### ODT Online Wed, 17 Jul 2013
City where the real world meets the hypothetical
By Hilary Calvert
OPINION We heard through the Otago Daily Times that Dunedin must prepare for life in a changing world through an energy plan. Apparently, according to the Dunedin City Council, we need a plan to boost our ability to adapt to future change and to take advantage of economic opportunities in a changing energy context. We also must save costs and enhance quality of life resulting from energy-efficient improvements and reduce our climate change and environmental effects.
Currently, our debt is unsustainable, and it is likely, with the good job Paul Orders has been doing, we have reduced spending as much as we usefully can without making some hard decisions. We have high debt, rates running at much more than the CPI increase, which funds many households, and little understanding, it would appear, of the economic reality within which we are operating.
The council does not have capital sitting around looking for inspirational or aspirational projects to back.
Throughout New Zealand, a new group has been formed called Affordablecity. The basic idea of Affordablecity is that each candidate, or each local party with these ideas, agrees to support five core principles:
1. Lower rates.
2. Balanced budgets.
3. Making housing affordable.
4. Spending only on the basics.
5. Restoring private property rights.
They are also focused on core activities of councils, as described in section 11A of the Local Government Act; namely infrastructure, public transport, sewage, avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards, and libraries, museums reserves etc.
● Hilary Calvert is a Dunedin resident with an interest in small government.
[Does she mean ‘local government’? But hey! there’s nothing small about Dunedin, right? We’re “punching above our weight”, say the Old Boys.]
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr