A few thoughts on the recently released Essentially Waiheke Document
In Section ‘5.2 OUR COMMUNITY’ we are quoted examples of community initiatives that the authors of the revised document want to see given continued support.
These include “upcycling, community gardens, the Ostend market, the Little Oneroa stream initiative, plastic bag-free Waiheke, Totally Locally, co-operatives, Waste Resources Trust.”
Since when did Waste Resources Trust (WRT) qualify as a community led initiative? It is a privately run Trust that exists purely through the benevolence of the current local board.
This Point should be amended to read only as ‘Support community initiatives’.
It needs no further qualification and especially not one with the examples given.
Under ‘5.3 OUR ECONOMY’ it is stated that ‘Positive economic, social, and environmental outcomes can also be achieved through a strong drive towards local and sustainable food systems: growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption, and disposal of food and food-related items.’
Does this represent a desire to introduce the failed communist model of collective farming?.
No doubt WRT will have the resources to control such a venture.
A reasonable management fee and a small but healthy margin on total sales should do the trick.
Tourists will no doubt welcome the opportunity to roll-up their sleeves and grab a spade while
under the watchful eye of Waiheke’s world famous ‘singing gardener’!
Under ‘Ideal scenarios’ we find the following gem.
‘7. Convert the present wharf tax to a visitor/tourist levy, and apply it to all modes of tourism transportation (including sea planes, helicopters, etc.). This levy should be commuter exempt and managed by the Waiheke Local Board or other community legal entity.’
So we introduce a visitor/tourist levy but that levy should be commuter exempt!
Sorry? Tourists and visitors are commuters!
If it’s intended to apply only to ferries, aircraft etc then how do the authors of this report think those companies operating those ferries, aircraft etc will raise the money to pay the proposed levies?
That’s right they’ll get the commuters they carry to pay more for their tickets. DUH!
Oh, and then we appoint another ‘Trust’ to collect and manage the funds! Was this section written by the Waste Resources Revenue Trust?
Then we find this. ‘Point 11: Introduce a loyalty scheme for locals who support businesses year round’.
Another fantastic idea developed by a bunch of economic muppets.
- How do they propose to collect and collate all the points you earn?
- How many people do they believe such a proposal would need to employ?
- Who will pay to set up and fund the administrative structure?
Local businesses need an idea like this in the same way they need another tax!
But don’t worry! The now newly renamed Waiheke Revenue Trust will take control!
Ultimately how did such an insane idea make its way into a document purporting to be the blueprint for our future.
Following this section we are informed in the following ‘Concerning Scenarios’ that:
‘2. Unaffordable housing (renting and buying) forcing individuals and families to leave the island. This contrasts with the considerable number of empty/unused holiday houses on the island.’
Then in ‘SECTION 7 / RECOMMENDED STRATEGIC ACTIONS’ under ‘Point 7.4 Addressing housing supply, choice and affordability’ we are told that ‘sustained growth of the Auckland population has induced phenomenal housing pressure in the crowding and numbers of investment homes lying empty across the region. Against this backdrop our island aspires to maintain and sustain the diversity within our community.’
The community would like to see a Waiheke Housing entity established (read Waiheke Revenue and Real Estate Trust) to address the housing issue on Waiheke to study and identify alternative models and opportunities for community-built and owned housing, including pensioner units, community-built owner/occupier, and low and medium cost housing.
The underlying theme in this section of the proposed documents seems to based purely on the politics of envy and it appears they believe the solution lies in the theories expounded by their mentor Karl Marx.
It simply says that rich pricks have houses they don’t use and these houses should be turned over to the poor and needy when the rich pricks aren’t using them.
Hey rich pricks, drop your keys into the WRRT when you leave!
The preceding section INFRASTRUCTURE and SERVICES contains the following:
‘Visitors and residents also identify many physical structures necessary to maintaining the island’s character, such as the unique bus stops with a story behind them, the public toilets, the benches along walkways and the community halls.’
Perhaps the authors of the revised Essentially Waiheke document could enlighten us on why and which of our public toilets are so unique?
The only thing unique about the majority of our community halls is the way they were stripped from the public domain and vested in the control of groups favoured by the local board at peppercorn rentals.
In my humble opinion the revised document is nothing more than a politically slanted gabfest.
It is a document with a clear political bias, a bias which is representative only of a hopefully
single-term local board.
It is a complete waste of time and money.
It is a document that will find its rightful place in the future of Waiheke’s growth and development, gathering dust in the bookshelves of its authors.
It is a document that wishes to lock us into the past when we should aspire to be part of a bold, bright and empowering future.