Commuters beset by ferry breakdowns
A series of ferry breakdowns have resulted in Waiheke commuters having to cram into smaller vessels and some were last week left on the wharf due to lack of capacity.
Four Fullers ferries are currently out of action – including three larger capacity vessels. While one, Kea, is on scheduled maintenance, both Quickcat and Superflyte are undergoing unplanned repairs and that is causing chaos.
About 60 people who had hoped to catch the 5pm sailing from Auckland last Friday had to watch a fully loaded ferry leave without them.
Icy plunge raises prostate cancer profile
Beautiful spring weather eased the pain of an icy dip for the sizeable crowd who dashed into the sea at Little Oneroa as part of a prostate cancer fundraiser on Sunday morning.
Members of the Waiheke Police and the Waiheke Fire brigade turned out in large numbers, alongside a good showing of PlaceMakers’ staff, the company behind the organisation of the event.
Swimmers retrieved coloured balls from the water to be eligible for the spot prizes, and most grabbed a passing ball then shot out again, with the chilly temperature not tempting anyone into a longer swim.
Winston woos Waiheke voters with Gold Card warning and mounting debt
A warning from NZ First leader Winston Peters that retirees risk losing entitlement to free ferry travel hit a nervous chord at the Ostend market last weekend.
He reminded a receptive audience that it was his party that had delivered Gold Card holder benefits enjoyed by an increasing number of retirees “because we had the sense to say, if your ferry is empty then put someone’s bottom in the seat for free”.
David vs. Goliath story inspires feisty film
In a mini version of the 1981 Springbok Tour, a small Coromandel community is split apart by a clash of values which boils down to jobs and promised riches vs. the environment. Julianne Evans talks to one man who was in the middle of it all, islander Brani Mead.
It is New Zealand, 1983. The National Government under Robert Muldoon is in its last year of a long and controversial reign and the visit of the US nuclear-powered frigate Texas sparks widespread protests.
And in other news, an American gold mining company who have a permit to dig an open cast mine in the Coromandel hills, swaggers into the laidback beach community of Kuaotunu, promising 400 jobs and plenty of money for all if gold is extracted.
Many of the locals, however, are not impressed with these airy assurances, believing the environmental threat to their beautiful, sleepy backwater to be far more serious and longlasting than anyone is admitting.