The Waiheke Local Board has chosen to squander our money on its favoured groups with no discernable benefit to the wider community. Take, for example, the hundred of thousands handed to the Waiheke Resources Trust (WRT).
WRT has used some of its vast ratepayer funding (over $300k) for workshops to ‘teach’ us how to compost, as if we didn’t already know how to do that. What we didn’t know we could look up on the internet. The local operators of the Waiheke Transport Station employ an educator to assist schools and the community to maximise their re-cycling. So it is not surprising that there were only two registrations for the six workshops WRT organised before Christmas. This resulted in all six workshops being cancelled.
So why hasn’t the Waiheke Resources Trust handed the money back to the community? Why, when no other groups have been allowed to use the refurbished Oneroa Bowling Club, has the WRT previously been allowed to hold meetings and workshops there? Why has the WRT been given free use of the premises when other groups pay hall for hire fees to use other Council premises?
These are rhetorical questions. WRT was originally Waiheke Waste Resources Trust, the dreamchild of the local Green Party duo Stansfield/Roche. It was the cover organisation for their business Clean Stream Waiheke Ltd which was contracted to run Waiheke’s waste recycling business. This was very lucrative for its directors but not so good for its workers and the community. Clean Stream Ltd lost the contract to Trans Pacific Industries under the old Auckland City Council because of health and safety concerns and Clean Stream’s management of the business.
Since then the Stansfield/Roche duo have been trying to resurrect their failed business using ratepayer funding courtesy of the Waiheke Local Board. Money that goes into the Trust’s coffers means it becomes unaccountable to the public.
What it does get used for is to fund the Board’s supporters including their propaganda sheet the Gulf News.
Contained within the details of Waiheke Local Board funding to its crony groups is the favouritism shown the Gulf News. The Board’s has a symbiotic relationship with the Gulf News. Favoured groups are handed funding on the understanding they use large portions of it to pay for advertising in the Gulf News, but not the Waiheke Marketplace. In turn the Gulf News heavily promotes the Board’s propaganda and never runs an article critical of the Board. In this way the ratepayer props up the Liz Water’s struggling business and ensures nothing the Board does comes under scrutiny. A win/win for the Board, but a lose/lose for the ratepayer.
This comment on a recent blog is worth repeating:
"The term propaganda rings melodramatic and exaggerated, but a press that—whether from fear, careerism, or conviction—uncritically recites false claims and reports them as fact, or treats locally elected officials with a reverence reserved for royalty, cannot be accurately described as engaged in any other function."
In denying her readers the opportunity to read opposing viewpoints that are counter to her own narrow political views she [Liz Waters owner of the Gulf News] denies them the right to be well informed. These are the real people who are impoverished. They deserve better!