Disgruntled 13 may form watchdog group

Meeting conveners Dennis Dorney and Diane Yeldon (left) lead a meeting last night of ratepayers interested in starting a new council watchdog group in Dunedin. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Meeting conveners Dennis Dorney and Diane Yeldon (left) lead a meeting last night of ratepayers interested in starting a new council watchdog group in Dunedin. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
The seeds of a new, or perhaps reformed, association of ratepayers were sown in Dunedin last night.

Thirteen people attended a meeting at Community House at which it was decided to form a steering committee to discuss the name and purpose of an organisation to function as a council watchdog.

The meeting follows accusations the Dunedin Ratepayers and Householders Association was defunct because it had failed to hold an annual meeting for more than two years and to file annual financial statements to the companies office.

Chairman Lyndon Weggery was accused by the association's since-resigned secretary Neville Poole of being ''the chairman of nothing''.

Last night's meeting was arranged and led by former politician Dennis Dorney, who told those gathered, including some who had been members of the association but were not sure if they still were as they had had no communication for some time, he called the meeting because the city had hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, and apparently nobody ''at all'' representing the public interest, ''so it seems we should have something''.

Mr Weggery was not at the meeting although Mr Dorney said he had invited him and understood he was coming.

For much of the meeting, the group debated whether a new group completely separate from the Dunedin Ratepayers and Householders' Association should be formed, or if the new group should somehow become part of the existing group, to take advantage of its incorporated society status.

In the end, it decided to form a steering committee to meet, take suggestions and ideas from interested people and investigate the scope and aims of the new group.

It was agreed local Greypower president Jo Millar, who was at the meeting, would approach Mr Weggery to seek information and documentation that might be useful.

Steering committee members are Mr Dorney, Diane Yeldon, Eli Karen, Jan Wyllie, Warren Voight, Norm Gallop, Olive McRae and Pete George.

Mr Weggery said, when contacted, the association had decided to give the group space to talk among themselves. He was pleased to hear they were thinking through the options, and the association would be open to any overtures from the group.

In the meantime, the association was operating as usual, he said.

Add a Comment