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Sunday, 30 October 2016

SELF-GOVERNANCE, MONEY, MARINE RESERVES

Those opposed to a Waiheke Council on the imaginary grounds that we could not afford self-governance are being blind to the colossal waste foisted upon us by The Empire Over The Water--by Rodney Hide's Supercilious Super-Silly. If we had our own hands on our own purse-strings we could cut out all of that. They are also being blind to the detailed, careful budgeting published by the Our Waiheke people. Of course we can run an island of 8200 on $24 million. In 2010 when the numbers were crunched the average rates were $1600; without Auckland they would have been $1300.

The hubristic Empire has a Rolls-Royce mentality and a waywardness with money that treats the
anguish of ratepayers with contempt. But it has to support its bloated staff of 11,000, and its
out-of-control 'Council-Controlled Organisations.'

Two large instances of waste out of many are easy to give. First the millions Waiheke missed out on
in NZTA subsidies for roads and footpaths, because for years they fell far short of applying for our
full entitlements. Second, the library. We needed a new one, yes, but it did not need to cost $9
million--after 'out of control spending' blew out an already exorbitant $5.4 million budget. A good
building with the same sort of facilities could have been built for a lot less than that $5.4
million, minus the fripperies and the huge waste in the planning stages. There was meeting after
meeting with expensive architects, making plans, plans, plans--which were inappropriate, and were
scrapped. So was the expensive newly-installed sign outside the old complex. The latter was an
example of failure to plan ahead. The Empire is incapable of planning a bunion.

Many small wasteful things add up to large waste. Small ones include the timetables in bus-shelters.
We used to put copies of the same timetables supplied on buses, which show all the bus and ferry
services all over the island, which is what people want to know. That was simple and cheap. But The Empire Over The Water decided to give unique numbers to all the shelters, and then to print numbered, customised timetables for each one, which of course must be reprinted and replaced every time there is a change. But each numbered timetable only shows the services from that stop, not all the services for the whole island. So now people do not get the information they need, but at far greater expense. Then there is manifold overspending on contracts, such as $3800 for four wood-faced steps in a bush track (which to add insult to injury were ill-made). That's about 6 metres of timber and some nails--roughly $30 worth. When I was on the Board I refused to sign it off. But they did it anyway. Rolls-Royce bureaucrats rule.

Auckland is a mess. An overspending mess. It is a overspending mess in its own backyard (look, for
example, at the number of times it has torn up and repaved Queen Street's footpaths). We do not need
that bloated mess in our backyard.

And to the people who have been running full-page advertisements about marine reserves demonising
some candidates. You are ignoring the fact that that would ONLY be done after an island referendum.
It would not be the decision of a few Board members.

Footnote: the 1989 takeover of the islands by Auckland City Council was illegal under the Local
Government Act. In the Act, three things must be true to be a city and a city council. When Auckland
took over the islands it lost two of them. Therefore from then on it was not legally a city. But no
one noticed so it was not challenged. We have the right in natural justice to get back was
unlawfully stolen from us in 1989.

AT AND THE BUSES

Oh, goody!, said the boys and girls at AT. We have a really, really brilliant idea. We'll get the
Waiheke Bus Company to paint its buses in nice flash colours. Think how much that will improve the
bus service over there where all them hippies and drug-addicts live. They will be SO happy. And it
only costs $90,000 per bus. Not much to us city-siders. So they gave the command: paint them silver
or silver-and-navy-blue.

Oh, goody!, said the boys and girls at AT. We have a really, really brilliant idea. We'll get the
Waiheke Bus Company to paint its buses in new flash colours. We've changed our minds about silver or silver-and-navy-blue. Now we want different colours, and 'Waiheke Link' and stuff splashed long the sides as well. And it only costs $90,000 all over again. Not much. Not very much.

Oh, goody, said the boys and girls at AT. We have a really, really brilliant idea. We'll change the
bus timetables. But we won't reprint them in advance so that everyone can look up the new times--and we'll make a mess of the website so that they will be hard to find there. And because we are very clever we'll put on the website that the buses leave the bays at two minutes to the hour instead of on the hour as they have for ever and a day. Think how much that will foul up the lives of all and sundry! Yay! Aren't we clever city-siders!? Oh, yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How wunnerful it is to have our lives ruled by mainlanders. You see, they have superior brains. Very
superior.