November marked the launch of the local board plan with Jim Diers of Seatle’s city transformation sharing stories about the USA and inspiring us to dream about what could be possible here. We’ve worked hard on the local board plan, and while some initiatives may be squeezed for resources, we’re hunting around for pockets of money, people and resource to deliver as much as we can.

In spite of the changeable weather, November marked the real start to our visitor season with exciting things for both locals and visitors to do nearly every weekend. The effects of the NOW (November on Waiheke) promotions could be seen with lots of support for the Jassey Dean Garden Safari, the Walking Festival and the Olive Festival. The Walking Festival saw the launch of the Te Ara Hura – 100 km of walking track linking the whole island and marked by distinctive red posts so you can find your way anywhere along it. Well done to the Parks team and the Walking Festival for all their hard work. Details of this and other walks can be found by searching for Waiheke walkways online.

Craft people and artesans met for a chat mid-month. The publicity for this didn’t get out very effectively and I understand some missed out – there’s an opportunity to catch up again on the 17th of December at 5pm at the Red Shed. There was an interest in having regular meetings. There might be standing room only, but we’re all keen to meet there and stay on for Miranda Hawthorn’s exhibition which opens at 7.00 at the Shed.

Work has started on the Orapiu Road and this has been an interesting initiative with Auckland Council stormwater and Auckland Transport working together to deliver a road renewal programme.

December sees two local board funded Christmas events – the Christmas Party is on the 14th, and the Carols at Little Oneroa is on Saturday the 20th. If you’d like to get involved as a stall holder, activity organiser, etc please contact Renee on 0221632588 or casserly.renee2014@gmail.com

This Saturday at 8.00 am at the RSA there’s a public meeting for people interested in community housing – the focus is on discussing housing issues, brainstorming ideas, and seeing who might be interested in organising to address these things. I understand there will be snacks to keep us going. Natalie Jameson from Community Housing Aotearoa will be there to speak and we’ve heard from a number of people interested in doing work in this area. Hope to see you there.

Next Wednesday the 10th 5.30-7.00 at Waiheke Library – find out about social enterprise models for the new artworks studio (old library space) and the opportunities for social enterprise for the island. This meeting will launch the expression of interest process to establish how that space is operated. All groups and individuals wanting to work in an innovation, enterprise or creation space should come and find out more. This is an exciting new opportunity for the island and I’m keen to see how this progresses.

Lastly have a peaceful Christmas and a wonderful new year.
All the very best for 2015.
Shirin