I doubt Meeuwsen even knew about it. ‘Sustainability’ has said on more than one occasion that the island doesn’t need any more tourists. Some tourist businesses are however ‘acceptable’ so long as they meet her definition of ‘sustainable’. Presumably it means any business with the three letters E, C and O in their title, because there seems no logic behind the inclusion of some businesses and groups and exclusion of others. Hardly the ‘inclusive’ pre-election hype we were promised.
Naturally, the biggest active tourism group, Waiheke Winegrowers, weren’t originally invited, only receiving a late invite when the omission was questioned. Others not invited include the Waiheke Womens’ Business Group (WBG) and Waiheke I-Site, the Council funded tourism information office in Oneroa.
The WBG, many of whose members are involved in the tourism industry, is the longest running (15 years) and only business association on the island. So naturally they weren’t invited.
Brown’s ignorance of anything to do with business is laughable rather than sustainable. She had no idea there was even an I-Site on Waiheke let alone where its office was situated in the centre of Oneroa.
There are over 1000 small businesses on Waiheke accounting for over 90% of the island’s economy. Many are involved in tourism. The Local Board Plan is being sanitised to exclude the majority in favour of some ill-defined ‘green’ minority. This is what happens when political ideology gets in the way of serving the greater good.