Daily Archives: October 13, 2014

DCC: Consulting the Community

DCC (draft) Significance and Engagement Policy (1)Consultation: ‘a decorative process to legitimise a predetermined set of actions’*

The Dunedin City Council’s consultation processes, can they get any worse?
We’re a heavily indebted Community because of lack of meaningful ‘stadium consultation’ and that period of unfettered capital spending during Jim Harland’s reign as chief executive. More of same, Dave Cull’s two-term mayoralty is spendthrift. Feedback through The People’s Panel seems to be misused (a facile process able to be manipulated by council-affiliated lobby groups). Resource consents that set precedents in zones and across the greater city go non-notified. Changes to city parking and the intrusion of cycleways continue to show abysmal council bulldozing. Don’t mention hazard area maps (especially the red bits). Or the current urban design initiatives led by a minority interest. The list goes on…. City finances are less than transparent; council accountability remains fully in question. There’s every instance of major fraud within council activities that won’t be adequately reported or prosecuted – solid evidence is ignored (meanwhile elected representatives and senior management maintain positions and high salaries). In this toxic environment, how much consultation can this Community stand? – why should we write screeds and screeds to Council or attend workshops and hearings, there are much better ways to spend our restricted free time. Because, we can’t trust our leaders. We endeavour then to provide feedback on a limited case by case basis —knowing we’ll be disenfranchised if we refuse to tow the line or not agree with Council’s predetermined actions. Consultation? Yeah right. Hire a Queen’s Counsel instead. [make that a team of QCs] And the Mayor speaks of vitriole.

A draft Significance and Engagement Policy has been developed by the Dunedin City Council to meet the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002. The draft Policy provides a framework for determining the significance of decisions; and when and how the community can expect to be involved in the Council’s decision-making.

The draft Policy is based on good practice guidance from SOLGM, and incorporates feedback from Councillors, Council departments and the community. This report seeks approval of the draft Policy for consultation and community feedback.

Report – CEC – 13/10/2014 (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Draft Significance and Engagement Policy

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### ODT Online Mon, 13 Oct 2014
Focus on consultation
By Debbie Porteous
The Dunedin City Council is to consult the community on how it consults the community. A draft “significance and engagement policy” will be considered by councillors at the community and environment committee meeting today. If the draft policy is approved, the community will be asked for feedback on the draft.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*When Bad Consultation Leads to Bad Policy by David Crosbie
Posted: Monday, November 21, 2011 – 10:50
Governments around Australia need to really listen to their constituents, and ensure that ‘consultation’ doesn’t become a decorative process to legitimise a predetermined set of actions, says CEO of the Community Council for Australia, David Crosbie. This article is taken from the CSI Blog.
– See more at http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2011/11/when-bad-consultation-leads-bad-policy#sthash.oW25tTXe.dpuf

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at the University of New South Wales brings together the business, government, philanthropic and third (Not for Profit) sectors, in a collaborative effort to build community capacity and facilitate social innovation.

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