However August is promising to be an interesting time for Auckland and Waiheke as several important issues come to the fore.
- Rates demands will be arriving in the mail. For those who have not already been on line to find out what the 9.9% average Auckland Council means to them in dollars and cents their rates bill will come as a shock. Many will find they their rates have risen by much more than the average. They should join the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance like 13000 of their compatriots hold Council to account for its silly spending and waste of our money.
- Residents of historic Northcote Point are taking their objections to the Mayor’s vanity project, Skypath, to the Environment Court. The new patron of Skypath has been announced as Sir Bob Harvey, who has received been given a lucrative sinecure as Auckland Champion by his friend the Mayor.
- Residents of Paratai Drive in Orakei are banding together to fight the iniquitous, race based ‘Taniwha Tax’ provisions in the Auckland Plan.
- Phil Goff is widely tipped as Labour’s next Mayoral candidate to replace the universally loathed Len Brown. This could well be confirmed over the next month. There are rumours that a strong centre right candidate is poised in the wings waiting for the right time to launch their campaign. With the next election barely a year away they had better not leave their run too late.
- The Waiheke Local Board (WLB) member and wannabe mayor John Meeuwsen, with the backing of the Board, will continue to gather names on a petition to isolate Waiheke for Auckland (Wexit). So far there has been lukewarm response from Waiheke and no sign of the significant backing they will need from Auckland voters. However, a group opposing the move is gathering strength.
- The Hauraki Gulf Enhancement Society, made up of Walden family members, has launched a judicial review of the Hearings Panel decision over two years ago to grant Council leases to the Waiheke Golf Club, Waiheke Adult Riding, Waiheke Historical Society and a licence to occupy granted to the Westpac Helicopter Trust. This puts all the leases in jeopardy.
- The Board will vacate its temporary headquarters at the Oneroa Bowling Club to take over its new million dollar premises at the Ostend Service Centre. Will the Local Board Chair, Paul Walden, and the Board deny the Waiheke community access to the refurbished Oneroa Bowling Club? If it follows the form it will. The old library space was refurbished with ratepayers money and handed to the Boards mates at the taxpayer funded non-governmental organisation Waiheke Adult Literacy since when all other community groups have been locked out.
- The Walden family will pursue its property development ambitions to build an 80 house village on their 51 hectares of land at the end of Onetangi Straight.
I look forward to keeping up with events and writing about the turbulent times ahead.