Apart from the obvious failure to grant funding to high profile tourism events such as the Waiheke Wine Festival, now denied twice, the Board persists in calling meetings, ostensibly about tourism, but excluding the main players like the winegrowers, tour operators and business association. They select only so-called environmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and the Hauraki Gulf Preservation Society for their tourism meetings presumable on the grounds that it is only these organisations that will support ‘sustainable’ tourism and by ‘sustainable’ we can assume they mean only their own Green Party supporters.
From my own experience as president of the Waiheke Womens’ Business Group I know we have never been invited to attend any of the tourism or business workshops arranged by the Board. This despite the promise made to us by Meeuwsen that we would not be excluded in the future after we wrote to the Board seeking an explanation as to why we were excluded from meetings arranged for businesses during the consultation period of the Local Board plans.
Exclusion rather than inclusion seems to be motivation behind much of their thinking. They act like an exclusive cult denying anyone not to their liking, our very own Exclusive Brethren of fundamentalists. One example is the $80,000 worth of fruit trees provided by our rates that excludes anyone without a berm in front of their house or those ratepayers who don’t want to add more detritus of rotting fruit to the roadsides in an island already awash with fruit trees.
The group most excluded are those whose crime is to be over 50, in other words the bulk of the ratepayers. A campaign is already underway to exclude the disabled and elderly from using their cars to enjoy the Esplanade. They will be excluded from using any swimming pool they’ve paid for through their rates because it will be on school land and unavailable to them for most of the time they wish to use it (if it ever gets built that is). Forget using it if you need to drive there because no provision will be made for parking those evil things cars. Even the Board's campaign slogan 'Everything for the Kids' shrieked exclusion not inclusion.
But the Greens have gone much further. Their hard left list MP Denise Roche has even been allowed to preach her message of exclusion in the schools where she told the children it was the nasty old folks who were depriving them of food to eat. Crackers I know but then….
There is nothing ‘sustainable’ about a Board and political party that seeks to undermine the island’s economy. There is nothing ‘sustainable’ about a Board and political party that seeks to exclude and marginalise the elderly and disabled. There is nothing sustainable about a Board and political party that preach a message of victimhood to the young.
There's a general election soon. You can start to undo the damage done by this Board. Party vote anyone but Green.