It is strange how the local Greenie rent-a-mob, led by Paul Walden, could be mobilised to hound a family off the island for building a home on their land in a bay few people could see, yet couldn’t give a damn about non-notification when Walden himself wanted to build an eyesore in a highly visual spot in a designated SES noted for its beauty. No wonder the word’ Green’ in now synonymous with ‘hypocrite’.
Most of the money for Walden’s vanity project came from the Local Board Transport Capital Fund ($200,000 a year for Waiheke), with some being stolen from SLIPs. The fund is supposed to be for minor works ‘in response to public concerns or local aspirations’.
At the beginning of their reign this Board identified its priorities for the Fund as being footpaths that address safety issues and access to schools, yet one of its first actions was to cancel a safe route to school for Waiheke Primary School that had already been prioritised and funded by the first local board.
After a year of not being able to decide what to do with the accumulated LBTCF fund and having failed to consult the ‘urgent footpath list’ and ‘seal priority list’ that have been built up over many years in response to public concerns, the Board opted for the infamous vanity bridge for Walden’s horses. The remainder is being spent on a bridle path leading to the bridge from Walden’s home. It would seem the only 'local aspiration' is Walden's own vanity.
It is plain to the community that a gross misuse of the Fund has taken place to satisfy the desires of the Board Chairman. Where were the checks and balances? Where was the public consultation? Why did the other four Board members not do their job and represent the community over the personal desires of their leader? Are they afraid of him given the bullying behaviour he demonstrated on social media when challenged over this issue? Or are they all happy to go along because they have no minds of their own or are simply lazy.
What is now plain to the Waiheke community is that these Board members, and their Chairman in particular, are self-serving hypocrites. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone openly admit they voted for them.
Walden’s Wank reflects the Board itself – a complete waste of time and money. The calls for a government enquiry are well justified.