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Political History

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Local body

Waiheke was one of the last places in New Zealand to gain local government. Prior to 1920 there were no bylaws at all. Its first administration was the Ostend and Orapiu roads boards, which were formed in 1921 and amalgamated in 1947. In 1945 a merger with Auckland was proposed, the island's 835 residents rejected the idea. The roads boards presided over roads only, for nearly 50 years untill 1970. Other services,including wharves, had to be provided from a distance,

The Waiheke County Council was the local body administering Waiheke Island from 1970 until the amalgamation of local bodies in 1989, which saw the Auckland City Council take over responsibility. A single council member represents Waiheke along with other islands of the Hauraki Gulf.

The Waiheke Community Board is elected by Waiheke residents but has limited powers. It requested deamalgamation from the Auckland City Council in 1990. A referendum was held in 1991 which rejected the proposal.

Nuclear and GE-free zone

Waiheke declared itself a nuclear free zone in (what year?), the first community in New Zealand to do so.

In 1999, the Waiheke Community Board declared Waiheke a genetic engineering-free zone.

Both statements are symbolic and have no force in law.

Other areas like building, wharves and health continued to be supervised at a distance by government departments and the Auckland District Health Board