The future of Rangihoua Reserve and Onetangi Sports Park is in the hands of Waiheke Local Board.
A move to use appointed commissioners and two board members on a panel to hear submissions on a regional management plan for the area has been rejected in favour of the board’s five members making up the panel.
The area includes the island’s golf course and there have been calls for independent commissioners to be brought in, with verbal submissions at the board’s July meeting arguing for and against that approach.
Resident Flynn Washington said it was time for differences to be set aside. "I would prefer local people make the decision. Whoever is on the panel needs to look at the issue with honesty and curiosity."
Fellow resident Adrian Walden also backed a local solution. "Perceptions of bias might exist in the community, but I would still prefer local members decide."
Jay Clarke called for all board members, rather than some working alongside commissioners, to hear submissions. "You are all capable and competent people and the decision should be made here."
Golf club member Kim Kite said the club supported the concept of a management plan and a panel. "But our preference is for independent people."
Board deputy chair Paul Walden moved the issue be resolved by the board’s five members. “We were elected by local people to come up with decisions that solve local problems.”
Board chair Cath Handley favoured taking outside advice. "Anyone who goes on the panel needs to do so with a willingness to listen. If we do not get its composition right, there is a risk we will not arrive at a solution that is acceptable, let alone sustainable.”
The motion the board make up the panel was passed three-two.