When this Board took office in 2013 they had $410,000 for upgrading community facilities and $742,000 for upgrading OSP pavilion already in the bank waiting to be spent. $250,000 of the $410,000 for community facilities upgrade was earmarked for upgrading the old library space. The Board chose not to spend the money but instead handed back $1.4 million to Council as a bribe for a school swimming pool. Of course, the bribe didn’t work, the money was lost and the old library space didn’t get refurbished. Later in 2014 $210,000 was returned to the Board by the Governing Body to finish the facility upgrade.
As if this wasting $1.4 million of ratepayers’ money wasn’t enough of a failure, this Board hasn’t even spent the remaining $160,000 of the $200,000 on upgrading the old library. No, they voted to use $30,000 to appoint a group to manage the facility. The contract was decided in secret at the last Board meeting with the public excluded.
“Requests for bookings over the Summer period are going into a black hole, ” said one of the Artworks tenants a few months ago at a contentious meeting following which Deputy Chair, Shirin Brown, was ousted from her position for supporting the Artworks tenants.
The space has been denied to the community for over a year. It should have been ready within months of the new Board taking office. The money was there, all that was required was for them to get on with the job. But here we are a year later and still no access for the community groups who desperately need the space.
Those who need the space have had their wishes trashed by the Board. Worse still they will now have to go through the Board’s ‘gatekeeper’ to be allowed access, at a cost of $30,000 that should have gone towards infrastructure to make the space flexible enough for the widest possible community use.
$30,000??? For what??? To make a few bookings a week? Nice work if you can get it. You can bet your bottom dollar the 'group' will be comprised of their loyal supporters who will act as gatekeeper.
Council manages all the other ratepayer buildings on the island through a central booking system. There is absolutely no justification for paying someone to do the job. This is just another example of the waste of ratepayers money this Waiheke Local Board is infamous for.
This is exactly the sort of waste of ratepayers’ money rampant throughout Auckland Council. Waiheke Local Board is the worst example of financial mismanagement amongst all the local boards. It’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black when Board Member Meeuwsen calls Auckland Council profligate given this Board’s appalling financial mismanagement. Meeuwsen wants Waiheke to 'go it alone'. Imagine the waste.