Wednesday July 1st is Open day at the Transfer station.

To All Waiheke islanders and Friends. 

Wednesday July 1st is Open day at the Transfer station.

 

Please come along at 6:00 am or any time soon after to meet and greet TransPacific as they move onto the island to replace Clean Stream as our waste collectors.  

 

There will be national media present. Radio, TV and Press. We would like a wide range of diverse people to turn up to show the strength of feeling about this change, and how the whole island is represented. 

 

This will be a non violent protest. We will remain calm and well behaved but will show our feelings honestly and authentically.  The message is that this change has been forced upon us against the constantly expressed will of the community. We are unhappy with the way this has been done by the City Council but are focussed on the bigger picture of building a sustainable Waiheke.

 

Please bring a bag of recyclable rubbish along to deliver to TPI for recycling and be prepared to ask whether they will be achieving the same standard of service as Clean Stream.

 

You can dress in junk-2-funk costumes, suits, or everyday clothes. be yourself.  Bring banners or ribbons showing your name and asking relevant questions of Auckland City Council and TPI. some ideas below.  

 

Bring warm clothes, a thermos, chairs, knitting etc. be prepared to stay as long as you can. There will be representatives of the island there all day – at least until 5pm.  

 

The weather forecast looks good.  Lets aim for it to be the the best positive public protest/event of the year in the country!

 

A message to TPI. 

 

For the last ten years Waiheke islanders have enjoyed one of highest quality recycling systems in the country. Clean Stream achieved a high diversion rate, strong community engagement and education and great innovation. Can you do the same ?

 

The community does not want to go backwards in waste management and the standards and values already established should be maintained.

 

Please understand our commitment to waste reduction, genuine recycling and maximal reuse. 

 

We want you to:

 

1.  Not fall below the current diversion rate of 43% of waste, and provide us with plans to move to zero waste to landfill by 2015.

2.  Commit to transparency and safety for the whole community.

3   Participate in informed and respectful dialog about our waste management aspirations.

3.  Continue with community engagement to develop zero waste strategies.

4.  Provide genuine mechanisms to update and report on progress.

5.  Continue to deliver and enhance the recycling shop and demo yard as a resource for the whole community.

6.  Continue to provide cardboard and mulch for community gardens

7.  Continue to support zero waste events including Junk 2 Funk.

8.  Not waste fuel and our organic resources by moving greenwaste off of the island.

9.  Not waste fuel and get a good price for our recyclables by sorting waste on the island.

A clear submission with a whole Auckland point of view

Committee Secretariat  

Auckland Governance Legislation Committee  

Parliament House  

Wellington  

 24 June, 2009 

 

 

Tena koutou katoa, 

Submission to the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee on the Local 

Government (Auckland Council) Bill. 

 

Introduction 

1) Thank you for the opportunity to submit on the provisions of the Local 

Government (Auckland Council) Bill.  This submission is made on behalf 

of… 

 

2) I wish to appear before the select committee to speak to this submission. 

 

3) I am opposed to the bill in its entirety. 

 

4) The primary reason I am opposed to the bill is that I do not believe that 

major restructuring of local government is necessary in the first place.  Any 

issues with governance in Auckland could be resolved with relatively minor 

changes in existing legislation to more clearly delineate council roles and 

responsibilities, so that conflicts from overlapping functions can be avoided.  

The shake-up proposed in this bill and the associated legislation is heavy 

handed; it lacks an appropriate level of analysis and rationale, and the 

expense its implementation will incur to ratepayers is likely to be 

extortionate. 

 

5) In addition, I do not believe that the council structure proposed would 

provide well for the democratic and effective governance of the Auckland 

Region and its diverse communities, or for the sustainable use and 

protection of its natural resources. 

 

6) The proposed top-heavy structure will have little hope of fulfilling the 

purpose of local government in accordance with the Local Government Act 

2002.  I agree with the purpose of local government defined in the Act, and 

consider it important that Auckland local government achieves that purpose: 

i.e. to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf 

of, communities; and to promote the social, economic, environmental, and 

cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future. 

 

7) I am opposed to the creation of a single large government edifice to govern 

all of Auckland. A range of government levels from national to local is 

necessary to allow democracy, effective communication, resourcing and 

decision-making at a local level, as well as to provide appropriate scale and 

resources to deal with larger matters (e.g. integrated protection of 

indigenous biodiversity, sustainable energy, water, wastewater and public 

transport).  

 

8) Consequently, I am opposed to the concentrated power envisaged for the 

Mayor and the executive in the proposed Auckland Council.  In addition I 

consider that the proposed model of numerous small, powerless and non- 

autonomous community boards is flawed and will be ineffectual. 

 

9) The greatest challenges facing Auckland, and indeed the world today are 

related to environmental quality and sustainability.  No measure of economic 

success will allow the Auckland region or New Zealand to avoid dealing with 

environmental sustainability issues.  The result of any review of Auckland 

governance must be designed to tackle the growing resource and 

environmental issues that we will be facing in future years, not be focused 

on the issues or politics of the past.  Any future governance structure for 

Auckland should be tailored towards implementing original, small scale and 

distributed solutions for sustainability.  Similarly, it will need to effectively 

deliver small scale, empowered governance for sustainable communities.   

 

10) Should the government persist with this legislation, specific clauses of the 

Bill that I wish to submit on are as follows: 

Clause 8 – Governing body of Auckland Council 

 

11) All Councillors should be elected from wards, with none voted at-large. 

Auckland is such a large region that at-large elections would favour only the 

wealthy or famous, and not necessarily the best representatives for 

Auckland’s communities.  

 

12) I strongly favour the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system for the election 

of mayor and councillors at any level.  This will ensure proportional and 

democratic representation across the region’s communities, and in particular 

will ensure ethnic groups and minorities are not disenfranchised. 

 

13) Twenty councillors cannot represent the population of Auckland, and would 

fail to provide ‘local’ governance in any sense of the word.  Regardless of 

the final council structure, the number of councillors should be increased to 

represent Auckland’s 1.4 million citizens fairly. 

 

14)  Crown sovereignty and thus all government organisations in New Zealand 

are built on the foundation of the Treaty of Waitangi.  Consequently, 

dedicated Maori seats must be included in future Council representation.  

With the complex and overlapping Maori interests in Auckland, three Maori 

seats would be a bare minimum in my view.  I would also support a more 

innovative formula for Maori representation than a simple seat count, if it 

would lead to better representation of the various tribal interests in the 

region. 

 

Clause 9 – Mayor of Auckland 

15) The notion of a single individual vested with the powers envisaged by this 

clause is anathema to me, as it would allow him or her to effectively control 

the Council without proper debate or scrutiny, and it would not provide for 

democratic representation of Auckland’s communities.  I strongly oppose the 

clause. 

 

16) If an ‘Auckland Council’ is created, the Auckland mayor should have the 

same powers as other mayors in New Zealand.  The full council, not the 

mayor, should appoint the deputy mayor and all committee chairs. 

  

Clause 10 – Local boards 

17) As discussed above, I do not agree that the general structure of Auckland 

councils needs to be changed to provide more effective governance for the 

region.  However, if the structure is changed, I am opposed to the model of 

numerous weak local boards.  These would be entirely ineffectual. 

 

18) Instead, I submit there should be several local councils, with boundaries 

based on existing communities.  (I am not overly concerned at the number of 

councils). 

 

19) It is important that the local councils are all autonomous, and resourced 

sufficiently to plan, fund and deliver services locally.  Only those services 

that must be delivered at regional level should be governed at a regional 

level (e.g. regional parkland, sustainable water, wastewater and public 

transport and integration activities to protect indigenous biodiversity). 

 

Clause 11 – Status of local boards 

20) Local boards or councils should be formally established as legitimate local 

authorities, not merely as powerless consultation committees reporting to a 

bigger council.  Local Boards should have clearly defined roles and powers 

under the Resource Management Act, Local Government Act 2002 and 

other relevant legislation. 

 

Clause 11 – Membership of local boards 

21) As I have submitted above, I strongly favour the democratic Single 

Transferable Vote (STV) system for the election of councillors and/or board 

members, to ensure proportional and democratic representation. 

 

Clause 18 – Local Government Commission to determine boundaries of 

Auckland 

22) I am opposed to sub-clause (2) of this section.  The proposed redefinition of 

the southern Auckland regional boundary would result in an administrative 

split of one of mainland Auckland’s most significant natural and ecological 

features – the native forest of the Hunua Ranges.  This area is currently 

managed mostly within one park by a single entity (Auckland Regional 

Council).   

 

23) Local government has the responsibility under the Resource Management 

Act to maintain indigenous biodiversity.  The proposed boundary shift would 

result in an unnecessary and inefficient splitting up of the management of 

the Hunua Ranges (including forest and parkland) between Auckland and 

Waikato.  The boundary should be left where it is, or alternatively moved 

further south to encompass the southernmost portion of the Hunua Range. 

 

Other matters 

25) Any other clauses that need to be changed in order to give effect to the 

preceding recommendations should also be amended. 

 

26) I oppose the privatisation of public assets.  Public assets such as parks, the 

buildings and contents of libraries, galleries and museums, water and 

wastewater infrastructure, public transport assets, and Auckland zoo have 

been paid for by Aucklanders, and should remain in their ownership and 

control. 

 

27) It is with considerable disquiet that I have observed the progress of 

government’s hasty efforts to reorganise Auckland governance since it 

received the Royal Commission report earlier this year.  If local government  

is about anything, it is about the fair and democratic representation of the 

views of local communities in decisions on matters that affect them. 

 

28)  The government has not consulted Aucklanders on whether they want to 

disestablish their existing democratically elected councils.  Nor has it fulfilled 

its legal obligation to poll Auckland citizens on whether or not they support 

the proposed reorganisation, as required by Schedule 3 of the Local 

Government Act 2002. 

 

29) Nevertheless, I trust that the select committee will hold the democratic right 

of Aucklanders to be fairly represented in local government foremost in their 

minds during their deliberations on this legislation.  I look forward to a 

governance model in Auckland that truly enables democratic local decision- 

making and action by, and on behalf of the region’s communities.  I also 

urge the select committee to develop a governance structure that will be 

innovative and flexible enough to solve the resource, sustainability and 

environmental issues that we increasingly face. 

 

Thank you for considering this submission. 

 

Yours faithfully, 

 

 <name withheld on request>

 

Oi! Mr Hide, Are you listening?

In just seven days from when we first put this site up we have received over 200 visits and over 70 just yesterday. We have seen erudite and interesting submissions from the community board, the radio trust, the community planning group and individuals.  This is not just happening here on Waiheke.  Small communities all over Auckland are creating their own local action movements to tackle the issues of the supercity.  Take a look at http://savepapakura.com for example.  About 1000 people took to the streets of Waitakere on Wednesday for a protest march, and another 200 crammed into a meeting in Manuakau.   Editorials in the Aucklander and 10 Auckland local papers ask “Who stole our voice”.

trouble at the bottom

Here is a fundamental issue: how can 12 ward elected councillors honestly represent local communities? Who actually believes that a more centralised, more top down approach will lead to better representation?

Over the last 10 years how do islanders feel about their access to decision makers in the city council?  Has it been a good experience?  How do you feel about your one elected councillor not being allowed to represent the island.  Will islanders continue to have to wear a groove up Queen St to the council offices on every issue that arises?

This is not purely a Waiheke issue. This affects all communities around the city that are trying to improve their social cohesion, environmental sustainability, local democracy and representation.  Decisions made far away from the place where they take effect are usually wrong ones. Decisions made on pure economic factors regardless of the people involved cannot be the best.  

You might feel that so many people have made submissions about the issue that there is no point in adding your own voice.   But please do, please write today, or email, identify your own feelings on this, draw on your own expectations and experiences.  We want our shout to be LOUD.  because otherwise it might be the last chance to be heard.

Andrew.

Campaign for Fair Ferry Fares – Petition to Nikki Kaye MP

 

Hi Everyone
Below is the press release for the campaign for fair ferry fares.  I know we’re all busy but it’s really important we push for fair ferry fares as part of the transport management act.  Nikki Kaye is taking the petition from us on Monday to take to parliament.  If you haven’t signed it, please
make a point of doing so and signing up.
If you’re free to get some signatures please contact me as I have some blank sheets left.
Thanks Shirin

This Monday, the Campaign for Fare Ferry Fares will be presenting Nikki Kaye, our MP, with a petition calling for affordable and sustainable fares on the Waiheke to Auckland Central Route.

Recognising the lifeline that the ferries provide to islanders accessing the mainland,  she has agreed to present this petition to Parliament as part of the discussion on the Public Transport Management Act.

The petition, now signed by over 500 people, calls for a mechanism of accountability so that fares cannot be raised without consultation with any governing transport authority and regulation, or fair competition, on the route.

If you haven’t signed the petition, there is still time to do so at the library, at the markets on Saturday or at Get Stuffed in Ostend.   With the discussion of the Transport Management Act and Nikki Kaye’s willingness to support the Waiheke community on this issue, this is a key moment to request regulation of some kind before more people are driven off the island.

OneWaiheke News Update – 25 June 2009

The Waiheke Community showed up in droves last Sunday to support the work of
Waiheke Does It Better, and throw their weight behind the ongoing campaign
to keep Waiheke’s waste resources in local hands. There were well over 200
people present!

The atmosphere was far from a feeling of being beaten and much more an
excitement about the next stage.

It’s a very exciting and challenging time to live on the island. May we as a
community, and may environmental and social justice prevail. All power to
the people of Waiheke!

The meeting identified 7 key action areas and formed working groups around
these topics. New people stepped up to help coordinate the groups.

Mailing lists have been set up to support the work of each group and we will
put together some web pages for status information as well.

The groups and their coordinators are:

Legal
Pita Rikys, To follow up on legal action options
Unesco
Colin Beardon, to research the option of becoming a UNESCO Reserve
Democracy
James Samuel, To work on ways to build an island wide mandate.
Non Violent Direct Action
Rien Achtenberg, To effect change through publicity and peaceful direct action
Charter
John Stansfield, To set rules for TPI and bring them to true Waihekedom.
Media & Communications
Brent Simpson, and Andrew Watkins, To enable group collaboration, and tell the story in print, online, audio, video etc.
Fundraising
Denise Roche, and Dorte Wray, To run events and activities to raise funds for publicity, direct action support, and legal action.

What should I do now?

To stay informed on active issues on Waiheke such as the Super City, Waste Management, Developments etc. follow the OneWaihekeNews mailing list. This is a low volume list used to make
announcements about what is going on. You can sign up to receive the news and announcements by
visiting http://onewaiheke.onlinegroups.net/groups/

On the same page you can send requests to join any of the action groups above. Each group has its own mailing list which will cut down irrelevant traffic for most people.

One group OneWaihekeAll is used for general discussions, join this to get a
feel for what is going on.

Specific Requests

Rein needs some helpers for his Direct Action work;

1. A data entry person who can do an Excel spreadsheet, or show Judith how to do it.
2. People to paint banners
please join the direct action mail list.

Media group would like some people with journalistic skills. If you have ever put together a press release, or simply written an office report then you would be welcome. So much has happened over the last few months and the
story is very spread around. We want to get a good timeline together and create a resource pack that will bring new people up to speed quickly. For example if we get an MP to ask questions in Parliament then they will need
to be accurately briefed.

Not everyone is on the web or email. We would like this process to be as inclusive as possible so ideas please on widening the reach of the group.

Blue Skies, Clean Streams – Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

Submission from Bernard Urquhart Rhodes

Submission from Bernard Urquhart Rhodes

(Associate Member, Royal Institution of Naval Architects)

104 Wharf Rd. Ostend, Waiheke Island 1081, New Zealand.
Tel +64 9 372 5621 email bernard@flyingcarpet.co.nz 

Waiheke Island needs independence.

Vision

I have a vision of a new, locally elected Waiheke Unitary Council, constituted so it can be run by consensus rather than adversarial descision-making, with the ability to call public fora on important matters. I’d much rather spend my time there in robust, constructive debate than trying to deal with the present shambles, where time after time we have to drop what we’re doing and object to the latest of Auckland City Council’s outrageous, expensive, incompetent bunglings.

Problems 

The Bill’s proposals for a ‘super City’ with no representation at all for Waiheke Island (the ‘Local Boards’ as proposed would be totally ineffective) would lead to an even worse situation, practically a dictatorship by the Mayor.
The present relationship of the Community and People of Waiheke with Auckland City is dysfunctional. With the notable exception of a few long-standing employees in the local office, we have to deal with a faceless, authoritarian bureaucracy that has taken power to itself, is seriously wasteful of resources and money, and is unaccountable for its actions. The resulting frustration and anger in this community is huge.

Wide support for these views

Although the permanent population is only about 7,000, submissions from Waiheke to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance were 28% of the 3,500 total, a strong indication of the degree of concern. Large turn-outs to protest marches up Queen St. to the City Development Committee meeting on Waiheke’s waste disposal contract, widespread anger at their blatant, undemocratic breaking of their own rules in formulation of the contract and awarding it to a failing multinational company over the not-for-profit exisiting local contractor is provoking ongoing actions. A Sunday meeting to decide what to do next attracted over 100 attendees.

How Auckland City sees us

From the point of view of Auckland City also, Waiheke is a thorn in their side, always complaining, incomprehensible, ‘on another planet’. The present Mayor famously said that dealing with Waiheke is like herding cats! They obviously want us to go away, as amply demonstrated by new ‘super city’ proposals that would give us no representation at all.  We’d love to get out of their way, to do our own thing.
Ignoring us is not an option. We won’t go away. The thorn would cause a festering wound that would do incalculable damage to Auckland City’s image.

Examples of Council fiascos

From among many are:

  • 10 years of campaigning to build a simple boat launching ramp, the entire, extravagant budget swallowed by bureaucracy. The result a second-rate ramp, because they wouldn’t listen to those who actually use it.
  • The “Proposed Hauraki Gulf Islands district Plan”. The bureaucrats who dreamed this up just can’t see the wood for trees. They’ve invented their own language, best described as Acronyms Galore! Dense and unreadable, far more complex than the last Plan and poorly related to it, failing to represent our views and aspirations, so badly wrong it drew hundreds of objections, and is still in litigation, a worse mess than ever! And at great expense to us, the ratepayers.My respect goes to those among us who have put in the thousands of hours of voluntary time to understand it, to submit in detail, only to have their submissions dismissed. Many of the submissions were that the whole plan be scrapped as unworkable – that too was dismissed. 
  • The Rates revaluation fiasco. Bureaucrats in the City made the bold assumption that if a house in a street sold for a certain price, then all the others in that street were worth the same. This is far from the case on Waiheke, the contrast between funky little baches and flash mansions is huge. The resulting enormous and unjustified increases, many up to 300%, a few even up to 1200%, caused huge distress and worry, a storm of objections, necessitating hiring extra staff to finally come to the island and see for themselves! At our expense…The process took over a year, meanwhile we were required to pay the new, incorrect, extortionate rates, then they had the complication of eventually refunding them where the appeals were successful.

There is a total loss of confidence and trust in Auckland City Council. The goodwill is long gone through bitter experience. Without the support of the populace in general, democracy is impossible, and we have no wish to be dictated to. The new ‘Super City’ as proposed would be much worse, unless all locally relevant decision-making powers are vested in greatly enhanced Local Boards.

I submit that half measures won’t work. A beefed-up Local Board for Waiheke would just be more of the same. The only workable solution is complete independence, a new Waiheke Unitary Council, with control of the local foreshore and seabed.

Financial economies and efficiency gains

An argument against independence heard in ACC is that Waiheke is subsidised by Auckland ratepayers, and could not survive financially on its own. I believe this is totally untrue, the figures are compiled by Council ‘officers’ who are themselves a part of the problem. 15 years of witnessing gross inefficiency, wastefulness, blundering and mis-giuded development have convinced me that all local government decisions made locally would be far more cost-effective with much better ratepayer satisfaction. A budget proposal for the new Waiheke Unitary Council , prepared by competent persons appointed by the Community Board, would be needed to confirm this.
Also an important part of any economic assesment is the thousands of unpaid hours spent by volunteers opposing Auckland City, which could be much better spent in productive occupations.

Present legislation – proposed minor change

At present there is a requirement for a minimum population of 10,000 to form a separate County. At 7,000 plus the many owners of holiday homes, we already have traffic near gridlock and little room for expansion, due to lack of relevant planning. A simple alteration of this arbitary threshold would enable the Local Government Commission to make the necessary changes if petitioned to do so.

Strength of Community

This island has a unique and very special community, many recently arrived citizens, diverse in background and views but united in our passionate love of the place, our strong desire not to see it spoilt by over-development, and to make it sustainable in a fast-changing world. We have many skilled people among us, keen to play a part if we’re given a chance; but we need to be able to run our own affairs to do it.

Precedents

There is a precedent in the Chatham Islands, a Unitary Council for a population of less than 1,000 that broke away from the mainland after being forcibly amalgamated.
There is also a precedent in the UK, where local government decision-making is being de-centralised to the local level.

Great Barrier Island

I am very aware that in seeking independence for the Hauraki Gulf Islands, I have little knowlege of the views of residents of Great Barrier Island. What I do know is that there is huge frustration with Auckland City Council, but they appreciate the $5million spent on tar-sealing roads last year. I”m not sure how much of this was central government money.
A priority would be to work with the Great Barrier Community Board and concerned residents to optimise their capacity for self-governance while assisting them financially in view of their (Government induced) depleted population.

Recommendations

(a) Redefine ‘Auckland’ in Clause 5 of the Bill to include the isthmus, but to exclude the Hauraki Gulf Islands.
(b) Add a clause to the Bill to establish a separate Unitary Council for the Hauraki Gulf Islands, or for Waiheke Island.

(c) Adopt all the recommendations of the Waiheke Communtiy Board submission, particularly the concept that Local Boards should decide what powers they should assume instead of the patronising, condescending draft Bill which continues Auckland City’s dictatorial dishing out and withdrawing of powers at its whim. The Draft Delegation Schedule, Appendix 1, should read ‘Draft legislated Assumption of Powers’.
Also of great merit is the proposal for Waiheke to gain the necessary self-governance to apply to become a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

(d) Adopt all the recommendations of the Waiheke Island Community Planning Group, a voluntary organisation which has been a staunch advocate for the Island’s best interests.

I wish to be heard in person, and hope there will be a hearing on Waiheke Island.

With respect,
B.U.Rhodes

Waiheke Community Radio Trust – Submission

Submission to Select Committee on Auckland Governance
Waiheke Community Radio Trust

Retaining and Strengthening Community Boards in the Hauraki Gulf Islands

The Waiheke Community Radio Trust is a charitable trust operating a not-for-profit community radio station on Waiheke Island. As per the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance’s original recommendation, we strongly support the retention of a Waiheke Community Board. We believe this board should have the ability to make budgetary decisions on local island matters that fall within the broad areas currently under the governance of local government including infrastructure, services, arts and culture and community support.

The Waiheke Community Radio Trust and our twenty five volunteers, listeners, sponsors, and the Waiheke community at large have benefited greatly from the support of the Waiheke Community Board and the local councilor for the Hauraki Gulf. This support has been significant in the setting up and running of our radio station, Waiheke Radio. The board supported us in the process of obtaining an appropriate venue, in the funding of station infrastructure, and have provided funding for an educational initiative to upskill members of the community in creating digital audio content.
This relationship has been facilitated because local representatives are accessible to the community of Waiheke and understand the needs of Waiheke people. As members of the Waiheke community itself, local community board members shared our view that while wider Auckland was well served by a range of radio stations, there were a number of needs unique to the island that could only be met by a local community broadcaster. We are not confident that such decisions would be made without a strong local governance body and we therefore support the retention and strengthening of the Waiheke Community Board in the new Auckland governance model.

We believe that it is crucial that the political structure of the Auckland Region continues to retain strong local input into local issues. The current system of democratically elected Community Boards is important as a means of addressing local community needs and issues. To have real decision making power the Community Board must have some budgetary control, not merely be a group making recommendations to a higher body. It is important that local communities have the ability to make some funding decisions at local level to support and resource valuable community initiatives, such as the Waiheke Community Board’s support of the Waiheke Community Radio Trust which provides both a service and means of community engagement to local people.

We feel strongly that there needs to be capacity for decision making that is based on local knowledge and the ability to directly act on this rather than just making recommendations. Given that the current proposal for Auckland governance will mean Waiheke would be unlikely to have specific representation on Auckland Council we believe the powers and funding of the Waiheke Community Board should be significantly greater under the new model than they currently are at present, or are suggested to be in the future.

The diversity of communities that make up an expanded Auckland will play a significant part in creating a world class city. The island communities of Auckland are a unique feature of this landscape, and it needs to be recognised that with this uniqueness comes distinct interests and concerns that may differ from those of mainland communities (e.g. geographic isolation, transport, lack of easy access to wider Auckland facilities and activities, etc). In setting the geographic boundaries for the community boards under the new model we feel that the unique and specific needs of the Gulf Island communities needs to continue to be recognised. Boundaries should accommodate this by allowing for a range of board configurations that would include stand alone Waiheke and Great Barrier community boards rather than applying a population based formula that could group Waiheke with part of the Auckland isthmus.

The Royal Commision identified “poor community engagement” as one of the systemic problems with the existing local government arrangements. The establishment of community radio on Waiheke Island with the unanimous support of our local community board demonstrated great vision in supporting the grass roots development of a valuable community asset and public service. Our volunteer run community radio is actually continuing to strengthen on Waiheke many of the very aspects that the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance identified as a weakness in the larger surrounding governance structures. Community radio on Waiheke increases engagement by residents with the communities’ and the cities significant issues and concerns. The station also facilitates participation by the general public, community leaders, and elected local (and national) officials around local issue impacting residents of the Gulf Islands.

The Waiheke Community Radio Trust has been better able to meet our objectives of educating, engaging and informing Waiheke people because of the support of our local Community Board and councilor. It is questionable whether we would have been able to establish our radio station without their assistance. There is nowhere else that Waiheke Islanders can hear debates on Waiheke issues, nowhere else they will hear local musical artists get airplay. We believe it is critical our community continues to have a governance body that can recognise and act to meet local needs in the way our current community board has. Under the governance model proposed by government we see a critical need for these powers enhanced with the board having the ability to make budgetary decisions on local matters including infrastructure, services, arts and culture and community support.

Chris Walker & Brent Simpson – Trustees of Waiheke Community Radio Trust

Shirin Brown – Waiheke Radio volunteer

Short and to the point – a great submission

To Clerk of the Committee
Auckland Governance Legislative Select Committee
Select Committee Office
23 June 2009

Dear Sir re: Auckland Governance

I wish to affirm the special importance of Waiheke Island as Guardian of the Gulf.

I support the concept that Hauraki Gulf Islands be excluded from the Bill and that separate governance arrangements be made for them’

I believe the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act should be strengthened, and a Hauraki Gulf Reserve be formed. Within this structure , the Islands should be run by their residents.

I recommend the following :

a) Redefine “Auckland” in Clause 5 of the Bill to include the isthmus, but to exclude the Hauraki Gulf and its Islands.

b) Add a clause to the Bill to establish a separate authority for the Hauraki Gulf and its Islands, committed to seeking international recognition for its integrated approach to sustainability.

Yours faithfully
Mary Batten

Who can afford to be king?

The SuperCity bill proposes that the Mayor and 8 councillors are elected from a single vote across the city. Sounds good doesn’t it. Auckland speaks as one and the councillors have a mandate to represent the city as a whole rather than individual communities.

 who can afford to be king of Auckland

But who can afford to play this game?
For the 8 councillors the Govt proposes to elect at large they will have a very large constituency of around half a million voters. It would cost $250,000 to send a letter to each one as part of a campaign.

It is hard to estimate campaign expenses but they would be ridiculously high. MPs spend up to $20,000 incl GST to run a local campaign in electorates of 50,000 voters. So you could be looking at 200,000 to cover the city – that doesn’t cover a lot so we are looking at high volume/low content methods of campaigning.

The system, it would seem, is biased towards the rich and famous and while you might get a lot of publicity about the prospective mayor in the media how much do you think you would know about the rest of them? Can you name 8 city councillors? Those islanders who attended the waste management council meetings can but they are not your average Auckland voter.

The danger here is of getting a council stocked either with bland businessmen in suits who vote for their friends in business or career politicians. It leaves little room for people who want to represent their community and city for a better future.

The issues around voting rules are not included in the Bill but interestingly the Select Committee has agreed it will hear submissions on whether there should be spending limits, and on the voting system (eg. FPP or STV).

So consider making a submission pushing for more locally elected councillors, caps on spending and fair voting systems.