5 questions with: Dave Cull

Dave Cull. Photo: ODT files
Dave Cull. Photo: ODT files
Dave Cull is the mayor of Dunedin.

What smell do you find irresistible?

The medley of smells on Christmas morning when kids are opening presents - pine needles from the Christmas tree, chocolate and bubbly, coffee and toast and all the various scents of packaging; Christmas paper, tinsel and exotic cardboard boxes.

What is your least favourite thing about humanity?

Malicious petty mindedness - deliberately hurting people in weaker positions, obsessing about the small wrongs and personal slights instead of the big picture. Give me someone with a big generous heart any day.

What is one strong childhood memory?

Travelling from Invercargill to Milford with my Dad in our Bradford van, in 1954. It was a camping trip and he introduced me to all the native forest birdlife. The area was definitely the wild frontier in those days.

What is your message?

The world is rapidly and irrevocably changing, and not for the better. Things will only improve if we ourselves have the courage to change ourselves even more and faster.

If you were going to an island and could take only three things, what would they be and why?

My grandkids with whom I could spend quality time because I'm not working. A camera without a phone function. A malfunctioning alarm clock.


Interesting reading. Much respect for Cull if this is an ongoing weekly question and answers that we send in questions for Cull to answer? if so it shows he has finally grown as a Mayor and willing to answer questions rather that turn run and hide. Possibly other Questions might already have been asked in other fourms which some are unanswered and under those mats Cull has swept them under. What you Say Cull?

Mayor Cull says he doesn't like 'petty-mindedness'. As a council watcher, I have been having a long-term disagreement with him via the council staff because he habitually doesn't comply with Standing Orders, as meeting videos will show. He says something like, "We'll have a break now." when he knows full well that Standing Orders require the Chair to move an adjournment, get a seconder and put it to the meeting. Does it matter? Yes, it does because it needs to be absolutely clear whether the meeting is in session or not. The presence or absence of councillors MUST be recorded in the Minutes and the CE or her delegate cannot do this if councillors are all wandering in and out during a 'break'. This happened AGAIN during the recent Annual Plan oral submissions so I mentioned it to governance staff who talked to the Mayor ... but he just walked out of the room. Maybe Mayor Cull didn't want to comply with Standing Orders because an 'uppity' member of the public was involved. Whether this is all recorded on the meeting video is in doubt because whether the meeting was adjourned or not is in doubt. Maybe ODT could ask Mayor Cull about this. Looks irritatingly "petty-minded' to me.

Well said Diane, what ever your long term disagreement is stick to your guns and good luck with it, what you said just shows Cull hasn't got any clues. Some my say it doesn't;t matter but like you said it does. He needs to make it clear when an adjournment is made and when it is back in session so nothing is discussed in-between and people are left thinking they misses it.

Otago Rugby Football Union owed debt to the City, which was 'forgiven' by Mayor Cull. A thank you wouldn't go amiss.