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Doing it in Auckland


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #200 on: October 02, 2013, 12:19:04 pm »


from The New Zealand Herald....

Aucklanders told: Mow your own berm

By BERNARD ORSMAN | 5:30AM - Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Onehunga resident Mike Haley says this overgrown berm is one of about 30% in his area not being mown.
Onehunga resident Mike Haley says this overgrown berm is one of about 30%
in his area not being mown.


AUCKLAND CITY residents should follow the rest of the region, take pride in their community — and mow their own berms, says a councillor.

Rodney councillor Penny Webster says that at a time when household budgets are tight, the council cannot afford the $12 million to $15 million cost of mowing berms for the whole region.

"It's not fair that one area gets berm mowing, while other areas mow their own," said Mrs Webster, a former Act MP. "The council had to make things even without increasing rates even more."

She was disappointed with local body election candidates from the Auckland City area who were complaining about something the rest of the region did without fuss.

The council voted to save $3 million by not cutting grass berms in the old Auckland City area from July.

Waitemata councillor Mike Lee said Mrs Webster's comments were "exactly the outer suburban small-mindedness and parochialism" he had to deal with in his days at the Auckland Regional Council, and which the Super City was meant to stop.

"The withdrawal of the service is an act of bad faith by the council to its ratepayers," he said.

"The berms are owned by the council. Many adjoin intensified housing and these areas are to have greater intensification. Who is meant to go out and buy the lawn mower?"

Onehunga Mall resident Mike Haley, who sent the Herald the photo above, said he could understand the desire for savings, but the berm ruling would be to the detriment of Auckland's neighbourhoods.

He estimated that 30% of berms in the area were unmown.

"I've been noticing the berms getting longer and longer ... some are just ridiculous," said Mr Haley. "It is to the detriment of our physical environment."

Mr Haley said he mowed his own berm.

Puketepapa Local Board member and Communities and Residents candidate Peter Muys said a lot of streets in Mt Roskill were looking shabby because of overgrown berms.

"Besides looking untidy, vermin inhabit the long grass and rubbish accumulates, which will lead to health and safety issues."

"The council needs to reset its priorities and care for the assets it has before embarking on expensive projects like the Manukau Whitewater Park that will cost in excess of $20 million of council funding."

"Excessive increases to rates are not necessary, it's just a matter of prudent and careful management and getting priorities right."

Eden-Albert Local Board chairman Peter Haynes said the board made submissions against the cuts, noting that councillors — including Mrs Webster — found it easy to find $3 million towards a $12 million redevelopment of the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

"A question of priorities, I guess," he said.

Mayor Len Brown is sticking to the policy of not mowing berms, while his chief right-wing rival, John Palino, has pledged to reinstate mowing and allocate more money to local boards which would decide whether to continue the service.


Lawnmower.

Readers spoke out on the Herald website yesterday.

Barry Eastwood from Epsom said cutting grass verges was a core activity of the council.

"Subsidising theatres isn't, so let's cut those instead if money has to be saved."

Richie Cunningham pointed out that the council had money to pay wardens to ticket those who park or leave trailers on the berms.

But Auckland City Maungakiekie-Tamaki ward councillor Richard Northey, who supported no-mowing decision, said feedback he had received backed the move.

"It would have put the rates up by 0.9 per cent if we had applied it across the whole region."

Mr Northey said people who had difficulty mowing their berm should contact Auckland Transport to seek assistance.


______________________________________

BATTLE OF THE BERMS:

❏ Residents in the former Auckland City Council area had their berms mowed.

❏ Residents in the other six territorial council areas did not have their berms mowed.

❏ In July, councillors voted to stop cutting the Auckland City berms and have one regionwide policy at a saving of $3 million.

❏ It would cost $12 million to $15 million to have berms mowed regionwide.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11133160
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« Reply #201 on: October 03, 2013, 10:36:16 am »


from The New Zealand Herald....

One street's view: it isn't clear cut

By VAIMOANA TAPALEAO | 5:30AM - Thursday, October 03, 2013

David Wright of Jim's Mowing says many retirees can't afford extra for berm mowing. — Photo: Sarah Ivey.
David Wright of Jim's Mowing says many retirees can't afford extra
for berm mowing. — Photo: Sarah Ivey.


BLAKEY STREET in Onehunga is a funny little street.

There are two roads on each end and one running through its middle; resulting in several good-sized berms which the neighbours are divided about mowing. It's a microcosm of the city.

Auckland Council voted in July to save $3 million by not cutting grass berms in the old Auckland City area. This has sparked a debate among local body politicians and residents over who should take responsi-bility.

Rachel Xiong doesn't mind tidying the 75m or so berm that runs across the back of her property on Blakey Street, or the 50m berm that's on the corner of their house on neighbouring Mariri Road.

"We used to mow it all the time and then once or twice — when we missed mowing them — we noticed that somebody else had been mowing them. We checked with the man that came last time and found out he was contracted by the Auckland Council," she said.

"But it's not really a big deal to me. It's just a small patch and if they can save money not mowing it, then that's a good thing. We don't mind doing our part to help save money."

Rex McLeod doesn't feel that way though.

The 62-year-old — whose house is on the corner of Blakey and Cameron Streets — has lived there for 39 years and goes for walks around the neighbourhood nearly every morning.

"I've never seen the berms look so bad. There are so many that are not mown now and it makes the place look bad."

"The council used to mow it ... but then we noticed that it got less and less."

At his property yesterday, the smell of freshly cut grass was in the air and a neat row of purple and white flowers lined the fence.

The place looks loved and cared for.

Mr McLeod said: "My wife did it. You have to cut the lawn, don't you? Otherwise it looks untidy. But I feel like it's a double dip — I think it's [the council's] job. We should have a reduction in rates if we're going to have to do them."

It's a stark contrast to the berm that runs just next door outside 12 Jubilee Avenue — which backs on to Blakey Street — where the residents have been away for some weeks because of renovations.

The long grass makes at least one resident on the street happy — Timmy the ginger cat who happily flicks in and out of the tall grass.

There's no one home at 6 Blakey Street or 17 Jubilee Avenue, where the berm outside those two properties needs attention.

Suzy Acar, at the corner of Blakey and Cameron Streets, has a berm in reasonable condition outside.

"I just think that people can do it themselves. I'd rather the money spent by council to do them go to something like hospitals or kindergartens or something else."




Making hay, but worried

Despite a likely windfall, lawnmower David Wright says it's "horrendous" that Auckland Council is making elderly residents take responsibility for mowing their grass berms.

"I've got to be careful what I say because this could make me money," said Mr Wright from Jim's Mowing. "But there are types of people out there who simply can't afford to do it ... especially the elderly, it's horrendous."

Shirley Parr of Onehunga is one Aucklander whose berms are mowed by Mr Wright.

The 76-year-old, who is unable to operate a lawnmower, already spends $40 every three weeks keeping her Paihia Road lawn in order, and is upset she will have to fork out extra.

"I've only got a pension and that's not much. I've lived here for a long time and they've mown the berm since about 1964. The old council always did it - why not now?"

Mrs Parr's berm, outside the corner property she has lived in for over 40 years, runs for almost 100m.

"It's like a park," said Mr Wright. "I'm only going to charge her a few extra dollars, I have a business to run, but I feel bad for her."

Mrs Parr said she wrote a letter to the council expressing how upset she was over the issue.

"It's a lot of land and actually it's not my land, so why should I be paying for it to be maintained? I would do it myself if I could, but I can't. And I want the place to look tidy," she said. "We already pay high rates and now this."

Mr Wright said he had been contacted by about half a dozen people asking for berm mowing to be added on to their regular mowing services.


The rules

❏ Outside private homes: Owner/occupier must mow berm.

❏ Block of flats: Residents in common must arrange to mow berm.

❏ Apartment buildings: Body corporate must arrange to mow berm.

❏ Townhouses: Residents in common must arrange to mow berm.

❏ Tenants: Must arrange with landlord about who will mow berm.

❏ Landlord: Must arrange with tenants about who will mow berm.

❏ Council houses and flats: Auckland Transport mows the berm.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11133832
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« Reply #202 on: October 03, 2013, 10:51:37 am »


from The New Zealand Herald....

Councillors' new move on berms

No-mow councillors make u-turn and call for roadside
cutting to continue until local body elections are over.


By BERNARD ORSMAN | 5:35AM - Thursday, October 03, 2013

Overgrown berms in Segar Avenue, Mount Albert. — Photo: Sarah Ivey.
Overgrown berms in Segar Avenue, Mount Albert. — Photo: Sarah Ivey.

AUCKLAND COUNCILLORS Richard Northey and Cathy Casey have done a u-turn on their previous support for not cutting city grass berms and want an immediate fix until after the local body elections.

Mr Northey and Ms Casey are facing strong challengers in wards with scruffy roadsides, and are blaming poor council communication for people not knowing about the new policy.

Mr Northey, who told The New Zealand Herald on Tuesday that he supported the no-mowing decision and had received feedback in favour of the move, yesterday said people had not been told of the decision or the reasons for it.

He said the berms should be mowed this month and the incoming councillors and local board members should decide whether to resume berm mowing per- manently and, if so, how to pay for it.

The Herald was inundated yesterday with emails from residents, many upset at how shabby and overgrown many Auckland street verges had become.

Many were angry with the council for stopping mowing the berms; others were puzzled as to why some residents did not want to maintain their property frontages.

Ms Casey said the council should ensure that Auckland Transport continued mowing the berms to give the new local boards the opportunity to consult their communities over whether they wanted to pay for the service with a targeted rate.

Mr Northey and Ms Casey were the only ward councillors from the old Auckland City area to vote in June to stop mowing berms in the old Auckland City isthmus area at a saving of $3 million. The other Auckland City ward councillors, Cameron Brewer, Chris Fletcher and Mike Lee, voted to mow the berms.

The vote brought the Auckland City area into line with the other six territorial councils that make up the Super City, which did not mow berms.

Labour's Mr Northey is facing a serious challenge from Communities and Residents (C&R) candidate Denise Krum for the single seat in the Maungakiekie- Tamaki ward.

City Vision's Ms Casey is facing a tussle againstC&R candidates Chris Fletcher and Nigel Turnbull for one of the two Albert-Eden-Roskill ward seats.

A Herald survey of the main mayoral candidates and the Auckland City ward candidates drew eight responses, including Mayor Len Brown, who restated his support for not mowing berms.

"Extending berm mowing to the whole region would cost $12 million to $15 million a year — a 1% increase to rates," he said.

"It's unfair to provide a free service to one part of the region and not others." Mayoral candidate John Minto said he would reinstate the service, saying the change was made without consultation with residents and no consideration for flats and homes without mowers.

Yesterday, Auckland Transport said it had mowedovergrown berms on astretch of St Lukes Road after a complaint last week. It also received an assurance from the Auckland Racing Club that it would maintain a 1km strip along the back of the Ellerslie racecourse on Peach Parade after Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer photographed grass knee-deep in places.

One Panmure resident said the council had stopped mowing a previously beautifully maintained roadside reserve in Ireland Road about 12 months ago. After the resident contacted councillors last week, the council instructed its parks department to address the problem.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11133907
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« Reply #203 on: October 04, 2013, 08:23:34 pm »


from The New Zealand Herald....

Council liable for berm accidents

Injury or damage covered by insurance, and lawyer says
residents can take city to court if verges aren't mown


By VAIMOANA TAPALEAO | 5:30AM - Friday, October 04, 2013

The council will save $3 million a year by not mowing grass berms such as these overgrown areas in Segar Avenue, Mount Albert. — Photo: Sarah Ivey .
The council will save $3 million a year by not mowing grass berms such as
these overgrown areas in Segar Avenue, Mount Albert.
 — Photo: Sarah Ivey .


RESIDENTS who hurt themselves or damage property while mowing a berm owned by Auckland Council can seek insurance cover from the council.

And anyone who refuses to mow their berm has the right to take a case against the council because by law the berm is its responsibility.

Aucklander Mike Bryce made two insurance claims against the council following berm-mowing accidents.

The first was when his lawn mower blade caught on a phone box in front of his property.

Mr Bryce contacted the then Manukau City Council and an invoice from the repair shop was sent straight to its offices.

"The other one was a commercial building where we were working. A council contractor was mowing a berm and picked up a rock that went through a huge window and the council paid for that straight away — it was on the job so quickly it wasn't funny."

Mr Bryce said many people were unaware of council liability for berm-mowing-related damage.

"People need to know. If something goes wrong while they're mowing out the front on a berm that's the council's [responsibility]; it's covered."

The Auckland Council moved to standardise urban berm-mowing services throughout the city to save about $3 million each year.

Spokesman Glyn Walters confirmed there was a general liability insurance policy in place that covered anything that happened on council-owned berms.

However, there had been no claims since Auckland's eight councils merged in 2010.

Local government consultant lawyer Dr Grant Hewison said residents could take a case against the council for not mowing the berms outside their properties.oi

"The grass berm is part of the road. The road — including the berm — is owned by the Auckland Council and it is the responsibility of Auckland Transport to manage it," he said.

"The responsibility to mow the berm falls clearly to Auckland Transport and not to adjacent landowners."

Dr Hewison said council authorities could ask residents to mow the berm but they could not legally make them responsible for doing so.


Parks, reserves scruffy too

It's not just the berms that are getting out of control — many parks and reserves throughout the city are looking increasingly scruffy because of unmown lawns, says an Auckland councillor.

Orakei ward representative Cameron Brewer is calling on authorities — namely Auckland Transport — to start taking better care of grassy sections around the city.

"The long grass around Auckland is not limited to suburban berms," he said.

"Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have also stopped mowing many pocket parks, road reserves and grassed traffic islands.

"The central suburbs look increasingly scruffy and let's notforget they are Auckland's shop window."

Mr Brewer pointed out two grassy sections that looked as though they had not seen a lawnmower in weeks — "very long" grass outside Point Chevalier Library and knee-high grass behind the Ellerslie Racecourse.

"This is mostly about road reserves with no residential guardianship, the elderly, those on low incomes, recent migrants and tenants who in many cases are just not in a position to start maintaining the council's berms."


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11134384
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« Reply #204 on: October 04, 2013, 08:31:56 pm »


Brian Rudman

Forget mowers, let's use cows

Brian Rudman on Auckland

Turning Auckland into a kind of New Delhi with cows on every
corner no dafter than slashing berm mowing comment.


The New Zealand Herald | 9:30AM - Friday, October 04, 2013

Pockets of streetscapes in the old Auckland City are now looking more like rural Rodney roads. — Photo: Sarah Ivey .
Pockets of streetscapes in the old Auckland City are now looking more
like rural Rodney roads. — Photo: Sarah Ivey .


0NE-TIME Rodney dairy farmer Penny Webster got us into this berm-cutting mess as chair of Auckland Council's strategy and finance committee. What's her way out? Trucking a herd of cows into town?

Indeed, as Mrs Webster is a one-time Act MP and Auckland Federated Farmers president, perhaps the entrepreneurial possibility of grazing the urban "long-acre" was her masterplan all along. Not only was there lush grass going begging, but there were spin-off advantages.

Anyone who's tripped around India knows the traffic-calming effects of randomly wandering cows on city streets. Once drivers realised a half-tonne of meandering beast could be lurking behind every parked car, hooning down Ponsonby Rd would rapidly become a thing of the past.

If urban New Delhi can accommodate — and milk — a herd of 40,000 cows, why not Auckland?

With a cow or two on every street, Mrs Webster could also rethink Auckland Council's grandiose — and expensive — green recycling plans. Instead of wasting millions of dollars on manufacturing, distributing and then regularly collecting 440,000 new greenwaste recycling bins, how much more planet-friendly to feed our food scraps to friendly Doris or Matilda at the front gate.

The byproducts? No problems. Dried cow pats make ideal barbecue fuel. Just slap them on the sunny side of the house and let them dry.

Daft? Well, no dafter than a bunch of ex-suburban politicians from Mayor Len Brown down slashing a service that Auckland City ratepayers had previously paid for collectively.

Mrs Webster pumped out a press release this week sneering that "the rest of the region has always got on with it and mowed their own berms because local people have taken pride in their local community". What she conveniently ignores is that residents of the old Auckland City had equal pride in their local community. They just preferred to pay for services such as berm mowing through their rates.

We also expressed our pride in our city by funding a major art gallery, a public library service, a regional performing arts centre and many other facilities, all with little or no help from the citizens of Rodney or the other fringe areas now part of the Super City.

Mrs Webster and her fellow outlanders have inherited these fabulous regional facilities, all built at no cost to them. Instead of lecturing us on civic pride, they should be thanking the ratepayers of the old city. But instead of thanks, they squeeze the stone for more.

Perhaps they think old-city ratepayers haven't noticed that in Rodney, where Mrs Webster was once mayor, rates have gone up, on average, over the past three years, a minuscule 2.1% cent, while in old Auckland City wards such as Orakei and Maungakiekie-Tamaki they've rocketed 17-18%.

In other words, the ratepayers of the old city are now being called upon to subsidise the cost of dragging Rodney and other outlying areas into the 21st century. But to the outlanders now running the show, it's still not enough. They want to grab the $3 million a year it costs to continue berm-mowing in the old city as well.

Mrs Webster can be assured that trying to shame those without a mower is not going to work. Auckland Transport, which is in charge of trying to enforce this fiasco, is trying the heavy hand. It's implying it has some sort of statutory power to force residents to mow. It's even going through the farce of requiring people to produce a medical certificate to prove they're too infirm to carry out their "civic duty".

It should stop wasting public money. There is no bylaw or statute to back their bluster. Auckland Transport has admitted that, telling me, "There is no legal power to pursue and AT would not now be pursuing now this is delegated to us."

The plan seems to be to punish by neglect instead, mowing berms outside the homes of only those who've produced medical certificates proving they're too unwell to do it themselves. Those and the odd berms which are excessively steep or inaccessible.

It's taken just a few short weeks of spring growth to demonstrate what a penny-wise, pound-foolish decision this was. Pockets of the streetscapes in the old Auckland City are now looking more like a rural Rodney road, which might make Mrs Webster nostalgic. But it's hardly the transformation the Super City was supposed to deliver.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11134360
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« Reply #205 on: October 04, 2013, 09:10:03 pm »

It is amazing how much of a hot issue berm mowing has become.

Auckland has other problems - huge other problems. Our city systems still haven't been fully amalgamated (North Shore and Waitakere are still on user pays rubbish collection),  transport is a HOPping mess although there have been improvements. A national convention centre funded by a bigger casino and yet more pokey machines. Housing that is rapidly becoming unaffordable. A unitary plan that seems palatable to nobody. A port that wants to expand halfway across the harbour. The city is still outgrowing its infrastructure and running out of room for more...


...and mowing of grass berms in less than a quarter of the city has become the hot issue.



I still have to figure out who to vote for - there is plenty of choice for a small number of positions. I get to vote for  a mayor, 2 councillors, 8 local (Kaipatiki) board members, 6 (Birkenhead) licencing trust members and 7 (Waitemata) health board members. Only 3 of those have any say in how the super city as a whole is run.
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« Reply #206 on: October 06, 2013, 01:15:57 pm »


from The New Zealand Herald....

Grass an ideal election issue

By JOHN ROUGHAN | 10:00AM - Saturday, October 05, 2013

The great berm debate has put council members on the spot. — Photo: Sarah Ivey.
The great berm debate has put council members on the spot.
 — Photo: Sarah Ivey.


IT IS a bit of a chore to mow the berm. I live down a right of way and have to push the machine up there for a wedge of grass between my drive and the next. Too often I forget. It had never occurred to me that the council should do it.

The council most definitely should not. This is fast becoming the defining issue in Auckland's election and it is a good one. It might seem trivial beside long-term population plans, housing densities and commuter rail schemes but unlike them, an uncut verge is visible, pressing and very close to home.

The great berm debate has put council members on the spot. Do they have the courage of their decision last year? Or in the heat of the election, will they cut and run, so to speak?

An issue such as this is like gold when we get around to voting and need something better than bland candidate statements to help sort the sheep from the goats.

On one level it sets the old city where the previous council mowed the lawns, against the post-war suburbs of North Shore, Waitakere and Manukau where we have never presumed it should.

But I doubt any of us gave it a thought until the "Super City" decided it was a needless expense.

That was the sort of decision that is sorely needed when local government expands. Old Auckland was not the only place to bring an excessive service into the amalgamated city. Manukau had free swimming pools. Now this whole sea-blessed region provides free indoor swimming for children under 16 and Len Brown would extend it to everybody.

So far he is standing firm on the berms but the election has another week to run. Watch what happens.

This week the Herald helpfully re-published last year's council vote. Disgracefully, those who voted for the public expense were Cameron Brewer and Christine Fletcher from the well-heeled wards, David Taipari of the Maori Statutory Board and, surprisingly, Mike Lee.

Surprisingly, because I'd have thought Lee, like his old friend the late David Lange, held to the idea that New Zealand is a community of can-do neighbours who give each other a hand. You know what I mean, if you can't mow the verge for some reason, sing out.

Yet when Rodney's Penny Webster suggested this week there was no need for the city to spend $12 million to $15 million on mowing, Lee accused her of "exactly the outer suburban small-mindedness and parochialism" he used to hear on the regional council.

Mowing a street lawn might be "small-minded" to inner-city socialists but you'd think that encouraging a little neighbourly co-operation would be up their alley. A disconnect between social ideals and personal dealings is often stark on the left.

As it happens, I was the beneficiary of some outer suburban small-mindedness and parochialism this week. I'd forgotten the verge again last weekend and noticed the other night that one of the neighbours has run a mower over it. I'd have done the same.

On Wednesday, after the great berm debate had been in the paper for a couple of days, two of those who had voted to stop the mowing, Cathy Casey and Richard Northey, were backtracking.

They called for the council to cut the grass this month and reconsider the cost after the election. Sheep and goats.

While the mayor passes the test so far, his nearest rival, John Palino, would pass the buck to local boards.

I don't know whether he would fund them all for work none really need and give them the option to spend the money on something more useful. Or, as Casey suggests, let the boards commit their locality to paying a special rate to cover the cost.

Why, I wonder, are Casey, Northey and Palino running scared on this? I wouldn't assume old Auckland is of one mind.

Letters to the editor are divided. Some in the older suburbs are cutting the grass, others letting it grow. Some of the negligent might be bloody-minded, daring the council to do nothing about it. Most are probably just not getting around yet to a task they have only just realised is theirs.

It is always hard to take away a service people have come to expect. Politicians hear the outcry from a few whose view makes news and can easily assume it represents the majority.

This is one issue Aucklanders can decide without uttering a word. Every householder can cast a vote without putting a pen to paper.

They can mow the berm or leave it.

Better still, those who want to bring the outer suburban spirit to old Auckland can have an additional vote by running the mower a bit further.

A neighbourly gesture can be catching.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11134937
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« Reply #207 on: October 06, 2013, 01:16:46 pm »



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« Reply #208 on: October 06, 2013, 01:25:34 pm »

It is amazing how much of a hot issue berm mowing has become.

Auckland has other problems - huge other problems. Our city systems still haven't been fully amalgamated (North Shore and Waitakere are still on user pays rubbish collection),  transport is a HOPping mess although there have been improvements. A national convention centre funded by a bigger casino and yet more pokey machines. Housing that is rapidly becoming unaffordable. A unitary plan that seems palatable to nobody. A port that wants to expand halfway across the harbour. The city is still outgrowing its infrastructure and running out of room for more...


...and mowing of grass berms in less than a quarter of the city has become the hot issue.




It is entertaining for us REAL NZers, though....


Back when I lived in Disraeli Street, Gisborne (only three doors down the road from the Botanical Gardens), I had a run-in with the Gisborne District Council over the berm outside my place (around the same time I started World War Three with NZ Post when I removed my letterbox). I used to dutifully mow the berm whenever I mowed my lawns, then I decided that as I was looking after the council's property I'd plant a couple of shrubs on it. About six months after that I received a shitty letter from the local council informing me that the berm was THEIR property, that I had no right to change it in any way, including planting shrubs, and ordering me to remove the shrubs. I ignored them. A few weeks later, council contractors removed the shrubs and reinstated the grass where they had been. So I reasoned that as they had insisted that the berm was their property and I wasn't allowed to do anything with it, that I'd stop mowing it. So I did. Over the course of several weeks, it turned into a jungle. I then received a further shitty letter from the council chiding me for not mowing the berm. I ignored that. Eventually, I received a phone call over it and I told the person who phoned that as they were insisting that the berm was their property and that I couldn't plant anything on it, then they could take care of their own property. A few days later, a council contractor mowed the berm. And continued to mow the berm every couple of weeks. In the meantime, my neighbours woke up to the fact that the council were mowing the berm outside my place, so several of them likewise stopped mowing their berms. And within a few weeks, the council contractor was mowing the berms right down that particular block of Disraeli Street. That situation was still occurring when I left Disraeli Street, Gisborne in October 1998 and moved to Masterton.

I don't know if the Gisborne District Council are still mowing the berms in Disraeli Street, but I started something there. And my neighbours joined in the civil disobedience! 

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« Reply #209 on: October 06, 2013, 05:06:44 pm »

The situation is fairly amusing from this side of the bridge too - unless they win. It has given me a reason not to vote for some people.

If they do an the old Auckland City gets the berms mown with the cost levied across the whole city I will break out the roundup and turn our little berm into a dust bowl. Our house is so far back from the street that is won't affect us and I have a garden several metres deep on the front boundary that will benefit from less invasion from lawn weeds.
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« Reply #210 on: October 09, 2013, 11:23:01 am »


Alternative ideas for Auckland's berms

Ditch mowers and ‘bomb’ the berm

By JOE DAWSON - Auckland City Harbour News | 5:00AM - Wednesday, 09 October 2013

LATERAL THNKING: Landscape architect Sally Peake says other approaches to berm plantings should be considered.BERM BOMB: Green-fingered Grey Lynn resident Barbara Grace would like to see more people plant out their berm with herbs and plants like the one in front of her home.
LATERAL THNKING: Landscape architect Sally Peake says other approaches to berm plantings should be considered (left).
BERM BOMB: Green-fingered Grey Lynn resident Barbara Grace would like to see more people plant out their berm
with herbs and plants like the one in front of her home (right).


STOP ARGUING about who mows the berms in Auckland and look for other solutions.

That's the message from landscape architects to councillors and residents.

Debate over the berms has provided an opportunity to think about alternative ways to construct streetscapes, New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects member Sally Peake says.

The Auckland Council has stopped mowing berms and is asking residents to do it instead.

"My personal view is we tend to be rather rigid in thinking of streetscapes full stop," Ms Peake says.

"I would certainly like to see other approaches."

Ms Peake says bushier berms would bring several benefits.

"A good example is on Jellicoe Street (in Wynyard Quarter) which has some quite luscious planting."

"It offers a stormwater solution as well as providing high visual amenity. It's an excellent alternative to grass."

Stormwater is filtered by the plants which strip it of heavy metals from the roads.

She says the initial set up costs would be significant but ongoing maintenance would be lower.

"It would be far cheaper over the long term if you have a full canopy."

Unitec landscape architecture head Renee Davies agrees other options should be considered but success would rely on group effort.

"The main issue as I see it is the willingness for the council's homeowners, renters and community to work with each other to put in place such innovative approaches."

Berms with more extravagant plantings can become a liability for councils if left untended.

"So councils often require owners to take total responsibility for the berm plantings.

"Maybe there is an option for a shared approach utilising the funding that would otherwise be spent on mowing contractors to establish the infrastructure for more interesting streetscapes."

But Auckland Transport, which is responsible for the berms, says they cover underground services including gas, power and telecommunications which is why grass is preferred and why parking on them is prohibited.

Spokeswoman Sharon Hunter says workers may need to gain access to underground services at any time.

The council standardised urban berm mowing services throughout the region in its current annual plan.

Prior to the formation of the super-city only berms in central Auckland were mowed by council contractors at an annual cost of $3m.

Providing berm mowing services region-wide would have cost ratepayers an extra $12m to $15m a year.

Generally the responsibility of mowing grass berms now rests with the owners or occupiers who are asked to take pride in their streets.

❏ Visit AucklandTransport.govt.nz for details.


______________________________________

Roadside wildlife haven in city's heart

A small patch along the footpath of Richmond Rd has been buzzing with wildlife thanks to the efforts of a bunch of "berm bombing" residents.

The berm-planting movement was introduced to the Grey Lynn suburb by transition town group Grey Lynn 2030 a few years ago as a way to create continuous "bio-corridors" and encourage community interaction.

Green-fingered Grey Lynn resident Barbara Grace volunteered her berm in 2010 when the group was scouting for people to get involved.

She has been maintaining it ever since.

"I'm quite happy to do it, I think of it as mine now and I've kind of forgotten it's not."

A group got together to help prepare the soil and it was soon filled with self-seeding flora like borage and swan plants to attract bees and butterflies as well as rosemary, thyme and parsley.

People will stop by to pick seeds and herbs while children watch the butterflies, she says.

Ms Grace would like to see more people plant out their berms.

"It's not just the planting — it's people getting out from behind their gates and reclaiming the space."

"People interact with it — I like that aspect."

The group did not seek permission from the council before planting began but Ms Grace says she has not received any negative feedback. "As long as you look after it and bear in mind sight lines so people can see buses and cars there shouldn't be any problems."

Work is under way along the footpaths of a handful of Grey Lynn streets to create similar spaces, Grey Lynn 2030 committee member Suzanne Kendrick says.

Ms Kendrick is now preparing her own berm for planting.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/auckland-city-harbour-news/9256821/Alternative-ideas-for-Aucklands-berms
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« Reply #211 on: October 09, 2013, 01:07:34 pm »

Planting the berm is problematic as many underground services are under the berm. That includes water.

I am happy for the council to plant trees as they know what is underground and if they get it wrong it ain't my problem. If I was planting I would stick to more shallow rooted plants and wouldn't be double digging the soil.

There are all sorts of ground covers, annuals and perennials that are suitable. I would love to turn my berm into a herb garden.
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« Reply #212 on: October 14, 2013, 11:51:39 am »



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« Reply #213 on: October 15, 2013, 09:21:36 am »




          (click on the cartoon)
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« Reply #214 on: October 20, 2013, 12:16:54 pm »




Disgrace for sons of Supercity

Matt McCarten on politics

HERALD on SUNDAY | 5:30AM - Sunday, October 20, 2013

Len Brown (left) and John Banks. — Photo: Greg Bowker.
Len Brown (left) and John Banks. — Photo: Greg Bowker.

TWO OF our Supercity sons have disgraced themselves.

The former Auckland Mayor and contender for the role of super mayor, John Banks, and our current Mayor, Len Brown, have got themselves deep in moral quagmire this week.

Banks' crime was straightforward. The police gutlessness in not charging him in the first place was outrageous. The judge wasn't having any of Banks' denials and sent him to trial.

Does anyone believe that Banks didn't ask Kim Dotcom to split his $50,000 donation to his mayoral campaign into two, so he could pass the money off as anonymous?

Banks' defence — that he couldn't remember ever meeting Dotcom (all three times), nor helicoptering to his mansion for dinner where the money was agreed — is pathetic.

While any deceit and lying about getting the donation is bad enough, witnesses claim Banks said he needed the money to be untraceable. In my opinion, he could offer his new benefactor favours only if people didn't know of their relationship.

Ah, relationships. That's where I come to our current Mayor.


WEIGHED DOWN
          (click on the cartoon to read another opinion piece)

Naturally, Brown's affair with Bevan Chuang is humiliating for himself and his family. That aside, we generally don't use opponents' personal relationship failings as weapons. Overseas, it's fair game.

Maybe that's why a recent immigrant on John Palino's campaign team thought romancing a woman and then badgering her to set up her former lover seemed a legitimate campaign strategy.

Palino comes from New Jersey, arguably the American state with the most ruthless and corrupt politics, where this sort of takedown is standard fare.

A new paradigm in politics, it seems, has been imported into New Zealand. I think Palino's belated denials ring hollow.

Brown's affair was intended to be published by Palino's campaign manager's son during the campaign to destroy his opponent. Palino's fiancee is a friend of Chuang, who was a volunteer on Palino's campaign and a candidate on the National Party-aligned Citizens and Ratepayers ticket in the election.

Chuang knew what she was doing. But the way she was exploited by everyone in this sordid business is inexcusable.

I've run more campaigns than I care to remember and know most of the senior players in this world. None of them believe Palino and his senior people didn't know about the dirty tricks campaign. My only concession is that I know John Slater, Palino's campaign manager. If he says he didn't know, I believe him. But he should have — and stopped it.

It's easy to feel morally indignant about Banks' apparent willingness to solicit donations for favours. Brown, unfortunately, has arguably committed a similar crime.

Our Mayor solicited sex and concealed the relationship, and then helped his sexual benefactor get a council job without the public knowing there was a relationship with implied obligations. Brown gave his lover a work reference for a job at the Auckland Art Gallery. The Mayor's recommendation would surely have been decisive in her successful application.

Conversely, it seems, Banks solicited donations and concealed them so he could help his financial benefactor without the public knowing there was a relationship with implied obligations.

Apart from Banks dropping Dotcom when he called in a favour, what's the difference? Not much. Both used their positions of trust with dishonour.

Our two fallen sons are self-proclaimed practising Christians. I look forward to see how they go about seeking redemption and making amends.

I'm holding my breath — not for too long, I hope.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11142915
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« Reply #215 on: October 21, 2013, 11:00:05 am »


from the HERALD on SUNDAY....

Beyonce jumps off tower twice

By RUSSELL BLACKSTOCK | 5:30AM - Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beyonce posted this photo of her Sky Tower jump to her Instagram account.
Beyonce posted this photo of her Sky Tower jump to her Instagram account.

BEYONCE prepared for her final New Zealand concert last night with a double leap from Auckland's Sky Tower.

Staff at the tourist attraction were surprised when the superstar singer showed up unannounced about 10.30am. She was surrounded by minders and enjoyed two bungy jumps.

"She got changed into the bungy clothes out the back somewhere and was taken straight up in a service elevator," one worker told the Herald on Sunday.

"It was difficult to see her when she came down because she had so many bodyguards with her."

"It was all over very quickly and bosses kept it quiet from everyone because they didn't want word getting out and risk huge crowds turning up to watch."

"She did the whole thing virtually unnoticed."

The worker added Beyonce had enjoyed the first jump so much she asked for a second, before she "disappeared as quickly as she arrived".

Staff at the SkyJump declined to comment about the star's visit.

Beyonce, 32, arrived in Auckland from Paris on Wednesday on a private jet for the New Zealand leg of her Mrs Carter Show World Tour. She was carrying her 22-month-old daughter Blue Ivy when she got off the plane at Auckland Airport. Her husband, rapper Jay-Z, was not with her for four sold-out gigs at the city's Vector Arena as he is on tour in Europe.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11142960
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« Reply #216 on: November 02, 2013, 05:54:03 pm »


from The New Zealand Herald....

Auckland's $2.4 billion airport of the future

By GRANT BRADLEY | 1:50PM - Friday, November 01, 2013

Artist impression of Auckland Airport's 30-year vision for a sweeping new domestic and international terminal.
Artist impression of Auckland Airport's 30-year vision for a sweeping new
domestic and international terminal.


AUCKLAND AIRPORT has released plans for "the airport of the future" that includes a sweeping crescent-shaped domestic and international terminal on one site.

The project which has a price tag of $2.4 billion is part of the company's strategy of building the airport's position as a key hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

While it is still in a "concept stage" the airport's senior executives have been presenting the plan (7.77MB PDF download) to investors in Auckland today.

It allows for new or extended aircraft piers with provision for new hotels and commercial space next door. The airport is also allowing for a train terminal although says any rail link would have to be built by central or local government.

Chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the development of the airport represented an "incredible" opportunity.

"We don't know what the future holds and how people will travel but there will be change and we've got to allow for that," he said.

Forecasts suggest the number of passenger movements through the airport will increase from around 14.5 million to 40 million by 2044 and the airport says it needs to plan for sufficient infrastructure to cope with that growth.

In its presentation the company said investment was expected to be staged to provide a reasonable price path and a fair return.

"Our 30-year vision is not a confirmed capital expenditure plan."

Littlewood said that passengers would end up paying for the development but "high level analysis" suggested increase in charges would be in line with rises in the consumer price index.

"Passengers pay ultimately - we're very aware of that but people accept if they want a great airport facility there is a cost to that."

The company says it does not expect to have to build a second runway until around 2025. In 2009 the company put the brakes on second runway development because of a drop-off in the rate of aircraft movement growth but passenger growth was increasing at a higher rate, mainly because of bigger planes.

The presentation says the relatively unobstructed state of the international terminal provided a "rare opportunity" to create a uniquely New Zealand environment.

Plans allow for a stand of native trees and plants at the entrance of the building.

The new domestic area would be at the southern end of the new building the project allows for a train terminal although any rail link would have to be built by local or central government.

Just on $30 million is being spent on another upgrade of the existing domestic terminal. It could become a cargo terminal or be demolished under the new strategy.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11150108
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« Reply #217 on: November 14, 2013, 09:55:48 am »






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« Reply #218 on: November 20, 2013, 03:54:25 pm »






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« Reply #219 on: November 21, 2013, 07:40:04 pm »


Auckland Seaplanes are now up and running, as of last weekend.

They are currently operating one de Havilland Canada DHC2 Beaver on floats, with a second Beaver floatplane joining the fleet shortly.

Someone who went for a flight last weekend with a group of people posted photographs HERE; and somebody else who likewise went for a flight on the floatplane posted his photographs HERE (click on the first photograph to open a photo gallery of the pictures in a larger size).

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« Reply #220 on: December 05, 2013, 11:55:25 am »


from The New Zealand Herald....

Electric trains are coming your way

Auckland Transport expects new fleet will run every
10 minutes and carry 40 per cent more passengers.


By MATHEW DEARNALEY  | 5:30AM - Thursday, December 05, 2013

Driver William Els tries out the console of the new electric trains. — Photo: Richard Robinson.
Driver William Els tries out the console of the new electric trains. — Photo: Richard Robinson.

NINETY YEARS after Auckland's leaders began hankering after electric trains in 1923, the city is poised to join the world of modern rail transport.

The first of a 57-strong fleet of electric trains has been undergoing closed-track trials at nights and weekends on the city's southern line, ready to start whisking passengers between Onehunga and Britomart by the end of April, at greater speed and comfort.

Trials are also progressing on a second train, and the pioneering pair will be joined soon on the tracks by a third, which arrived at Auckland Transport's new $100 million Wiri depot from its Spanish factory last week, ready for unpacking and initial checks.

That has enabled the council transport body to confirm an expectation that all the new trains will be running on all railway lines between Papakura, Swanson and Britomart by July 24th, 2015, at 10-minute frequencies except for on the single-tracked Onehunga branch, which will host half-hour services.

Project director Lloyd Mayor says the first arrival from Spain has already performed superbly in extremely rigorous tests — to a top speed of 122.6km/h — to establish a benchmark for all its successors "and I'm pleased to report that these new trains are world-class in terms of the technology and benefits for passengers".

"Passengers are going to be very pleasantly surprised at how comfortable and enjoyable the new trains are."

The three-car trains will each carry up to 375 passengers - 40 percent more than the existing diesel sets — and can be coupled up to move 750 commuters at a time.

Their cruising speed of about 90km/h, aided by faster although non-juddering acceleration and braking in and out of stations, is expected to shave 10 minutes off existing 53-minute trips between Papakura and Britomart.

Costs of maintenance and fuel, supplied by Transpower from two track-side substations and equating to an extra 1 percent of Auckland's electricity demand, will be less than half those of the existing diesel fleet.

Quieter and emissions-free running will spur more intensive urban development around railway stations, and allow the trains to travel 3.5km underground at a steep grade through the city's proposed new $2.86 billion rail link from Britomart to Mount Eden.

The onus has been on the first train to prove the effectiveness of not just its own features, but also its interface with KiwiRail's $500 million track electrification and signalling upgrade.

That has included running video cameras on the roof to ensure electricity is flowing at the correct rate through connections with overhead power lines without sparks flying.

At the lower end of the technology curve, it has also included some No.8-wire ingenuity in the form of temporary polystyrene spacers protruding from each door to check platform clearances.




After years of delays in getting the $1.14 billion electrification project to the start line — past a change of Government in 2008 which sent funding arrangements back to the drawing board — trains are expected to keep arriving at a rate of two a month before deliveries double from the end of 2014.

KiwiRail has largely completed its share of the project, which has not only involved erecting 3500 masts to string overhead lines carrying 25,000 volts of electricity across 80km of railway tracks, but has also included a $90 million effort since 2009 to replace all points machines and signals with a computerised system capable of overriding drivers to cut power to any trains heading too fast towards red "stop" lights.

Infrastructure and engineering general manager Rick van Barneveld says the first electric unit's high-speed performance under new wires has been completed "without any issues".

"This is very encouraging for a new train and new infrastructure being introduced at the same time."

The rollout should come as a huge relief to commuters enduring bone-shaking diesel hand-me-down trains bought from Perth after the West Australian capital went electric in 1991, spurring a major increase in rail patronage from eight million passenger trips a year to more than 60 million.

It can't come soon enough for Auckland Transport, which was heading towards 11 million passenger rail trips in 2011 before dipping below 10 million last year.

Although patronage has since recovered slightly to 10.3 million annual trips, Auckland still has a long way to go to meet a challenge from Prime Minister John Key to demonstrate an ability to reach 20 million by 2020 if the Government is to pay for half of the underground rail link before then.

Auckland's new trains are arriving 75 years after Wellington began receiving the first of three generations of electric trains in 1938.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11167053



from The New Zealand Herald....

City's rail service enters new electric era

By MATHEW DEARNALEY  | 9:30AM - Thursday, December 05, 2013

The first of a planned fleet of 57 electric trains will be phased into service from April. — Photo: Dean Purcell.
The first of a planned fleet of 57 electric trains will be phased into service from April. — Photo: Dean Purcell.

IT WAS hard to believe we were whooshing through South Auckland at 112km/h between high-speed braking trials on the first electric train.

After a gentle and barely notice able start, unannounced by the din or lurching of a classic diesel take-off, it felt as though the big, bright new conveyance was just warming up, with plenty more grunt in reserve from its 25,000-volt overhead power supply.

But the giddy rate at which landscape receded behind our stealth machine confirmed the speedometer in our otherwise deactivated rear driving cab could not have been lying, and we had taken a quantum leap ahead of rail travel as previously known in Auckland.

The train felt as stable as a wide-bodied jumbo jet flying through clear air, with none of the body-jarring motion or clickety-clack of the diesel sets it — and 56 more three-car electric sets — will replace.

Even during emergency braking drills between Otahuhu and Puhinui on a weekend when scheduled passenger services were suspended to help KiwiRail towards completion of its part in the $1.14 billion electrification project, we were easily able to stay standing in a wide aisle running the full 72m length of the new train, although strap hangers provided an added guarantee of stability.

Wide windows gave a great sense of spaciousness, although the train has yet to be load-tested with sandbags to simulate its 375-passenger capacity.

Comfortable seats, their blue and black fabric designed by Auckland artists, were covered by heavy plastic to keep them in mint condition for the first fare-paying passengers and we were told to be careful not to trip over temporary wires running to testing stations set up through the train to monitor its performance.

The main drama was when representatives of Spanish train-maker and maintenance contractor CAF dumped a water solution containing 50 litres of dishwashing liquid onto the tracks below us, to test the brakes on slippery surfaces, before bringing the train to an easy emergency stop from 110km/h in little more than 450m. That compares with 750m in which existing locomotive-hauled passenger trains require to stop from 100km/h, and 885m for freight trains from 80km/h.

As for acceleration, the new train takes just 57 seconds to hit 110km/h, little more than about 100 seconds needed by a diesel locomotive train to reach 80km/h, about its top speed.

Each of the three cars has emergency buttons, where passengers can talk through an intercom and be seen by the train driver through CCTV cameras.

Another important feature is a split-level middle car, allowing passengers with disabilities, pushchairs or bikes to board at platform level, and Auckland Transport is negotiating for Wi-Fi services for passengers.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11167058
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« Reply #221 on: December 19, 2013, 06:04:06 am »

Health staff receive mouldy Xmas gifts
Newswire
By Julia Hollingsworth | Newswire – 14 hours ago

Some Auckland health staff opened their gifts from management only to find something that wasn't on the Christmas wish list - mould.

Auckland District Health Board management gave all 10,000 staff Christmas mince pies as a festive thank you gift, but some pies were mouldy, and others were past their use-by date. ...

...ADHB spokesman Matt Rogers told NZ Newswire the supplier thought the use-by dates may have been printed incorrectly as the supplier baked all the pies fresh. ...
read the rest at
http://nz.sports.yahoo.com/news/health-staff-receive-mouldy-xmas-041116802--spt.html


remember "always blow on your pie"?

always LOOK in your pie



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« Reply #222 on: January 12, 2014, 11:01:47 pm »


from the HERALD on SUNDAY....

Auckland: Up, up and away

Flying over Auckland in an old-school seaplane.

By DONNA McINTYRE | 5:30AM - Sunday, January 12, 2013

From the seaplane's Auckland mooring, Waiheke is but a short hop away.
From the seaplane's Auckland mooring, Waiheke is but a short hop away.

DO WE have to swim in? If I take my phone will it go in the water? Mum, how wet will we get? All questions that hadn't even crossed my mind until I told my teenagers we are flying by seaplane from downtown Auckland to Man O'War Bay, Waiheke.

Maybe they're thinking of Tintin-style adventure stories they enjoyed when they were younger. And there is an exotic link in our plane's history with the de Havilland Beaver having served time in Ghana with the Canadian Air Force.

The four-door Aotearoa II is a newcomer to Auckland's skies, brought here by Auckland Seaplanes in November, to take passengers on scenic flights and island hopping, mainly in the Hauraki Gulf.

The company hopes to soon have a second seaplane in operation.

We check in with pilot Steven Newland outside the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum on the waterfront. Steven tells us the 1961 Beaver hails from Canada where, for the past 25 years, its owner used it to fly to his fishing lodge.

Today we'll start our journey from the Viaduct, taxi-ing out to Stanley Bay to take off on the harbour.

The eight-seater comfortably sits six adults plus the pilot. We are all eyeing up the co-pilot seat, but son Jamie wins this prime position in a paper-scissors-rock challenge with brother Aubin. We're given a safety briefing, don lifejackets and seatbelts and told if we feel queasy to tap our pilot on the shoulder and he'll slow down.

The plane is launched from the jetty in a similar way to a boat. On the water it has the same rights as motorboats. Before take-off, the pilot must ensure his "runway" is clear but once he's under way other boats have to stay out of his path. Once airborne, aviation rules apply.

The pilot chooses today's "runway" between Stanley Bay and Princes Wharf, taking into consideration tides, wind direction and strength, choppy water and harbour traffic.

Seaplanes co-director Chris Sattler is also on board and explains they limit flying to under 20 knots of wind and are allowed to fly between 7am and 8pm but operate 9.30am to 4pm.

"If it is too busy near Stanley Point we can go on the other side of the harbour bridge to take off or we will go out to Great Barrier, Waiheke or the Bay of Islands and fly there for the day."

Thumbs up all round as we taxi closer to Stanley Point for take off.

"Seaplane Alpha to Base, we have six POB for Waiheke at 45."

"Everyone ready to go, tally-ho."

Soon we are soaring above Auckland, over Devonport, Takapuna and freshwater Lake Pupuke. We have clear skies and the water is so clear we can spot rock formations. As we cross to Rangitoto, our pilot warns us the ride might get bumpier but we're spared turbulence as we peer out at the summit's observation deck.

Over Motutapu we go, Rakino to our left, Browns Island and Motuihe on our right and Waiheke looming in front of us. Yachts look so tiny with their tails of wake behind them.

We locate Matiatia and then the northern beaches ... Oneroa, Palm, Onetangi, Cactus Bay and then we are over Stony Batter as we change our course slightly for Man O'War Bay.

Our descent and landing is so gentle, it's like gliding to a stop on skis as we settle into this sheltered bay.

We've been up to 1500ft and now we're back, not quite on terra firma but definitely at sea level as we step out on to the plane's floats to wade a few metres ashore. Easy peasy.

Chris tells us the Man O'War trip is scheduled around low tides for best access.

"People can wade from the plane and have a tasting and a platter. We fly them back after two hours and most are pretty happy after the wine tasting."

For us the aerial journey ends here. Others will return to Auckland.

The bay is beautiful and, as we try the wines (our picks of the bunch are the lighter Gravestone sauvignon semillon and the heartier Valhalla chardonnay) and platter, the boys enjoy a juice and ginger beer before heading to the beach and jetty. Other families have set up picnics on the lawn. A few play cricket.

Not a bad way to whittle away a good part of a day.

It's great to have a seaplane back in Auckland.


NEED TO KNOW

Wear clothing and footwear that make it easy to get in and out of the plane and allow you to wade knee-depth in the sea.

Level of fitness required: must be able to walk up a flight of stairs.

Trip options start from the Rangitoto Circuit from $150 each (15 minutes flying, about a 30-minute experience).

The Man O'War winetasting and lunch trip is $390 each (about 45 minutes flying, three-hour experience).

More details: See AucklandSeaplanes.com.


• Donna McIntyre was a guest of Auckland Seaplanes.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=11184201
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #223 on: January 30, 2014, 09:00:56 pm »


Auckland International Airport in 1940 (where a container port is sited today)....











Meanwhile, Auckland Domestic Airport in 1940 was a grass airstrip known as Mangere Aerodrome, owned by the Auckland Aero Club and sited not far from today's Auckland International Airport. Union Airways leased part of the aerodrome from the aero club and had a hanger and small terminal building sited on it. Union Airways flew from Auckland to New Plymouth, Palmerston North (Milson Aerodrome), Wellington (Rongotai Aerodrome), Nelson, Blenheim (Omaka Aerodrome), Christchurch (Wigram Aerodrome) and Dunedin (Taieri Aerodrome).


Auckland International Airport in the early-1950s....



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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #224 on: February 05, 2014, 09:15:28 am »


Hahaha....the Auckland Berms issue is raising its head again.

JAFAs are funny people.

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