PFW Winter News Roundup

13 September

Lots of great sustainability action happening on Waiheke

The local community is humming with conservation, environmental protection and sustainability initiatives, mostly carried out by volunteers.  An impressive but by-no-means exhaustive list includes:

These are just the projects that have made it into the local news recently. Others continue their work quietly in the background, sustaining the community, the environment and the Waiheke spirit: the Volunteer Fire Brigade, Forest and Bird (Hauraki Gulf Branch), Native Bird Rescue, Meals on Wheels and many more.

You can find these and other Waiheke organisations right here on our ‘MAD’ (Make a Difference) website, which has been set up to help island locals who want to get more involved in the many fun activities that keep our community strong. To list your organisation , or find an organisation you’d like to engage with, click here and go MAD about Waiheke!

Does NZ need to better manage tourist numbers?

“Crowded towns, clogged roads, dangerous drivers, filthy freedom campers, congested trails: the rapid growth in tourism is causing concerns throughout New Zealand, and headaches for politicians and public alike.” In a recent North & South article Mike White investigates the growing backlash in New Zealand communities against the impacts of what they perceive as ‘overtourism’ on the health of our environment and New Zealanders’ ability to enjoy their own country.

Around the world, popular tourism destination communities are looking for ways to both protect their social as well as natural environments, while still hanging onto the economic benefits of tourism – Boracay, a tiny island in the Philippines, closed for six months to help it recover from the two million tourists it was getting each year; Maya Bay in Thailand, which featured in the movie The Beach, has been closed till 2021 because of environmental destruction; and recently Peru has further limited numbers to the wonderful Machu Picchu, not only to protect habitat for wild chinchillas, but to ensure a wonderful visitor experience. Closer to home, the Mermaid Pools near Northland’s Matapōuri Bay were closed indefinitely in April due to environmental damage from rubbish and human waste, and Queenstown’s council is seeking to introduce a 5% levy on accommodation to help address increases in waste management costs due to tourism.

With increasing community engagement and the many sustainability projects currently happening on Waiheke, we will hopefully be able to avoid extreme measures like these, and look forward to an enjoyable summer for residents and visitors alike.

Sustainable Community and Tourism for Waiheke Island

Send us your ideas

Aug 5, 2018

Community Consultation Report

Earlier this year, Project Forever Waiheke consulted with the Waiheke community, through a workshop and a community survey, to get your views on tourism and development on the island. Based on that consultation, we have produced two documents for Waiheke Islanders and other interested people.

The Community Consultation Report tells you what Waihekeans thought about both tourism impacts and current development on the island. It summarises people’s concerns and includes their ideas on how to work towards sustainable community and tourism on Waiheke.

Draft Sustainable Community and Tourism Strategy

Based on the Community Consultation Report, and in consultation with the Waiheke Local Board and Ngāti Paoa, we have developed a Draft Waiheke Island Sustainable Community and Tourism Strategy – for now, in a summary one-pager. Following community input, it will be developed into a comprehensive strategy, including tangible goals and actions.

When it is finalised, this strategy will meet one of the key goals of the Waiheke Island Local Board Plan 2018-2021. Its purpose will be to provide a ‘directional framework’ for the Local Board in relation to tourism and community development, and to inform decision-making by the Local Board, Council, local organisations and interest groups, and all Waihekeans. It is also intended to underpin future policy and strategy development by Auckland Council and potentially central government.

Please send us your comments

You can send comments via this online form.

If you would like to make a group response as part of an organisation or interest group, members of the Project’s Local Working Group are available to attend a meeting with your group for 30 minutes to answer questions. Please contact Pam Oliver to arrange that.

We will also be running two community workshops in September for people to provide input into the Draft Strategy Summary. Dates for these workshops will be announced on this website and in the Gulf News. peak