• 03 Te Rimu sculpture
  • 02 Great North Road Grey Lynn Mural
  • 01 Our Hood

GLRA Newsletter Aug’13

Hello Grey Lynn Residents Association Members,

It’s been a very busy first few months for the GLRA committee. While Liz Hancock laboured away on our incredibly impressive submission on the Draft Unitary Plan, ably assisted by the DUP subcommittee of Tania Mace, Graeme Dunster and Richard Dunbar, we requested a series of meetings with people who we felt needed to hear our concerns.

First up was addressing the Waitemata Board via its public open-forum session, and then a meeting with the MP for Auckland Central Nikki Kaye. That was followed a couple of weeks later with a meeting with Labour list MP Jacinda Adern. Both Nikki and Jacinda were very attentive to our concerns about the negative impact of intensification on our neighbourhood if it’s carried out with a one- size-fits-all approach that damages Grey Lynn’s heritage fabric and our village way of life. Both could see the need to have meaningful local input into the future face of Grey Lynn.

We learned that Mayor Len Brown would be at the Grey Lynn Community Centre for one of his famous ‘Mayor in the Chair’ sessions, so we nipped up there to invite him to meet us for afternoon tea and a walk around the hood to see where apartments and terrace housing would really damage the fabric of the community.

We were delighted that he agreed. A few weekends ago he gave us an hour and a half of his time to hear our concerns and take a wander round the streets of Grey Lynn. He was joined by Councillor Mike Lee, Waitemata Board chair Shale Chambers and Auckland Council planning manager Megan Tyler.

There was an amusing moment up at the West Lynn shops when we saw Ike Finau’s latest sign: ‘Len Brown R U A LIAR’. And no, we hadn’t told Ike that Len was coming! It would have been very embarrassing if we had a less-comfortable-in-his skin mayor.

The meeting was really worthwhile. We felt well listened to, and were able to articulate our message very clearly: we want to work with Auckland Council to achieve an intensification in our neighbourhood that’s appropriate to the sort of community this is, and that protects the things we all hold dear.

Importantly, at all these meetings, we were recognised as a go-to group for Grey Lynn that had a role to play beyond the Unitary PLan debate. Both MPS and the Mayor expressed an interest in working with us in the future.

Aside from the Unitary Plan, the GLRA has been busy supporting other local community issues. We submitted a letter in support of the Arch Hill residents vs the proposed Bunnings on Great North Road, and also an objection to the liquor licence application for 515 Great North Road, both of which we feel would be detrimental to Grey Lynn and local residents. A few weeks ago, three GLRA committee members attended a pan-Grey Lynn-community-group strategy afternoon hosted by Grey Lynn 2030 at the Grey Lynn RSC to develop a vision for our neighbourhood. Attendees were representatives from The Grey Lynn Business Association, Grey Lynn 2030, the Wilton Street Community Garden, Grey Lynn Wasteaway Trust, the Grey Lynn Community Centre, Grey Lynn Festival and ourselves. Each group offered to take on a key task. The GLRA agreed to conduct a thorough-going needs assessment of the wider Grey Lynn community. After all, if the Waitemata Board and Auckland Council are going to spend money here, it might as well be on things people actually need and want! Stand by for more on this survey soon.

In the spirit of community collegiality, we will shortly begin work on a memorandum of understanding with the Grey Lynn Business Association. And in the spirit of celebration, we’re planning a party to salute all the hard work that went into the DUP submission and to thank everyone who knocked on doors, talked to their neighbours and sent in individual submissions. We’ll be letting members know about that very soon, so if you’re not a already a member, click here to sign up.

Thanks to the Grey Lynn – and wider Western Bays – community for your support in our first few months, and please feel welcome to let us know your views and suggestions via the Facebook page.

The GLRA committee