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The Waitaki District Council has moved a step closer to joining the Dunedin City Council in forming a 28-member South Island Strategic Alliance, but stopped short of joining as a full member.
The DCC agreed to become a SISA member on Monday, but councillors in Waitaki have voted to agree to SISA's terms of reference, which encourage collaboration between South Island local councils.
Discussion to create a South Island alliance has been ongoing for the past 12 months and the creation of the alliance has already been endorsed by the Otago Regional Council and the Central Otago and Clutha district councils.
However, Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said full membership was not being discussed by the Waitaki District Council.
"I don't believe that by agreeing to the terms of agreement, we have agreed to become a member," he said.
"This is only a beginning."
Cr Jim Hopkins said all that had been agreed to so far was to meet parties in the alliance to seek "participation" as a partner.