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The Domain and the Orakei Local Board

You may recall recently the council were consulting on a 20-year Domain Masterplan. In it a lot of the focus was on making the Domain more people focused including improving walking and cycling options while removing some of the parking and through routes for driving – among many other things.

Draft Domain Plan - Museum Carpark

The Orakei Local Board are voting to approve their feedback on the plan today and it highlights what a farce this kind of process could be. To start with it is based off the views of just seven people and three business associations. That’s hardly representative of a ward with nearly 90,000 residents. Worse is the feedback itself which can effectively be summarised as

  1. Keep all of the parking and roads in the Domain.
  2. Remove stuff that slows cars down.

Orakei Local Board Feedback

We’ll have to wait to see what what the rest of the feedback was and what – if any changes get made to the plan as a result.

68 comments to The Domain and the Orakei Local Board

  • kelvin

    It is expected as the people who has time to submit are retired oldies that has no vision to the future.

    • TheBigWheel

      Yes, no doubt many not-so-oldies in the Eastern Burbs didn’t have time or didn’t bother to submit.

      The point about the importance of the route through the Domain (right turn from Ayr St) is a good one. Yes I know, it’s not supposed to be a through-route…

      • Greg Nikoloff

        Agreed about Ayr St, but there is no need in emergencies to actually go along Domain Drive to the hospital even if you came up Ayr St.

        You can equally go along side roads to George St, down Morgan St, then up Carlton Gore Road to hospital that way. Avoids all but 1 speed bump.

        And realistically how many pregnant mothers/seriously injured people are being *rushed* to hospital through the domain (their main argument for status quo)?

        Any ambulance driver worth their salt will surely use Remuera Road/Broadway/Khyber Pass Road/Park Road? For both speed and efficiency.

        As for pregnant mothers to be, well same would apply – the Remuera road route is the best for just about all of the OLB residents for emergencies.

      • Agree. To the local board members and councillors who talk of democracy, this is a total farce as the UP opposition was. They should look up what actual democracy is.

        • SDW

          I like the use of the word “likely” throughout the submission. They couldn’t even come up with any actual anecdotes, let alone data, to support their position.

    • Ricardo

      *** This comment has been edited for violating our user guidelines ***

      Kelvin what a load of rubbish. This is simply commonsense being applied. T

      • harrymc

        “This is simply commonsense”. Ah yes – “commonsense” – Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. Albert Einstein.

    • harrymc

      Kelvin,
      You need to recognise that generations are not monolithic and that deriding entire groups of people on the basis of their age with sneering stereotypes is unhelpful.
      Anyway, what did you expect from Orakei when they elect Brewer and the other guy(Thomas) who is running for mayor. Oh and perhaps you would like to advise me what generation they belong to and whether I should chuck generalised sneers in their direction?
      It is really about time that the moderators of this blog started to treat ageist comments in the same manner they treat racist and sexist ones/
      How about it guys?

      • Greg Nikoloff

        No one elected Brewer last time – no one else stood against him – so he got returned unopposed.

        While the C & R bloc is powerful I don’t think they’re *that* powerful to engineer no other candidates.

        As for Mark Thomas, well its better for him to be an also-ran Mayoral candidate than continue to be a useless Local Board member.

        • harrymc

          “No one elected Brewer last time – no one else stood against him – so he got returned unopposed.”
          Semantics.

          • Greg Nikoloff

            No its not just semantics.

            In the first comment you implied he was elected from a range of candidates i.e. more Orakei ratepayers voted for him than some other guys. Like happened in the first election after the Supercity and Orakei ward was formed.

            That is you suggest everyone in Orakei ward was dumb enough to vote for him not just once but *twice*.

            No one got a chance to vote for [or against] him last time, the ballot paper for Orakei ward councillor “never arrived in the mail”.

            Yeah maybe the Left could have stood someone against him, but it wasn’t actually publicised before nominations closed that there was only him standing in Orakei ward – so it was a surprise to all in Orakei that Brewer got a free pass.

            But he’s not standing this time, The current chair of OLB is standing for councillor in his place. She’s had more training from 6 years as OLB chair, than Brewer ever had.

            And so I think she will do a better job and be more effective as councillor with one hand tied behind her back, in 5 minutes in the job, than Brewer ever was in his 6 years.
            Even if she is C&R.

            Regardless: lets hope there will be a proper contest for Orakei ward councillor this time, and that also even fewer chair-warmers get elected to OLB as well.

            [There are some very good and hard working OLB board members – but you wouldn’t think so when you see rubbish like the above coming out of them].

          • TheBigWheel

            +1 Greg

  • Cargill_Street

    I don’t think it’s seven people. It’s seven residents’ associations. Notwithstanding this greater sample size, their views remain rubbish.

  • Lindsey

    It is the Eastern Suburbs branch of the National Party. Average age – deceased!

  • I also read it as seven resident’s associations. Even still, because of the demographics of their members the residents associations are hardly likely to represent the view of the majority of the population.

  • RHarris

    Wow. Is this like another April fools day joke?

  • That is seven associations of residents, I assume. Apostrophes are important*.

    * until as dictator of English I unleash my programme of rational orthographic reform.

  • Kevin

    Yeah 7 residents associations.

    It merely highlights the difficulty any Local Board or similar organisation is going to have gaining feedback. I chair one such organisation (not one of the 10 here) and in the interests of democracy we actively pursue feedback.

    Overcoming general apathy is a massive issue even on contentious issues. You end up getting the extreme views (for and against) because they are the people most likely to respond.

    It is a difficult act to try and balance being inclusive with reflecting what we think the majority of members would actually want. Or even what we think is really in their best interests even if they don’t realise it.

    While I have sympathy with the position outlined above I think with this submission the Board are being gutless. What’s that an election year. Never….

    • TheBigWheel

      The OLB makes a questionable claim here that they have “canvassed the views of the seven residents’ and three business associations in their area and this feedback reflects their views.”

      Have they actually done that? If so, how? That’s a fairly long and detailed list of issues. Is the survey data available?

      Kevin, how would you expect to be engaged by your LB for them to claim a detailed list of opinions reflects the views of your residents association? Presumably you would provide written feedback, agreed at a meeting of the association?

  • Chris O

    The trouble with polling residents’ associations is that they aren’t necessarily representative. The Herne Bay Resident’s Association for example, practically has a mission statement that’s anti-PAUP, anti-intensification, pro-heritage, pro-status quo. One of their leaflet drops seeking new members proudly stated their opposition to replacing parking with cycle lanes on Jervois Road. If you have a different viewpoint – do you try to join the organisation and change it from within, start your own opposing residents’ group to represent your own views, or just do nothing at all?

  • I put in my submission something like “the Domain is a destination and should not serve a through transport function”. I hope that goes somewhere and encourage anyone yet to send in a submission to do so and feel free to copy that.

  • Andrew

    This is the most upsetting feedback I have heard in some time. The response is 50s mentality. How many of these people have been up and experienced Mt Eden since it was closed off to traffic. It is beautiful and peaceful up there with no traffic.

    • Lindsey

      Probably none of them – they don’t go there because they think they have to walkup the hill. Same mentality as the people who think the CBD is unsafe – the ones that don’t go there.

    • David B.

      What a good analogy – Mt Eden is much more pleasant than it used to be, and I must admit I was surprised by just how much difference removing vehicle access has made. Plenty of people up there now, lots of tourists and family groups and it’s finally possible to walk up to the summit and back safely, enjoying the views rather than evading vehicles.

    • mfwic

      You answered it yourself. Hardly anyone goes to Mt Eden now because they can’t. The next step seems top be to steal the museum from the people and leave it as an empty area for people who live nearby.

      • Peter Nunns

        Hardly any *vehicles* go to the top. They’ve got a parking lot at the bottom of the hill for people who are driving there, as well as vehicle access to the summit for mobility impaired people. Mt Eden is still equally accessible to people coming from further afield.

        If someone is able-bodied but still unwilling to walk to the top of the hill, they obviousy didn’t value access to Mt Eden very much. Simple revealed preference stuff. Policymakers should discount their complaints accordingly.

        • mfwic

          It is revealed preference. It was where people took their visitors to see Auckland. They valued the view, not the park- we have lots of those. But hey we still have Tamaki Drive and Muriwai.

      • Greg Nikoloff

        “No one goes to Mt Eden summit any more, its too crowded”

  • DavidByrne

    Is anyone surprised with the Orakei LB’s submission? This is the same local board which didn’t want to have a transit lane on Remuera Road because it might encourage the poor people from Glen Innes to use “their” buses.And the same local board that thinks that because they pay more rates than other local board areas, they therefore should have higher quality infrastructure.

  • The Real Matthew

    Thank goodness the Orakei Local Board has shown some sense on this issue.

    I run through the domain regularly over summer and the traffic causes zero problems for other road users such as walkers and runners. Judging by the large quantities of runners and cyclists utilising the domain I suggest I’m not in the minority in that regard. I also drive through the Domain. Why? Because the powers that be have managed to stuff up every other road in the area. Do they understand Newmarket is Auckland’s second CBD? Clearly not judging by the roading surrounding the area. Parnell Rd is a disaster and the roading around the hospital has such poor traffic light priority that it regularly backs up.

    There is absolutely nothing that will be gained by making these expensive features. The domain is one of the biggest sports facilities in Auckland, bringing together people form all over Auckland to play together. I thought the transportblog fraternity wanted stronger communities through urban design? It seems like it’s a case of stronger communities for them and their mates whilst everyone else can go and get f$^%#$%. The domain is a great example of how different modes can work together on the same piece of real estate. The domain also proves why we don’t need to saturate our city with roading impediments so I guess it’s no wonder the transportblog fraternity wants to get rid of it.

    As for Mt Eden what a failure that has been. If you go up there you will be unlikely to see anyone over 50, or at least that’s my experience. You could not get a more discriminatory, more disgusted road closure if you tried. Now people wander all over the mountain causing all sorts of damage rather than sticking to the road.

    This city is desperately lacking in leadership but this is an opportunity to show. The council needs to tell the transportblog fraternity where to go. The domain should be for everyone as it is now, not the sanctuary of the rich white urban hipsters.

    • harrymc

      ” If you go up there you will be unlikely to see anyone over 50″
      What a load of rubbish – you’ve outdone yourself. I have run (run) up Mt. Eden 3 times in the last month. I’m 68.
      And the traffic in the Domain is a real hazard to runners in particular. I know because I run there regularly.
      Why do cars regularly park on the grass and nothing is done about it? It is illegal.

      • The Real Matthew

        They park regularly on the grass because there isn’t enough parking.

        Sounds like we do a lot of running in the same precinct. I’m sure we’ll bump into each other and when we do I will take the time to explain how to avoid cars whilst running. Hint: It usually involves a couple of steps to the left or right.

        • Max

          Under that logic, shoudn’t people be allowed to park on the footpath in the CBD, because there, too, there isn’t enough parking for an unrestrained demand.

          Parking is not a right. Parking has advantages and disavantages. If as a society we decide that the disadvantages (such as destroying the grass, the maunga, and taking up too much space), outweigh the advantages, then well, it’s going (or at least being consolidated, and slightly reduced). You can make your case for it staying, others can argue for it going. I’ll be keen for the feedback result numbers.

          Oh, and the comment re jogging – well, I don’t jog, but it is classic “Cars are king – YOU step aside, pops” language. And so accepting of that status quo. Why SHOULD joggers have to give way to cars in our permier park?

        • Nick

          Frankly it’s insane to think that people using the domain (a park in the centre of Auckland surrounded by public transport, cycle paths and good walking routes) to play sport (implying they are reasonably healthy and a degree of exercise) should have the “right” to drive right there to do so. I realise there are a group of people that think they should be able to, but why do the rest of us have to put up with their nonsense? Their position can’t be justified by any stretch of the imagination, unless you believe we need to preserve the good old kiwi tradition of pulling our utes, falcons, or commodores up onto the grass right beside where we play sport with our mates before going to down some piss later. We don’t. Seethe. Seethe.

          • Errol Cavit

            (a park in the centre of Auckland surrounded by public transport, cycle paths and good walking routes)
            Not that the there is a good walking route between Newmarket and the museum currently!

  • pacifica.northwest

    Proud to say I submitted because myself and my 30 something disabled partner who regularly visit and enjoy the domain need access to it. Because not all disabled people are old and can afford flash mobility scooters or cycle with broken backs. Really the discrimination on this blog is horrifying. It is enough to take to the courts, but really who wants that? Just recognition and access is enough. To loose our connection to our dead ancestors because making things less accessible makes a good cycle soundbite is tragic. The discrimination is so bad my husband was abused & told to leave by staff for needing a chair to sit in at a paid fireworks display in the domain. I had brought tickets as a birthday gift with our limited funds. The result. Weeks of devastation and him feeling less than human and suicidal. Words hurt and access is important. The disabled have a right to access what anyone else already can. (If I remember those that can walk and cycle could already do so for decades without impunity so the changes would alter non of that). Thank you for those who also spoke against the blogs discrimination. You guys are too few.

    • Sailor Boy

      I wasn’t aware that removing speeding through traffic was so discriminatory to disabled people? Would it be better if we increased the speed limit and put more cars in instead?

      • pacifica.northwest

        You should have read the plans and the response. They were looking to close the roads entirely. I.e. not imposing a speed limit, (which we already have), actually removing all access. But I can understand. Not everyone cares enough to read the plans or responses which stated that speed bumps caused a hazard to emergency ambulances in being able to treat patients, (a well researched phenomena). Those who didn’t bother reading were probably so uncaring because if the road access is removed at least they could still walk there. Pity those who can’t though. Ah but hopefully they will all die soon right?

        • Max

          Some highly emotive statements there, pacifica (no, I dont hope you die soon). The plans proposed closing some roads, and consolidating parking in other areas. I supported that. Closing of those roads would allow much better walking and cycling access, and much better access for people in wheelchairs on those routes at the same time (and in case you are concerned regarding collisions with cyclists – I asked for separate cycleways, so cyclists and pedestrians (and mobility-impaired people) are separate and dont have conflicts.

          I am not sure of the level of disability that you / your partner have – but I hope (and I am not being facetious or flippant) that with a good access path (not some skinny half-width footpath tucked alongside a wide road like we have in too much of Auckland), you would actually get a better outcome. And keeping mobility parking closest to locations, even if other parking gets moved or removed, is a centre piece of all accessibility design. It doesn’t mean we need to have several million cars a year driving through the Domain.

          I have worked with a number of disability advisors in my work (note – this is other work, I am not working on the Domain project), and I am definitely still learning how to get things right. But I do not believe – nor do most of them seem to – that reducing car dominance in general is a bad thing for elderly, mobility-impaired, people with children etc… – in fact, those groups are often the most harmed by our “cars everywhere” attitudes.

          • pacifica.northwest

            Sorry Max but a 1km footpath on a hill is not accessible. Really unfortunately we are in the total mobility criteria zone and cannot afford wheelchairs. (Seriously all the cars I have owned put together would not cost as much as those things). Holding out for a private servant and chairs to hit the affordable margin in the next 50 years or reach the +65years mark where funding might be accessible for mobility aids. That still means another 35years driving door to door and living in pain. Oh but they may make a genetic cure in the next 20years which would be good. I understand the impetus working for a cure to Duchennes (where 20years is about the length of a life), but the others may have hope in the next couple of decades too.

          • Max

            You talk of 1km – but none of the proposals I have seen would require mobility parkers to be more than ~100-200m away from anything in the Domain. Roads would still exist that you can drive on, even if all the proposed closures happen, and along those roads, there would be mobility car parks (in fact, the changes would make it easy to add more, dotted around the place). The whole domain is barely 800m wide, and as noted, several roads would very much remain.

            The cost of good wheelchairs and associated car conversions is a fair comment – my apologies, I was foolishly / falsely (?) thinking that such things would be covered by the govt (if they aren’t, they bloody well should be – but that is a different discussion).

        • Sailor Boy

          I saw the plans,they vastly improved access and limited through traffic. More mobility parks are definitely needed. Everyone else can definitely walk but parking in the domain should only be for those who cannot walk from the edges.

          • Stefan

            How are you defining “everyone else”? I know plenty of people who don’t have mobility stickers who struggle to walk much of a distance at all. They might be fine sometimes and struggle at others, . They wouldn’t count for a mobility park so they might be unable to visit.

          • pacifica.northwest

            Yes we fit the total mobility criteria to a tee, said that above. i.e. Cannot walk 50m, can barely go 20m many days, or for that matter stand. Do you need medical proof that such people and such people with poverty exist. Really there is no question suicide is preferable to trying to live most days, in pain, trying to get by. You would think a standing grave for relatives we treasure, or a family culture or even a park with ducks would be an important place to be kept accessible. But in reality lets face it. What is left when all your culture, community, society and livelihood is ripped away. When everyday you face the fact that if you fall and cry for help most people will avoid you, some will abuse you and maybe an hour later you may get help. When every relationship being human becomes futile what sense of self can you hold yourself to. What use is morals, ethics or life in such a situation … I have no answer. Coming out of hospital again all I can say is I already said my goodbyes to the domain. You can take it away now.

          • SDW

            @Stefan – based on your statement I assume we have a mobility sticker system for which people with severe mobility issues cannot get said sticker?

          • Stefan

            Referring to people whose mobility is limited but not to the extent having a sticker. Even having children can make having to walk distances a real challenge. People assume that everybody is capable of being able to walk everywhere. That’s definitely not the case.

          • Sailor Boy

            Sounds like it is far too hard to get a mobility permit. It would be a shame to have to ruin our public spaces when we could fix that :/. I had always assumed that anyone who used any mobility device or struggled to walk could get one.

      • pacifica.northwest

        Also you know what would actually be better, (if you did want to reduce abled body car traffic without decreasing accessibility) you could make all the car parks mobility parks. Then you can have your cake and proudly state that you did not decrease the disabled accessibility of a National Heritage building and War memorial. You could then state that only those people with less significant injuries and mobility issues have lost access.

        • Nick

          That’s not a bad idea.

          Far from being discriminatory, my impression is that most people who frequent this blog would be all for recognising and improving access for people with reduced mobility. True, that fact maybe gets lost in the overall desire to reduce the priority we give to cars in general, but it is a point that gets made. For instance the recent posts about pedestrianising Queen St had quite a few comments about the need to have some sort of vehicle access for those that need it.

    • bjfoe

      Why do you keep conflating the genuine needs of the disabled with more dubious assertions that cars should retain the current open slather? All of the disability access issues you’re describing can be addressed by providing targeted access to disabled people instead of opening it up to everyone.

      The disabled and/or their drivers should be given remotes to retract bollards so they can access pedestrian areas. There should be way more disabled spots, and camera enforcement should automatically fine any able bodied who park in them. You should be able to stop for ages in peak time clearways if you need to. And members of the Orakei Local Board should run a 24 hour phone hotline to take you to the Domain whenever you want to go, since they’re probably already sitting in their cars all night saying brum brum to themselves.

    • Patrick M

      Just a little question. How do you get by when in a mall? It could be quite frustrating and discrimating not being able to drive right to your shop (s).

  • Stefan

    Most Aucklanders I know would agree with much of the submission, although perhaps not the removal of judder bars. Personally, I would remove traffic from in front of the museum but leave parking behind it. For people outside of the area to get to the domain, there needs to be both parking and car access. In general Aucklanders are not as anti car as the leadership are.

    • Stu Donovan

      You do realise that there’s an underground parking building at the back of the museum in exactly the same location? So it’s more of a question of where cars park rather than how many …

      • Stefan

        Yes, been a while since I used that carpark so can’t recall what access would be like for people who struggle to walk, as described in a previous thread. But either way unless they are going to increase the car parks below there are fewer parks, which will simply make it more difficult for people to get to the museum.

      • Because clearly paid parking affects the affordability of a trip to the museum equally (i.e. minimally) for /everyone/ who uses it. This blog has made it particularly unclear to what extent the parking area on the hill between Parnell Library and the Museum will remain. Not knowing the street names so well, I am fairly certain they’re intact based on looking at the proposal months ago. This blog has enormously de-emphasised the regional appeal of the Domain/Museum.

        This blog has grossly overblown the trouble associated with walking the Domain. There is, in my view, one glaring problem: one is essentially forced to walk on the road between the Duck Pond/ entrance to the path to Grafton Road and the Winter Gardens. That’s it. You can easily walk along the outside in either direction and walk through the middle that aside. Perhaps, there is call to chuck in a crossing at the end of the road that circles up from the ASB tennis thingy (I don’t know the name… i.e. how you know this is from the perspective of an obligate pedestrian).

        Based on my memory of this blog and the proposal, it is hard to determine the exact impact on disability access because that was not something I was looking for.

        People who live within walking distance of the Museum /do not/ have an access issue within the Domain unless they have some form of disability. If they have an access issue, it is almost certainly outside the Domain or related to the aforesaid Duck Pond path failure. There are other groups who do (i.e. people with disabilities, and, in particularly, people with more restricted incomes not within walking distance*) and unless you strawman the Domain as a “thing for people who can walk there”, well, to appropriate a line, their views are “would be out of all proportion to the numbers involved”. That is, weighted. Or at least, they /ought/ to be.

        *For whom reliance on, say, Parnell Station (when it opens) would enormously increase the costs of a family/group visit and, as noted, paid parking is not necessarily useful.

  • Torken Faddy

    Retractable bollards at the Park Road entrance would stop the rat-running, but allow emergency services to go through.
    It boggles my mind that the flagship park for Auckland is allowed have a major through-road in the heart of it.

    • Max

      So many parks world-wide did / do. Yet the the trend is clear, with many removing these roads or making them partway only. Parks are for people. If you allow driving, then allow driving TO, not THROUGH.

  • Sanctuary

    Actually what strikes me is how bereft of imagination the submission is. It is like they have not moved on from the days when Auckland could still be managed like Tauranga, and it seems full of the totally Balkanised thinking that benighted Auckland until the supercity.

  • nonsense

    Eventually suburban dinosaurs go extinct as well. Patience and perseverance.

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