Happy New Year to all Waihekians and other readers.
What does 2010 have in store for this website and the island?
The big issue is going to be the super city of course. Bill three has been released and we’ll give you a run down on that next. In Jan there will be various meetings about the bill and making yet another round of submissions in time for the close on the 12th February.
After that we will be starting to think about the elections themselves. We will be electing a councillor and new local board with hopefully increased powers. We need everyone on the island to turn out to vote. We need the best possible candidates of all political viewpoints to choose from. We want what is best for the Island, not just for this year but for the next 50.
OneWaiheke is just one simple web site. Its role is to provide information on the issues, encourage discussion, debate and engagement.
OneWaiheke is a Pro-Democracy movement, fighting against the centralisation of power, and its movement into unelected, unrepresentative organisations. Not because such organisations are less efficient, but because they cannot put our interests and those of our children and grandchildren first.
Not just the supercity
There will be other issues as well – I need people interested in writing about these subjects to join me as content creators on the site. comment here if you are interested in helping out or representing one of the subject areas.
2009 saw the Waiheke does it better campaign fighting against the take over of the islands waste management contract. This year we expect to reflect the damage done by that takeover in rising waste management costs to the island, reduced recycling, new road damage from excessive trucking and the nuisance of wheelie bins.
The Waste Resource Trust has in the mean time moved on to new initiatives in the field of energy conservation and generation. The same educational process and mantra: reduce, reuse, recycle, translates well into energy as we seek to reduce our usage, replace inefficient appliances and recycle sun and wind into energy.
Islanders are still keeping a close watch on the Fullers Ferries and their prices with the inevitable rumours of competing services, complaints about price rigging and requests for fair subsidies for locals. What will the new cross ticketing system in Auckland bring?
Meanwhile will 2010 be the year of the electric bicycle? With a seller on the island, and falling prices for imported bikes, do we now have a way to move a substantial new group of people onto two wheels? Will this in turn trigger more new initiatives for cyclists. – cycle lanes, parking etc.
The island now has at least 4 community gardens, and did I see Swiss chard growing in the flower beds in front of the council offices last year? The Island’s first CSA – Community supported agriculture, peoples farm started planting in 2009 and last week we saw the first deliveries of locally grown vegetables to subscribers. see http://waihekecsa.org.nz/ for details.
We also saw the creation of a local food delivery company Food Direct as well as the Sunday Farmers Market and the growth of the Ooooby network.
Look out for the Great Waiheke Plum Drive, coming up next week. (7th Jan)
The Gulf News letters page was spammed just before Christmas by climate change deniers. see this great visualisation from Information is Beautiful called climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus for a really good independent overview of the state of the debate.
Last year we saw a growing debates over aerial poison drops, cellphone towers, and the potential damage from the development of a marina at Matiatia. Protecting the environment of Waiheke and the Gulf islands is and will always be a battle against short term interests. That is why I hope Waiheke can develop a philosophy of long term deep sustainability. That’s a 100 year viewpoint folks.
If you are involved in these debates please consider writing explanatory overview postings for this site in order to inform the island.
So that’s our goal. We are not a news site – although there will be news and events, or an opinion site – although feel free to express opinions, but hopefully a portal for accurate information about what matters to the islanders.
Happy New Year