We mustn't forget the other end of our commuting ordeal, the wharf system in Auckland City, which is maintained and financed by (mostly) the passenger levies on Waiheke travellers. The dispute between Auckland City and Fullers over the wharf tax (which is in practice a "departure tax" similar to what used to be levied separately at Auckland International Airport) is still ongoing and unresolved and still being collected by Fullers and still sitting in a high interest earning account. But that isn't the subject of my entry here.
This morning the 8am Superflyte docked at the western end of Pier 2, where the Halfmoon Bay ferries depart from. It has for years had an impressive double gangway, complete with a somewhat aesthetically pleasing canopy and hydraulic floatation and levitation devices. The problem is that it has been months (I can't recall the last time) since it has last been used by disembarking passengers. All have to use the lower gangway, no matter how heavy the demand is, leading to delays in disembarkation. Why is this? Is it another engineering white elephant like the Matiatia $360,000 sheep run? Does anyone actually know, let alone care? Hello, come in, ARTA?