Dangerous levels of bacteria and sewage at 10 Auckland beaches
Overflowing septic tanks and stormwater drains, animal waste and aging infrastructure are to blame for the deteriorating water quality.
Auckland Council says addressing these problems will come at a cost to ratepayers.
The whole Little Oneroa Beach area has been turned into a cesspit by the Waiheke Local Board. Apart from the deliberate lack of action to reduce or remove the ducks that produce the duck poo that is the major contributor to any stream pollution, the Board has failed to repair the bridge over the stream permitting easy access to the Council owned toilets from the car park area. The Board has also removed the rubbish bins in the car park area so that the area is now a health hazard. This was noted in an earlier blog this year.
It would seem that the public has decided to take matters into their own hands. Yesterday when I visited the area the remaining rubbish bins next to the Council toilet block, where rubbish had been accumulating for days, had been torched. The smell must have become too much for even drunken late night revellers to endure.
And talking of smell, if the Board is looking for any source of any human sewage in the stream they need look no further than the Council toilets next to the ill fated rubbish bins. For weeks over the height of the tourism season they have been in the most disgusting state: used toilet paper on the floor, stale urine, filthy seats and blocked toilets. There has been plenty of rain in January and doubtless some of this waste was swept into the stream.
Council toilets, rubbish collections and repair and maintenance of parks infrastructure are all responsibilities of local boards. That all these have been deliberately neglected on Waiheke reflect the character and priorities of the Waiheke Local Boards over the last three years. In particular they reflect the character of the Chair of the Waiheke Local Board, Paul Walden. Real estate agents were reportedly shocked by the squalor and disrepair they found in his house, which was recently for sale. Certainly the outside of the house on Seaview Road told of inhabitants who had little or no care for their property. If that is how Walden conducts his private life then it should come as no shock that this is how he regards the property belonging to the ratepayers of Waiheke.
Perhaps more shocking still is that another Waiheke Local Board has been elected whose members unanimously agreed to continue Walden’s tenure in the Chair. Those who cast their votes for change, for a return to fiscal prudence, and achieving long term outcomes that benefit the community, must be wondering how their votes could have been so badly betrayed.
Waiheke Local Board has become nothing more than a means to hand out ratepayers money to favoured groups to pay for their continuing support. The biggest recipient is the Waiheke Resources Trust, a shadowy organisation unaccountable to ratepayers but running a lucrative private business from their ratepayer funded premises of the Old Oneroa Bowling Club.
The whiff of corruption is everywhere on Waiheke and most of it emanates from your local board.