Shortsighted removal of diplomacy by ‘city leader’.
There were also no plans to stage a civic reception for the Dalai Lama, Mr Cull said yesterday. He defended both decisions, describing the Nobel Peace Prize laureate as “a representative of a minority religious faith” and questioning the benefit of engaging with him. –ODT
Politically awkward, after DCC/COC flying visits to Shanghai.
The decision was confirmed publicly just days after Mr Cull led a Dunedin delegation to Shanghai to help foster closer ties with one of the communist powerhouse’s major economic centres. –ODT
British Prime Minister David Cameron met the Dalai Lama last year. He was duly scolded by China and later cancelled a state visit after strong indications he would not be granted meetings with senior figures. –ODT
Good on former mayor Sukhi Turner for speaking up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
### ODT Online Tue, 30 Apr 2013
Mayor denies bowing to wishes of China over Dalai Lama’s visit
By Chris Morris
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull’s decision to sidestep a speaking engagement with the Dalai Lama appears to be aimed at avoiding the ire of China, a University of Otago academic, Dr Nicholas Khoo, says. However, the move has backfired in the eyes of former Dunedin mayor Sukhi Turner, who said the city was in danger of adopting a ”cargo cult mentality” and becoming ”supplicants to China”. It was confirmed yesterday Mr Cull had declined an invitation by tour organisers to introduce the Dalai Lama at a public talk in the Dunedin Town Hall, before up to 2000 people, on June 11.
### ODT Online Tue, 30 Apr 2013
Who else has sidestepped the Dalai Lama?
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has some high-profile company when it comes to sidestepping the Dalai Lama. US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard are among political leaders who have declined to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader.
[St Farry suggested the Dalai Lama could be a use for the stadium, wtf]
The Royal Society carries news coverage of THAT ‘cargo cult’ address:
Turner slams business mentality in ‘state of city’ speech
Posted: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 under Science in the News
Dunedin, April 23 – Dunedin should abandon its “big industry fetish” and encourage smaller, environmentally-friendly businesses, Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner said in her first “State of the City” speech last night.
Addressing combined members of Dunedin Lions Clubs, she pushed a strong “green” message in her vision of Dunedin’s economic future. The city’s first obligation was to stop behaving like primitive tribespeople, expecting foreigners to bring jobs and prosperity into the town, she said.
She rejected recent public accusations of being seen as opposed to development and “a very poor advocate” for Dunedin. But she said the cargo-cult mentality among Dunedin’s business community was a major obstacle to any serious discussion of the city’s future.
“Whether it be an aluminium smelter at Aramoana, a meat-processing plant on the Taieri or an environmentally suspect timber mill… the message is the same: only monstrous, ecologically damaging and socially destructive projects, preferably foreign-owned and financed, can rescue Dunedin’s fortunes.”
Many people saw environmental and developmental concerns as diametrically opposed. But in modern thinking the two were integrated imperatives.
“An industry that throws chemically stable toxic waste into our ecosystems is storing up disaster for us all.
“It is not a question of the environment versus development, it is simply a question of how much we are going to pay and when.”
Dunedin City Council and Otago Chamber of Commerce and Industry should be helping out small, knowledge-based businesses such as Animation Research Ltd which had developed computer graphic technology for America’s Cup races.
Dunedin would never again dominate New Zealand’s economy and its residents must stop trying to recapture a past which had gone forever, she said.
Education and health were two crucial industries under-pinning the city’s economy. Both could help generate whole clusters of subsidiary enterprises based on knowledge resources ready-to-hand at tertiary institutions.
“Small-scale, knowledge-based, high-tech and environmentally-friendly industries do not only open up the prospect of lucrative export contracts, they play to the strengths of the Dunedin community with its solid tradition of smallness and deep-seated love of learning,” Mrs Turner said.
After the speech she said she was not opposed to large-scale industry, as long as it “made sense”, was pollution-free and met Resource Management Act regulations.
However, the belief that salvation would come from large businesses was simplified reasoning. “It doesn’t work like that,” she said.
NZPA ODT ps 23/04/96 09-38NZ
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr