Otago Regional meetings seen as pointless

A lack of interest by Central, North or South Otago residents and local authorities is just one of the reasons the Otago Regional Council has not scheduled a meeting outside Dunedin next year.

Confirming their schedule of meetings for 2009 at a finance and corporate committee meeting recently, councillors had differing views on the need for an out-of-town meeting.

Chairman Stephen Cairns said unless there was a focus relevant to the town in which the meeting was held, it was "quite frankly a waste of time".

Attempts to hold meetings in places like Cromwell in the past had generated very little interest from the public or other authorities' councillors.

However, a meeting could be organised at reasonably short notice, if an agenda item or issue required it, he said.

Cr Bryan Scott said he believed the key was establishing a relevant agenda for the local area, advertising the meeting well and connecting with the local authority.

Cr Duncan Butcher said there was quite a cost to moving a meeting to the regions, yet little interest from anyone.

Cr Deaker said with Queenstown Lakes District the fastest growing area in New Zealand, the council would be remiss if it did not actively try to build closer relationships.

Councillors decided not to schedule a meeting but leave it open to organising one out of town if the issue warranted it.


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