DCC representation review

Updated post Thu, 11 Jun 2015 at 11:10 p.m.

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Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Representation Review Report Released

This item was published on 10 Jun 2015

The Representation Review Team has completed its review and will discuss its findings with the Dunedin City Council at an extraordinary Council meeting on Monday.

The independent panel reviewed the Council’s representation arrangements after hearing 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.

The Representation Review Team’s recommendations include that the Council be elected at large (which means there would no longer be wards and Councillors would be voted for by all residents) and that the number of Councillors remains at 14.

The Review Team recommends several changes to community boards, such as establishing a Rural Community Board to cover the Strath Taieri and Taieri rural communities. It recommends adjusting the boundaries of Chalmers, Otago Peninsula, Saddle Hill and Waikouaiti Coast Community Boards and reducing the number of elected members on each community board from six to four. The Council would continue to appoint a Councillor to each board. 

Review Team Chair Associate Professor Janine Hayward says, “The Review Team is grateful to everyone who participated in this process. We heard from many people from all parts of Dunedin with a wide range of views and perspectives. It is heartening to see how highly people value our local democracy. We encourage everyone to continue to participate in the next phase of consultation also.”

Members of the Review Team will be present at Monday’s meeting to discuss their recommendations with the Council, which will then agree on a proposal that will go out for public consultation.

Councils are required by law to look at their representation arrangements on a regular basis.

The other Review Team members are Len Cook, Paulette Tamati-Elliffe and Mayor Dave Cull.

Report – Council – 15/06/2015 (PDF, 8.6 MB)

Report – Council – 15/06/2015 – low resolution (PDF, 1.9 MB)

Contact Associate Professor Janine Hayward, Representation Review Team Chair on 03 479 8666.

DCC Link

### ODT Online Thu, 11 Jun 2015
Wards’ abolition proposed
By Shawn McAvinue
Dunedin city’s three wards should be abolished and council candidates should vie for the votes of every resident, a team including Mayor Dave Cull has recommended. Under the plan, the number of community boards would be cut from six to five, with fewer members on each board.
Read more

Is this really the end of the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board ?? The board with the mostest…. conflicts of interest, and greatest propensity to misuse city council grants ?? HAPPY DAYS.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under DCC, Democracy, Economics, Fun, Geography, LGNZ, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics, What stadium

88 responses to “DCC representation review

  1. Brian Miller

    Has a previous decision of the Mosgiel Community Board come back and bitten them on the arse ?
    When the board was formed after the amalgamation of councils that now make up the now greater Dunedin City Council, the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board was made up of 4 members from the Mosgiel urban area, and 2 members from the rural Taieri Plains area.
    The Mosgiel members’ desire was to see the Taieri high productive soils, subdivided for residential purposes. While it was the rural Taieri members desire to see the highclass productive soils kept for food production. A major conflict arose between the two groups. Developers won the day when the board decided without any consultation with the community to submit at the last representational review, to get rid of the rural representation on the board.
    That brought the end of the rural representation, and gave the developers a free hand, as they had eliminated all opposition. Since that time we have seen a board that could not see past the main street business area, board members not declaring interests, and board discretionary funds being misappropriated.
    They made the decision to get rid of rural representation.
    It will be interesting now to see if the Mosgiel Community Board asks the community to support the retention of the board. When they were so quick to eliminate the rural representation to suit their own needs without any community consultation.

  2. Incomprehensible current system. A ward councillor is legally not allowed to favour the ward which elected them but must make decisions for the good of the city as a whole. I am pretty sure they do not even have to live in the area themselves, just be nominated by two people who do – which is hardly any obstacle to ‘outsiders’. But Community Boards do have the legitimate function of representing their local communities. And any councillor, who has an interest and who each board can work with, could possibly be appointed as an ex-officio member, co-opted or even attend as an observer. So the personal liaison with the council could still be there.
    So I would have expected recommendations to abolish the two small wards but retain all the Community Boards.
    If the two small wards go (and I think they will), so too may Councillors Wilson, Lord and Noone. Candidates in one large ward may be more likely to be elected if they spend more money on their campaign, rather than on account of being personally known – or even known of by word of mouth. But we have yet to see whether and how social media and online information might affect election outcomes. This is a growing phenomenon.

    • Gurglar

      That favours the best organisers, the Greens and Labour rather than the best candidates. democracy is doomed with social media in charge. City management should never be
      1. A popularity contest (designed to find fence sitters)
      2. A financial contest

      However, designing a better way is extremely difficult which is why we have the schemozzle we have in Local, National and Global politics.

      Totalatarianism does not work because we can not find a BENEVOLENT dictator. All are rich car thieves.

      Socialism does not work because all we do is bring the leaders of the disaffected into the position of the leaders of the Lords.

      The best way forward is to appoint councillors at no pay, thus ensuring altruism and knocking off their heads if found out to have their snouts in the trough. Tough but effective.

      • Diane Yeldon

        Gurglar: isn’t democracy itself a popularity contest? (ROFL!)

        • Gurglars

          Diane, I know a lot of extremely popular people who can’t change a light bulb. I wouldn’t have them administering a weed patch.

          Vandervis is as popular as the rats under the house, but he is the only effective voice of the people.

          Generally popular people wish to remain popular and therefore cannot and will not make the hard choices necessary in Dunedin at this time.

          If popular means status quo, then I suggest a rethink.

  3. Brian Miller

    It is interesting that the rural wards were kept so that the rural areas had a voice. Not surprisingly that has never happened. I have submitted on many rural resource consents in support of retaining the highclass soils for food productive purposes. Not once at any consent hearing have I seen a rural Councillor support the retention of highclass soils over other uses than for rural use. In fact some of these rural representative Councillors have sat as commissioners on hearings, and have ruled in favour of highclass soils being used for residential and commercial purposes, when alternative areas have been available.
    I think that some of these Councillors and Community Board members see it as a easy means of having an (personal) income.
    We should see some of them start to squeal out loud now that they might lose some easy money.

    • Brian: I have always been shocked that the RMA ‘matters of national importance’ requirement to retain high class soils for food production has consistently been ignored right to the level of the Environment Court. Yet in densely populated Japan, there are farms retained and now virtually surrounded by cities. New Zealand is on the whole extremely hypocritical about planning law. As soon as someone with a lot of money or power, including government agencies, wants to do something fundamentally contrary to the intention and purpose of the law, somehow no becomes yes and black becomes white. A Minister for the Environment, Chris Carter, I think, once used his ministerial powers to overturn a marina decision that had finally got a resource consent. His decision was quickly turned around. Same thing happened when Sandra Lee was Minister. It’s just an expensive game and players are not supposed to take it seriously.
      Except for the little people who just want to build a garage or something, of course.
      And, there is also the issue that it has not been uncommon for rural landowners to get themselves elected to local government positions for the single purpose reason of facilitating the subdivision of their own land – plus public roading. I saw this happen when the ex-farmer also managed to get his undeniably crooked lawyer elected with him! And, yes, he got his subdivision.

  4. Mike

    so a dumb question …. will there be community boards representing those who live in the city?”

    • Mike: That is not a dumb question at all. As city government gets bigger, people and smaller communities become alienated from big, faceless, managerial local government. The candidates who succeed need to have a lot of money to campaign using expensive media. So grassroots representation loses out. Maybe the powers that be like it this way. Because big cities are big business when you can split off and contract out services. We are no longer citizens – we are ‘customers’. That’s why the DCC offices are now called the ‘Customer Service Centre’ ( where incidentally you have to pay through the nose to get public information!)
      I liked the concept of community boards but the one I was familiar with worked well, with a lot of honest, energetic, well-informed people involved. But many were former independent authority reps, as many of the first community board reps all round New Zealand were – and they had a good background in real local government. Now, the fire has gone out of it, maybe due to the frustration. Local Boards ( the Auckland City replacement for Community Boards) recently complained bitterly of even more tokenism. When you get sole candidates for Community Boards being appointed, something is wrong. Besides, Community Boards have been called ‘the wailing wall of local government’ – you go and complain to a group of elected community leaders who listen sympathetically but are POWERLESS!
      Co-opting natural leaders, as a very minor and powerless ‘part’ of the system, is a cunning and very effective way to keep the rabble under control. Yet the law still says one purpose of local government legislation is to give democratic representation to local communities.

      • Mike

        I was particularly thinking that when the council banned public input before council meetings during the stadium débâcle, and then never bothered to bring it back afterwards (replacing it with a forum that many councillors never bother to attend) we don’t have any place to go – we need a South Dunedin community board, a Brockville one, a Concord/Carton Hill one, NEV, Pine Hill, student quarter, hill suburbs, Green Island – each of those areas deserves as much representation as Waikouaiti does.

        • Diane Yeldon

          Mike: are you referring to the ‘themed’ Claytons Public Forum instituted IMO by former CEO Jim Harland to shut people up? It is described here in Appendix F http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/81341/Council-Standing-Orders.pdf
          But they haven’t actually been doing this for quite a while and Sandy Graham sent me a copy of a report to a council meeting dated 15 Dec 2015 when this was formally changed to creating public forums before all committee meetings and meetings of the full council. (as NORMAL councils in NZ do!) She said she will be updating the website info. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from the (new) report:
          F1 PUBLIC FORUM

          Public Forums are intended to allow individuals or groups to present directly to members on any issue, idea or matter of public interest generally relevant to the activities of the Council and its committees. A period of up to 60 minutes will be set aside for a Public Forum at the start of each ordinary Council, Standing Committee, Subcommittee or Community Board meeting. …. (ends)

          Individuals get to speak for a maximum of five minutes, groups longer, and you now have to book only 24 hours in advance. This is a very great improvement! But IMO still a work in progress regarding DCC’s follow up – generally none in my experience.

        • Mike

          I presume you mean 15 Dec 2014 – so does this mean they’ve changed back but just not really told anyone, what would happen if one bowled up to a council or committee meeting and availed oneself of this privilege tomorrow?

        • Diane Yeldon

          Mike: yes, you’re right. I should have put 2014. Yeah, just look at the meeting schedule online, pick your meeting and then contact the governance staff to give 24 hours’ notice that you want your five minutes. Then bowl right up! Actually, I think that report might say notice has to be given before 4.00 pm the preceding day. You will notice that 60 minutes are set aside for public forums – which means maybe 12 individuals with 5 minutes each. But the meeting has the power to vote to extend the time allowed if there are more people (or groups) wanting to speak. You are required to be polite and stay on topic. And they won’t reply to you. But they are supposed to ‘take into account’ what you say. And maybe find an appropriate committee to send it to. I just wish they would give feedback or follow up (as many other councils do). But as I said – a work in progress and definitely getting better. There are even signs in the Municipal Chambers and committee rooms now – so you can find where to go!

  5. Brian Miller

    As you say Diane “Yet the law still says one purpose of local government legislation is to give democratic representation to local communities.”
    The Mosgiel Community Board turned democracy on its head, when they decided to rid themselves of the two rural representational positions without any community consultation, and since that time they appear to have been operating under East European rules. Secret meetings. Then rubber stamping decisions made at these secret meeting at the next board meeting without any discussion.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Oh dear, Brian, the price of liberty is vigilance …. or something. This is just another way of saying that when the cat’s away the mice will play. As soon as you give ANY representative group any degree of power and/or autonomy, they need to be watched. I think it was Plato who said thousands of years ago : Who will guard the guards? I do enjoy trying to trip up the council and catch them out not following their own rules. But it’s all in cheerful, good fun, well, unless they horribly neglect their responsibilities re stormwater, arguably contributing to a flood (and associated landslides) and also have a spending spree resulting in extreme debt!

      I wonder if you can make a public forum submission to a full DCC council meeting regarding your concerns about proper processes not being carried out with regards to the Mosgiel Community Board. Don’t see why not. All Community Boards are accountable to the Council. Just make sure you have really good written evidence! I think it helps not to target individuals but to focus on the processes used and suggest better ones – sometimes just LEGAL ones!

  6. Diane, keep it up and keep them up to the mark. There is no body so corrupt as those which ignore the rules they have made for their citizens

  7. Peter

    I have now realised whether we have smaller wards or one, whether we have STV or first past the post, whether we have community boards or not, we should not expect a brave new dawn in terms of quality of representatives.
    It all comes down to who puts themselves forward, what name recognition they have and the pecularities of any electoral system and what it throws up….so to speak.
    In any electoral cycle, if you are lucky, the voters throw out some duds, but lo and behold you can end up with people who are not really up to the job. This is democracy at work!

  8. Gurgler

    In answer to Mike, bowl up, but be prepared for the following batsmen

    Geoffrey Boycott, Trevor Bailey, Ken (Slasher) McKay

    I’ve only included Wiki on Bailey, but you’ll get the drift if you know Boycott’s record also.


  9. Calvin Oaten

    Anyone remember “fixagrams”? A wet dream of Rodney Bryant I think. He even had a caravan which he would load up with iced doughnuts and spend the days snoozing in the suburbs supposedly waiting for citizens to bring their wishes and suggestions. Didn’t last long, I think the doughnut budget was slashed.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Fixagrams were great. There’s an online equivalent now. I have used them often. For practical matters such as hedge or trees overhanging so you can’t see ahead clearly, small slip onto footpath, that sort of thing.

  10. Elizabeth

    Updated post at top of thread.

  11. Lyndon Weggery

    Trust the Council to endorse the Representation Review’s recommendations as it has always rankled me that I can’t vote for the two Mosgiel Ward Councillors – yet at least one of them holds a high position and seems to be involved in a lot of controversial decisions affecting me over the hill!!! Like to see the Mosgiel Community Board go too. It just a carryover from the 1989 Amalgamation and is well past its usefulness.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      The ward system seems confused, Ward councillors Feather their own buddies’ nests, and/or take no more notice of their area’s special wellbeing than anyone anywhere else in small-g greater Dunners. Not fighting like tigers to keep those best soils for production and jobs and incomes in perpetuity – instead they were flogged off for short-term (but $$$ yummy dosh) to benefit a very few people – well, what’s that about? What does that say about the point of having wards, with people in those wards restricted from voting for people whose record shows less blatant self-interest?

  12. Elizabeth

    {Relocated from another thread. Relevance. -Eds}

    John P.Evans
    June 12, 2015 at 7:23 am
    A few short years ago, I stood beside David Benson-Pope being interviewed on his aspirations and vision for the city of Dunedin. His sole theme was to clean up Dunedin’s streets! Someone will provide the link to that interview, I am sure.

    Since his election due to the non inspection/ clearing of mud tanks by DCC staff contractors, the streets (and houses and commercial buildings) have become considerably dirtier, perhaps for years.

    Does this failure of his single vision as a potential street cleaner, suggest that he resigns honourably as a councillor, or will his other great achievements in local government recently entitle him indeed to advancement, perhaps to mayor given the clear evidence of the dissatisfaction with the incumbent?

    So is it DBP for mayor or for the high jump?

    June 12, 2015 at 9:09 am
    Given the Dunedin Sex Ring of the 1980s, the answer is don’t be fricking stupid. Ex Dunedin cop and author Tom Lewis, I suspect, would never recommend that Dunedinites vote for Benson-Pope.

    He should never have been allowed to stand for council in the first place.

    Hype O’Thermia
    Submitted on 2015/06/12 at 10:15 am | In reply to John P.Evans.

    We had a headmaster who at our assemblies used to periodically thunder, “I walk around our playgrounds and what do I see? LOLLY PAPERS!!!” Whereupon we were sent off from assembly to scour the grounds for paper for ten minutes before resuming the day’s education.
    Is it a schoolteacher thing? Trashy environment isn’t good, but….
    Big-picture thinking, not quite.

  13. Calvin Oaten

    Benson-Pope was a school teacher, and he was the master of other doings, so I guess in the order of things mud tanks are small beans to him.

  14. Elizabeth

    Community board trim unpopular
    A representation review team has recommended the number of Dunedin community boards be cut from six to five, with fewer members on each board.


    Fears for city’s ‘unique voice’
    Some Dunedin city councillors fear the city’s unique rural voice could be in jeopardy under proposed changes to its local government representation rules. Several proposed changes were released by the representation review team on Wednesday, and will be discussed by the council on Monday.


    • I never thought I would say this but I would like to see ALL the Community Boards go. Why? When they are supposed to be these wonderful agencies of grassroots engagement, facilitating communication between the council and a local community? Well, first there’s a geographical problem here. Lines on a map do not a community make! The Dunedin City Council has the biggest land area of any city council in the country. So are those Community Boards representing real ‘communities of interest’ or are they artificial constructs which the average citizen in their area couldn’t care less about?
      Next, have Community Boards become ‘institutionalised’ and so part of the very problem of alienation which they might have been hoped to prevent? But IMO, they were never really intended as any more than transitional and cynical sops to people objecting to the 1989 local body amalgamations. (A group on Waiheke called OurWaiheke is currently preparing a de-amalgamation proposal to the Local Government Commission to become an independent authority again).
      But my most serious objection to continued Community Boards is (somewhat surprisingly) the same as Gurglar’s – that members and chairs get paid. Things change once money changes hands!
      Once local ratepayer’ associations and local progressive societies did this kind of local community representation, usually focused around a local multi-purpose meeting hall – all as volunteers.
      In Melbourne, I became familiar with the network of Neighbourhood Centres and Learning Exchanges, part of a nation-wide initiative in community building, resilience and social capital. The local council provided an ordinary, very user-friendly suburban house with a backyard and paid the power bill, insurance and rates – and the volunteers organised everything else, including childcare for people attending all kinds of virtually free courses run by volunteers with a wide range of expertise. Very small scale, very local with the idea that most citizens could easily walk from their home to one of these Neighbourhood Houses. That’s where I’d like to see the community interface between people, local communities and the council take place – maybe with the help of the newer community-building websites like Neighbourly.co.nz and Ooooby.
      Notice that some comments in the ODT article perpetuate the myth that ward councillors ‘represent’ their ward. No, they do not. Legally, they must not. The late Richard Walls correctly called the existence of wards ‘purely an electoral device.’

  15. Calvin Oaten

    Talking about ‘representation’ I see in the latest ‘Star’ that we now have a ‘department’ of ‘work with China’ led by one of their fellow countrymen. He waxes eloquently on the importance of the Dunedin / Shanghai connection and also of the valuable trip he and a bunch of fellow ‘zombies’ recently enjoyed to China and numerous parts thereof. He would wouldn’t he? That is a new department costing his salary plus who knows what. I wonder how many people knew of that before this item in the Star? No doubt, but Dave is working hard at containing costs within the building but it’s a shame this got out.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    “But my most serious objection to continued Community Boards is (somewhat surprisingly) the same as Gurglar’s – that members and chairs get paid. Things change once money changes hands!” (Diane Yeldon)
    I have similar feelings about councillors and mayors. It used to be an honour to be elected. Those who stood were those who had, usually, been successful and felt it was time to contribute to the community in which they had been to do so, or sometimes, married women who did not have to financially support themselves. The reason for raising the $reward for service was to make it more “democratic” – enable people of limited means to stand for office. But it hasn’t happened. For one thing the cost of campaigning is beyond the average wage-worker. Now we have people much the same as those who used to receive a token payment for service, but now as well as their businesses they receive more than most of the wage-worker voters for their careers as councillors with extra for roles on committees and even more per meeting, which is hardly an incentive to get things done without wasting time.
    Like many a well intended scheme, the pay rates for councillors have introduced perverse incentives without achieving the good outcomes or “solving” the initial problem – if in fact it was a problem. I have nothing against the idea of successful people making a sacrifice of their time and expertise to give back to the community. There is no guarantee that they will not nest-feather for themselves and their mates, but without guaranteed financial reward it’s a bit of a gamble that they will if elected be able to do that, and I think this would discourage the more ratbaggy element.

    • Gurglars

      I’m not sure about the backhanded wrap, at the top of this, but well said Hypo, pay them nothing, that will get rid of the career politicians which definitely include Jinty, Aaron, Wylie, B-P and possibly other deadwood also.

      Let them elect only those who can understand the present plight and solve that initially and then at the subsequent election, a balance of social visionaries, balanced by practical minded costcutters.

      There will be no room for pocket pissers, bribe takers, flower power, treehuggers, pot smokers or beetle lovers.

      All others apply.

  17. Lyndon Weggery

    See from reading the Representation Review Document that their recommendation for an enlarged Dunedin Ward of 14 Councillors is dependent on STV working well in the City. As one of the Team that successfully brought this in in 2004 I am encouraged by our visionary thinking at the time!!!!!

  18. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz June 15, 2015 – 7:36pm
    Public feedback on changes to the way members are elected
    The Dunedin City Council is about to seek public feedback on recommended changes to the way members are elected. Councillors have just voted in support of the changes, suggested by an independent review team. Although not everyone’s happy with what may result. 

    • Diane Yeldon

      Hmmm, interesting to watch the Channel 39 coverage of this meeting. I did go and am just uploaded the audio now. Meeting started at 1.00 pm and didn’t finish till about 4.30.pm. The Community Board chairs were present and had the same right to question the RR Panel and take part in the discussion as councillors. But, of course, they were not allowed to vote. Some very strong feelings about many of the issues and not all of them really on topic, such as which Community Boards were useless and which were not – but, of course, not as overtly expressed as that.
      Channel 39 News clip gave Review Panel Chair Janine Hayward the floor and didn’t mention that the survey got only 275 replies (that’s from my memory). A Community Board astutely pointed out that a small sample expressed as a percentage could be very misleading. My own example of this would be that if you questioned two people and one of them agreed with you, then you could report that 50% of those interviewed agreed! Misleading indeed. A bit of a powder keg of a meeting. But nobody lit the fuse. So all very orderly and well and fairly chaired IMO by Mayor Dave Cull. Except for one amusing episode at the very end where he briefly considered accepting an ‘amendment’ which would have effectively negated part of the substance of the resolution to accept the Panel’s report! Causing considerable and widespread muttering and a sprint by Sandy Graham (governance) from one end of the room to the other to whisper in his ear.
      Cr Noone argued very well, clearly believing in the usefulness of a geographical community of interest being represented by a councillor.
      But the response to that was why not also allow geographical communities of interest, like South Dunedin, for example? And how do you define ‘rural’. A good meeting with a wide-range of views well-expressed. And on the whole with courtesy despite obviously strong feelings on the issue. More to come when the Panel’s recommendations now endorsed by the Council go out for public consultation. Will be much lobbying by Community Board advocates and supporters in the intervening period I expect. But I think there is definitely majority agreement that voters want a right to vote for all councillors so I think the wards will all go. The argument is about Community Boards and one problem is that you can’t make rules for only the ones that seem to be working well. Rules have to apply to the lot.

  19. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Jun 2015
    Boards’ future in jeopardy
    By Craig Borley
    Dunedin’s community boards could be heading for extinction, removing a long-held link between the public and the council – and the hefty bill they incur. […] The council voted 11 to 3 in favour of putting the proposal out for public consultation, which will run for a month from June 27.
    Read more

    What happens next (via ODT)

    June 27-July 27: Public submissions.

    August 10-14: Submissions heard.

    August 24: Council considers submissions.

    September 2-October 2: Public appeals.

    October 2015: Appeals and objections sent to Local Government Commission.

    April 10, 2016: Final decision.

  20. Peter

    It is interesting how Cr Lee Vandervis has been talking for a long while about Community Boards, questioning their worth and advocating they be abolished. I can’t remember who castigated him at those times, but it now seems their long term prognosis is terminal.
    Another case of Lee Vandervis being spot on? Not that Greater Dunedin would want to hear that now they are catching up. Again.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, I was originally against the demise of Community Boards if it meant less voice for rural people but I see that the Representation Review Panel has recommended around retaining rural representation. Thank god. Being deeply familiar with district council(s) business prior to amalgamation, there has been a large flow of resource and autonomy out of rural districts in favour of grandstand pet projects in the metropolitan area. Although this was anticipated, the overall debt position and loss-making mercurial ways of the DCC were scantly envisaged. Rural representation must be respectfully stewarded for the greater good within such a large geographical council boundary area.

  21. Brian Miller

    If it wasn’t for the rural areas’ financial support, there wouldn’t be a Dunedin City. Unfortunately the DCC has never recognised this, and made short-term decisions to fill the pockets of their cronies to the detriment of the rural production base, and its ability to continually pull the economy out of the shit.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Sustainability would permit the re-division of those silly “lifestyle blocks” leaving the house on a city-sized section and the rest of the acreage sold for its original best use – local food for local consumption being Green as all get-out. Re-amalgamating the part blocks of land would take time, buying up adjoining portions then if the cost of turning them back into single titles were a priority because it’s big-S Socially and economically desirable…. Reversing dumb (kind interpretation) or corrupt (no comment!) decisions isn’t easy but with sense and long-term thinking………. Sorry folks, I’m hallucinating, we don’t do that sort of thing here.

  22. Brian Miller

    Hype. There was a major North Island grower and distributor, who has created many rural job opportunities. They were looking to relocate to the South Island. They looked at the Taieri and considered there was not enough large areas left to establish here without the hassle of amalgamating some of the small tittles that the city has allowed, and the cost of amalgamating, and the anti-rural council’s attitude. They decided to establish further up the island.
    When local developers want to carve up the Taieri for residential purposes, the council (including some of the rural councillors) bends over backwards to facilitate them. Even to the extent of changing the District Plan to suit developers.
    One thing this council can claim is its involvement in exports. Hundreds of rural job opportunities have been exported out of Dunedin to other areas of the South Island, because of the council’s anti-rural attitude.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Sickening, isn’t it.
      You’d think this council, with all the mouthing of “sustainability” and reduction of fossil fuels, would be eager to undo the folly of the past. Well you’d think that if you believed they were capable of joined-together thinking.

  23. Elizabeth

    At ODT Online today:

    Community boards: People may ‘no longer be heard’
    By Craig Borley
    Dunedin’s community boards are in a fight for their survival. A proposal to cut the boards from six to five, and reduce the number of elected representatives, has gone to public consultation. […] The six community board chairmen told the Otago Daily Times they were horrified at what appeared to be a tactical and systematic drive to eliminate community boards from Dunedin’s local government landscape.
    ODT Link


    Dunedin’s former mayors held differing opinions of the value or otherwise of the city’s community boards.

    1: Are community boards a valuable asset for Dunedin?
    2: Do you agree with the Representation Review Panel’s recommendations?
    3: Do you think a long-term goal of removing community boards altogether is positive?

    Read responses from Cliff Skeggs, Sukhi Turner and Peter Chin.
    ODT Link


    What the community board chairmen said. ODT Link

    • Null Disperandum

      Cliff Skeggs was never a Mayor of this Council (as implied by omission) in today’s ODT. He was formerly Mayor of the former Metropolitan Dunedin City Council. (Generously speaking not more than 10sqkm in size). The Dunedin City Council that Mayor Chin and Mayor Turner presided over is 3600sqkm. The relevance of Cliff Skeggs’ ‘pisspot’ Council catchment escapes me when considering representation issues of today’s Council catchment. of 3600sqkm.

  24. Peter

    The key question is: How effective have these Community Boards been in promoting good, sound projects for their communities? If not, why keep them?
    If they have been more like ‘talking shops’ and/or useful for self interests of members, why keep them?

  25. Elizabeth

    The community boards are not all equal. Some have played straight with diligent leadership and valued community service; others have not, eg Mosgiel Taieri which has been fiddling council discretionary funds and paying on monies to affiliated local groups ignoring glaring conflicts of interest as the money changed hands and application…. then there was the new Mosgiel pool project, so poorly conceived.

    • Farkme

      Good to know, Elizabeth. I thought the responses from the former Mayors all made valid points. I was amused by Skeggs concerned about having to pay for them out of his rates. I didn’t realise he was also a struggling ratepayer. He did have a valid point re two bites of the cherry for some city communities and not others.
      In the end, if outlying communities are missung out they can reflect this at the ballot box. Well, theoretically, if it means that much.

  26. Anonymous

    Some would like to see the Dunedin Council reduced back to the metropolitan area. The notion of a compact city plus resilient townships and the greatest city area in the Southern Hemisphere….is unsustainable nonsense.

    • Null Disperandum

      Of course it’s nonsense. It was nonsense at inception in 1989 and it is nonsense now. If the recommendation is adopted, and with representation based on population and the removal of all wards and in its place a Super ward, we’ll have the perverse situation of a ratepayer catchment that is 95% rural; presided over by 100% urban Councillors. Just see if they care about Nth Taieri flooding or if there is enough road metal on the roads to get (say) the children from Hyde to school. It takes approx. 2 hours to drive from City boundary to City boundary. Few Councillors know that and I would guess also that few Councillors have ever visited the northern boundary at Kokonga or the Eastern boundary near Macraes Flat. So I agree with you Anonymous; but I suspect for quite disparate reasons.

      • Second cut

        Strange thing is that there have been two councillors from up Middlemarch / Hyde area who have never been seen in South Dunedin or Port Chalmers with their roading and flooding problems, but expect the town councillors to run up to Hyde to worry about the six school kids getting to school.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    Look at the map of Africa, all those straight lines drawn without reference to the inhabitants. Huge tracts owned by colonial powers (England and European countries) played “I bags this” and claimed ownership. Independence didn’t help all that much, not when the country that became independent was made up of populations with s.f.a. in common (except when they had been ruled by white masters) and in many cases had far more in common with their cuzzies over the (colonist-drawn) border, no wonder there have been so many “failures” of independence. Not failures of colonialism, of course – O perish the thought!
    Dunedin, with “the greatest city area in the Southern Hemisphere” is the result of similar powerful parties drawing lines on a map, disrespecting the people who live in what were townships/localilties in their own right. Duct-taping them to Dunedin city was as logical as picking Murupara and Clinton and declaring them “Dunedin” only difference being the length of time it takes to travel to them. It was one of those ghastly brainfarts like splitting electricity providers from suppliers, and imagining (or lying) that this would give NZers a better cheaper supply. Amalgamating, splitting, selling off assets – all for our benefit. So many expensive brainfarts. It’s time for a liberal dose of Quick-Eze both internally and rubbed into overpaid scalps, followed by investing in time and cost needed to undo the damage of those clodhoppy rogue heffalump ballsups.

  28. Elizabeth

    Insufficient numbers of Dunedin residents and ratepayers made submissions to the representation review panel – and those who did were not all squeaky clean or dis-coloured. If people want to change where the council and community boards are headed for fair representation then they should collect their thoughts, write them down, and participate in the consultation process forthwith.

  29. Elizabeth

    Another rehash of “fears”, already covered by ODT previously…. Bill Feather pretending to be righteous after not chairing his ‘lobby-board’ correctly and allowing DCC discretionary funds to be misused. Oh woe, is Bill.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 8 Jul 2015
    Fears for future of community boards
    By Erin Speedy & Charlotte Haselden
    Fears continue to rise for the future of community boards on the Taieri as proposed changes loom. […] ”My belief is whatever issue the individuals in the community have, they will have to take it up directly with the council instead of lobbying for it,” Mr Feather said.
    Read more

    • Peter

      I note Strath Taieri chairman, Barry Williams says it is already hard to get a quorum and cutting board numbers won’t help. Did I read this correctly? lf so, he seems to be unwittingly supplying a reason to dump them.
      If board members are not attending meetings, to a point it has become a problem, why have these boards?
      I thought the examples Scott Weatherall gave of his board’s input was not that significant. A councillor who lives closest to such areas could represent their interests.

      • Elizabeth

        A lot of community groups, lobbies and boards struggle to get quorums these days – everybody is stretched.
        Sometimes too it comes down to the quality of the chairing and the formal secretaryship in mustering members.

        • Peter

          I suspect there will also be people who like to join groups for whatever reason, but have no idea of time commitment and cannot do full justice to do the job.
          In many committees you will get the workers and those who prefer to just pontificate. The latter are likely to be periodically on AWOL.

  30. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 9, 2015 – 6:51pm
    Nightly interview: Christine Garey
    An independent review of local government has recommended a raft of changes. Among those are several relating to Dunedin’s half a dozen community boards. But not everyone approves of the proposals. Otago Peninsula Community Board chair Christine Garey joins us now to discuss what’s going on.

  31. Elizabeth

    “The people of Mosgiel, all 16,000 of them, need us …” –Blackie Catlow

    ### ODT Online Wed, 15 Jul 2015
    Residents urged to have say on boards’ future
    By Rhys Chamberlain
    Encouraging the Mosgiel-Taieri community to have their say on the structure of community boards in Dunedin city is a priority for the local board. Submissions on the representation review are open and the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board wants everyone in the ward to make a submission.
    Read more

    █ Submission forms would be distributed around local businesses in Mosgiel and were also available from Dunedin City Council. Submissions close on July 27.

    • Brian Miller

      Mossie board members are howling now to save themselves, and the cash flow that goes with it. It is a pity that they didn’t stand up and be counted, and make the same noise and let the community know when the two rural community board members places were taken away at the last representational review. Just what they wanted. Get rid of the rural representation and open up the rural area for their developer mates.
      Wonder what their cronies will do now. They didn’t give a stuff about the board. It was the $10,000 discretionary fund, and that rural land for residential development that they were after. They had no trouble in getting their hands on the money. Most of it was misappropriated, but who cares. It was only ratepayers money, and there was always more to come the next year.
      We will probably hear more public howling from them about saving the board than any other issue. Most of the other issues were done at secret meetings, because they didn’t want the public to know what they were up to.

  32. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 21 Jul 2015
    40 submissions on DCC review
    Source: DCC
    About 40 submissions have already been received on the Dunedin City Council’s proposed representation review. The controversial proposal includes changing the number of community boards in the city from six to five and adjusting their boundaries so urban areas are not covered.
    Read more

    █ Submissions close on July 27.
    Submission forms are available from the council website, Dunedin public library, or customer service centres.


    • jeff dickie

      I was thinking “Noble” Property Subdivision was a misnomer. Then I realized it was very close to “Nobble” Property Subdivision, and that fits very well indeed!

      • Elizabeth

        Very good.
        Just got to figure how not to be nobbled by DCC/DCHL over Delta nobbling ratepayers to the tune of (was it) +$19 million…. oh yeah, sub judice (the Latin for whitewash spilt on red carpet).

  33. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 29, 2015 – 7:20pm
    Public submits on proposed changes to local election processes
    Almost 200 submissions are being considered by the city council, on proposed changes to the election of members. Most residents want to see the ward system scrapped and the number of community boards retained. But ultimately the decision could rest with those outside the province.

  34. Elizabeth

    Local Government Commission to make final determination by April 10 next year.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 1 Aug 2015
    Shaping Dunedin’s electoral future
    By Chris Morris
    The future of Dunedin’s local government will be shaped by about 170 submissions, but it could also come down to the views of the Local Government Commission. Submissions on the Dunedin City Council’s proposed representation review closed on Monday, after the council earlier endorsed the recommendations of an independent panel for public consultation.
    Read more

  35. Elizabeth

    Cull baseless blurt numero…………

    ### ODT Online Tue, 4 Aug 2015
    Cull admits error in ward issue recall
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull concedes he got it wrong in comments about the Local Government Commission. Mr Cull, speaking to the Otago Daily Times last week, said there was “every chance” the commission could ignore the council’s wishes after changes to the city’s local government system were considered next week.
    Read more

  36. Elizabeth


    ### ODT Online Mon, 10 Aug 2015
    Community board cuts opposed
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin city councillors will face considerable opposition to plans to cut community board and community board member numbers when they hear the public’s views on the issue tomorrow. A hearing on plans to cut community boards from five to four, and members on each board from six to four, has attracted plenty of opposition in the 168 submissions received on the issue.
    Read more

    THE ISSUES (via ODT)

    I Changes to community boards (fewer boards)
    Support: 29
    Opposition: 125

    II Reduction in the number of community board members
    Support: 36
    Opposition: 118

    III Retain 14 elected members on Dunedin City Council
    Support: 117
    Opposition: 33

    IV Council to be elected at large – removing ward system completely
    Support: 88
    Opposition: 63

  37. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Tuesday, August 11, 2015
    Community board future sparks debate
    Arguments are unfolding at the city council, as its representation review continues. Many voters want the ward system scrapped, but it’s the future of community boards that’s sparking the most debate.
    Ch39 Link + Video

    [Article and Video removed by Ch39]

  38. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 12 Aug 2015
    Community boards plan hotly disputed
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin community boards fear changes to the city’s local government landscape will ”plunge a knife into the heart” of their communities. The concerns came as board representatives criticised the proposed changes on the first day of the Dunedin City Council’s representation review hearing yesterday.
    Read more

    Representation review proposals (via ODT)

    Number of community boards to drop from six to five; boundary adjustments so urban areas no longer covered.

    Strath Taieri and Mosgiel Taieri boards to be amalgamated into a new Taieri Rural board; Mosgiel’s urban area and North Taieri’s lifestyle area no longer represented.

    Number of elected representatives on each board dropped from six to four.

    Mosgiel-Taieri and Waikouaiti Coast-Chalmers wards to be scrapped; councillors to be elected ”at large” instead.

    Number of councillors to remain at 14.

  39. Brian Miller

    I made a submission to the review committee yesterday. After I had read my submission, the Mayor ruled that there would be no discussion or questions about what I had presented, but any questions had to be about the review. My submission was based on my support for the review committee’s decision, and that I had documentation to back up my submission. Mayor’s ruling to stand. Democracy at work?

    • Elizabeth

      Brian, if you are not a Yes Man then the mayor develops apoplexy.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Democracy at work?”
      Brian, it is with regret that we farewelled Democracy who decided that after many years of hard work it was time for a change, and has retired to Wanaka. “I look forward to spending more time with my family, and of course there’s our garden,” Democracy told our reporter by Skype last night.
      There is definitely no connection between Democracy’s voluntary decision to take early retirement, and any disagreements on practice or policy with the mayor or any other members of Council.

  40. Elizabeth

    “No disrespect, but I don’t expect to be bumping shoulders with you in a pub on a Friday night,” Mr [Graeme] Wall told Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 13 Aug 2015
    Vocal support for community boards
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council should keep its hands off community boards and focus on its own problems instead, the Otago Peninsula Community Board’s chairwoman says. The blunt message came from Christine Garey on the second day of the council’s representation review public hearing yesterday.
    Read more

  41. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Wednesday, August 19, 2015
    DCC considers feedback on the way councillors are elected
    Deliberations are under way for the city council’s representation review.
    Ch39 Link

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Aug 19, 2015
    DCC considers feedback on the way councillors are elected

  42. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 25 Aug 2015
    Cull’s casting vote breaks community board deadlock
    By Craig Borley
    Tomahawk and Ocean Grove will probably be removed from the Otago Peninsula Community Board, after Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull used his casting vote to break a Dunedin City Council deadlock on the issue yesterday. The council was meeting to deliberate on the Representation Review Panel's recommendations on the shape of Dunedin's democratic layout, and on the subsequent submissions received from the community.
    Read more

  43. Elizabeth

    39 Dunedin News Published on Sep 1, 2015
    City councillors endorse changes to local body representation

    ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Sep 2015
    Community board changes voted in
    By Craig Borley
    Big changes to Dunedin’s community boards have been voted through by the Dunedin City Council in a marathon two day deliberation meeting. That meeting began last week and ended yesterday, when the council voted to reduce the number of community boards, the number of members per board, and the area of Dunedin covered by them.
    Read more

  44. Elizabeth

    Poor Mr Feather, rug being pulled on him – appearing on his own without his board around him. Dust to dust.

    39 Dunedin Television Published on Sep 2, 2015

    ### dunedintelevision.co.nz Wed, 2 Sep 2015
    Mosgiel faces loss of community board
    Mosgiel is set to lose its community board, if the city council has its way. The Local Government Commission will decide whether to approve the council’s plan in coming months.
    Ch39 Link

  45. Brian Miller

    Mosgiel’s community board chairman is concerned with the loss of the board, that the residents will be losing their voice.
    I recently wrote to the board requesting the board consider that the Mosgiel Memorial Gardens be kept in their present location, for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
    The chair tabled my email, and spoke about something that had no relevance to my request at all, and then proceeded to close any discussion about my request down. Where was the voice of the community, Mr Chairman. If you don’t allow discussion when it is requested ?
    It should be noted that the board has already supported the pool trust and its preferred site: The Mosgiel Memorial Gardens.
    Unsurprisingly, the Chairman when dealing with my request did not declare the board’s interest: that the board supported the pool trust’s preferred site.
    It would appear that the board without any public consultation has been prepared to be the voice for the pool trust. Therefore making itself unavailable to the rest of the community who may have a different point of view that needs to be considered.
    Is it any wonder that this board will disappear after the next elections, when the board is not prepared to listen or consult with the very people that it claims to be the voice of.

  46. Jacob

    What will the unemployed board members do for a living now ? Did some one say that the firewood business looks a good one out in Mosgiel with all the trees that are on the list to get the chop.

  47. Elizabeth

    Representation system almost identical to that suggested by Representation Review Panel.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Sep 2015
    Sweeping alterations
    By Craig Borley
    Large swathes of the Taieri are set to lose community board representation after the Dunedin City Council voted in several changes to the city’s democratic make-up last week. […] Mosgiel, Fairfield, the Corstorphine to Blackhead block, Kaikorai Hill, rural areas above Abbotsford, and lifestyle areas of Chain Hills will all now be without community board representation. The remaining rural section of the current Mosgiel Taieri board will be amalgamated with the current Strath Taieri board, creating a giant rural ward with a new name – the Rural Taieri Community Board.
    Read more

  48. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 30 Sep 2015
    Board ready to appeal decision
    Source: Taieri Times
    The Dunedin City Council voted to reduce the number of community boards and the number of members per board and the area of Dunedin covered by them. A rural section of the current Mosgiel Taieri board will be amalgamated with the Strath Taieri board creating a giant rural ward called the Rural Taieri Community Board.
    Read more

  49. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 14 Oct 2015
    Optimistic over appeal success
    The Taieri Times asks the Saddle Hill Community Board chairman whether the board has appealed the decision.
    A: Yes, we’ve appealed it on the grounds that we think people are better represented with community boards, than not. The board [members] have asked for the reinstatement of the status quo.
    Read more

  50. Elizabeth

    Dunedin City Council Published on Jul 23, 2015
    Dunedin City Council – Extraordinary Council Meeting – June 15 2015
    [Representation Review] Coverage of the Dunedin City Council Meeting held on Monday June 15 2015.

    Minutes, agendas and reports related to this meeting can be found at http://goo.gl/83VwUX

  51. Elizabeth

    [Gerard Collings] pointed to “flaws” in the process and questioned why Mayor Dave Cull was included on the representation review panel, given he had previously noted his preference for an “at large” voting system.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Mar 2016
    Fear communities could lose their voice
    By Vaughan Elder
    Dunedin community boards fear the voices of those living in the outskirts of the city will be lost if the council gets its way. Board representatives and other residents living on the fringes of the city pleaded their case – at times emotionally – at a hearing held by the Local Government Commission, which gets final say on changes to boards proposed by the Dunedin City Council.
    Read more


    ### dunedintv.co.nz Tue, 8 March 2016
    Fight to retain community boards
    Community board members are fighting to keep their roles intact by voicing concerns about representation changes. They’ve been participating in a hearing, from which a decision will be made about whether a new system is implemented. And that will effect this year’s local body elections.
    Ch39 Video

  52. Diane Yeldon

    What is interesting about this discussion is that some people are saying that they don’t feel their communities and possibly individuals in their communities are represented by the council. In fact, often, that they need representation against the council, as if it was an adversary. I have wondered whether democracy works only on a small scale, when people actually have day-to-day and face-to-face experience of the people they can vote for. Mass democracy, when voters are dependent on media, amounts to an entirely different system. For example, the Otago Regional Council elections. I doubt if most voters know anything much about the candidates. Yet they still vote. If a significant proportion of voters are uniformed, holding a lottery amongst suitably qualified people is likely to result in better government. A bit like jury service.

    • Brian Miller

      Crocodile tears. That is what I saw from Bill Feather, Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chair, and Martin Dillon Mosgiel Taieri Community Board member, at the hearing. They tried to tell the hearings commissioners how they represented the Mosgiel Taieri area, and how they were needed. Let not the facts get in the way of a good cry.
      Here are some of the facts.
      As the results of amalgamation the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board was to be made up of two areas of representation. Four from the Mosgiel urban area, and two from the Taieri rural area. A few years back the Taieri residents took up a petition (received over 400 signatures) for more representation on the board. The results of that was that at the next representational review. Without any consultation with the Taieri residents. The board backed, and were successful in having the Two Taieri representatives be removed from the board.
      Now Feather and Dillon have gone cap in hand to the representational appeal hearing to keep the board. Something that they didn’t give the Taieri residents the opportunity to do.
      The one good thing that will come out of this is that the Taieri part of the Mosgiel Taieri Community Board is to join up with the Strath Taieri Community Board to make a Taieri Community Board. This will give some real clout to the rural voice that has been suppressed by developers in the past.
      PS Martin Dillon claims to have been on the board for 18 years. I invite Martin to come on What if?, and give us his CV of his personal achievements as a board member during that time.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Brian Miller: “Let not the facts get in the way of a good cry.”

        How often that applies to our hand-wringing [biting] crocodiles, whether pedalling, back-pedalling or riding roughshod.

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