On the face of it, the money is for the group to develop yet another ‘plan’ for Matiatia. There are already many plans for Matiatia sitting on Auckland Transport shelves gathering dust, so it is not surprising there was general outrage when $50k was allocated for yet another. Another $100k on top is outrageous. This is especially so given that Auckland Transport has said over and over again that they have no will, or budget, to implement any changes at Matiatia. It is $150k down the toilet.
There has been speculation that there are far more sinister reasons for handing over this money to a rag tag group of ardent WLB supporters with no experience in transport planning.
One such has already touched on in an earlier blog, but perhaps there’s another more pressing reason. When the Environment Court decided the marina would not go ahead this left Direction Matiatia facing a very large lawyers bill. Given the very close relationship between the WLB and its supporters on Direction Matiatia it would not be surprising if a deal has been done behind closed doors.
One thing is for certain, Waiheke ratepayers are not getting value for money. Every cent the Board spends on useless plans, reports, junkets, and shoring up its support base is money that is not available to fix the island’s creaking infrastructure.
In the same agenda the Board is complaining it needs more money from the Governing Body for infrastructure to accommodate the growth in visitors to Waiheke. The Governing Body need only look at way the Waiheke Board has wasted the resources it has already been allocated to know it would just be throwing good money after bad.
The Governing Body is hardly likely to allocate any further funding to Waiheke when its Board is supporting de-amalgamation. That would be highly irresponsible to all the ratepayers of Auckland who must be heartily sick of Waiheke getting more than its fair share of ratepayers’ money for many years now only to see it squandered by this Waiheke Local Board on cronyism, favouritism and feathering its own nest.