Spectrum 786. Suburb in the sea

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Tono kōrero mai

Thirty-five minutes from the heart of Auckland, Waiheke Island is something of a haven from the city life for its 6000 or so population. This documentary looks at the community on the island.

The programmes introduction includes comments about the island from locals. Cvitanovich begins, “Waiheke Island, a refuge from Auckland city, a tourist destination, a haven for aging hippies, a retirement village, a millionaire or poor person’s paradise, a home of radical politics and protesters…” true descriptions and the combination of which make for a proud and protective community.

Actuality from Ostend market and interviews with resident and musician, Bill Lourd and resident and nursery owner [Dolce] from the southern side of the island.

Joss Baker moved into two converted army huts on the western end of Waiheke thirty years ago in the days when most people just visited at weekends, when there wasn’t even power or a doctor. She talks about the community being more friendly back then and not in such a rush.

Though she enjoys having her grandchildren to visit she says in summer the population quadruples and places a strain on the Island’s services. She is grateful for having been able to raise her two boys in a good, clean place but is now ready to move on and expects in another thirty years’ time she probably won’t recognise the island.

Local historian, Dixy Day is another concerned about rapid island development. As a young bride Dixy moved onto a farm in the early 1940s and notes how the faster ferry service has changed land prices drastically and explains what thats meant for the working people of Waiheke.

Don Chapell left Auckland and settled for an alternative lifestyle on Waiheke 15 years ago. The environmentally conscious members of council have always had his vote, as he is a supporter of a grass-roots community. Interview with tour operator, Max Walker and friends as they visit the controversial ‘Spencer’s Mound’.

Interview with ‘Home Executive’ or stay at home dad, Chris Brady who thinks Waiheke residents are both politically aware and self-sufficient. He would only consider moving back to the mainland if development started to ruin the island, like the traffic got to be a problem.

Cvitanovich's last interview is with local developer, Mike Delamore who describes the range of alternative lifestylers on the island as being far out hippies to left wing muslei munching greenies. Speaking from his organic farm, Delamore says his interests lie in both development and conservation and is involved with the Visitors Board (tourism), the island’s Organic Movement, Forest and Bird as well as commercial development.

Delamore is currrently in the process of building a mall. He acknowledges that more wineries, restaurants and expensive homes are all part of developing the island but believes Waiheke to still remain a unique place. Having visited forty different countries around the world Delamore says he always returns and thinks it paradise.

Featured programme music from the Gypsy Pickers.

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Year 1994

Reference number 15039

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Cvitanovich, Jerome, Interviewer

Duration 00:30:20

Date 11 Apr 1994

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