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PFW Midsummer News

January 21, 2019

With the end of the school holidays looming, we can reflect that as well as  creating heavy traffic and crowded beaches, the influx of visitors has given the island’s economy a big boost. And so far, we have managed to avoid the water crisis we experienced in the 2017-18 peak holiday season, thanks at least in part to the water conservation campaigns of Project Forever Waiheke and the Waiheke Resources Trust.

Early in the New Year, many were astonished to see the large cruise ship Seabourn Encore anchored just outside Matiatia, with passengers delivered to shore by lighters, to enjoy organised tours or get themselves around while on the island. One way to take the pressure off the ferry service…

However, locals and visitors alike have experienced numerous delays to Fullers services due to vessel breakdown, as well as congestion at Matiatia and confusion around the downtown locals’ lane, which is currently not working satisfactorily.

Several initiatives are underway to address some of our most pressing traffic and transport issues. The Waiheke Transport Forum had its first meeting  on December 6, with a mandate to look at ways to improve the island’s roads, cycleways, car parks marine transport and footpaths. And the Waiheke Pathways Plan released by the Local Board last month sets out a 10-year programme of upgrades, improvements, new paths and maintenance that should make getting around the island safer for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.

Since mid-December, Project Forever Waiheke has been monitoring use of the Explorer buses, the numbers of vehicles arriving on selected Sealink sailings and the traffic flow along Belgium Street, and will be providing the data to the Local Board at the end of February.

The Local Board is also working hard to establish a more open and collaborative relationship with Auckland Transport in 2019. Cheers to that!

Meanwhile, Waiheke holiday-home providers are continuing to fight a potentially crippling local body rates increase, and many local low-income earners are feeling the pinch due to recent increases in rent, rates, ferry fares, car parking and petrol.

On a more positive note, two no-waste nomads from The Rubbish Trip will bring their zero-waste message to islanders on 31 January and 3 February. A pilot citizen science project to assess and regenerate kelp along the north shore of the island will begin this March. Auckland Council is for the first time providing a floating waste barge to help boaties dispose of their litter and debris correctly. And a dotterel chick that hatched on the High School field took to the sky on 13 January, thanks to the efforts of everyone involved in protecting the nesting site.

Finally, here’s an idea that could be pertinent, from one of the most over-touristed places in the world: Venice to charge day-trippers up to €10 to enter city.

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