The Waiheke Local Board’s new million dollar upgrade to its rooms at the Ostend Service Centre is almost complete and soon the Board will be moving into its new premises complete with new furniture, computers etc. That means they will soon be vacating their temporary premises in the Oneroa Bowling Club.
The Waiheke Local Board is planning to use the same model for the Oneroa Bowling Club building as it used for the old library building. This will mean the vision of the Friends of Alison Park cannot be realised.
Despite the community paying nearly $200,000 to refurbish the old library space, the WLB has excluded the long list of groups wishing to use the space by granting a ‘management contract’ to run the space to one group, Waiheke Adult Literacy and Education. This has effectively excluded all other use. To put it succinctly the Board gave the building to its mates. To add insult to injury Waiheke Adult Literacy and Education is being paid a $20,000 fee to ‘manage’ the facility, using ratepayers’ money, despite this group being taxpayer funded.
The Board is planning to give exclusive ‘management’ of the old Oneroa Bowling Club building, refurbished at a cost to the ratepayer of over $200,000, including a commercial kitchen, to the Waiheke Resources Trust, run by John Stansfield, partner of hard left Green Party List MP Denise Roche, making it effectively a Green Party HQ on the island.
Use some or all of this template to make your submission.
Feedback on preparation of a ‘concept plan’ for Alison Park, Waiheke Island
From: (your name)
Email: (your email address)
20 July 2015
Attn: Annette Campion, Policy Advisor, Parks, Sports and Recreation, Auckland Council
Regarding your consultation brief:
To seek the community’s feedback on what should be considered in the preparation of a draft concept plan for Alison Park and review the options for the future use of the Oneroa Bowling Club building.
Alison Park grounds:
I support the continuation of those matters specified in the current Alison Park Reserve Management Plan, 1995 including:
The sculpture installations have been well received by the public and this sculpture park concept should be further developed. There is room for playground equipment in the park – for both young and old. Some outdoor exercise equipment would be appropriate. I also support the concepts put forward by Friends of Alison Park and feel the Park would benefit greatly from their input.
- Planting of native bush, specimen trees and fruit trees
- Weed control
- Network of paths
- Picnic furniture
The level of parks maintenance in Alison Park is far too low for a high profile park like this (adjacent to the ferry, Oneroa village, the new library and other community facilities) and should be increased. On-going expert tree care is required to ensure that the money spent on planting trees in the Park is not wasted.
(a) The Waiheke Local Board is allegedly concerned that the Alison Park RMP is somehow out of date, because it was not updated ten years after its approval by Auckland City Council. However, this would be true of the vast majority of RMPs on local parks throughout the country and in no way renders it invalid. There is nothing in the RMP that is inconsistent with the management of a local reserve.
(b) A ‘concept plan’, such as this one being developed by the Board does not have the statutory authority of a Reserve Management Plan and any proposed activities or amenities will need to comply with the RMP.
The former Oneroa Bowling Club (OBC) building on Alison Park:
Once the Waiheke Local Board vacates this building it should be made available to the wider public to rent on an hourly or daily basis. As a community facility owned by Auckland Council, it should immediately be added to the Council’s centralised hall bookings system.
The Alison Park RMP, states that there will be no more leases given over the building or over areas of the Park. This decision was made for the very good reason that any lease over the Park limits usage by the general public and creates the feeling of private ‘ownership’ over a public facility.
This was the case with the Oneroa Bowling Club, which inhabited the building and their leased area for many years and cut these facilities off from the Park. Even with vastly reduced numbers and in breach of their lease conditions, the Club held onto this area (just as other clubs and groups across the region have clung onto Council property) for years, as though it were their own. The Club house building that reverted to Council was rundown and even partially trashed, with items, including a 5000 gallon water tank, stolen from the grounds. It required significant public funding to bring it back up to a standard that could be used for Council community use (including for weddings and birthday functions). The building improvements and refurbishment were designed for wide community use and the original Bowling Club lockers were retained for future users.
I understand that the Waiheke Croquet Club has been using the former bowling green and a shed for their club use. I see no reason why this Club use cannot continue. However, they should be hiring these ratepayer owned facilities from Council on a ‘community’ rate. They could also have access to the main building (just as any individual or other group should) by using the Council’s booking system and booking by the day or similar. All Council community facilities permit regular bookings, with some leeway for other users.
As storage is always an issue for community buildings, the garage on the green could be made available for regular users.
The former Bowling Club Building should not be leased to or administered by any community group.