Keeping money in city promoted

Methodist Mission chief executive Laura Black holds fake money she used as a prop during annual...
Methodist Mission chief executive Laura Black holds fake money she used as a prop during annual plan hearings yesterday. Photo by David Loughrey.
Dunedin's annual plan hearings have a recent but illustrious history of members of the public using props to more strongly make their point.

Retired Dunedin solicitor Bernard Esquilant stands out for his 2008 appearance with a Bible, which he used during criticism of the council on its stadium and Dunedin Centre projects.

Methodist Mission chief executive Laura Black took her prop from the Book of Mammon yesterday, unfurling a wad of fake $10 bills as she took on the Dunedin City Council's procurement policy, and its measures of public satisfaction.

Ms Black quoted luminaries from Henry Ford to John F.

Kennedy, and even referenced the thinking of Plato during her submission.

She told the council it was a significant purchaser of goods and services.

"Not all of these are sourced locally, and tendering is generally on a 'best price for quality measure'," Ms Black said.

If it procured goods and services in Dunedin, local businesses and local employees would benefit, and those businesses and employees would spend the additional income here, meaning a "greater than one-for-one benefit" for the city.

Ms Black also took the council to task on plans to lower its satisfaction targets for public feedback in areas including ease of pedestrian access, fairness and attitude of parking officers and street cleanliness.

That was confusing, because council staff had significant ability, "yet you seem sure they can't reach for better".

Many ratepayers worked in environments where nothing less than "A" was acceptable, often with restricted budgets and shrinking resources.

"And in that context, these reductions are not a good look."

Deputy mayor Chris Staynes assured Ms Black social service agencies would be included when the council's economic development policy was reviewed.

 

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