October was a fabulous month for events and it’s great to see us kicking off Spring with a range of interesting activities. The Goodlife Ecofest was a roaring success and testament to the great opportunities there are with a dedicated coordinator and team working with Council staff on a shoestring budget. Well done everyone. The Book Festival also goes from strength to strength, and I was sorry to have missed seeing Craig Potton, publisher, photographer and environmental activist. Lots of interesting exhibitions at our art galleries too.
The Wild Food Challenge was also a very popular event and October also saw Waiheke inaugural beerfest, and vintage and military vehicles could be seen roaming the streets.
This month look out for the Walking Festival with a huge range of walks and runs to suit different tastes and ages, the launch of the Round Waiheke Walkway – Te Ara Hura (The Discovery Path) with an addition to our walking network. Spot the short, wooden post “breadcrumb trails” to follow the routes. An exciting new feature is the cross promotion of this event through NOW (November on Waiheke) where the Walking Festival, the Jassey Dean Garden Safari, the Olive Festival have joined some of their promotional budget and leveraged great editorial content in various websites and magazines. All are incredibly popular events which bring great opportunities to the local economy and provide a lovely way to share what we have and develop new friendships with people off island.
Plans are underway for the Christmas Festival Carols at Little Oneroa on the 14th and the Waiheke Christmas Party (previously the Christmas Festival and before that the Parade) on the 21st. The venue is moving to Artworks and will feature the courtyard space, and the Artworks complex. Potential stall holders – commercial, community and individual stallholders and/or entertainment/craft ideas people are invited to contact email@example.com
We’re going to be looking at tenders for the old library space fitout shortly and hope to get this underway as soon as possible so that it is a useable space that complements our new library and provides a community hub. At the moment we’re looking at operation models to support an activated space and support community and social enterprise schemes and outcomes.
Dealing with budgets in Council continues to be a moving feast. Council officers and the Local Board are doing our best to see how we can deliver on key projects and initiatives while meeting the identified community needs, aspirations and priorities of the Local Board plan.
The Marina Hearings were a big part of community life in October and the judge has now stepped back to ruminate. Hopefully after he has digested and processed we’ll have an outcome that we can all live with.
In terms of transport, initial thoughts are coming back for short term solutions for Matiatia, the Orapiu Road has had useful input from stormwater and roading and is looking forward to a bit of a spruce up.
As we know there is too little parking for the number of people who want to park at the ferry. Longer term solutions can involve more space, better public transport, more people on bikes and scooters, etc. but in the meantime it’s important to share and think about whether you really have to park there on a particular day or whether you could leave space for others who might need to be close to the terminal. Auckland Transport’s response to parking is to manage everything through pricing if things get too full. As a park and ride it would be better managed through a time solution but for some reason there seems to be an unwillingness to consider this – a bit of feedback to their website might help here. Personally I favour a time solution – no parking in this area before a certain time, or more seven hour parking to allow for greater flexibility of use. Also, please think of logging any accidents, danger spots, near misses with AT as these are used to prioritise safety measures on roads.
Explore are now running their services to and from Central Auckland to Matiatia which is an exciting new development in ferry services. Please support all our ferry companies, as without subsidies and inclusion in integrated transport, competition provides some choice and customer protection against unilateral fare increases.