Lee must be hoping that nobody brings his treachery to their attention of the Mayor and his fellow Councillors.
The Waiheke Local Board has spent half its tenure planning for a future outside Auckland with Board member, ‘Angry’ John Meeuwsen, leading the charge by forming the ‘Our Waiheke’ (OW) group. By praising Meeuwsen’s and the Board’s work, Lee was tacitly endorsing the breakaway.
It should be unthinkable that a Councillor, who is paid a substantial sum by all Auckland ratepayers to look at the bigger picture of the Auckland region, would undermine the work of Council by supporting breakaway groups. Penny Webster, who represents the Rodney ward on Auckland Council, has given no such backing to the North Rodney Action Group, the breakaway group seeking to de-amalgamate from Auckland Council on whose coat-tails the ‘OW’ group is riding. But Mike Lee is a devious politician without scruples when it comes to furthering his personal ambitions.
Lee is having a bob each way by backing an ‘Essentially Waiheke’ breakaway. If Lee loses his Council seat in the October election to Bill Ralston, who is the first major threat to Lee in three Council elections, Lee could well be making play for a back up role as Waiheke’s future mayor should the ‘Our Waiheke’ bid ever gain traction.
The ‘Our Waiheke’ bid is essentially a bid to allow big developers to fast-track their ambitions. De-amalgamation would mean a new District Plan. A new District Plan, formulated by Walden and the members of the current Waiheke Local Board, would allow the Walden family to reticulate their properties, as outlined in the Walden submission for an 80 house development on their 500 acre property at the end of Onetangi Straight. Reticulation is the necessary ingredient for intensive development. The substantial Walden landholdings on Waiheke are currently designated as rural and protected from in-filling by the Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan.
Lee might well have ambitions of his own in the direction of property development. Lee has acquired a substantial multi-million dollar land holding on Seaview Road. The property is next door to another big land holding held Lee’s lawyer. Lee’s lawyer is Ron Walden, father of local board chair Paul Walden. What is ‘essential’ for Waiheke people to understand is the incestuous connections that link politicians and developers on a small island. The potential for corruption is increased a hundredfold.
Lee in a do nothing politician who has made himself rich on the back of the substantial rates rises he has imposed on all Aucklanders during his six years on Auckland Council. He is one of the ‘Terrible Ten’ who voted for last year’s 9.9% rates rise and has ensured similar annual rates rises are built into the Council’s long term budget.
Lee, Walden and Meeuwsen plot and plan together. They have coffee together in local cafes. The female members of the Board are excluded from their cosy boys club chats. The Waiheke community is ill served by such Machiavellian politicians. It is essential for Waiheke that they are all voted out in October’s elections.
Our Waiheke group pawn of developers
Aye there’s the RUB
Amalgamation versus de-amalgamation