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The Otago Regional Council’s leadership still cannot find a seat at the table with the Dunedin City Council to set the strategy for South Dunedin’s future.
The council has been looking for a leadership role alongside the Dunedin City Council regarding collaborative climate change work in South Dunedin and the harbourside for years.
ORC chairman Andrew Noone last week said he and ORC chief executive Sarah Gardner had met Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins and DCC chief executive Sandy Graham and discussed South Dunedin’s future.
"And clearly at this stage we haven’t come to an agreement in terms of an overarching governance lens."
It was important to recognise that the staff at the two councils had a close working relationship and took a collaborative approach, Mr Noone said.
"We haven’t got what we asked for ... I accept that.
"But equally, there’s some good work going on between both organisations at a staff level."
In 2018, the ORC resolved for governance of both councils to meet and agree on a timeframe and joint vision for the area.
Then again last year ORC councillors directed staff to pursue a joint governance structure as council staff developed a multi-hazard climate change plan for the low-lying area.
Nevertheless, councillors received an update on the collaboration between staff from ORC operations general manager Gavin Palmer last week.
It offered no update on the proposed governance structure.
Cr Bryan Scott said the report showed ORC staff were involved in the project, but there was very little involvement from ORC governance.
"And it seems to me that if the ORC is going to be ‘one team’, staff and governance working effectively together, then that isn’t an acceptable situation.
"It seems to me we don’t really know that it’s working ‘really well’.
"It seems to me there is a lot of potential that remains unfulfilled.
"If we really are one team, should we withdraw our staff from this project?
"Should we give our staff to the DCC if they want our staff?"
Dr Palmer’s report said staff at both councils had been advancing arrangements for a more integrated work programme.
Good progress had been made, a joint programme manager having been appointed, whose position was part-funded ($50,000) by the ORC.
The programme manager’s first task was to complete a "snapshot" of the present work programme, including canvassing understanding across both councils of the vision, problem definition, outcomes and objectives, workstreams and activities under way.
This would be brought to ORC councillors next month for noting, he said.