Water me­ter­ing ‘de­ba­cle’

Central Otago Mirror - - OPINION -

It’s been won­der­ful spend­ing time at home in stun­ning Cen­tral Otago. It’s given me the op­por­tu­nity to catch up with a few peo­ple and chat. Co­in­ci­den­tally our mayor touched on the sub­ject of some of th­ese dis­cus­sions in his opin­ion piece in the Mir­ror (Jan­uary 9). I’m not sure whether I agree with his de­scrip­tion of our key de­ci­sion mak­ers be­ing ‘‘or­di­nary peo­ple mak­ing sen­si­ble de­ci­sions’’. The ‘‘sen­si­ble de­ci­sions’’ part is a moot point! In­stantly the whole water me­ter­ing de­ba­cle springs to mind where peo­ple still feel mis­led and at best in­ad­e­quately con­sulted or com­mu­ni­cated with. I guess the ques­tions are: Were we (the ratepay­ers) ad­e­quately con­sulted? Was there a process in which we could par­tic­i­pate? Pub­lic meet­ings? Sub­mis­sions? And when the changes were im­ple­mented – were they ex­plained to us ad­e­quately? If those ques­tions can all be an­swered in the af­fir­ma­tive (if!) – was it a case of us (the ratepay­ers) not tak­ing ac­tion? Did we en­gage? Did we ask the right ques­tions at the right time? (As­sum­ing that we had the op­por­tu­nity.) Did we ask any ques­tions? Or more im­por­tantly – did we prof­fer some so­lu­tions or ideas? Yes ‘‘easy rocks to throw’’ for oth­ers play­ing the game from the side­lines. As to the ‘‘or­di­nary peo­ple’’ part – I don’t want ‘‘or­di­nary peo­ple’’ mak­ing de­ci­sions on my be­half. I want ex­tra­or­di­nary peo­ple with a pas­sion for our re­gion from a va­ri­ety of back­grounds. Are our de­ci­sion mak­ers ‘‘too old? too male? not busi­nesslike?’’ If so – what are you go­ing to do about it?

Amy Scott is a former lawyer turned pro­fes­sional speaker who is passionate about ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion and com­mu­ni­ties.

Go­ing with the flow: A con­cerned res­i­dent sent this photo to theMir­ro­ryes­ter­day morn­ing with the ques­tion: ‘‘Who ends up paying for all the water lit­er­ally go­ing down the drain at the Alexan­dra Pub­lic Li­brary?’’ The photo was taken yes­ter­day morn­ing at 8.20am.

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