A dairy-man’s diary – Greg Davenport on island diversity
Whether teaching maths or delivering milk, as shop owner and councillor, real estate agent or Rotary president, Greg Davenport has certainly mined the island’s diversity – but he hasn’t tired of what it offers.
Each of the jobs he’s had here has revealed a different aspect of island life – one that might have otherwise remained unseen. It is, he reckons, more like a series of intersecting circles than one cohesive community.
“People talk about Waiheke society but really it’s a whole raft of societies that brush past each other at certain times or over particular issues. It’s fascinating for that. That’s why we stay here – the scenery is nice, too. But really we’re here for the people.
“The marina issue is just another facet of that – people on different sides of the fence staunchly defending themselves. There’s always a row and always people who are passionate about the row. I find the island fascinating.”
His family first arrived here in 1976. Both he and wife Nancy had teaching jobs. During his 22 years of doing the island’s milk run, he’s bumped into a few residents to whom he once taught maths at what was then Waiheke Area School.
Deluge brings floods, slips and road closures
Sports fields turned to lakes, paths became streams and slips closed roads as the island was deluged with close to 130mm of rain last weekend.
Residents in Awaawaroa Valley were trapped as floodwaters poured over the access road, swamping a tour bus and causing several slips and washouts. There was also a major slip on Man O’ War Bay road and traffic came to a standstill on Trig Hill Road as a local contractor worked to clear a slip there late on Saturday morning.
An 88mm dump on Saturday on top of 36mm the previous night proved too much for the island’s already saturated soil to absorb and residents in some areas were out with spades clearing culverts to prevent flooding over properties on the lower side of the road.
Fire Chief and Auckland Transport supervisor Ron Leonard said that apart from slips, the severe weather had taken its toll of road surfaces with scouring damage and potholes appearing everywhere.
“Awaawaroa Road needs a lot of work and Orapiu Road also has some bad failures that need repair.”
Downers has been asked to provide quotes for storm damage repair, he said.
New book recalls pioneering days on Great Barrier
For a family that had just spent three months sailing from Britain to Auckland, the hop across the water to Great Barrier Island back in the 1860s probably didn’t look too daunting – but the island was to prove a graveyard of broken business dreams for the pioneering Allom family.
A century and a half later, an account of their hopes and frustrations is detailed in a new book by Albert Allom’s great grandson Barrie Allom.
Fierce winds cause major power cuts across Waiheke
Galeforce winds felled trees – including one that fell on the roof of a house on Waiheke Road – and caused widespread power outages from Oneroa through to Onetangi on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday morning, Vector was reporting that five different feeder lines had been affected by fallen trees and blown pole fuses. Additional contractors had to be mobilised from Auckland to deal with the power feeder carnage.
It proved a challenge. The initial estimated time for power resumption was 9.30am but that was later amended to 6pm for large parts of the island.