The ODT reports on new council committee structure and appointments.
Chair: Kate WilsonDeputy Chair: Mike Lord
Interesting that both Taieri councillors are teamed up here.
Chair: Richard Thomson
Deputy Chair: Hilary Calvert
No surprise to see Thomson as chair, good to see Calvert given responsibility here, council finances were her main focus.
Chair: Chris Staynes
Deputy Chairs: John Bezett, Andrew Whiley
No surprise for Chair, longstanding councillor Bezett only makes it as a deputy, but good to see new councillor Whiley with responsibility in his main area of interest.
Community & Environment
Chair: Jinty MacTavish
Deputy Chair: Neville Peat
Second term councillor MacTavish should be good enough to step up to Chair responsibilities, newcomer Peat has a background that fits here.
Planning and Regulatory
Chair: David Benson-Pope
Deputy Chair: Aaron Hawkins
Benson-Pope has experience from a long time ago so curious to see him given the chair. Newcomer Hawkins may not be in his preferred area of interest.
Chair: Andrew Noone
Deputy Chair: Kate Wilson
Noone was deputy chair last term so it would have been a travesty for him not to get this, despite rumours to the contrary. Wilson gets a second responsibility.
Most notable is the absence of Lee Vandervis from any responsibilities, and also missing is Doug Hall who has been associated with Vandervis.
Mr Hall said he was comfortable not holding any positions of responsibility while his conflicts of interest were being worked through, and had agreed that with the mayor.
No other councillors [other than Vandervis] raised concerns about the appointments and he felt the group would be able to work together.
Vandervis was unhappy with his lack of appointed responsibilities last term and is very unhappy with being left out again.
Questions need to be asked about the degree of dysfunction in the relationship between Cull and Vandervis.
Mr Cull’s main changes to the committee structure were the addition of a committee dedicated to economic development, chaired by Cr Staynes with two deputies, Crs John Bezett and Andrew Whiley, ”to ensure there is enough resource to drive the economic development strategy within the community”; and the removal of strategy considerations from the finance committee.
Strategy matters would now be handled by the standing committee best aligned with the respective strategy.
New subcommittees to deal with risk and audit, and grants, had been formed.
Good to see an emphasis put on economic development, this is something that obviously needs more attention.
Mr Cull said he decided on the appointments on the basis of skill, experience, people’s interests and their ability to achieve outcomes and maintain positive relationships with staff, without which there was a risk of not reaching any outcomes.
”That’s how I divvied them up, and clearly if anybody didn’t get a role I wasn’t confident they fitted those criteria.”
The number of votes councillors got was irrelevant to doing the job of achieving the outcomes of the council’s plans and strategies, he said.
Overall performance of council is the Mayor’s responsibility so he has to have confidence in who he appoints.
The choice of chairmen from Mr Cull’s political ticket, Greater Dunedin, for four of the five main standing committees failed to recognise voter support for other councillors or use in the best way the business and council experience available.
Oddly the ODT doesn’t attribute that as a quote. Giving preference to Greater Dunedin colleagues was an issue raised during the election campaign.
Ms Calvert, the highest polling councillor at the recent election, said she was confident she had something to contribute to the finance and risk and audit areas.
Asked if she was disappointed not to have gained a chairmanship or the deputy mayor role, she felt there was a ”lost opportunity” in that the appointments did not reflect the choices voters made.
Staynes was always going to be deputy mayor again. As a new councillor Calvert as deputy of Finance seems appropriate.