Local Government New Zealand's chief executive Malcolm Alexander wants more debate on how to sustainably fund local councils.
Public workshops involving councillors and ratepayers may offer more transparency, but are unlikely to happen, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says.
The decision this week of Local Government Minister David Carter to request advice from officials on funding rules for local body elections is welcome.
The Government's proposed local government reforms will come as a welcome and overdue breath of fresh air to many who have long protested its excesses.
Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton, councillors and community board members will get a pay increase under remuneration rates approved recently by the Remuneration Authority.
Various attempts have been made over many years to combine the voices of Otago's local bodies, the most successful during the post-war period being the Otago Council which fought for, and eventually succeeded, in obtaining a South Island electricity differential in the early 1970s to recompense local users for the impact of the hydro-electricity schemes.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has introduced a new structure for the council's community boards and committees that he hopes will be more efficient and allow councillors' time to be better used.
Environment stewards, economic developers or both? Rebecca Fox talks to retiring Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Cairns about the role of the local body.
At the last local government election, in Dunedin and across most of New Zealand, voter figures dropped below 50% for the first time since the re-organisation of local government in 1989. Dunedin City Council reporter David Loughrey asks why the public is turning away from the action at the very heart of our system of government, what is behind the problem, and how it can be fixed.
Concerns the build-up of candidates for October's election could split the vote of those challenging the status quo are unwarranted, University of Otago political studies lecturer Associate Prof Janine Hayward says.
A "last-minute curve ball" from the Office of the Auditor-general meant the Otago Regional Council's annual report for 2009-10 could not be completed in time for yesterday's council meeting.
If ever the voter "turnout" at local government elections is going to be high, it should be this year.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council spent $132,461.02 on its single credit card in two years, including a $700 art voucher as a leaving present for former chief executive Duncan Field.
Dunedin voters are urged to enrol to shift the city from its position as the city council area with the second-lowest percentage of enrolled voters.
In another surprising twist to the Clutha District Council mayoral race yesterday, Balclutha businessman Bryan Cadogan lodged a last-minute nomination, bringing the number of contenders to four.
Southern readers of this newspaper will by now be familiar with the widely varying standards of hospitality and entertainment expenses permitted by their local body executives and, de facto, by their elected overseers.
Three more mayoral candidates - in Oamaru and Balclutha - made their bids official yesterday but regional electoral officers say nominations for October's local body elections are only trickling in just 13 days before the deadline.
Waitaki deputy mayor Gary Kircher is pinning his hopes on winning the mayoralty race in October's local body elections after serving three three-year terms as a Waitaki district councillor.
The Methodist Mission's "Float your vote" meeting planned for August 21 has attracted more than 30 candidates so far.
Dunedin City Council chief executive Jim Harland believes there is still no case for a super council in the South, despite Local Government Minister Rodney Hide unveiling plans by which to consider further council mergers.