In a move of breathtaking ineptitude and naivety, the new Waiheke Local Board plans to withdraw $742k earmarked for the much needed Onetangi Sports Park pavilion extensions, $410k set aside for community facility upgrades (including refurbishing the old library space), and $268k planned for recreational boat ramps and give it back to the Auckland Council in the hope they will fast-track a community swimming pool for Waiheke. There are no guarantees this sweetener will actually work. The Board has not set any conditions around this massive repayment to Auckland Council; making it basically an unconditional koha with no right of retrieval.
With Waiheke previously placed at the bottom of the Auckland Council’s aquatic facilities priorities, it is highly unlikely this koha will have any influence over the Council. Even more seriously, the bigger message this will send Auckland Council is that “Waiheke doesn’t need all this money. Take it back.” With the Mayor already under pressure to reduce ballooning debt, he will rub his hands at the prospect of a windfall from Waiheke ratepayers.
The Waiheke Local Board is now controlled by elected members with Green Party aspirations and no governing body experience. A word of caution; every rate payer in New Zealand needs to take note of what a ‘Green’ takeover of local rates could mean for their community. The lack of basic business sense and high level of naivety is astounding.
On a national scale, can we expect such incompetence from a Labour/Green government? You bettcha.
To make a submission opposing this proposal follow this link http://annualplan.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/your-local-board/