The most significant time for the long term objective of wetland restoration was between 2010 and 2013, the term of the first Waiheke Local Board when Faye Storer was Chair of the Board. Feeling that Waiheke’s oft repeated claims to be an environmental destination needed to be borne out by the facts, the first Local Board made wetland restoration a top priority. Focussing on all Council owned Sites of Ecological Significance (SES) they allocated several hundreds of thousands of dollars from their discretionary budget to embark on an ambitious five year plan.
Its restoration programme was the biggest Council wetland project in the region and was of national as well as regional significance. The Board organised for restoration plans to be drawn up by environmental specialists Te Ngahiri covering Rangihoua, Te Matuku, Tawaipereira and Okawhiti wetlands and the initial weed control and first planting began shortly thereafter.
Here is an extract from a blog I wrote in June 2013.
The programmes of restoration currently being undertaken by the Waiheke Local Board for the Rangihoua and Te Matuku Bay wetlands are the biggest in the Auckland Region. These are both being funded 100% by the Board through a combination of our special wetland upgrade budget and SLIPs.
The work at Rangihoua has regional significance whilst the Te Matuku project is of national significance. The work will be carried over a five year period.
The second WLB was handed all the plans and the funding on a plate but, sadly, Walden’s disinterest has continued with the wetland restoration now falling well short of its targets. The Board has diverted the money elsewhere and has been lost.
Now we read in the latest Waiheke Walking Festival brochure that it is in fact, the Waiheke Resources Trust (front organisation for the local Green Party) who are in the forefront of wetland restoration on Waiheke and wannabe Green Party List MP and eco-terrorist Michael Tavares is all set to show off their work.
Have these people no shame! Their propensity to rewrite history with themselves as the lead players is truly mind-boggling.
It wasn’t Tavares and it wasn’t the Waste Resource Trust or this Local Board that initiated this project. It was the many people who came before them who worked to make this restoration a reality.
Rather than building his horse-riding vanity project, the Bridle Bridge to Brigadoon, which encroaches right into the Rangihoua SES, Walden and his Board should have directed the cost of this project (currently over $200,000) into continuing the legacy wetland restoration programme. But sadly, once again the environment has been the biggest loser with this Board.
Waiheke Board plans Bridle Bridge to Brigadoon
Chairs vanity project gets more funding