Meanwhile the government is introducing legislation that will tighten up the requirements for de-amalgamation bids and allow the Commission to dismiss frivolous applications such as the one from Our Waiheke.
Here’s an example of just why the OW submission lacks substance.
Para 4 of their submission states:
‘Waiheke Island has no AC infrastructure linking it to the mainland and relatively little on the island itself. This circumstance also reduces the potential risk of major financial loss for this community from natural disasters in the future.’
This paragraph is nonsensical and shows a complete lack of understanding of the huge investment Waiheke and Auckland Council have in the Island’s wharves and shipping links for passengers, vehicles and freight. The physical infrastructure includes two major wharves – Matiatia and Kennedy Point and the more recreational Orapiu wharf, which provides passenger and freight links with Coromandel, Rotoroa Island and other Islands of the inner Gulf.
In contrast to OW’s assertion, Auckland Council has a vast infrastructural network on Waiheke including wharves, the Council Service Centre, roading, footpaths, parks and reserves, walkways, signage, public transport, the rubbish and recycling Transfer Station, sports grounds and facilities, public toilets, and community facilities such as the Library, Artworks cultural centre, community halls and other buildings.
The potential risk of major financial loss as a result of natural disasters remains, regardless of the fact of whether there is a physical infrastructure linking Waiheke Island to mainland Auckland or not.
Hazards such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, drought, fire, severe weather events, subsidence and volcanic activity are not unforeseen – they are identified as inevitable (http:www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/...waihekehazardrepor…).
This Report acknowledges that the Waiheke Local Board area is at very real risk from all of these natural hazards. Cyclone Wilma in 2011 is a perfect example. This caused major damage to Council infrastructure costing millions to fix. Yet the OW budget has a contingency fund of only $1 million in the event of a natural disaster emergency. Given that these same people believe that natural disasters will increase because of ‘climate change’ their budget is highly irresponsible.
The failure of the OW bid to gain traction while galvanizing opposition has left both OW and the Waiheke Local Board in a quandary. The OW bid is backed by the Waiheke Local Board and was to be their ‘call to action’ to garner support for its re-election campaign. The Board’s propaganda sheets, the local press, have been in overdrive supporting the bid and trying to rally support and silence any opposition for over a year.
With the OW campaign all but dead in the water and facing significant opposition from many in the Waiheke community it has left the Board floundering for another ‘cause’ around which to rally support. They must have distractions from the reality that they have wasted ratepayers money for three years on reports, plans, sham consultation, junkets and cronyism.
Opposition mounts to ‘Our Waiheke’
LGC decision a major setback for OW