Local Board gave 500k Foothills Heritage Area funding away!

Waitakere Ranges Local Board takes the  funding from Waitakere Ranges Heritage Foothills and gives it to Community Waitakere Trust (Relationships with Trustee/ Local Board Member Steve Tollestrup, and Patron/ Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse).

The  Quarterly Budget report for Waitakere says,   “Un-utilised funds on the Waitakere Ranges Foothills Heritage area has been used to fund Community Waitakere within community services activity.”  (From the Waitakere Ranges LocalBoard Agenda, 28 August, p33 Attachment A, ),There was  an underspend of $517,000 on the Environment and Heritage Protection accounts line.

It’s only the first quarter.  Why not spend the un-utilised funds on Community Projects requested by communities in the Heritage Area?

We’ve made a number of requests to our local board for funding.  This funding was part of the Long Term 2011/14 draft plan.  And it’s met legal requirements of public consultation.

The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area is a specific budget that relates to our area.  I see they now call it foothills budget in the description – previously it was just heritage area.  The foothills are the only area that has had no maintenance budget.  The Coasts have rangers and seperate Coastal maintenance budgets – Nice.  Oratia has 0$ allowed for in the 2014 budget.

The  Sustainable Neighbourhoods component of the Waitakere Ranges Programme has been  come under review due to lack of certainty around delivery (amended 4/9) .  So instead of choosing a new project this new Agenda item proposes scooping the questionable  funding into another charitable trust with conflict of interest with our elected members.  There has been no fair process and Community Waitakere has no relationship to the Heritage Area purpose of the funding.  Or if it does could a council rep  please attend our R&R meeting and enlighten us.

Why wasn’t this funding discussed with the Foothills, and put into a local communtiy project.  It’s only the first quarter budget, why is it being given away?

Sigh, it’s a continual attack on our foothills community.

by Penny Sparks