On 5 July 2018 at Council’s Operations and Finance Committee meeting,
the result of an independent survey funded by the Waikane Community Board was presented. On behalf of the Friends of the Waikanae Town Centre, David Sherar and Margret Delbridge spoke to the findings of the survey, which contradicts the planning proposal recommended by Council.
Yet again, we have a community group supported by the community board virtually at loggerheads with Council. Unfortunately, I was left with an overwhelming feeling that the submission would be received and that it wouldn’t be taken any further by Council.
Waikanae has a recent history of community groups engaging in consultation and presenting submissions that have been ignored — for example with Waikanae On One and Destination Waikanae. A further example is the Waikanae business community views that have opposed significant parts of the Town Centres and Connectors project.
We now find ourselves in the same situation that were in 2012 with Coastal Ratepayers United and Council over coastal hazard lines. At that time Council did not listen to local advice or expertise. Instead, Council produced a very expensive report that was widely distributed throughout the district and eventually found not fit for purpose.
The current proposed plans for the SH1 and environs revocation have not fully considered what the community have said. I am very aware, as a hearing commissioner, the effort and time required to make submissions and representations to Council. I am grateful that we have people within our community who take the time to give us valuable input. There is no need at this stage for any significant disconnect between submitters and Council outcomes because of incomplete consultation.
I don’t understand why we need to rush this process. While there is no suggestion that everything has to be altered from the current plans, I am concerned that the plans produced are by people that don’t live here and are without input from the wealth of local professional expertise willing to participate. As a consequence, we now have a community opinion that challenges an outcome which has been predetermined and is flawed.
What we desperately require is a beneficial outcome where we have a unified community and Council that has worked together.
The role the Waikanae Community Board has played in supporting this survey has been a positive one and has highlighted a significant level of community disconnect. In my view the findings of the survey need to be taken into account and revisited by Council. Should the Waikanae Community Board agree to a motion recommending referring the matter back to Council it will have my total support.
M Lewis said:
has anyone done an assessment of the make up of respondents to the survey ? Does it represent the age, gender, ethnicity breakdown of the District?
David Sherar said:
No M Lewis, this was not done as it was an open survey for all residents and respondents. Can you please explain why you think that is relevant. The survey was a fully open survey through Survey Monkey (on line) and via paper copies placed in shops, supermarkets around Waikanae town centre and in retirement villages. We received results close to 10% of the total population of the Waikanae area. The survey was totally unbiased and the questions were not designed in a way to get the answers we wanted like some of the councils have been. It is the general residents of Waikanae who would be a cross section of age, gender and ethnicity who have made the results.
I often walk though the Waikanae town centre and must confess that I only usually use two shops within it. But what strikes me is that the present layout, while it may look is little tired is totally fit for purpose.
Clearly it is exceptionally well suited for pushchairs, wheel chairs and mobility scooters and parking which covers a good range of the Waikanae population.
Maybe this is what M lewis was eluding too and the fact that spending money for the sake of spending money in this day and age is bordering on the criminal.
Well the survey results are that 80% of Waikanae residents agree with you Steve – no changes to Main Road are wanted.
It wasn’t asking about Mahara Place but the changes to Main Road when its SH designation is revoked which is when KCDC and NZTA want to waste a lot of ratepayer and taxpayer dollars on their personal ideologies.
There are some useful improvements that could be made at minimal cost, mostly beautification and provision for pedestrian access to/from the railway station but these need not involve traffic lights, lane reductions nor most if the other unnecessary stuff that has bern planned by the ‘experts’.
Interestingly, the agreement between KCDC and NZTA requires that this road must be kept suitable as a backup for when the EWY is out of use, such as due to accidents. Reducing lanes snd adding bicycles would sedm quite inconsistent with this requirement. Cycles would be better further in the town centre linking, say Karu Cres to the river path and Ngaio Road to Park Ave.
Waikanae watcher said:
Traffic lights were never considered necessary at the Ngaio Road/Main Road intersection in SH1 days, but suddenly the NZTA & KCDC think they are now. It’s also debatable whether traffic lights are still needed at the Te Moana Road intersection. Traffic lights at the Elizabeth Street intersection would be obsolete for cars if an underpass were put in place, maybe just a puffin crossing for pedestrians.
That’s the present situation — but if Waikanae continues to grow at the rates we’ve seen in the past 3-4 years that could change.
A meeting is scheduled with senior representatives of both bodies on 31 July. Fingers crossed for a constructive outcome instead of the “we will give consideration to your ideas in the fullness of time while we get on with our plans” that has been predicted.
Margaret Stevenson-Wright said:
Amen to a truly future paced outcome (with longevity) developed through a measured process that both Community and Council agree to.
Councillor Cardiff the views that you have expressed – resonate as a voice of reason.
Ah, was up in Levin today and that’s where the KCDC staffers must have got the idea for angled parking. And true, with 2 sets of traffic lights helps the angle parkers get out somehow. That where the staffers thought for lights at Ngaio road comes from.
But as Margaret reminded us, that the road must be kept suitable for a backup, should ensure that any sensible thinking person would leave the road as it is.
Waikanae watcher said:
The pressure for angle parking came from local retailers who say — rightly or wrongly — that there are not enough parking places alongside the west side of the main road. The proposed traffic lights at the Ngaio Road intersection are north of the area concerned. There will always be potential for cars to be moving north along the area concerned from one source or another, so that wouldn’t be a major factor.
Council was split on parking with the Mayor voting for parallel. This was against what the business community wanted.
Had Cr Cardiff not been on leave (to which he was fully entitled and is not condemned for taking) the vote would have been for angle parking and the Mayor wouldn’t have had the casting vote.
Timing is all!