A ''business as usual'' Otago Regional Council annual plan
has failed to grab the public's attention.
Fifty-five submissions on the council's 2014-15 annual plan
were received before last week's deadline.
Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said the number was not a
surprise given it was a ''business as usual'' plan with few
new or controversial projects to grab the public's attention.
Those new projects proposed, such as one on biodiversity and
another proposing collaboration with other South Island
councils on pest management, were topics most would see as
positive, he said.
However, the number of submissions did not truly represent
the numbers of those covered by the submissions, as many were
from community groups, he said.
Also the council received much public interest on specific
issues such as minimum flow setting and last year's 6A water
''At the Lindis minimum flow meeting recently, there were 50
or 60 people present.''
Of course the council would like more community participation
but submission numbers were not a concern, Mr Woodhead said.
Whether the wider community understood the regional council's
as well as the council would like was being evaluated with a
survey and a new communications directorate being
About 33 of those who made submissions indicated they wanted
to present their views at hearings to be held in Dunedin and
Central Otago next week.
Otago residents have until Wednesday to take part in an
online survey aimed at finding out how aware the public is of
the Otago Regional Council's work and how satisfied they are
with the services it provides.
The original completion date for the survey was April 28, but
the date had been extended to allow time for more people to
A related telephone survey of 900 people from throughout the
Otago region had been completed and the results would be
available later this year.