Councillors vote to deny allocating money in ES partnership

Invercargill city councillors voted against allocating $75,000 within a partnership with Environment Southland (ES), with a city councillor saying the regional council was "not doing their job".

The money was to be allocated within ICC as part of a partnership between the two councils to provide data analysis in assessing climate change risk to core ICC assets.

Councillors received reports on climate change in the Long Term Plan (LTP) and the ICC greenhouse gas inventory report at yesterday’s council meeting.

Of three recommendations councillors were asked to decide on, councillors agreed to consult the community on an internal contestable fund of $200,000, and to a proposed LTP indicator which would result in a combined 5% reduction target over the first three years of the LTP.

On the third point, the $75,000 allocation, there were six votes against five to deny the funding.

Mr Clark was first to voice his disagreement, stating the council should not be contributing to more data analysis by Environment Southland.

Deputy mayor Tom Campbell said the gathering of data from the whole of Southland was an "enormous task" and while ES might agree it fell into their accountability, additional funding would be needed from ICC if data analysis was to be collected from areas such as the Waihopai River.

Cr Darren Ludlow echoed Mr Campbell’s comments, saying Invercargill was a small land mass in ES’ "massive" catchment.

"I think if we want to get priority, we’re going to have to pay for it. Otherwise, you’ll be waiting ... despite the fact that we are a significant part of the population, they will look at things from a land mass perspective."

Cr Ian Pottinger also disagreed, saying ES was "not doing their job".

Council chief executive Michael Day said the key point was about the use of two data sets.

"We’re kind of missing the point that we own the data in relation to the core assets and we need the Lidar data that they’ve got in relation to that and then we need to model it on our own core assets."

The councillors who voted against allocating the funds were Crs Dermody, Arnold, Kett, Boyle, Pottinger, and Mr Clark.