Auckland City Councillors accept the Roger Award 22 May, 2010

Written by on May 25, 2010

Waiheke Finally Presented the Roger Award to Auckland City Councillors Cathy Casey, Denise Roche, and Richard Northey at a lively Artworks Ceremony on Saturday.  

Amidst much hilarity and some sombreness, the award was finally accepted by the City Vision Councillors on behalf of Auckland City Council.  

Denise Roche spoke of conflicts of interest, John of the shenanigans that led to the final decision (unfortunately the recording mechanism failed so you’ll need to see him if you want the gory details).

Cathy Casey spoke poignantly about the personal stress of the campaign and the fear that went with feeling that her emails were being looked at and passed around without her knowledge.  

Many spoke of their fears for the new Supercity but some felt these fears may well be opportunities in disguise.  Mike Lee spoke of the self-governance opportunities that might arise, Jacinda Ardern spoke of her amendment to the third supercity bill to transfer waste management powers to the Waiheke Community Board.    David Clendon spoke of the travesty of justice that the contract was awarded to a multi-national over a local provider.  

For most of the people who had joined the fight at various stages the event represented closure and the recognition that although the battle was lost, Waiheke was radicalised into opposition to the Supercity.   

See the press release below for additional details.  

At this time last year the Waiheke community was in the midst of a battle to preserve its innovative waste management programme. The programme had been widely hailed as a model for the rest of New Zealand, with articles in the major magazines touting the advances made by The Waste Resource Trust and Clean Stream. Waiheke’s campaign to keep its highly successful programme, called Waiheke Does It Better, made news across the country with a music video that circulated on the internet and an appearance on Campbell Live as well as articles in nationwide publications. 

Although the C&R-dominated Auckland City Council Community Development Committee ignored its own waste management policy and the stated wishes of the Waiheke Community Board representing island residents by awarding the contract to TPI, some interesting things have come out of it.  The term "Mt. Visy", coined by a Waiheke resident, is now the de facto name for the Onehunga MRF. Waiheke’s campaign is also frequently cited in Parliament as an example of poor governmental consultation. TPI meets with  a group of Waiheke community members reglualry to montor their progress and see if they can attain the waste recovery percentage that Clean Stream achieved. Waiheke is the only community to enjoy that privilege. And this year, an independent panel awarded ACC the Accomplice Roger Award for the role they played in giving the Waste Tender to the dodgy multi-national, TPI. 

The award, however, has yet to be presented. Unsurprisingly, the CDC did not acknowledge receipt of the award. Now, a group of Waiheke Residents, headed by Millie Watkins, have put together an Award Ceremony at Artworks Theatre on 22 May, 2pm, to give the Roger Award presentation its due.  The ceremony will be attended by Mike Lee of ARC, Jacinda Ardern, Labour MP and David Clendon, Green Party MP. Denise Roche, Cathy Casey and Richard Northey will be on hand to accept the award on behalf of the rest of the Auckland City Councillors. Two of the Roger Award judges, Joce Jessen and Wayne Hope will officially present the award. 

The event on Saturday will close the chapter on the Waiheke Does It Better campaign. Many people put extensive amounts of time and energy into preserving a wildly successful  community waste programme, not to mention Clean Stream itself. This Roger Award is for them and the many thousands of supporters on the island and elsewhere. All are invited to come hear the speakers and enjoy refreshments and a cash bar.

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