Urban Designer - Vernacular Architect - Maritime Planner - Owner-Builder - Servant of Piglet - Educator - Author - Revolutionary - Peacenik - Tour Guide 

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

The private boat ramp Print E-mail

In the old days the Mayor always had the road sealed outside his house. No one complained. The Mayor gave a lot of his life in community service and it only seemed fair that he should get something in return.




When the elections came around it would be someone else's turn to be Mayor and to get the road outside his house sealed.

When the illegal retaining work was built by the Auckland City Council  at Karaka Bay there was no Resource Consent and none of the necessary permits.

It was an easy matter then, with no plans having been depositied or scrutinised, to slip in a private boat ramp also without a building permit or a resource consent. The ratepayers would pay for it all and no one would know how it happened.

The Council has two sets of rules. One for itself and one for everyone else. The Council takes a draconian approach to others but ignores building permits and resource consents in its own work.

The Council hopes that everyone will follow what it says, not what it does. 


Correction One, dated 19 April 2009.

Doug, Chairperson of the Finance Committee of the Auckland City Council, has assured me today that although all the other facts are correct the dates given in the above story are incorrect. The illegal private boat ramp, built with ratepayers’ money, without a permit or a resource consent, was, he assures me, completed at another time. I am happy to accept his judgement on this, as getting dates right has never been my strong point. It is the story which interests me. I find the exercise of power to be hilariously funny and my comments were intended to provoke laughter rather than offence. If I have offended anyone without a sense of humour I deeply regret this. Doug did not however actually state when the boat ramp was built so anyone needing to know this should probably ask Doug. It would not be good form to make a mistake in making a correction.

Correction Two, dated 16 December 2009

After a brief but violent demonstration of his anger management problem, the likes of which witnesses said they had never experienced before, on 16 December 2009, Doug insisted that I should comment on his integrity. Integrity was not a word I would normally have associated with Doug, but his angry demands went on and on until he left me no choice.

I first met Doug when he came to live at Karaka Bay. He arrived under something of a cloud. Peter Lucas had innocently mentioned to Doug that he had bought a property in Karaka Bay, although the deal was yet to be sown up. Doug went to Peter’s land agent and offered a higher figure. Then Doug went back to Peter and told him the property was still his, but it was now going to cost him significantly more. In the whole of my life I had never met a person who could do such a thing. The even greater mystery to me was how Doug could then live next to Peter day after day and not be tormented by guilt at his despicable behaviour. As it turned out Doug managed to drive Peter out of the Bay, which was extremely sad. I hated seeing a bully win.

The stories went on and on. A building inspector rang me one day to say that Doug had just been in to complain about my house. I assured him this could not be possible as I had just given Doug a welcoming cup of coffee and offered him the hospitality of my site. Of course it turned out that the inspector was right. This kind of double-dealing just became accepted as Doug’s normal behaviour, and everyone accepted that it would never be any different.

Doug’s problem was that his arrogance left him feeling that no one knew what he was up to, provided only that he could get away with it. In fact no one was going to waste their time or lives on such an unworthy opponent. If you are going to do battle you want to know your opponent has at least some semblance of mana. Words like shrewd, devious or cunning come to mind for Doug, but not integrity. The wielding of power by people who are really inadequate becomes a substitute for more human qualities. Some people never exchange a friendly greeting, but then expect you to listen when they want to harangue you about something like their integrity. They have a problem with power.

My preference would have been to have not written any of this as I worry about people taking offence. However Doug made it clear in a public statement that he not only prefers violence to peace (Panance 7 December 2009) but also does not agree with the Local Government Act, because it limits the option of the ACC sending thugs to beat people up. Faced with threats like this, and his violent outburst of anger, I felt I had no choice other than to try and humour him. We all need to make concessions for the sake of neighbourliness.


Correction three

Doug has drawn my attention to the fact that the illegal mooring he put down at Rakino was done without a permit. Doug is such a compulsive liar that I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this, but anyone interested could probably check it out.


C orrection four

Doug Armstrong has vehemently denied that he was responsible for sending four Auckland City Council thugs down to Karaka Bay to beat me up. I can understand why when I was left crippled and eventually ended up in hospital. It was pure coincidence that Doug happened to be present at the time. The irony for me was that I was safely outside the boundary of Auckland City at the time, but as it turned out that offered me no protection. The Auckland Mafia is alive and well, with power wielded beyond the reach of the law. 


Correction five

We will notify you as soon as this comes to hand. Watch this space.



"My wish is that you may long continue what you do so well: To question the sanity of established practices and ruffle some feathers in the process."




Footnote 2

Karol Jozef Wojtyla, who was to become Pope John Paul II, was once asked, when he was a Cardinal in Poland, if he feared retribution from communist leaders, he replied, "I'm not afraid of them. They are afraid of me." 



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