Tony Holman has chaired a number of committees while on Council.
PROTECT SHORE LIFESTYLE
Tony Holman believes that intensive
housing development needs to be limited, as does infill.
One of the main threats to the Shore lifestyle is uncontrolled growth, with excessive infill and intensive housing. I see the enhancement of our garden suburbs and the character of older areas as essential to our Shore lifestyle.
As a Councillor, I have consistently been fighting to curb infill, with partial success. I will be urging council to move more rapidly for changes to our District Plan to bring these problems under control and to stem the rate of growth.
IMPROVED TRANSPORT SYSTEMS
I have been campaigning regionally and at government level since 1998 for a single-purpose public transport authority integrating ferries, buses, trains, busways and ticketing. I am also still campaigning for a major increase in government expenditure on transport needs in this region. (The government has made a major funding commitment and undertaken some reorganisation, but it’s not enough). I am urging our council to lobby government to again press for a properly constituted and funded single transport authority for the region.
An urgent priority is to improve public transport. This includes better cross-Shore services, better weekend services, and increased ferry services from more places.
The BRT (busway) to the bridge will be an important improvement for people travelling to Auckland CBD and beyond, but there are many other aspects of our ‘internal’ and feeder systems that need rapid improvement, including feeders to ferries.
Of course, not everyone can use the bus system – so we need to make sure the roading system also maximises driver convenience and efficiency, while minimising pollution.
If re-elected I will be advocating hard to Council and the ARC for more rapid action in these matters.
Tony Holman supports the protection of our volcanic cones,
and also the historic buildings on them. He is a member of the North
Shore Heritage Trust, which gives grants for work on heritage buildings.
I’ve been involved for many years with environmental organizations – formerly chairing the Little Shoal Bay Action Committee, convening the Chelsea Regional Park Assn (CHERPA), establishing the Chelsea Park Trust and the Uruamo Joint Environmental Advisory Committee. I’m also a member of the Long Bay Great Park Assn and Three Streams, Albany, KERP, CHERPA, UES, UJEAC, etc.
My work for the environment has also been recognised by my two terms on the Auckland Conservation Board and a term as a Trustee of the NZ Conservation Volunteers Trust.
I believe that the environment is paramount and that we must all take much better and more thoughtful care of it if we are to survive and prosper.
I supported beach sand replenishment at Beach Haven and Glenfield, riparian planting along streams and restoration of our waterways.
I have suggested rates or tax relief for those who have valuable trees/bush on their land and are willing to protect them.
Tony Holman wants to see the historic character of the Shore protected - our history is part of who we are and it's good for tourism.
Tony Holman wants to see the historic character of the Shore protected - our history is part of who we are and it's good for tourism.
I value the heritage character of the North Shore and am currently a member of the North Shore Heritage Trust, which gives grants to assist the enhancement of heritage buildings on the Shore. My wife is a former chairperson of the NZ Historic Places Trust. Besides the older character areas, I believe that there are some commercial, industrial and defence sites that are of historical importance.
CHELSEA REGIONAL PARK
Tony and Dinah Holman launched the concept in 1998, establishing the Chelsea Regional Park Association (CHERPA – action group), and later the Chelsea Park Trust (fund-raising body).
This project is now well advanced with the trust having received a pledge of a total of $10 million from the ASB Charitable Trust, the Auckland Regional Council and central Government. It also has strong support from North Shore City Council which is now committed to providing the other $10 million if the sugar company decides to sell the bushland.
Currently stalled pending outcome of Chelsea Sugar’s Proposed Plan Change 16.
Please click here for more information about Chelsea Regional Park
Tony and his wife Dinah outside the historic Takapuna Pumphouse.
Tony is a member of the North Shore Heritage Trust, which gives grants
for the restoration of historic buildings. Dinah is a heritage planner
who has previously been Chair of the NZ Historic Places Trust.
FURTHER HARBOUR CROSSING
A tunnel is the only viable and environmentally appropriate option and I have consistently supported the Council policy that any future harbour crossing should be a tunnel rather than a bridge.
The best location of the entry/exit points is critical and will need careful study and effective community input.
STORMWATER AND SEWERAGE
I have consistently campaigned and voted for major improvements to the sewerage system and stormwater needs. I was very disappointed that the condition of the Highbury to Birkdale sewer line was not brought to the Council’s attention much earlier. Once I was informed, I successfully pressed for an immediate start to the reconstruction of that sewer line.
PARKS AND OPEN SPACE
The rolling hills behind Long Bay, which the Great Park
Society, of which Tony Holman is a member, has long fought to secure as
public open space. He believes a multi-agency group needs to work together
to extend the Long Bay parkland further.
In the 1990s, I led the campaign to stop housing development in Little Shoal Bay and persuaded Council to re-purchase the formerly publicly owned land for reserve – including the area where the children’s adventure playground now stands.
In 1998, I established the Chelsea Regional Park Assn (CHERPA) with the objective of protecting all of the land from the Chelsea Estate through to Kauri Point as public open space. The project envisages the purchase of the Chelsea Estate (but not the sugar factory). Also envisages the establishment of a “mainland island” on the NZ Defence Department land with a predator-proof fence so that rare native birds (including kiwi) can be re-introduced and protected. These projects are advancing well.
I strongly supported purchase of the Tarralgon block (Island Bay) and other reserve land in Birkenhead and Northcote. I also supported the extension to Long Bay Regional Park, the Shore’s only regional park.
Tony is a member of the North Shore Heritage Trust, which gives grants for the restoration of historic buildings. Dinah is a heritage planner who has previously been Chair of the NZ Historic Places Trust.
New housing development - Greenhithe. Development
levies are now being introduced which will ensure that developers pay
the full cost of their developments. This measure, which Tony Holman
has long supported, will ease the burden on ratepayers.
I have a long record of trying to minimise rates. (For example, when Chair of Strategy & Finance, I proposed that council should set its rates at the basic level of inflation – about 2.9% - and that only if ratepayers responded favourably to some additional proposals during consultation, should the rates go above that.)
I have also voted against annual rate rises on six occasions because I felt the rates were too high, or unjustified in some important respects.
Council has now put in place the Development Contributions (or levies) which were intended to compel developers to pay a much more significant and realistic contribution toward the costs of the growth of this City and take the burden off ratepayers. Currently, however, developers have won a court action that will reduce the level of these levies, thus pushing more costs back on to ratepayers. This may well have unfortunate rating impacts.
NO COMMERCIAL AIRPORT AT WHENUAPAI
I am strongly opposed to this proposal on several grounds including: environmental pollution (air, water, soil and noise) and because the business case for the airport is extremely weak. I believe that there are much better environmental, social and economic uses of that land.
If combined air force and commercial use of Whenuapai were to become a reality, then the consequences for our Harbour ward would obviously be even more detrimental.
I also believe that Council deciding on the Mayor’s casting vote to be a member of the airport company was unwise and will likely have major financial consequences for ratepayers if a commercial airport proceeds.
FAIR ALLOCATION OF FUNDS TO HARBOUR WARD
Many people, including myself, have felt that this ward has been considerably underfunded in recent times. To test this I single-handedly carried out research on funding for the management and maintenance of existing parks. The research showed the three-year budget for parks totalled $19 million for the other two wards but only $486,000 for Harbour Ward. As a result of my efforts, Harbour Ward parks will now receive an additional $4.2 million (Note: this is the result of a reallocation of funds, not an increase in rates.)
We need more determined councillors and a strong community board to advocate successfully for this area.
I made strong and persistent representations to the Chair of Council’s Parks Committee (Councillor Miles) and also to the General Manager of Community Services and the Manager, Parks.
I will continue to work hard for an appropriate and fair allocation of funds for this Ward. We deserve a better, fairer deal.
Tony supports the upgrade of our local centres, which are the heart of our local communities - and it's good for the Shore economy.
I will continue to strongly support:
- CAB; Disabilities Advisory Group, and other social support groups.
- Library service
- Leisure centres
- Community Houses
- Educational institutions and groups
- Youth support groups
- Safety initiatives
- Clear footpath access for pedestrians, mobility
During my years on Council I have has consistently campaigned to hold down the annual rates increase and to have an equitable uniform general charge, to try to assist those on lower or fixed incomes.
I have supported the work of organisations frequently used by the elderly, such as the Disabilities Advisory Group (DAG) and the CAB.
It’s time for a review of housing for the elderly on the Shore, including more suitable housing, and to lobby government for appropriate assistance to achieve this.
Tony Holman at the opening of the extended children's playground
at Onepoto Basin.
I championed establishment of Birkenhead/Northcote Youth Forum and supported establishment of the citywide Youth Council.
I also supported the upgrade of Birkenhead War Memorial Park, playground equipment at Little Shoal Bay, Onepoto Domain and many others.
We now also need an improved swimming pool at BWMP.
I will continue to make youth a priority – including the involvement of youth in developing youth facilities.
Tony Holman in action at the opening of the
rock-climbing wall at the Birkenhead Leisure Centre.
I will continue to work very hard to represent my constituents and to do my best to help individuals who have difficulties dealing with the council ‘machine.’
THE LOCAL ECONOMY
I have given strong support for town centre improvements and for ‘Mainstreet’ organisations. Highbury is well overdue for a major upgrade and I am still pressing hard to have this brought forward from its current timing for after 2010.
By ensuring that North Shore is a great place to live, with good facilities, better and simpler planning procedures, and better transport, business enterprises will more readily establish in our city.
I would like to facilitate direct connections between educational institutions and business to assist career direction and work experience.
Another of my aims is to expand visitor information centres and services, including at Highbury.
USER-FRIENDLY COUNCIL SYSTEMS
I propose having more Council services in a “user friendly” situation at local community offices, where residents will be able to access real people face to face instead of having to deal with a disembodied system at central office with endless remote ‘voice mail,’ e-mail, paper chases and unknown officials who are so often unavailable.
We need to have more staff local knowledge and local services across the counter with staff available “on demand”.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Mayor and some councilors and officers are very much in favour of centralising services, thereby reducing or eliminating area offices and reducing the powers and responsibilities of community boards, which I regard as essential to local democracy and local service.
MORE RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMMUNITY BOARDS
I would therefore propose to Council that more responsibility for local community issues be given to the local community boards together with an increase in funds to provide local solutions for local problems much more quickly and often, more cheaply. This does not mean extra rates, but instead a transfer of some of the central funds to community boards and area office functions.
In my view, people who stand for Council should ensure that they understand that it is a demanding job, with no fixed hours and they need to be willing to accommodate this.
It is no longer a secondary interest, but is big business and requires a solid and considerable commitment. It is not a part-time add-on, or a hobby, or just a source of significant extra income.
For those reasons, I believe ratepayers and residents are entitled to expect a conscientious performance from those whom they elect.
Although there are many other things that Councillors have to do besides attend meetings, it is at meetings where the decisions (usually involving money) are made, where policies are decided and where the accountability of the elected member is measured.
There have some significant Councillor absences this term. I therefore support returning to the system whereby Councillors are paid a basic allowance, and then meeting fees. The current farce of paying a full salary regardless of whether Councillors turn up to meetings should be abolished. Councillors who are absent cannot be fulfilling their other obligations to the community that has elected them.
OPEN GOVERNMENT NOT CLOSED DOORS
I have constantly raised my concerns about the number of items that Council deals with in secret. While some of this is, regrettably, unavoidable, there are many occasions when this need is not rigourously tested. I would hope that more people on the next Council will be willing to question this need strongly and consistently.
SENSIBLE DECISIONS & PRUDENT SPENDING
I oppose extravagant spending on frills. I will continue my record of analysing and testing the need for many expenditure proposals and will also continue to question consultant and management performance and seek to ensure that the best use is being made of your money and mine!