Waiheke Island: Not just another suburb of Auckland

It's a huge weekend for Waiheke Islanders - it's Auckland Anniversary and locals will be busy keeping a huge influx of tourists happy

But there are local murmurings of discontent, with a number of the islanders not wanting to be treated as just another suburb of the supercity.

Around 60,000 people expected to wander through a sculpture trail on the island - that's six times the population of the whole island.

The increased numbers causing problems that echo those plaguing Auckland, like unaffordable housing and traffic congestion.

Stephanie Honeychurch has lived on Waiheke for 25 years and says the tiny island of fewer than 10,000 people is struggling.

"There are too many visitors all at one time, the infrastructure can't cope," she says.

And with the Auckland council changing the zoning, islanders say it'll turn into a developers' dream.

"It could open up the island to unbridled development and while we need more accommodation, we don't want it to turn into Surfer's Paradise," Ms Honeychurch says.

Their message to the supercity is simple - Waiheke wants to be in charge of its own destiny.

"Unfortunately Waiheke is considered by Auckland council to be just another suburb of Auckland and I think we need to be treated differently because we are different," says Waiheke Island Tourism's Jean Goodbrand.

Waiheke residents have challenged the potential development free-for-all and expect a review to be heard in March.

In the meantime, they just have to get through one of the busiest weekends of the year.