DCC seeks feedback on representation arrangements

DCC mayor and councillors (2013-14) 1

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Feedback Sought on Local Government Representation

This item was published on 02 Apr 2015

An independent panel is reviewing the Dunedin City Council’s representation arrangements and wants to know what residents think.

The Representation Review Team is keen to know people’s views on the structure we have for electing representatives, whether we have the right number of councillors and how our wards and community boards meet the needs of our communities. It also asks whether we need guaranteed Māori representation and how we can encourage more people to vote in local elections.

Review Team Chair Associate Professor Janine Hayward says, “The review is an exciting opportunity to think about how the current representation arrangements are working for Dunedin residents. We look forward to hearing from as many people as possible.”

The DCC is made up of 14 councillors and a mayor. The mayor is voted for by all Dunedin residents while 11 councillors are elected by Central Ward residents, two are elected by Mosgiel Taieri residents and one is elected by residents in the Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers Ward. Under this structure one councillor represents 8,869 residents.

The DCC also has six community boards, elected by their communities. In total, these boards represent a third of Dunedin’s population.

Councils are required by law to look at their representation arrangements on a regular basis. The Review Team has been meeting with community boards and other groups and also wants to hear from the public.

█ Residents are encouraged to fill in a short feedback form, which is available at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/represent, or pick up a printed form from the DCC Customer Services Agency in the Civic Centre or from Dunedin Public Libraries and service centres. Feedback is due by 30 April.

█ There will also be a public meeting in the Dunningham Suite, City Library, at 7pm on Monday, 20 April where people are welcome to ask questions and pass on their views.

Public feedback will help the Review Team make recommendations to the Council in June/July. Formal public consultation will be held later in the year on a proposed structure to apply for the 2016 local elections.

The other Review Team members are Len Cook, Paulette Tamati-Elliffe and Mayor Dave Cull. Contact DCC on 477 4000.

DCC Link

2013 MAPS
Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers Ward Boundary map
Mosgiel Taieri Ward Boundary map
Central Ward Boundary Map

2013 Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers Ward Boundary map2013 Mosgiel Taieri Ward Boundary map2013 Central Ward Boundary Map

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

18 Comments

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18 responses to “DCC seeks feedback on representation arrangements

  1. Cars

    I wonder how much stewards were paid to shift the deckchairs on the Titanic?

    And significantly to those working for the DCC whether they received such entitlements when the ship went down!

  2. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz April 7, 2015 – 6:43pm
    DCC’s electoral procedures under review
    Dunedin residents are having their say on whether changes should be made to the way local councillors are elected.
    Video

    • Diane Yeldon

      It would be better for Dunedin City if all the Wards went. It’s a crazy system because Ward councillors cannot and should not, according to the legislation, attempt to ‘represent their Ward’ but rather have an obligation to make decisions on what they believe is best for the city as a whole. Further, the vast majority of voters who don’t live in their Ward are disenfranchised by having an ‘elected’ rep foisted on them who they had no right to vote either for or against.

  3. Diane Yeldon

    I just gave DCC some feedback on their online info on this topic. Not that easy to find, especially if you don’t have a clue what a ‘representation review’ is? Better to say: Do you want a Ward system or not?”

    {The review is wider than a discussion of ward representation. The information provided by DCC is clear on this. -Eds}

    Online Annual and Long Term Plan submission was no piece of cake either. In fact, I couldn’t find the submission form. So let DCC know abut that too. I have found their online team very good in the past. So I actually do have hopes that they will make this info and input opportunities more accessible. Yes, it may be all pointless, but I think at least suggesting that the proposed Taieri aquatic facility be free only to those who can prove an address in the targeted rating area and available only by subscription to others (as with use of the DCC library network) would put a spoke in the wheels of those really looking for a cheap alternative to space at the Moana Pool. Especially virtually commercial users.

  4. Peter

    I wonder if it might be better to cut Mosgiel adrift if we have to pay for this pool! Let’s see if they are still keen to pay for it if rates for the pool are directed to Mosgiel residents only.
    So suddenly a good reason not to amalgamate the wards.

    • Diane Yeldon

      The wards are already part of Dunedin City. They are no more than an ‘electoral device”. In other words, they have absolutely no effect or function except to guarantee that only the electors of a specific geographical area can elect one or two councillors. This is just a sop to the fact that these once independent local authorities were amalgamated with (or effectively absorbed by) Dunedin City around 1990.

    • Sally

      Peter. Cr Lord. The Mosgiel ward representative, has already suggested a targeted rate for the new Mosgiel Pool.

      • Peter

        Ok, Sally, if he sticks to this line and it isn’t a ploy to keep the proposal alive in the meantime. Also, it won’t be his decision alone and he can avoid accusations of being a pork barreller to get financial help from non constituents. With the abolition of wards he is sweet.

  5. Simon

    “An independent panel is reviewing”. How the hell can this be an independent panel if Mayor Cull is on the panel. Would he not have to declare an interest and withdraw from the panel ?

    • Elizabeth

      Cull should withdraw. Probably considers he is there to ensure GD are favoured by representational outcomes; that to ensure Mosgiel developers like Syd Brown, his extended family, and co-Tartans get their personal slice.

      Mr Brown had asked for roading improvements to be brought forward, to coincide with construction of the entrance to his subdivision.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 13 Apr 2015
      New residents fuel housing development
      By Chris Morris
      Mosgiel’s Highland Park subdivision is racing ahead of schedule as an influx of new residents to Dunedin helps fuel demand for homes. The unexpected pace of development has left developer Syd Brown feeling “very happy”, and prompted the Dunedin City Council to consider bringing forward $110,000 in roading improvements planned for the area.
      Read more

      DCC Infrastructure Services Committee meeting – Tuesday, 14 April 2015 at 1:30 p.m.
      Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers

      Agenda – ISC – 14/04/2015 (PDF, 27.2 KB)

      Report – ISC – 14/04/2015 (PDF, 100.3 KB)
      Accelerated Delivery of Mosgiel East Roadworks

      • Diane Yeldon

        Actually long ago I think I was present at the committee meeting which approved Cr Brown’s subdivision (or re-zoning). I really was shocked. A number of committee members were away, Cr Brown of course had to stand down, so Chair John Bezett used his casting vote in favour. And when later publicly criticised he said that the CEO was sitting right next to him at the time and said it was okay. Jim Harland, of course. This was on high quality soils as I remember it too ….
        The issue of disclosure of councillors’ interests came up just before the last Council elections. I made a Public Forum submission on it and said it was well known that an easy way to make a lot of money was to get your land re-zoned and then get a road put through it at public expense. But Cr Brown didn’t stand again. I guess he had had enough of politics. Or something.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Actually, when I think about it, this ‘independent panel’ is rather like yet another DCC ‘workshop’. It will surely make a ‘recommendation’ back to the full Council who is likely to adopt that like a flock of sheep. And the survey offered by the panel online will be accepted as ‘consultation’ having taken place, when it is extremely doubtful legally whether the council can effectively delegate consultation. I expect as a result of this (dodgy?) process, the DCC will put in a submission to the Electoral Commission, giving the Council’s view on the matter. This is likely to be quite influential. Obviously, sitting Ward Councillors interested in protecting their own electoral chances, have a strategic interest in maintaining the Ward system, especially if, as in the case of Councillor Noone, they were elected unopposed. The whole system is a bit dodgy and depends on the integrity of the Electoral Commission, who, IMO, in the past have shown a bias towards current government policy, which for many years has been amalgamation, more amalgamation and now super-amalgamation. But I am open to correction on any of this, as I may be out of date on the subject by now.

  6. Peter

    Simon. The big let out for conflicts of interest is if they are ‘managed’. ie The person in question leaves the room at any given crucial point with a nod and a wink as he/she looks back over his/her shoulder. The Auditor General has found this acceptable practice despite what their ‘rules’ say. Obviously there are enough self interested people around who are prepared to go along with this corruption of process especially if they have got the meeting stacked.

  7. Elizabeth

    Syd Brown’s feathering of own nest, the residue of his councillorship where co-councillors of the time (rural subdivision and zone changes), helped.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz April 15, 2015 – 3:57pm
    Mosgiel roading project brought forward
    A roading project in Mosgiel is being brought forward by the Dunedin City Council. That will see more than $100,000 spent in this financial year, instead of next. But thanks to other projects coming in under budget, the council’s accounts won’t suffer.
    Video

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 6 May 2015
      Speeding up of $110,000 in roading improvements approved
      The Dunedin City Council has ticked off bringing forward $110,000 in Mosgiel roading improvements. The council, at its meeting last week, approved speeding up roading work – from 2015-16 to 2014-15 – because of the unexpected pace of development of Syd Brown’s Highland Park subdivision.
      Read more

  8. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz April 22, 2015 – 6:50pm
    Nightly interview: Janine Hayward
    Dunedin residents have just a few days left to voice their opinions about how city councillors are elected. An independent panel is reviewing local government representation, and wants public feedback. Associate professor Janine Hayward is leading the panel and she joins us to talk about it.
    Video

    █ Online submissions close end of April – but feedback is still possible into early May.

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