20 July 2019

After 18 ferry cancellations during May, Waihekeans’ escalating frustrations with the Fullers ferry services hit the mainstream media. In response Fullers called a public meeting on Sunday 9 June, chaired by former Waitakere mayor Sir Bob Harvey. Morra Hall was packed to capacity for this meeting, with more than 100 people forced to listen from outside. The numbers attending and their very vocal protests made it clear that ferry users are united in their demands for reliability and accountability from Fullers.

At a private meeting on 18 June, Fullers CEO Mike Horne said Fullers is seeking independent financial advice on the cost to Auckland of subsidising Waiheke services. Auckland Councillor Chris Darby, who was at this meeting, told the Gulf News that “…Fullers were fiercely defending their corner – suggesting that things are rosy and perfect with 99 per cent efficiency.”

Nevertheless, the discussion continues, with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff asking for Fullers’ exemption from the Public Transport Operating Model (POTM) to be revoked. Meanwhile local board chairperson Cath Handley is urging ferry users to keep up the momentum to convince the Minister of Transport to waive this exemption. Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye is also asking for heightened urgency on improving the ferry services. Watch this space…

In other news, volunteers came together to plant 650 trees at Te Matuku wetland in early May. Waiheke students and environmentalists joined forces for the second nationwide climate action strike on 24 May. Plastic Free July got off to a roaring start with a Market Day on 30 June, leading into a series of events organised by Waiheke Resources trust, Island Waste Collective and Plastic Free Pantry. Electric Island organisers have sourced four courtesy electric vehicles (EVs) for locals to trial for three months, each user driving for a week at a time free of charge. And three cheers for the local board, whose efforts to plan a facelift for Little Oneroa are finally coming to fruition.

In the ‘not so good’ news: a recent University of Auckland-led study suggests that our efforts to rid the island of predators are not enough to save our seabirds. Forest and Bird is also calling on Auckland Council to implement border controls to stop kauri dieback disease (KDD) reaching the Island, particularly via soil on vehicles that have been driven in infected areas of Auckland.

And  what’s happening at Project Forever Waiheke? We recently published the results of a visitor satisfaction survey conducted with 441 visitors to the island on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during April and May. The results were on the whole very positive, with the main complaint being how expensive it is, both to come to the island and to enjoy its attractions.

Finally, to celebrate National Volunteer Week (16-22 June), we launched our ‘MAD about Waiheke’ campaign (Make A Difference)* to promote community engagement and recruit volunteers for worthy causes. If you want to list your organisation, or find an organisation you’d like to volunteer for, it’s all right here on our website: Get MAD about Waiheke!

*Special thanks to Paul and Paola Dashwood for developing the MAD concept.

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