Ballard says tourists aren't welcome.
The Waiheke Winegrowers Association application for funding towards its week long Waiheke Vintage Festival in March was declined at Thursday’s Waiheke Local Board meeting. Why? Ballard voted against because, “All it does is attract tourism.” She went on to say she will only support events that are free and targeted at children and family. Presumably like the money she gifted the ‘Waiheke Rainbow Coalition’ to attend the Gay Pride Festival in Auckland. Duh!
Doesn’t she understand that tourism drives the island economy and is the biggest provider of jobs here: that jobs provide incomes that support families and children?
This is only one of several slaps in the face for tourism and the island economy already delivered by this Board. Others include:
- Stopping the street banner project in Oneroa at the eleventh hour, much to the dismay of Oneroa business owners.
- The Draft Local Board Annual Plan states the Board will “Advocate to the governing body that Council utilises its own resources to support economic development on Waiheke.” The sub text being that this Board won’t.
- In the same document it proposes to remove the Board’s advocacy for “a high profile for Waiheke within the Auckland Visitor Plan.”