Mosgiel part of city, DCC councillors say

Cr David Benson-Pope. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Cr David Benson-Pope. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A proposed reduction in Dunedin representation at the Otago Regional Council should be fought, several city councillors say.

They may also pitch for a shift in boundaries, arguing Mosgiel and perhaps Strath-Taieri land should be part of the Dunedin ward.

The Dunedin City Council had a workshop yesterday to discuss what shape a submission to the regional council might take.

It has been proposed Dunedin’s representation at the regional council would shrink from six councillors to five and Dunstan’s would grow from three to four, reflecting this area’s population growth.

City councillors at yesterday’s workshop were firmly against Dunedin losing a representative and this opposition is set to be one point in the council’s submission when it is drafted.

One idea at the workshop was for the regional council to increase the number of councillors overall from 12 to 13 and have Dunedin’s allocation remain at six.

Another was to reduce the size of the Molyneux constituency and cut its representation from two councillors to one, potentially allowing the Dunedin ward to broadly match the area covered by the city council.

Cr David Benson-Pope said the existing boundary for the Dunedin constituency was inappropriate, as there had been "pilfering of electors from Strath-Taieri and Mosgiel" to shore up another area.

"Mosgiel is part of urban Dunedin," he said.

Deputy mayor Cherry Lucas, who is the city council’s representative on the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board and who lives in this area, said she found it bizarre she had to vote for Molyneux candidates for the regional council.

"I’m looking to Dunedin," she said.

Cr Bill Acklin agreed Mosgiel should certainly be part of the Dunedin ward.

Cr Christine Garey described existing boundaries as muddled.

"We should send a really clear message about what we believe as a city should happen for our people."

Cr Mandy Mayhem said the regional council’s Dunedin ward should cover the same area as the city council.

Public submissions on the regional council’s representation review opened yesterday and close on August 11.