Discretionary role favoured

The Dunedin City Council is considering its representation on the board of the Otago Theatre...
The Dunedin City Council is considering its representation on the board of the Otago Theatre Trust, which runs the Regent Theatre. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Its preference is not to have a permanent representative on the board of the trust that runs the Regent Theatre, but instead make provisions to have someone sit on the board at the council's discretion, the Dunedin City Council has decided.

Councillors discussed yesterday an invitation from the Otago Theatre Trust, which receives significant funding from the council to assist it run the Regent Theatre, for a person nominated by the council to attend its meetings, although not to have voting rights.

After some debate, councillors decided it was excessive to require a councillor or staff member attend all meetings, which were held twice a month.

However, it was accepted it was important to have some oversight of an operation that received council funding and used a council-owned building.

Councillors agreed a preference for council staff to be allowed to manage the service level agreement with the trust, so long as the agreement ensured the trust's constitution allowed for a council appointee, with voting rights, to attend board meetings at the council's discretion.

Cr Thomson also sought, and received, an assurance from council staff that the agreement, as it should with all organisations with service level agreements, include a no-surprises policy, so where an organisation was aware of concerns it needed to bring them to the council at the earliest opportunity.

He also suggested someone in the council's financial team should regularly review organisations' financial statements, in a measured and organised way.

The council's resolution was included in the draft annual plan for 2014-15, for public consultation.

A decision on extra funding the Otago Theatre Trust had requested will be considered in May alongside other new funding requests to the council.

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