Category Archives: Uncategorized

Use Your Vote!

As a result of becoming a permanent resident, I am able to vote for the first time in 7 years of living in New Zealand. I am very excited about being able to vote. But it is clear to me not everybody feels the same.

I hear people say that the parties don’t represent them and that they don’t want to vote. To some extent I agree. However, I think we also need to be aware that the parties will favour the demographic that turn up to vote. In New Zealand, a significant portion of people aged 50 actually turn up and vote. Compare this to the under 25 that have a low percentage voting. So until there are more people 18-25 turning up to vote, it will seem the future of New Zealand is catering for and decided by the over 50s.

The more party votes a party can get, that gives them better representation in parliament. As a result they have more power to get laws passed that matter to them.

I’m urging everyone to enrol and vote in the upcoming election. To either enrol or check you are enrolled click here

All parties have policies. We will have ample chance to hear them explain this in the up and coming debates on TV.  Also click the following links NationalLabourGreensMANANZ FirstMoari Party ActTop

A useful way to work out what matters to you and which party thinks like you is by using this online tool here.

I chose the image of the rainbow flag flying as its a symbol of peace and understanding. Which is greatly needed on our door step and globally.

Will you be voting?

Alan Worman

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Bari Land Road Stopping

Housing NZ has made an application for Bari Lane in Mangere East to be ‘stopped’ and amalgamated with its adjoining land holdings so as to facilitate a comprehensive redevelopment for intensive housing. Housing NZ proposes to amalgamate its existing land titles and Bari Lane (when stopped) into one single allotment.

Do you live around here? Will this effect you? Let ROCC know on the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/roccmangere/

 

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Proposed Motel threat to Yates Park

A 15 unit motel plus manager’s residence is proposed at 1/75 and 77 Yates Road, Mangere East. The Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board have expressed concerns around the potential for future change of use of the development, especially to construct a stormwater pipe through Yates Park. The motel applicant also requires Council approval to conduct works within the dripline of one protected tree, a Silver Birch that stands within the park along the boundary of 77 Yates Road as part of the carpark construction works inside 77 Yates Road. The tree might be negatively affected by the works.

Do you use this park? Do you live down Yates Road? How will this effect you? Let ROCC know on the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/roccmangere/

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Redevelopment of the Mangere East Town Centre

The redevelopment of the Mangere East Town Centre is the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board’s main priority for the forthcoming Long Term Plan 2018/28. The Council has completed an initial rough order of costs to spend about $700,000 – 1,000,000. But there are still some factors that need to be considered. The Local Board is looking to share the predicted costs with Auckland Council will help develop a business case for the redevelopment. We will be asking  the Local Board for ROCC to be involved as the ideas progress.

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GUEST BLOG: Mike Lee – Auckland Transport’s March of Folly « The Daily Blog

Source: GUEST BLOG: Mike Lee – Auckland Transport’s March of Folly « The Daily Blog

 

Historian Barbara Tuchman’s acclaimed ‘March of Folly – from Troy to Vietnam’ published in 1985 was about ‘the pervasive presence, through the ages, of failure, mismanagement, and delusion in government – contrary to its own self interest.’

I think about Barbara Tuchman’s book whenever the question of rail to Auckland airport comes up.  There could no clearer example of Tuchman’s thesis than the boards of Auckland Transport (AT) and NZTA marching in lockstep to rule out even the possibility of future trains to Auckland Airport. And, it’s not just words, over the Christmas holidays AT demolished Onehunga’s Nielson Street overbridge rebuilding the road at grade, thereby physically blocking the rail corridor to the airport.

Deliberately sabotaging the rail corridor to Auckland International Airport is one of the most irresponsible acts I have witnessed during my time in local government.

Auckland International Airport is of critical economic importance to Auckland and to New Zealand – it is the gateway to the country. Despite hundreds of millions spent in road construction, congestion on the route to the city is already near where it was 10 years ago, chronic at peak times, periodically at grid-lock.  With airport passenger movements currently 17 million per year, and predicted to increase to 20 million by 2020 and 40 million in 2044, this congestion can only become more dire.

Following on from work initiated by the former Auckland Regional Council, in September 2011, a multi-agency study involving Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, NZTA, KiwiRail and Auckland International Airport Ltd, with consultants GHD, after examining light rail (trams), busway and heavy rail (electric train) options, concluded that heavy rail from Onehunga 10km to the airport and 6.8km from Puhinui on the main trunk line would be the ‘most economically efficient’ solution – providing a fast, single-seat journey from airport to downtown Auckland (including the CRL stations), and all points on the rail network including Newmarket, Henderson, Glen Innes, Pukekohe, and ultimately Hamilton.

In 2012, this recommendation, after public consultation became a commitment in the Auckland Plan: ‘route protect a dedicated rail connection in the first decade (2011-2020); construct in the second decade (2021-2030).’

However in November 2014, Auckland Transport ‘planners’ (un-named) announced to the NZ Herald their preference for light rail.  A year or so after AT came up with a business case ‘proving’ extending (non-existing) light rail from Dominion Road to the airport would be more economic than extending (existing) heavy rail from Onehunga. As an example of the credibility of this business case, it claimed a second track for the 3.5 km Onehunga Branch Line would cost $578m, (notwithstanding it cost KiwiRail $9m to build the first track in 2010). It also claimed a tram coming from the airport via Dominion Road, despite stopping at 20 tram stops and numerous intersections while keeping to a 50kph speed limit, would get to the CBD within one minute of an electric train travelling at 110kph!  There are other claims which stretch credibility but let’s leave that to one side.

Melbourne is one major Australian city that does not yet have airport rail but it does have the most extensive light rail system in the world.  Unlike Auckland however, the Victorian government is not planning on light rail for Melbourne Airport but heavy rail. This on the grounds that trains as international best practice demonstrates, provide a faster, more predictable journey-time and carry a lot more people and luggage than street-running trams.

However I should point out that the argument in Auckland between light rail and heavy rail is something of a sham; (one of the few people still taking it seriously is Mayor Phil Goff), given the government’s recently announced answer for Auckland Airport’s transport problems: light rail in 2047, good old buses in the meantime.   I should add the only other supporters for trams to the airport are the bloggers at Transport Blog – self-styled experts who obligingly changed their Congestion Free Network ‘vision’ from trains to trams in line with the corporate position of Auckland Transport and NZTA [funny that isn’t it].  Vision on demand?

Rather than facing up to the growing transport crisis at Auckland Airport, the government is pushing the bizarre ‘East-West Link’ along the Onehunga foreshore, at $1.8b the most expensive road in New Zealand history with no cost benefit analysis (and the reason why the rail corridor from Onehunga was blocked). The only demonstrated benefit of the East-West Link would seem to be better truck access to the Penrose ‘inland port’ owned by the Port of Tauranga. Given Auckland’s long list of infrastructure priorities that would seem a rather expensive gift to the shareholders of the Port of Tauranga. (What electorate does the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges represent again?)

Last month AT’s ‘Project Director Key Strategic Initiatives’ Theunis Van Schalkwyk, whose responsibilities also happen to include the East-West Link, and who commissioned the business case that ‘proved’ trams superior to trains, and who along with his boss David Warburton persuaded the boards of NZTA and AT to exclude heavy rail from any consideration for Auckland Airport, announced to bemused Auckland councillors that ‘mass transit’ services will begin at Auckland Airport in 2024. When questioned on what he meant by ‘mass transit, he answered ‘advanced buses.’

However in arguing Auckland Airport’s transport problems can solved with more buses (‘advanced’ or otherwise), the government and AT’s bureaucrats have apparently forgotten their own Centre City Future Access Study of 2012, the modelling in which revealed that inner Auckland streets will be so congested with buses by 2021 that average road speeds will be down to 7kph.  Now they are proposing to add ‘platoons’ of airport buses to the city in 2024!  What confidence can Aucklanders have in these people’s advice?

Barbara Tuchman made up some rules on how policy decisions get to qualify as a ‘March of Folly’.  First the policy must be contrary to self-interest, [check]; secondly a feasible alternative policy must be available [check]; and finally the policy must be that of a group (not an individual (mad) ruler) [check].

The feasible alternative option of connecting Auckland International Airport by rail to the electrified main trunk line at Puhinui 6.8 km away must be carried out urgently before that option too is sabotaged.

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Press Release: Election campaign to be launched via public transport

For immediate release:

Election campaign to be launched via public transport

Once upon a time Auckland Transport proposed putting a motorway through the heart of Mangere and Otahuhu.  A group was formed to oppose this and after these plans were shelved, the group, known as Respect Our Community Campaign (ROCC) decided to keep the campaign going, and to keep working as advocates for their communities.

Now ROCC is standing a candidate in the Auckland local body elections.  Brendan Corbett is a Mangere resident and has lived in the area for 38 years.  He is a qualified builder and a technology teacher at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate. He also volunteers his time at Mangere Mountain Education Centre.    A kidney transplant recipient, he helped to start the Transplant Games and has represented New Zealand four times at these.  Brendan is a true community person and is a founding member of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) which is currently working to protect Ihumatao for future generations.

The ROCC election campaign to vote Corbett for council will launch this Friday, the 2nd of September, at 7.30am at Manukau Train Station.  Brendan and his fellow ROCC members will ride the train to Westfield listening to commuters in the Manukau Ward and talking about issues that are important to them.

Brendan Corbett will be a strong community voice on Auckland Council and is campaigning on the following issues:

  • Protect Ihumatao: honouring Auckland’s heritage and parks
  • Housing: available and affordable
  • Public transport: free and frequent
  • Rail to the airport: now
  • Democracy: making it work
  • Liquor and gaming: reduce and control
  • Community facilities: build and improve

Media enquiries:

respectourcommunitycampaign@nullgmail.com

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/878889955575962/

Ends

launch

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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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