Sadly for the island, the current Board has done its utmost to destroy those relationships. This was confirmed at a meeting organized by the Board’s own ‘Direction Matiatia’, which then sub-contracted Business Lab to report on the impediments to change at Matiatia. The Business Lab assessment was that a dysfunctional relationship now exists between the Waiheke Local Board and Auckland Council.
The dysfunctional relationship has been pointed out over and over again in submissions to the Local Government Commission. Here is part of one such from local resident Roger Hutton.
Current council services appear to have declined as a result of a dysfunctional relationship between the current local board and Auckland Council.
But there is nothing that cannot change if there is a willingness to work better and smarter together.
A more flexible approach to local government organisation aimed at efficiencies and satisfaction with value for money, and the setting of priorities based on facts rather than ideologies would help offset many of the frustrations.
It is also incumbent on our elected representatives to concentrate their efforts on local issues. Too often they become sidetracked by issues falling outside the functions of a local board. The application to de-amalgamate is but one example.
It was introduced and has been driven by a member of the current local board. The chairman of the current local board has been quoted as saying that all local board members support it. Yet no mandate for such a move was given at the local board elections in 2013. Nor is one being sought at this year’s election.
This issue has been raised before and rejected before. The current application offers nothing new. It is poorly thought out, ill conceived and unworkable. If this was an investment opportunity no prudent investor would touch it with a barge pole.
Any major changes to current local government arrangements would be detrimental to the majority of Waiheke Island residents and ratepayers. De-amalgamation would rob us the opportunity to take advantage of many of the benefits offered by our existing relationship with Auckland.
We should see our relationship with Auckland as an asset not an impediment.
I would ask the Commission to retain the status quo but I believe that better monitoring of local board expenditure would avoid duplication and reduce the possibility of cronyism along with potential conflicts of interest.
Vote for change. Vote for those who will move the island forward and know how to work WITH Auckland Council.