Howick

Up-zoning causing uproar in suburbia

Auckland Council’s knee jerk decision to up-zone more of Auckland for intensive housing has riled Howick locals and Local Councillors Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart are also peeved off. They weren’t part of the decision process and so they have good reason for spitting tacks.

The possibility that Howick village could in time be hemmed in along its northern side by three-storey residential buildings is expected to create widespread anger, according to Howick Ward councillors, Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart who have taken no part in the plan change. Maps of up-zoning decisions made behind closed doors by Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan Committee have been released in confidence to the councillors, but were leaked last week to the New Zealand Herald newspaper. Neither Mr Quax nor Mrs Stewart are members of the committee. Mr Quax says widespread changes are being made with no community consultation and without any submissions asking for those changes. According to the leaked report the Howick village change involves up-zoning the northern end of Ridge Road from the corner of Bleakhouse Road and around Howick Village to Sale Street.

Changing from ‘mixed housing suburban’ to ‘mixed housing urban’ gives potential for the development of buildings 10 metres high (plus one metre for a portion of the roof) – or three storeys.

Under mixed housing urban, developments would require resource consent, could be declined and could be notified. Mr Quax says the important fact is that some sight lines will be lost, although he acknowledges that under the PAUP (proposed Auckland Unitary Plan) the council is obliged to protect view shafts, such as that around Crawford Reserve. He and Mrs Stewart are also angry at another proposed change in the leaked report which involves up-zoning both sides of Pakuranga Road, from the Pakuranga Plaza to Aviemore Drive from ‘mixed housing urban’ to ‘terrace house and apartment building’ (THAB). The change has been made on the strength of just one submission, Mr Quax says and no consultation.   Read more »

RSA flag debacle

A reader writes

I have been watching the RSA’s Flag debacle with interest and find their argument that NZ men fought for it ironic.

Why? See below:

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I wonder what the NZ soldiers who got killed by the Turks might think of now flying their flag.
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Face of the day

Today’s face of the day Tom Kroon, will be well known by anyone who has lived in Howick some time in the past 38 years.

My family moved to Howick when I was at University and when Cam and I and the kids returned from Melbourne we decided to settle there and we stayed for seven years, the longest we have ever lived in one area. I have purchased a number of items from his shop over the years and the service has always been professional, knowledgeable and friendly.

Today is his stores last day.

LOCAL LEGEND: Tom Kroon’s Music is closing down after 38 years of business. Photo Ben Hill

LOCAL LEGEND: Tom Kroon’s Music is closing down after 38 years of business.
Photo Ben Hill

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Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart has a spine

Finally, someone with the canon balls to make a public stand against Mayor Len Brown.  Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart has told Len to stay away from the Howick Militairy Tattoo.

Brown’s response?

Meh, he’s coming anyway.

Embattled Auckland Mayor Len Brown has been told to stay away from a community military event this weekend for fear he will attract protesters and take the shine off the promotion.

It follows booing when the mayor opened the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park on Saturday and comes ahead of a planned march up Queen St calling on him to stand down.

The terse reaction following him at many public appearances seems to be a response to last year’s revelations of Mr Brown’s affair with council adviser Bevan Chuang, hotel stays and censure by councillors.

When will Brown allow it to sink in past his political thick skin?  He’s lost the respect of his family, his council and  most of the public.    Read more »

NZ’s dodgiest LBP Nominees – Residents and Ratepayers Howick

The nominations keep on rolling in. This time a whole team has been nominated.

Led by convicted drunk driver Michael Williams, the Residents and Ratepayers team is full of the useless, the nasty and the bewildered. Through thick and thin they have stood by Michael Williams as he bullied and cajoled his way through local body politics in Howick. I have blogged previously about this man and his behaviour, but here is a summary of him and his cohorts, the ratbags that make up the Residents and Ratepayers ticket in Howick.

Michael Williams – A narcissist, convicted drunk driver, bully. Could take out Rhino Award for “LBP with the Thickest Skin” as he is still unaware his board slapped a vote of no confidence on him.

And there’s his Residents and Ratepayers Team buddies:

Jim Donald, JP –  ordained minister, ex Cop, yet shows none of the attributes one would expect. He is racist as well, having led opposition to any progress on issues with the Emilia Maud Nixon Garden of Memories. He asked a question once in a public meeting if Jami-lee Ross’ middle name was “Matenga”, it is, but it was of no relevance to the issue (Michael Williams bullying Adele White), he asked simply to show he was a nasty, spiteful, bitter old racist. He has all the characteristics of Jim Trott from the Vicar of Dibley with none of the charm.

Jim Donald, all the characteristics of Jim Trott and none of the charm

Jim Donald, all the characteristics of Jim Trott and none of the charm

I’ll leave it to Peter Aranyi to describe this nasty piece of work.

“Jim Donald has been nothing other than polite to me — but then I am a man. Several women in the community, Maori and Pakeha, have told me they’ve been made to feel very uncomfortable in some of their interactions with Jim, citing what they interpreted as his attempts to intimidate them. But that’s not been my direct experience.” – Peter Arayni  Read more »

Sexism and misogyny alive and well in Howick

Check out this letter to the local paper from David Stevenson of Howick.

Like others I have been intrigued as to the identity of the person behind the apparent pseudonym A Schuyt Best hailing from Pakuranga. Until recently I suspected it was a particular concerned and very pro-active citizen who is now deceased.

But, the Friday issue of the Eastern Courier has a letter from that same person. It has excellent content. Its only failing is that it does not mention that in addition to moonlighting from what should be a demanding all-consuming day-time job a certain sitting candidate became a mother recently.

How is this humanly possible? In difficult times of people being under enormous pressure in their jobs where their employers are expecting more and more hours out of their staff for the same salary my puzzlement is surely understandable.

That was an excellent letter posing questions that every voter at the next local body elections should be asking.

It would be very interesting to view ” timesheets” for the hard yards, in addition to domestic chores and holding down two jobs, put in by candidates standing for re-election – bearing in mind there are only 24 hours in a day.

What does this say about the demands local body representatives actually face in doing real justice to their elected positions?  Read more »

The Michael Williams bully train rolls on, now he is hiring security guards

Phil Taylor at The Howick and Pakuranga Times has written another article about the bully boy tactics of Michael Williams.

Williams is trying to get rid of local stalwart Adele White from her position at Local Board Deputy Chair so he can install a person of his own choosing.

He is ignoring the will of the board who voted for Adele as Deputy and now in election year he is trying the petty politics as a way to prefer his mate Jim Donald ahead of the elections in November.

Monday night’s special meeting to demote or retain Adele White (Independent) as deputy-chair has been called by chairman Michael Williams (Citizens & Ratepayers), Wayne Huang (C&R), Steve Udy (C&R), Shirley Warren (C&R) and Jim Donald (Team Howickian), and is costing money – on the ratepayers. They have not explained themselves publicly, offering no comments.  Read more »

Photo of the Day

From Howick, sometime last week, has David Farrar been moonlighting as a courier driver?

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Labour candidates in their own words

The Labour candidate for Botany accurately describes Labour’s campaign on front page of the Howick & Pakuranga Times even f he was talking about something else.

Dick Quax wins by-election

Dick Quax has cleaned out all the opposition in the by-election in Howick ward.

Former Olympic runner Dick Quax has won an Auckland Council seat in his second attempt.

Mr Quax yesterday won the Howick ward byelection called to replace councillor Jami-Lee Ross.

Mr Ross resigned from the council after he won the Botany parliamentary byelection caused by the resignation of National MP Pansy Wong.

Mr Quax, a former Manukau City councillor, won 41 per cent, or 11,600 of the byelection votes.

Well done Dick, now go get stuck into Len Brown and his furtive and sneaky mayoralty.