Minutes for Warkworth Area Liaison Group Date: 7th February 2019 Meeting Opened: 7:30 pm Chairperson: Bruce Scoggins Attendees: 28 People Apologies: Richard Papworth, Murray Chapman
Minutes of last meeting: Hueline Massey/Ox Wightman
Guest speaker; Burnette O’Connor on updating the situation with Turnstone and the Stubbs Farm Development
Turnstone’s request for a plan change was debated by Auckland Council last week and they voted to accept the change rather than adopt it as their own. Consultation opens for the Structure Plan on the 25th February and runs for one month. At the end of the consultation period Auckland Council will advise Turnstone of the feedback. Turnstone will then apply for any changes that they want, but foresee these will only be minor changes. It is hoped that notification of the plan changes will then be done straight away and happen by early April. Submissions will then be called for over the next month. At this point Council procedure takes over and will probably take the rest of the year to complete. It is hoped that the plan change will become ’live’ at this stage, meaning that development can begin.
Turnstone will have to get the appropriate resource consents before starting actual work, but they still hope to have things ready to go as soon as they get the go-ahead. All going well they’ll be able to make a start on the earthworks for the next earthworks season next summer.
Turnstone will stage the development in bite-sized sectors. The proposed development features different housing styles ranging from reasonably intensive through to properties more similar to the adjacent Viv Davie Martin Drive subdivision.
Turnstone intends to make the development as community-friendly as possible with good parks and cycleways. But Burnette commented that they are often frustrated by Council stymying their efforts to do this.
Burnette was thanked for her presentation and will continue to update WALG as information becomes available
The end of the public meeting at the Town Hall to discuss the proposed Warkworth weir removal saw an influx of people into our meeting. Some of these gave their impressions gained from the meeting.
Three speakers presented to the Town Hall meeting; Matt Bloxham Senior Freshwater Ecologist at Auckland Council; Paul Decker, Head of Aquaculture Research at MTI; and Shane Hartley Principal Planner and Manager of Terra Nova Planning.
There was a strong feeling of disappointment among those attending the Town Hall meeting that there was no public consultation at all before it was decided to remove the weir. The general consensus seemed to be that there should be no further work done until more statistical data and information was available to be considered so a properly informed decision is made.
With regard to the issue of the weir restricting access of whitebait up the river, evidence was presented that the Mahurangi River had inherently a higher than ideal alkalinity for whitebait to flourish. More information is needed to establish what the natural level would be for whitebait in the river, and whether the removal of the weir would affect this much.
Offers have been made to provide, or assist with making, a fish ladder if this would help.
Beth Houlbrooke told the meeting that Shane Hartley had pointed out that there had been no effort made to schedule the weir as a historic item of importance that needed protection under law. This was an oversight by our community that meant there was no legal requirement for any public notification before work could start to demolish it. (This is also currently the situation for the ford on Falls Rd.)
The question was raised at our meeting; ‘What happens next?’ Greg advised the meeting that he is to meet with Barry Potter Director Infrastructure and Environmental Services at Auckland Council at which Greg will ask that the removal of the weir continues to be on hold, and more information sought so a fully-informed decision can be made on its future. Greg suggested that Barry would benefit from a single point of contact with the Warkworth community. Maurie Hooper suggested that WALG could fulfil this role, which was generally accepted by the meeting. Greg will suggest this to Barry and, if agreed, will continue to keep WALG notified of developments through the secretary (me). We will assess what approach to take once we learn more. Warwick Massey suggested that it would be sensible to work in with the Warkworth Riverbank Enhancement Group, and it was agreed this would be a good idea.
Councillor Greg Sayers
Greg advised that the Auckland Council’s Annual Budget for July 2019 – July 2020 will be coming out soon. The operational budget for Rodney will increase from $13.9million to $15million, and the capital expenditure budget will increase from $6.3million to $9.9million.
Transport investment will be $38million and Watercare will be investing $35million.
Greg showed the meeting a copy of the book he has just written on suggested ways for the Auckland Council to address affordability of housing in our area. He suggests that regulatory costs relating to house building can add up to $285,000 per property. He said that a more moral approach to housing is needed and that it is time that house ownership is made achievable for more members of society. He suggests that cutting council compliance costs would be a big step towards achieving this. He also says that infrastructure costs could be charged on a user-pays basis to help matters. The book can be bought through Greg for $20.
Beth Houlbrooke, Chair of the Rodney Local Board
Beth started by thanking Greg for taking the initiative over the weir issue and getting Council to put a stop on the removal of the weir until the community can have a say on it. Beth suggested that this is not a Local Board issue and commended Greg for taking a lead on this matter.
Beth commented that we can look at, and submit on, the Council’s Annual Budget by going to the Council Website online.
The effects of the transport targeted rate are starting to become apparent.
The Wellsford – Warkworth bus service is scheduled to start operation on the 24th February. Wellsford residents are especially pleased with at last being regularly connected to the rest of Auckland. Schedules have been arranged to connect with buses in Warkworth for trips down to Silverdale and beyond.
The final touches are being done to the design of the Park and Ride at the Atlas site. There will be 80 parking spaces available initially, and if the buildings are removed there will be another 40 spaces available. Final positions for the bus stops are still being decided.
Design work is proceeding on the design of the suspension bridge project linking Kowhai Park and the showgrounds.
The designers of the Matakana Link Rd seem likely to be listening to suggestions that local input could achieve a lot more road for their money. Partial four-laning now seems very likely. We will hopefully hear more after the next Transport Forum on March 1st.
Surgical Centre Richard Papworth has been in contact with Duncan Bliss, the General Manager Surgical Services and Perioperative Services at Auckland District Health Board about getting more services up in the Warkworth area. Richard reported that Mr Bliss was very receptive to hearing our case. He has agreed to come up and address WALG and we are hopeful of having him at our next meeting on March 6th. Richard will be following this up.
Hueline Massey advised that she has had contact with the NZ First MP Jenny Marcroft who lives locally. She is keen to advocate for Warkworth to get better health services. She said that there is a major assessment being undertaken of health services and their placement around Auckland. Results of this assessment are due out early this year. Jenny will be inviting the Honorable Dr. David Clark, Minister on Health up to this area soon to lobby him about the issues we have. Hueline will follow up on this.
General Business Terry Nuthall is Chairman of Warkworth Lions/Rotary Food Rescue. They distribute locally collected food that would otherwise be dumped to needy people around the Warkworth area. This operation has been working out of the old Courthouse building in Warkworth but this building is no longer available. They are looking to find new premises quickly as they have to move out very soon. They need a space about the size of a double garage, which is clean and has facilities for washing hands. If you know of such a space please contact me on 0274963711 and I will get hold of Terry.
Hueline Massey was concerned by some of the information on the proposed sewerage system upgrade given to us by Brent Evans from Watercare at the last meeting in December. Here is a copy of the questions she asked on behalf of WALG, and his answers;
Hello Brent, You and your assistant, very kindly came to the December 5th 2018 meeting of the Warkworth Area Liason Group [WALG] and gave us an update on the water and wastewater situation for the Warkworth township. We all found this a fascinating delivery with the information you gave us. I am happy to say that as a user of the new water system there does not appear to be any issues that I have heard about with the new supply and the fresher taste of the water is welcome! Having thought about the wastewater disposal information you delivered to us though we have some questions. As the new pipeline going from the existing pumping station within Lucy Moore Park is serving the existing and future development on the south side of the Mahurangi River why is it necessary to take the new pipeline so far west towards the Warkworth Town Centre before it needs to cross the river to the northern side then up the very steep heavily vegetated bank before reaching the new pumping station to be built on Mahurangi East Road? A couple of reasons for this:
Facilitating Growth Zones
The new Pump Station on Sandspit Road will eventually receive wastewater flows from the future developments in North-West Warkworth in addition to the existing catchment and Southern developments. The location of this Pump Station was strategically chosen to enable connection from both catchment zones and eliminates the need for a second pump station nearby.
Pressure and Pump Station Size
The embankment on the Northern side of Mahurangi River is steep and gradually rises towards the East along Sandspit Road. As the elevation difference increases between the Pump Station in Lucy Moore Memorial Park and Sandspit Road Pump Station, the hydraulic head increases and it becomes increasingly difficult for the pumps to overcome, and would require a large pump station in the park. A key objective was to minimise the size of the pump station in Lucy Moore Memorial Park, and as such the alignment was moved towards the West where the elevation difference is reduced.
The disruption to Lucy Moore Park, and the river waterfront close to the busiest part of this park, will be huge even if most of the line is to be thrust. As indicated at the meeting the community is currently discussing improvements to just this area of our riverfront and the last thing we need is any new structures/formations to be interfered with at a later stage. The intention is to limit the size of the trenchless site near the waterfront and park as much as possible, and maintain public access where this can be safely and practically achieved. There is flexibility in terms of site location, shape and size which the Contractor will adapt to minimise disruption. Once completed, the only permanent assets to remain will be the buried pipelines and a buried valve chamber near the edge of river. When more detail is available regarding the proposed waterfront upgrades we can coordinate to prevent interference. I am not an engineer but while looking at this situation on the ground I did wonder why the new pipeline is not using the short, shallow and clogged section of the small estuary adjacent to the pumping station then across the river (obliquely) at this juncture and up the hill on the northern side of the river where there is no where near the substantial beautiful native vegetation that is on the proposed route. I do understand that having reached the top of the hill (on the north side of the river) there would need to be pipes laid across private farm land to join up with the pipeline along Mahurangi East Road, but surely that would be easier than the rock strata you have indicated will be encountered if the proposal presented to our December meeting is followed. Geotechnical investigations undertaken in Lucy Moore Park next to the pump station site found that there was a high water table (with evidence of artesian aquifers in some areas) and un-engineered fill from the historic formation of the park near the small estuary. Also, the length of the trenchless drive required from this starting point is longer and also aligns underneath a private residence. In order to reduce risk on the trenchless installation it was decided to relocate the drill site. Furthermore, the rock strata mentioned is highly likely to be present along the entire Northern extent of the river embankment. This was determined by geotechnical investigations along the proposed alignment, and will be confirmed with additional investigations over the next 2 months. This means that any alignment underneath the Mahurangi River will likely encounter this material. Vegetation along the Mahurangi River embankment will not be impacted by the trenchless installation. The trenchless pipeline will range from 10 to 40m below ground level, with potential to be deeper depending on the Contractor’s methodology. The Warkworth Area Liaison Group is concerned that the next time you deliver further information to us (as you said you would do at the beginning of 2019) that this will be set even more firmly in place and any reconsideration will be very difficult to change. From this base WALG asks that more background on the decision indicated to us at the 5th December 2018 meeting be shown to us so we can better understand why the chosen route is the most advantageous for the new wastewater route. Meeting Closed: 9.00 pm. Next meeting is on March 6th at 7-30pm
Minutes of last meeting: Peter Buckton/Warwick Massey
Matters arising: In talking about Trish Allen and her report on waste policy I noted that ‘Auckland Council targeted setting up 12 community recycling centres across the region. Auckland now has five set up, and Trish wants Warkworth to be the sixth’ (not the thirteenth as I had recorded in the minutes)
0Guest speakers; Brent Evans, Manager Local Board and Stakeholder Liaison at Watercare Services and Leanne McKenzie, Stakeholder Liaison Advisor at Watercare Services
Leanne McKenzie spoke on drinking water supply
- The new water reticulation system for Warkworth was due to go live on 6th Dec 2018. The water will cease to be drawn from the river at the Browns Rd site and will start to be distributed from the new facility at Sanderson Rd opposite Masons yard. The water comes from an aquifer from two bores sited there. This essentially doubles the capacity to supply water, and is designed to cope with the growth proposed in the Unitary Plan over the next 30 -50 years. - The water from the new facility is pumped up to the two storage tanks in View Rd and Thompson Rd from where it gravity feeds to the community. - The water supply network will be extended in targeted areas to allow growth to occur as and when needed - In the distant future this aquifer will inevitably not be able to provide an indefinite supply. It is expected that by then that suitably treated wastewater will be more efficiently used to supplement the water supply. - The water from the new aquifer will taste different as it has more minerals in it and the amount of chlorine that will need to be added will have to be experimented with until the correct balance is reached. No fluoride will be added, but there is a small amount that occurs in this water anyway. The design of the new pumping facility is such that the water is not seen from the time it leaves the aquifer until it emerges from the tap in someone’s house. This markedly reduces the possibility of contamination in the process. - Conditions in the resource consent for the aquifer require that the water levels in the aquifer be considered, and allowances made to the draw-off if other local bores are affected. - The old plant in Browns Rd will probably be decommissioned once the reliability of the new system has been proved. No definite use for the land has been decided on yet. - The water supply to Snells Beach comes from a different aquifer which has different water quality.
Brent Evans spoke on wastewater
- Currently the treated outflow from the Warkworth wastewater plant is released into the Mahurangi harbour. The standard of treatment is extremely high for this reason. The Snells Beach plant releases its treated outflow offshore. Under very heavy weather conditions there can be untreated sewage released from both plants on occasion. This is manageable however. - In April 2017 resource consent was granted to discharge the treated wastewater from Warkworth and Snells Beach off Martins Bay. Resource consent has just been granted for the pipeline from Warkworth, through Snells Beach to Martins Bay. They must have the old discharge pipe out of the Mahurangi harbour by April 2021. - New state-of-the-art technology is being used involving portable containers to cope with the increasing wastewater demand from growth in our area while a new pump facility is built in a corner of Lucy Moore Park adjacent the current one. The pipeline will run from there, under the Mahurangi River somewhere about where the Hunting and Fishing shop is, and will connect to another pumphouse on the corner of Sandspit Rd and the road to the lime works. From there the pipeline will follow beside Sandspit Rd and Mahurangi East Rd to Snells Beach where it will connect with another new treatment facility in Hamatana Rd and be pumped out to Martins Bay. - The path of the pipeline from Lucy Moore Park has been carefully decided to avoid disrupting trees and has been kept very deep below the river so as to eliminate the possibility of being caught by an anchor or in any dredging work. This section will be double-piped to future proof it in case of maintenance demands. The old Warkworth pump station will eventually be decommissioned once the new bigger plant is reliably in use. - Brent said the final design for the system has yet to be completed and he will come back to present to us when it has been done. - Work is also being planned for the Wellsford area as it is recognized that this is badly in need of upgrading too. Watercare propose to use a new technology involving ionization to treat the drinking water supply, and they also are looking at using a more natural wastewater treatment system. Planning is still at an early stage with these systems and we will get more information later.
Brent and Leanne were thanked for a very interesting presentation and will be welcomed back when more information becomes available.
The Warkworth Weir (Peter Thompson)
- Peter had just come back from a meeting with a colleague from the Franklin region who told him that there are plans afoot in council to remove the weir from the Mahurangi River. The environmental branch of Auckland Council is trying to free up access for whitebait to migrate further up the river. Peter was led to believe that resource consent may already have been granted, or be very close to being granted, for the weir to go. - There are actually two weirs across the river. Apart from the obvious one there is another lower one, buried underwater behind it, just upriver of the one we all see. This lower weir was thought to be built in the 1840’s to provide water for the sawmill sited nearby. The current weir was constructed in the 1930’s to allow water to be channeled by a sluice down to the cement works. They are both big parts of Warkworth’s history. - Peter called Beth Houlbrooke to see what the Local Board new about the weir removal. Beth and the Local Board had been told of the Council’s intentions and had been asked to keep the issue confidential. The Local Board reluctantly agreed to this on the condition that the community was consulted. However, no one present at our meeting had either seen or heard anything at all relating to the possible removal of the weir. Apparently there had been a stall at the Kowhai Festival in which the proposal to remove the weir had been given some space, but no other real efforts have been made to canvas local opinion. - It seems like the Council is aware that removing the weir would be a very controversial action and they are in no hurry to make any real effort to broach the subject with the community. - The meeting decided that Hueline calls Beth to find out more information, and we’ll assess the situation from there.
Hill St (Roger Williams)
- Roger reported that the three options for the Hill St intersection presented by Auckland Transport all left something to be desired in their practicality, with two of them, options 2 and 3, downright hopeless. Roger has formulated the basis of a design solution based on the Option 1 put forward by Auckland Transport. I will attach a picture of his suggestion. He suggests we push AT to take note of the main features he proposes and refine them for their final intersection design. - Roger proposed a motion (seconded by Glyn Williams) that WALG submits the following;
The Warkworth Area Liaison Group submits that 1. We support the development of Option A: Roundabout at SH1. 2. We support a partial roundabout at the Matakana – Sandspit Intersection in conjunction with Option A based on the plan prepared by Roger Williams. 3. We express urgency for construction and completion of Hill Street Intersection before the RoNS motorway is opened. This is to overcome the additional congestion that will generated by the change in turning movements at this intersection. - The motion was passed. Any private support for this option is also encouraged to put as much pressure on AT to design a workable intersection. Go to this link to make your submission; www.NZTA/Projects/Hill-Street-Improvements/Have-your-say this closes Friday 14th December
Matakana Link Rd (Roger Williams and Dave Stott)
- There is great concern that Auckland Transport will build the Matakana Link as a two lane road that will very quickly become too small to cope with growth in the area. The initial four lane design proposed by Auckland Transport has proved to be too expensive for the $66 million budget (this includes land purchase costs). This has caused them to suggest reducing it to a two lane version initially with the idea of upgrading it at a later stage. - Dave Stott, Mark McKay and Chris Murphy met earlier this week with Shane Ellison the CEO of Auckland Transport and Cynthia Gillespie to explain the necessity of having a four lane road right from the start. Dave, Mark and Chris pointed out the obvious; that the design is extremely expensive and there are a lot of places where big savings could be achieved. Shane and Cynthia agreed in principle that they would look at any suggestions that they were given that will get a four lane road built cheaper. But, the impression was given that it is a political decision to keep many of the expensive features such as the cyclepath and the planting design, even if this means only a two lane road is achievable with the available budget. - Wharehine Contractors has been shown the route to be taken and the four lane option proposed by AT and asked for their opinion. They say that they could build a four lane road on the route required for the budgeted amount. But not of the design that AT proposes. - The best way to build the road would be if a preferred contractor was chosen and they worked with the design team to price the work as the design progresses. This would ensure the budget was met and would give maximum value for the budgeted amount. It would also hasten the tendering process enabling the project to start quickly, which is vital if the road is to be finished in time for the RONS opening. Construction would need to start on 1st Oct 2019 for this to happen. - Dave Mark and Chris were adamant that any road that is built must have provision built in for future intersections to be added later. This would make later work easier and cheaper. They also suggest that the cycleway be taken out of the equation and rerouted away from the road through more desirable countryside for riding. - Roger proposed a motion (seconded by Dave Stott) that WALG submits the following;
The Warkworth Area Liaison Group submits that
We support the 4 lane designation as proposed in the NOR
2. We are disappointed that Stage 1 is being funded for 2 lanes only. We ask that the tender be called with options for partial 4 laning from SH1. This so that the maximum length of 4 lane highway is constructed within the funding available. 3. We express urgency for construction and completion before the RoNS motorway is opened to overcome the additional congestion that will generated by the change in turning movements at the Hill Street intersection. The motion was passed.
One Warkworth Business Association (Murray Chapman)
- Unfortunately the Warkworth Santa Parade was cancelled this year because the bad weather created too many Health and Safety concerns. A Christmas fair will be held on Saturday morning at the Warkworth Town Hall with about 20 stall-holders expected. Santa’s sleigh, with Santa on board, will be taken on a loop around the streets then. - There will be three late shopping nights in Warkworth on each of the Thursdays before Christmas. Participating businesses will stay open until 7pm on the 6th, the 13th, and the 20th of December. Murray has worked very hard to drum up support for this initiative among Warkworth retailers and everyone is encouraged to get along and support the shops on these late nights. To encourage people to come and shop there is a $500 petrol voucher to be won by one lucky shopper.
- Beth forwarded the following information to me on freedom camping for distribution. Council is calling for submissions and Beth has provided the link to make them. Public consultation has opened today on the proposed Freedom Camping in Vehicles Bylaw. This consultation is seeking public feedback from now until 18 February. This new bylaw under the Freedom Camping Act 2011 will replace existing legacy bylaw provisions that currently manage freedom camping. The Freedom Camping Act 2011 sets what the council can do to manage freedom camping through a bylaw. Freedom camping is generally allowed on land controlled or managed by the council. Any prohibitions or restrictions the council puts in place need to be necessary to protect the area, the health and safety of people who may visit the area, or access to the area. The prohibitions or restrictions must be a proportionate response to the problem for the area. The council cannot ban freedom camping everywhere, nor prohibit freedom camping in areas without evidence that the prohibition is required. The bylaw proposes to prohibit or restrict Freedom Camping at 422 sites across the Auckland Region. Under this bylaw, enforcement officers will have the ability to issue a $200 infringement fine to anyone who breaches a prohibition or restriction. The proposed bylaw and feedback forms can be found at: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/freedom-camping/Pages/default.aspx
- Hueline sent an email to Health Board General Manager Duncan Bliss as suggested in the November meeting minutes. There was no initial response but then separately Richard Papworth, after reading the minutes of our last meeting, was frustrated by the recorded difficulty in getting procedures done up here and so contacted Duncan Bliss himself, and ended up having a long phone conversation with him. Richard gave a bit of background on what had happened and put the case for why initiatives such as a weekly clinic up here would be such a good idea. Richard was given a very positive response by Duncan Bliss who indicated he is keen to keep in contact and is open to coming to speak to our meeting early in the New Year. Hueline subsequently received a long email from Duncan Bliss explaining the Health Board’s position and reiterating his desire to come up to speak to us. Richard will act as our point of contact with Duncan and we look forward to hearing what he has to say next year. - Glyn again spoke on the topic of setting up a Men’s Shed in Warkworth. They have the use of the old red shed behind the craft rooms at the A & P grounds in the meantime but have long-term ambitions to get a purpose built facility at the old MOW site on the main road. Glyn is compiling a database of interested men. - Warren Budd sent the following email updating the Hill St intersection minor works but it arrived too late to read out at the meeting. Update for Hill Street Interim Improvements:
· The installation of the signal detection and CCTV equipment for improved monitoring on Sandspit Road, Matakana Rd and SH1 would be completed by the end of December 2018.
· Further design and investigation of the pedestrian improvements for Hill Street has been undertaken and the final design would be completed by the end of February 2019.
· The timing for implementing changes is being confirmed with NZTA to align with intersection rehabilitation work which is currently anticipated for the new year.
There will be further updates on our website once final designs are confirmed.
- Just a reminder to report to Council any maintenance issue you see need attending to. Phone them on 093010101 and remember to get a job number so you can follow up on progress.
- Note that there is no January meeting, and it was decided that the February meeting will not be held on the first Wednesday of the month as this is Waitangi Day. The February meeting will thus be held on Wednesday 13th February at 7-30pm.