Experienced, passionate and energetic ward Councillor Cathy Casey is running with Mark Graham for the Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa ward
Cr Cathy Casey
I consider it a privilege to serve the people of Albert-Eden-Roskill* as ward councillor. I live locally and every day I use and promote our fantastic local amenities and businesses.
This term I chaired the Community Development and Safety Committee which focuses on a wide range of social issues including homelessness, migrants and refugees. I also worked hard with police to keep our communities safer from crime and to reduce harm from alcohol and gambling.
I enjoyed my role as chief liaison councillor for the council’s six advisory panels – seniors, youth, rainbow, disability, ethnic peoples and pacific peoples. It is so important that we hear the voices of our diverse communities and respond to their needs.
In this term I was privileged to be one of the six council representatives on the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, with five of the 14 maunga (volcanoes) in our local area. The pedestrianisation of Maungawhau/Mt Eden in January 2016, was incredibly successful so ngā tihi (the summits) of two further maunga have since banned vehicles – Ōwairaka/Mt Albert and Puketāpapa/Mt Roskill.
As a dog owner and SPCA ambassador, I am pleased to record considerable advances this term. I was on the hearing panel that recently passed the new dog bylaw which provides more off-leash dog access. And I was delighted to get Auckland Council’s support for pets to access public transport and am eagerly awaiting the outcome of the trial on trains.
Finally, Auckland Council supported a law change banning the public sale and use of fireworks which also received Local Government NZ backing. That is another work in progress.
Contact: 027 4744231
Introducing Cathy’s running mate Mark Graham
Olympian Mark Graham brings wide-ranging business experience to Council. As owner of a publishing company specialising in residential building and architecture, he has built up expertise on all matters housing, and particularly social housing.
Previously Mark was General Manager of a marketing and publishing company promoting Aotearoa as a conference destination.
Mark is a long-time community advocate, working on traffic speeds in Pt Chevalier, tree-plantings in the inner-west, and is an active member of Pt Chevalier Business in Service to the Community and the Pt Chevalier Placemaking group. He regularly engages with the local board and city councillors, and was a member of the famous Wake Up Auckland group against the disastrous policies of John Banks.
Mark’s community involvement is significant – part of Pohutukawa Savers who successfully took a stand against Auckland Transport in Western Springs, chaired the group that installed the first cinema on Waiheke Island, a Trustee of Waiheke Island Artworks Trust, and part of the planning committee for the Digital Earth Conference in 2006.
He wrote the 2000 Rough Guide: Auckland Restaurants, won a TVNZ Marketing Award in 1996 and successfully relaunched Sky TV in 1990.
He is the Convenor of the Kiwa Maori and Pacifica Centre of Culture working party.
Mark lives in Pt Chevalier with his wife and two children, dog and two cats, DJs on Base FM in his spare time and is a long-time advocate for green policies at a local level.
Contact: 021 30 48 40
Albert-Eden-Roskill* ward has been renamed Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa in time for the 2019 election
If elected to Council, what are you personally going to do in that position to mitigate ‘Climate Change’ ?.
Hope to hear from you soon as time is running out to understand your position on CC before the election.
Am asking not only as a 60-year-old ratepayer in Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa, but on behalf of the young voters of Auckland.
Our rate of growth has created an urgency to ensure we visibly incorporate climate change considerations into all council’s work programmes and decision-making.
Auckland Council has a major role in building inclusive, resilient, environmentally aware communities. We are currently consulting with the public on Auckland’s Climate Action Framework which sets out a range of actions that individuals and communities can be involved in delivering. How you get around Auckland, what foods you have access to, how your community adapts to the changing climate and the green spaces you have access to are covered by the key moves and actions in the framework.
The framework also sets out a range of actions that organisations and businesses can be involved in delivering. How you build resilience, develop a zero-carbon business model, how you procure products and how you deal with waste are also covered by the key moves and actions in the framework. Once that framework is adopted, we will have a prioritised plan to work to.
At the local level there is a lot we can do to mitigate climate change. Building engaged resilient communities is really important to me and vital if we are to combat climate change in such a diverse area. It is really important to bring people together to encourage care for our environment into the future. We need to support a wide range of local projects which promote sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint – e.g. plant lots of trees and encourage community gardens.
This is the most important issue facing the city and all of us.
We have to change how we live. Some of that will come through new technologies (EVs and mini-modalities – new transportation options like eScooters, etc…) and some will have to come from behaviours.
I think we need to take a 4 pillar approach:
Educate: I know many people who throw perfectly good food away instead of incorporating into another meal. Composting, reduction of single-use plastics, changing to walking/cycling instead of driving, planting trees, reduction in buying useless things – these are all simple behavioural changes most people can easily make, and quickly, but they have to be told of the importance and the how.
Minimise: 40% of car journies are less than 1 km. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Bar soap, glass and aluminium instead of plastic (I realise not climate change, but no less urgent), building materials and waste need to be addressed including the use of concrete.
Mitigate: Tree planting! Planting trees!! Stop cutting down mature trees. It doesn’t seem hard, does it? Moving from grass to meadow/wildflower plantings to encourage insect life. Stormwater filtering to reduce plastic and toxins flowing into our harbour and waterways. Changing how we build to create buildings that use less energy and use less CO2 to build, and encourage old homes to upgrade.
Restore: trees and foliage for wildlife. Cleaning up the toxic messes we’ve created already. Reduction in car traffic to reduce both CO2 and carbon monoxide.
On a personal note, I recycle extensively, compost, have used a Vespa as my main form of transport (and looking to change to an eBike), planted 36 trees on my Pt Chev property, worked with Council to plant trees in my street here in Pt Chev and in my old street in Westmere, and was part of the group that saved the pohutukawas in Western Springs (along with Pippa).
Akl Council, with its 12,000 employees and its immense impact on the city is the first place that should be making this approach central to its mission.
Always happy to discuss further – [email protected] or 021 30 48 40,
How will you fix the mess you and rest of City vision have made with the MT ALBERT shopping centre. It is a nightmare to get thru there. You created pedestrian/ cycle lanes, planted trees, reduced the size of roads, this caused more congestion than ever. Previous to rebuild, there were 2 lanes each way, with a turning lane. You have removed turning lane. How is this going to solve congestion. More people are coming to live, not leaving, Auck is the hub, we need roads to get to work. Not reducing roads, no one use the cycle lane, same with MT ALBERT ROAD cycle lanes, worst of rate payers money. You have this idea of cycle lanes, plant trees (but you dont maintain trees)
I raised the issue of traffic congestion in the Mt Albert Town Centre with the CEO of Auckland Transport at a recent briefing. Here is the latest response from 20 August from Randhir Karma, Group Manager – Network Management (see below). I hope that we see some improvement in traffic flow by the end of September.
Hi Councillor Casey
I have looked into the issue that you raised at the recent F&P workshop regarding traffic light phasing and congestion through the towncentre. As mentioned to you briefly, the light phasing at the New North Road, Mt Albert Road and Carrington Road intersection has pretty much been maxed out following Auckland Council’s streetscape upgrade works (see below for background to the project). Our engineers and transport operations centre have been monitoring this location closely ever since, and have been making regular changes to optimise performance. The team has identified one more possible incremental traffic light phase change that we could introduce, but would require additional traffic light infrastructure. This change would offer a small improvement given the many competing demands at this intersection. We will get the infrastructure installed and hope to make the phasing changes by the end of September.
We have also commissioned an independent expert review of the operation of this intersection and should there be additional opportunities for improvement, these will be implemented in due course.
Towncentre Upgrade Background
The Auckland Plan identified Mt Albert as a town centre which will experience significant change over the next 30 years, and as such Auckland Council proposed improvements to the town centre. The intended outcomes for the improvements was to provide a ‘place’ for people, strengthening the characteristics of Mt Albert, supporting growth and providing higher quality spaces to attract people to Mt Albert. Extensive public consultation was undertaken, which resulted in the final layout of the road immediate road network. In terms of the latter, key outcomes was to improve pedestrian experience in the town centre, provide for safe cycling and accommodate general traffic and bus movements. This was furthermore expected to be enabled through the introduction of the Waterview Connection which would significantly reduce through traffic in Mt Albert.
Introduction of the Waterview Connection resulted in a 25-30% reduction in general traffic through the New North Road, Mt Albert Road and Carrington Road intersection, which enabled and supported the reduced general traffic capacity associated with the town centre improvements. In brief terms, pedestrian amenity and experience has been greatly improved. The exclusive pedestrian phase provides safe and good experience for pedestrians of all ages, providing good pedestrian connection to the train station and town centre. Separated cycling facilities provides positive cycling experience. The opportunity to make use of the exclusive pedestrian phase is also beneficial. Bus and general traffic travel times to and through Mt Albert have remained at similar levels to that prior to the introduction of the Waterview Tunnel, despite the reduced lane configuration. Consequently, as a whole, the town centre upgrade has achieved the aspirations and objectives set by Auckland Council, with AT tasked with optimally operating the available road network in alignment with these aspirations.
Consequently, the network has been closely monitored by AT together with Auckland Traffic Operations Centre (ATOC) who have over several occasions introduced traffic signal timing adjustments to optimise traffic conditions through the New North Road/Mt Albert Road/Carrington Road intersection. General traffic travel time monitoring undertaken for all key routes across Auckland continue to confirm that traffic conditions have largely remained similar during the peak periods to that prior to the Waterview Connection. This is indicated in the representations below, whereby segments highlighted in darker colours is indicative of more congested conditions.
I’m running for the first time, so didn’t have a role in the decisions around the town centre upgrade but I generally support what’s been done, although if there are things that can be done to improve it then I’m certainly in support of these.
I’ve experienced traffic issues getting through the intersection, too, and understand how frustrating it can be. Your post brings up a number of issues that I think really do need to be addressed.
The first of these is around the reasons for what was done. The main thing is that the upgrade was done to support the shop owners and eateries there. If it’s a more pleasant place to be, more people will go there. Most people who use the shops and cafes are locals and many won’t need their cars to get there. By far the bulk of the traffic is people driving through to get from somewhere to somewhere else – not to shop here. What’s more important – cars or people? Yes – there’s some disquiet about loss of carparking, but we’re facing a climate crisis – seriously, this is the most important thing of all, and cars create 40% of CO2 emissions in Akl so we need to move away from using them.
Implementation of the upgrade was by Auckland Transport. My understanding is that it was decided to do other infrastructure maintenance work at the same time to make it a more efficient and cheaper process than coming back later to fix sewage pipes, etc. I understand that issues arose when the construction work started – there was a lot of concrete around the pipes which had to be removed (I may have this detail wrong). The result of this was that instead of 6 months or so, it took 18 months! No one wanted this or foresaw this.
As for Auckland Transport, they work with the Local Board, but are not answerable to them. In fact, they have a Board of Directors and nominally answer to the Governing Body (of which Cathy is one and I’m standing to be one instead of Christine Fletcher), but the reality is there is little oversight of their operations. This is something I’d like to address if I win.
The final thing is the consultative process. I’ve discussed with local businesspeople who were intimately involved in the process and they have some serious issues with how AT went about working with them. This mirrors other projects I’ve seen AT involved with and hopefully through better oversight, the Governing Body can work to change the culture and methods used by AT to get better experiences and outcomes for all.
Cycle lanes will increasingly come to work as the existing lanes get connected to others. We’re seeing this – bike sales and bike lane usage is on a huge growth curve even though you may not be seeing it – it’s happening!
And trees. We need trees for our very survival. Auckland has lost 30% of its tree canopy just as we’re facing a climate crisis and need to be planting more. So yes, I’m for bikes and trees and nice spaces for people and if some have to wait in their car for an extra few minutes, it’s worth it.
Always happy to meet and discuss. email me below or call me on 021 30 48 40.