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

RRA Meeting 25/10/20

The minutes as noted by the Anarchist Amanuensis.

RRA Meeting, October 25th 2020 10am… a beautiful sunny day with the best part of it wasted on a 1hour 45 minute meeting that could easily have been wrapped up in an hour.

Presided over by Chairman Clews.

Apologies – Steve McCrone, Kevin Hester.

Past minutes – a brief overview

Thanks to Tom and Chris for sorting the picnic tables at Sandy Bay.

Nothing has happened about the memorial seat for Rob Everall.

The financial report was presented, not much activity. There has been a $25k grant from Foundation North which contributed to the baseline marine survey around Rakino Island..

The background to the marine survey and proposed reserve was outlined.

Elisabeth Easther presented the findings of the survey which can be read here :

The usual qualms and misinformation were addressed, yet again.

Chairman Clews said that no decisions would be made without a mandate from the islanders, and Elisabeth correctly observed that any marine reserve is enormously difficult to achieve, and there are literally thousands of recreational fishers that will oppose any such move.

As usual, there has been no progress made on the Rakino Community Hall. We would expect no less. It appears the Auckland City Council would prefer to have the ratepayers of Rakino take over control and maintenance of the Hall.

Bev presented the Fire Report.

The firelords went off for service; two came back, one did not, as it was claimed to be no longer viable. There was a long discussion about dry fire-fighting, and the unrealistic suggestion with regard to volunteer fire-fighting education.

At this stage:

*permit only status for fires.

*20 permits issued to date.

*please get a permit that lasts over several weeks so you can have a fire when the conditions are right.

*Have water and tools on hand in the unfortunate event that the fire gets out of hand.

*Notify the community via social media if you are having a permitted fire.

*The fire signs are to be updated.

Josh said the fire pump is broken.

There was a reminder from Chairman Clews that the Fire Officers position is voluntary, and the position must be respected. He threatened to ring the police if he got wind of any miscreant behaviour. He then went on to say that all voluntary positions must be respected, and are therefore not open to any robust criticism. It’s not the achievement or lack of that matters; it’s the volunteering to be on a committee that is important. There was some railing against people going off and doing things willy-nilly without committee consultation.

Chairman Clews then held forth for some time on his opinion that the Fire Brigade wanted no responsibility for Rakino Island’s fire-fighting equipment because of that hoary old chestnut ‘Health and Safety’. Happily Matt Maling kindly pointed out in his professional capacity as a lawyer that you are exempt from prosecution under the Health and Safety Act if you are a volunteer.

Discussion then commenced with regard to the placement of the water tank on DoC land, and the complaint that ensued. The water tank has been relocated to Hawkins land, but not without a considerable amount of time-wasting and double handling. There was a plea for people to ask questions first before complaining to authorities.

Many people appear to be unaware that there was an intention to place a water tank and utility shed at the top and center of the island on the AT land, as well as being unaware there was an intention to place a heli-pad in that area, specifically and only for the emergency Westpac Helicopter to use.

This is despite last year’s minutes being published for all to read.

There will be a generator to power a siren in event of an emergency that can be heard all over the island.

General business.

Les announced that he had been bit by a dog 3 weeks ago. He has also been bailed up by dogs and knocked over by a dog. Chairman Clews suggested that Les would be better off complaining to dog control than the Rakino Ratepayers meeting, but did not threaten to call dog control about miscreant dogs himself. There is general agreement in the community that we would like more dog control, but alas this is not a view shared by dog owners.

A $1000 dollar donation will be made to the Westpac Helicopter Trust.

A secretary is needed for the committee.

A list of mooring holders was requested.

Jo brought up the perennial issue of cars and speed, with a plea for everyone to slow down because of free-ranging children and dogs, and Mark quite correctly observed that the laws of physics still apply on Rakino even if people believe other laws don’t apply, and it is concerning to see the number of children riding around on vehicles as ‘hood ornaments’.

Sarah Webb volunteered to be committee secretary.

Sheryl spoke about the new rules that apply around the inorganic collection; you must book in with the council, and you must keep the rubbish on your property.

Do not put it on the berms.

There is to be no illegal dumping, thank you.

>At this point I, the Anarchist Amanuensis, wish to make a couple of points about rubbish that were not discussed at the meeting, because I didn’t really notice until I went to place my recycling and household waste in the bins on Monday.

Firstly, not all plastics are recyclable. If you have a broken old plastic thing, chances are, it is not recyclable and should in all likelihood be put in the household waste bin.

If you take your empty bottles to the recycling bin in a plastic supermarket bag, put the bottles in the recycling, and the plastic bag in the household waste bin.

If you have used nappies or used feminine hygiene products to dispose of, for goodness sakes, scrape off the poo, wrap them up, put them in a bag, and then place them in the household waste bin. It is really unfair to subject Tom and the rubbish volunteers to gross things like dirty nappies.

We have the enormous privilege of a predator-free island, so either bury or compost your food scraps, because there are no rodents. Don’t put them in the bins if possible.

More possibility for recycling paper and cardboard would also be appreciated by keen recyclers.

Always remember; everything that comes onto the island eventually has to be removed…

Meeting closed 11.45 am

Many thanks to the provider of sausage rolls and the top notch chocolate brownies. You rock!

RRA Meeting 27/10/19

Minutes of Labour Weekend Public Meeting

Sunday 27th October 2019

Location: Rakino Community Hall


Stephen Thomas (ST)

Chris Clews (CC)

David Mahon (DM)

Natasha Holland (NH)

Steve McCrone (SMcC)

Rod Inglis (RI)

Adrian Townsend (AT)


Elisabeth Easther

1) Welcome / Apologies / confirm Quorum
After the tyrannical reign of SMcC, CC has seized the chairmanship of the RRA.
Quorum confirmed.
AT has announced his resignation form the committee. The RRA cannot discuss the circumstances of his departure until the investigation is concluded, but we would like to thank him for his service and continued support.

CC Chaired the meeting.

2) Past Minutes
(a) Minutes from the previous Committee Meeting (25 Sep 2019) were circulated prior to this meeting.
Proposed by CC for acceptance. Seconded ST.
Unanimously accepted.

3) Finances

a) Financial Report – ST tabled the financial reports. There have only been two transactions since the mast meeting.

b) SMcC reported 57 membership subs have been paid,

c) The committee will send a reminder to those who paid subs last year but have ‘forgotten’ to do so this year.

4) Community Feedback
NH presented the feedback from the community.
People have indicated they prefer the simple life, nature and the freedom that the island provides. They don’t like old cars, and fast driving. No shops was a common theme.

5) Community Hall:
Deliberations continue at Council, the election has slowed the process down but CC will keep us updated.

6) Marine Protection Area
There has been a lot of for/against polarity in the community. The advocated for a marine protection area will continue to seek funding for an environmental study after which a consultation process will begin. The committee wishes to re iterate that no proposal will be put forward without consultation.

7) Helipad and utility shed.
DM tabled a proposal to develop a helipad and utility shed on AT land at the top of Rakino. Jude MacLachlan proposed that the Rakino Trust will help pay for the materials needed to construct the shed. The RRA will seek support from the community to construct the shed and develop the helipad.

8) Local Board 5 year plan.
CC circulated copies of the Waiheke Board 5 year Plan, he indicated that the Rakino community should provide feedback in terms of 1-2 important issues that we want included on the plan.

9) New Business:
SMcC proposed that the RRA donate $1000 to the Westpac Helicopter Trust, increasing the amount form $500 last year. This amount represents the fuel cost of a return trip by the helicopter to Rakino Island. This was seconded by DM and unanimously accepted by the community.

The RRA will seek permission to place a seat on the path to Maori Garden Bay to remember the service of Rob Everall to the community. The RRA will seek donations form the community to cover the costs associated with this memorial.

The RRA will facilitate the repair of the picnic tables at Sandy Bay as they are no longer serviceable.

The Holland family has volunteered to run events on New Year’s day that utilise the fire lords.

The Macrocarpa (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa) on Woody Bay are needing some maintenance to clear dead branches.

The Auckland Council policy for inorganic rubbish collection have changed. Tom will make the residents aware of when to apply for collection. Tom has tidied up the Home Bay depot and has asked residents not to illegally dump rubbish anywhere on the Island.

The meeting closed at 12:30

CC provided really good cake and sausage rolls – thanks mate! .