It evolved, after some brainstorming with the group, that what they need is to drive the tourism industry on Waiheke is a professional co-ordinator to act on behalf of the group as a whole. The stumbling blocks in the past, when tourist operators have tried to form a business association, were the competitive rivalry between businesses and a lack of money to pay a tourism co-ordinator whose job transcended those differences.
On hearing this it appears Kaye went back to ATEED (the Auckland Council owned CCO charged with tourism and economic development) to find a way forward. ATEED in turn were receptive to the plight of tourism on Waiheke, not least because the island is an integral part of their own strategy for driving the economy of all Auckland.
The outcome of these productive meetings is that they have pledged the money to pay an independent tourism co-ordinator.
The Law of Unintended Consequences has once again to come into play. The Local Board wants to turn the clock back to some imaginary idyllic past where there were no cars, the only transport was horses, and the only visitors were occasional yachties (and they’re doing their best to discourage these).
Dream on McDuff. The people of Waiheke are bigger and have more oomph than these Luddites. They’ve gone above the heads of our local politicians to the real leaders. Waiheke’s tourism future now looks bright and will flourish, the opposite of what was intended by Walden et al. This will be thanks to the initiative of our local National Party MP and an independent body sitting, thankfully, outside the strangling grip of our sanctimonious, profligate yet wasteful Mayor.
P.S. Nikki will be speaking on the island today and had invited everyone along to hear her at Ostend Hall at 1.30 this afternoon.