Keep Our Beaches (KOB) campaign to protect and sustain Waiheke’s north side beaches and the communities around them has been boosted by their production of a video showing what can happen when ‘eco-tourism’ takes over. It’s worth viewing.
KOB visited the marine reserve at Goat Island north of Auckland. This is often held up as an example of a marine reserve that ‘works’. There’s no doubt marine life has thrived in the area, so much so it is now a Mecca for divers. However, it comes at a huge cost as the video demonstrates.
The campaign knows it must continue its fight because Friends of the Hauraki Gulf (FOHG) have vowed to continue theirs for a north side reserve.
At present the Local Board is sitting on the fence but given the support their election campaign received from the ‘Friends’ it’s unlikely the same ‘Friends’ won’t extract a quid pro quo. They have Mike Lee on their side and he’s a wily campaigner working behind the scenes on their behalf. He lives in Rocky Bay, south side, so has nothing to fear.
Now there’s a thought, why not site the next Waiheke Marine Reserve at Rocky Bay. It’s well known as an eco-friendly community, they would welcome doing their bit to ‘save’ the Hauraki Gulf, and they would love to have the Rocky Bay Store rebuilt. No doubt it would be and more if a marine reserve were on its doorstep.
Yes, why not Rocky Bay, then FOHG would have the support of the local community, as well as more than 2000 others who signed a petition against a northern beaches reserve, powerful friends in high places and eco-tourism to boost their economy. Strikes me every one would be happy.