The Dunedin City Council's hesitation to agree to become part
of a proposed Otago-wide rural fire district has led to a
series of short-notice meetings around the outer reaches of
the city this week to get some feedback on the idea from the
A decision was to be made last week at a meeting of the full
council on whether to endorse the proposal, but it got
snagged when councillors raised concerns about the new
They could not agree whether the council should proceed
without first consulting its community and some councillors
were worried about a lack of detail on the benefits of the
Some councillors also felt there was not enough information
about the possible relocation of some fire appliances away
from smaller centres.
Most other Otago councils have already decided to go with the
proposed new structure, which would result in Otago's
existing rural fire authorities - run by individual councils
and the Department of Conservation - being replaced by a
single new authority spanning Otago.
As a result of the council meeting, the council's principal
rural fire officer Graeme Still and corporate services
manager Sandy Graham will host a series of meetings this week
- at the East Otago Events Centre, Waikouaiti, tonight at
6.30pm, at the Island Park Golf Club, Waldronville, tomorrow
at 6.30pm, at the Coronation Hall, Portobello, on Thursday at
6.30pm and at the Strath Taieri Community Hall, Middlemarch,
on Friday at 5.30pm.
Mr Still said the purpose of the meetings was to explain the
proposal and get people's feedback.
Topics covered would include what would happen under the new
structure with equipment/resources and vehicles, about
permits, volunteers and training and regarding responses to
Feedback from the meetings would be part of the information
considered by councillors at a full council meeting next
Monday. October 7, when a decision would be made either to
endorse the new structure or further consult the community.