The information provided by Jo on Ostend's development process requires further comment.
The opportunity now exists to transform Ostend to be the central hub for shopping and commerce. I have long advocated cleaning up The Causeway area into a zone that would include a revitalised Saturday market transferred from the RSA venue. There is wide scope to beautify the foreshore, redirect the road to behind the Sports Club and add an island swimming pool. As for the mud flats particularly on the seaward side, these can be dredged (they serve no purpose) and converted into a mooring area for boats that actually go to sea.
Anyone who believes the Waiheke Saturday morning market can co-exist with the new supermarket has rocks in their head. This market, like boats moored at The Causeway, has taken over all, from the footpath to most of the grassed area next to the RSA. The current traffic congestion and parking problems (traders and visitors) are plainly visible.
It may appear not relevant, but if you want to see a real Saturday market go to France. In New Zealand go to Matakana or Cambridge. Not perfect but not bad. For a shambles go to Waiheke. Parking is anywhere. No plan, grass verges included. In the case of at least one trader, the footpath will do. Who polices it all? Well I suspect it's the users themselves. As for control by traffic wardens? 'Mates rules' seem to apply.
Half of the market day stalls are not stalls at all, rather permanent car boot or garage sales. It seems anyone who can throw a tarp on the ground or dredge up a rusty folding table from the back of the garden shed, cover them with bric a brac, which is a polite term for junk, can call it 'a stall'. Compare that to the fine food, fish, cheese, meats, vegetables of a French market. Go to Cambridge for food and a band or two.
While I'm on this theme I see the Causeway drink and food outlets have now muscled in on the Saturday market. I have always been puzzled how a public space at The Causeway can be taken over by these roosters at nominal rent while in the island villages, similar traders have to cop commercial market rents. Without the benefit of static wash-up facilities the standard of hygiene is also in the back of my mind.
Currently at The Causeway, boats are playing musical chairs as they flit around the waterfront moorings and reserves area and in and out of the mangroves with sleight of hand dexterity. Many of them rustic, 'handcrafted' and abandoned. Dreams of fantasy.
Let me deal with facts. The true face of the boat shambles at The Causeway is being revealed by the clean-up underway. Over 20 years this bay has been infiltrated by rotting and barely seaworthy vessels that have defaced what was, long ago, a pleasant coastal bay. Even now a fading, rusted bus sits amongst the mangroves towards Shelly Beach.
Everyday I pass this de facto boatyard and dumping ground, I wonder at the imbeciles who, over the years, allowed this to happen. Bylaw 8 has been in existence to prevent abuse of foreshore and seabed locations as clearly witnessed at Ostend. Due to a corrupt, unbalanced and left leaning administration, no action was taken.
Try parking your car for 10 years at Matiatia with no registration, warrant or fee payment and see what happens to it.
This lunacy has reached the stage where one so called 'resident' has 7 boats under his wing all creeping closer to the public reserve dry land. By what right does any squatter defile a public reserve and shoreline as his primary place of residence without regulation, fees, rates or rent? Quite disgraceful really.
Waiheke has long lived under this banner of difference. That is,ones passage over 18 kilometres of water from Auckland somehow defines a new duty free zone of behaviour. Far enough behind to be ahead. Of course it's not difficult to 'adjust' what this actually means to suit ones preferences.
It is simply fraudulent behaviour by our socialist contingent to protest march and shout in the Gulf News over foreshore preservation issues but allow this bay to be treated differently for no valid reason. Closet socialists masquerading as environmentalists.
Then there are the 'liveaboards'. Forget the financial benefits of no rates, no rent, free council water and toilets, council maintained gardens and the bus adjacent. Last week washing hanging out boat to boat in the sun, beds being aired on the decks, more junk being piled on the foreshore. What waste disposal rules are in place to met Bylaw 8?
I'm curious about the control mechanisms at The Causeway. Who was in charge, who allowed all this, who now makes the decisions? Maybe it's all Rafferty Rules.
Take the case of the Council decision under PAUP for existing houseboats to continue their freeloading on the ratepayers. Of course none of them want to move, who would?
So what happens when a dweller moves on? Nothing is crystal clear in PAUP. The word 'discretionary' pops up frequently in proposals and for local residents who wish to protect their investment in their properties there is nothing factual to hang onto.
Past history and Trade Me tells me that an empty houseboat can be sold to a new 'live aboard'. This means a resident living on, or adjacent to, a public reserve can make a profit off that 'right' of occupation. Now how loopy is that? While a ratepayer maintains a property at great expense he also has the privilege of supporting these bludgers.
The Herald had an article about neighbours degrading a suburb under the heading 'Would You Live Next To This? It could have been referring to us. So how about putting away dreams of fantasy and corruption and turning our attention to a modicum of democracy for the paying residents of Ostend. It's their suburb. They pay the rates. They should have all the rights in the world.
Simply put, the opportunity exists right now to move this suburb to the 21st Century. Both in Belgium Street and through to The Causeway. Come on Local Board. You're well paid. How about some intelligent initiatives? I'm not hearing anything.
Blood on their hands