…And we are back

I am back on the beloved island after six years absence and I can honestly say I’ve missed you all and my natural home and to celebrate I am resurrecting the OneWaiheke Website.

OneWaiheke is a place for think pieces, polical and social commentary, parody and observations about our special island. Its like the Gulf News but you all get to write the editorial. Note the new domain name – OneWaiheke.nz

I hope our witty previous writers will re-surface and new ones will emerge. As you can see I’ve kept the design free of noise and fluff so you can concentrate on the story. My apologies, the article photos and illustrations did not survive the hiatus.

For now enjoy a scroll back through what concerned us back then in the heady days of 2009-2016, a time before Jacinda, before Covid-19, back when we were concerned about a marina, the size of the busses, ever expanding house prices, loss of rentals, the occupy protest, a marine park, biosphere reserve, climate change and Auckland Council. Oh so much has changed.

Ngā mihi – The moderator

Time to move on

Hi Folks,
As the site has been quiet for quite a while now. I am considering closing it down along with others as I’m about to get a bill for $300 for hosting expenses for the next year.

If someone wants to take over as moderator and stimulate some writers I’ll work with them to migrate to a new server and pass on the domain name.

Regards Andrew

Waiheke Working Sail Fundraiser Movie

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Back on the big screen

1805.  One ship, 197 men, 4500 miles from home. Chasing a French ship twice her size. No retreat.

Please join us for drinks and a rip roaring sail adventure movie!

    • Friday 22nd November,  7pm reception at Artworks, 8pm Movie at Waiheke Cinema.
    • Tickets $25 including drinks and nibbles.

Come and meet Bernard and the apprentices and other people involved in the project.

How to buy tickets:

Tickets are limited to 50 so please buy in advance. You can get them from committee members or buy online as follows:

  1. Click this Donate Now link.  You will be taken to the GiveALittle website to make a donation to Waiheke Working Sail.
  2. Fill in the amount: $25 per ticket and your email address.  In the comment box write ‘tickets’ and the number of tickets you want.
  3. We will get an email confirming your donation and will send you confirmation that you are booked.
  4. On the night we will just tick you off at the door.

Master and Commander the Movie

Master and CommanderThe year is 1805. Europe has fallen to Napoleon, and only the Royal Navy stands in his way to total victory. Off the cost of South America, a new conflict is brewing. Captain Jack “Lucky Jack” Aubrey of the Man-of-War HMS Surprise is under orders to sink or capture the French privateer Acheron, which has been deployed to the region. After seven weeks of uneventful sailing, the Acheron strikes first, all but crippling the Surprise in an engagement in which Aubrey realizes his enemy’s ship is nautically superior to his own. Along with his close friend and confidant Stephan Maturin who also happens to be the ship’s surgeon, Aubrey is now faced with the choice of retreating to England and admitting defeat or remaining at the Acheron’s mercy. Aubrey must now do the impossible if he is to survive, repair his ship, catch up to his enemy and defeat the Acheron–somehow.

Based on the best selling novels by Patrick O’Brien with Russell Crowe as Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Maturin this is one of the best movies about the age of fighting sail.

Come and join your friends and help raise funds for the Waiheke Working Sail project.


Ethics and the Environment

Environmental issues can be a source of heated debate, as we know all too well from past and present local controversies. People sometimes take up entrenched positions on opposing sides of an issue, and in a small community this can become personal and divisive. How can philosophy help? 

I believe we can all benefit from enhancing our critical thinking abilities, learning how to recognise the assumptions behind our own positions and those of others we disagree with, and trying to formulate our arguments in such a way as to find as much common ground as possible with others.

Whether we are concerned about global problems of climate change, pollution, and using up finite natural resources, or about balancing the needs of humans with those of other species here on Waiheke and in our coastal waters, philosophical questions arise. Why does the environment matter? What do we owe to our own and other species, to ecosystems, and to future generations? 

These are among the questions we’ll explore together in a new course that I’m offering next term at Waiheke Adult Learning, ‘Ethics and the Environment’, as part of the Community Education programme.  

The course will be held on Thursday evenings from 31st October till 28th November, 7.00pm-8.30pm, and costs $80 per person.

To enrol online, follow this link:

You may also book in person at the Waiheke Adult Learning Centre, Waiheke High School, Monday to Thursday 9am-2pm or contact them by phone 372-9868 or email office@wal.org.nz

Hoping to see you there,

With best wishes,

Jane Cooper

Waiheke still Kauri disease free

Kauri disease, also known as PTA (Phytophthora Agathis) is killing kauri throughout the Auckland and Northland areas.  It has been identified in the Waitakere Ranges, Great Barrier Island and most of northland’s great kauri forests. The pathogen can exist in soil as spores and it can move in water as a zygote.  Symptoms of the disease include foliage yellowing, canopy thinning, dead branches, trunk collar lesions that bleed gum and finally tree death.

Effective treatment is still in the research stage.

The good news is that both Coromandel Ranges and Waiheke Island are free of the disease.

To keep the island’s kauri free of this deadly disease there is a need to know how the pathogen gets from one place to another.  Already research shows that it can attach to shoes in dirt, or to the feet of animals such as pigs.  It can, also, be accidentally transported in the soil attached to potted seedlings or trees.

Forest and Bird have signs at the entrances of their reserves asking people to clean their shoes before entering the reserves.  However, there is opportunity to increase public awareness of the disease and decrease its accidental introduction to our beautiful island.  Involving the ferry companies more actively in a ‘keep Waiheke free of Kauri disease’ campaign would be wonderful, as the wharves are the main way that people set foot on the island.  Our Local Board could play a big part in supporting public education initiatives and negotiating with the ferry companies in partnership with conservation organisations and Council’s bio-security team to reduce the possibility of the disease ever ‘landing’ here.

Sue Fitchett 

The Population of Waiheke

Early results from the 2013 Census are starting to appear.  Later on we will have a full demographic profile of the island – which will make polling and surveys much more accurate.  But for now we have the headline figure.

The residential population of Waiheke is 8262

Thats an increase from 2006 of 561 or 6.8%.  That may sound quite impressive – but consider that the rest of Auckland increased in population by more than 8.2%.

However take a look at this chart.


Population growth on the island has been slowing since 2001.  The red line shows the estimates used by the council, they are higher as they include people who don’t show up in the census – but what is interesting is that the growth rate has twice now been estimated to be higher than it actually was and has needed to be corrected downwards.

Back in 2000 in the Essentially Waiheke Report the island population was expected to reach 10,000 by 2006.  This was hard to justify given the previous census data and is a lesson in not extrapolating curves (which I will now proceed to do).

Looking at  the per year change in population between each census we get a drop from 167 (2001), 113 (2006) to 80 (2013).  So in the next 5 years we might see some continued slow growth – but the total is unlikely to cross the 9000 mark at any time in the near future.



Voting Returns

Here is the chart of daily voting returns for Waiheke.

Waiheke - Voting document returns

This shows that voting was fairly steady throughout the voting period.  No late surge.

Total votes (as of posting) were 3496 from 6356 (55%).



The challenge for the team

I thought Claude’s comment to Marks posting was worth promoting to an article in its own right. [ed]

Thanks, Mark, for limb climbing and the subsequent good analysis.

My own sense is that the old left and right wing labels don’t apply on Waiheke. After about two years, regardless of ones national politics, Love Waiheke becomes the primary partisan theme. No matter what ones offshore politics, it is the character, beauty, community and essence of the island that captures people, and protection of that is what they look for in candidates.

On all three foreshore issues of the day, the A-Team seemed to be offsides with the mood of the populace. Why? The council officers load the elected local board with issues in massive notebooks that then become the subject matter for the Local Board. The A-Team was undoubtedly good at navigating the officers’ waters, but those are often seen as alien to folks who live on the island. The foreshore issues were not officers’ priorities, thus the last local board did not take the advocacy role the populace was expecting.

During my presentation to the Royal Commission on the Supercity, I got into a fascinating conversation with the Commission’s Chair Peter Salmon about the apparent absence of checks and balances in NZ governance. He agreed, but unfortunately except for some additional powers for the Mayor, local checks and balances did not make it into the enabling legislation.

The problem with the way Local Boards are structured is that they appear to be democratic representatives of the electorate, but in fact their roles are tightly prescribed, in essence to be there to give approval to officer-driven agendas within a very limited sphere of influence. If one plays the game, the officers use their discretion (which is considerable) to help the elected representatives get points on the board. If not, they can cut off the flow of background information and make accomplishing anything very difficult. I know, I’ve seen it in action under the prior City Council. The problem is not the personnel, it’s the structure that shapes how the people behave.

The A-Team, lead by Faye, who has been in the game a long time, played within the rules, played the officers’ game, and this appeared to the electorate as non-responsive.

The challenge for the Essentially Waiheke team will be to press for fundamental structural changes to implement real democratic engagement in governance, or resort to the old Bruce Bisset style of politics, in which he browbeat the officers into tears. I favour the former, and given the strong mandate of the election results, I think they have a chance to actually accomplish it.

It promises to be a very interesting three years, but will require the four new members get up to speed very rapidly. The undercurrents of real council governance and management may be hard to see, but they are strong and can be dangerous to navigate.


And the result is….

Its 3pm and the provisional count is in.

WALDEN, Paul 1989 1
TREADWELL, Beatle 1945 2
BROWN, Shirin Independent 1647 3
BALLARD, Becs 1557 4
MEEUWSEN, John 1456 5
MCCANN, Sue Independent 1254 6
MCKENZIE, Don Waiheke ‘A’ Team 1201 7
STORER, Faye Waiheke ‘A’ Team 1119 8
HOLMES, Jo Waiheke ‘A’ Team 1065 9
MELVILLE, Richard Independent 858
HOOPER, Graham Independent 340

Congratulations to the Essentially Waiheke team and Shirin – a clean sweep.  don’t let it go to your heads.

Mainly though I think that this is a  clear message from the ‘silent majority’ on the island that Fay and Jo did not spend their time on the board gaining the trust of the islanders.  All the talk of engagement proved to be meaningless.   The fact that both Sue McCann and Don McKenzie beat Fay and Jo is a pretty clear indictment of their behaviour over the last three years.

I’m looking forward now to some more proactive action from our local board.

Here is a chart comparing the votes from this year and 2010.

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 4.50.04 PM

What this shows – apart from Denise’s massive support is that even in a low turnout year  Paul and Beatle got more votes this year than Faye did in 2010, Shirin also beat Jo’s previous vote.

Process This

A short note here about following process. We have heard a lot recently about how the current local board are unable to do various things as they are bound by the ‘process’. This misses the point so much that I wonder at it.

Business processes are set by leaders for staff to follow. They codify good practice, the layout ways to solve problems. They allow business as usual to carry on and simplify decision making.

Processes are great while they work, but from time to time changing circumstances mean that problems arise, sand falls into the oil pump of life, and yesterday’s sweet solutions becomes todays smelly precipitates.

It is at this point that leaders lead, decision makers decide, and chief executives execute. It is the fundamental role of any politician to review and change processes. Why do you think law makers make laws?

When all is going smoothly things can be left to the officers and staff. It is not the role of the local board members to rubber stamp the actions of their staff. It is the role to identify when the system is wrong, when its not working, when it needs fixing. It is the role of our representatives to listen to our pointing out that all is not well and that things need to change.

If they only ever do what they are told they can do they are a waste of space and resources.

So to all potential new LB members I would ask – what do you think is broken – and what will you do to fix it?