Waiheke Island takes a stand over double-deckers

Waiheke activist Susi Newborn, of Rainbow Warrior fame, is among the protestors.
SHANI WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ

Waiheke activist Susi Newborn, of Rainbow Warrior fame, is among the protestors.

More than 2000 Waiheke Island residents are petitioning for the immediate removal of Fullers' double decker tourist buses from the island. 

The group has contacted Mayor Phil Goff, Auckland Transport and the Waiheke Local Board to request an urgent meeting.

Double decker buses were introduced on December 10, 2016 for tourists to the paradise island, which lies 35 minutes by Fullers' ferry from Auckland.

Waiheke resident Stephanie Honeychurch has been collecting signatures for the petition. "Most locals are glad to sign ...
SHANI WILLIAMS

Waiheke resident Stephanie Honeychurch has been collecting signatures for the petition. "Most locals are glad to sign and pleased there's a petition," she said.

But many residents feel it has been at a high cost. 

READ MORE:
*  New double-deckers hit Auckland's roads
*  Fly My Pretties concert-goers left stranded on Waiheke Island after ferry service stretched

"They are a threat to the Waiheke environment and resident safety," activist Pam Oliver said.

Since the buses started plying Waiheke roads, Auckland Council has pruned roadside trees and vegetation so the buses can "operate without creating a traffic hazard". 

Auckland Council's Chris Loughborough said The Land Transport Act allowed standard vehicles of up to 4.25 metres in height. 

"To allow for vehicles to exercise their legal right, Auckland Council undertakes vegetation maintenance," Loughborough said.

But many of the trees pruned on Waiheke are pohutukawa, taraire, manuka and kanuka.

Ad Feedback

"These are protected natives," Oliver said. 

"Waiheke's great value, not only to residents but also to visitors is its rural wairua," protestor Susi Newborn said. 

"Pruning natives when they are flowering puts the life of the tree itself at risk.

Newborn said that the "senseless" pruning was paid for by ratepayers. 

"I also understand these vehicles exceed the weight allowable for the current rating of Waiheke roads.

"Presumably the damaged roads will also be paid for from ratepayer funds," Newborn said. 

But Fullers CEO Doug Hudson said the vehicles have undergone height, weight and width clearance trials.

"Also, it is important to note that these vehicles are no longer, heavier or wider than the existing ones," Hudson said. 

But many residents are not convinced.

The petition - signed by more than 2000 people - has succeeded in getting Auckland Council to stop the pruning temporarily, pending a meeting with the Waiheke Local Board. 

"The next step is get these buses off our roads," Oliver said.

"This is really what the petition is about." 

Oliver said there had been already four incidents involving the double-deckers and there were fears for 'life and limb'.

The Waiheke Police said they were compiling complaints they had received detailing concerns about the buses.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

$500k crashed super car driver charged

The rare and exclusive McLaren super car line is named after New Zealand motorsport legend Bruce McLaren.

His rare and exclusive super car flipped on an Auckland motorway.

Senior cop stood down

Police have launched a criminal investigation into claims a woman was sexually abused by a senior officer.

Northland police officer suspended as he faces criminal investigation into sex abuse claims.

Never far from music

Symons plays acoustic, electric, steel and bass guitar.

Paul Symons will perform at the Kumeu Arts Centre on May 6.

Dramatic car crash injures driver

The crash happened at about 10.30am on Saturday at the corner of Redoubt and Murphys Rd's, Totara Park, Manurewa.

A car careened 50m down a bank in Totara Park in south Auckland.

Wellington

National Portrait - Kate Camp

Kate Camp, poet and winner of the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship.

A new book and a fellowship on the Riviera - it's a good year for the poet.

Woman hit by car dies

Churchill Dr, Crofton Downs, was closed for a while after the collision on Saturday morning.

Fatality in Gisborne while nasty crash in Wellington closes road temporarily.

Perils of duck hunting

Forty-one per cent of injuries associated with game-bird hunting occur during the opening weekend of duck hunting season.

Almost half of game bird hunting injuries happen during the opening weekend of the season.

'Summer days' over video

Mackenzie Country is likely to get snow as low as 800 metres.

First cold snap of the year is expected to bring snow, rain and thunder to parts of NZ.

Canterbury

From Re:Start to finish

Danish tourists are captivated by a Hannah Kidd sculpture in the Re:Start mall.

The Christchurch pop-up mall that offered hope after the 2011 quakes is winding down

Deadly love triangle

Those on the outside described the McLeans as a "role model family".

Invercargill rocked to core after a love triangle turned fatal. Where did it all go wrong?

Neglect upsets quake victim's family

The memorial sign and site today. Tagging shows a lack of respect for the earthquake victims, family say.

Quake victim family say neglect of place where she was killed shows disrespect.

Time to move cows indoors video

Dairy cows enjoy their feed in Aberystwyth Dairies' free stall barn.

To improve water quality, NZ's dairy industry may embrace barns

Waikato

Architectural wonders revealed

The new law and management building at Waikato University was designed by Opus Architecture.

A lot of well known Waikato and Bay of Plenty buildings - and spaces - have earned accolades.

It's our turn to fix this

A medical school backed by Waikato Hospital, pictured, and Waikato University  seeks to train GPs to fill a critical ...

OPINION: The old boys have failed to fix New Zealand's doctor shortage, now it's our turn.

Join the fight for our med school

Waikato University vice-chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray.

A proposed medical school in the Waikato has the Government interested.

Ref raids accounts

050711 NEWS. Robert Charles/Taranaki Daily News. Cheque/ cheque book. Money. Bank.

Colleagues blew the whistle on referee who swiped $13K and a video camera.

Taranaki

To Hollywood by motorbike

Todd Holland's work appears on motorbikes in Hollywood movie Ghost in the Shell.

A small-town car painting shop has made it big, with its work featuring in Ghost in the Shell.

'Don't send me to jail'

A young man's heartfelt plea to a judge saw him receive home detention instead of jail for a raft of offences.

"I hate being in trouble and looking like a meat head," man tells judge.

Perils of duck hunting

Forty-one per cent of injuries associated with game-bird hunting occur during the opening weekend of duck hunting season.

Almost half of game bird hunting injuries happen during the opening weekend of the season.

Stung by survey scam

Kerry Taylor, 77,  from Waitara was a victim of an email scam which he believed was connected to Countdown.

He thought he'd won a big prize. Then came the string of charges to his credit card.

Manawatu

Forsyth says goodbye to Monrad

Monrad Intermediate School principal John Forsyth retired at the end of term 1 after 25 years at the helm.

Departing Monrad principal John Forsyth has left a positive influence on many young lives.

13 reasons to watch

"13 Reasons Why" Star Gets A Tweet From Her Idol Lady Gaga!

Come on kids, time to watch controversial show dealing with suicide.

Perils of duck hunting

Forty-one per cent of injuries associated with game-bird hunting occur during the opening weekend of duck hunting season.

Almost half of game bird hunting injuries happen during the opening weekend of the season.

Innovation key for Manawatu rugby

Turbos wing Newton Tudreu and lock Liam Hallam-Eames will be able to benefit from the now completed Manawatu Rugby ...

A high performance centre, a mobile app, beetroot juice and drones all additions for Manawatu Turbos in 2017.

Nelson

Not a house, it's a croquet shelter

Athol Turner has a few home comforts at the Hinemoa Croquet Club shelter, including coffee and a biography of Alec Guiness.

As the Nelson City Council looks to implement a new law banning sleeping in the city we meet a man who has made a croquet club his home.

Housing crisis help?

David Barnes, right, with his son Samuel Barnes who needs medical care, pictured with the dwelling David built for him ...

A Nelson man built a home on his property for his mentally-ill son. Could this solve our housing issues?

Guilty of murder

Philip Quayle died after being attacked on a street in Cairns, Australia, about 100 metres from home.

A man who choked a Nelson man to death during a random street attack in Cairns has been found guilty of murder.

Taking a leaf out of the future video

Nelson Mail Journalist Tim O'Connell with the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle(EV) that the Nelson Mail has had on loan from ...

Tim O'Connell shares the thrills, trials and tribulations of driving an electric vehicle.

Marlborough

Ophthalmology waiting list halved

The ophthalmology service at Nelson Marlborough Health has been remodelled which has cut the waiting list for those ...

The health board has remodelled its ophthalmology service and cut the waiting list for those needing follow-up.

Pokies accused 'collateral damage'

The Department of Internal Affairs said Mike O'Brien was "unsuitable" to be involved in the pokie gambling business.

Inquiry into who was behind pokie machine operations was flawed, says lawyer.

Old dog with new tricks

Vincent the retired guide dog plays Sandy in the new production of Annie.

A retired guide dog is treading the boards as the furry star of Marlborough's newest musical.

It's the climb

Blenheim cyclist Andrew Bidwell, 16, is aiming for a podium finish at the upcoming Age Group Road National Championships ...

When another cyclist said he was going to make Andrew's race hell, he laughed it off and smashed the pack by five minutes.

South Canterbury

Parents remember 'talented' son

Rowan Yeager died following a crash near Lake Ohau on Anzac Day. This photo, supplied by friend Andrew Weatherall, shows ...

Man killed in crash near Lake Ohau was just a week off moving into house he built by hand.

Cleverley 'exonerated'

Former South Canterbury District Health Board chair Murray Cleverley has spoken out for the first time about his ...

Former SCDHB chair Murray Cleverley says decision to resign as chair was tough.

'We have got a lot of work to do'

SCDHB chief executive Nigel Trainor says the DHB is going try and improve low rates of HPV vaccination by providing more ...

SC has a 'poor' HPV vaccination rate, prompting the DHB to turn to social media.

Strong winds lash SC

Police were called to the scene of a camper van crash on Friday afternoon, thought to be caused by the wind.

Tourists escape with minor injuries after two campers blown off road south of Tekapo.

Southland

'They thought it was a dolphin' video

The French tourist arrives at Dunedin Hospital by helicopter after she was attacked by a shark while bodyboarding in ...

A French tourist who survived a shark attack wrenched its jaws from her legs, a local surfer says.

Deadly love triangle

Those on the outside described the McLeans as a "role model family".

A city's been rocked after a broken marriage ended in death. Where'd it all go wrong?

Ocean swimming 'sharks' territory'

Lydia Ward holds her wetsuit with tooth holes and the boogie board she used to fend off a 1.5m shark that bit her on the ...

A former shark attack victim has urged a tourist bitten by a shark to stay true to her passions - including ocean swimming.

Rugby's presidential change

Outgoing Rugby Southland president Donald Hay.

One Eastern Southland rugby stalwart goes, another one replaces him.

Ad Feedback