ORC wants a say in future of S.Dunedin

The Otago Regional Council will seek to form a partnership with the Dunedin City Council to make decisions for the future of South Dunedin.

At a strategy and planning committee meeting yesterday, councillors decided they wanted to form an oversight group and a fully integrated programme of work with the city council, including agreed objectives, scope and shared resources.

It follows councillors indicating they wanted to be more involved in the decision-making on any adaptation for South Dunedin and the harbourside that would be informed by work it had done to understand the natural environment in the past 15 years, particularly how climate change might effect the areas.

Cr Alexa Forbes said it simply made sense to involve both councils in such a "huge" problem.

Crs Bryan Scott and Hilary Calvert agreed and believed it was paramount that both councils understood each other’s approaches.

It was also strongly supported by Cr Marian Hobbs. She wanted to ensure the discussion was "seated" and based on the science that would address the issues, she said.

Cr Kevin Malcolm said it would be "the most emotive decision the council would make — certainly in my lifetime".

"If we have the will of the Dunedin City Council to be in partnership with us to do this . . . I think it is the time," he said.

Chairman Andrew Noone agreed and said it was also the right time to lobby and present the challenge the city faced at a central Government level.

The two other options presented by council staff were to keep the status quo, or form a joint oversight group involving elected members from both councils.

While the regional council and the city council already collaborate to ensure their separate work aligns, the work is not linked and progresses in parallel.

Council staff and Cr Noone will now talk through the preferred option regional councillors chose with the city council and report back to the full council.

If progressed it will cost the regional council $50,000 a year.



It therefore likely costs the ORC ratepayers another $50,000 a year.





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