the “out of scope” changes.
Work is continuing on the establishment of the urban cycleway through our area. Brendan Doherty from our executive, and members of the Herne Bay Residents Association, are actively involved in this.
If you have any views on it, please send them to Brendan by email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Maintenance of the St Mary’s Bay reserve
Those of you who use the reserve beside the motorway will be aware that it is becoming increasingly overgrown. Council agreed to undertake the maintenance of this area when the reserve was created as part of the motorway widening. We will be raising this with the local Board.
St Mary’s Bay parking zone
We have still to receive a “live” date for the new parking regime. Auckland Transport wrote to all residents at the end of December to say that the electronic application process was taking longer to set up than anticipated, and it would write again in early 2016. In the meantime, existing permits (including expired ones) and “scratchy booklets” remain valid until we get notice of the start of the new permit system.
Please let us know if you have thoughts on how St Mary’s Bay can be made a better place to live for all of us. We cannot guarantee that suggestions will be taken up, but they will be welcome and be considered.
Enjoy the remainder of the summer.
St Mary’s Bay Association Inc