Three Otago regional councillors have formed a ‘‘Dunstan Lobby’’ to ‘‘combine effective action’’ for their constituents.
Newly elected councillors Dr Maggie Lawton, of Wanaka, Michael Laws, of Cromwell and second-term councillor Graeme Bell, of Alexandra have formed the lobby.
Laws said there would be many specific issues – from lagorosiphon to rabbits, from lake snow to mining/water rights – that were specific to the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts.
‘‘It’s my political experience that joint action is more effective than individual action, and that there are issues which are really going to require some real grunt over the next three years.’’
Lawton said establishing good, two-way communications was essential. ‘‘We have to know what the community is thinking. Listening is often more important than talking.’’
Bell said that although the best interests of the entire Otago region were their collective responsibility, ‘‘there are always going to be issues that affect Dunstan constituents more. Translating those views to Dunedin is vitally important.’’
ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said councillors did not represent individual constituencies, they were elected to the regional council to govern the Otago Regional Council.
University of Otago freshwater scientist Dr Marc Schallenberg.