Hibiscus Matters Letters - August 2016

By: Blogger

When asked to make a birthday cake for a Silverdale Fire Brigade volunteer recently, Coast Cakes went the extra mile. The cake was for Tammy Richomme. Rather than depicting a standard red engine, the cake makers took many photos of Silverdale Fire Appliance 907. They then created a detailed version in (reportedly delicious) cake. “The response we received to this cake was extraordinary,” says Darren Bale of Coast Cakes.
Apartments opposed
Brian Sullivan, Orewa (abridged). Published August 17, 2016.

The proposed Unitary Plan is being talked about a lot – we in North Orewa are designated as a Mixed Housing Urban zone. So up to three storeys can be built within our residential zone. I live in Annalise Place and when my wife and I decided to purchase here in March 2014, the developer informed us that a three-storey apartment block was to be built next door and we were shown an outline. Fast forward to February 2016, the developer sheepishly showed what is now planned. Five blocks of apartments, three to five storeys starting one and a half metres above ground level (basement car parks) which will impact on shading, privacy and amenity. The developer, when confronted with the information that what he had presented is non-compliant with zoning, replied, “I own this land and I can do whatever I like. This is to be submitted as an Integrated Residential Development and I will get it consented by the council.” So what good are Unitary or District Plans? If this developer has any conscience or visionary approach he could look at the local Historic Orewa House, Walnut Cafe and the Nukumea stream and plan a high density housing area. With architectural influences from these sites, this could be an environment for future generations – something that, in future, he could proudly say that he developed. Instead he is planning on shoe horning a 121 apartment retirement village in and desecrating the Orewa North environment. The issue will be discussed at a public meeting on August 13 at the Theosophical Hall, 9e Annalise Place, Orewa, at 2pm. See story.
 
History in the making
Jeff Cole, Red Beach. Published August 17, 2016.

Loving the Blast from the Past in your paper, and that lead me to check out the history FB page, which is so interesting. I’ve been living here 10 years and have already seen so much change. I wish I’d taken photos of how Silverdale North was before Millwater really got going, and the same for parts of Gulf Harbour and other green areas that have been radically changed. History is happening all around us. Let’s record whatever we can for posterity.
 
Poor deal on pension
Mike Stevens, Stanmore Bay. Published August 17, 2016.

I have lived, worked and paid tax in NZ for 28 years, after being recruited from the UK to work in the Naval dockyard in Devonport when it was still controlled by the Navy (pre Babcocks). The NZ Government pay me sweet FA superannuation, so where has all the tax gone that I paid!? The UK government is paying my pension, which is frozen, and now, with the demise of the pound, I am struggling and still not eligible for a “top-up” from NZ. I feel I have no choice but to return to the UK. Maybe that has been the NZ government’s plan from the beginning – Go Home Pom?
 
Thank you boatie
Maureen Knight, Gulf Harbour. Published August 17, 2016

On 22nd July at approximately 1pm my husband and myself were at Gulf Harbour Marina boat ramp. We were getting our boat in when I went to climb out of my boat and slipped and cut my leg badly. Then this gentleman came to my help with his little boy – they were just going out in their boat. This gentleman went to his car and got a tourniquet bandage to put on my leg to stop the bleeding. Then he helped my husband to get our boat onto the trailer. I do not know his name and I really would like to thank him so much for his help.
 
Democracy advice
John Clements, Orewa. Published August 17, 2016

I see in letters (HM August 3) that ‘Auckland Transport’s Democracy Advisor’ gets a mention. I wonder where ‘democracy advisors’ come from and what qualifications are required to be one? The Council and its appendages has dozens of them. Central Government has none. Democracy is served by the Mayor, Councillors and Board people we vote for – not by employees. If one adds in a host of other odd sounding Council jobs such as: Transformation, Brand Performance, Open Space Specialists, Talent Consultants, Capability Management, Talent Sourcing, People and Capability … and hundreds of others, it’s easy to see why the wage bill has blown out by millions. This Council is beyond redemption. Let’s hope the next one gets real.
Waiwera planner Raewyn Caitlow was quoted in our Unitary Plan story, August 3 issue. She wishes to clarify her position in more detail with the following letter (Ed):
Concerns clarified
Raewyn Caitlow, Waiwera. Published August 17, 2016

My principle concern is that the Mixed Housing Suburban zone (which is the most common zoning Auckland wide) has no development controls to protect overshadowing of adjacent properties. To explain in more detail: I am very supportive of the Mixed Housing Suburban zone and indeed the Mixed Housing Urban zone. However, both those zones do not have development controls to protect the outdoor living space of neighbouring properties from being overshadowed. The Panel has supported adopting one of Melbourne’s development controls (ie the “Alternative Height in Relation to Boundary Control” (AHIRB), which allows the walls of a building to be constructed closer to the boundary at first floor level but they have not supported the accompanying control used in Melbourne that ensures that the outdoor living space of neighbouring properties is not unreasonable overshadowed when using the AHIRB.
 
Cheap as chips
Rob Thompson, Stanmore Bay. Published August 3, 2016

In February this year and without prior community consultation, Auckland Transport re-coated the ‘racetrack’ section of Viponds Road, with a sharp metal chip. Rodney Council originally earmarked this strip for smooth-seal to link the east and west sections. This alternative chip generates horrendous noise and is also known to be less safe in wet conditions. However, six months later the reseal chips are still being fired-off car tyres at pedestrians on the footpaths some of whom have needed medical treatment, a Health & Safety Act issue. Auckland Transport’s Democracy advisor said the traffic count is under 10,000 vehicles per day at 9000 vpd and did not qualify for smooth-seal. This ‘el-cheapo’ practice is being reported on the North Shore and where smooth-seal already exists.
AT is degrading those areas by re-coating in ‘el-cheapo chip’. It doesn’t matter if your street generates the highest rates per household in Auckland, you will still get el-cheapo chip. AT says the roads are their assets and in effect, they will make the decisions without consultation.  So if you thought you were paying for the road and its future maintenance when you bought into that subdivision with smooth-seal roading, you are absolutely correct. But AT is not going to give you any say in how they will maintain it.  Most people would say this is blatant dictatorship in practise.
 
Rates wasted?
Michael James, Orewa. Published August 3, 2016

I understand that the cost of collection of household waste (not recyclables) is collected from the rates we pay. We, in the Hibiscus Coast and Rodney areas, pay for these collections from private contractors, bags or bins. Are we paying twice for these collections? If the answer is ‘yes’, then the council has a lot to answer for. Can someone put me straight on this? In regard to collection days of waste and recyclable items, yes the council got it wrong, again, another muck up. Surely the council could have made it the same day as the private contractors collection days? After all, other districts have the same collection day. The boffins and spin-doctors employed by the council should listen to those who pay their income. Since 1989, it was mandatory for council to serve us, not us them. Council has ridden roughshod over us again.

Robert Irvine, Auckland Council’s Head of Group Financial Planning responds: Residents that live in the former Rodney District Council area pay a targeted rate for waste, which pays for an inorganic collection and recycling, as well as a contribution towards some costs for regional services such as resource recovery centres. The targeted rate does not pay for rubbish collection services, which are provided by private operators in the area.
 
Yellow lines questioned
Catherine Wilson, Orewa. Published August 3, 2016

Living near Centreway Road in Orewa has become a trial as parking become more and more difficult [HM July 20]. I agree with Auckland Council’s comment in your paper that anyone can park on the roadway, but there should surely be limits imposed when it gets to the point where residents have nowhere to park? I saw where your correspondent painted out the yellow lines and it made me wonder why those lines are there at all on Centreway Rd? The ones near entranceways and corners I can understand, but they extend a long way down the road also. The same applies on the Centreway Rd side of Tamariki Ave. People seem to be respecting them when they park, and if they are not needed there would be more space for a few more cars?

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan replies: Rules for the placement of broken yellow lines around intersections, bus stops, pedestrian crossings and driveways are set out in the New Zealand Road Code. The placement of broken yellow lines in areas other than those specified in the Road Code are done on a case by case basis. Issues such as parking demand, congestion and traffic speed all have to be taken into account. The lines on Centreway Rd were put in place pre-Supercity, and can be reviewed if required.
 
Tickets suggested
Neil Harris, Red Beach. Published August 3, 2016

With regards to your article in Hibiscus Matters July 20th, Parking Permits for Orewa Residents, I have a simple solution – just put a parking ticket on all of those council cars parked outside the houses, just like they ticket all of our cars when there are not enough parking spaces at the bus station Park and Rides opposite Silverdale Rugby and at Albany. No space in the car park? Tough luck and have a ticket!
 
Parking permits – yes please
Gerald Curtis, Orewa. Published August 3, 2016

I applaud the article in your last paper [July 20] about parking for Orewa residents. If ever a situation called for residents to have parking permits, this is surely it. We are fed up with family and friends having to park miles away when they come to visit on weekdays, and would like to throw the problem back onto Auckland Council. If they can’t provide enough car parks for their staff, they should be forced to sort it out, instead of making it a problem for the surrounding neighbours.
 

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