Praise amid the criticism

The Dunedin City Council was praised at a public forum yesterday.

Otago Regional Sports director Des Smith told the forum about progress in Otago secondary school sport and praised the council's sporting facilities, and council staff, saying they "help us tremendously".

The praise was something of a surprise considering the amount of criticism the council has been receiving in the past few years, and the criticism it faced from others who spoke yesterday.

Mr Smith said Dunedin was "very, very fortunate" to have facilities such as the Dunedin Ice Stadium, the Edgar Centre, the Caledonian Ground, Logan Park and the University Oval, all of which were well used.

He also suggested to councillors they keep Carisbrook as a sports ground that could be used "24/7", as the hockey turf at Logan Park was.

Dunedin Ratepayers and Householders Association chairman Lyndon Weggery prompted some sharp exchanges with councillors when he took them to task for council and council company debt, and what he said was underfunding of water and wastewater.

He said money from carbon credits should not be used to fund Dunedin Venues Management Ltd; instead, "money generated by climate change" should be used to deal with its effects.

Michael Collins called for a quick resolution to the closure of John Wilson Ocean Dr.


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