When OW distributed their propaganda newspaper throughout Waiheke in May the group obviously hadn’t paid close attention to, among many other things, the process they would have to go through.
OW has told Waiheke it just needs to ‘demonstrate that local governance for Waiheke Island is widely supported by the community’. So they’ve been active getting the gullible on Waiheke to sign a petition. Later in their propaganda sheet they state there is an option of ‘an Auckland-wide poll (very unlikely)’
Oh dear! It turns out OW is wrong, and so is NAG. A High Court decision in June on the NAG application has this to say:
(93) In summary, the Action group submits there is no need for it to demonstrate community support outside of North Rodney in order to comply with cl 5 (1) (f) of the Schedule.
(94) In my assessment this aspect of the Action group appeal is not correct. My reasons for reaching this conclusion can be stated succinctly.
(95) There was only one territorial authority affected by the Application, namely the Auckland Council. The application was defective because it demonstrated support only in the area of the proposed North Rodney Council and not community support in the district of Auckland Council.
In other words, it is not sufficient for the de-amalgamation application to proceed to simply have the signatures of a few Waiheke Islanders as OW had stated. Rather, it also requires the signatures of a substantial percentage of the Auckland population.
It appears that somebody has now drawn the OW team’s attention to the High Court judgement because they have suddenly put out a petition on Facebook. It reads:
Our Waiheke plans to submit an application to the Local Government Commission to consider a separate Waiheke Council. For this, we need to demonstrate support from Aucklanders, not just Waiheke Islanders. If you live in Auckland and support Waiheke’s bid for better and more local governance, then please fill in this online poll. The poll will be forwarded to the Local Government Commission as part of our application process.
The OW campaign coincides with the bad news many Aucklanders have been receiving about their rates rises, so they will be hoping to garner support from disgruntled ratepayers, particularly those who see this as a David v Goliath battle. However, as the TV news programme Seven Sharp highlighted in their spoof coverage of the Wexit attempt, Waiheke has benefited economically under the Supercity. So a dummy spitting reaction from Waiheke might sound a bit churlish to city-side ratepayers who have long subsidised the Hauraki Gulf Islands. In addition, the big falls in their rates that some Waiheke ratepayers are now enjoying, might curtail their enthusiasm for exposing themselves to greater financial risks and instability under a go-it alone Waiheke.
Waiheke ratepayers are gradually waking up to the fact that, frivolous and ill informed though this campaign is, there is considerable risk and that risk could adversely affect the value of their homes. OW is the element of PAIN for Waiheke ratepayers.