Wai­heke pilot project prom­ises more power

Waiheke Marketplace - - Conversations - ROSE DAVIS

Wai­heke Lo­cal Board’s pleas for more power to do things the is­land way are fi­nally get­ting heard.

Auck­land Coun­cil is fi­nal­is­ing plans for a Wai­heke pilot project, which will see the lo­cal board gain more power to make de­ci­sions on is­land is­sues.

Lo­cal board chair­per­son Paul Walden said the pilot is ex­pected to al­low the board to make head­way on build­ing a com­mu­nity swim­ming pool.

The coun­cil’s re­gional poli­cies would leave the is­land wait­ing 10 years or more for a pool. In con­trast, the coun­cil’s re­port on the Wai­heke pilot project out­lines numer­ous ways the coun­cil could sup­port the lo­cal board to make the pool a re­al­ity.

At its meet­ing last week that con­sid­ered the pilot, the board asked for the power to set its own rates to fund new ser­vices or fa­cil­i­ties, such as a pool.

An im­por­tant as­pect of the pilot would be hav­ing an op­er­a­tional man­ager based on Wai­heke, Walden said.

The lo­cal man­ager would ad­dress is­sues such as the dire state of Cres­cent Road East ex­ten­sion and on­go­ing prob­lems with peo­ple liv­ing in boats on beaches.

‘‘There has been a lot of frus­tra­tion and not a lot of out­comes in some ar­eas,’’ Walden said.

‘‘It has been clear for quite some time that things need to be done dif­fer­ently here and this is a strong sig­nal from the coun­cil that they recog­nise that.’’

The lo­cal board has asked to have more say on Auck­land Trans­port works and road de­sign on the is­land.

The coun­cil re­port ac­knowl­edges both Auck­land Trans­port and the coun­cil have been slow to stop pri­vate landown­ers en­croach­ing onto coun­cil re­serves. More than 100 en­croach­ments onto is­land re­serves have been recorded. The pilot could in­volve mak­ing a stock­take of en­croach­ments and in­ves­ti­gat­ing the best way to man­age them.

Walden said the pilot project might never have sur­faced if it had not been for lo­cal board mem­ber, John Meeuwsen, form­ing Our Wai­heke and ap­ply­ing to break away from Auck­land Coun­cil.

The pilot is ex­pected to be­gin next month and con­tinue for three years and could in­form changes to all lo­cal boards in the re­gion. Fi­nal de­ci­sions on the Wai­heke pilot will be made by the coun­cil’s gov­ern­ing body on Septem­ber 28.

Wai­heke Lo­cal Board could soon get more sway. ROSE DAVIS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.