It could all have been so different, and could be again, if we get a big enough change of local board members with the will to make it happen.
Waiheke is in a better position than most local boards to be able to resolve the parking crisis. There is ample Council owned land close to the ferry terminal; there are plans already drawn up so no need spend up large on reinventing the wheel; and the new Board will have $800,000 at its disposal specially earmarked for transport capital works. This is the Auckland Transport Capital Fund (ATCF).
The fund came into existence in 2012 and is allocated on a population basis. Waiheke receives more than all other boards, except Great Barrier, based on population largely thanks to my being the WLB Transport Spokesman at the time battling on Waiheke’s behalf for extra money. The money is granted annually but can be accumulated, hence the $800,000 that has been available to the current Board.
Despite the desperate need for more parking, the current Board chose instead to squander the bulk of the fund, nearly $400,000, on Walden’s Folly, the bridle bridge to nowhere, and associated bridle path. The remainder has been spent on the, yet to be completed, Causeway sea wall for the Boat Club and liveaboards and yet another ‘masterplan’ for Matiatia.
As far as Matiatia is concerned the current Waiheke Local Board Board actually reduced the available car parking at the height of the busy Christmas/New Year period at the behest of Christine Gisby. She wanted the ten car parks closest to the ferry terminal set aside for her tour bus company. She got what she wanted from the Board, just as she got $150,000 as the leader of Direction Matiatia to produce yet another Matiatia transport plan. It is no surprise she is on Team Walden
Contrast this with Papakura Local Board. They had a similar parking issue to Matiatia. Papakura train station is the third busiest in the Auckland Region, though nowhere near as busy as Matiatia. Yet the local board has today announced it will be getting 100 new car parks. It has worked with Auckland Transport and used its ATCF to get the job done.
One of my missions as your local board member will be to increase parking at Matiatia for all transport modes. No more additional car journeys to pick up and drop off commuters that add unnecessary exhaust gases to the atmosphere; no more lack of car parking in Oneroa and around the island because of park and ride; no more missed visits for those with appointments at Auckland hospitals.
That's something worth voting for.