It would just sound like pettiness except for the declared dislike of some Board members for the visitors who are the economic lifeblood of the Island. Proud Chairman Paul sitting on his throne is looking more and more like King Canute, believing he has the power to command the tides of tourists to retreat. Oh dear, how wrong can you be. Just when these Green Luddites thought they had stemmed the floods of ‘unsustainable’ tourists coming to the island, the Waiheke Winegrowers go and deliver them a rabbit punch.
Instead of the bare lamp standards that held sway over Oneroa all through Christmas, New Year and the summer months, the village has now been transformed, graced with beautiful, street banners fluttering down the main street. It's now ready for the Waiheke Vintage Festival taking place from 29th March to 6th April. The Winegrowers have publicised the event throughout Auckland and beyond and Fullers have come to the party with great advertising on the backs of buses. I love it. The tourists will love it. You’ve got to admire organisations that just ‘get on with it’.
Council on the other hand only knows one speed, glacial. Although I must say that works well if your main goal is to dismantle and block things. Six months after the original approval and funding of the Oneroa street banner project, Council officers (who have to actually deliver it) managed to get as far as ordering the banners, only to be stopped by the incoming Board, without any authority whatsoever. You’ve got to despise the bureaucrats who ‘don’t get on with it’.
Well done Waiheke Winegrowers! May your harvest bring forth a cornucopia of wine. May our tourists never be thirsty.