Over a year ago the former Board was shown plans for a revamp of the Matiatia ferry building. Work was due to start around October as part of short term changes to upgrade the facilities in the building. Since then not a dicky-bird.
The building is over ten years old and is no longer coping with the increasing demand from visitors or the local population. In particular the toilet facilities are both inadequate and in the wrong place. Additional toilet facilities were to be included in an area closer to the bus stops, the present toilet area was to make way for a viewing area extended toward the old wharf. This would make the best of views over Matiatia Bay. Extra, covered, parking for cyclists was promised.
Naturally Waiheke Local Board Chair Walden was against the project so I wonder if he’s managed to get it stopped. Who would know? So much is now decided in secret, a secrecy maintained by the failure of what’s laughingly described as the local press, to question anything the Board does. How he’s managed to stop the many projects that were in the pipeline prior to this new Board remains a mystery.
What isn’t a mystery is that once again the people of Waiheke and our tourist industry appears to have been short changed by Council through this Board.
At least we should all be grateful to the outgoing Board, after putting pressure on Auckland Transport, to effect the change in parking at Matiatia. 117 parking spaces were converted from underutilized lease parking to pay and display in November to free up short term parking for people wishing to catch a ferry to Auckland. This had been planned for six months but had to pass various regulatory hoops. It must have been sufficiently through the process for Walden to be unable to stop it.
Shame about the Matiatia ferry building, or so it would appear. We should be told what's happened to this project.