Esplanade Propaganda

esplanade cattle run

I have tried to avoid this and get on with more important daily tasks, but I just can’t get over the ridiculous, faux-happy, posed  photo of Holmes Cronies at the tacky, Auckland-Transport-signature entrance to our once scenic roadway in the last Gulf News. The photo only proves that the Esplanade has always been accessible to wheelchairs, and that these people are pathetic propagandists. They have provided the most telling evidence against their case for disabled people being locked out of the car-free Esplanade because the only work that was  done on the road was to shore up cliff side erosion and install the Cattle Chutes. Nothing about the road bed has changed. So if the motorized wheelchair is happily motoring along now, then it was always able to motor along happily, as I have stated in numerous letters. The Esplanade has always been accessible to people with wheelchairs.  This sort of idiocy is excruciating.

The one thing you can honestly say about  Deputy Holmes is that she has got a lot of nerve. If only repeating a lie could make it come true. Her pathetic attempts at propaganda assume that the public is too stupid to know that everything she claims is merely a sales pitch.  Supposedly her opponents (read: general public) are making spurious false claims (which she never specifies) regarding the Esplanade, but in fact her own assertions are groundless. She claims that the closure was disastrous for the road. No, her leadership as transport spokesperson was the disaster. Under her leadership the Esplanade was cut off from maintenance funding, of which only a minimal amount would have been required to keep it up to its prior standard. Having intentionally neglected the road she has the nerve to claim that it was the closure itself that damaged it.  She did nothing but incite divisiveness in the community in order to serve her purpose, which was to serve her cronies at the expense of the community.

Ongoing damage to the road is caused, quite obviously, by slips on the cliff side and erosion from waves on the waterside. Historians and other experts have weighed in on the ongoing problems with maintaining the Esplanade, which Holmes conveniently ignores, instead banging away at her disinformation campaign a la Fox News. If Rupert Murdoch and Maggie Thatcher had a baby girl, it would be Jo Holmes. Pose a photograph and create some text and Presto! You have made an illusion look real.

The Cattle Chutes confine the users into narrow gauntlets which require high levels of patience from car drivers. Already the silly foldout blocks have been ripped off the posts, as cars shove them rather than get out to adjust them. The courtesy and manners required by the Cattle Chutes belongs to a bygone age which has no  place in today’s driving culture- as is evident from the short lifespan of those swing-out bollards. Rather than creating a safe space they have narrowed the roadway at the same time they increased the number of road users.

This has been a stupendous waste of money. Remarkably little has been accomplished with a remarkably large amount of funding. The road is not better off, it has merely had some lipstick applied. Because AT scaled down the project to a cost which didn’t upset the horses, the slips have been dressed up with a bit of rock at the base. You can still see quite clearly where the fault lines are- it is only a matter of time before the next sections calve off. The bench seat that was supposedly vandalized was actually moved by the work team because they placed the seat on top of a section about to fall off- wouldn’t that make a funny news story? “Couple sitting on bench as it collapses onto the beach below.” The seawall has been bandaged up….again….always just barely what is needed, and never enough to make a long term difference.

In this age of easy access to accurate information, it is galling to see propaganda techniques which show grave disrespect for authentic community discourse. Just because it is common should not make it acceptable. The consequences for the island will be far reaching, because this overpriced cosmetic touch-up is brought to us via offshore loans. Just because you didn’t feel the pinch in your latest rates bill, doesn’t mean it comes free or cheap. The deep flaw in this system is the people in power voting for projects they can’t pay for out of existing funds, but nevertheless feel entitled to. Our children are consigned to be paying interest on it- that is what we pledged for this stupid vanity project. Mismanagement of Local Board Funds Costs Us Our Future.


9 thoughts on “Esplanade Propaganda”

  1. Propaganda Techniques? You have got to be kidding if you are trying to state that they are coming from one “side” only. The whole thing has been a farce… not the reopening of The Esplanade, but the typically nasty and personal campaign against some of the local board by supporters of ONE member & ONE Ex member who has moved on to a larger trough. The sob stories (our children won’t be safe); the vandalism ( signalled by opponents in their secret little groups and predicted by me); the survey which as we now see was was extremely amateur, open to and manipulated – and still abjectly failed to show any form of broad support for the supposed campaign. Pffft.

  2. There are undoubtedly two sides to this story, but sadly, undignified ranting consigns it to the same rubbish bin as loutish protesting, attempts to pass off silly amateurish surveys as genuinely representative, and hysterical personal abuse dished out by a small minority who didn’t get their own way. That’s not how to influence people’s decision making, it’s just grandstanding, and it never achieves results. No-one of any balance listens to those who just shout louder.

  3. great stuff Millie, completely agree….great to see some independent comment from someone not involved in the AWE campaign…also unsurprising to see more baseless accusations from the first responder above…that about sums up the tenor of the anti-community dialogue crew, sadly

  4. Great comment Millie. This needs to see a wider audience – get it in the Gulf News. They were willing to show Jo’s buttock-clenchingly embarrassing staged\ photograph so they should be willing to print this.

  5. I see Jo Holmes two little pixies are all fired up in the first two comments, doing a nice job to set them off Millie. For more lunatic ravings, hypocrisy, slander and nastiness check out their facebook page at Free Thinking Waiheke, content warning though, it is very depressing reading.

  6. Anti community Frankie? You mean not being one of the perpetually disgruntled 30 or so who are failing spectacularly to upset the vast & happy majority? Oh well, so be it.

  7. But before I forget, PickledMillie – it’s a great post (if you like style over substance). I am amazed however at how much wasted energy is still going into a failed campaign over The Esplanade, and how a few of you are happy (lemming like) to send your credibility over the crumbling cliff on this. Is it still a case of sour grapes over the last LB elections? That was years ago, move on. I think the next battleground is the Marina isn’t it? Personally I’m pretty ambivalent about it.. the sky won’t fall down whether it goes ahead or not. No doubt you will be furiously plotting already how to turn it into a crusade against LB, in which case you will probably damage the campaign against the thing. Increasing numbers of people with votes are waking up to this whole thing.. Coffee carts, Wetlands, Esplanade, Wharetana.. This misinformation, hate, envy & bitterness is less able to be disguised now that the light is being shone. Do something real for the community you profess to care for so much.

  8. But there is another campaign afoot Mark that won’t fail… watch this space. 🙂

  9. Well, I guess if the ‘another campaign” is based on honesty, integrity and things that are of real benefit to the wider community, it deserves to succeed. Unfortunately events of the last few months, and the behaviour of the spiteful few, indicate that the campaign won’t be like that at all. So this little pixie probably will get fired up, even if only to protect my girls from the dishonesty & nastiness that some here will happily behave..:)

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