Pam Ford recognised for outstanding contribution to Auckland and New Zealand’s economic development

Source: Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s (ATEED), Pam Ford, has received the Commendation for Distinguished Service Award at Economic Development New Zealand’s (EDNZ) first board meeting of 2019, held today. 

The recognition follows ATEED’s 2018 economic development accolades, both in New Zealand and overseas, for creating impactful campaigns which led to career pathways for young people, provided businesses with essential data-driven economic intelligence, assisted companies with export growth and generated business attraction and investment for Auckland. 

Pam assumed the role of the General Manager Economic Development at New Zealand’s largest regional economic development agency, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) in May 2018.  

Prior to that role, she held a variety of positions, working closely with ATEED’s key partners Auckland Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE), Immigration New Zealand (INZ), and Tripartite Economic Alliance partners Los Angeles and Guangzhou.  

The Distinguished Service Award is EDNZ’s premier individual award and recognises the contribution made to the image and practise of economic development, research that has advanced the course, and national or international recognition of the economic development profession within New Zealand. 

EDNZ Chair, Dr David Wilson, said: “Pam has made a significant contribution to NZ Inc through her work, both in New Zealand and abroad, and the dedication she has shown to the profession over her illustrious career is inspiring.”  

Pam has worked for many years championing New Zealand’s economic growth both domestically and in several offshore markets through her work with the Ministry of Economic Development, NZTE, and Auckland Council.  

She is a strong advocate of developing economic development initiatives which include sustainability and environmental impact awareness.   She is a great supporter of the arts as well as sport, and champions New Zealand’s cultural diversity as one of our best features as a nation. 

In thanking EDNZ for its recognition, Pam Ford described the acknowledgement as testament to the great team at ATEED who are working hard to action the agency’s new inclusive economic growth agenda. 

“We are focused on creating inclusive prosperity and generating quality jobs for all Aucklanders by working alongside our many partners with high levels of collaboration, innovation and a people-centric approach,” she said.  

ATEED Chief Executive Nick Hill praised Pam for her insightful approach to economic development and her breadth of experience and passion for selling what Auckland and New Zealand have to offer. 

“Pam is an excellent operator who has built high levels of confidence and strong relationships with business leaders and politicians,” he said. 

Award Wins: 

International Economic Development Council 2018 Awards 

BuildAKL campaign (gold award): A highly successful youth recruitment campaign which used social media to attract young Aucklanders (16-24 years) into the booming construction and infrastructure sector. BuildAKL attracted 4500 young people into employment, education or training. Fifteen hundred young Aucklanders were employed in the sector and a further 3000 enrolled in industry training courses, or made career subject choices. 

The Auckland Growth Monitor & Auckland Index (bronze award): Together these tools form a platform for data and insights on Auckland’s economy and increase the city’s profile and standing as a business destination.  The Auckland Growth Monitor is a downloadable report produced annually. The index can be viewed at 

Tripartite Economic Alliance, Guangzhou (bronze award):  The Tripartite Business Programme for the summit in Guangzhou in November 2017, developed by ATEED and Auckland Council, aimed to achieve trade results in the Chinese and American markets. Nearly 100 delegates from 70 businesses took part in Auckland’s delegation to the summit, and a post-summit survey showed six business leads per delegate we made, resulting in delegate companies expecting an average revenue growth of $4.37 million and an increase of five staff in their business with China in the next three years. 

Kumeu Film Studios (bronze award): Kumeu Film Studio is a successful public-private partnership between ATEED, NZ Film Commission, Warner Bros./Gravity Pictures, and the Kumeu landowner. Together they established a world-class screen production complex and put Auckland on the global stage as an outstanding location for filming, including the box office-topping The Meg

DIGMYIDEA Māori Innovation Challenge (bronze award) This competition designed to attract more Māori into the technology sector, create jobs and improve economic wellbeing, called on entrants nationwide to submit a digital business idea that has the potential to go global. 

Economic Development New Zealand 2018 Awards: 

The Tripartite Business Programme won the ‘Best Practise Integrated Strategic Planning’ Award and was also selected from all finalists to win the ‘2018 MBIE Premier Award’. 

The DIGMYIDEA Māori Innovation Challenge won the ‘Best Practise Award for Innovation’. 


Lime licence suspended

Source: Auckland Council

Representatives from the Lime e-scooter company today came in to meet with senior Auckland Council and Auckland Transport staff to address safety concerns. This follows a number of recent incidents, some of which have resulted in injuries, caused by the wheels on e-scooters unexpectedly locking.

Dean Kimpton, Auckland Council Chief Operating Officer, says Lime has advised that it has identified 155 reported irregular braking incidents that may have been caused by the unexpected locking issue. 92 of these were in Auckland. Of these, 30 resulted in injury, of which 19 were in Auckland. 

“Following this explanation, myself and Auckland Transport Chief Executive Shane Ellison have given careful consideration to the most appropriate next steps.

“We have reviewed Lime’s licence and decided to temporarily suspend the e-scooter trial with Lime, subject to further information being provided and conditions being met. 

“We have been clear with Lime representatives that the equipment used on our transport network must be safe for use. 

“The safety of people using e-scooters and those that share the environment with them is our number one priority. While we appreciate the amenity that e-scooters offer as an innovative transport solution, safety is not negotiable,” says Mr Kimpton.

Lime has been requested to:  

  • provide incident frequency over the period of the trial, as it relates to this unexpected locking issue. This will also highlight the effect of the recent firmware upgrade.
  • provide a full update on progress against the licence extension conditions.
  • agree to report to council and Auckland Transport on a 48-hour frequency all incidents and meet weekly with relevant staff to discuss the incident record, analysis and Limes response / actions
  • agree to international root-cause specialist consultancy Exponent providing a letter to both our organisations that provides us assurance of the root cause analysis methodology undertaken in this instance, the findings, recommendation and their observation as to success.
  • accept that the council will appoint an independent reviewer as part of our assurance of your safety management and processes, they will have full access to its operations and data for this purpose, this is an additional cost to be added to the licence.
  • accept that the council will appoint a reviewer (as above or another) to assess the detailed and confidential analysis of the Exponent root cause analysis, findings and recommendations. 

Lime has agreed to these conditions and, once we are in receipt of this information, we will make a further decision on whether Lime’s licence suspension will be lifted. 

Lime has this afternoon been notified of this decision and we expect them to begin managing the removal of their scooters as soon as practicable.


Catch Jordan Luck and Annie Crummer at Music in Parks this weekend

Source: Auckland Council

What better way to spend your weekend than singing your heart out and dancing your feet off with true New Zealand legends?

This Sunday, the Music in Parks series is putting on a special, feature event, Kiwi Anthems. Bringing together beloved kiwi artists, The Jordan Luck Band, Annie Crummer and the AutoMatic 80s, the gig rolls back the years with a line-up of iconic songs and hits.

Jordan Luck, pop-writing genius from the Exponents, is looking forward to getting on stage on Sunday night.

“What I love about Music in Parks is the sense of community,” he says.

“It’s such a great atmosphere – people get so into it and are dancing. It’s cool seeing everyone – friends, kids and parents, fans of all ages – getting into the music.”

Jordan will be playing the best of those iconic tracks we know and love, as well as a collection of recently penned and possible future stadium singalongs of tomorrow; meanwhile, singer-songwriter Annie Crummer and the AutoMatic 80s are also revving up for the performance.

Annie will bring out classics from her decades-long career, while the AutoMatic 80s features the very best of early to mid-80’s New Romantic and New Wave hits, performed live, loud and pumping. They’ll transport you back to those heady, youthful times and leave you wanting more.

Check out more details here on the Music in Parks Facebook page.

Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates around the weekend weather.

Annie Crummer

Get together this February

Check out this article for other great ideas on how you can get together with friends and family this February.


OurAuckland March out this weekend!

Source: Auckland Council

The March 2019 edition of OurAuckland magazine will be landing in letterboxes, cafes and transport hubs across Tāmaki Makaurau from 23 March. 

Featuring stunning cover artwork by Toby Morris and in-depth reporting on all things Auckland by Hayden Donnell, Sam Button and more, this month’s magazine is packed with everything you need to make the most of our region. 

As well as the best events, places to go and things to see, this month we take a close look at Auckland’s water future: Where will Auckland get its water from? How do we stop our beaches, harbours and streams from becoming polluted, and fix the damage already done? And what can we all do to help?

As well as this, we feature iconic Auckland artists the Pacific Sisters and investigate how Auckland Council is connecting with its diverse communities. 

Where to find your copy of OurAuckland

OurAuckland is delivered to all households across Tāmaki Makaurau — check your letterbox for your copy this weekend. It’s also available at Auckland Council libraries and service centres, at major public transport hubs and selected Auckland cafes.


Eels reach dead end in Grafton Cemetery

Source: Auckland Council

It’s a puzzle that has a group of Auckland Council’s ecologists and their contractor from Wildlands stumped.

While checking out Grafton Cemetery’s (also known as Symonds Street Cemetery) seldom visited gully system one evening recently looking for bats, the team stumbled across an exciting find.

At the bottom of the gully lies a little stream called the Waipāruru which once used to run out to the ocean but is now swathed by motorway asphalt. All that remains is a shortened 200m channel within the reserve where the stream inexplicably stops and disappears, soaking forlornly into the ground.  

It’s against this background the ecologists, finding no bats, turned their flashlights nonchalantly into the stream’s many empty pools.

They were astonished when at first a head appeared, then the unmistakable sinuous form of a shortfin eel broke cover from beneath a log.

More whooping and hollering followed when further upstream another appeared, this one perched beneath a log and reluctant to reveal itself.

Still another fish is found, this one a banded kōkopu fabled for their climbing exploits as juvenile whitebait.

Two eels, similar in size, and a solitary kōkopu occupying the best habitat this little stream has to offer.  But how on earth did they get here?

The two seasoned freshwater ecologists Nick Goldwater and Matt Bloxham have witnessed the otherworldly climbing exploits of juvenile eels returning to freshwater, scaling seemingly impassable obstacles to reach the habitat of their forebears.

But for these three fish, there is no question, the journey is seemingly an impossible one. Nobody has an explanation, though one must exist. But all agree the journey, however unlikely, must have been a fraught one.   

Amid the celebration and incredulity comes the sad realization that for these fish, the story begins and ends here.

The banded kōkopu, all alone, will make a living from the bountiful supply of insects for a few years yet, as will the eels.

But if they are to breed, these two eels must return to the ocean. Yet the exit strategy for these fishy fellows and the chance of being joined by more is confounded by this virtual dead end!

The ecologists are now plotting to make their stay an enjoyable one.

There’s better habitat on the cards and the stream outlet will be excavated in the hope others may join these three.


Green light for Metro Park West design

Source: Auckland Council

Developing Metro Park West in Millwater took another step forward with Hibiscus and Bays Local Board approving the park’s new design.

Board chair Julia Parfitt says residents submitted 101 responses and the final design incorporates much of this feedback. It reflects the ‘Meadow and Creek’ option with the addition of fruit trees and a revised location for car parking.

“The park will offer many different spaces for events, walking and picnics. The community is very clear that the site’s natural amphitheatre, contours and sea views must be preserved in the new park.

“Earthworks will be kept to a minimum when developing the site but are necessary to create the swale, hard stand, walkways and to improve drainage on the flatter areas of the park.

“The hard stand will accommodate market space and temporary parking for some years to come. In time though, once the through road is built at Stoney Butler Crescent, the parking will move off the park.”

This multi-year project is expected to start in 2020, with the first stage involving the swale’s construction, walkways and the planting of trees taking three years to complete.

However, this timeline is dependent on resource consent, availability of funds and tender processes.

Details of the design and public feedback can be found in the Metro Park West concept design report on the council website.


Local board proposes new cemetery for Great Barrier

Source: Auckland Council

A long-awaited cemetery in central Great Barrier is one step closer to realisation.

Great Barrier Local Board has spent considerable time and resources over the last eight years on this project after residents made it clear that there was a need for cemeteries in the north and centre of the island.

Auckland Council has applied for land use resource consent to establish a public cemetery at Crossroads Reserve in Claris.

Board chair Izzy Fordham said local people had expressed a desire to be buried or remembered in the area close to where they or their loved one had lived.

“It has taken a considerable amount of time to find a suitable piece of council-owned land that meets the criteria for a cemetery and we hope that we have finally found one.”

Fordham said the proposed cemetery would mean a great deal to those who had lost loved ones.

In July 2015 the board obtained authority for cemetery development on the island and in December that year approved investigation of sites in the Okiwi and Claris areas.

Last year, the board agreed to apply for resource consent at the Claris site.

Crossroads Reserve is located along Whangaparapara Road and is opposite the Claris Sports Club, just west of the junction with Blind Bay and Gray Roads and west of Claris.

It is proposed that the cemetery grounds occupy an approximately 600m2 cleared area on an elevated part of the site.

The proposed cemetery includes three types of burial plots:

  • 21 coffin burial plots
  • 48 ash internments
  • 17 eco-burial plots

The next step in the process is for interested parties to have a say.

This is a joint process under the Reserves Act 1977 and the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

Submissions can be received under one or both of the following, as detailed in the notices below:

  • The Reserves Act for the reclassification of the site from recreation reserve to a local purpose (cemetery)
  • The Resource Management Act for the physical works associated with establishing the cemetery, and for the ongoing cemetery activity to occur on this site.

To find out more or to make a submission on this application, visit 

Application number: LUC60334087

Closing date for submissions: 5pm, Friday 21 March, 2019


Albert-Eden businesses supported on sustainability journey

Source: Auckland Council

Local businesses in Albert-Eden are taking steps to become more environmentally sustainable. Several are being supported through the Albert-Eden Sustainable Business Programme, which is sponsored by Albert-Eden Local Board and delivered by Carolyn Cox of Green Business HQ.

“There is increasing interest from businesses in adopting sustainable practices, but many need a little support to get underway. We’re pleased to help,” says Peter Haynes, Chair of the Albert-Eden Local Board.

Here’re how businesses are becoming environmentally sustainable.

H S Stewart Catering go from compost to platter

For Karen Ward and Hamish Stewart of H S Stewart Catering, providing sustainable catering to Aucklanders has been a long-term passion. “The programme was a great opportunity to think about what we could do next,” says Karen.

With a composting system in place at the business, plans to grow some of their own produce and running an electric car, the Stewarts were already working to reduce their carbon footprint.

Through the programme the Stewarts are focusing on working with suppliers to reduce packaging. A flotilla of energy-hungry fridges and freezers have been replaced with a higher-capacity chiller and freezer for more efficient food storage, increased bulk buying, and larger batch preparation.

Sustainability highlights

  • 100 per cent organic waste composted
  • Over 77 per cent waste diverted
  • Conversion to fully electric fleet planned by 2021
  • Menu review to increase proportion of locally produced and plant-based foods
  • Circular food production planned from compost to platter.

Kings Plant Barn St Lukes make small but smart moves

A beach walk at Great Barrier prompted Simon Andrews, St Lukes Kings Plant Barn general manager into action. “The sheer amount of rubbish on the beach and the story about people picking up the tonnes of rubbish on the beaches around Auckland really motivated me to try to be better at what we do at Plant Barn.”

He started with little things like recycling all the paper till receipts, all plastic films and cardboard and taking the worm bins seriously. The stores have stopped using plastic bags too and will introduce an internal garden waste compost collection to reduce landfill waste.

Sustainability highlights

  • More than 150,000 plastic bags eliminated a year
  • A 27 per cent reduction in waste to landfill in 2019
  • Aiming for 100 per cent organic waste composted by 2020
  • 100 tonnes of carbon saved each year by composting all garden waste
  • Plan Bee programme promoting bee-friendly plants.

Rockys Restaurant & Cafe commits to making a difference

The desire to be more environmentally friendly spurred Rocky and Jeeva, owners of Rockys Restaurant and Cafe in Mt Albert, to sign up. 

“We really want to be environmentally friendly and do something to give back to the community,” says Rocky. “We don’t want to be just another business destroying the environment.” 

Since joining the programme, the business has embraced significant changes such as banishing plastic and making compostable paper straws available on request. Customers are encouraged to bring their own cup or to dispose the compostable coffee cups on offer into any commercial compost collection service.

Sustainability highlights

  • 672 litres of vegetable scraps, food waste, tissues and coffee filters diverted from landfill for composting each year
  • 390 fewer plastic straws to landfill each year
  • Aiming for 1300 fewer coffee cups to landfill each year
  • More locally grown tomatoes and herbs served with zero food miles.

Find out how green your business is at


Manukau Harbour Forum educating the local community

Source: Auckland Council

In 2010, nine of the Auckland Council local boards joined together with technical support from across council and WaterCare to form the Manukau Harbour Forum. 

The Forum was established to help communities around Auckland to work better together on the big-picture task of looking after Manukau harbours’ water, environment, ecology and cultural and social treasures, says Saffron Toms, Chair of the Forum and deputy chair of Waitākere Ranges Local Board.

“It’s important to have the local community actively involved in the harbour, and part of that is having a presence at local events such as this year’s Onehunga Festival, which is located around the Onehunga Basin.”

“We’ll be there with an information and engagement tent, where team members will be available for a chat and people can learn more about the harbour and share their experiences.”

Chris Makoare Chair of Mangkiekie Tāmaki Local Board and member of the Forum explains that: “It’s great to see the Forum involved in this local event, which will help bring attention to the Onehunga Basin, especially because it has seen so many improvements in recent years, not just from the visible infrastructure improvement projects, but we are proud to acknowledge water quality coming from the basin has improved as a result”

Come along to the Onehunga Festival Sunday 23 February between 10am and 3pm and join the fun. While you’re there visit the Manukau Harbour Forum team, they will be able to show you how to get involved and how little things can make a huge difference to the health of your arbour.

Find out more on the OurAuckland event listing.

Simple tips for protecting marine life

Simple changes in behaviour can have huge impacts on marine life and ecology:

  • Stop flushing wipes
  • Place your rubbish in a bin.
  • If you smoke place your butts in the rubbish
  • Volunteer to help clean up beaches, parks and waterways
  • Grow plants along stream banks, take part in local planting days
  • Manage your dog near wildlife
  • If you see water pollution report it to Auckland Council 09 3010101
  • Ensure that the wastewater and gutter to stormwater pipes for your property are draining into the same area and wastewater drains have raised edges to keep any surface water out.
  • Don’t pour fats or oils down drains
  • Wash your car on the grass, not a hard surface that goes down a drain


Older adults supported with workshops in Ōrākei

Source: Auckland Council

Ōrākei Local Board is supporting a series of workshops for older adults run by Age Concern Auckland out of the Ōrākei Community Centre over March and April.

The workshops aim to arm older people with key life skills to ensure their wellbeing and ongoing participation in society.

Training in technology and use of the internet will be given, as well as driver refresher training and decision making tools for homeowner-occupiers.  

Ōrākei Local Board Chair Kit Parkinson says older adults are a growing part of the community and more needs to be done to support them.

“We know that isolation can be a significant problem for our older community members. Almost everything is done online these days; we want to support older adults to feel confident navigating digital spaces, making sure that they’re able to participate in an increasingly digitised society.

“We also need to ensure that our older adults continue to feel confident on the roads and that they have strategies in place to ensure they’re safe and secure in their homes,” he said.

Kevin Lamb, CEO of Age Concern Auckland, says the workshops aim to maximise the independence of older adults and promote positive ageing strategies.

Find out more about the workshop series here.