Dunedin City: Representation Review determination

Friday, April 08, 2016 11:04 AM

From: Donald Riezebos [mailto: Donald.Riezebos @dia.govt.nz]
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2016 10:33 AM
To: Mick Lester (HDC); Belinda Smith Lyttle; Brian Miller; Carissa Cooper; Chalmers Community Board; Colin Weatherall; Geraldine Tait; Leanne Stenhouse; Martin Dillon; Moira Parker; Mosgiel Taieri Community Board; Otago Peninsula Community Board; Saddle Hill Community Board; Strath Taieri Community Board; Sue O’Neill; Te Rauone Beach Coast Care Committee; Waikouaiti Coast Community Board
Subject: Local Government Commission Representation Review Determination – Dunedin City

Attached is a copy of the Local Government Commission’s representation review determination for Dunedin City, along with our media release. These are embargoed until 11.00am at which time the media will be advised.


Donald Riezebos | Principal Advisor
Local Government Commission Mana Kawanatanga a Rohe

Media Release
8 April 2016

Commission announces decision on representation arrangements for Dunedin City Council

The Local Government Commission today announced its decision on the Dunedin City Council’s membership and ward arrangements for the 2016 local elections.

The Council had proposed that:
• The council be elected at large (rather than from wards)
• The number of councillors remain at 14
• The boundaries of the Chalmers, Otago Peninsula, Saddle Hill and Waikouaiti Coast Community Boards be altered by transferring two areas between communities and excluding other areas from communities altogether
• A Rural Taieri Community Board be established comprising the Strath Taieri Community Board’s area and the rural part of the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board’s area

There were 16 appeals against the Council’s proposal.

After hearing from the Council and the appellants the Commission has decided to:
• uphold the Council’s proposal for the Council to be elected at large
• retain the existing community board system (apart from renaming the Chalmers Community Board as the West Harbour Community Board and two boundary alterations).

The boundary alterations are the transfer of an area above Sawyers Bay from Waikouaiti Coast Community to West Harbour Community and the transfer of Quarantine Island from West Harbour Community to Otago Peninsula Community.

The Council’s representation arrangements for the 2016 local elections will therefore be as follows:
• A Mayor and 14 councillors elected from the City as a whole
• Six community boards as follows:

Strath Taieri Community Board
Waikouaiti Coast Community Board
Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board
Saddle Hill Community Board
West Harbour Community Board
Otago Peninsula Community Board

• Each community board will have six members and one councillor appointed to the board by the Council

The determination is available on the Commission’s website: http://www.lgc.govt.nz

Summary of the Representation Review process

Councils are required by law to undertake a representation review every six years. The following is a brief outline of the process:

• The Council makes its proposal
• The Council invites submissions on its proposal
• The Council considers submissions and makes a final proposal
• People can object to or appeal against the proposal to the Local Government Commission
• The Commission may hold an appeals hearing
• The Commission makes and releases its Determination


Media contacts:
Donald Riezebos | Principal Advisor | Local Government Commission
Simon Cunliffe | Communications Advisor | Local Government Commission

4549539DA – Blank Document [Determination 7.4.16]
Dunedin City – Media Release

Related Post and Comments:
11.6.15 DCC representation review

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Resource management

33 responses to “Dunedin City: Representation Review determination

  1. Elizabeth

    Fri, 8 Apr 2016
    ODT: Decision spells end to Dunedin’s ward system
    A representation review of Dunedin’s local government has dropped the last of the city’s ward system, but kept its six community boards. The end of the ward system means all voters will be able to vote for all councillors.


    Further to, a chance to nail home critical electorate issues with this survey pending. Go for it People – if you can’t say it here due to the beloved – let’s hope some of you will be treated RANDOMLY to SAY IT THERE.

    Fri, 8 Apr 2016
    ODT: Otago Survey of satisfaction
    Residents across Otago should be prepared to answer questions about their satisfaction levels with their local council over the next few weeks. Research company Versus will contact a random selection of residents as part of a wider Otago survey. […] It was commissioned by the Otago Mayoral Forum to help councils understand what residents think of their services.


    territory and circumstance
    amalgamations and feeding/capture of power and resource

    Douglas Field Published Apr 7, 2016 | Republished Aug 17, 2016
    diabolical ecology

  2. Gurglars

    The Otago Mayoral Forum!

    Brian Cadogan for Mayor of Otago, now that would be a step forward, one council, no ORC, no Dave Cull, no other Dunedin councillors would be elected, and savings in staff cuts, how many dog controllers do you need to write less than one pooping ticket per annum!

    • ab

      A mayoral forum really is something for’um.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Gurglars, I don’t think one can mention names or job title / position / role even though they appear in the ODT and odtonline, unless it is to praise for sagacity, competence, honesty, impeccable judgement, fairness towards all including colleagues, memory for past promises, and nimbleness at dancing on the head of a pin.
      It’s not difficult, not here in Dunedin where all the “excised, redacted and censored” are wise, handsome and above average

      • Gurglars

        I’ll keep on doing it Hype, the defence against Slander – “Is it the truth”

        • Elizabeth

          No. The law has moved on.

        • Diane Yeldon

          Gurglars: IMO claiming qualified privilege is a much sounder defence than ‘truth’ against accusations of defamation when the discussion is political. There is statutory qualified privilege when making fair and accurate reports of meetings of local authorities, when the meetings are open to the public. And there is common law qualified privilege regarding discussion of past, present and aspiring politicians. This applies to Parliament but a court is very likely to extend to local body politicians if tested. This is only my opinion – am no lawyer! Source: defamationupdate.co.nz

        • Diane Yeldon

          But of course ‘political’ means only elected reps, not staff. Presumably staff are doing what they are told by the CEO who is told what to do by the elected reps in council.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          The truth can be unacceptable to some people. I suppose the reason for change is that the law has caught up with the need to protect self-esteem, offence-takers and “prominent” personages.
          On the other hand, how effective is it in a small country with small towns and cities, to take complaints of slander through the court process? Does this not have the opposite effect to that intended? Does it not result in the unwelcome words being repeated louder and more frequently, and since it takes a long time to get a court fixture does this not occur when everyone except “Mr/Ms Affronted” has forgotten about it?
          I think the way the slander law works is similar to the way gangs are effective debt collectors. A large polite but firm heavily tattoo’d person “reminds” debtor that there is a problem that needs to be solved if they do not want further action to be taken, not even in most cases needing to say the threat out loud. In the case of slander, it’s communication from lawyers and the implied threat isn’t broken bones or finding your pets dead on your doorstep, or your house catching fire – no, it’s huge expense on another team of lawyers unless the alleged slanderer complies by paying the offended party for wounded sensibilities (nudge-nudge) or removing material from digital media or publishing big notice of apology and retraction in magazine / newspaper.

        • Diane Yeldon

          The law about defamation was changed in 1992 and I suspect this may have been partly to stop people shooting their mouths off on the internet. However, in New Zealand, it may now be weighted too much on the side of the plaintiff. It seems that it’s only the plaintiff (ie the one who wants to get the courts involved!) who can determine the meaning of the statement in contention and the defendant cannot say, “But I didn’t mean THAT. I meant THIS instead and THIS is true, which I can prove.” It seems very unfair to me that the defendant can’t present their own view of what they meant because this situation takes away their defence of truth, ie they usually won’t be able to argue that what they did NOT mean or intend is true.
          See: http://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/news/2012/june2/defamation-law-problems-warrant-review

          Interesting thing about defamation law generally is whether the defendant has to prove what they said was true (to use a defence of truth), rather than the plaintiff having to prove it isn’t. Wikipedia says: “English defamation law puts the burden of proving the truth of allegedly defamatory statements on the defendant, rather than the plaintiff, and has been considered an impediment to free speech in much of the developed world.” The English law was changed partly to address this issue in 2013.

          But currently in New Zealand, it seems that the defence of truth may be difficult to use because of these two issues – burden of proof and possibly having to defend against what the other person THOUGHT you meant (!). I think this situation is bad for free speech and free expression and so conflicts with people’s accepted civil rights. IMO needs to be tidied up with further legislation. Don’t think the power should be on the side of the LITIGIOUS, because then rich people (or institutions with money) can use the threat of the law to unfairly shut poorer people up.

        • Elizabeth

          The (NZ) Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 – the result of Roast Busters – complicates it further in allowing judges to consider what they will accept as truth in the context they must establish. See definitions within the Act.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” [Lewis Carroll]

        • Diane Yeldon

          Elizabeth: NZ Harmful Digital Communications Act looks like anti-terrorism legislation – bad law as a big, wide net to catch anybody and everybody for anything online ‘deemed harmful’ by the authorities given the total power to do the ‘deeming’. This law itself says courts and people administering it must “act consistently with the rights and freedoms contained in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990”, a quick and easy non-way for the drafters to try to get around inherent contradictions with civil liberties in this law – which amounts to a ‘code of conduct’ for the internet. Except this one has teeth in the form of penalties of up to 2 years in jail or a fine up to $50,000 for the persistently recalcitrant. The ‘victims’ and their advocates are assumed to be above question. So this law could easily be misused to threaten and bully with no redress. Aaron Swartz would NOT have liked it. Nor do these digital rights advocates: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/07/nz-digital-communications-act-considered-very-harmful

        • Elizabeth


        • Elizabeth

          BroodsVEVO Published on Mar 31, 2016
          Broods – Free
          Directed by Jessie Hill and produced by Danyi Deats & Targa Sahyoun. Music video by BROODS performing Free (C) 2016 Dryden Street Ltd, under exclusive license to Universal Music Australia

          Tell me to prove, expect me to lose
          I push it away, I’m trying to move
          Hoping for more and wishing for less
          When I didn’t care was when I did best
          I’m desperate to run, I’m desperate to leave
          If I lose it all, at least I’ll be free

          It’s clear you think that I’m inferior
          Whatever helps you sleep at night
          Whatever helps you keep it tight

      • Kleinefeldmaus

        @Hype O’Thermia
        April 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm

        You say: “Gurglars, I don’t think one can mention names or job title / position / role even though they appear in the ODT and odtonline” …and It’s not difficult, not here in Dunedin where all the “excised, redacted and censored” are wise, handsome and above average.

        But what we have here in Dunedin at present is a very questionable set of circumstances that does indeed bear scrutiny. In this regard I have added this link that I think readers of this blog might want to take in.

        Probing Question: How old is political satire?
        Sue Marquette Poremba
        June 20, 2008


        Robert W. Speel, Ph.D., is associate professor of political science at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College and recipient of the 2006 George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Sue Marquette Poremba and Robert W. Speel don’t live in Dunedin. Where they live “a very questionable set of circumstances” may “indeed bear scrutiny”.
          Other parts of the world people have other attitudes toward matters such as accountability.
          In NZ the law (see #comment-72224) backs up anti-scrutinists, they don’t have to bear any unwelcome words even if factual.

  3. ab

    Elected At Large? Do they mean all over, like Doctor At Large?

  4. Gurglars

    Gerry Mander did not get elected or was it redacted?

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Hype, the problem with truth is, it, like beauty is often only in the eye of the beholder. What is really dangerous is the seemingly offended being in the position of using the people’s treasure to pursue their supposed grievances. That’s when the odds become uneven. And to quote one famous local: “They have it in spades.”

  6. Kleinefeldmaus

    @Hype O’Thermia
    April 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    …And this article might bring smiles to blog readers. It might even have some currency and draw a smile for people who inhabit a nineteenth century chamber sited somewhere in the Octagon. But then again….

    The best British political insults

    Writers often have bad things to say about politicians (“they tell lies, even when they don’t have to,” said Gore Vidal).
    Link below. Just use the arrow to look at all 33 examples – light relief for Saturday arvo.

  7. Elizabeth

    Sat, 9 Apr 2016
    ODT: Wards gone but boards remain
    All voters in Dunedin will be able to vote for all councillors in this year’s elections, after the Local Government Commission yesterday scrapped the city’s ward system. A representation review of Dunedin’s local government, however, has kept its six community boards. Cont/

    Boundary alterations
    • An area above Sawyers Bay will be transferred from the Waikouaiti Coast to the West Harbour Community Board.
    • Quarantine Island will be transferred from West Harbour Community to Otago Peninsula Community Board.

    Last year, DCC “voted to recommend the commission reduce the number of community boards, the number of members per board, and the area of Dunedin covered by them.” –ODT

    The council’s plan was substantially and utterly DEFEATED wrt Community Boards.

    As a witness to the mayor’s right of reply at the panel session held in Dunedin this year, I have to say the panel’s thoughts were not with his. There was concern expressed, via questions from the panel, about the mayor and council’s (in essence) ‘metropolitan’ drive…. and the lack of representation for people and communities of interest in the rural areas, who were likely concerned about different issues than their townie cousins – such that urban representatives would not necessarily be au fait with those interests. The mayor was put on the spot – as MSM and community board representatives also observed about the Q&A. It was a definitive visual and auditory experience!

    BINGO as they say.

    I’m not sure loss of rural Wards will have the consequences some are alleging. Retention of the community boards means they have to work harder and so do those councillors appointed to them. I don’t see loss of the rural Wards as loss of rural representation.

    That said, rules for Community Boards need to be closely monitored and a Council focus must be placed on training and quality of chairing at those boards. Boards on the whole need to be strengthened to deal not only to their area concerns but also the overarching politics and moves of the full council, its standing committees and the bureaucracy.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      A councillor from X Ward was never automatically the best person, not for X Ward people nor for the city as a whole. Now s/he has to stand for the whole city. If s/he appears honest and very competent that’s what all of us want on council, isn’t it? I’ll be delighted to vote for any candidate whether living in “town” or outlying districts, who looks like being worthy of trusting not to fork-up our resources, amenities, and finances.

  8. Lyndon Weggery

    At long last we can vote for all councillors in Dunedin. And isn’t it significant that the LGC mentioned STV as helping prospective candidates overcome the wide geographical spread of the electorate.

  9. Mike

    I’m a big fan of STV from a mathematical point of view, but not of voting papers with 60 names on them (ranking them is a N factorial sort of problem, easy for 3 people, impossibly hard for 40-60).

    I suspect that a small number of large wards with STV within them might be a more workable solution

    Meanwhile people in the country (and in Mosgiel) get their own community boards to represent them (and funding for them to spend), where are the boards for Corstorphine? or Brockville? or the student ghetto? it seems to me that the city has less representation than outlying parts – it’s not as if councillors elected at large talk to their constituents between elections, to my knowledge none have held public meetings in my neighbourhood recently, if at all.

    So I’ll give my vote this year to someone who commits to holding quarterly public meetings in my neighbourhood, to make things fair I wont tell you where I live, everyone deserves to be represented equally.

  10. Elizabeth

    Really! [hard of hearing…]

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Mayor welcomes Commission decision to move to City as a whole voting system

    This item was published on 08 Apr 2016

    The Local Government Commission has today announced its decision on the Dunedin City Council’s membership and ward arrangements for the 2016 local elections.
    Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says he is pleased that the Commission has upheld Council’s proposal for councillors to be elected from the City as a whole and to retain the number of Councillors at 14. “This was the most commonly requested change by residents in the representation review process. It allows all Dunedin City residents, whether they be in Middlemarch, the central city, Brighton or Waikouaiti to vote for which ever councillors they choose and not be restricted by ward boundaries. Retaining the number of councillors at 14 also allows the opportunity for a good range of views from the community to be represented, which is good for democracy. The representation review has been a comprehensive and robust process and gives clarity around representation arrangements heading into an election.”

    The Council’s representation arrangements for the 2016 local elections are as follows:

    ● A Mayor and 14 councillors elected from the City as a whole
    ● Six community boards as follows:
    Strath Taieri Community Board
    Waikouaiti Coast Community Board
    Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board
    Saddle Hill Community Board
    West Harbour Community Board
    Otago Peninsula Community Board
    ● Each community board will have six members and one councillor appointed to the board by the Council

    Further information on the determination is available on the Commission’s website: http://www.lgc.govt.nz

    Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 03 477 4000

    DCC Link

  11. Elizabeth

    Mon, 11 Apr 2016
    ODT: Pay rise not that tempting – Cull
    The latest review from the Remuneration Authority is to be discussed at a council meeting today and Mr Cull says the 1.5% pay rise the authority set for councillors and the mayor for the 2016-17 year was not a significant one and effectively only accounted for inflation. […] The pay rates were not comparable with people in positions with a similar amount of responsibility in the private sector.

  12. Elizabeth

    Gone are the Central, Waikouaiti-Coast-Chalmers and Mosgiel Taieri wards.This is a reasonable ruling, albeit there are drawbacks.

    Tue, 12 Apr 2016
    ODT Editorial: All in the city together
    OPINION While the future and make-up of community boards received primary headlines following the Local Government Commission’s decision on Dunedin representation, the most important ruling pertains to the dropping of the last of the city’s ward system. Rather than electors voting from different pools of candidates later this year, all councillors will be elected “at large”.

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