Gulf News has asked candidates for the Waiheke Local Board a series of questions about how they work, their goals and their opinions on key local issues. In the weeks before the Auckland Council elections we publish their answers to new questions in each issue.
This week’s questions
for the board candidates are:
1. Do you support the marine reserve proposal put forward by the Friends of the Hauraki Gulf, led by Mike Lee?
2. What’s your take on how to fix issues related to the unregulated fares and practices of Waiheke ferry services?
3. What would you do to ensure Waiheke’s infrastructure is adequate for even the busiest summer periods?
4. What’s your go-to method for resolving conflict?
[Note: Some answers have been edited for length.]
1. I do support it… as part of a larger piece of work but rather than terming it as a reserve, I think it should be designated a research area for ascertaining the health of one particular area… I also call for an immediate halt to commercial fishing… in our Gulf and the Economic Exclusion Zone. Plus a review of the 35-year consent to do capital dredge and thus dumping in the EEZ by the Ports of Auckland.
2. That’s a government procedural issue to rectify the wrongs in the PTOM as agreed with John Key and Stephen Joyce but we can continue to advocate for Michael Woods and our own Central Auckland MP Chlõe Swarbrick (and Auckland Council) to continue to push against it and look for solutions. Ideally AT would own and operate the ferry service.
3. Educate our tourists as to our water issues and make sure accommodation providers are part of that. Videos and media alerting the public to the fragility of our environment should be all over our transport hubs and ferries… Researching the ramifications of providing a pump-out station for campers and boats and upgrading our only camping areas should be a top priority.
4. Building consensus by finding common ground. Allow everyone’s voices to be heard and respected. Engage our island coaches to help in conflict resolution and above all be kind.