What she has not spent her summer thinking about are the many urgent needs of Waiheke ratepayers for improved infrastructure and services. For example, she has not been thinking about how she can make more parking available at Matiatia to meet the demands of two ferry services and increased visitor numbers. Instead she voted to REDUCE the number of parking spaces and has made an untenable situation even worse for local residents during the busy Christmas period.
The TPPA free zone is all posturing of course, designed to enhance her ambition to be a Green Party MP. She blotted her copy book by voting, just the once, against the party line on the Waiheke Local Board and got right royally slapped down for her disobedience by Chairman Paul Walden who demoted her from her position as Deputy Chair. To cross Walden is to cross the husband and wife Stansfield/Roche duo who pull the Board’s strings. Brown needs to curry favour with the duo so she can further her Green Party ambitions so has been allotted the task of spouting the Party Line through the Waiheke Local Board as her path to possible redemption. The Green Party on Waiheke is run very much along the lines of the Communist Party.
It goes without saying that the TPPA process is outside the province of local government. Ms Brown’s foray into national politics is all hot air. It is an abuse of her position, it is arrogant and it is entirely self-serving. She is backed by the Waiheke Local Board in this nonsense otherwise the Notice of Motion would not have made it onto the agenda.
It’s not as if the Board will make any headway on this issue with Auckland Council. Councillor Wayne Walker tried a similar stunt on Auckland Council last October and got slapped down by his own Councillors. Cllr. Denise Krum had this to say about Walker’s antics. “It really is getting ridiculous when we're spending two hours, and ratepayers' money, debating something that is not in the Local Government's process possibilities ... I'm sure they'd prefer us to spend time on getting ideas on how to get rates down in our next annual plan." A council meeting costs $20,000 an hour.
And that’s the point. It is a waste of Waiheke ratepayers’ money to spend time on an issue over which the Board has no jurisdiction. When Auckland Council come to review the number of local boards it must look at Waiheke’s record under this Board and consider how the island might be better served.
Meanwhile, it is all about ‘playing to the gallery’. It is an election year and these are protest politicians. Being a protest politician is Waiheke’s thing. Gulf News, the Green Party’s propaganda sheet, will lap it up. The game being played now is how to be re-elected so they can spend another three years shovelling ratepayers’ money into Green Party pockets. The last three years has been very lucrative for its client groups, and those who run them. They have received the bulk of the discretionary funding available to this Board.
If the gravy train is to continue it is essential for the ‘Essentially Waiheke’ Team to drum up as many ‘protests’ as possible so the proletariat can be fooled into thinking it is ‘doing’ something. Gulf News provides the trumpet and the show blares on.
For the ratepayers’ of Waiheke who want their very costly rates to provide improved infrastructure and services they will need to elect a very different board. This will require credible people for the job. If WLB continues to waste our time and money in the self serving manner demonstrated by Ms Brown, Walden and Co then other options must be considered.
Len Brown is on his way out. Shirin Brown deserves the same fate.