Waiheke Marketplace : April 11th 2012
www.waihekemarketplace.co.nz 4 WAIHEKE MARKETPLACE, APRIL 11, 2012 NEWS Candidates speak on pressing issues Voting packs for the Waiheke Local Board byelection will be delivered to 6500 voters this week. Voting closes on May 4. Seven candidates are in the running for one place and whoever wins will be working with board members Faye Storer, Jo Holmes, Jim Hannan and Don McKenzie for the final 18 months of their term. Waiheke Marketplace posed the same question to all candidates and this is how they responded, in alphabetical order. Sue McCann Herb Romaniuk Paul Walden Tracey Mancer Mary-Anne Benson Cooper Graham Hooper Allen Davies New member: From left: Waiheke Local Board members Jim Hannan, Faye Storer, Don McKenzie and Jo Holmes will be joined by one of the seven candidates in the postal byelection after board member Denise Roche resigned. What do you think are the main issues Waiheke people are con- cerned about and how will you work with the board to find solutions? Mary-Anne Benson Cooper With only 18 months to go, much of the budget and projects the coun- cil have voted for will be committed. I will honour those commitments if I can be shown their merits. My reason for wanting you to vote for me is this. Affordable rates: Wai- heke is an island. Yes it's under the Auckland Council -- Waiheke will be expected to pay for local projects. This means the local board will need to scrutinise what needs to be done first. Our prime minister has announced the 2012 plans for a zero budget. Reopen The Esplanade to vehicle traffic: The Esplanade should be used as a back-up roading access. Speed limit 30km, land for walkers and cyclists. Public transport: The bus service company needs to increase this ser- vice both to residents and visitors. Dog ownership: Dogs needs our voice now over beach restrictions and Auckland-wide increased regis- tration fees. Dogs comfort all of us, help the sick to recover and give so much energy to those of us living alone. We come to the island for space and freedom, fresh air. I want, with your help behind me, to help Auckland Council understand more time needs to be spent when making up the dog rules and increasing the annual registration. Allen Davies Because there are so many differ- ent and diverse groups on the island the issues are also varied. Issues I am aware of are the lack of a man- agement plan for the Onetangi Sports Park, the status of The Esplanade and roading and traffic on the island in general. I believe there is some urgency in getting a management plan under way for the sports park and having been involved in the creation of sev- eral such plans in Waitakere city. I would be able to assist with this. I believe The Esplanade should be available to motor vehicles as well as its present status. This can be achieved by appropriate speed restrictions and traffic calming measures, all of which are practical solutions. Traffic on the island is increasing whether we like it or not and we need to ensure the roads are safe and suitable for all users -- that is pedestrians, horses, cyclists and motorists. Unfortunately we have some one-eyed lobbyists pushing their preferred mode rather than trying to look at a solution for all. During my time with Waitakere City I chaired the roading and traffic committee and as a member of the Massey Community Board was the roading and traffic spokes- man. I believe I can help with these problems on Waiheke. Graham Hooper I don't have a group of people demanding a commitment to their club or issues. I'm totally indepen- dent. Because of that I can probably represent more local people with no conflict of interests. We need a pub- lic swimming pool and affordable accommodation for low income workers. A lot of people were annoyed when a very vocal group got the historic public Esplanade Rd closed. And yet those same people celebrated the reopening of the loop road'' to Man O' War Bay. If the Esplanade Rd was sealed to reduce dust problems and opened One Way only for vehicles, Blackpool to Surfdale direction, with a raised centre barrier and bol- lards kept in the same place on the sea-side of the road to separate all road users it would be safe for cyclists, walkers, etc. Emergency services fire/police wouldn't need to unlock bollards if the main road was blocked. Can we as a community save the protected'' Belgium St pohutuk- awas? I can work with the present four board members over the next 18 months. A protest vote against the Waiheke board is pointless. Four will always beat one and I want to work with them, not against, for the sake of our com- munity. Tracey Mancer I think the issues that Waiheke people are concerned about are many and varied, just like the com- munity. There are some very specific issues like waste manage- ment, the increase in dog fees and beach restrictions, parking at Matiatia, the cost of travel, develop- ment on the island, conservation protection and how the Artworks/ library complex will affect some people. On the more general side, many Waihekeans seem to be concerned about whether Auckland Council will give Waiheke what it needs (not turning Waiheke into a concrete jungle like Auckland) and help manage our population growth while maintaining the character of the island. I will bring a positive attitude to the board while working towards finding creative solutions which meet people's needs. I have good connections across a wide cross-section of the community which allows me to access different perspectives within the community. I will ensure the board is made aware of the different sides to every issue, work hard and represent Waiheke to the best of my ability. Sue McCann After canvassing a range of people I have concluded there are general issues that concern Wai- heke Islanders and there are cur- rent issues. The two are separate but intertwined. The general issues are: 1. The affordability of living on the island, especially housing and transport. 2. The attraction and retention of businesses in particular job creation for locals. 3. The preservation and protection of the natural environ- ment especially marine. 4. Season- ality -- the annual boom/bust cycle, and the under utilisation of existing infrastructure -- accommodation, transport, cafes, retail, etc -- in the tourist off-season. 5. Care for the elderly. 6. Promotion of creative enterprise and the protection of Maori heritage. 7. Recognition that the geographical and demographic make-up of Waiheke Island is not only its strength but also its chal- lenge. The current issues are: 1. Closure v opening of The Esplanade. 2. The conflict at Rangihoua. 3. Planning issues around the new supermar- ket. 4. Dog bylaws. 5. A new swim- ming pool. 6. Parking at Matiatia. 7. Closure of Seaside Sanctuary. 8. Boat ramp access. I have already worked with the current board via the community workshops. I learnt it's important to be open-eared and open-minded when looking at solutions for com- munity issues, and to be ever mind- ful that decisions made affect other people's lives. Herb Romaniuk I recognise Waiheke Islanders have many different views, some- times polarising. But the most important thing is that local decisions are made locally. The super-city commission recognised that Waiheke should and could determine its own future. The law's in place but the local board has still not been given the powers. Despite the professionalism of the Council Controlled Organisations it is my view that serious decisions affecting Waiheke should only be made after regular and direct con- sultation with the local board. Often decisions affecting roads and park- ing are made without any reference to the community. I will reinforce the local board's efforts to communi- cate with council officers and man- agement of the CCOs by scheduled meetings to offer advice and discuss our concerns. I have the experience of Waiheke -- I've lived here for the past 20 years. I have a 40-year legal and business background and am well equipped to deal with the legal and business community. I have the experience of local body politics--Iw a saW aihekeCo m - munity Board member for six years and attended a number of local body conferences. Waiheke has been given a voice. Waiheke's voice should be heard. I'm passionate about Waiheke's future. Paul Walden We need to protect our island home. Our local board's most vital role is the advocacy with Auckland Council on Waiheke's own distinct expectations, goals and experience, one size does not fit all and the islands of the gulf are different from the city and its suburban areas. Our local democracy is being redefined as the super-city beds down amid the reality of these difficult financial times. We have seen our resthome closed, council budgets slashed, jobs lost, rates raised, further taxes in the form of service charges such as with the dog regulations. We rely on ferry services with no competition making our trip to the city one of the world's most expensive. Our local board is having to fight to be heard by the super-city and CCOs. It is more important than ever that the diversity of our com- munity is represented. Three generations of my family live on Waiheke today, my wife Joanne and I are raising a family here, I am an employer in business on the island and am involved in our community groups from Ostend Residents through Forest and Bird and Sea Scouts. I will continue to work as a strong advocate for those raising families here, for our elders, communities, environment and local business.
April 4th 2012
April 18th 2012