Ratepayers beware – investing in the waka business can leave you short-changed

April 20, 2011

Paid for by Wellington ratepayers but housed in Lower Hutt.

It’s not going to attract Alf, if it happens.

But Auckland Mayor Len Brown wants waka racing included in the annual Auckland Anniversary regatta on Waitemata harbour.

As we are reminded by Radio NZ National, the day marks the arrival in Tamaki Makaurau in 1840 of Governor William Hobson.

In the city’s early days, Mr Brown said it included waka and whale boat races.

He told Waatea News that a return of those events would be ”brilliant”.

Alf can’t see what’s stopping anyone wanting to race their waka from going right ahead and racing.

Mind you, festooning the Waitemata Harbour with enough waka to crowd out the yachts would bring that “City of Sails” stuff into question.

The “City of Paddlers” doesn’t have the same ring.

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Oh look – $12.5m spent on a boat shed, but one of the boats is too bloody big

February 19, 2011

The farce of Welllington’s Maori boat shed gets more hilarious by the day.

It’s the shed Wellington ratepayers overwhelmingly did not want to fund.

The council’s spending – remember? – disregarded a poll that showed 84 per cent of respondents opposed the expenditure and said it was “outrageous.”

Oh, and it’s the shed that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, too.

And it’s the shed that was opened with lots of Maori ceremony, but with ceremonial waka shipped in from somewhere elsewhere in the country because one bunch of Wellington Maori wouldn’t surrender the local ceremonial waka to another bunch of Wellington Maori on the other side of the harbour.

As if that wasn’t farce enough, it’s a shed designed to house two waka but (as we learn today) it is not big enough to house one of them.

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