'Brockville Battler' to take a back seat

"Brockville Battler" Syd Adie leaves the Dunedin City Council annual plan hearings for the last...
"Brockville Battler" Syd Adie leaves the Dunedin City Council annual plan hearings for the last time yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The "Brockville Battler" is giving up his "battle of wills" with the Dunedin City Council to take more of a back seat in his work standing up for the working man.

Residents and Householders' Association chairman Syd Adie announced yesterday that his presentation to the Dunedin City Council's annual plan would be his last.

However, he planned to continue in his role as chairman of the association.

It has been 20 years since Mr Adie, as a member of the Rate Crisis Committee, first challenged the city council when he campaigned to change the council's rating from land value to capital value.

That campaign was a highlight for him and saw the group fill the Dunedin Town Hall for a council meeting.

It ended with the creation of the Residents and Householders' Association which he was elected chairman of in 1989.

Challenging the sale of Waipori's electricity infrastructure was another major issue, as was the Otago Stadium, which pulled him out of his last attempt at retirement, he said.

Up until five years ago he attended as many council meetings as he could and sat through all annual plan hearings.

For all his campaigning, Mr Adie admitted if he was "really honest", he never got through to the council as its members "don't really listen", but he would miss the "battle of wits" with some councillors.

"But in saying that, where else can a working man, or family man, who has nothing, go to? Who will stand up for them and speak on their behalf."

A major achievement had been getting traffic lights at "Syd Adie's corner" on Brockville Rd, he said.

It had now come to a point where he could not keep on doing it, he said.

In his last submission at the hearings yesterday, he commended the council for the addition of public toilets in South Dunedin, agreed there was a need for a new public library in that suburb, and wanted bins rather than bags for recycling.

He emphasised the association's continued opposition to the stadium.

Mayor Peter Chin said Mr Adie was "a man of much integrity", and thanked him for his years of contribution.

"It's fair to say although we may not have agreed all the time, there's certainly been a very good relationship between you and the councillors over that time."

Mr Adie said he had plenty of things to keep him busy such as finishing off a book of "funnies", organising a cricket tournament and his other community involvements.

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