Is it any wonder then that a local resident was upset when he stopped me in the street waiving a copy ‘Our Auckland’ and pointing to a photograph of the Waiheke Local Board in front of the almost finished library. “They’ve had nothing to do with any of it. Not the planning, construction, artwork, or anything. Yet here they are making out it was all their own work. It’s shameful.”
The library is the result of twenty years of effort by successive librarians, community boards and the former local board. All that has been happening in the last six months is the completion of construction. The Artworks courtyard million dollar upgrade, timed to be ready in conjunction with the opening of the completed library, is also nearing completion. This was money won for Waiheke from regional budgets by the former Board. All the detailed planning, drawing and start of construction was well advanced when this Board took office.
The only contribution of this Board to the total project was going to be the loss of funding for an upgrade to the old library space for community use as they sought to hand money back to Auckland Council as a ‘sweetener’ to advance a community pool.
If my friend was outraged by the photograph in ‘Our Auckland’ he would have been apoplectic if he was a follower of some of the local Facebook pages. There he might have seen the Board’s absentee member, Becs Ballard, available for once for a photo op, outside the upgrade work currently happening on Pier 2 in Auckland.
Council moves at snail’s pace. It takes years for projects to come to fruition. Firstly there was lobbying for this project from the former Board. Then Auckland Transport had to find the budgets. By this time last year I was starting to discuss the actual detail. Yet there stands Ballard posing as if it were all her own work.
On this site I have deliberately left a page, under the heading ‘Background’, as it was before the election last year (except for the preamble) as a reminder of what projects were already in the pipeline. There you will find the library, Artworks courtyard and upgrade to Pier 2.
The reason I left it there must now be blatantly obvious.