Annual Report – Sept 2021

The AGM was held on Wednesday 29th September 2021 at 7pm

Welcome to you all. Many thanks for being ready, willing and able to attend this our first AGM meeting using “Zoom” technology.

Last year at our Annual General Meeting we had completed a period of “lockdown” and held a physical meeting at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club premises in the Hyundai Marine Event Centre. I referred to the then Covid-19 lockdown as being “extraordinary”. Unfortunately, as we have all learned, that adjective is no longer appropriate and, after an extended period of “freedom”, the lockdown phenomenon has returned with a vengeance, necessitating this inaugural Zoom-based AGM.

Despite the disruptions over the past year, the committee’s initiatives towards the planned goals have proceeded well. We have also seen the progression of a number of works and events that will have a lasting impact on improving the amenity values for all users of Tamaki Drive.

Highpoints of the year have been:

Tamaki Drive Upgrading – substantial completion of the upgrading of Tamaki Drive in the area between Solent Street and Ngapipi Road, particularly the raising of the carriageway to mitigate frequent flooding events. However, the sustained disruption of traffic caused by the protracted completion at the Solent Street end was disappointing. The new cycle lane, as part of the city to Glen Innes pathway connection, finally seems to be completed to everyone’s satisfaction, and the recent installation of new seats and ‘pou’, carved posts, are attractive features. Pedestrians can now look forward to the confirmed upgrade of the footpath on the seaward side and the integration of the cycleway around Ngapipi Road and the bridge to complete the amenity upgrade.

“Walk Tamaki Drive” booklet – the successful completion of the funding, rewriting and printing of the second edition of our “Walk Tamaki Drive” booklet. Many thanks to the Orakei Local Board for their funding support. The project was led by our committee secretary, Margaret King, and has involved many hours of voluntary work in extending and modernising the format and adding new entries. This edition contains 78 items of interest extending from Teal Park on the city side of Judges Bay, to Achilles Point above St Heliers. Thanks also to committee members Jill Goldkorn for her administrative work, David Grinlinton for photographic expertise, and to Juliet Yates for research and editorial support. This work has been a reminder of the invaluable contribution of the late Colin Percy, as the original instigator of the publication.

Seawall Recognition – the success of the recent remedial works on the seawall and Ngapipi bridge abutments, prompted the committee to consider seawall maintenance along the length of Tamaki Drive. This led to our admiration for the outstanding efforts of the original Dalmation stonemasons and craftsmen who designed and built these features by hand. In an age of recognised impermanence, the seawall is a reminder that structures can be built to last several lifetimes. To that end your committee has commissioned a plaque to be placed on the wall in the vicinity of the Ngapipi intersection, recognising the contribution to Auckland made by those craftsmen.

America’s Cup – while the promised activity associated with the America’s Cup events was constrained in many ways by the effects of the Covid-19 Lockdown, the event was a credit to all those involved. The role of Tamaki Drive, as one of the ultimate viewing locations for events on Auckland’s magnificent harbour, received international media recognition.

Watercourse Assessment – members of your committee have reviewed the Eastern Bays and Glendowie Watercourse Assessment Report and were heartened to see it referenced the Wildlands Clifftop Pohutukawa Forest Survey and Assessment Report which had been commissioned by the Society in 2015. We contend that both these documents make worthy professional contributions to the knowledge base of environmental impacts affecting Tamaki Drive.

Tagalad Reserve – having made a submission to the Orakei Local Board and completed the community survey, we support the efforts of the Mission Bay Kohimarama Residents Association to retain the Tagalad Reserve and buildings for community use.

Collaboration – collaborative interest is maintained through ongoing attendances at the Eastern Bays Community Network meetings, with particular relevance to groups involved in protecting our local environment, and to specific Tamaki Drive related issues. We will be manning a table at the Orakei Local Board’s Environment forum scheduled for Sunday 14th November.

Development Intensification – the Society continues to closely monitor the significant proposed commercial development at Mission Bay, and to provide feedback to Auckland Transport on measures that impact the functional flow for all users of Tamaki Drive. Improved communication with Auckland Transport has been appreciated.

Of particular continuing concern are the following additional issues, a number of which have prompted specific submissions by either the Society or members of our Committee:

  • Parking adequacy and traffic control both on Tamaki Drive and in surrounding streets;
  • Impediments to traffic flows caused by raised speed attenuators and pedestrian protectors;
  • Bus routes and the location of bus stops on busy traffic lanes; –
  • Commercial signage and port related traffic activity in the Solent Street area;
  • Footpaths adjacent to Vellenowith Green

Efforts by the Society to address issues of flooding and blown beach sand intrusion at Mission Bay and Kohimarama were kept under review.

As to the future, the Society remains in good heart.

Our plan for this AGM had been to combine it with the launch of the “Walk Tamaki Drive” brochure. The launch will now occur once lockdown levels permit, with the date optimistically scheduled for the evening of Wednesday 27th October, at the St Heliers Library. Speakers will highlight various features of Tamaki Drive, covering topics of coastal engineering, ecological tree treasures, transport history, and an architectural art deco icon. We will be contacting you by email with an invitation to attend, and hope you are able to join us for an informative and celebratory evening, complete with booklet handouts and refreshments.

As I conclude this report, I have many to thank. Predominantly, our local Council representative, Desley Simpson and the members of the Orakei Local Board. We have particularly appreciated the privilege of having OLB member Colin Davis regularly attend our committee meetings. We also recognise and value the collaborative local associations we have worked with, including the local boating clubs, the Orakei Community Association, the Mission Bay Kohimarama Residents Association and the St Heliers Glendowie Residents Association.

Finally, and most importantly, we must thank all our members for their support and their donations which make our work possible. We welcome new members particularly any who are willing and able to join our committee.

Graham Jones – Chairman