‘Quite constructive’ flood meeting

Residents of South Dunedin think the Dunedin City Council believes flood control and prevention is too big an issue to handle, Dunedin South MP Clare Curran says.

Ms Curran was part of a 20-strong group which attended a meeting with the council yesterday to discuss issues relating to the June 3 flooding.

About 1250 properties were damaged when 113mm of rain fell in the 24 hours to 9am on June 4.

‘‘There is a sense that this is almost too big an issue for the council. But it's not,'' Ms Curran said.

‘‘I don't think anyone would deny that there are tensions between the community and the council [about the flood].

‘‘This is the first time that the community has had any engagement with the council in 11 months [but] I certainly think that there's some progress that's been made.''

Issues raised with council members and staff were inadequate mud tanks, communication by the council during the event, uncontrolled public access to flooded areas and the ‘‘overall poor response''.

‘‘There was some headway in the sense that there were some practical actions being taken,'' Ms Curran said.

‘‘The community representatives made it clear that there are things that can be done now so that we don't find ourselves in that situation again.

‘‘There is a huge need for improvement when there is a big event in the city so people aren't left to their own devices.

‘‘I think it was a show of strength from South Dunedin.''

An independent chairman organised by the South Dunedin Action Group to run the meeting, Stan Rodger, was ‘‘uninvited'' by Mayor Dave Cull.

Mr Cull, who led the meeting, said there was ‘‘no need'' to have Mr Rodger chair the meeting and it was ‘‘constructive'' without him.

‘‘They [the action group] came with concerns.

‘‘From our point of view, a good number of concerns were for a lack of reliable information [during the flood].‘‘We gained some perspective from the group that we might not have got otherwise.

‘‘I think it was a very positive meeting,'' Mr Cull said.

He admitted information relayed to the public on June 3 and June 4 was not up to standard.

Action group member Ray MacLeod said the council ‘‘pretty much admitted'' that ‘‘everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong''.

‘‘The meeting was quite constructive [but] I think, behind the scenes, the council think South Dunedin is a lost cause in terms of global warming,'' Mr MacLeod said.

Asked about South Dunedin being a ‘‘lost cause'', Mr Cull said Mr MacLeod was ‘‘speculating'' and the topic was not discussed at the meeting.

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