The Te Matuku Track is the one of the final links in the Around Waiheke Walk, a project that has been part of the island’s long-term vision for all community and local boards over the last 25 years. A further project to open walking tracks on paper roads in the eastern end has also been stopped.
One reason the work has stopped because the projects are over budget and cannot be completed in time during this financial year. If that is the case then it can only be as a result of mismanagement on the part of the Board. The Board is warned in every agenda involving the allocation of SLIPs budget to be mindful of the timeframe for projects but has consistently failed to meet deadlines.
However, the real reason, according the the minutes of the last Board meeting, is that they have reallocated the money to another project, a boat washdown hard stand area, sea wall and footpath on the Causeway. This project urgently needed another $80,000 to complete.
To date the Causeway project has gobbled the lion’s share of the Auckland Transport Capital Fund of $200,000 p.a, money that is meant for urgently needed footpaths or small transport projects. A footpath, retaining wall and boardwalk in a Reserve/park don’t quite cut the mustard. Confusing a reserve upgrade with a bona fide transport function is just another example of the inability to understand their role and how to operate within Council budgets.
To add a further $80,000 of SLIPs money to an outrageously expensive boat wash down area for the benefit of a few boaties and liveaboards who don’t even pay rates is an outrageous waste of ratepayers’ money. It is rumoured that Chair of the Board, Paul Walden, has as many as five boats parked on the Causeway reserve.
As I said a year ago:
Certain Council bureaucrats and consultants love this sort of Local Board. That’s the lazy ones who don’t know their jobs. It means they don’t have to DO anything but produce pieces of paper. That takes months (sometimes years) and generally tells everyone what they already knew before. The community meanwhile, foots the bill and gets short-changed. The sad thing is the complete waste of ratepayers’ money when there are so many important projects that could be done.
Another project in trouble is the Bridle Bridge to Brigadoon. The original cost of the work (not including the $50,000 for plans) was $76,000 but has ballooned to $125,000 according to the latest local board minutes. So now the long suffering ratepayers of Waiheke are having to find nearly $200,000 to enhance the safety of 15 or so horse riders from the Adult Riding Club on Onetangi Road to get to Onetangi Sports Park OSP).
As if this isn’t a bad enough waste of money on Walden’s vanity project in the first place, the path is not even needed. A bridle path has only just been completed from the riding club to OSP through the Golf Club lease area rendering the Bridle Bridge to Brigadoon superfluous.
Mismanagement, not understanding their role, wasting ratepayers money to enhance the lifestyle of non-ratepayers, and vanity projects for the Chair of the Board must give the Waiheke community little faith in this same group who want to have their own Unitary Authority so they can control all our money to spend on themselves and their mates.