…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

Sour grapes and misinformation

During the Waiheke Local Board sour grapeselection I had the pleasure of working with the Essentially Waiheke team to win the Waiheke Local Board election.  The Essentially Waiheke team (Paul, John, Beatle and Becs) plus Shirin.  Made a clean sweep in the local elections and removed 4 out of 5 of the previous board members.

My role in the whole thing was making the Essentially Waiheke website and managing the social media.  I found it a really good experience working with a team to win the campaign.  Most of the former board members have taken defeat gracefully to their credit.  However one former board member in particular appears to have some sour grapes and not just sour but bitter, twisted and sour grapes.

Ungraceful Former Local Board Member

One ungraceful former board member has setup a blog and Facebook page which continually opposes whatever the current local board does, even if it is good for the community and continually spread misinformation and what can only be called lies and rumours in an vain attempt to turn people against the current local board.  These were the same techniques that they used during the local board elections – it did not work then and it is not working now.

After the election I believed that this behaviour would stop, well at least ease back till 12 to 18 months out from the next election.  I was wrong, it really is a continuous barrage.  I have to say that all that they are achieving with this type of behaviour is a confirmation to the general public of Waiheke that voting them out of the local board was the best thing that they could of possible done.

I would like to say that my efforts went a long way to get the Essentially Waiheke campaign team to win but after analysing the whole situation I came to the conclusion that this former board was very unpopular and would not get voted back in because of the following.

  • Firstly they got voted in with a minority of votes because the votes were then split between some really good people.
  • They then disgraced themselves with the way that the Chair of the board was chosen and the side-lining of Denise Roche when she got a majority of votes.
  • I heard all sorts of stories which may or may not be true of funding cuts, issues with resource consents and general opposition from the council for anyone that opposed what the previous local board did in anyway shape or form.
  • They then appeared to make a lot of controversial decisions which went against what the public Waiheke wanted and appeared to have hidden agendas with very little transparency.
  • They disgraced themselves again with the way they side-lined Paul Walden after he won the Waiheke Local Board by election.
  • They then did not participate in public campaigning meetings.
  • They sent spam out as part of their local board campaign.

If I did not know better, I would of thought that they did not want to get elected back onto the local board.  So all I can conclude is that they got themselves voted out, all the Essentially Waiheke team had to do is put a half decent team together to oppose the previous board members  and it worked a charm – a clean sweep.  As a side note the current local board is not half decent but really a great bunch who want to work together for a better Waiheke.

This continuous barrage of misinformation and sour grapes does nothing but discredits the one sending it

This continuous barrage of misinformation and sour grapes does nothing but discredits the one sending it so I have not even bothered to comment or engage in it till now.  The only conclusion that I can come to is that the reason for this constant misinformation and opposition to whatever the local board does is because members of the ousted local board want to get voted back in, in the next local board election.

As a recap – they got voted in with a minority of the votes because of vote splitting, they then lost approximately 30% of their voting support base in the most recent election, they do nothing positive for Waiheke to date except oppose whatever the new local board does.  So they really are deluded when they believe that they will ever get voted back in.

What can you do to stop the spread of misinformation?

  • Block anyone spreading misinformation on Facebook
  • Never comment on misinformation, even if it is to correct as this helps spread it
  • Don’t visit any blogs spreading misinformation
  • Remove yourself from any Facebook groups / pages that spread misinformation
  • Then tell your friends to do the same

By allowing yourself to read this stuff and even commenting on it actually helps the spread of it.  All they want is an audience so if you remove yourself and encourage others to do the same you can help minimise the spread of this garbage.

Written By Dan Ballard,

 

When you read a blog site – how much do you trust what you see?

I received this email yesterday:

 
Hi Andrew,

I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Onewaiheke.org? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

Kind Regards,
Tomas Lambert
tomas.lambert@mediadiscovery.com

 

I declined.  This site will remain advert free and free of industry lobby blog posts.

Rest assured that OneWaiheke.org will retain the right to be rude about anyone we feel deserves it.

Andrew.

 

 

The Thunder of Hooves

Some political scandals have the most prosaic beginnings. A hotel gets burgled, a dress fails to make it to the dry cleaners or a TV cameraman ‘forgets’ his tape recorder in a café. And when such events develop a life of their own and begin to gi

ve off a scandalous aroma then the first eager scribe who gets to dissect the story in public is duty bound to name the affair by choosing some key word and tacking the suffix ‘Gate’ onto it.

Well, what do we call this nasty business on the golf course? ‘Horse-Gate’? ‘Golf-Gate’?

No. If we are being realistic then the only gate in this case was ‘OPEN-GATE’.

Someone didn’t secure their horse, the horse went walkies and took a short cut over the golf course without replacing its divots as it went. Regrettable certainly, but hardly the stuff of which political upheavals are made. The event stirred a brief flurry of comment on Facebook last Sunday but as just a basic animal control issue it hardly seemed worth getting that excited about.
That was until the limp organ formerly known as the Waiheke Marketplace decided to cover the story, and in doing so surrendered the last tattered shreds of its credibility as an independent voice in local media. The page two story was the usual mess of disjointed squawking that we’d expect, full of baseless assertions about willful damage and deliberate vandalism. But the photo that went with it seemed a bit odd. What was so dreadful about this incident that local board leader Faye Storer was called away from her Sunday breakfast to be pictured with golf club staff and police, crouching on the dented greensward and looking concerned?
There could be a perfectly innocent explanation of course. Perhaps the Leaderene was breakfasting at the golf club that morning by chance? I’ve heard the café there is very good. It is possible that, seeing some fuss being made outside, she set aside her coffee and croissant and ventured out to see what was amiss, arriving at the same time as the photographer and being ‘smudged’ by simple chance.

That alone was hardly earth shaking stuff. But to get to the meat of the matter one has to turn to what passes for a letters page. Now most weeks the Marketplace letters page is a sad affair, rarely covering half a page and filled with tiresome bleating content from the semi-literate.
Not this week! Let’s turn to that page and see what we can make of it. Firstly there is a slab of bombastic nonsense from golf club president Graeme Orr. In it he makes it plain that in his view the incident was deliberate. Someone saddled up their huge and possibly rabid horse and intentionally rode it back and forth across the greens to cause maximum damage. Nothing resembling proof is offered of course, but hey! Who needs PROOF when you’re on a roll?

Then there is a similar letter from S Williams of Blackpool, also taking the view that the damage was entirely deliberate and couched in the kind of terminology usually only used for deploring major acts of terrorism. I mean really!
Riding Club president Claudia Lapp is allowed to ’Call for calm’ as the paper hysterically puts it, and suggest the possibility that this was simply an escaped animal.

But it is the letter from Faye Storer’s faithful sidekick Jo Holmes that gives the game away and shows this for the deplorable beat-up it clearly is. Holmes’s letter is so ludicrously over the top, so revoltingly embellished with hyperbole that a chap could develop indigestion simply looking at it. The best is saved for last as she tops off her frenzied epistolary confection with that famous quote concerning good men doing nothing and the consequences thereof.

Well…I see your Edmund Burke quote and raise you one Shakespeare;

“The lady doth protest too much methinks…”

Way, WAY too much. So much in fact that it would alert even the most room temperature intellect to the fact that this is about a lot more than just a temporarily damaged golf course. Because let’s face it, when it comes to willful vandalism this island is not short of egregious examples, many of them council approved and drawing no comment at all from our local board.

So what is really going on here? Could this be the opening salvo of the current board’s election campaign? Didn’t that chap we all elected to fill the vacant spot on the board have something to do with the long running tension between those who like pretending they are in charge of what is really a powerful motorcycle with a nasty, brutish intelligence tucked away somewhere behind the scary lawn mower attachment at the front and those whose lives revolve around the questionable delights of poking a small white bouncy ball around a lawn with a metal stick?

Of course he did. And now it seems that the board, annoyed at finding themselves stuck with a new member voted on by a population still seething with annoyance over their clumsy and arrogant behaviour following the last election, are looking for ways to destabilise him. Well, that’s politics I suppose, and if Paul Walden is feeling beleaguered right now by the crass and vulgar attempts of his fellow board members to smear him with this then it is really part of the game.
Yet he should take heart and look on the bright side. The attack on him has been so crudely handled that it seems very likely to rebound on those who staged it. The obviously coordinated nature of the letters in both the Marketplace and the Gulf News must have seemed like a good idea to the perpetrators at the time but in cold print they look as phony and contrived as an episode of Masterchef.

The efforts of both Storer and Holmes to stir the pot are so cretinously shabby that they reflect shamefully on both. If this is any indication of how they intend to carry on in future then their removal from office next election seems not only desirable but imperative.

The person whose careless attention to detail on the matter of horse confinement caused all this really should own up. It’s only fair. Horses are huge, dangerous things and allowing one to roam is reprehensible. I know these things happen from time to time but in this instance your lack of care has caused a truly toxic outcome.

But above all, to George Gardner, editor of the Marketplace,
SHAME ON YOU.
Was the final loss of your paper’s independence and credibility really worth it? Are you now so lacking in editorial control that you were required to stand aside helplessly as your paper was hijacked for a beat up as cheap and trashy as this? Are you really expecting any of us to respect your paper’s integrity, (such as it was) in future?

A bad business all round folks, and where will the trail of poison lead next? I have a few ideas and I very much doubt that this will be my last word on the matter.

Straw Poll – Day 4

The Chair poll will finish tomorrow so last chance to express an opinion. A new poll will start on Monday. Comment here for suggestions on the next question you would like to ask.

Oh and whoever tried voting a dozen times in a row for xxxx did you think I couldn’t tell.  I think the results are fairly clear and the proportions have not varied much day to day.

Select Committee report on 3rd Auckland Bill Released

The Select Committee on Auckland Governance has released its report on the 3rd Auckland Bill today. Some changes are proposed in response to the overwhelming opposition from submitters on aspects of the proposals, however nothing substantial has changed.

There will still be 7 CCOs set up and their Boards appointed prior to the Auckland Council being elected, however the Chair & Deputy for each CCO will be appointed by the new Council and there will be some spare seats on the Boards for Council to appoint. Council now also have the ability to sack Board members from all CCOs from Day 1 and appoint new ones.

Roles and powers of the Local Boards have still not been defined. There are some suggestions, but they will not be able to make their own decisions or bylaws. Remuneration for Local Board members & Councilors will have to be defined by July 15.

CCOs will be able to make decisions and bylaws but will have to be more transparent & Council can instruct them to hold meetings that are open to the public. They will have to have regard to the Spatial Plan.

The Spatial Plan will have to have regard to the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act and other local Acts.

The report tries to reassure that water privatisation and sale of public assets is not on the agenda, but the release of the Local Government Amendment Act Bill this week shows that this is clearly untrue.

Public assets will be transferred to CCOs.

The Pacific and Ethnic Advisory Panels will still only last for 1 term of 3 years.

The Maori Advisory Board will still have no power to influence Council decisions.

There will be no Youth Council.

You can download the full report here:
http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/43EA0C70-ED59-4978-94DC-87610D 0DA91B/143605/DBSCH_SCR_4748_LocalGovernmentAucklandLawReformBil.pdf