The Rubbish Report

Reading the minutes of the Labour Weekend RRA meeting I saw that someone had brought up ‘rubbish’ as an issue. I’m still uncertain as to what the issue was, as no-one I spoke to could remember the specific details of the topic as it was discussed, so I guessed it was probably something to do with putting recycling correctly in bins and composting food scraps instead of throwing them out with household waste.

I put my hand up to look at the way Rakino-ites put our waste into the communal bins because I’ve had some unpleasant olfactory surprises over the years when I’ve gone to dump my own recycling/household waste after my island visits. I’ve also been perplexed at the sheer volumes of waste that Tom has to deal with after busy weekends, the perennial issue of dead and dying vehicles, and the annual consternation around inorganic collections.

After speaking to Kayleigh Appleton at Waiheke Resources Trust I had an enthusiastic online meeting with representatives from the Island Waste Collective on Waiheke, and the WRT. The discussion was wide-ranging, but the most useful things I took from it was the possibility of availing ourselves of a can crusher from Waiheke, and diverting cardboard from the waste stream going off -island into a community composting initiative. Waiheke Resources Trust would happily provide a composting workshop for interested Rakino-ites.

Keith Enoka, General Manager of Island Waste Collective put me in touch with Bret Dragt from Auckland Council, who sent through the Gulf Islands Waste Plan written in 2018 with input from the Rakino Community, and some useful tips for household waste reduction.

Regretfully we have failed to achieve the waste reduction goals as set out by ourselves.

Tom has done an excellent job on the rubbish contract, tidying up the previous shambles at Home Bay, keeping the bins clean and tidy, and generally cracking down on illegal dumping as far as it is possible, but bach owners, myself included, could be doing a great deal more.

This is the 2018 Waste Plan and Report as it relates to Rakino.

As you can see, the ambition was to achieve the aforementioned composting scheme and use cardboard brown waste on-island, but this hasn’t happened. The bokashi bins have also not been utilised to their full potential. It’s a lost composting opportunity.

Bret Dragt also provided this helpful guideline for waste reduction :

Finally, here is the most recent waste reduction plan, out for community consultation now :


As you can see, the same issues still exist, six years on. The C & D waste referred to in the document is Construction and Demolition waste, the removal of which is the responsibility of builders and householders at their own cost, NOT the council and it’s contractors.

The lowest hanging fruit we can deal with immediately is removing all food waste and cardboard from the waste stream.

I propose we avail ourselves of a community composting workshop via the Waiheke Resources Trust, for any bach owners or residents who want to become composting ninjas. Given that the proportion of green waste to brown waste (paper/cardboard) should be about 50/50 in a successful compost I believe we could eliminate cardboard from the piles of waste which travel off-island.
I’m happy to facilitate the organisation of a composting workshop.

Get thee to the AGM!

(or, We Need to Talk About Island Democracy)

The Anarchist Amanuensis will not be attending the AGM of the RRA this lovely sunny Sunday morning. Apologies in advance to anyone who might miss my hot take on the meeting, but I lost heart somewhat after the Easter 2021 meeting in which the majority of members who were ineligible to vote by dint of not having paid their subs voted to be allowed to vote. It was never made clear exactly who was eligible to vote; I know I was, as I had paid my subs unbidden, but these are simply minor details that mean nothing, unless you are concerned about adherence to the constitution of the incorporated society.

I also lost heart when I realised the ‘minutes’ of the Labour Weekend meeting of 2020 were not written up till March 27 of 2021, a matter of days before the Easter 2021 meeting. I guess this is because the only person taking minutes in 2020 was me. I guess that also means someone had to bodge together minutes from the agenda of the 2020 AGM, and my Anarchist Amanuensis ‘minutes’. This may seem inconsequential, but only if you are unconcerned about adherence to the constitution of the incorporated society.

This meeting a motion is to be passed by Chairman Clews with regard to changing the constitution. We are not advised what the motion is. The constitution says this:

ALTERATION OF RULES The Society may make, alter, amend or add to any of the rules at any Annual, Special or Ordinary Meeting of the Society after ten working days’ notice of intention so to do shall have been given to members.

This is awkward, because we were only advised of the agenda on January 28th.
It doesn’t really matter though, unless you are concerned about adherence to the constitution of the incorporated society.

You’ll get to vote for for new committee members at this meeting. The constitution says this:

Nominations in writing for the election of officers, signed by the nominee and his/her proposer, shall be in the hands of the Secretary in sufficient time to allow voting papers with the names of all nominees theron, (sic) to be in the hands of the voting members at least fourteen (14) clear days before the holding of the Annual General Meeting.

This is mildly inconvenient, given the voting forms were only sent out as an attachment on January 27. Don’t fret; it’s only significant if you are concerned about adherence to the constitution of the incorporated society.

At any rate, I wish you all a lovely meeting, and I hope you’ve paid your subs. It’s my fervent wish that some fresh enthusiasm is injected into the committee to take on the not inconsiderable challenges currently facing Rakino; our community amenities, our fire resilience, and our lack of representation on the Waiheke Local Board. Some fresh faces across the board are desperately needed.

Over and out,
Anarchist Amanuensis.

RRA Zoom catch-up meeting.

Hi all! Passing this on on behalf of the RRA committee. Grab yourself a beverage of your choice and join this meeting for a catch-up with your Rakino neighbours.

Zoom is very straightforward to use. Just click on the link below prior to the meeting and you’ll be prompted to download the zoom application. Follow the instructions on the screen, and Bob’s your uncle.

Links to the updated Hall proposals and financial accounts are included for you to download, and please give feedback via the email address provided. 🙂

Greetings to all residents and ratepayers of Rakino Island

We hope this email finds you well, in spite of the strange times we find ourselves living in.

As you’ll all be aware, Covid restrictions have hampered many aspects of our lives, including preventing us from holding our annual Labour Weekend meeting, the all-important AGM. But this is life in Covid times so we’re pivoting, as people do and offering a Zoom catch-up instead.

Date: Thursday 4th November 6pm.  Please refer to the following link to join the meeting 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 894 2123 7258
Passcode: 131885

Please note: this is not an AGM, more of an opportunity to touch base, to connect and also to hear about a few important issues that concern our wider community.

One of the most pressing items of business would’ve been the Community Hall.

As most of you know, Auckland Council asked us for two proposals for the hall and, after consultation with the community a new build and a renovation of the existing building have been drawn up.

These are both provisional and nothing is set in stone, but they’re all about getting the ball rolling, and we’re obligated to send those two options to Council for this to progress so please assess the PDF attached to this email and provide your feedback. Which of the two do you prefer? Feedback required by 5pm Friday 12th November, by return email to this address...

We will also find ways to share this information with those people who we know don’t have email.

Other issues of importance that we want to bring up include matters pertaining to fire-lords, fire safety, and firefighting.

The financial accounts are also attached for your perusal.

As soon as we’re able to meet in reasonable sized groups, hopefully by Christmas, we will schedule a formal meeting, even if it does have to be held under the trees at Sandy Bay.

Also do sing out if you’d like to join the committee, it will look good on your CV!

Viva Rakino!

Stay well,

The R&R Committee.

RRA Performance Report

Hall Proposals

RRA Election time?

Is it time to review the function and performance of the RRA (Rakino Rate Payers Association)?

The objectives of the Association are set out in its Constitution.

At the Annual General Meeting candidates either volunteer or are persuaded to join the committee sometime later. There is no election process as is defined. Elected officers are those who volunteer for that role. Not much happens. There’s little or no communication with the membership. The Association doesn’t enjoy community support and more importantly respect. All fairly typical characteristics of any volunteer organization. Well-meaning. Volunteers doing their best, but is their best good enough?

In recent times things have been organized independent of the Association. We have enjoyed concerts at the Hall, the Nursery and at the Pizzeria. Yoga classes, art, weaving courses are all well received and supported. The community can make things happen if it has the will. Who needs the Association?

It does seem that decentralization will continue which questions the relevance of the Association and especially as it has seldom taken a lead or achieved much. The hall is but one example. Our emergency response capability is being withdrawn. The Association fiddles whilst Rakino potentially burns.

The Association is nevertheless essential as the body that represents us when dealing with say the Council. Council will only deal with the one voice. The problem with that one voice is that the committee is not democratically elected, doesn’t have a mandate on any position it takes, is seldom well informed and invariably reflects the opinion of the committee or some on it.

We have allowed this situation to occur. We don’t follow the prescribed process for the election of a committee and a Chair. We don’t give them a brief, a blue print for what we want for the Island, where we are going and how we want to get there. If we don’t manage change, it will happen regardless.

I believe the function of the Association should be three-fold;

  1. To achieve representation on the Waiheke Community Board.
  2. To represent the community with key stake holders and deploy expertise within the community for specific negotiations.
  3. To develop a road map which reflects the communities needs and aspirations, coordinate a blue print and invite people to take on specific function, unhindered. Performance is measured by success.

The Hall is a prime example as to why there must be change.

After years of talk, Stephen Thomas came up with a scheme to move and redevelop the existing building which he costed and presented to the community both on and off the Island. His concept was well received and he was congratulated on his initiative. We were to be canvassed for our thoughts. A no brainer really. Unfortunately, covid aside, nothing has happened. More of the same and for the same reasons.

We were told at the last AGM that Council preferred a new build on which premise a vote was taken to do away with the old and bring in the new. A concept by the Association was presented with a few boxes and improved vehicular access. It has since transpired that Council did not express that preference yet a new design is being developed after Stephen Thomas presented his vision and the ink had almost dried. Stephen had broad approval for his concept and has the skill set, drive and contacts to make things happen. Local trades, professionals and merchants offered their support. Meetings brimmed with enthusiasm and suggestions as to how it could happen and how individuals could contribute.

Stephen should be given the job to resolve the hall fiasco once and for all. He has the qualifications to present a concept and costings to the Waiheke Board, get approval from the Board, facilitate funding and consents, negotiate with Auckland Transport as regards transportation issues and bring the community together to build with fund raising if necessary. No one else on the committee has those skills and frankly they have had decades to demonstrate their capabilities. A significant job for a lone individual but Stephen is a team player and can call upon expertise within the community to finally resolve something which has been on the drawing board for decades.

No more delays awaiting the formation of a committee, no more waffle and grandstanding. Responsibility delegated to someone who know what they’re doing. Job done.

What else does the community need? Here’s but a few thoughts to make my point.


Lisa and Holly have shown to have the drive and passion to organize fantastic events with fantastic artists. They should be given carte blanche responsibility with an allocation of funds from the Association. The community should underwrite the associated costs and be willing to pay to participate rather than stand on the fringes and observe.

Sense of community

Why not our own flag, an Island logo, a letterhead, some merchandise that sets us apart. Let’s appoint someone with those skills, which may also include a programmer so that we can vote electronically on whatever design we prefer. The same program could be utilized at the AGM and at other significant decision times.

Other thoughts are; fruit trees along the berms, utilization of the land at the top of the Island for sporting events, a website which brings together all the other sites under the one umbrella, resolution of the mooring travesty, a welcoming committee for new owners, an information centre for visitors.

The possibilities are endless. Someone with a special interest or skill takes responsibility for a specific function after being provided with a broad outline of what the community wants.
Once again, answerable to us, not the committee which in time becomes largely redundant much as it is now but is no longer permitted to stymie innovative thinking or enthusiasm.

Thoughtful comment would be appreciated. The next AGM is over Labour weekend. Change is necessary now. I believe we need fresh blood on the Association. There are many talented impassioned people out there to make a real difference. I believe that needs to begin at the top.

The Future of the Hall

The fate and future of the hall has been in almost endless discussion over recent years, but matters look like coming to a head.

The RRA committee look close to making some decisions, and they are asking for feedback with a very tight timeline. I thought I’d help out by canvassing the community about what they want from public facilities, and encourage a bit of discussion.

We are told that saving the existing hall, library, and gallery / art space is not a feasible option, so now is a critical point to have your say.

In the past few years, here’s what the facilities have been used for:

*Wedding Venue

*Parties & Celebrations


*Art Exhibitions

*Studio space for artists

*Venue for visiting musicians

*Hang out area for the kids and other table tennis fanatics

*Community meetings

*Theatrical plays

*Shelter from the storm whilst waiting for the ferry

*Storage for crappy old furniture

It has been suggested that, due to budget constrictions, a new building could not have the same footprint, and that a dedicated library and art space would not be possible.

There are an increasing number of people visiting the island, so any talk of a smaller venue is foolish. We need to plan for the future, not ten years ago.

The council seems to be prepared to cough up around $300,000.

It must be noted that a show of hands at the RRA meeting showed strong support for the construction of a new building, because it was presented as a fait accompli.

Currently, the hall has a usable space of around 50 square meters, which is marginal as far as a functioning venue is concerned. The current proposal by the RRA committee involves demolishing the existing hall and replacing it with a turning circle for SUVs. The new building would replace the existing loos which is an additional zero meters above sea level compared to its current location.

Here’s an online survey for you to have your say. Log in and check the boxes for what you’d like to see from new community facilities, also please comment on this. I must stress this survey is not on behalf of the RRA, it’s informal but hopefully useful. The results will be passed onto the RRA committee. You have 3 weeks, so get amongst it! You’ll need to log in to vote.

I would encourage you to have a read through this first..

What do you want from a community facility on Rakino?
22 votes · 183 answers

Anarchist Amanuensis RRA Easter 2021 meeting ‘Review’, and thoughts.

Chairman Clews has decreed the minutes will only be published through ‘approved channels’, so miscreants with ‘agendas’ can be excluded. Alas, discerning reader, he was referring to this website, because I had the audacity to publish what he felt was a less than flattering portrait of his conduct as Chairman in my Anarchist Amanuensis minutes, which you can read here..

I believe it was an accurate portrayal. The job of the Chair in a community meeting is to move the meeting along at a decent clip, ensuring protocol and procedure are attended to, and that the agenda is adhered to, not to use the position as a podium to bluster at reprobates who have displeased the chair.

Because I find the passing of motions very tedious, I’ve chosen to write a review of the meeting instead. I will publish the ‘official’ minutes if they ever get published on the official channel, because they are community property, and I know how to cut and paste. Aside from that a goodly portion of you lovely subscribers indicated it was something you wanted, so I want to hold to my promise. Happy days.

Here starteth the review:

I arrived fractionally late to the meeting, so missed the apologies. Alas, I have almost no idea who is officially on the committee, so I couldn’t tell if anyone was absent.

Almost immediately some long-building frictions surfaced. Kevin Wragge and Chairman Clews fro-ed and to-ed, with regard to matters of constitution and whether or not the RRA was adhering to it.

It wasn’t, of course, but that’s because subs haven’t been collected in a long time. Here is the constitution, if you would like to familiarise yourself with it. Parts of it make quite interesting reading, but more of that later…

Stephen Thomas said the purpose of the RRA was to liaise with council, but having perused the constitution, I’d suggest it’s rather more than that, and some of it’s reason for existence may have wayside fallen in recent years.

The upshot was that most of the decent and long-suffering folks attending the meeting should not have been permitted to speak at said meeting because of clauses 6,7,8, and 9, but for some obscure reason this was waived. Alas! The meeting would have been considerably shorter if it had not, and we could have all enjoyed the lovely day instead, except for me, and maybe a couple of others who had paid subs, who may have felt compelled to stay indoors endlessly re-litigating meetings gone past.
But I digress…

Chairman Clews then decreed from the podium that the RRA minutes will only be published through aforementioned ‘approved channnels’, because of the aforementioned miscreants with agenda (me, the Anarchist Amanuensis). I have no agenda, of course, except to promote arts, culture, environmental and conservation values on our lovely island, but because I permitted Kevin Wragge to publish his concerns about the future of island facilities in an opinion piece on this website, with a careful preface from me, I apparently have an ‘agenda’.

To reiterate; anyone may submit articles for publication on including Chairman Clews, or any members of the RRA, for that matter. All I request is that there is nothing defamatory and no private emails submitted. This website exists to inform, educate, and promote community engagement and democracy. If you were at this point to glance at the RRA constitution, you would see that is part of their mandate, at clauses i, j, k, and l, but that’s okay, Rakino citizens will happily carry out those activities with no interference from the committee. We don’t holiday in a dictatorship.

I welcome your articles with open arms! It’s very time-consuming maintaining a website and trying to keep it fresh, something the secretary of the RRA will soon discover.
But I digress…

David Mahon then made his presentation with regard to the hall. This is a deeply contentious issue that has been re-litigated endlessly.

The upshot of David’s presentation was that we would have a smaller building with no separate space for the artists studios/gallery, and that the library could be down-sized to a cupboard.

There was no clarity regarding questions about budget, and no actual square meterage was hinted at.

We all accepted the oft-repeated stories about health and safety/maintenance issues/that the council won’t provide a community facility for ’17 people’, without any supporting documentation. As such, the majority of the minority attending the meeting all put up their hands for a new building, presumably to be constructed on a small footprint at the bottom of a crumbly cliff, but not until Barbara suggested a show of hands could be a good idea. Thank goodness for that suggestion, otherwise the repetitive re-litigation could have gone on for days. Kevin suggested an OIA was made with regard to hall costings. Chairman Clews concurred.

The most outrageous thing we were told was that Downer have not been doing the scheduled maintenance on the Hall complex as contracted, and to quote Chairman Clews, the trip out to Rakino to do maintenance has long been regarded as a junket.
If this is true, I would suggest the council take immediate steps to look into this claim and recover any costs due from Downer for failing to do their job. There does not appear to be any accountability, from anyone.

When the Anarchist Amanuensis took the hall proposal back to her compatriots who did not have the inclination to attend the RRA meeting, there was a righteous anger. A smaller facility is pointless; there will be no weddings at a tiny venue, no visiting musicians, no plays performed, no community arts, or holiday arts classes for your children. The library is a well-used facility. Never suggest to a community that you may downsize their library; it’s unthinkable! This would not happen in Auckland City, and should not happen on Rakino.

What there will be is a venue for RRA meetings, which will be perfectly adequate, because no more than 35 people ever attend them.

The community was invited to submit feedback, which I’m sure you all will!

Elisabeth reported on the baseline marine survey, the finding of kina barrens, sediment run-off, functionally extinct crayfish, and over-fishing. She spoke about Waiheke instigating a rahui on the collection of crays, scallops, mussels, and paua. The survey is still to be completed. We are still looking forward to the visit from Dr. Tim Haggitt to present his findings to the community. Regretfully ‘Walks, Talks, and Snorks’ had to be postponed a couple of times because of lockdowns and Cup racing, but fingers crossed this cool event can still happen at some stage. You can read about it here…

Please ignore the date; it’s awaiting a refresh!

Many thanks to Elisabeth for her succinct and to the point presentation, worthy of emulation.

The next topic to arise was the fire situation. At some stage there will be a meeting in town and on island to work on the creation of a community resilience plan in conjunction with FENZ. There was much reminiscing about fires gone past, and at this point I briefly started to lose the will to live. The Anarchist Amanuensis has asked a few times to be supplied with some fire safety prevention information to publish, but it’s yet to materialise. I’d love to publish some simple handy tips about prevention, and print them out to distribute to any interested bach owners and Rakino visitors who aren’t accustomed to island protocol around fire prevention and safety, but it’s still to be acted on, because no-one seems to have the time to supply them, despite education being what FENZ wants most of all.

Unfortunately all of the recent island fires have been due to carelessness which was preventable. Statistically we also have high rates of fire incidents if you consider the size of the island and the number of dwellings.

Les then provided the Dog, Dragon boat, and Delinquent report, which has become a recent highlight of RRA meetings. The BAD DOG that bit Les has been re-domiciled in the country, so good luck to all the hapless sheep out there. Apparently the juvies are out in force, driving cars underage, rampaging around on scooters, still playing at hood ornaments. At this point the Anarchist Amanuensis finally managed to shout over the top of the males of a certain age who enjoy dominating RRA meetings at volume and explain the Island Battleaxes including herself have had words with said delinquents but to no avail. The dragon boat racing hasn’t happened for a couple of years, and I believe Wayne and Carleen offered to take over the organising of the event. Apologies if I’m mistaken, but the good volunteers were sitting behind me.
Chairman Clews held forth for a bit.

Bev made her report in a good humoured fashion that is to be applauded, regarding the new no parking signs that everyone is wilfully ignoring. Please people, don’t park you cars there; it’s a hazard for pedestrians if you do. It’s also potentially an environmental hazard, and a Hank hazard.

Please be considerate. Bev is just trying to enforce the council rules, and she has no mandate to do anything other than to appeal to your better natures.
C C h f f a b.

We were supposed to nominate and elect officers, as per the sent out agenda, the relevant details cut and pasted here, however we didn’t get to 8, and 9 on the agenda…

“Agenda 10am Sunday 4th April 2021
Location: The Hall Rakino Island



3)Past Minutes See attached Finances and Correspondence ST to present a) Financial Report inc. Payments received / to be made , Cash Book status ST b) Subs Actions to get back on track c) Correspondence IN / OUT

4)Community Hall The hall maintenance is still a stumbling block. Present possible way forward on the hall but need to understand the community needs. DM to present possible options

5)Marine Survey Report. Due to Covid there has been a delay in getting on island meeting to present. EE to give update

6)Fire Capability for the Island. Need to discuss. Propose of the meetings with FENZ and the outcomes. Define best times to have community meeting both on the island and in city.

7)General Business


9)Election of Officers
Meeting Closed”

Meeting closed at 11.54am. I was relieved to see Kevin Wragge proffer Chairman Clews a manly handshake on the way out.

Sadly there were no baked treats or cups of tea. The Anarchist Amanuensis left feeling angry and depressed, and narrowly avoided stepping in a pile of dog turds poised outside the hall. Happily she ran into a good citizen outside who shared with her a fabulous idea for an island event next Easter. Watch this space! 🙂

If I were to offer up one criticism of this meeting in my review it would be that we don’t get to hear from a variety of voices. This is because a few men of a certain age loudly dominate, and it’s very hard to find an opening to say your piece. It’s not good democracy in action. I’d like to urge everyone to have their say on the important matter of Rakino facilities. You can comment here, by logging in and scrolling down to ‘leave a comment’, and of course you should send your thoughts to the RRA.

Cheers all! (and credit to David Shrigley for his excellent Venn diagram)

Wisdom from Yoda

Rakino needs you!

The Rakino Island community has a couple of pressing issues requiring urgent attention. One is the ongoing problem of the undermining of our Hall by the unrelenting sea, and the other is our limited capability to deal with the unfortunate event of a fire.

The RRA committee is voluntary, and the weight of fire-fighting and Hall issues are reasonably heavy burdens to fall on a small number of shoulders. They are also complex, and require input from experts, and a lot of consultation with Council, and FENZ.

It’s a problem in small communities that it’s hard to get people involved in committees and volunteering generally, because most people are busy, hate going to meetings, and if you volunteer to do something you often get roped in further and further till you just start resenting the whole thing and regretting your initial enthusiasm. Another problem Rakino has is that we don’t have representation on the Waiheke Local Board. It’s easy to get overlooked and by-passed. Things can feel futile.

For a long time, the burden has fallen to the same people in our community. That burden could be lifted and shared equitably if more people could spare the time to participate. When we work as a team, we are more likely to see a resolution to the pressing issues, as opposed to endlessly re-litigating them year after year.
Your informed opinion and skills matter.

Below is an appeal to the community to get more involved in Rakino issues, penned by Kevin Wragge.

This website was originally set up to disseminate information, and facilitate some on-line democracy, so whether or not you agree with Kevin’s thoughts, any feedback would be greatly appreciated and welcomed.


Fire and Emergency Service on Rakino is at a crisis point. Your community needs you…. Now!

Politics is a tough game.

It can be divisive, explosive and more often than not unproductive.

When we stand on the side-line it seems the answers are obvious to all but a fool.

Get involved….and it’s not that easy, or so it seems.

The Rakino Rate Payers Association (RRA) is a case in point.

Nothing much seems to happen. They don’t hold meetings. They don’t issue minutes. They don’t even collect annual subscriptions. The AGM is a bit of a yawn… a push and play. We nevertheless know that some individuals like the current Chair, Chris Clews has done more than most for Rakino. He always puts his hand up. He’s a good guy…. he has passion for the place. He describes himself as the top of the tree. He accepts responsibility.

Should we care that nothing much seems to happen? After all we don’t like change!

Should we simply be grateful that a few of our neighbours feel they can contribute to a better Rakino, join the committee and allow them to do what they do…until of course it impacts on…. you…me …the cat…a wood pigeon…whom ever.

I personally couldn’t. I need to achieve.

The really impassioned and irate seem not to debate a problem over a fence but go instead to the top……Local Member of Parliament, Council…DOC…. or like me recently, the Waiheke Local Board. We know who they are. I’m putting my hand up.

May I acknowledge that I’m a thorn in the side of all RRA committees. Its politics after all. My mantra is; do something…anything…but whatever is done…you’re accountable…to me…. you…the cat and the wood pigeon. Some things don’t really matter. Some things however have serious repercussion.

The critical thing that we need to understand is; Councils, the Fire Service want to chew the fat with a representative of the community and in our case the RRA. They don’t want dissent. They want one voice. They want things rubber stamped or in our case put on the back burner for year after year, ad nauseum.

This leads to a very important point…just one of many.

Fire and Emergency Services on Rakino

The RRA has been told;

The organisational risk associated with untrained community groups firefighting is not acceptable.

We cannot provide training to community groups who are not registered volunteers. This would require the establishment of a volunteer fire force on the island, including all the requirements such as medicals, guaranteed turn out and response, maintenance of training currency and skills that will take up to 3 – 5 years to obtain.

The reason I am asking is to clarify some of the points discussed particularly around risk reduction and education options given training of volunteers, medicals, police checks, currency training and time required to train a Fire Fighter did not appear realistic to the group.

 I need to reiterate we cannot expose untrained people to the risks associated with fire fighting or the operational risk to Fire and Emergency NZ.  

 I am happy to assist the Community in Fire Reduction and Education but cannot support any additional equipment to untrained and unqualified members of the public for Fire Response.

Should we care; damned oath we should care.

Are you aware that one Fire Lord has already been withdrawn from service?

Are you aware that the RRA, which doesn’t hold meetings, is in negotiation with Fire and Emergency Services and has ignored what is perceived as the risk to the community (you and me) and suggested some of us will be trained in good time? That’s the sum total of the RRA’s response…other than constructing a little shed.

Do you realize that Fire Services are saying the community should not be providing a first response but instead should await the attendance of trained personal from a Fire Station in Auckland which has that capacity at the time? One imagines they trundle down to terminal 3 at the Ferry Terminal and await the next Belaire ferry service…Wednesday though it may be.

We are expected to watch our property or that of our neighbour burn to the ground.

It seems to me that the focus is on risk, not of property but of people.

Fair enough but life suggests that in an emergency event, everyone will rush to help. It’s happened before and will happen again…unfortunately. It’s what we do.

I’ve got nowhere with the RRA or Fire and Emergency Services (and believe me I’ve tried) and in desperation have a approached the Local Waiheke Community Board to inform them of our predicament.

Its not for me to make decisions on behalf of the community but it seems to me that Rakino needs to establish an initial response of its own.

We need land on which to have all equipment in the one place out of the elements, a command centre, develop an emergency strategy, work out whether we could indeed meet the requirements of registered volunteers and receive FENZ support, purchase our own equipment, take control.

What do you think?

You may wish to;

Comment here.

Seek clarification from the RRA

Seek clarification from Fire Services; ‘Tawa, Dale’ <>

Express your concerns to the Waiheke Community Board Cath Handley (Waiheke Local Board)

This is something that cannot be ignored. We must get involved but in a constructive manner.

Kevin Wragge

Rakino Hall Future Options.

Kevin Wragge has kindly alerted me to this excerpt from the Waiheke Local Board minutes from a couple of years ago. If you have any interest in the future of our Hall/art space/library, it’s a worthwhile read. Feedback is encouraged and welcomed, as this becomes an increasingly pressing issue.

Waiheke Local Board 13 December 2018 

Rakino Hall future options

File No.: CP2018/22342

Te take mō te pūrongo / Purpose of the report

1.       To recommend to the Waiheke Local Board a preferred option to address Rakino Hall’s future.

Whakarāpopototanga matua / Executive summary

2.       The question of how best to maintain the ageing Rakino Hall, its future and management model has been considered on and off for over a decade without resolution.

3.       As the hall is located right on the edge of the Rakino wharf reclamation, it is subject to direct wave action from time to time and a recent engineering assessment costs options to address this as ranging from $290,000 to over $1m.

4.       Although Rakino Hall provides an important community and visitor function, it serves a very small community and the expenditure of this quantum of public funds needs careful consideration.

5.       This report notes that council’s renewals budget can be used to fund the $290,000 “lift and shift” option although this may have an impact on other priority renewals work. It recommends this option be included in the 2019/20 renewals work programme for consideration and subject to it being consulted on and supported.

6.          The report also discusses options for the future management of the hall and recommends that the lift and shift option be subject to agreement being reached on future management. It recommends the preferred option as being transfer of the hall to the Rakino Ratepayers Association, or secondly a community lease if the association agrees.

Te tūtohunga / Recommendation That the Waiheke Local Board: a)      agree to allocate $290,000 in renewals funding to lift and shift Rakino Hall as per Option 1 in the Tonkin and Taylor Rakino Hall coastal hazard issues and options assessment final report dated November 2018, subject to the following: i)        the proposal being considered alongside other renewals priorities in the 2019/20 work programme ii)       the proposal being consulted on through the 2019/20 Waiheke Local Board Agreement process and sufficient support being received for this proposal iii)      on project completion Rakino Hall is either transferred to the Rakino Ratepayers Association at no cost or managed in a manner agreed between the local board and the association iv)      associated land lease and reserve classification processes which include iwi consultation, being completed.

Horopaki / Context

Hall ownership and land status

7.       The Rakino Hall is an Auckland Council community facility managed by council’s Community Facilities department. It was moved to Rakino Island in the early 1960s from Motuihe Island where it had been a World War Two Navy barracks.

8.       The hall partly sits on a reclamation at the southern end of the island as shown in the below photo. The reclamation’s southern edge is both a seawall and foundation for the hall. The reclamation and associated structures also form the island’s public wharf which is managed and maintained by Auckland Transport.

9.       Rakino Hall consists of a main community room (single storey building in the photo), a kitchen and library which occupy the bottom part of the building to the left, and an upstairs art gallery and separate toilets to the rear.

10.     The hall straddles two land parcels. The hall itself sits on the eastern parcel which is crown owned, classified as a local purpose (community buildings) reserve, and vested in the Auckland Council. The two storey part of the building sits on the western parcel which is held in fee simple by the Auckland Council as an unclassified esplanade reserve.

11.     Under the Reserves Act 1977, buildings are not permitted to occupy esplanade reserves so the area occupied by these facilities has now been surveyed to enable the whole footprint to be classified as local purpose (community buildings) reserve.

Hall use

12.     The island has a permanent population of around twenty and up to 250-300 at peak periods during the summer holidays.

13.     As Rakino Hall isn’t on council’s on line booking system, no formal council held record of use is available. The Rakino Ratepayers Association and the Rakino Hall Committee chair have provided information showing that annually, over 20,000 people use the hall for one purpose or another or arrive by boat and interact with the hall’s facilities. This usage report is included at Attachment A.

14.     Other advice on the hall’s purpose provided previously by the association can be summarised as follows:

i.   the hall is the only public facility on the island

ii.  it is the natural hub for all movements to and from the island and provides shelter for those waiting for boats or ferry services

iii. it enjoys regular use by the community and in the last couple of years there have been many large events enjoyed by large numbers of locals and visitors based in and around the Hall

iv. as well a hall, it functions as the island’s library and arts centre, an evacuation and civil defence assembly centre and first aid post. It also has an emergency phone, post boxes and storage for fire and pest control equipment

Hall management and maintenance

15.     Auckland Council and/or the local community have managed and maintained the hall in a variety of ways over the years depending on council systems and processes at the time, practicalities and the Rakino community’s interest and ability to do more or less.

16.     For a period of time prior to 2015 council sub-contracted a resident builder to do necessary work.  For a couple of years after that the Rakino Ratepayers Association was officially contracted as hall caretaker and managed hall use, bookings and general care. In the past the association has undertaken various internal repair works including the replacement of damaged flooring in the main hall area and refurbishment of the art gallery at its cost.

17.     The hall is currently maintained by council’s Community Facilities department in a reactive manner in response to requests and issues. The association has suggested that the building has deteriorated due to the lack of a regular maintenance programme.

18.     Council sends contractors over as needed. The association notes that this arrangement is costly as often contractors need to come and assess what needs to be done, and come back again to do the work. Under the above past arrangement with a local builder, the initial assessment was done locally.

19.     In January 2018 a major storm over Christmas which coincided with a king tide resulted in damage to the parts of the hall. Locals undertook a range of repairs over the holiday period including removing the deck and replacing floor joists/ties, piles and weatherboards at their own cost.

Hall coastal protection

20.     As Rakino Hall is located right on the southern edge of the reclamation as shown in the above photo, it is constantly subject to coastal processes. At times these can be quite severe as shown in the below photo. There have been a variety of reports written and options identified to address these issues over the years.

21.     A 2012 report prepared for Auckland Transport proposed a replacement seawall in front of the existing concrete wall which was described as nearing the end of its life. It noted that only a remnant of a historic grouted rock wall intended to dissipate wave action remained (see top hall photo). This proposal never proceeded.

22.     In October 2014 the Waiheke Local Board received a report recommending that the hall be re-sited to prevent the threat of damage from severe storms and high tides. The board allocated $66,000 from its 2014/15 renewal budget for this purpose. Subsequent investigation identified that actual costs would be significantly greater and the proposal never proceeded.

23.     More recently Auckland Transport investigated what might be needed to protect the southern side of the reclamation and had a preliminary design for a new seawall costed at around $88,000. This wasn’t taken further as a resource consent was needed which was seen as outside Auckland Transport’s responsibilities.

24.     Council staff supporting the Waiheke Local Board’s interest in finding a way forward have recently looked into resource consent requirements for coastal protection works within the coastal marine area. This showed that such works would be expensive, potentially not get approval anyway and that regardless, they risked doing no more than just lessening the impact of storm events.

25.     In August 2017, council staff and Waiheke Local Board members met on site with a sub-committee of the Rakino Ratepayers Association formed specifically to discuss a way forward for the hall. The council team included two asset assessors with a specific role to investigate the hall and associated seawall condition and report back.

26.     Notes taken by the sub-committee record that council staff advised that the condition assessment could be carried out within a month and this would form the basis of a service solution which could take a further 4-5 weeks. The sub-committee asked that these results be provided in time for the Rakino Ratepayers Association’s Labour Weekend 2018 50 year celebrations.

27.     Two separate asset assessments were prepared for the hall and associated coastal assets. The hall assessment noted that while there were some repairs required, overall the building was in reasonable condition and should be fit for purpose for many years if properly maintained.

28.     The hall assessment noted that the building is poorly located and suffers from sea action particularly during south-westerly storms. It recommended investigating a number of options including additional sea wall protection, relocation and raising the building on site, demolishing the existing building and constructing a new purpose built facility off-site.

29.     The coastal assets assessment included the seawall, wharf and breakwater as well as the hall deck, overhanging roof and foundations. It concluded that a buffer zone of rocks/boulders in front of the wharf and beneath the location of the deck and rebuilding the remnants of the existing breakwater would be the most effective way to dissipate the wave energy from reaching the building directly. It recommended removal of the deck which had been damaged and is in poor condition.

30.     Both reports recognised that various consents and more technical investigations would be needed to advance these options. In further discussions with council’s coastal management services staff, it became clear that obtaining consents in this coastal environment would be difficult and it was agreed that a more formal and comprehensive report on options was needed. At its 26 July 2018 meeting the Waiheke Local Board allocated $20,000 for this purpose.

31.     Tonkin and Taylor were engaged to prepare this report which discusses the scale and type of coastal hazards faced by the hall and possible measures to address them. A copy of the full report which is a desk top report (no-one went on site) is included at Attachment B. Its executive summary (paraphrased) states that:

·    Rakino Hall is already subject to coastal inundation and erosion due to its location and these hazards are likely to increase with increasing sea level rise

·    The following six options were investigated at a high level to address these issues, including construction costs, effective design life (particularly in relation to sea level rise), planning issues and constructability.

i.   Relocation on existing reclamation (lift hall 1m, shift back 5m, build a 1m wall on the reclamation edge)

ii.  Relocation to alternative site

iii. Vertical seawall with a crest of 4.0m (and associated reclamation)

iv. Rock armour revetment with a crest of 4.0m (and associated reclamation)

v.  Raising reclamation levels

vi. Demolition and new structure at alternative location

·    These options provide a solution for a certain time period and then additional actions may be required depending on the rate of climate change

·    Raising the seawall (either via a vertical seawall or rock armour revetment) or moving the Community Hall back on the reclamation) would be effective for a period of 30-50 years, depending on the rate of sea level rise. Other options would be effective for significantly longer periods of time.

·    Collaborative engagement with the community and additional planning investigations is recommended.

32.     Each option is considered in detail in Section 4.2 of the report and summarised in section 4.2.6. (see Table 4.7 included here).

Table 4-7 Summary of options with rough order costs and main planning, consenting and constructability issues

OptionConstruction rough order costs (rounded)Effective design lifePlanning issuesConstructability
Option 1: Relocation on existing reclamation (Site shift)$ 290,00030 to 50 years (2050-2070)Consent required, but generally consistent with zoning provisions.Medium
Option 2: Relocation to alternative site$ 423,000100+ yearsNeed to confirm ability to construct on proposed location, extent of tree pruning, support of local communityMedium
Option 3: Vertical seawall$ 529,00030 to 50 years (2050-2070)Potentially challenging planning direction which may not support reclamationHigh (intertidal and restricted access to CMA)
Option 4: Rock armour revetment$ 255,00030 to 50 years (2050-2070)Potentially challenging planning direction which may not support reclamationHigh (intertidal and restricted access to CMA)
Option 5: Raising reclamation levels$ 938,000100 yearsImpact on other amenities particularly the wharfHigh (complex staging to retain wharf operations and parking)

33.     The Waiheke Local Board has considered this report and next steps at recent workshops and suggested that in view of its budget constraints, the age and life of the facility and the importance of wisely spending ratepayers funds if it was to support any option it would most likely be Option 1. The board also agreed to provide the report to the Rakino Ratepayers Association to be considered at its 2018 Labour Weekend AGM and the association has responded that its preference is for Option 1.

34.     The local board also asked staff to investigate alternative scenarios such as granting the association adequate funds to develop a facility elsewhere. This is discussed further below. 

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu / Analysis and advice

35.     Despite a number of investigations over the years into how best to protect and manage the hall, there has been no follow through and these issues remain unresolved. The purpose of this report is to seek decisions that will conclude these matters.

36.     While the most pressing issue is protecting the hall from coastal impacts, it is considered that agreeing how the hall should be managed and by whom should also be concluded at the same time.

37.     Rakino Ratepayers Association representatives are expected to attend the board’s 13 December business meeting and speak at public forum in response to this report’s recommendations.

Addressing coastal process issues

38.     Staff consider that the following options are available to the Waiheke Local Board:

·    Do nothing

·    Pursue any of the Tonkin and Taylor report options

·    Investigate other options

39.     Staff consider that the “do nothing” option, is really the status quo and is not an option if issues and history outlined above are to be resolved. Doing nothing would involve normal maintenance of the hall in its current location. Eventually coastal processes are likely to significantly damage the hall resulting in either expensive repairs or the need to demolish all or parts of the building. This could occur at any time.

40.     Staff have confirmed that renewals budget is available from 2019/20 to progress Tonkin and Taylor’s Option 1 ($290,000) without compromising delivery of other renewals priorities. As this is a rough order cost estimate only based on a desktop exercise, a more detailed cost investigation would be needed. The cost does however contain a 30 per cent contingencies allowance and the Rakino Ratepayers Association has advised that it could undertake some works itself, such as site preparation and re-establishment which are costed at $40,000.

41.     Option 1 appears to be the only one of Tonkin and Taylor’s options that would attract renewals funding. The Waiheke Local Board has no other budgets which are either sufficient or can meet the criteria to progress any of Tonkin and Taylor’s other options.

42.     The diagram explaining Option 1 from Page 12 of the Tonkin and Taylor report is shown here. As noted earlier, this option involves lifting the hall 1m on the existing hardstand, moving it back 5m and building a 1m seawall on the hardstand edge.

43.     Other options could include demolishing and not replacing the Rakino Hall. This will clearly be opposed by the Rakino Ratepayers Association. Demolition will itself come at a cost and given the wider uses of the hall such as a waiting area for travellers, and storage for emergency equipment etc, some form of shelter would need to be retained or constructed.

44.     A further option suggested by the local board is to provide a grant to the association to construct a facility elsewhere owned and managed by itself. Staff advice is that this would need to be funded by the local board and it does not appear there are either funds available, or a suitable mechanism to achieve this.

45.     Based on the above this report recommends that the Waiheke Local Board allocates $290,000 from its renewals budget to pursue Tonkin and Taylor Option 1. Given this cost relative to the small size of the Rakino community and other funding priorities, it is further recommended that the local board consult on this option as part of its coming 2019/20 Waiheke Local Board Agreement consultation process.

46.     It also recommends that progressing Option 1 be subject to a decision on the hall’s future management being made and this is discussed further below.

Addressing future hall management

47.     The question of which party or method should be used to maintain and manage Rakino Hall has never been comprehensively considered or answered. As noted above, Rakino Hall has been managed and maintained in different ways over the years. Formal responsibility for its maintenance and management sits with Auckland Council.

48.     It is recommended that a preferred hall management option should be discussed and agreed with the Rakino Ratepayers Association before a final decision to support Option 1 is made. This is because the proposed hall renovation investment is considerable and it makes sense that a hall management solution covers both structural and management matters.

49.     Staff consider that the following options are available to the Waiheke Local Board:

·    The council continues to maintain and manage the hall

·    As above but with agreed roles being undertaken by the community

·    The hall is leased to the Rakino Ratepayers Association and it assumes associated responsibilities

·    The hall is transferred to the Rakino Ratepayers Association at no cost and the association is granted a lease over the land.

50.     While the council managing and maintaining the hall is the default position, this is not necessarily the best option for the future and hasn’t resulted in the best outcomes in the past. It costs more for the council to manage and maintain the hall remotely from the city due to distance and the absence of island based contractors.

51.     Ongoing changes in council processes, systems and structures are considered to have contributed to hall management and structural matters remaining unresolved. They have also contributed to dissatisfaction being expressed by the Rakino community and locals getting on and doing things when they had to be done and the council wasn’t responsive. This has included significant maintenance and renovation works at times at no cost to the council, for example removing the deck and repairing foundations damaged in the most recent storm.

52.     This is the option of the council continuing to manage and maintain the hall with certain aspects being led by the community, albeit with costs paid by council as needed.  Having locally based contractual arrangements as has happened at times in the past would fit into this scenario.

53.     A formal lease over the footprint of the building to the association is another option. This would enable the community to manage the hall as it saw fit within the terms of the lease and free it from the issues it has experienced with council management. Although actual costs would fall to the community, in large part this appears to be what has happened to a greater or lesser extent over time anyway.

54.     Formal transfer of the hall to the community is the end of this spectrum with the community taking control of the hall’s future use and purpose, but still within the restrictions of the land’s reserve status. While the council’s resources wouldn’t be automatically available, the community could still apply for grants and assistance as many community groups which own halls do already.

55.     As noted above, any management outcome needs beyond the status quo needs to be discussed and agreed with the Rakino community. These options have been discussed in detail with the chair of the Rakino Hall sub-committee, including hall transfer to the association. Concerns were expressed about both transfer and lease options. These included it being the council’s obligation to manage and maintain the hall, costs, differing views within the association and anxiety that this could create internal problems, and the benefit of council managing the administrative burden given the finite resources of the community. In the past at least there has been some appetite expressed for transfer provided structural issues were addressed at the same time.

56.     This report recommends that the Waiheke Local Board seek local ownership or management of the hall for the reasons outlined above. This seems like a practical solution for a hall which has been lifted and shifted, which will be safe and secure for a further 30-50 years and which is hard for the council to manage well given its remoteness.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe /
Local impacts and local board views

57.     The Waiheke Local Board is the decision-maker over matters covered in this report.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori / Māori impact statement

58.     No iwi consultation has been undertaken in the preparation of this report. Iwi will be consulted as part of the proposed 2019/20 Waiheke Local Board Agreement consultation, if the local board agrees to pursue Option 1. Resource consent and land classification processes would include iwi consultation.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea / Financial implications

59.     If the Waiheke Local Board supports proposed Option 1, it would be funded from its renewals budget.

60.     There are a number of pressures on the Waiheke Local Board’s budget for next year which might impact on the ability to advance the Rakino Hall project. These include a desire to fast track the skate park, and unresolved budget pressures on Onetangi Beach access points and the golf club access road.

61.     Trade-offs, along with project timing, scope and cost reviews will be needed. Rakino Hall can be considered alongside these other priorities as part of the 2019/20 work programme agreement process.

62.     If Rakino Hall is no longer formally managed or maintained by Auckland Council, this will reduce ratepayer costs. If the Rakino Ratepayers Association was the owner or manager, it would be able to apply to the Waiheke Local Board for grants to support its activities.

Ngā raru tūpono / Risks

63.     The biggest risk is considered to be that no clear decisions are made on the hall’s future. Given the structural risks identified in the Tonkin and Taylor report, staff recommend that a clear direction is identified and agreed by the local board.

64.     A further risk is that using $290,000 in renewals funding for Rakino Hall might compromise the ability of other high priority projects to proceed or be completed.

65.     There is also a risk that discussions around what to do create relationship issues both between the parties and internally with the Rakino community.

Ngā koringa ā-muri / Next steps

66.     Next steps will depend on the local board’s decisions on this matter.

67.     If the board supports using renewals funding to lift and shift the hall, the renewals team will investigate and progress the steps needed for that. If this isn’t supported and there is no change to the hall management approach, the hall will need to be appropriately maintained by the council. If storm events result in further damage, decisions will need to be made on its future in response to these impacts.

68.     If the board supports any change to management arrangements, those will determine next steps we agreement, leases, roles etc.

Ngā tāpirihanga / Attachments

a Rakino Wharf Building & Hall Facility Usage Data29
b Tonkin and Taylor Rakino Hall Coastal Hazard Issues and Options Assessment31

Ngā kaihaina / Signatories

AuthorJohn Nash – Programme Manager,Waiheke & Gulf Islands
AuthoriserHelgard Wagener – Relshp Mgr – Great Barrier and Waiheke

Waiheke Local Board 13 December 2018 

The attachment below is the Tonkin and Taylor report prepared for council.