Tag Archives: VOTE

Exercise your right to VOTE

### ODT Online Thu, 3 Oct 2013
Alarm at low voter turnout
By Chris Morris
There are calls for online voting to be fast-tracked as Dunedin City Council voting returns slump towards a record low in this year’s local body elections. The idea was raised by Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule as voter returns for the DCC election crawled to 11.7% by yesterday afternoon.
With 10 days until postal voting closes at noon on October 12, the figure is well down on the same point in the past two DCC elections.
In 2010, 21.12% of voters had responded by now, and in 2007, returns stood at 18.09%. In both cases, last-minute rushes saw returns reaching 52.96% (2010) and 47.47% (2007).
However, this year’s results were shaping as a record low, at least in recent memory, although another last-minute rush was possible, Dunedin electoral officer Pam Jordan said.
Mr Yule told the Otago Daily Times the returns to date in Dunedin were a ”worry” and underscored the need to move towards online voting.
Dunedin’s results appear to be at odds with most other local authorities across Otago, where returns to date are similar to the 2010 election.
Read more

Dunedin electoral information via the DCC website:
http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/electoral-information

DCC Candidates —Mayor, Councillors, Community Boards

ORC Candidates

SDHB Candidates

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Alert: Dunedin voters —Mayors gain more powers

Following the 2013 local body elections . . .
THERE IS A MASSIVE GAME CHANGE

Is this why Greater Debt Dunedin’s campaigning so hard, with help from ‘friends’? Read on.

Firstly, ‘overthinking’ an image, and an opinion piece from the Nelson Mail (June 2013). Followed by ‘Friday news’ from New Zealand Herald, reproduced in Saturday’s Otago Daily Times (page 3). Lastly, importantly, you’re urged to VOTE – a plea appearing in the ODT, indicating 9 October is the last date by which to safely post your completed voting papers.

Emperors new clothes [catherinewhite.files.wordpress.com] re-imaged 1VOTE carefully oh so carefully, please

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### nelsonmail.co.nz Last updated 13:39 12/06/2013
New accountability for mayors
By Keith Marshall
OPINION New law changes passed at the end of last year created some major changes ahead for local government. One of the most important changes, in my view, arises from legally and politically empowering mayors to do the job we expect of them. And, along with that legal empowerment comes some genuine public accountability to perform.
After the coming election, mayors nationwide gain new powers. A mayor will be able to legally appoint their own deputy mayor, appoint all committee chairs and determine the structure of council committees, including which elected councillors are appointed on to those. The legal power to decide their own political teams, structures and processes means that mayors will gain a huge level of political control over councils that they currently do not legally have.
Adding to this direct political control, mayors from the next election onward will also legally be personally responsible for driving the setting of council plans and budgets. This, alone, is a huge change.

Indeed, it may be surprising to learn that currently mayors around the country have no real substantive legal powers – largely the current legal role is one of a “first citizen” and in chairing meetings of the elected council.
Mayors, currently, do not have the legal authority to choose their own political teams nor structures, they do not determine council agendas and nor do they drive council budgets or plans. Right now, those decisions are made by the whole of the elected council and in those decisions, as in all others, mayors have just one vote at the council table, the same as all councillors.
In some ways being a mayor under the current law is a potentially thankless task – one in which they are the public face of the council, and get to be “blamed” for any and all decisions made by the elected council whether or not they personally supported or voted against those decisions.
On the other hand, the current situation also makes it very difficult for us voters to hold our current mayors, and councillors, individually accountable for the decision-making of the whole of the elected council (and the subject of a future column).

In the future, just what and how issues are dealt with will be determined by the mayors themselves; maybe in conjunction with their councillor supporters, or perhaps sometimes even just off their own cognisance.

All decisions of the council will be directly influenced by the mayor through the exercise of their new powers. This is very real political power never before seen in local government in New Zealand – something much more akin to the “presidential” type of mayor as seen in the United States.
Accordingly, at the next council elections, whoever we elect as mayors of Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council will have the legal ability to carry out any election promises they may have made. Any mayoral candidate can set out a vision for us and, unlike at any other time in the past, be in a position to bring that vision into reality if they become mayor. This is a new legal environment for local government.

So what? Well, for one thing, the new law change means that mayors (and their councillor supporters who the mayor will appoint to key roles) will now be more obviously accountable for all decisions. Along with the ability/responsibility to make things happen (via legal powers) goes some true accountability.
Read more

● Keith Marshall is a company director and the former Nelson City Council chief executive. Previously, he has owned Thrifty Rental Cars NZ, managed the last nationwide health reforms and participated in the NZ-China FTA negotiations.

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### nzherald.co.nz 1:35 PM Friday Sep 27, 2013
Mayors given extra powers
By Rebecca Quilliam
Mayors throughout the country will become more powerful under new law changes set to come into action after October’s local elections. The changes will allow mayors to appoint their own deputies, set the structure of committees and appoint committee chairpeople.
Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said the changes had the potential to bring real benefits. It enabled new councils to “hit the ground running” and for councillors to work more effectively together, Mr Yule said.

Mayors would become responsible for driving the set up of major plans and budgets, which included long-term and annual plans.

They would also be more accountable for their decisions, Mr Yule said.
The law changes bring all the country’s councils in line with the powers already granted to the Auckland Mayor under the Super City process. The new powers would encourage cross-council collaboration because, in order to use them, a mayor needed the majority support of councillors, he said.
Voting papers for city, district and regional councils have now been sent out. These must be returned posted or hand-delivered in time to reach the relevant electoral officer by noon on October 12. APNZ
NZH Link

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DUNEDIN
Participation in electoral process urged (ODT 18.9.13)
http://www.odt.co.nz/elections-2013/dunedin/273671/participation-electoral-process-urged

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image via catherinewhite.files.wordpress.com – ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ re-spun by Whatifdunedin

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DCC: Council consolidated debt $623 million

If taken together, core council and stadium debt has increased $130 million, from $240 million to $370 million, during the past three years.

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Sep 2013
Varied stances on question of debt
By Chris Morris
Dunedin’s debt mountain is reaching new heights, but the Dunedin City Council says everything is under control. Reporter Chris Morris speaks to the city’s mayoral candidates about whether they would do anything differently. The eight men and one woman who want to be Dunedin’s next mayor are divided over debt. They are divided over the figures, divided over the plan and divided over what they would do differently.
Some have declared themselves happy with the Dunedin City Council’s approach to debt repayments. Others remain opposed, and have called for cost-cutting, more money from the council’s companies and even for assets to be sold, including Wall Street mall and Forsyth Barr Stadium. And, in the meantime, the debt mountain continues to climb towards a projected peak that is still two years away.

As it stands, the council’s consolidated debt – shared between the council, its companies and the stadium – has reached $623 million, council staff confirmed yesterday.

That was up $125 million since the start of incumbent Mayor Dave Cull’s term in mid-2010, albeit mostly – but not completely – as a result of spending on major capital projects agreed to by previous councils.
Within the debt mountain, core council debt – the bit ratepayers are directly responsible for servicing – stands at $225 million. That has actually gone down $15 million, from $240 million in 2010, but only because stadium debt – totalling $145 million – has been split from the core council debt tally, to become its own category, since 2010. Add the $253 million in debt held by Dunedin City Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries – the council’s group of companies – and the total reaches $623 million.
Read more + Mayoral Candidate Views

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Mayoral candidates 2013Dunedin Mayoral Candidates 2013
Left to right, (top) Hilary Calvert, Dave Cull, Kevin Dwyer, (middle) Pete George, Aaron Hawkins, Olivier Lequeux, (bottom) Steve McGregor, Lee Vandervis, Andrew Whiley

DCC website — electoral information

Council Elections: STV Q&A – see Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgelar

Faces appearing – and disappearing – in all manner of places (ODT 26.9.13)

Vote

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Sep 2013
Editorial: Rights and responsibilities
While the eyes of some people glaze over at the mention of local body elections, the fact is they offer the biggest opportunity for the average citizen to influence the direction of their community for the next three years – and often much further into the future.
Postal voting papers should now have been delivered to households, and voters have until Saturday, October 12, to make decisions about who they want to represent them as mayor, on city or district councils, community boards, licensing trusts, regional councils and health boards.
The choices we make in these local body elections will affect us, and others in our community. They influence everything from the health services we receive, to roading, water and sewerage infrastructure, social, cultural and sporting and recreational amenities, and planning and development. There are services we take for granted, those we believe are fundamental to our lives, those we bemoan the lack of, and inefficiencies we believe frustrating or unnecessary.
The choices should not be made lightly. Voters are encouraged to carefully read their supplied candidate and voting information and as much other material as they can source in order to make informed decisions about those who will then be expected to make educated decisions on behalf of us.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Events Notice: How do I vote using STV? #Dunedin

A public talk by University of Otago Politics Department on voting in New Zealand under the STV system. Questions such as “How does STV work for me?” and “How is my vote counted under STV?” will be answered.

Thanks for the alert this morning.

Janet Gebbie
Submitted on 2013/09/19 at 7:52 am

Voting using STV
Dept of Politics at University of Otago presenting a public talk : How do I vote in local government elections using STV?

Event 1 – Wed 25 Sept 6:30pm, Barclay Theatre (Otago Museum).

Event 2 – Thurs 26 Sept 6:30pm, St Andrew’s Lounge, Caversham Presbyterian Church, Thorn Street, Caversham, Dunedin.

More information:
https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/events/talks-classes-and-workshops/how-do-i-vote-using-stv

Politics | Phone: 03 479 8663 | Email: politics @ otago.ac.nz | Website: http://www.otago.ac.nz/politicalstudies/

Related Posts and Comments:
26.8.10 In defence of STV
22.8.10 Why NOT…. the STV voting system

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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The new DCC is NEARLY here !!!

The long bow…
5.10.10 ODT: Chin hopes history will judge council in better light

The short straw…
5.10.10 ODT: DCC deeper in debt by $64m

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Are you on the ELECTORAL ROLL

http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/electoral-information

http://www.elections.org.nz/

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2010 ELECTIONS KEY DATES

Friday, 23 July
Nominations open
Electoral Rolls open for inspection

Friday, 20 August
Nominations close (12.00 noon)
Electoral Rolls close

Friday 17 September to Wednesday, 22 September
Delivery of voting documents
If voting documents do not arrive during this period, special voting papers can be posted out (phone 477 4000) or a Special Voting Booth will be available in the Customer Services Centre, Civic Centre, Dunedin

Saturday, 9 October
Election Day
Voting closes, 12.00 noon

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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