Negligent “Safety” Report – Favona to Mahunga Walkway / Cycleway (FMWC)

A safety report based on Ministry of Justice CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles was always going to stop the FMWC in it’s tracks because a CPTED report would highlight all the risks and dangers this isolated coastal cycleway presents to local businesses, local residents and their insurers (as identified in our November 2016 submission opposing the FMWC).

So how does the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board (MOLB)/ Auckland Council (AC) and their non-elected “executive advisors” get around that game ending issue?

Simple – It instructs former veteran AC landscape architect / urban planner, Sally Peake – now contracting to Auckland Council as Peake Design Ltd to produce a deficient / negligent “safety” report (February 2017) that excludes all dangerous risk factors (see attached).

See negligent safety report – CPTED safety assessment of proposed walkway Norana Esplanade February 2017

This deficient / negligent “safety” report is then presented to the MOLB, so the elected members vote to accept the ( deficient / negligent) “safety” report, so they can then vote in favour of the (deficient and dangerous) concept plan for the FMWC, without the elected members (or AC) being placed in risk of future negligence allegations or prosecution.

Summary:

Here is a brief, bullet point summary for those short of time – I’d encourage you all to read the Full Report below the summary as soon as you have time.

A recent Official Information Act request reveals a “safety” report produced for the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board (MOLB) in February 2017 on the FMWC that is made willfully negligent / deficient, by omitting all of the dangerous and risk features of the cycleway concept plan.

The report is produced for the MOLB by the experienced (42 years) former council landscape architect / urban planner, Sally Peake now contracting to the council as Peake Design Ltd.

Due to the experience, knowledge and qualifications of the author, there is no way the “report” was produced in this negligent / deficient way by “accident” or “in error”.

By willfully omitting all of the dangerous features and risks in the MOLB cycleway plan, it incorrectly and deliberately paints the cycleway as a benign and safe community asset.

The report falsely implies credibility as a “safety” report by mentioning “CPTED Safety Report” in the title and in the body of the report.
“CPTED” is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is a safety template developed by the Ministry of Justice over the last 30 or so years as detailed and extensive design guidelines and principles for architects, planners, designers, Police and councils to adhere to when designing safe public spaces.

The February 2017 Peake Design report is not a CPTED Safety Report.
Why were all the dangerous features and risks omitted from this formal “safety” report to the MOLB by such an experienced and qualified council consultant?

Easy – where the elected members at the MOLB are compelled by their non-elected executive “advisors” to vote in favour of this unwanted “crime-corridor” project, the elected members would put themselves in harms way of civil and possibly criminal prosecution if they voted in favour of a council project that is clearly flagged in a detailed CPTED Safety Report as dangerous and risky to the local Ratepayers and their insurers (as clearly identified in our November 2016 submission to council).

Similarly, MOLB / AC (our public servants) have deleted our November 2016 submission opposing the FMWC from any reference or consideration in their “crime-corridor” project and refuse to meet with us or to discuss our submission in any way whatsoever.
This also disregards AC CEO, Stephen Town’s earlier confirmation that we (Favona Ratepayers Group) are “key stakeholders” in the FMWC project.

The willful conduct of our “public servants” (MOLB / AC) in these matters is unlawful.

Predetermination“:

This word was provided by the Spokesperson from the local Ratepayer group who are about to take Auckland Council into the High Court with their Judicial Review application over Auckland Council’s / Albert-Eden Local Board’s unilateral “Predetermination” of the future of the Chamberlain Public Golf Course.

Their considerable experience in dealing with all levels of Auckland Council / Albert-Eden Local Board since 2014 closely parallels our own.

In our case, MOLB / Auckland Council made up it’s mind to construct the FMWC behind closed doors with inwards looking non-elected advice / advisors and before any discussion or consultation with local businesses and local residents.

I am currently seeking documentation from AC (LGOIMA request) to show who proposed the FMWC because it certainly wasn’t any local business or local residents and a number of you have indicated the cycleway project was initiated by the North Shore based Market Cove developer, Southpark Corporation.

The decision to go ahead with the “crime-corridor” project is therefore “Predetermined” from that point on and before any of the Local Government Act due processes and other legislative requirements for open, democratic and transparent consultation / governance have been met or considered.

A minimal and deficient “consultation” process is later offered by MOLB and Parks, in order to make it appear MOLB / AC are complying with the Local Government Act. But where the project is already “predetermined”, the MOLB / AC are not listening / considering submissions other than those that entirely support the particular “predetermined” project.

Any submissions that oppose the “predetermined” council project are ignored / deleted.

Open, transparent and democratic governance and lawful due process are therefore all abandoned by our “public servants” in favour of (unlawful) “Predetermination”.

Where to from here?

I’d appreciate input from you all and particularly from the larger local companies (with greater council influence) to determine an appropriate executive level response to this escalating matter.

This and other related matters are escalating passed my ability to deal with them.

Doing nothing is no longer an option where the council are clearly acting unlawfully and where these matters are escalating.

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Full Report: (please read when you have time)

Our “public servants” have already undertaken behind closed doors – behind our backs – willful and reckless endangerment of local Ratepayers, their assets (and their insurers) by continuing to advance the cycleway project and by willfully and unlawfully ignoring our extensive November 2016 submission opposing the cycleway.

The in- house Peake Design Ltd “safety” report is produced to support the MOLB / AC willful absence of fiduciary care for local Ratepayers and their insurers.

To quote the Weekend Herald two page feature (“Teed Off”, 10 June 2017, p. A14 & A15) on the willful actions of the Albert-Eden Local Board / Auckland Council non-elected executives / officers in very similar circumstances, I’m equally “gobsmacked” and “astounded” at the levels of planned, unilateral and unlawful conduct by Auckland Council / MOLB (et al) that are clearly and obviously against the wishes and best interests of the majority of it’s local Ratepayers (fiduciary care).

If you Google “Sally Peake Peake Design Ltd you will find a history of Ms. Peake being employed by AC to use her experience and position of seniority to contradict / disregard / minimize local Ratepayers submissions to council on the dangers and risks of council “vanity projects”, in order to smooth the way for council projects to proceed without costly safety provisions (Skyway project).

Why don’t the Police or the Ministry of Justice intervene – they are all certainly aware of what Auckland Council are doing??

I approached the Ministry of Justice to find they no longer administer CPTED (no funding) and the National Crime Prevention Manager: Community Focus at Police National Head Quarters, Wellington who also state they have no funding / budgets for policing / administering CPTED safety principles.

Bearing in mind all of the dangerous factors identified in our November 2016 submission opposing the FMWC, (see www.favonaratepayers.org.nz) that was lodged with all relevant sectors of the Local Board, Parks, CEO office, Mayor, Governing Body, etc, the Peake Design Ltd CPTED “Safety” Report commissioned by the MOLB has conspicuously ignored the extensive and verifiable content of our submission and has carefully produced it’s “safety” report to exclude all (not some) of those dangerous risk factors.

As such, the Peake Design Ltd “safety” report is not a Ministry of Justice CPTED Safety Report and we can have this report disqualified on that basis.

The February 2017 Peake Design Ltd “safety” report remarks initially about:

  • Basing their “safety” report on daylight / weekday / pleasant weather ONLY.
  • The 24/7 access to all and sundry.
  • The total lack of lighting along the length of the FMWC..
  • The total lack of security of any description.
  • The multiple 24/7 non-barriered entry / exit points along the FMWC.
  • The fact that the Police refused to comment of the risks and dangers of the current FMWC concept plan.

With those extremely important and glaringly dangerous disclosures mentioned, the Peake Design “safety” report then willfully fails to report and address them as is required in the Ministry of Justice CPTED template.

Here is a list of most (but not all) of the dangerous items the Peake Design Ltd “safety” report willfully ignores:

  • Is in an isolated / concealed area of South Auckland that has a high crime rate (Including murders, shootings, drugs, gang activities etc, etc, etc).
  • Is in an isolated / concealed part of South Auckland that has no attraction to the general law abiding public (Industrial area / some residences / mangrove swamp / predominantly no public amenities).
  • Is open to criminals and anti-socials (and the public) 24/7 – particularly after hours, at night, in weekends and public holidays, when business areas are deserted and residents are vulnerable in their own homes.
  • Provides multiple unmonitored, uncontrolled entry / exit points along it’s length between business and residential properties for full and free use by criminals and anti-socials 24/7 – particularly at night, in weekends and public holidays when the business areas are deserted and residents are vulnerable in their own homes.
  • Has no security barriers or security fencing / gates, so provides unrestrained / uncontrolled access to criminals and anti-socials 24/7 – particularly at night, in weekends and public holidays when business areas are deserted and residents are vulnerable in their own homes.
  • Has no security lighting to deter nocturnal use by criminals and anti-socials at night, in weekends and public holidays when business areas are deserted and residents are vulnerable in their own homes.
  • Has no security cameras, patrols or security of any description to deter criminal and anti-social activities 24/7 and in particular after hours, at night, during weekends and public holidays when business areas are deserted and residents are vulnerable in their own homes..
  • Is in an area of South Auckland where (under-resourced) Police are unable to respond promptly (or at all) to property crime.
  • Is in an area of South Auckland where at least 13 youth gangs operate under the noses of over-stretched Police.
  • Is in an area of South Auckland severely effected by other multiple bureaucratic / systemic / insolvency failures (under-resourced
  • Noise Control, Maori Wardens, Security Companies responses, insolvent Local Board / Auckland Council / Parks, ) that will all impact adversely on any sort of proper / prompt / effective response to crime and anti-social activities generated on the FMWC for years or decades to come.
  • Will be available to all of the (as yet unknown) adverse effects from 8,000 new residents and their friends, relations and hangers-on moving into the high density / ghetto housing development at Market Cove, Favona over the next two years (mid-way along the FMWC).
  • Will be yet another a beacon to criminals and anti-socials as a result of the multiple dangerous / negligent design / safety features, isolated and concealed 24/7 location that will easily provide unobserved access / escape to and from business and residential properties, predominantly after dark, in weekends and public holidays in an area of South Auckland where the Police area commander has just admitted (28 May 2017) Police are losing ground to crime and anti-social activities.
  • Users of the FMWC through the day will be unobserved / concealed.
  • The use of the CPTED term “passive observation” for users of the FMWC is willfully incorrect.
  • Even if criminals and anti-socials were to be “passively observed” by any local employee or resident – so what?.
  • Businesses and residents will have to install security fences, security lighting and security cameras and pay for 24/7 security surveillance in order to achieve their current (pre-FMWC) levels of security and “quiet enjoyment” of their properties, because the dangerously insolvent Auckland Council / MOLB are providing none of those security features.
  • Users of the FMWC after hours (darkness), in weekends and public holidays will not / cannot be observed (“passively” or otherwise).
  • The FMWC provides multiple convenient / concealed escape routes to avoid property owners and Police.
  • Even if criminals and anti-socials are observed and reported, Police Area Commander TV1 admission on 28 May 2017 is that “Police are not going to be able to arrest our way out of the escalating crime problem”. (recent risk / certainty upgrade).
  • Recent (June 2017) Police admission that: “It is unlikely the majority of offenders will be caught / prosecuted”.
  • Inability by local under-resourced Police to respond to “property crime”.
  • Manipulation of crime statistics by Police (Counties Manukau) to reduce “property crime” statistics.
  • Under-resourced Maori Warden Service.
  • Under-resourced Noise Control.
  • Dangerously insolvent Auckland Council, so no council budgets to provide lighting, cameras, barriers, fences, lockable gates, security, Cycleway repairs and maintenance etc.
  • High crime / low socio-economic location (Mangere / Favona / Otahuhu / Papatoetoe and now Mangere Bridge)
  • Criminals and anti-socials (predominantly pt Maori / Polynesian) are entirely aware that there is little risk of them being caught or prosecuted for their criminal activities, so there is little to no crime deterrent currently.
  • Police area commander advises (on 20/20) the criminal’s families and peers are encouraging young / under age family members to commit more crime.
  • Underage family members and gang prospects are being encouraged to participate in more serious criminal offending in South
  • Auckland, as the penalties for underage crime are woefully deficient..
  • The scale of criminal offending and the serious nature of criminal offenses are escalating out rapidly in South Auckland.
  • A sense of criminal / welfare beneficiary self entitlement is now predominant in South Auckland, that offenders appear to believe it’s their right to commit criminal acts to survive.
  • Prisons provide a better standard of living for criminals than they are experiencing in South Auckland, so the threat of going to prison is no longer a deterrent to crime.
  • A term of imprisonment will (not may) provide a “status” improvement for young criminals, so going to prison presents benefits rather than deterrents.

The Media??:

Manukau Courier and the NZ Herald have been advised throughout, but they have continuously refused to report on this important “public interest” matter. This is particularly unusual because our FMWC matters link directly to an extensive history throughout Auckland of the crime and antisocial behavior that council walkways and cycleways introduce to communities.

The Manukau Courier have recently returned my (many) emails and phone calls and offered to run part of the most recent parts of the FMWC story.

To date media have refused multiple requests over the last two years to produce a single article based on all of the key points of our November 2016 submission opposing the FMWC and the trouble that council cycleways / walkways bring to communities.

The curious “hands-off Auckland Council” situation with the NZME media also extends to TVNZ and the reasons for their lack of “interest” is unclear.

By not investigating and covering this unfolding / willfully unlawful / insolvent Council, the media (by default) gives the green light to this council to continue to escalate their conduct.

Being aware we have approached the media on this matter including Sunday program, a (brief) email was received (21 June) from Auckland Council that makes unclear references to a revised Peake Design Ltd “safety” report being produced later in the year.