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A Waiheke Island Myth Part 1 On Waiheke Island, New Zealand, a myth has grown up among a handful of people in the Rocky Bay Village th...

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Thursday, 2 October 2008


Once upon a time, long ago, when the world was young and innocent there was no Northern Service Lane in Oneroa.

'O dismay! Quelle horreur! And catastrophe piled on disaster and chaos!' roared that well-known and very up-to-date and modern and clever and world-class beast, Aucklandcitycrunchosaurus Wrecks. 'You dumb-'n-backward Waihekeans gotta have a cute NSL in Oneroa. You juss gotta.'

'Woffor?' enquired the islanders, resorting to reason under the delusion that A.Wrecks had a brain larger than a genetically-challenged chickpea.

'Coz our giant brain has decided itsa Good Thing,' roared The Beast.

'But we don't like it, we don't want it--and we don't need it,' wailed the people, still trying reason.

'O goody!' roared The Beast. 'That's three humungously excellent reasons for building it.'

'But we don't have no money,' wailed the people, still trying reason (stubborn dummies!).

'You're obviously stubborn dummies!' roared The Beast. 'But cheers for giving me another humungously excellent reason,' as it reached for a squadron of bulldozers, and filched mega-sacks of dollars for its snackies from all the people's pockets.

After the NSL was all finished, and embellished with lotsa loverly-but-absolutely-useless concrete patterns and colours wot A. Wrecks likes, The Beast gave a huge-n-gleeful roar and waved a pricetag of $1,324,452.22 million under the noses of the people. It belched gloatings galore as it pointed to the super-loverly breakdown on the other side.

'Look,' it belchingly drooled. 'Look at all these loverly numbers--$830,064.72 for physical works, $240,000 for land-compensation, $8,655.78 for legal costs, $33,463.57 for legal services, $2,994.45 for planning services, $156,015.15 for planning/design services, $15,906.37 for staff costs, and $37,352.18 for valuation/property services. O what droolful sights! And didya like the drooly total of that loverly last three!? O yibiddy belch and hurrah! A great big goobly $245,731.72 smackaroodings!

'So now,' it exulted, 'you really don't have no money. It's all been spent by a real brain--mine--what you island dummies won't never have.'

'But you shouldn't have built it,' wailed the people. 'And you didn't get us a cent of government subsidy from the NZ Transport Agency. You should have got 53%, because it's a new road, then your bloated mega-snackies and belches would have cost us half as much--you'd have saved us heaps and heaps.'

'Island dummies,' roared The Beast, 'you obviously don't unnerstand the elevated arts of public management and fiduciary brilliance.'

'Oh!' said the people, trying to work out whether to laugh or cry.

And they all lived happily never after (stop that sobbing, please!).


[Footnote: Research on roading expenditure further to what I wrote about a few months back has revealed that over the last four years Auckland City Council has spent $53.169 million on roading on the Hauraki Gulf Islands, but got government subsidies of only $8.736 million--a trifling 16.43% instead of the 43%-plus that it should have got (43% for road maintenance and renewal and 53% for new roads). If it had got what everything it should have it would have had at least $22.33 million more to spend on our roads. Yet there are still those who insist that Auckland is doing a good job on our roads!]