All Auckland Council Committees are held centrally at the Town Hall, but Cllr. Alf Filipaina, one of the ‘Terrible Ten’ who voted for the 9.9% rates hike, likes to waste as much ratepayers money as he can, so he occasionally drags his Committee as far as possible with the ratepayer picking up the tab.
This week Filipaina dragged his Committee all the way to Te Hana Marae (they get a good feed up there and Filipaina is a big man) at the very furthest extent of Auckland’s boundary with Northland. This ensured the visit was as costly as it could be for the ratepayer and the committee members and staff were not available for any other business that day. Nice one Alf!
Local Board members don’t usually attend these junkets or, if they do, they go when the Committee sits in the Town Hall. So why, alone of all local boards members, did Paul Walden drag himself, at great cost to the Waiheke ratepayer, all the way up north. If he had wanted to speak to the Committee on behalf of an application for funds he could have attended a meeting at the Town Hall.
One could be forgiven for thinking this unnecessary trip had an ulterior motive. After all North Rodney is the home of the Northern Action Group (NAG), a group wanting to separate North Rodney from Auckland Council. The Waiheke Local Board is behind a similar group, Our Waiheke (OW), wanting to isolate Waiheke from Auckland. The OW group, led by WLB member John Meeuwsen, is modelling its campaign on that of North Rodney who are way ahead of them in the process. Doubtless Walden they had much to discuss with members of NAG and North Rodney is a very long way to travel at one’s own expense unless you can get funding from the public purse.
In an underhand way Waiheke ratepayers are footing the bill for a something they didn’t elect this local board to do. Far from representing the interests of Waiheke on Auckland Council as they were elected to do, Waiheke Local board members are using our money to further their own personal ambitions. Would you trust people like these to spend your rates money wisely? Of course not.