TV1 said they were aware of my blog and its outspoken condemnation of Council Parks Management for their gross mismanagement of the area over many years. The report is due to screen this Saturday or Sunday on TV1 News. What angle they will take is anybody’s guess.
The remains of the burnt out boat were removed last week so what Council staff were doing I don’t know. Trying to present a better image of the area for the benefit of the cameras is a possibility. What I do know is the Waiheke Local Board is planning to spend more rates money enhancing the facilities down there. The following was recorded in the 28th August 2014 Waiheke Local Board minutes.
The Waiheke Local Board - Requests Auckland Transport to:
i) Scopes and provides indicative cost estimates for the following potential Local Board Transport Capital Fund projects:
- Causeway Reserve footpath 200m;
- Causeway Reserve retaining wall and boardwalk 65 metres;
Considering the current situation, the question has to be asked – is this a good use of ratepayers’ dollars or are there better transport priorities? Secondly, is this an Auckland Transport or a Council Parks project?
At present, the Local Board has an annual $200,000 Capital Fund to spend at their discretion on a ‘transport related’ project. A footpath, retaining wall and boardwalk in a Reserve/park don’t quite cut the mustard.
As is most of their discretionary funding, this transport budget was established by the first Local Board and applies to all Boards across the region. In what has now become a familiar pattern, the current Board failed to spend their share of the fund last year and, with Council budget cuts, I wouldn’t be surprised if this Capital Fund gets the chop long before any work on any project gets under way. Confusing a reserve upgrade with a bona fide transport function is only going to delay things further.
Here are two differing views from readers of my blog regarding the illegal live-aboard situation on the Causeway.
I'd just like express my support for your comments about the boats along the Ostend reserve. I can't place my family at risk by making too many public comments as I am away a lot. So I am heartened that you have provided some balance to the reporting of the Gulf News and Marketplace.
When I first started coming to Waiheke I thought the two houseboats were a characterful addition to the waterfront. Now I think that their existence has created an implied permission for all the other boaties to assert a "right" to occupy the space. It has been really sad to see this area turn into a ghetto and I really despair at the facile arguments that people advance in support of it. It's a howling double standard when you consider the campaign against the Matiatia marina.
I've heard all the complaints about people living on boats and am saddened by the intolerance. Waiheke is a bastion of individuality and alternative lifestyles, and these people add a colourful touch to our island.
Social "problems" such as drinking exist in all levels of society, and have nothing to do with living on boats, which is a choice for most and a necessity for some. I've lived in countries where thousands live on small boats, and the rest of the community live and let them live.
It would be great if those of us with more assets and choice could do the same.
Since the Supercity amalgamation, some long term residents on fixed incomes have been forced off the island because they can’t afford the 50% rates rises they have been subjected to over the last four years. Is it fair that they must leave while the Waiheke Local Board uses their rates money to encourage live-aboards who pay no rates, live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and have turned a public domain into a health and safety nightmare for themselves and for others?
Council Parks Management must take its share of the blame for letting this situation develop and proliferate. There is no need for this Waiheke Local Board to blindly follow the same path. If so, they too will have blood on their hands.