Yesterday’s blog exposed how the Waiheke Local Board has decided to allocate the major part of its annual discretionary budget to the Green Party front organisation, Waiheke Resources Trust. To further consolidate the hold the Waiheke Resources Trust has on ratepayer assets, the Waiheke Local Board is tipped to lease the old Oneroa Bowling Club Building (recently refurbished by the first Waiheke Local Board at a cost of over $200,000 for community use as part of the Park) to a ‘management’ group widely believed to be the Trust.
Note the Board’s recent resolution:
b) request staff from Community Development, Arts and Culture call for Expressions of Interest to lease the former Oneroa Bowling Club building on Alison Park to a community group or groups that would then make the building available through a booking system to wider community use.
The Reserve Management Plan (RMP) for Alison Park specifically excludes the leasing of the old Oneroa Bowling Club building to any other group, once the Bowling Club had vacated it. This decision was taken as a result of the effect leasing the building and associated land had on the community’s sense of ownership of their own public land. For many years, this section of Alison Park has been closed to the general public and – thanks to this Local Board - it still is.
The Waiheke Resources Trust is not a rocket-science kind of organisation. Specifically, it claims to be the guru of rubbish and recycling and spends a lot of time and ratepayers’ money running around telling people and businesses how to manage their waste - something, most people have known since childhood (except these born-again greenies it seems). Now they’re the experts on ecological restoration. Whatever, its incarnation, the Waste Resources Trust could be run from someone’s kitchen table, Stansfield’s spare room or even a converted garage. They don’t need to be handed a public asset to do their paperwork. What they do need is a centrally located, highly visible club room to run the local branch of the Green Party, just as their predecessor, the Waste Resources Trust, used their publicly provided ‘studio’ in the former Artworks courtyard.
There is a perfectly adequate Auckland Council funded system for managing community hall bookings that is in use around the region and at other local community owned halls. Instead, this Local Board favours appointing a ratepayer funded gatekeeper organisation to ‘manage’ bookings. This ‘model’ means ratepayers pay twice for the use of their own facilities, if indeed they are granted permission by the gatekeeper organisation to use them at all. With free use of the facility in every sense of the term, the ‘management group’ has access to the public building whenever it wants it for its own purposes let’s say a Green Party meeting or a Green Party party. They don’t have to pay a bean.
Thus the community asset is effectively privatised for use by a political group. This is how the Green Party has cleverly targeted local government, which is proving to be a lucrative way of funding its umbrella organisations and extending its influence at the grass roots level.
The ‘gatekeeper’ model has already been used by the Waiheke Local Board to favour one organisation and lock other groups out of using the old library space at Artworks. This area was always intended for community use as a flexible arts related space. Instead it is being used for the sole purposes of the gatekeeper organisation, which also gets paid by ratepayers and taxpayers for the privilege.
Time is running out for this Board to feather their very lucrative Green nest. It is also running out of the legacy money left to it by the first Waiheke Local Board. This Board has already lost the community $12 million in long term funding, mostly in precious small local improvement (SLIPS) money, so the race is on for it to lock up as many assets as possible under Green Party control and make sure they are well funded by the ratepayer.
This Board has locked out community groups from accessing ratepayer funded buildings, unless of course they are prepared to kowtow to the Green appointed 'gatekeepers'. The message of Communist style parties like the Greens is clear. If you support us we will permit you to use your own community facilities for free, if not, you will have to pay a fee to Council. This is how bribery and corruption starts. It will only end when communities reject this kind of behaviour in favour of democracy.
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