Should ROCC stand in the 2016 Local Body Elections?

Respect Our Community Campaign(ROCC) was set up in 2013 in opposition to the East West Link – a motorway proposed to be put through the communities of Mangere and Otahuhu. After we stopped that, we decided to keep our group going.

Now we are exploring the possibility of putting candidates forward for the 2016 local body elections. We feel that this will give ROCC a stronger voice and a better way to advocate for Mangere-Otahuhu.

ROCC have always been about community for community so we’d love to hear your thoughts about this proposal. ROCC is really open to your input. Maybe you’d like to stand as a candidate? Maybe you have some skills and/or time you’d like to contribute to this campaign?

At this stage this is only an idea. If you think it’s a good one – let ROCC know and show your support by:

– Coming to our public meeting on the 11th of February, 2016 at 7pm, Mangere East Community Centre, 372 Massey Road, Mangere East (behind the Mangere East Library)
– Sharing this blog post on social media
– Connecting with ROCC on Facebook and Twitter
– Filling in this quick survey

Thank you for your support!

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The East West Link is back….

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Yes, you read that right. The East West Link is back! This time it’s been rebranded as East West Connections. It now covers a new road in Onehunga(which all interested parties are keen to point out, is not a motorway – more on that later) and some new bus/truck lanes (we don’t know how those work either) and walking/cycling provisions(i.e: share the footpath, as we do now) in Mangere and Otahuhu.

Representatives from ROCC attended two of the four open days held by Auckland Transport and NZTA to promote their project and identified several concerns:

– This new motorway will not fix congestion, either on SH1 or SH20, or through Onehunga. Many supporters of this believe it will ease congestion, NZTA themselves say it won’t. It is proven all over the world that more roads don’t mean less traffic. In fact, they encourage it.

– Furthermore, there is no clear plan to decongest the bottleneck at the bottom of Onehunga Mall. More trucks will be getting pulled into this choke point.

– This project will cost in excess of 1.5 billion dollars. Future generations will be paying for this. Research already shows that young people are driving less, and are not as keen on buying cars as previous generations.

– The investigative report commissioned by AT and NZTA clearly states that more could be done with regard to public transport and lessening the number of private vehicles on roads. Why is this not being done first?

– The current safe cycling and walking facility along the foreshore is not part of the NZTA plan – the planned road is between the current path and the foreshore, with multiple road crossings.

– NZTA and AT have said that only 15% of traffic in this area is trucks. In that case, the funds could be better spent on lessening the other 85% of traffic through public transport initiatives. Furthermore, the 15% who will be served by this expensive road could contribute the money themselves, or the road could be tolled to recoup funds.

– The road is being touted as a beneficial thing for the harbour yet NZTA appear to have very little information about the problem they are looking to solve. What is the current water quality like in the Manukau Inlet? What provisions will be made to filter the run-off from this motorway?

– There has been very little effort to engage the public, particularly younger people who will be saddled with this debt.

– Why are we trying to ruin the Manukau Inlet with a major road, when it could be a major entertainment destination? The wharf could be a precinct similar to North Wharf – this will not be possible with various off-ramps and a ‘limited state highway’ surrounding it.

What can you do?

– Submit your feedback by Friday, July 17. You can do this online at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/east-west-connections
– You can also use Generation Zero’s handy and super easy web form: http://transportblog.co.nz/2015/07/16/submit-on-the-east-west-connections/
– You can also give feedback by e-mail – send your submission to eastwest@nullnzta.govt.nz
– You can write to your local representatives:
– Maungakiekie MP Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga: http://www.lotu-iiga.com
– Councillor Denise Krum: Denise.Krum@nullaucklandcouncil.govt.nz
– Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board Chairperson, Simon Randall: simon.randall@nullaucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Connect with ROCC on Facebook or Twitter, and come to our monthly meetings.

We will continue to provide updates on this page, and on Facebook.

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Stop big housing development plans for Ihumatao

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Mangere is under attack ……yet again

2015 Foreign owned housing company is seeking approval to build a huge 500 house development on the last remnant of rural land in Mangere in the Ihumatao area …the site of an ancient Pa on the slopes of two volcanos , Otuataua and Puketapapa. This land was previously zoned Public Open Space.
2014 Auckland Council plan to build an East West arterial road through Mangere , removing hundreds of houses, is defeated by a massive community fight back
2013 Special Housing Area designation for 32 hectare block of land on the slopes of Otuataua and Puke Tapapa volcanic cones
2012 The environment Court orders Auckland Council to re zone all rural land west of the Airport to “Future Urban”. This effectively destroys the unique heritage value of this area and permanently ends community plans for the Mangere Gateway Heritage Project
2012 Watercare announces plans to divert huge volumes of sewage and stormwater from central Auckland to the Mangere Treatment Plant. There is ongoing community opposition to this plan on environmental grounds
2009 Auckland Airport Second runway construction bulldozes through a 600 year old Maori cemetery on the Manukau Harbour foreshore unearthing 89 graves.
1960 -2000 Mangere Sewage Treatment plant makes large area of the Mangere foreshore off limits to the public and seriously pollutes the air, water and sea bed.
Historic volcanoes quarried for airport construction and Auckland’s roading network
1863 Foreign owned Land Developers use legal loophole to confiscate all Maori owned land in Mangere and on sell to British settlers.
1840 – 1850 Ongoing dispute over the Fairburn Purchase
1836 The Reverend William Fairburn claims to have purchased from Maori, all the land from Otahuhu to Papakura (83,000 acres)…the entire area of South and East Auckland.
1820 Inter tribal wars with Ngapuhi

Enough Is Enough

Protect what little is left of Mangere Heritage

Stop Housing on Public Open Space

Keep Mangere Liveable for everyone

Action required urgently

Email your views to:
specialhousingarea@nullaucklandcouncil.govt.nz
And cc Lydia Sosene, Chair, Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board:
lydia.sosene@nullaucklandcouncil.govt.nz
Subject: No Housing on Ihumatao

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People’s power prevails

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‘MOTORWAY VICTORY’- A WIN FOR DEMOCRACY AND COMMON SENSE

ROCC’s letter to the editor of the Manukau Courier. Published 23 January 2014

Last week’s announcement that government planners have dropped their proposal to carve an East-West motorway through Mangere, Otahuhu and Wymondley, will be welcomed by all residents.

The ‘Respect Our Community Campaign’ (ROCC) grew from a series of huge public meetings after the motorway options were first revealed in the Manukau Courier last September.

This campaign gave a strong, united voice to the widespread community outrage against these destructive proposals that threatened hundreds of homes plus many schools, pre-schools, churches and medical centres.

ROCC published two campaign newspapers that were letterboxed throughout the area by a vast army of volunteers. Our 4240-signature petition was tabled in parliament by Mangere MP Su’a William Sio in November. Follow-up petitions have since gathered nearly 2000 more names.

Over 320 prominent community leaders also stepped forward to publicly oppose the motorway plans. (View our website for the full list: www.rocc.org.nz)

Faced with this massive, unprecedented community backlash, the planners have finally backed-down, and now say they will instead try to engage with the community to seek agreeable traffic solutions in the industrial belt north of Manukau harbour.

‘People’s power’ has forced this dramatic U-turn. The previous $2billion motorway options for south Auckland (that transport minister Gerry Brownlee and John Key had demanded be ‘fast-tracked’), has fallen from being a major ‘priority project’, to zero. Democracy and common sense have prevailed over ‘motorway madness.’

ROCC thanks all those who came together to defend our community, especially our MPs, Local Boards, MANA Movement and Green Party members, schools and residents. ROCC will continue to promote sensible mobility solutions that enhance, and not destroy, our community.

Roger Fowler,
Spokesperson,
Respect Our Community Campaign (ROCC)

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ROCC Supporters

We would like to thank over 300 prominent community leaders of Mangere, Otahuhu & Wymondley who have come forward to voice their opposition to an East-West motorway:

  • Rennie Siakimotu, assistant Principal, Kingsford Primary, Mangere East.
  • Sir Peter Leitch, ‘Mad Butcher’ Mangere East.
  • Ciska Buitendijk, Literacy & numeracy tutor, Mangere East
  • Sarah-Marie Tupuaga, teacher, Mangere.
  • Meli Molesi, nurse, Middlemore Hospital.
  • Sioe Patumaka, customer service, Mangere.
  • Tuaine Nerio, coordinator, Wymondley Rd Early Childhood Learning Centre.
  • Sally Ikinofo, CEO Niuean Sports Federation, Mangere.
  • Ekepati Va, Administrator, Taeaofou Preschool, Mangere.
  • Tyrone Laurenson, English language tutor in Mangere.
  • Edwina Crese, preacher, Pacific Island Presbyterian Church.
  • Mereana Peka, manager Nga Whare Waatea Marae, Mangere
  • Fou Alene Tumataiki, manager, Niuean preschool, Mangere.
  • Koia Tenakore, President, Onehunga-Mangere United Softball Club
  • Kei Laupa, teacher, Mangere.
  • Faimai Tuimauga, Education consultant, Mangere East.
  • John Roache, president, Otahuhu Rugby Club & Auckland Samoan Rugby Club.
  • Pastor Lute Sefesi, Tongan Community Church, Mangere East
  • Hana AhoTaha QSM, Chair of Board, Niuean pre-school, Mangere.
  • Rosie Leota, secretary, Manukau City Assoc Football Club, Mangere.
  • Carol Poa, education support, Mangere.
  • Pastor Faupula Vaka, Tongan Community Church, Mangere East.
  • Fa’atamoe Salapo-Tuaimalo, Secretary Samoa Atia’e, Mangere.
  • Cathy Casey, Auckland City Councillor
  • Arvind Dharamsi, manager, Mangere East Post Office/Kiwibank
  • Ethni Snell, Literacy & Numeracy Tutor, Mangere.
  • Esteban Espinoza, Senior Social Worker, Mangere East.
  • Reverend Robati, minister, PIPC, Mangere.
  • Sergio Opazo, Coordinator, House of Friends, Mangere.
  • James Papalii, Mangere social worker, founder Waka Ama club, Mangere Bridge.
  • Ailafo Taliai, pastor, Kerisiano Fa’afouina Church, Mangere East.
  • Rev Peter Sykes, director, Mangere East Family Service Centre
  • Sione Kumitau, leader Pulefakamotu, Niue Okalana
  • Lekei Laupa, Preacher, Niuean Presbyterian Church, & Leader of Christian Women’s Fellowship, Mangere.
  • Rev Roy Christian, Mangere Presbyterian Church.
  • Jan Lambert, teaches English in Mangere, English Language Partners Auckland South.
  • Lynaire Doherty, Psychologist, Ohomairagi Trust, Mangere.
  • Fa’asaulala Leota, programme manager, AUT Manukau Campus.
  • Faimalo Timoteo, cultural coordinator, Samoa Atia’e, Mangere.
  • Saubree Edinberry, Chairman, Manukau City Assoc Football Club, Mangere East.
  • Roger Fowler QSM, manager Mangere East Community Learning Centre, Mana candidate for Manukau Councillor.
  • Piripi McLean, Social Worker, Mangere.
  • Glenis Allen, Positive Parenting facilitator in Mangere.
  • Naomi Lange, long time Mangere resident

Continue reading ROCC Supporters

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Presentation to Auckland Council Infrastructure Committee

These are the slides and the full text from the presentation Jasmine Kovach gave today to the Infrastructure Committee of Auckland Council.  You can download a pdf version here.

Slide1

Mr Chairperson, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today regarding the East West Link.

My name is Jasmine Kovach and I am a proud resident of Otahuhu and a member of the Respect Our Community Campaign. My husband and I bought our first house in Otahuhu just over a year ago,intending it to be our family home where we could raise our two daughters. Having finally found an affordable house in a great neighbourhood in Auckland, we now learn that Auckland Transport plans to put a motorway through it.

The Respect Our Community Campaign has been set up by residents just like me, in response to the East West Link. We love our community and we want to see it thrive.We are all here for the long haul, not just property speculation. Our communities deserve more than a motorway through the middle of them.

We have been greatly assisted with this presentation by the Citizens Transport Coalition, and Donna Wynd has come to support us today.
It is clear that this proposal is expensive, destructive and cuts across other aims of the region’s transport policy. This presentation will focus on the destructive aspect of this project.

First, we would like to go on record as noting that Auckland Transport’s behaviour throughout this process has been disgraceful. Monday’s press release notwithstanding, no one from Auckland Transport has come to talk to anyone in the community about the East West Link apart from some presentations to the local board and some local businesses. The process so far has been akin to what one might expect to find in a third-world slum clearance, not a representative democracy.

Continue reading Presentation to Auckland Council Infrastructure Committee

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Let’s Stop This Madness

Green MP Julie Anne Genter writes on the Daily Blog:

The Government is hell bent on destroying another vibrant, and vulnerable, community for the sake of ANOTHER motorway in Auckland.

This seems insane, but the enigmatic (and until very recently, nonexistent) plan for an “East-West Link” to deal with freight problems between Onehunga and East Tamaki has jumped the queue to be one of the top infrastructure priorities of the Government. It was a clear bait and switch, when they announced support for the City Rail Link (which is actually a five+ year delay).

The Auckland Transport Blog has done a number of excellent posts examining the East-West Link proposals and a much more cost-effective, non-invasive solution that could address some of the traffic issues without taking any homes, destroying communities, or locking us into an entirely oil-dependent future.

One point that has not been noted is that some most of the problem of unpredictable travel times is linked to the fact that at least one of the inland ports located in the Church Street/Nielson Street area doesn’t schedule its arrivals. Truck drivers can show up any time they want, and sometimes this results in huge queues backing out onto the streets.

The answer to this problem is not to throw billion at another motorway. It is to tell the affected businesses to get their sh*t together and start managing their arrivals. Hell, we could give them a couple hundred thousand to get the software set up.  But apparently it is cheaper and easier for them to lobby National to fast track some insane motorway which in all likelihood will not improve transport productivity as much as investing the same amount of money into sustainable, affordable alternatives that reduce the demand for vehicles on the road.

The full article is here.

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Media Release – ROCC Welcomes Auckland Transport Admission

Respect our Community Campaign (ROCC) welcomes Auckland Transport backdown on East-West motorway proposals.

ROCC welcomes Auckland Transport’s admission that it should have consulted South Auckland communities earlier about options for an east-west motorway link to speed freight transport.

In its media release yesterday afternoon Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency acknowledged they got it wrong and should have talked much earlier about their plans.

ROCC chairman, Roger Fowler said “These agencies have treated the people of Mangere, Otahuhu and Otara with contempt – they were proposing to bulldoze hundreds of homes and carving up our communities without the common courtesy of talking to us. They would never have done this in the flasher Auckland suburbs and we won’t put up with it either.”

“It’s good that they now acknowledge that they have made a big mistake by attempting to plough a motorway through our neighbourhoods behind our backs. But if they think they can try to sweet-talk this community into accepting a motorway – they will need to think again. They would just be making another big mistake.”

“If this change of heart is a genuine move, NZTA & Auckland Transport will need to drop all preparations for East-West motorway construction and start afresh with genuine, open consultation with the community, and seriously consider other options, such as expanding rail, upgrading public transport, night-time trucking and safe cycling & walking facilities. The failed mantra of ‘more motorways’ is so 1950s. No city has ever succeeded in tarsealing its way out of gridlock. More motorways just create more traffic chaos, destruction and pollution.”

“Modern cities put their freight on rail and commuters on affordable & efficient public transport – that’s the sensible way to address these issues, at a fraction of the cost of motorways. We urgently need to develop practical ways to make our city livable – to strengthen our communities, not destroy them.”

Our Mangere MP Su’a William Sio is taking the views of his constituents to Parliament today, armed with our 4246 signature petition demanding ‘respect for our community & to stop the East-West motorway.’

ROCC welcomes the opportunity to make our case to Auckland Transport. This is an opportunity for Auckland to step into a new era with transport solutions for the whole community – (not just businesses which are pushing for these crazy motorways proposals).

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Media Release From Auckland Transport and NZTA

Responding to pressure from the ROC Campaign, Auckland Transport and NZTA have released the following statement to the media.

Auckland South Communities Reassured of Open Transport Approach

The NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport are asking community groups to help the two organisations find the best transport solutions to better link an economically growing south-west and south-east Auckland.

Existing transport in this important area – which includes Auckland International Airport, Mangere, Otahuhu, Onehunga, Penrose and East Tamaki – is already inadequate and with projected job growth there will be increasing pressure to better manage that increasing demand.

“We know that there are community concerns about a potential motorway solution, but there are a number of ways in which we can meet that demand. We do not have a preferred option – motorway or otherwise. We are asking communities to work with us to find the best possible answer to an important issue that will affect jobs, the streets families live in, and the way people and freight can move safely around this area,” says the Transport Agency’s Highways Manager, Tommy Parker.

Auckland Transport Key Agency Initiatives Group Manager, Rick Walden, says working openly with the community is a priority.

“We wanted to better understand the transport needs of this area, which we had been doing through local boards and other key stakeholders, before we began wider consultation. We’ve sensed a growing concern in the communities about this approach and acknowledge that we should have engaged the wider community from the start. We’ve heard what people have to say and we are responding to that immediately. We want to begin a more collaborative approach to discussing the issues and how best to deal with them together,” Mr Walden says.

“We want to work through issues like better public transport, walking, cycling and roading infrastructure with those communities.”

This combined area is Auckland’s industrial heartland and a major freight distribution hub, employing 135,400 people and generating $10.2 billion a year. Its economy is a similar size to the Bay of Plenty, Manawatu-Whanganui and Otago regions.

“Finding the right transport solution to meet this demand, provide better connections for freight to the motorways, and develop a strategic East-West link for Auckland, that also balances the needs of the communities, is no easy task. It is going to involve all of us, and it is going to take a while – there will be no quick-fix solution,” Mr Parker says.

“We’re asking for people’s patience, but more importantly we are asking for their help. Our first step will be to meet with community leaders, schools and local boards as well as the Respect Our Community Campaign group to discuss how we can all best move forward together. We will be contacting them this week,” says Mr Walden.

Next steps:

  • Meet with community leaders, schools, local boards and the Respect Our Community Campaign group to discuss a process for engaging the community
  •  Update the community on how they will be engaged before the end of the year
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