A 'crass piece of boorish abuse': Councillor disputes continue

Disagreement about points of order and discontent about councillor behaviour have again flared up at the Dunedin City Council today.

Cr Jim O'Malley told a meeting about the council's 10-year plan that Cr Lee Vandervis was one of the most negative people he knew.

Cr Vandervis raised a point of order, citing a clause in procedures about respect, but Mayor Aaron Hawkins did not uphold his complaint.

Cr Vandervis said the mayor, the meeting's chairman, was not doing his job.

"Not uphold a point of order? Surprise, surprise. Well, well, well," Cr Vandervis said.

Cr O'Malley apologised for losing control and suggested such things as facial expressions from Cr Vandervis were provoking.

Cr David Benson-Pope raised a point of order about the reaction from Cr Vandervis.

Deputy mayor Christine Garey, in the chair because the content affected the mayor, did not uphold Cr Benson-Pope's complaint.

Later in the day, Cr Chris Staynes reacted to further disputes around points of order with exasperation, asking councillors to adhere to a better standard of conduct.

Cr Lee Vandervis had to apologise after saying Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins' lack of business experience was evident.

He objected to his apology being interrupted by the mayor.

Cr David Benson-Pope described Cr Vandervis' comment as a "crass piece of boorish abuse".

This itself became the subject of a point of order from Cr Jules Radich.

Deputy mayor Christine Garey upheld the point of order against Cr Vandervis and Mr Hawkins upheld the point of order against Cr Benson-Pope.

Tensions also boiled over yesterday.

During a discussion about parking, Cr Benson-Pope said Cr Vandervis made assertions that were not true.

Cr Vandervis raised a point of order about being accused of not telling the truth.

Mr Hawkins did not uphold it and Cr Vandervis walked out of the meeting.

All councillors remain present at today's meeting, in which they are debating what to include in the 10-year plan. 



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To be honest, one of the last times we awaited experts advice and were asked to simply trust a consultants view or report was around the St Clair Seawall debacle. The Councillor currently struggling with this view of the rest is often outspoken and conveyed in such a way it comes across as being a pain in the rear.
But I totally agree with him on this one, the centre of town is a shambles for parking. Bus Hub is unsafe for people so why send visitors there. We don't have the satellite shopping centres of the bigger town centres so there needs to be greater parking available. No doubt people will be saying we should be reducing car numbers but without proper infrastructure and services into town it's a misguided approach. I'm sure people still need somewhere to park their electric cars.

It will be okay in the medium term. Assuming the greens continue with their plan to destroy George St shopping, and that students continue to vote these clowns in, retail will simply move away rom the town center.
George St will become a ghost town of ramen bars (so students can eat) and 2nd hand shops. Of course there will be a pile of empty shops but that only effects "rich" people who own the building so who cares about them?

Shoppers will move to the increasingly diverse selection of retailers in mini shopping centers scattered around town ala Cumberland St and Sth Dunedin.

And eventually the greens councillors and the idiot DCC planning department will be kicked out and ratepayers can just pay again to rebuild the city center.

One of the best letters summarizing the state of politics in Dunedin.

Hear, hear. The worst mayor and council we have had this century.

Good to see the ODT focusing on the important issues around the table today.

People have disagreements and get a bit titchy with each other from time to time when placed in this environment for days on end. It's human nature that personalities will collide on occasion. That doesn't make it big news which is what the ODT is trying to do here.
Tabloid journalism in action.

We don't know hard copy format. Could be tabloid..or broadsheet. This is online. You want them to drop Council coverage?

What an incredibly ridiculous scenario. Did we really elect this bunch of primary school students to be in charge of our city's infrastructure, investments and future!

How on earth can we feel confident the proposed rates increase is necessary or well considered when it was developed by these people!

Please, please, please, if you're half capable of better behaviour than this, consider running in the next local body elections!

‘An abundance of all-day parking worked against environmental and climate change objectives, the consultant said.’( Quoting ODT.) These recommendations are going to a committee which Cr Benson-Pope chairs. I will be interested to see if any opportunity for dissent is given there. The real issue IMO is just how effective the DCC can be trying to save the planet from the undeniably adverse effects of private car use (at least those using fossil fuel) and whether any positive pay off is worth any immediate cost to the city in terms of accessibility and business patronage.

Would it not be great if the ratepayers could vote on each new project greater than say $1-2m? Even if it costs $250k per citizen's referendum/vote on a quarterly basis, it still would be cheaper than having these 'clowns' spend our money/rates to appease special interests.

So remind me again DCC where will the electric car owners go to park? Not only do they want to remove on street parks but also reduce the number of leased car parks. Why?

So disheartening to see such childish behaviour. No wonder voter participation in local body elections is so low.
We need councillors who participate, not throw their toys out of the cot every time their ego is bruised.
The council should bear in mind Dunedin's topography and it's impact on travel options for those less mobile than others. Can't be all stick and no carrot.

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