It is no coincidence that the Ostend Rd bridle trail leads from Erua Rd along Ostend Rd to Onetangi Sports Park (OSP). This connects to the Walden property at the other end of Erua Rd where it joins Seaview Rd where he keeps some of his horses.
There is already a wide shared footpath and bridle trail from Erua Rd to O’Brien Rd so it is hard to see what improvements can be made that will cost $170,000. It must be paved with gold and be the Rolls Royce of bridle paths throughout the Auckland region.
This still leaves $139,000 available to the Board from the AT Capital Fund which must be spent before the end of June 2016.
Even for horses, the bridle trail and bridge has a major safety flaw. At some stage the horses must cross O’Brien Rd to access the infamous ‘bridge’. Will Walden spend the remaining $139,000 on a ‘horse crossing’ for the road that will enhance the safety of his precious animals. If he does, that will be nearly half a million on projects of which he, and he alone, is the major beneficiary.
Waiheke Primary School had lobbied the previous local board for a footpath that lead from the corner of Erua Rd to the Primary School along Seaview Road. This would have allowed safer access for children from the Erua/Tahi Rd area to get to school. Funding from the footpath from the ATCF had been approved by the former WLB but would have gone past Walden’s property. He objected to the footpath when he was on the Board. Subsequently, the project was quashed by the new Board in favour of the bridle bridge and trail.
In my twenty years on the island I cannot think of another more self-serving member of any community or local board than Walden. When the safety of his horses takes precedence over the safety of the island’s children there is something very seriously amiss with his, and his Board’s, moral compass.
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