Waiheke Marketplace : January 19th 2011
4 WAIHEKE MARKETPLACE, JANUARY 19, 2011 NEWS Local board sets its vision for island Setting the scene: The draft Local Board Agreement document will be included in the Auckland annual plan after public consultation. By GEORGE GARDNER Waiheke could get a swim- ming pool in the next decade if the new Local Board s aims are achieved. The securing of funds for a pool with squash courts and health facilities is just one of a raft of plans the board has listed in a document that states its intention to make Waiheke the dream location in the world s most liveable city -- following mayor Len Brown s pledge to make Auckland the most liveable city in the world. Auckland Council has tasked each board in the region to come up with a draft Local Board Agreement which will be negotiated with the governing body and go out for public consultation in February. It will then be included in the Auckland annual plan. The Waiheke draft docu- ment, which also covers Rakino and other gulf islands, was ratified by the board at its first meeting of the year on Monday. Among the other items the board plans to negotiate with council is the development of signs for the island that reflect its identity. Board chairwoman Faye Storer says she understands the council is preparing new regionwide signs but Waiheke has long had its own identity as a des- tination. I don t believe it would be appropriate to take on region- wide signage, so this is a move to counter that, she says. There has also been controversy between busi- nesses and the council in recent years over the tightening up of the signs bylaw, leaving tourism and events businesses angry at the loss of directional signs for visitors. When you have a signifi- cant visitor population you have to provide adequate directional signage to ensure they have an enjoyable stay, Ms Storer says. The document also states an intention to develop an affordable housing strategy for the island, highlighting social issues such as the 2006 census median household Waiheke income of $38,730 compared with a median of $63,390 across the region. With land prices having increased dramatically in the last 20 years, those on lower or fixed incomes have found it increasingly difficult to pur- chase or rent property, the draft agreement says. It highlights other issues of keen interest to the com- munity such as continuing to define Matiatia as a trans- port hub and co-ordinate local preparedness in the event of a civil emergency. The board also plans to negotiate footpath and cycleway improvements to the Onetangi Straight, street upgrades for the commercial areas in Ostend and Oneroa, increased service levels for public toilets and other amenities over peak holiday times and to ensure that Waiheke-specific provisions continue in bylaws such as dog control and street trading. This will be necessary because moves are already under way to standardise the bylaws across the region, Ms Storer says. At their monthly meeting on Monday, board members highlighted the role of com- munity engagement, the need for local decisions to be made locally , and, following board member Denise Roche s request, included a project to investigate the implemen- tation of the recommenda- tions from the 2009 Waiheke Youth Needs Assessment. After discussion about the library and service centre in Oneroa (see separate story), the board amended the draft to read that it would seek dis- cussions with council over the advisability or otherwise of combining the Waiheke service centre with the library project in Oneroa . Ms Storer says: In this draft document we re setting the scene for Waiheke and putting a lot of projects up front just so we can t be told later by the council we didn t put them in the agreement. The draft agreement is at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/ EN/AboutCouncil/ meetings_agendas/ local_boards/Pages/ waihekelocalboard.aspx and is attached to the January 17 meeting agenda of the Waiheke Local Board.
January 12th 2011
January 26th 2010