DCC do-over to follow procedural blunder

David Benson-Pope.
David Benson-Pope.
The Dunedin City Council got it wrong when it voted - without debate - to pull its support for a unitary council investigation.

Now it is having another go.

It emerged yesterday the motion tabled by Cr David Benson-Pope at a council meeting earlier this month did not comply with the council's standing orders.

The motion, to rescind councillors' earlier support for investigating a possible merger of the city council and Otago Regional Council, needed to have the signed support of one-third of councillors before being considered.

It did not, and nor did the move satisfy a requirement for "sufficient information to satisfy the decision-making provisions" under the Local Government Act, a report by council chief executive Sue Bidrose said.

The errors were identified only after councillors had voted to pull their support for the investigation, helped by Cr Kate Wilson, who used a "closure motion" to prevent debate on the move.

Dr Bidrose had since sought legal advice on the situation, which confirmed the outcome of the April 30 vote needed to be revoked, or the council could face a legal challenge.

As a result, councillors would again consider the matter - and a new motion from Cr Benson-Pope that complied with standing orders - at next week's council meeting.

The notice of motion was signed by Mayor Dave Cull and eight city councillors, suggesting it was again likely to be approved.

Cr Lee Vandervis did not respond to requests for comment yesterday, but Mr Cull put the mistaken process down to changes in standing orders, which meant "we're not all completely up to speed".

He predicted the same outcome, but, asked if he expected Cr Wilson to use her closure motion again, said: "I hope not."

Cr Wilson said she would not do so.

"I don't think it would work a second time. I think it worked last time because no-one knew about it."


 

Comments

OK, so another vote can be held to address their procedural oversight (signed support of one-third of councillors before motion considered), but how are they addressing this: "...nor did the move satisfy a requirement for "sufficient information to satisfy the decision-making provisions" under the Local Government Act"? This seems to be the most glaring issue here. Regardless, isn't this a poacher/gamekeeper situation? Can DCC really produce an unbiased recommendation on whether to devolve itself into a unitary authority?

Move on, nothing to see here, just more disgraceful anti-democratic behavior at the DCC.

"The Dunedin City Council got it wrong when it voted - without debate - to pull its support for a unitary council investigation".
And to think cull and his cohorts want another go when elections come around in October with what they pulled.

An extremely politically inept comment from Cr Wilson. ‘I think it worked last time because no-one knew about it.’ No, it didn’t ‘work’ and it could never have ‘worked’ because it was improper through and through. And saying that people needed to not know about it for it to ‘work’, reveals it ( the procedural motion to prevent debate) as an ambush, As first a Community Board Chair and then a city councillor (3 terms?) I am sure Cr Wilson served her community well and I find it sad to see her long-term contribution to Dunedin local government end on such a sour note. She has been IMO a real workhorse, down-to-earth, just plain sensible and obviously ( to me, at least) kept herself up to date with the masses of information and reading which councillors have to wade through. I have always thought she was genuinely totally motivated by the public interest. Her recent downfall (because that’s how i see it) was brought about IMO as a result of her believing and trusting the wrong people, rather than by any defect of her own character.

The elected Council is broken. Lets not try to fix it. The shutting down of debate is disgusting and the gang at the top are so smug about it

 

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