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


### 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.


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Media, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, What stadium

28 responses to “DCC: Consulting the Community

  1. A, um, friend, the redunded taxonomist, parses Predestined outcome: Good Even. This public consultation is a load of Shibboleth. Like Deborah Kerr says, it’s predestination. I blame Pressbuttons, a sort of Church here. The Anglican beadle will take collections. No foreign coins, please

  2. Calvin Oaten

    A draft ‘Significance and Engagement Policy’ has been developed by the DCC to meet the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002. Twelve years too late, but still it all looks like the conundrum of: ‘I wonder what happens to the breakdown man when the breakdown van breaks down?’ Answer, hold a public consultation. Wrong! Call a mechanic.

  3. Cars

    Will they go to Shanghai as a couple?

    No wonder muslim is an option, christianity isn’t

    [Abridged. -Eds]

  4. Helen

    A good example of consulting in todays ODT, over the camper van issue out at Macandrew Bay.
    Community Board Chair Christine Garey believed the latest community concern was about “perception”, not reality.
    She would make a great city councillor, backing the staff and not the community that she was elected to represent.

    {Link: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/319553/camper-van-sign-concerns -Eds}

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Everyone knows the people who live and work in any area are the last people to understand reality. All their “perceptions” are based on what they factually observe, and what they personally experience, and what they are told by others in the neighbourhood whose credibility they have had years to assess, so they know who makes a big fuss about any little thing and who is an accurate observer who tells it straight without exaggeration. Why would any person, once elected to a board or council, take notice of these people ahead of staff and fellow board and council members? Taking notice of the peasants once every 3 years is more than enough! Right?

  5. Elizabeth

    Lisa Wheeler never seems able to work out the consequences of her statements to media, this time it’s about DCC’s liberalisation (freedom camping). She lacks empathy in reaction to practical community concern – she’s pedantic, her temperature drops.

    ODT reports some of the practicalities, “Freedom campers could get in the way of the [Macandrew Bay Boating Club’s] activities, as well as impeding access to rescue boats based there, which were used by Dunedin police and the coastguard for emergencies, [commodore Tony Macrinowski] said. ”On Thursday morning, I saw five camper vans parked there,” he said. ”It just seems to me these people are just making up the rules as they go … this whole thing is a moving feast.”

    By “these people” Mr Macrinowski is referring to our beloved council officers.
    [when do they not eat well at our expense]

    Agree, Helen. The board chairman Christine Garey is often perceived this way. Needs to think, not splurt.

  6. Peter

    I cannot comment on whether freedom campers are a major problem, but l wonder how much they add to the tourism dollar…..aside from van hireage and supermarket goods.
    From my observation they are stingy with their spending because they are budget conscious. That’s why they like freedom camping for a start.
    Whatever the case they must clean up their crap and expect heavy duty fines if they don’t. With freedom comes responsibility.
    We cannot have unfettered freedom camping with convoys of vans scouring the countryside.

  7. Mick

    You are right re the el cheapo and by implication ‘freeloader’ part but re the fines – who is going to police them re the crap they leave? And who would pay for that ?

    Freedom campers seems to be rather apt – free for the campers but freeloaders for the ratepayers.

  8. Peter

    Yes, Mick, enforcement could be difficult for people on the move. Spot fines to be paid for those before they leave NZ Customs? (Given information sharing these days)

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Why are you assuming that freedom campers who leave mess are tourists from overseas? The amount of mess left on city streets and chucked over banks and left behind at beached and picnic areas didn’t all come from foreigners.
      Besides the vendetta against people who travel in campervans seems to have become indiscrimiate and if this goes on it will spoil the opportunities for those who have fully equipped vans and house-buses, and those who have a mattress in the back of a van but make sure they also have a portable toilet and a container for their trash – which is a damn sight more responsible than all those Kiwis and cars who biff their drink cans and fast food containers out the window as they drive along – or when they park outside someone’s house because they’re visiting friends.

  9. Mick

    Peter – yeah who accuses and who proves who is the guilty party at customs?

    • Peter

      Well any errant freedom camper would have to be caught in the act to prosecute, I guess.
      Hype, true, Kiwis dump rubbish, but I think it is a safe bet that shit and toilet paper in free camping areas is campervan related where they don’t have indoor toilets.
      All I am saying is no one, I think, wants negative tourism with no controls. The same goes for our great tramping treks. Gone are the days when you could walk the Routeburn without some permit and payment.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Peter, where do you think local people shit when they go on a day outing, in the mountains, the bush or at the beach or even driving around the back roads exploring the countryside where there are no public toilets? Provision of toilet facilities is much less likely to be on their agenda since they know they’ll be back at the home bathroom later the same day and they don’t expect to be “caught short”, they are not like campers who know they won’t have a loo unless they carry one or park beside a public facility.
        I live on a quiet street with neither camping spots nor tourist attractions, yet a few years ago I found a disposable nappy thrown up in the scrub at the side of the road. A memento of a visitor to one of the households in this street, I believe.

  10. Elizabeth

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Be heard in ‘Big Decisions, Big Conversations’

    This item was published on 14 Oct 2014

    The Dunedin City Council wants to know when and how you want to be involved in decisions that affect or interest you.
    The ‘Big Decisions, Big Conversations’ consultation document, launched today, sets out the Council’s proposed approach for assessing the significance of a decision and when and how it will involve the community in the decision-making process.

    Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “The Council is committed to the principle that the ‘bigger’ the decision or proposal, the ‘bigger’ the conversation we will have with the community. The ‘Big Decisions, Big Conversations’ consultation is the community’s opportunity to tell us what things indicate a ‘big’ or significant decision to them, and when and how they expect us to involve them in making those decisions.”

    █ The Council’s proposal and feedback forms are available at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/engage and will be available from all DCC Public Libraries and service centres by the end of the week.

    A community workshop will also be held at the Regent Theatre at 5.30pm on Thursday, 4 November.

    █ The DCC is trialling new ways of taking feedback, including on the DCC’s Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #EngageDN and an online chat with Mr Cull on Tuesday, 4 November. Find out more at the link provided above.

    Community feedback will help the Council finalise its Significance and Engagement Policy – a new requirement under the Local Government Act. Guidelines and methods for community engagement will also be developed.

    █ Feedback on the ‘Big Decisions, Big Conversations’ consultation closes at 5pm on Monday, 10 November.

    Contact Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin on 027 434 6917.

    DCC Link

  11. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 11 Nov 2014
    Big response on consultation
    By Chris Morris
    […] Council policy adviser Brendon Harper told the Otago Daily Times the council had received “around 700” responses to its Big Decisions, Big Conversations consultation drive. The exercise, designed to help shape the council’s draft “significance and engagement policy”, amounted to consulting the community on how best to consult the community.
    Read more

  12. Elizabeth

    ### dnedintv.co.nz November 11, 2014 – 7:32pm
    DCC receives 703 submissions on ‘Big Decisions, Big Conversations’
    Hundreds of Dunedin residents have had their say on the city council’s ‘Big Decisions, Big Conversations’ consultation document.

  13. 703 submissions on ‘Big Decisions, Big Conversations’. 2,500 for three separate calls for public input on thorny issues. Whoopee! But now council staff just need to figure out exactly what the message from ratepayers is. How much notice will be taken and what influence on decisions probably decided? If the ‘Cycleways’ project is an example of how much weight is placed on public consultations, or going back some time to the classic ‘Stadium issue’ we would have to say not much, if any. Still, it fills in their days and generates a ‘feel good’ aura so it can’t be all bad, just a ‘sick joke’.

  14. Elizabeth

    Generally depressing, I think, Calvin.
    As I said to an associate earlier today, Dunedin has small town syndrome.
    A lot of light-headedness and singularity evident at the LTA just now.
    Called death throes (of the township).

  15. Elizabeth


    ### ODT Online Wed, 8 Apr 2015
    Tougher policy on freedom campers?
    By Vaughan Elder
    A tougher stance on freedom campers could be on the way for Dunedin following a recommendation from council staff. The Dunedin City Council’s planning and regulatory committee will next week vote on whether to approve a review of the city’s camping control bylaw and responsible camping policy.
    Read more

    Report – PRC – 14/04/2015 (PDF, 3.5 MB)
    Camping Control Bylaw and Responsible Camping Policy – Options for Review

  16. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 15 Apr 2015
    Committee votes to review camping policy
    By Vaughan Elder
    The council’s planning and regulatory committee voted to review the city’s camping control bylaw and responsible camping policy. The review could result in a tougher stance on freedom camping and give the council the ability to dish out fines to those who break the rules.
    Read more

  17. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sun, 17 May 2015
    Campervans ‘not wanted’ in central city
    By Shawn McAvinue
    Dunedin’s image is being tarnished by the messy area in the central city where campervans congregate, a councillor and community board deputy chairman say. Otago Peninsula Community Board deputy chairman Paul Pope said campervans regularly parked in Ardmore Dr, near Kensington Tavern.
    Read more

  18. Elizabeth

    Proposed bylaw to replace council’s 2013 Camping Control Bylaw and Responsible Camping Policy

    ### ODT Online Fri, 21 Aug 2015
    Tough stand on camping
    By Craig Borley
    Dunedin’s freedom-camping rules would be tougher, clearer and better enforced under a proposed bylaw that could be in force this summer. Submissions on the bylaw closed last week and will be heard by Dunedin City Council’s camping control bylaw hearings subcommittee on Tuesday.
    Read more

    Freedom camping (via ODT)
    What the proposed bylaw says
    • Freedom camping in ”certified self-contained vehicles” to be allowed on most council-controlled land
    • All freedom camping banned in scenic reserves, cemeteries, and several popular Otago Peninsula sites
    • Ocean View Reserve car park and Warrington Reserve only options for non-self-contained campers
    • Short-term parking, day-trip excursions and sleeping at the roadside to avoid driver fatigue are allowed
    • Proposed bylaw could be in force for coming summer

    The submissions
    • 50 submissions received
    • 21 supported
    • 11 opposed
    • 18 partly supported/opposed

    Camping Control Bylaw Hearings Committee Meeting
    When: 25 August 2015 at 9:00am
    Where: Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers, The Octagon, Dunedin

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