Im­por­tant ques­tions to ask about ORC’s plan

Otago Daily Times - - EDITORIAL -

I MADE a sub­mis­sion to the con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment be­liev­ing ratepay­ers could help in­flu­ence the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil’s 10­year plan.

It ap­pears there is no con­sul­ta­tion as there has been no feed­back on any sub­mis­sions.

‘‘For our Fu­ture’’ showed that ev­ery op­tion sig­nalled in­creases in gen­eral and tar­geted rates and charges. This was be­cause of greater au­dit­ing and con­trols on our lakes, rivers and farm­ing in par­tic­u­lar.

Given Dunedin City has a com­pre­hen­sive em­pire that mon­i­tors its own reg­u­la­tory poli­cies, three wa­ters and other en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties, why should a new re­gional coun­cil of­fice have to be in Dunedin?

Also, 39% of the ORC’s bud­get is for pub­lic trans­port. Given that re­spon­si­bil­ity for buses etc is trend­ing back to city coun­cils, any planned new of­fice should not nec­es­sar­ily need to pro­vide for this. Queen­stown is out of town as well.

Mod­ern, re­li­able and fast broad­band al­lows doc­u­ment trans­fers, skype­type con­fer­enc­ing and easy ac­cess to on­line files, mak­ing the need for large sin­gle head of­fices re­dun­dant. The ORC gar­ners most of its rates and charges from the ru­ral ar­eas, be­tween 70 and 80%.

It is log­i­cal that staff be lo­cated close to their ar­eas of re­spon­si­bil­ity. A lower car­bon foot­print is de­sir­able, as well as less ve­hi­cle use and bet­ter staff time on­site.

I ask that the coun­cil con­sult, as promised, and con­sider say:

1: Should a sub­stan­tial satel­lite of­fice be es­tab­lished in Cen­tral


2: Would this be more eco­nom­i­cal than a new build­ing in Dunedin?

3: Does the ORC need an ex­pen­sive in­ner­city site as pro­posed?

4: Does the Dowl­ing St site only add to in­ner­city con­ges­tion and park­ing woes?

5: Should the ORC con­sult and de­cide needs, size and rel­e­vance to ser­vice de­liv­ery be­fore set­tling on one build­ing site?

6: Does hav­ing a build­ing re­serve ac­count mean it has to be spent on new build­ings? A rate sta­bil­ity ac­count could be use­ful.

Peter Ashcroft


Cable car first

I AGREE with Neville McLay (ODT,

12.6.18). Get the cable car run­ning again be­fore build­ing a bridge.

The city coun­cil­lors have de­cided to build an ex­pen­sive no­traf­fic bridge, which will be good to look at. But just how many will use this bridge?

Many Dunedin res­i­dents were very up­set and in­con­ve­nienced when the much­used and pop­u­lar High St cable cars were re­moved 60 years ago.

This was a real loss to Morn­ing­ton and to Dunedin. At present there are some far­think­ing and hard­work­ing peo­ple who are en­deav­our­ing to get these cable cars up and run­ning again — an as­set for lo­cals and tourists.

All res­i­dents and ratepay­ers should be given an op­por­tu­nity to de­cide how best this $20 mil­lion should be spent — cable car or bridge?

I know which one I would choose. Ber­nice Arm­strong


Fam­ily time af­fected

RE­CENTLY I have wit­nessed two in­ci­dents where mo­bile phones have af­fected fam­ily time.

The first was in a restau­rant where a fam­ily sat down to have a meal. The kids’ iPads came out and the par­ents were ab­sorbed with their phones while the grand­par­ents sat not know­ing where to look. No­one talked.

In the sec­ond in­ci­dent, I was watch­ing my grand­daugh­ter at her ice­skat­ing les­son in Christchurch. A young boy spent most of his class stand­ing apart from the rest of his group star­ing up at his mother and grand­mother sit­ting next to me.

He was will­ing them to look at him and give him some en­cour­age­ment, but they didn’t know be­cause they were en­grossed in their phones. I won­der what the con­ver­sa­tion was on the way home? J. Ball Dunedin

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