Water. There's been plenty of it. I am reading that all upwards temperature changes on the planet add significantly to the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. As it rises and cools to become rain it can only descend onto us and the surface around us.
Waiheke has two problems with water. The terrain consists of hills and gullies that propel water along and downwards towards its ultimate dispersal in the sea. There is no other place for it to go. Heavy rain means more scouring of landscapes and slips.
The second problem is a lack of infrastructure to collect and dispose of water. Not so long ago I was stopped on the road. The person wished to show me a small portion of new footpath and curb and channel at the end of Ostend Road. 'Look what they've done' she lamented. 'We're rural here'.
Well, these people must be in some sort of dream world of rural England with meandering fields, gentle brooks and butterflies happily going about their business. Torrential rain breaking up roads, pouring down hillsides and causing slips is not part of their equation.
Like it or not, infrastructure is the name of the game. Without it we are peasants. You may think you can pick and choose which ones you will have and which ones you won't. Yes, I'll have a television service to entertain and inform me, but no cars, just electric bikes. And the rain? Well let is dissipate into foliage and gently soak away.
Good in theory but on Waiheke poor in practice. For far too long infrastructure has played second or third fiddle to a range of local government expenditures, many of which could be termed vanity projects? So forget the bridges to nowhere and roadside fruit trees (Who dreamed that one up?). It's very much overdue for the council doers on this island to get back to some basics.
That means infrastructure such as roads, drainage, footpaths and lighting come first. Yes, you can have walking tracks but you had better make sure that they don't become conduits for water flows, collapse and cause major coastal land slip problems.
Then there's a much bigger problem of disposing of water on private properties. Waiheke is somewhat unique in that there is no reticulation of water and very slap-dash collection systems to remove rainfall excesses. Where does it all go? Probably much of it is exported onto your neighbours land, especially those lower down the hillsides.
That is, as they say, just kicking the can down the road. Time for some serious drainage plans for this island. Leaving it to nature is not a sensible or fair option.
If the long haired and selfish ones don't like it, won't understand that they are living on the fringe of our largest city and don't wish to acknowledge the growing number of dwellings on Waiheke, then it's time for them to move on. The bush of Coromandel or the pot smokers of the North will welcome you.
Meanwhile time is out for the Local Board in not making this drainage control problem priority number one to be attacked for the community.