The summary of the local board plan, delivered to some (but not all) Waiheke households, and laughingly called ‘Help Shape Waiheke’s Future’, tells us that your local board plans to achieve the sum total of nothing. In other words your local politicians aim to sit back for another three years without achieving anything while leading a cushy life at the ratepayers' expense.
The draft plan is full of words that are music to ears of Council bureaucrats because they don’t have to do much work and don’t have to deliver any projects. The meaningless weasel words that fill every line of the plan are ‘support, develop, monitor, pursue, assess, improve, identify, scope’. And what are they ‘support, develop, monitor, pursue, assess, improve, identify, scope’ ‘ing? Why plans of course. These are the ‘outcomes’ promised in the plan’s preamble.
There is only one mention, among its 35 proposals, of delivering anything tangible. That is to deliver ‘wetland restoration and regeneration projects’, something put in place in the long term plan and budgeted for by the first Waiheke Local Board.
This plan speaks volumes about the naivety of the new members of the board if, and it’s a big if, they wanted to effect change. They cast in their lot with Walden at the beginning and so we have got a plan that changes nowt. For Handley in particular the plan is a betrayal of all those who voted for her. They wanted to stop the flow of their money into the hands of unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable ‘Trusts’ who received hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars and delivered nothing. They wanted to stop the waste of their money on useless bridle bridges to nowhere. Handley promised them these things wouldn’t happen on her watch. Now we know differently. There it is again - ‘using community grants to support community led activities’. In other words hundreds of thousands more to the Waiheke Resources Trust for the benefit of the friends and family of the local Green Party MP while the community gets nothing.
It is projects that attract budgets. A project is something like ‘build a new library’, ‘provide ten new footpaths’, ‘build a swimming pool’, ‘increase parking spaces by 300 at Matiatia’. Real goals are specific, measurable and action-orientated. Without these in the plan there will be no funding from the governing body of Auckland Council to make the desperately needed improvements to cope with our growing local and visitor population.
Waiheke has another Walden-style do nothing, achieve nothing backward looking board. It’s no use bleating about lack of parking spaces, or no visitor information office, or unsafe footpaths if these are the people you voted for.
What you local board has promised is no future at all.