Saturday, June 9, 2018

Murals - Not Advertising Signage

Readers will be painfully aware of the visual pollution evident throughout Auckland streets - where there is commercial activity - because of our city's highly permissive rules on advertising and signage. It's not until you visit cities which regulate instead in favour of architecture and street art that you see what might be possible in a repainted Auckland.

I've just included here 3 street scenes each from Austin Texas and New Orleans Louisiana. Please note that each set of these pictures is from a single street. Cesar Chavez Street in Austin, and St. Claude Street, New Orleans.

First: Cesar Chavez Street in Austin...




(I am aware these don't do justice to Austin's street art, but they give a flavour.)

And, St Claude Street, New Orleans...




In Auckland, an enlightened street art policy would enable its Pacific and Polynesian culture to be much more on display than at present. Many benefits can be envisaged. The current dominance of international brands would be slowly replaced by imagery reflecting local culture.

Driverless Bus in Perth

Another field trip at the PIA (Planning Institute of Australia) conference held in May in Perth. This time to learn about Australia's first driverless electric shuttle.

The Royal Autoclub of Australia, with support from West Australia State Government and the City of Perth is trialling a fully driverless electric shuttle bus on a small route in a part of urban Perth. Groups of delegates were able to experience this service, and be briefed on how it works, and what it's safety features are. For many of us this was quite an education into driverless vehicle technology.



The RAC "Intellibus" is a level 4 vehicle. It uses LIDAR, stereovision cameras, GPS and odometry to drive itself. It is fitted with multi-sensory technology providing 3D perception that allows it to map the environment along its route, detect obstacles and interpret traffic signs.

You can learn more from this site.

Here's a wee video of part of my trip in it....



Texas Property Files


During my recent trip to New Orleans I spent a week in Austin, Texas. There for music and culture and a bit of an explore. Prior to this trip I had attended the PIA planning conference in Perth where I met Chris O'Connor - an Aussie planner currently working in Austin. He spoke to conference about "Keeping Austin Wierd" - one of the city's most popular slogans - and one which represents a culture which can make change (and it's planning, and planning for growth and development) difficult.



My trip to Austin was already planned, so I thought I'd touch base with Chris when I got there, to try and get to grips with property prices and systems there. (Can't keep a planner down - even on holiday). I stayed at an AirBnB located in Canterbury Street, Austin. The googlestreetview image above gives quite a good idea of how this quiet residential street looks. From here to the CBD and music haunts etc is only 2 or 3 miles. Takes minutes to drive there. And there's a bus service not far away too. (Interestingly, Austin is really pro-cycling.... have to include here pic of great cycle/coffee cafe that's on the way to town...)



I asked Chris for information or links that would help me get a handle on what houses were selling for, how much land cost, and what property taxes were. He was really helpful, providing this information...
The East Side where you are staying is definitely a great spot to be given the types of things you’re looking to experience. The East Side is historically one of the lower-socioeconomic parts of town, but given how close it is to the city and relative affordability, there’s definitely a lot of renewal going on like what you have seen – as a result, the property prices have gone bananas in recent years.
I live on the other side of town down south, so I’m not entirely in specific tune with what the property values and construction costs would be. But I took a quick scan through Zillow and here’s a snapshot of real estate on the market in the 78702 area:
Established Homes:
Land & Future Home:
Land
Zillow is actually a really good resource generally, as they sometimes have historic sales data if you know specific addresses. Sometime if you just Google the address, Zillow will be the first result that pops up. Happy browsing!
Property information is also able to be publicly viewed in Texas – you can head to the Travis County Appraisal District property search portal here: http://propaccess.traviscad.org/clientdb/?cid=1 and just punch in the address of the property you want to look at. It will give you a lot of info including ownership, the latest appraised value and the associated taxes.
You can learn a lot here, but also about the way the USA provides property data to the public. The links above will gradually go out of date - as properties are sold/taken off the market. So be in quick, or go straight to "Zillow". I was particularly interested in how public information was made available. So I checked out Travis County Appraisal systems...


I suggest you give it a try. The link is here. You can type in any of the street addresses listed above - just the number and the street name - and away you go. Interesting, and easy for the public. The link to the main Travis County Appraisal District website is here.

Friday, June 8, 2018

New Orleans: French or Spanish?


I spent a wonderful week in New Orleans in May 2018. This posting reflects the little learning I picked up while there about the urban morphology of the French Quarter part of New Orleans in particular. I was there to immerse myself in local music - blues, soul, jazz - but there's so much more to experience and learn about here. (You will see my other post here about Katrina.).

One of the questions in my mind after walking around the streets of the French Quarter, was why so much of the architecture felt Spanish, when the whole place was known as the French Quarter. Check out these streetscapes....




This useful article notes:
Although New Orleans’ early residents were indeed French, the architecture of the French Quarter is actually Spanish. To pay a war debt, France gave up control of Louisiana to Spain, who controlled the colony from 1763 until 1803. 
Several fires destroyed the original French architecture of the Vieux Carré during Spain’s forty-year rule of New Orleans, so the charm presently found at the heart of New Orleans can be credited to the Spanish from when their administrators rebuilt the city.  
The flat-tiled roofs, tropical colors, and ornate ironwork of the French Quarter are Iberian touches brought from across the Atlantic. In order to prevent fires, the Spanish-controlled government mandated that stucco replace wood for construction material and that all buildings be placed near the street and near each other. Where there used to be yards and open spaces surrounding buildings, the French Quarter was now rendered both more intimate and more secretive, with continuous façades, arched passageways, and gorgeous rear gardens and courtyards hidden from street-view.
The map (above) was one of the exhibits at the Cabildo Museum, on Jackson Square, heart of the old French Quarter. You will see the red area described as "Nueva Espana". New Orleans is located just above the compass sign, in the heart of Louisiana, and in Nueva Espana. Many of the streets in the French Quarter also have signs giving some explanation...


Here's how the original "French Quarter" was planned in 1728...


You can see that what is now known as Jackson Square (the park area by the Cathedral), fronted onto the Mississipi. There were other ideas at the time, because of threats posed by foreign vessels (including English ships) approaching up the Mississippi. Like this....


The legend that goes with this map image, reads like this:
Philip Pittman, “A Plan of New Orleans.” Watercolor, pen and ink, [1765]. Thomas Gage Papers. Map Division, Maps 8-L-13
By the time New Orleans was transferred from French to Spanish control under the 1763 treaty of Paris, it could boast a bastioned enceinte (surrounding enclosure), though it lacked the ditch, glacis, and outworks that would have made it possible to resist an attack by artillery. As with many fortified places, each bastion was identified by a name.
Pittman’s plan was drawn to provide information to British forces that had recently taken possession of neighboring West Florida.
It is information like this, which can be pieced together from books and museum exhibits, that enable visitors to build up a picture of how this rather wonderful and interesting city came about. An extraordinary mix of French and Spanish colonial history, with a smattering of local Creole, and a background of New Orleans being a centre of the black slave trade.

Another map, this one shows urban morphology changes after the first layout of "French Quarter", and subsequent urban expansion...


The shape of the original "French Quarter" is clearly visible. Then on either side similar street layouts are visible as New Orleans expanded - with the dark areas being built in 1841. The fainter lines show the new street networks planned by 1880.

One of the other very interesting pieces of the New Orleans puzzle is the Battle of New Orleans - one of the centre-piece battles in the US War of Independence. The role of the French and Spanish and local Creole populations in working together to resist the English Motherland's desire for control of the area and surrounding seas, and to enable the revolting local English-speaking colonists to defeat the English army is intriguing to say the least. A useful account of some of this is here, and includes information like:
In 1777 Benjamin Franklin, American
representative in France, arranged for the secret
transport from Spain to the colonies of 215
bronze cannons; 4,000 tents; 13,000 grenades;
30,000 muskets, bayonetes, and uniforms; over
50,000 musket balls and 300,000 poiunds of
gunpowder....
This is a never-ending story, but this post ends here. Recommendation: a great place to visit. Fascinating. And I haven't mentioned the live music venues, the food, the creativity...

And just a little bit of jazz





New Orleans and Katrina

Visited New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. Stayed in French Quarter. Spent a couple of day trips exploring the area of New Orleans hardest hit by Katrina floods - known as Lower 9th. It's taken a while to get my head around the geography, so I've put a few maps here to explain...

New Orleans is the main city of the state of Louisiana. Flood and storm damage threats to New Orleans come from two directions. To the immediate north of New Orleans is Lake Ponchartrain - the storm surge from Katrina came from here. To the immediate south is the Mississippi River which is prone to flood. (While it's a big river, on average its annual flow is just 8% of the Amazon River). What is evident driving into New Orleans and through the surrounding region of Louisiana is how flat the topography is. In effect it's a river delta formed by sediments and alluvial material washed down there by the Mississippi. The New Orleans urban environment is amazingly flat.

This map shows the main urban centre of New Orleans, and the various canal systems that have been built over time to direct water between the lake and the river, and for navigation. The canals are all bounded by levy wall/bank systems to keep the water and any flood out of the city. The lake edge and the river edge are also lined with banks and walls. Because the urban environment is so flat, stormwater drainage - when it rains hard - is also an issue. There's a lot of interesting history about how New Orleans even came to be built there, and became the chosen site of capital of Lousiana, mainly because of the efforts of a French Governor (Bienville) and a French engineer (Pauger). Bienville's men began clearing vegetation (remember this was mostly swamp and river delta) in March/April 1718 - 300 years ago (the tricentennial was celebrated this year). Apparently, the decisions about the location of the capital was based on a headcount. At the time New Orleans was a centre of the black slave trade. The slave population, combined with those who built and lived in the so-called "French Quarter", tipped the balance in favour of New Orleans. Anyway - I do digress. A key role of the slave population was the construction of flood barriers to stop the Mississippi course snaking in different courses when it flooded.

This map (which is worth clicking) is one of many available in the aftermath of Katrina. One of the worst affected areas was the Lower Ninth Ward. This area was affected because the levy lining the adjacent canal failed. I talked to several residents about this - one of the stories that's live is that a barge had not been properly moored, and in the hurricane it moved across the canal, banged into the concrete levy wall, and broke it. There's  picture of it sitting on top of houses after the flood waters pushed it over/through the levy wall and into the Lower Ninth Ward residential suburb. Interestingly, the land where that suburb is was not developed in the early centuries by the French or Spanish as it was swamp land. The land was subsequently drained and water pumped out. This caused the land level to drop as its organic soil base dried out and shrank. The upshot being that parts of the Lower Ninth Ward were/are 6 to 10 feet below sea level. When the levy broke that suburb became a "bowl" holding the floodwater, a bowl that had nowhere to drain to. It had to be pumped out. It was full of floodwater for weeks and months after Katrina. There's a lot of post-Katrina planning criticism of decisions to develop drained swamplands for residential housing....

This picture shows the barge in the foreground, and the broken section of the levy. The water in the foreground is the "Industrial Canal" shown in the maps. The housing (that remains) is in the suburban area of Lower Ninth Ward.

This map shows the French Quarter (bottom left) and Lower Ninth Ward. I took some video and photos at the viewpoints 1, 2 and 3. (Where "3" is pretty close to where the barge ended up after Katrina.)



These two clips were recorded around "3". They show suburban blocks without houses (apart from a few brick built ones that were allowed to remain), empty streets, and generally rundown environment. (Note this is 12 years after Katrina). I learned about the ill-facted "make it right" campaign triggered by Brad Pitt and seeded by his money. Some residents were provided with zaney architectural houses which were designed to float next time it flooded. Problem was they were built of composite board, which, in the local damp conditions, have walls that have rotted through.




These images show the memorial plaque erected near "3" on the map. It records that US Army Corp built levy structures failed, and that new regulations resulted for the future. Around this area a number of houses were being developed and constructed. These are shown below. You can see the attempts made to lift the structures above future envisaged flood levels.








This video was shot at "2" in the map. It pans from the bridge/stormwater structure (blue), across the Industrial Canal, to the levy wall (now repaired of course), and shows some of houses behind (which are all on land 5 feet or so below normal sea level).

And, the video clip below shows what happened in the street where my BnB was (in the middle of the FrenchQuarter) after a reasonably good thunderstorm....



Bad rap for Auckland public transport

I was following up an NZ Herald newslink, and stumbled across this World Economic Forum research into relative/comparative global city costs of commuting using public transport. It's apparently based on the cost of a one month ticket. You can see it here.

The key information is contained in this table....


Auckland fares badly, according to this international measure.

Interestingly, the link to this story came from another World Economic Forum article about the rollout of free public transport in Estonia. A success story according to this account.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Crazy Prices: Home and Land in Perth

I attended the Planning Institute of Australia conference held in Perth 9th-11th of May 2018. In my role as Policy Adviser to NZ Planning Institute I've also been to the previous conferences held in Sydney (2017) and Brisbane (2016). Increasingly, the topic of housing affordability and rapid urbanisation has moved to the top of the conference programme.

The focus of this posting is a field trip I did. It looked at the rapid urban growth occurring north of Perth, in and around an area called Alkimos. Alkimos is a coastal suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located 42 kilometres north-northwest of Perth's central business district. It is part of the City of Wanneroo local government area.

The journey is an essential part of all good planning field trips. This one was no exception....


In actual fact the field trip started with a $5 train trip up the line from Elizabeth Quay Station on the Perth waterfront. Then came the bike. Then a planner briefing. Then a bus trip to a developer's office...



I put on one of those hats, then we went into the coastal suburbs that are being built, at pace. This video gives a flavour of the look and feel of these suburbs....



We spent most of our time on the field trip learning about the Shorehaven part of Alkimos, (See: shorehaven.com.au), and learning from one of the developers (See: peet.com.au). It's difficult to summarise it all for a posting, but the picture that emerges is that State/Federal Government agencies work to consolidate land packages, and then seek a partnership with a developer which must indicate how it will deliver on various development objectives (amount of public open space, providing for amenity such as retail and commercial development and employment opportunities, sale price of home + land packages). All planning for access to central rail (fast electric) and to state freeway is in place, and much of that transport infrastructure is either built or underway, largely under control of Federal Government.

So that, for example, Shorehaven states in its sales blurb:
  • here, you'll experience true waterfront access like no other. Homesites in the Bluewater Release are located less than 1km from the stunning Shorehaven beach and 4 hectare Waterfront Park, which offers direct access to 1.7km of swimming beach and a beach cafe. 
  • Adding to the cosmopolitan feel, the future Coastal Village Centre will soon be taking shape, boasting shopping and dining options. 
  • Major shops, schools, entertainment and dining options can all be found close by within the expanding City of Joondalup, just a 20 minute drive away. 
  • Perth CBD is within easy reach, thanks to the nearby Butler Train Station. 
  • The new Mitchell Freeway extension has also put Perth only a 37 minute drive away. 
  • Plus, with a a range of contemporary house and land options available, tailormade for this unique coastal community, it's time to make your coastal dream a reality today at Shorehaven Coast.
Here are 3 house and land packages available...



This is a 3 bed, 2 bathroom home, with a double carport at the rear. Home size is 131 sq metres, land area is 210 sq metres. Stainless steel appliances, lockable Jason windows, 25 year structural guarantee, spacious master suite with walk in robe - as the blurb goes. Looking at the blurb for the whole development, land price would make up about half the whole price.


Also a 3 bedroom home. 2 bathrooms. Double garage at rear. Midland brick double clay brick construction. Bluescope Colorbond steel roof. Alfresco all-weather area under main roof. Gourmet galley style kitchen. Premium European styled stainless steel cooking appliances.

The floor-plan is shown to the left.


A 4 bedroom home. 2 bathrooms. Double garage at front. 202 sq metres of house on 375 sq metres of land. Incorporates a "secluded" home cinema etc.

You have to admit, these prices, and the amenity that comes with each home, makes what we do here in Auckland look pretty poor - and expensive - by comparison. When I asked the developers how they offered homes like these, at these prices, they didn't really have an answer. They didn't have a clue why new homes should be so pricey in Auckland, New Zealand. One thing was clear though - the central government involvement in land amalgamation, and the subsequent beauty contest with developers for the right to develop and market the homes and the rest of the development, gave government a lot of power when deciding which developer(s) would be partnered with for the development.

The story doesn't end there however, because while we on site we were also shown through two apartments. These were for sale between $300,000 and $400,000. You can see from the videos I shot their proximity to, and views of, the beach. Each apartment was two bedroom, two bathroom. One was two storey - one was single level.



Sunday, March 25, 2018

Submission: Panuku's AC36 Syndicate Hosting Application

The following is my submission to the Panuku resource consent applications BUN60313877 and BUN60313923 for America’s Cup 36 Base Infrastructure and Event, and Fishing Fleet & Ferry Relocation

Executive Summary

1. These submissions address the need to protect and maintain the internationally recognised
waterfront legacy that has been planned for and implemented over the past ten years at the
redeveloped part of Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, and the need to plan for and provide appropriate
land and coastal resources so that Auckland can reliably host and accommodate marine events in
future such as the Volvo Ocean Race and the America’s Cup.

2. Many different uses – including marine and fishing activities, residential developments,
commercial and retail developments, restaurants and entertainment, events, public open spaces -
compete for space and amenity on city centre waterfronts. The competing, changeable and
sometimes conflicting demands for these uses can lead to reverse sensitivity issues and other
environmental effects, all of which need to be carefully balanced and managed through robust and
reliable land use planning and regulation frameworks built up over time through stakeholder and
public participation.

3. While the current application to host America’s Cup syndicate bases on Halsey Wharf has the
potential to provide an expanded area on Halsey Wharf to host marine events in future, the proposal
should be declined because:

- Its consideration of alternatives failed to properly assess alternative location options on the
tankfarm/Wynyard Point headland/Wynyard wharf area, and failed to consider management
options for accommodating the America’s Cup event which distinguish between the boat
development phases of the event and the actual regattas.
- It seeks a ten-year consent duration for structures and facilities on Halsey Wharf that will have adverse effects which might be permitted for a temporary event (such as have been built to accommodate the Volvo Ocean Race event whose duration is one month) but are not acceptable in that location for ten years.
- It seeks an in-perpetuity consent for an extension to Hobson Wharf and a building structure for Team New Zealand.
- It requires the fishing fleet and Sealink ferry to be removed for up to ten years from their present locations on Halsey and North Wharves, adversely affecting the authenticity and working waterfront character of that part of Wynyard Quarter.
- It will incur un-necessary costs and additional environmental effects associated with
constructing buildings and infrastructure on land and in the coastal marine area on the
Western side of Wynyard Point to accommodate the relocated fishing fleet and Sealink Ferry service.

4. These submissions focus on the need for the Wynyard Quarter planning framework and resulting
natural resource allocations and infrastructure, to provide for the fishing industry, recreational boat
berthing, and the ability to host events such as America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race, with minimal
compromise and conflict.

Introduction and Discussion

5. I am an expert in the planning of Auckland’s regenerating waterfront particularly Queens Wharf,
Princes Wharf and Wynyard Quarter. I hold the degree of Masters in Planning Practice (University of
Auckland), and have practised as a planner advising Waterfront Auckland on waterfront planning
matters. I was an elected member of Auckland Regional Council (ARC) between 2004 and 2010 and
took a particular interest in the planning of Queens Wharf and Wynyard Quarter (then known as
Western Reclamation), after those waterfront assets were transferred to Auckland Regional Holdings
(ARH – an ARC entity), and when Sea + City was established and prepared the Urban Design
Framework for Wynyard Quarter. Between 2011 and 2015 I completed four years part-time
supervised doctoral research comparing the planning and implementation of urban waterfront
redevelopment projects and processes – particularly relating to public amenity and infrastructure - at
Auckland and Wellington.

6. I participated in two annual conferences in the USA (2013 and 2015) of the International
Waterfront Centre (See Appendix 1) which has recognised Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter planning and
implementation on two occasions, granting it top honour in 2012 where jury comments noted:
“Retention and celebration of the working waterfront has been a cardinal tenet of the Center from its
beginning. The harbor is the site of container shipping, ferry services and commercial fishing. In the
past these activities were conducted away from the public, despite their inherent attraction, but they
are now part of the public realm in Auckland and are integrated as attractions.”

7. In general, the Auckland Unitary Plan provisions for Wynyard Quarter have been carried over
from the Auckland District Plan and the ARC’s Regional Plan Coastal, whose provisions in turn were
established by Auckland City Council’s Wynyard Quarter Plan Change (Plan Change 4), and ARC’s Plan Change 2
to the Regional Plan Coastal. These plan changes attracted enormous interest and
participation, and were designed to give effect to the principles set out in the visioning documents
which at the time mainly consisted of the City Center Waterfront Masterplan 2009 and the Wynyard
Quarter Urban Design Framework 2007.

8. Many of the opportunities identified in these visioning documents competed against each other
which necessitated a very high degree of balancing in designing appropriate planning responses
through the plan change process which are now incorporated in the current planning provisions for
Wynyard Quarter. Subsequent proposals or refreshes to the future design or vision for Wynyard
Quarter have yet to be subject to an equivalent plan change process. A useful account of the history
of planning for Wynyard Quarter from the time it came into public ownership (non-Port), and March
2011 is contained in a paper by planners Nick Roberts and John Duguid (see Appendix 2) presented to the
New Zealand Planning Institute conference in March 2011.

9. For the purposes of this submission I focus on Principle 4 of the Wynyard Quarter Urban Design
Framework 2007 (UDF 2007), which is: “Promoting an Active and Working Waterfront”, and
explained: “The redevelopment of the Wynyard Quarter seeks to reinforce and support the regionally
important marine industries and fishing business on the waterfront”. The UDF 2007 breaks this
principle down into three responses:
3.4.1 Retain Existing and Create New Marine Uses
3.4.2 Accommodate Water Based Recreational Activity
3.4.3 Preserve Maritime Archaeology

10. The UDF 2007 describes the “fishing village” with the fishing fleet moored at Jellicoe and Viaduct Harbours.
It suggests that events/recreation/fishing fleet will all use Viaduct and Jellicoe Harbours (without distinguishing
between these users). And states that, “access to marine infrastructure and structures promotes an authentic
waterfront experience that will support the identity and character of the waterfront”, noting the specific “elements
of maritime archaeology retained include…existing buildings within Fish Market and on North Wharf”.

11. Appendix 3 charts in pictures the development of part of Wynyard Quarter. In particular it
depicts the relationship between the retained Net-Shed character building, North Wharf and the
fishing boats, which has been enabled and is protected by the relevant planning provisions. This
integration – where fishing boat berthage, character buildings, fish processing, fish restaurants, all
connected by the old concrete, wood and iron of North Wharf - is very much part of the “authentic
waterfront experience” at Wynyard Quarter that has attracted such international acclaim. Quoting
again from the 2012 International Waterfront Centre jury member comments in support of the top
honor award granted to the Wynyard Quarter project, “people are inherently attracted to gritty
industrial waterfronts and yet, ‘contemporary waterfront redevelopments are often defined by the
removal of these characteristics’. One Center member has called this the ‘perfuming’ of our
waterfronts.”

12. Panuku’s proposal to relocate the fishing fleet onto the Western edge of Wynyard Point, for ten
years or more, will – in my opinion – adversely affect the authentic waterfront experience which is
one of the key waterfront legacies of the visioning documents and planning processes that
underpinned the redevelopment of this portion of Wynyard Quarter. While the planning documents
and planning provisions explicitly recognise events, it is not the intention of those provisions for
events to be provided for at the expense of the fishing fleet and the amenity it provides and the
contribution it makes to the authenticity of Auckland’s working waterfront.

13. Appendix 4 contains a photomontage of the village and hosting environment created on
Auckland’s waterfront for the recent Volvo Ocean Race stop-over. There were 6 boats or syndicates in 
this one-month event and a major presence by Volvo. Various popup buildings were constructed on Halsey Wharf
(on the extension that was built in 2003 as part of Auckland’s hosting of the America’s Cup event that year),
on Te Whero Island, and within Karanga Plaza, and the entire Maritime Event Centre was used to accommodate
workshops and equipment storage and maintenance facilities for each syndicate. This is clearly the kind of yachting
event that Auckland can host without fuss, on public space, with considerable public support, and because it is
temporary and does not require significant changes to, or additions to, underlying infrastructure, there is general
stakeholder acceptance and considerable public enjoyment.

14. Halsey Wharf was developed, expanded and used to host the 2003 America’s Cup defence.
Syndicate bases occupied the wharf space at the site that is now being used to build the Fu Wah
luxury hotel, several other syndicate buildings occupied the wharf space now occupied by what was
originally named The Marine Event Centre – and is now known as The Viaduct Event Centre, and
others occupied space at the end of Halsey Wharf which is currently open space used by the fishing
fleet. The current application proposes another extension of Halsey Wharf to host syndicate bases for
the 2021 America’s Cup event and through constructing more durable and long-lasting structure to
potentially host the America’s Cup in 2025 should Team New Zealand retain the Cup.

15. All of the Wynyard Quarter planning – prior to New Zealand winning the America’s Cup in June
2017 – has explicitly recognised the need to provide for recreational, event and fishing related boats
and boating activities. However the current planning framework has not effectively planned and
provided for resources that can or will meet those reasonably foreseeable needs in ways which
recognise that those different activities can be in conflict with each other (eg the current proposal for
which consent is sought considers that ferry and fishing fleet activities cannot operate as they
currently do, because they will conflict with the proposal’s America’s Cup event operational
requirements for ten years), except perhaps for temporary activities. Effective event hosting
resources have existed in the past, but the planning framework has enabled that event infrastructure
to be taken and developed for other uses, forcing today’s stakeholders to consider options that will
require further reclamation of seabed and taking of water space. The current requirement is an
opportunity to address that planning shortfall and deliver on the original Principle 4 (set out above)
by ensuring the reasonable protection and expansion of fishing industry requirements which are part
of the working waterfront vision, by establishing reasonable resources for hosting future events on
the Wynyard Quarter, and by providing reasonable berthage for recreational vessels, and minimise
the environmental and financial costs associated with further reclamation or the construction of
additional or new structures over the inner harbour seabed.

16. That opportunity has not been taken up by Panuku in the current application which has not
considered in its options assessment resources potentially available for the purpose of hosting events
that exist on Wynyard Point, some of which are encumbered with issues including leases and the risk
of contaminated land. This is unfortunate. Even while I was an ARC councillor, the dream of a
headland park on Wynyard Point was compelling, and anything that could be done to make that a
reality was highly attractive. However it appears to me from consideration of documents released to
me under LGOIMA, that Panuku’s consideration of this matter shifted from when it was the
responsibility of Waterfront Auckland (which has since been absorbed into Panuku), so that greater
emphasis has been placed on the need to derive revenues from Wynyard Point rather than to deliver
public amenity outcomes. For example Panuku has considered the option of extending current leases
on storage tank facilities, rather than shortening them which would enable the more rapid delivery of
public open space, and it has focussed on optimising revenues from potential developments there. It
may be that Panuku’s economic drivers prevented it from considering the option of locating
America’s Cup syndicate bases on Wynyard Point or on Wynyard Wharf because of the risk that might pose
to its revenue streams.

17. These considerations are all part of the weighing and balancing across all principles which
include commercial development design considerations. However, now that the Minister the Hon
David Parker has intervened, and has – if the media is to be believed – commenced negotiations with
a significant leaseholder to shorten storage tank and related land leases and so vacate Wynyard Point
sites and reduce demands for Wynyard Wharf in time to develop resources which can be used to host
America’s Cup syndicate bases, then that option must now be on the table.

18. In order for that option to deliver a legacy for Auckland, so that resources can be established
which in the long term can be used to host marine events – including events which have a longer
timeframe than (for example) the Volvo Ocean Race presence in Auckland – then careful
consideration must be given to potential adjacent activities (such as medium density housing or other
building development), so that reverse sensitivity and other conflicts cannot in future restrict its
reasonable use for marine events.

19. Various public statements from objectors to the current proposal have criticised its industrial
character, asserting that it would re-industrialise Halsey Wharf. Descriptions of what is proposed, and
what activities can be expected during the ten years sought for the America’s Cup syndicate base
occupation, appear to be on a different scale to what is occurring there in connection with the
hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race. The pre-race boat development, prototyping of technical systems,
and fine-tuning after sea-trials with this new America’s Cup boat design, will take time, and require
secrecy – and in all likelihood syndicates will proceed at their own pace, preferably out of the public
spot-light. This kind of activity is completely different to what happens during a regatta when there
are races everyday, when the public eye is firmly directed at the event, and when the village
atmosphere is at its most intense. Locating this development activity within or adjacent to a more
industrial part of Wynyard Quarter might be appropriate. The present marine industry is mainly
centered and located on the western edge and southern end of Wynyard Point. A yachting event
marine cluster – with temporary buildings along the lines of those built to house syndicates in 2003 -
could locate across the south end of Wynyard Wharf, across Brigham Street, taking up tank farm land
to Hamer Street. It could form the event space for buildings housing an International Yachting Centre
(providing space for Team NZ), forming an urban sleeve between the event space and proposed
residential development, and mitigating reverse sensitivity concerns.

20. Panuku and Auckland Council have been “refreshing” various planning and vision documents.
Plans relating to Wynyard Point were refreshed as part of this process prior to New Zealand winning
the America’s Cup, and this has resulted in a proposed realignment of headland park land and the
establishment of a broad linear park running from Jellicoe Street, parallel and adjacent to Wynyard
Wharf and apparently replacing Brigham Street, and adjoining the Headland Park space proposed for
northern end of Wynyard Point. Proposed development sites line the western edge of this linear park.
Panuku documents indicate that consideration is being given to some sort of public or community
facility (not an iconic building) being part of this development – though any detail has been withheld
from documents released to me under LGOIMA.

21. The planning framework refresh for Wynyard Point needs more refreshing so that the part of
Auckland’s waterfront that is centered around the Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter continues to protect
and develop the fishing industry, provides for recreational mooring and berthage, and is able to
reliably and sustainably host marine events ranging from the Volvo Ocean Race to the America’s Cup.

ENDS

PS: If you want my whole submission - with the four appendicees in a pdf file - just send me an email and I'll send it:  joel.cayford@gmail.com

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Murals - Not Advertising Signage

Readers will be painfully aware of the visual pollution evident throughout Auckland streets - where there is commercial activity - because of our city's highly permissive rules on advertising and signage. It's not until you visit cities which regulate instead in favour of architecture and street art that you see what might be possible in a repainted Auckland.

I've just included here 3 street scenes each from Austin Texas and New Orleans Louisiana. Please note that each set of these pictures is from a single street. Cesar Chavez Street in Austin, and St. Claude Street, New Orleans.

First: Cesar Chavez Street in Austin...




(I am aware these don't do justice to Austin's street art, but they give a flavour.)

And, St Claude Street, New Orleans...




In Auckland, an enlightened street art policy would enable its Pacific and Polynesian culture to be much more on display than at present. Many benefits can be envisaged. The current dominance of international brands would be slowly replaced by imagery reflecting local culture.

Driverless Bus in Perth

Another field trip at the PIA (Planning Institute of Australia) conference held in May in Perth. This time to learn about Australia's first driverless electric shuttle.

The Royal Autoclub of Australia, with support from West Australia State Government and the City of Perth is trialling a fully driverless electric shuttle bus on a small route in a part of urban Perth. Groups of delegates were able to experience this service, and be briefed on how it works, and what it's safety features are. For many of us this was quite an education into driverless vehicle technology.



The RAC "Intellibus" is a level 4 vehicle. It uses LIDAR, stereovision cameras, GPS and odometry to drive itself. It is fitted with multi-sensory technology providing 3D perception that allows it to map the environment along its route, detect obstacles and interpret traffic signs.

You can learn more from this site.

Here's a wee video of part of my trip in it....



Texas Property Files


During my recent trip to New Orleans I spent a week in Austin, Texas. There for music and culture and a bit of an explore. Prior to this trip I had attended the PIA planning conference in Perth where I met Chris O'Connor - an Aussie planner currently working in Austin. He spoke to conference about "Keeping Austin Wierd" - one of the city's most popular slogans - and one which represents a culture which can make change (and it's planning, and planning for growth and development) difficult.



My trip to Austin was already planned, so I thought I'd touch base with Chris when I got there, to try and get to grips with property prices and systems there. (Can't keep a planner down - even on holiday). I stayed at an AirBnB located in Canterbury Street, Austin. The googlestreetview image above gives quite a good idea of how this quiet residential street looks. From here to the CBD and music haunts etc is only 2 or 3 miles. Takes minutes to drive there. And there's a bus service not far away too. (Interestingly, Austin is really pro-cycling.... have to include here pic of great cycle/coffee cafe that's on the way to town...)



I asked Chris for information or links that would help me get a handle on what houses were selling for, how much land cost, and what property taxes were. He was really helpful, providing this information...
The East Side where you are staying is definitely a great spot to be given the types of things you’re looking to experience. The East Side is historically one of the lower-socioeconomic parts of town, but given how close it is to the city and relative affordability, there’s definitely a lot of renewal going on like what you have seen – as a result, the property prices have gone bananas in recent years.
I live on the other side of town down south, so I’m not entirely in specific tune with what the property values and construction costs would be. But I took a quick scan through Zillow and here’s a snapshot of real estate on the market in the 78702 area:
Established Homes:
Land & Future Home:
Land
Zillow is actually a really good resource generally, as they sometimes have historic sales data if you know specific addresses. Sometime if you just Google the address, Zillow will be the first result that pops up. Happy browsing!
Property information is also able to be publicly viewed in Texas – you can head to the Travis County Appraisal District property search portal here: http://propaccess.traviscad.org/clientdb/?cid=1 and just punch in the address of the property you want to look at. It will give you a lot of info including ownership, the latest appraised value and the associated taxes.
You can learn a lot here, but also about the way the USA provides property data to the public. The links above will gradually go out of date - as properties are sold/taken off the market. So be in quick, or go straight to "Zillow". I was particularly interested in how public information was made available. So I checked out Travis County Appraisal systems...


I suggest you give it a try. The link is here. You can type in any of the street addresses listed above - just the number and the street name - and away you go. Interesting, and easy for the public. The link to the main Travis County Appraisal District website is here.

Friday, June 8, 2018

New Orleans: French or Spanish?


I spent a wonderful week in New Orleans in May 2018. This posting reflects the little learning I picked up while there about the urban morphology of the French Quarter part of New Orleans in particular. I was there to immerse myself in local music - blues, soul, jazz - but there's so much more to experience and learn about here. (You will see my other post here about Katrina.).

One of the questions in my mind after walking around the streets of the French Quarter, was why so much of the architecture felt Spanish, when the whole place was known as the French Quarter. Check out these streetscapes....




This useful article notes:
Although New Orleans’ early residents were indeed French, the architecture of the French Quarter is actually Spanish. To pay a war debt, France gave up control of Louisiana to Spain, who controlled the colony from 1763 until 1803. 
Several fires destroyed the original French architecture of the Vieux Carré during Spain’s forty-year rule of New Orleans, so the charm presently found at the heart of New Orleans can be credited to the Spanish from when their administrators rebuilt the city.  
The flat-tiled roofs, tropical colors, and ornate ironwork of the French Quarter are Iberian touches brought from across the Atlantic. In order to prevent fires, the Spanish-controlled government mandated that stucco replace wood for construction material and that all buildings be placed near the street and near each other. Where there used to be yards and open spaces surrounding buildings, the French Quarter was now rendered both more intimate and more secretive, with continuous façades, arched passageways, and gorgeous rear gardens and courtyards hidden from street-view.
The map (above) was one of the exhibits at the Cabildo Museum, on Jackson Square, heart of the old French Quarter. You will see the red area described as "Nueva Espana". New Orleans is located just above the compass sign, in the heart of Louisiana, and in Nueva Espana. Many of the streets in the French Quarter also have signs giving some explanation...


Here's how the original "French Quarter" was planned in 1728...


You can see that what is now known as Jackson Square (the park area by the Cathedral), fronted onto the Mississipi. There were other ideas at the time, because of threats posed by foreign vessels (including English ships) approaching up the Mississippi. Like this....


The legend that goes with this map image, reads like this:
Philip Pittman, “A Plan of New Orleans.” Watercolor, pen and ink, [1765]. Thomas Gage Papers. Map Division, Maps 8-L-13
By the time New Orleans was transferred from French to Spanish control under the 1763 treaty of Paris, it could boast a bastioned enceinte (surrounding enclosure), though it lacked the ditch, glacis, and outworks that would have made it possible to resist an attack by artillery. As with many fortified places, each bastion was identified by a name.
Pittman’s plan was drawn to provide information to British forces that had recently taken possession of neighboring West Florida.
It is information like this, which can be pieced together from books and museum exhibits, that enable visitors to build up a picture of how this rather wonderful and interesting city came about. An extraordinary mix of French and Spanish colonial history, with a smattering of local Creole, and a background of New Orleans being a centre of the black slave trade.

Another map, this one shows urban morphology changes after the first layout of "French Quarter", and subsequent urban expansion...


The shape of the original "French Quarter" is clearly visible. Then on either side similar street layouts are visible as New Orleans expanded - with the dark areas being built in 1841. The fainter lines show the new street networks planned by 1880.

One of the other very interesting pieces of the New Orleans puzzle is the Battle of New Orleans - one of the centre-piece battles in the US War of Independence. The role of the French and Spanish and local Creole populations in working together to resist the English Motherland's desire for control of the area and surrounding seas, and to enable the revolting local English-speaking colonists to defeat the English army is intriguing to say the least. A useful account of some of this is here, and includes information like:
In 1777 Benjamin Franklin, American
representative in France, arranged for the secret
transport from Spain to the colonies of 215
bronze cannons; 4,000 tents; 13,000 grenades;
30,000 muskets, bayonetes, and uniforms; over
50,000 musket balls and 300,000 poiunds of
gunpowder....
This is a never-ending story, but this post ends here. Recommendation: a great place to visit. Fascinating. And I haven't mentioned the live music venues, the food, the creativity...

And just a little bit of jazz





New Orleans and Katrina

Visited New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. Stayed in French Quarter. Spent a couple of day trips exploring the area of New Orleans hardest hit by Katrina floods - known as Lower 9th. It's taken a while to get my head around the geography, so I've put a few maps here to explain...

New Orleans is the main city of the state of Louisiana. Flood and storm damage threats to New Orleans come from two directions. To the immediate north of New Orleans is Lake Ponchartrain - the storm surge from Katrina came from here. To the immediate south is the Mississippi River which is prone to flood. (While it's a big river, on average its annual flow is just 8% of the Amazon River). What is evident driving into New Orleans and through the surrounding region of Louisiana is how flat the topography is. In effect it's a river delta formed by sediments and alluvial material washed down there by the Mississippi. The New Orleans urban environment is amazingly flat.

This map shows the main urban centre of New Orleans, and the various canal systems that have been built over time to direct water between the lake and the river, and for navigation. The canals are all bounded by levy wall/bank systems to keep the water and any flood out of the city. The lake edge and the river edge are also lined with banks and walls. Because the urban environment is so flat, stormwater drainage - when it rains hard - is also an issue. There's a lot of interesting history about how New Orleans even came to be built there, and became the chosen site of capital of Lousiana, mainly because of the efforts of a French Governor (Bienville) and a French engineer (Pauger). Bienville's men began clearing vegetation (remember this was mostly swamp and river delta) in March/April 1718 - 300 years ago (the tricentennial was celebrated this year). Apparently, the decisions about the location of the capital was based on a headcount. At the time New Orleans was a centre of the black slave trade. The slave population, combined with those who built and lived in the so-called "French Quarter", tipped the balance in favour of New Orleans. Anyway - I do digress. A key role of the slave population was the construction of flood barriers to stop the Mississippi course snaking in different courses when it flooded.

This map (which is worth clicking) is one of many available in the aftermath of Katrina. One of the worst affected areas was the Lower Ninth Ward. This area was affected because the levy lining the adjacent canal failed. I talked to several residents about this - one of the stories that's live is that a barge had not been properly moored, and in the hurricane it moved across the canal, banged into the concrete levy wall, and broke it. There's  picture of it sitting on top of houses after the flood waters pushed it over/through the levy wall and into the Lower Ninth Ward residential suburb. Interestingly, the land where that suburb is was not developed in the early centuries by the French or Spanish as it was swamp land. The land was subsequently drained and water pumped out. This caused the land level to drop as its organic soil base dried out and shrank. The upshot being that parts of the Lower Ninth Ward were/are 6 to 10 feet below sea level. When the levy broke that suburb became a "bowl" holding the floodwater, a bowl that had nowhere to drain to. It had to be pumped out. It was full of floodwater for weeks and months after Katrina. There's a lot of post-Katrina planning criticism of decisions to develop drained swamplands for residential housing....

This picture shows the barge in the foreground, and the broken section of the levy. The water in the foreground is the "Industrial Canal" shown in the maps. The housing (that remains) is in the suburban area of Lower Ninth Ward.

This map shows the French Quarter (bottom left) and Lower Ninth Ward. I took some video and photos at the viewpoints 1, 2 and 3. (Where "3" is pretty close to where the barge ended up after Katrina.)



These two clips were recorded around "3". They show suburban blocks without houses (apart from a few brick built ones that were allowed to remain), empty streets, and generally rundown environment. (Note this is 12 years after Katrina). I learned about the ill-facted "make it right" campaign triggered by Brad Pitt and seeded by his money. Some residents were provided with zaney architectural houses which were designed to float next time it flooded. Problem was they were built of composite board, which, in the local damp conditions, have walls that have rotted through.




These images show the memorial plaque erected near "3" on the map. It records that US Army Corp built levy structures failed, and that new regulations resulted for the future. Around this area a number of houses were being developed and constructed. These are shown below. You can see the attempts made to lift the structures above future envisaged flood levels.








This video was shot at "2" in the map. It pans from the bridge/stormwater structure (blue), across the Industrial Canal, to the levy wall (now repaired of course), and shows some of houses behind (which are all on land 5 feet or so below normal sea level).

And, the video clip below shows what happened in the street where my BnB was (in the middle of the FrenchQuarter) after a reasonably good thunderstorm....



Bad rap for Auckland public transport

I was following up an NZ Herald newslink, and stumbled across this World Economic Forum research into relative/comparative global city costs of commuting using public transport. It's apparently based on the cost of a one month ticket. You can see it here.

The key information is contained in this table....


Auckland fares badly, according to this international measure.

Interestingly, the link to this story came from another World Economic Forum article about the rollout of free public transport in Estonia. A success story according to this account.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Crazy Prices: Home and Land in Perth

I attended the Planning Institute of Australia conference held in Perth 9th-11th of May 2018. In my role as Policy Adviser to NZ Planning Institute I've also been to the previous conferences held in Sydney (2017) and Brisbane (2016). Increasingly, the topic of housing affordability and rapid urbanisation has moved to the top of the conference programme.

The focus of this posting is a field trip I did. It looked at the rapid urban growth occurring north of Perth, in and around an area called Alkimos. Alkimos is a coastal suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located 42 kilometres north-northwest of Perth's central business district. It is part of the City of Wanneroo local government area.

The journey is an essential part of all good planning field trips. This one was no exception....


In actual fact the field trip started with a $5 train trip up the line from Elizabeth Quay Station on the Perth waterfront. Then came the bike. Then a planner briefing. Then a bus trip to a developer's office...



I put on one of those hats, then we went into the coastal suburbs that are being built, at pace. This video gives a flavour of the look and feel of these suburbs....



We spent most of our time on the field trip learning about the Shorehaven part of Alkimos, (See: shorehaven.com.au), and learning from one of the developers (See: peet.com.au). It's difficult to summarise it all for a posting, but the picture that emerges is that State/Federal Government agencies work to consolidate land packages, and then seek a partnership with a developer which must indicate how it will deliver on various development objectives (amount of public open space, providing for amenity such as retail and commercial development and employment opportunities, sale price of home + land packages). All planning for access to central rail (fast electric) and to state freeway is in place, and much of that transport infrastructure is either built or underway, largely under control of Federal Government.

So that, for example, Shorehaven states in its sales blurb:
  • here, you'll experience true waterfront access like no other. Homesites in the Bluewater Release are located less than 1km from the stunning Shorehaven beach and 4 hectare Waterfront Park, which offers direct access to 1.7km of swimming beach and a beach cafe. 
  • Adding to the cosmopolitan feel, the future Coastal Village Centre will soon be taking shape, boasting shopping and dining options. 
  • Major shops, schools, entertainment and dining options can all be found close by within the expanding City of Joondalup, just a 20 minute drive away. 
  • Perth CBD is within easy reach, thanks to the nearby Butler Train Station. 
  • The new Mitchell Freeway extension has also put Perth only a 37 minute drive away. 
  • Plus, with a a range of contemporary house and land options available, tailormade for this unique coastal community, it's time to make your coastal dream a reality today at Shorehaven Coast.
Here are 3 house and land packages available...



This is a 3 bed, 2 bathroom home, with a double carport at the rear. Home size is 131 sq metres, land area is 210 sq metres. Stainless steel appliances, lockable Jason windows, 25 year structural guarantee, spacious master suite with walk in robe - as the blurb goes. Looking at the blurb for the whole development, land price would make up about half the whole price.


Also a 3 bedroom home. 2 bathrooms. Double garage at rear. Midland brick double clay brick construction. Bluescope Colorbond steel roof. Alfresco all-weather area under main roof. Gourmet galley style kitchen. Premium European styled stainless steel cooking appliances.

The floor-plan is shown to the left.


A 4 bedroom home. 2 bathrooms. Double garage at front. 202 sq metres of house on 375 sq metres of land. Incorporates a "secluded" home cinema etc.

You have to admit, these prices, and the amenity that comes with each home, makes what we do here in Auckland look pretty poor - and expensive - by comparison. When I asked the developers how they offered homes like these, at these prices, they didn't really have an answer. They didn't have a clue why new homes should be so pricey in Auckland, New Zealand. One thing was clear though - the central government involvement in land amalgamation, and the subsequent beauty contest with developers for the right to develop and market the homes and the rest of the development, gave government a lot of power when deciding which developer(s) would be partnered with for the development.

The story doesn't end there however, because while we on site we were also shown through two apartments. These were for sale between $300,000 and $400,000. You can see from the videos I shot their proximity to, and views of, the beach. Each apartment was two bedroom, two bathroom. One was two storey - one was single level.



Sunday, March 25, 2018

Submission: Panuku's AC36 Syndicate Hosting Application

The following is my submission to the Panuku resource consent applications BUN60313877 and BUN60313923 for America’s Cup 36 Base Infrastructure and Event, and Fishing Fleet & Ferry Relocation

Executive Summary

1. These submissions address the need to protect and maintain the internationally recognised
waterfront legacy that has been planned for and implemented over the past ten years at the
redeveloped part of Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, and the need to plan for and provide appropriate
land and coastal resources so that Auckland can reliably host and accommodate marine events in
future such as the Volvo Ocean Race and the America’s Cup.

2. Many different uses – including marine and fishing activities, residential developments,
commercial and retail developments, restaurants and entertainment, events, public open spaces -
compete for space and amenity on city centre waterfronts. The competing, changeable and
sometimes conflicting demands for these uses can lead to reverse sensitivity issues and other
environmental effects, all of which need to be carefully balanced and managed through robust and
reliable land use planning and regulation frameworks built up over time through stakeholder and
public participation.

3. While the current application to host America’s Cup syndicate bases on Halsey Wharf has the
potential to provide an expanded area on Halsey Wharf to host marine events in future, the proposal
should be declined because:

- Its consideration of alternatives failed to properly assess alternative location options on the
tankfarm/Wynyard Point headland/Wynyard wharf area, and failed to consider management
options for accommodating the America’s Cup event which distinguish between the boat
development phases of the event and the actual regattas.
- It seeks a ten-year consent duration for structures and facilities on Halsey Wharf that will have adverse effects which might be permitted for a temporary event (such as have been built to accommodate the Volvo Ocean Race event whose duration is one month) but are not acceptable in that location for ten years.
- It seeks an in-perpetuity consent for an extension to Hobson Wharf and a building structure for Team New Zealand.
- It requires the fishing fleet and Sealink ferry to be removed for up to ten years from their present locations on Halsey and North Wharves, adversely affecting the authenticity and working waterfront character of that part of Wynyard Quarter.
- It will incur un-necessary costs and additional environmental effects associated with
constructing buildings and infrastructure on land and in the coastal marine area on the
Western side of Wynyard Point to accommodate the relocated fishing fleet and Sealink Ferry service.

4. These submissions focus on the need for the Wynyard Quarter planning framework and resulting
natural resource allocations and infrastructure, to provide for the fishing industry, recreational boat
berthing, and the ability to host events such as America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race, with minimal
compromise and conflict.

Introduction and Discussion

5. I am an expert in the planning of Auckland’s regenerating waterfront particularly Queens Wharf,
Princes Wharf and Wynyard Quarter. I hold the degree of Masters in Planning Practice (University of
Auckland), and have practised as a planner advising Waterfront Auckland on waterfront planning
matters. I was an elected member of Auckland Regional Council (ARC) between 2004 and 2010 and
took a particular interest in the planning of Queens Wharf and Wynyard Quarter (then known as
Western Reclamation), after those waterfront assets were transferred to Auckland Regional Holdings
(ARH – an ARC entity), and when Sea + City was established and prepared the Urban Design
Framework for Wynyard Quarter. Between 2011 and 2015 I completed four years part-time
supervised doctoral research comparing the planning and implementation of urban waterfront
redevelopment projects and processes – particularly relating to public amenity and infrastructure - at
Auckland and Wellington.

6. I participated in two annual conferences in the USA (2013 and 2015) of the International
Waterfront Centre (See Appendix 1) which has recognised Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter planning and
implementation on two occasions, granting it top honour in 2012 where jury comments noted:
“Retention and celebration of the working waterfront has been a cardinal tenet of the Center from its
beginning. The harbor is the site of container shipping, ferry services and commercial fishing. In the
past these activities were conducted away from the public, despite their inherent attraction, but they
are now part of the public realm in Auckland and are integrated as attractions.”

7. In general, the Auckland Unitary Plan provisions for Wynyard Quarter have been carried over
from the Auckland District Plan and the ARC’s Regional Plan Coastal, whose provisions in turn were
established by Auckland City Council’s Wynyard Quarter Plan Change (Plan Change 4), and ARC’s Plan Change 2
to the Regional Plan Coastal. These plan changes attracted enormous interest and
participation, and were designed to give effect to the principles set out in the visioning documents
which at the time mainly consisted of the City Center Waterfront Masterplan 2009 and the Wynyard
Quarter Urban Design Framework 2007.

8. Many of the opportunities identified in these visioning documents competed against each other
which necessitated a very high degree of balancing in designing appropriate planning responses
through the plan change process which are now incorporated in the current planning provisions for
Wynyard Quarter. Subsequent proposals or refreshes to the future design or vision for Wynyard
Quarter have yet to be subject to an equivalent plan change process. A useful account of the history
of planning for Wynyard Quarter from the time it came into public ownership (non-Port), and March
2011 is contained in a paper by planners Nick Roberts and John Duguid (see Appendix 2) presented to the
New Zealand Planning Institute conference in March 2011.

9. For the purposes of this submission I focus on Principle 4 of the Wynyard Quarter Urban Design
Framework 2007 (UDF 2007), which is: “Promoting an Active and Working Waterfront”, and
explained: “The redevelopment of the Wynyard Quarter seeks to reinforce and support the regionally
important marine industries and fishing business on the waterfront”. The UDF 2007 breaks this
principle down into three responses:
3.4.1 Retain Existing and Create New Marine Uses
3.4.2 Accommodate Water Based Recreational Activity
3.4.3 Preserve Maritime Archaeology

10. The UDF 2007 describes the “fishing village” with the fishing fleet moored at Jellicoe and Viaduct Harbours.
It suggests that events/recreation/fishing fleet will all use Viaduct and Jellicoe Harbours (without distinguishing
between these users). And states that, “access to marine infrastructure and structures promotes an authentic
waterfront experience that will support the identity and character of the waterfront”, noting the specific “elements
of maritime archaeology retained include…existing buildings within Fish Market and on North Wharf”.

11. Appendix 3 charts in pictures the development of part of Wynyard Quarter. In particular it
depicts the relationship between the retained Net-Shed character building, North Wharf and the
fishing boats, which has been enabled and is protected by the relevant planning provisions. This
integration – where fishing boat berthage, character buildings, fish processing, fish restaurants, all
connected by the old concrete, wood and iron of North Wharf - is very much part of the “authentic
waterfront experience” at Wynyard Quarter that has attracted such international acclaim. Quoting
again from the 2012 International Waterfront Centre jury member comments in support of the top
honor award granted to the Wynyard Quarter project, “people are inherently attracted to gritty
industrial waterfronts and yet, ‘contemporary waterfront redevelopments are often defined by the
removal of these characteristics’. One Center member has called this the ‘perfuming’ of our
waterfronts.”

12. Panuku’s proposal to relocate the fishing fleet onto the Western edge of Wynyard Point, for ten
years or more, will – in my opinion – adversely affect the authentic waterfront experience which is
one of the key waterfront legacies of the visioning documents and planning processes that
underpinned the redevelopment of this portion of Wynyard Quarter. While the planning documents
and planning provisions explicitly recognise events, it is not the intention of those provisions for
events to be provided for at the expense of the fishing fleet and the amenity it provides and the
contribution it makes to the authenticity of Auckland’s working waterfront.

13. Appendix 4 contains a photomontage of the village and hosting environment created on
Auckland’s waterfront for the recent Volvo Ocean Race stop-over. There were 6 boats or syndicates in 
this one-month event and a major presence by Volvo. Various popup buildings were constructed on Halsey Wharf
(on the extension that was built in 2003 as part of Auckland’s hosting of the America’s Cup event that year),
on Te Whero Island, and within Karanga Plaza, and the entire Maritime Event Centre was used to accommodate
workshops and equipment storage and maintenance facilities for each syndicate. This is clearly the kind of yachting
event that Auckland can host without fuss, on public space, with considerable public support, and because it is
temporary and does not require significant changes to, or additions to, underlying infrastructure, there is general
stakeholder acceptance and considerable public enjoyment.

14. Halsey Wharf was developed, expanded and used to host the 2003 America’s Cup defence.
Syndicate bases occupied the wharf space at the site that is now being used to build the Fu Wah
luxury hotel, several other syndicate buildings occupied the wharf space now occupied by what was
originally named The Marine Event Centre – and is now known as The Viaduct Event Centre, and
others occupied space at the end of Halsey Wharf which is currently open space used by the fishing
fleet. The current application proposes another extension of Halsey Wharf to host syndicate bases for
the 2021 America’s Cup event and through constructing more durable and long-lasting structure to
potentially host the America’s Cup in 2025 should Team New Zealand retain the Cup.

15. All of the Wynyard Quarter planning – prior to New Zealand winning the America’s Cup in June
2017 – has explicitly recognised the need to provide for recreational, event and fishing related boats
and boating activities. However the current planning framework has not effectively planned and
provided for resources that can or will meet those reasonably foreseeable needs in ways which
recognise that those different activities can be in conflict with each other (eg the current proposal for
which consent is sought considers that ferry and fishing fleet activities cannot operate as they
currently do, because they will conflict with the proposal’s America’s Cup event operational
requirements for ten years), except perhaps for temporary activities. Effective event hosting
resources have existed in the past, but the planning framework has enabled that event infrastructure
to be taken and developed for other uses, forcing today’s stakeholders to consider options that will
require further reclamation of seabed and taking of water space. The current requirement is an
opportunity to address that planning shortfall and deliver on the original Principle 4 (set out above)
by ensuring the reasonable protection and expansion of fishing industry requirements which are part
of the working waterfront vision, by establishing reasonable resources for hosting future events on
the Wynyard Quarter, and by providing reasonable berthage for recreational vessels, and minimise
the environmental and financial costs associated with further reclamation or the construction of
additional or new structures over the inner harbour seabed.

16. That opportunity has not been taken up by Panuku in the current application which has not
considered in its options assessment resources potentially available for the purpose of hosting events
that exist on Wynyard Point, some of which are encumbered with issues including leases and the risk
of contaminated land. This is unfortunate. Even while I was an ARC councillor, the dream of a
headland park on Wynyard Point was compelling, and anything that could be done to make that a
reality was highly attractive. However it appears to me from consideration of documents released to
me under LGOIMA, that Panuku’s consideration of this matter shifted from when it was the
responsibility of Waterfront Auckland (which has since been absorbed into Panuku), so that greater
emphasis has been placed on the need to derive revenues from Wynyard Point rather than to deliver
public amenity outcomes. For example Panuku has considered the option of extending current leases
on storage tank facilities, rather than shortening them which would enable the more rapid delivery of
public open space, and it has focussed on optimising revenues from potential developments there. It
may be that Panuku’s economic drivers prevented it from considering the option of locating
America’s Cup syndicate bases on Wynyard Point or on Wynyard Wharf because of the risk that might pose
to its revenue streams.

17. These considerations are all part of the weighing and balancing across all principles which
include commercial development design considerations. However, now that the Minister the Hon
David Parker has intervened, and has – if the media is to be believed – commenced negotiations with
a significant leaseholder to shorten storage tank and related land leases and so vacate Wynyard Point
sites and reduce demands for Wynyard Wharf in time to develop resources which can be used to host
America’s Cup syndicate bases, then that option must now be on the table.

18. In order for that option to deliver a legacy for Auckland, so that resources can be established
which in the long term can be used to host marine events – including events which have a longer
timeframe than (for example) the Volvo Ocean Race presence in Auckland – then careful
consideration must be given to potential adjacent activities (such as medium density housing or other
building development), so that reverse sensitivity and other conflicts cannot in future restrict its
reasonable use for marine events.

19. Various public statements from objectors to the current proposal have criticised its industrial
character, asserting that it would re-industrialise Halsey Wharf. Descriptions of what is proposed, and
what activities can be expected during the ten years sought for the America’s Cup syndicate base
occupation, appear to be on a different scale to what is occurring there in connection with the
hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race. The pre-race boat development, prototyping of technical systems,
and fine-tuning after sea-trials with this new America’s Cup boat design, will take time, and require
secrecy – and in all likelihood syndicates will proceed at their own pace, preferably out of the public
spot-light. This kind of activity is completely different to what happens during a regatta when there
are races everyday, when the public eye is firmly directed at the event, and when the village
atmosphere is at its most intense. Locating this development activity within or adjacent to a more
industrial part of Wynyard Quarter might be appropriate. The present marine industry is mainly
centered and located on the western edge and southern end of Wynyard Point. A yachting event
marine cluster – with temporary buildings along the lines of those built to house syndicates in 2003 -
could locate across the south end of Wynyard Wharf, across Brigham Street, taking up tank farm land
to Hamer Street. It could form the event space for buildings housing an International Yachting Centre
(providing space for Team NZ), forming an urban sleeve between the event space and proposed
residential development, and mitigating reverse sensitivity concerns.

20. Panuku and Auckland Council have been “refreshing” various planning and vision documents.
Plans relating to Wynyard Point were refreshed as part of this process prior to New Zealand winning
the America’s Cup, and this has resulted in a proposed realignment of headland park land and the
establishment of a broad linear park running from Jellicoe Street, parallel and adjacent to Wynyard
Wharf and apparently replacing Brigham Street, and adjoining the Headland Park space proposed for
northern end of Wynyard Point. Proposed development sites line the western edge of this linear park.
Panuku documents indicate that consideration is being given to some sort of public or community
facility (not an iconic building) being part of this development – though any detail has been withheld
from documents released to me under LGOIMA.

21. The planning framework refresh for Wynyard Point needs more refreshing so that the part of
Auckland’s waterfront that is centered around the Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter continues to protect
and develop the fishing industry, provides for recreational mooring and berthage, and is able to
reliably and sustainably host marine events ranging from the Volvo Ocean Race to the America’s Cup.

ENDS

PS: If you want my whole submission - with the four appendicees in a pdf file - just send me an email and I'll send it:  joel.cayford@gmail.com