Balmain Reserve gets a makeover

Balmain Reserve on Devonport’s Cheltenham Beach has been given a makeover by Auckland Council that includes the addition of a mechanised filtered water bowl for thirsty dogs. Pressing a button under the human’s drinking fountain releases water into the ground-level bowl for the canines, presumably so they are not forced to salivate in envy as their owners take liquid refreshment.

Another addition is a small bike rack on the northern border of the domain. The changing rooms have been spruced up and the shower outside the ladies has been replaced with one that can’t be left on, as the old one was so often – creating a big muddy pool.

 

balmain reserve shower

Sun out for Parking Day Devonport

We were blessed with a warm, sunny spring weather for International PARK(ing) Day on Friday, as Devonport’s businesses and community celebrated by taking over the carparks along the roadside.

A fun, engaging and thought-provoking redesign of our built environment.

International Parking Day Devonport
International Parking Day Devonport
International Parking Day Devonport
International Parking Day Devonport
Parking Day Devonport
parking day devonport
p parking day devonport

 

Vic Road team to open fish restaurant on Devonport Wharf

Vic Road Kitchen’s front of house Harriet Byrnes, head chef Ian Shields and backer Paul Byrnes (former Turners Automotive CEO and current Deputy Chairman) have agreed a lease with Auckland Transport to operate a fish restaurant on Devonport Wharf, in the space next door to the Tui Gifts shop.

Operating as Ship to Shore Restaurant Group Ltd, the planned business will be trading as Fish Kitchen. They are currently applying for a license to serve alcohol seven days a week between 8am and 1am.

At a planning committee hearing on 2nd July, Auckland Council approved the granting of a nine year tenancy to Ship to Shore Restaurant Group Ltd at Unit 3, Devonport Wharf, for a seafood restaurant and takeaway.

An email to Vic Road patrons reads:

We are excited to formally announce that the team at Vic Road Kitchen are opening a new venture – situated in the Devonport Wharf.  The space will operate as a casual all-day eatery featuring fish ‘n chips, New Zealand seafood, freshly shucked oysters, burgers, soft-serve ice-creams and more. 

As with Vic Road Kitchen, you can expect the same attention to detail and high quality, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.  And of course, a wine and beer list to compliment this including three wines on tap!

The space will also feature a take-away fish ‘n chip hatch and a wet fish counter selling fresh and sustainable fish to take home.

Chris Derby: Update on Lake Road

The Lake Rd Improvements project (Hauraki to Belmont) has been resuscitated after a thunderous silence over the last six months. So let me outline.

Since Richard Hills and I secured budget of $47m last June we have kept regular contact with Auckland Transport (AT) officials to ensure momentum was maintained. In late 2018 we became concerned over the time it was taking NZTA to confirm their share of funding – about $1.2m all up – for the Developed Business Case (DBC). It’s a long and laborious process but as co-funders NZTA calls the shots. We were aware of staff departures at AT possibly putting the handbrake on but in early February we learned that NZTA’s Wellington office was the go-slow culprit.

Upon hearing that we intervened again through informal discussions with senior NZTA staff and Minister Twyford. In March the chocks were pulled and it was back in AT’s court for progressing. The NZTA delay ran to an incredible 12 months.

Mindful of community and local board expectation Richard and I then wrote to AT’s CEO (attached). Subsequent to that the project is back on track and an experienced transport engineer from Jacobs is now working up the DBC.

The DBC builds on the base evaluations that informed the Indicative Business Case and with more detailed technical evaluations leads to a preferred layout. This ends with detailed design and further application to NZTA for their share of construction funding.

Going forward AT will be re-engaging with key community stakeholders on issues in the next quarter and undertake wider community consultation late in the year.

By May-June 2020 the final design on the main project will be confirmed and then it’s back to NZTA to get over the final hurdle – to secure their share of construction funding. Thereafter we go to tender followed by the first stage of delivery.

Behind the scenes there’s been some stern but constructive words exchanged. We now have real traction.

Apology for the long outline but this has been a long and laborious few months and I thought it needed a bit of depth to the story.

Of course there’s a lot more detail I could expand on and will do so over coming months.

Queensland fruit fly found – Devonport under Controlled Area Notice

***Update 22nd March 2019 –> the Controlled Area Notice for Devonport has now been lifted ***

Biosecurity NZ have found a Queensland fruit fly in one of its surveillance traps in Devonport on February 14th.  

Queensland fruit flies spoil many horticultural crops, and were last spotted and eradicated in Auckland in 2015.

Devonport has been issued with a Controlled Area Notice (CAN), which effectively restricts the movement of certain fruits and vegetables out of the area.

There are two zones, one the wider Devonport area and the other a more defined zone around the trap centred around Kerr and Rattray Street. More information and maps can be found here. Home-grown fruit and vegetable produce cannot be moved out of the wider area (Zone B), whilst NO whole fruit or vegetables (except leafy and root vegetables) can be taken out of Zone A.


100 Years Ago: Influenza pandemic hits the Navy hard

As we commemorate the centenary of the German Armistice we also remember the influenza pandemic. By October 31st 1918, the H1N1 Influenza virus had spread across the world. Primarily seen as a civilian tragedy, its effect on the war and the military forces should not be forgotten.

The non virulent wave of the pandemic began in early 1918 and by the end of March it began to appear in American army camps. In early 1918, those infected with the virus had a low mortality rate, with sufferers left incapacitated for a few days. The virus quickly spread to Europe and the Western Front. In May, the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet reported over 10,000 cases of influenza, enough to form ship’s companies for ten battlecruisers like HMS New Zealand.

By mid August, the influenza outbreak had reached HMNZT Tahiti. The ship’s medical facilities were overwhelmed with over 90% of the men catching the virus.

Read the full article, written by Michael Wynd, Navy Museum Researcher, at http://navymuseum.co.nz/the-influenza-pandemic/

Freedom swimmers take on North Head

A record number of ‘birthday suit’ swimmers joined the epic Round North Head Classic on Saturday.

The annual open water swim event, run by Devonport Swim Club, is a firm fixture among peninsula swimmers and open water competitors from around Auckland.

At around 9.30am 25 swimmers made their way to a floating IRB anchored just of Windsor Reserve Beach, where they ‘de-togged’ and passed their kit to the crew who stored it in numbered bags. The boat then took off to wait just in front of Cheltenham Beach, ready to meet the swimmers before they swam the last 100 metres and ran to the finish line.

In all there were 200 swimmers on the day, most swimming the 2.5km from Windsor Reserve Beach around North Head to Cheltenham Beach. Some chose the alternative, shorter 1.3km course that started from Torpedo Bay.

Conditions were near perfect, with the sun shining, a water temperature of just over 18 degrees, and a slight tail wind. The outgoing tide gave all swimmers some extra acceleration, whipping the fastest swimmers home in just over 24 minutes. The event attracts a loyal following, and all enjoy the hot bacon and egg pie and plentiful spot prizes in Balmain Reserve. The club also puts on the annual Cheltenham Swim, which covers 2.4k from Narrow Neck Beach to Cheltenham Beach. March 9th is the date for the next event.

Round North Head swimmers

Round North Head Swim 2018

Rocking out at Devonstock

What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than chilling out in Windsor Reserve on a rug, eating ice cream and enjoying the sounds?

And all for free. Yay. Well perhaps not the ice cream.  But the ambience and music was, at this year’s Devonstock Music Festival.  Set by  the beautiful Devonport waterfront, the festival was organised by local teenagers to showcase the music of young artists like: SKILAA, Munkhouse, Daffodils, Gretel (and The Handsomes), Masonic Silk and Ben Glandfield.

So many talented young musicians got the crowd smiling and bouncing their feet to the beat.  Nearly every act attracted a swarm of fans to dance in front of the stage.

There were a range of food and craft stalls at this smoke-free and alcohol-free event in Windsor Reserve, so people were able to hover round and enjoy the afternoon, fully sated.

A fantastic effort by the organisers,  the Devonport Youth Forum and Devonport Peninsula Trust. Special thanks to Devonport-Takapuna Local Board for their support.

A message to Peninsula locals

Have you used a service around Devonport recently? If you paid good money for a service, you’d expect to get what you paid for, right?

Cleaning houses, cutting hair, home renovations, repairing your car…these are all examples of common services that many households around Devonport regularly use.

But what happens if a service doesn’t turn out the way you expected? Don’t worry – you’ve got rights and I’m here to share a little more about what they are.

When a business in trade supplies you with consumer services, you are legally covered by four guarantees (or promises) under the Consumer Guarantees Act. Here’s what they are and in general terms what they mean…

Reasonable care and skill
When you hire a service provider to carry out work for you, they must do it to a competent level and with reasonable care.

Fit for a particular purpose
When you’ve told your service provider what work you want them to do and they accept the job, they must make sure you get what you were expecting.

Reasonable time
It’s always best to agree on a timeframe, but even if you don’t a service provider must complete the work in a reasonable time frame. ‘Reasonable’ is determined by the time it would take a competent person who works in that field to complete the same work.

Reasonable price 
As above, it’s always best to agree on the price before work starts, but even if you don’t a service provider must only charge a reasonable fee. ‘Reasonable’ is determined by what other providers in your area would charge for the same or similar services.

If you hire a business or trader to carry out a service that doesn’t meet any of these guarantees, you can ask them to resolve the problem. And don’t worry, even if you don’t have a written contract with the business who provided the services, you’re still covered. They’re obliged to fix their work at no extra cost. If they can’t or won’t, or it isn’t fixed within a reasonable time frame, you can ask someone else to fix it for you then pass the cost onto the original service provider. You can also cancel the contract and obtain a full refund, if the work is substantially unfit for purpose and can’t be easily fixed.

If you can’t reach an agreement about your complaint you can still take things further, such as an industry dispute resolution scheme or the Disputes Tribunal.

We hope you never have to deal with poor or faulty service – but if you do, find out more about your rights and the Consumer Guarantees Act here.

Mark Hollingsworth
Manager, Consumer Protection
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Two new retail tenants at Devonport Wharf

New signs have been spotted on the closed-off retail spaces on Devonport Wharf, announcing who the new tenants will be.

Maru Sushi & Don already have two branches in Bombay and Takanini. This will be the first outlet on the North Shore. As well as a large range of sushi, the restaurant will offer hot eat-in meals including Chicken Don, Teriyaki Salmon, Pork Katsu, Chicken Karaage and Seafood Yaki Udon.

The other new tenant is Tui Gifts, a new retailer targeting the tourists arriving off the ferries.

The new shops are believed to be both launching later next month.