How might the next Council make a difference for the people of Invercargill? What do you believe can be improved?
I have been a strong and consistent advocate of moving public excluded into the public forum. I sincerely believe that we as councilors are charged with putting the publics, comments, concerns, suggestions and criticisms into a public debating chamber. Even if we personally do not or may not agree with them, it’s not about an individual or a collective council, it’s about you and yours and the greater benefit to the electors, of course the economic cost/value has to be measured.
One of my concerns is the “impression/state/perception of areas of the city, for example downtown central, and that area behind the otepuni stream down to Dalrymple Street.
It looks tired, in some cases neglected and uncared for. Council should encourage redevelopment, improvement of existing properties ( some are of real character) by not being so draconian in building permits/consents perhaps discounting fee’s, providing a index of preferred building and decorating suppliers ( discount coupons or similar )
As and If older houses are past their use by date then that area of land becomes eligible for redevelopment… perhaps council could have a bank of land from this, on sell on deferred payment plans to young couples?
As mentioned in this text.. Council is about You and Yours... and these are who we need to consult with.
Awaiting responseThere needs to be an external review of all council departments to asertain why staff numbers have increased by 50%over the last 5 years.If there are efficiencies to be gained it will only be identified by an outside independent agency.
Council has recently commissioned two reports one the Corson report about the needs and direction of South Invercargill and the Blumskey report. Both these reports offered some very good suggestions on how we can plan for the future to make Invercargill a great place to live for everyone. Lets not get precious about \"Invergiggle\" but instead look at the bigger picture and how we can build on the suggestions in the report and make Invercargill a truly family centered city. I also want to see our city a safe place for everyone especially the elderly.
Thanks for your question. A couple of important things spring to mind, firstly, I would like to see the council working together more as a solutions-focussed team. I\'d like more focus on the actual team dynamics and relationship building of council (something to be revisited regularly), and enabling councillors to focus on the areas where they have expertise and passion. And we would be more likely to move forward positively if we draw up a really clear vision for the city and keep this at the forefront of decision-making.
Another area that we could drastically improve is in consultation with the community. We have very passionate commuity groups, businesses and individuals out there, and I feel that the current submission process is much too limited, not promoted, out-dated and happens too late in the piece. We need to find more creative ways of engaging the community and utilising their skills and experience from the beginning, rather than relying on out-of-town consultants to round up that information for us. I\'d like to see wide-ranging workshops and discussions with all possible stakeholders at the beginning of any significant decision process, and ensure these are really well promoted. We could also make much better use of on-line tools and surveys, social media and web-based meetings that people can attend from their home computer. We need to move towards \"Council is thinking of making some changes, and we\'d like your help to make the best decision for the community\" rather than \"We\'ve decided these systems will be best for you, how much would you be prepared to pay?\"
All the best
Thanks Barbara, the next council and the one after that will always make a difference for the people of Invercargill but the council is only as good as the hand it is dealt, Council is a team environment and the voter is the team selector.
The biggest improvement is for far more understanding around the council table, it is my opinion that the incoming council must spend a full day together, to find out how each other ticks, to find out its strengths and its weaknesses, to understand their individual aspirations then as necessary set goals on how to achieve them.
This then needs to be checked up on annually to see what is happening, 3 years is a very short term so the new council needs to understand its makeup before it can plan to achieve.
Hi Barbara - there are lots of good ideas out there but to make a lasting difference Council needs a strong vision and a commitment to work to that vision, always ensuring that decisions are affordable, good for our people, good for our environment and good for our economy. Without a clear focus, the Council will struggle to provide the communities of Invercargill and Bluff with the \'best bang for their buck\'. To deliver strong governance Council must do thorough homework, must use a robust framework for making/checking decsions, and must monitor implementation to ensure that the intended outcomes are indeed being delivered. I think there is room for improvement with Council decision making processes and will make that an important priority if voted back onto Council. Best wishes Jackie Kruger
Thank you for taking the trouble to submit a question to all prospective Councillors.
The answer to your question will very much depend on the composition of the next elected council. It is my belief that the current council if re-elected will have a negative impact. Whereas strong, assertive, constructive debate of the the issues is a necessary part of the democratic process of effective decision-making, what we have had of late is divisive, aggressive, destructive personal attacks resulting in in-decision and/or ineffectual outcomes. What we need is a fresh start with a revitalised council that demonstrates respect for each other and responsibility to the community it serves. It is also my belief that no-one should be on the ICC and ILT in order to avoid a direct conflict of interest, which is counterproductive, the council must be able to govern independently. In addition, there has been an overuse of the "in-committee" process to exclude the public from council meetings; our elected council should be accountable to the community it serves through openness and transparency. I would need strong justification to agree with any proposal to conduct business "in committee". Although the council is not a business entity, it exists to provide core community services, it should operate in a business-like manner. The positive values and principles I have outlined will have a positive flow-on impact in respect of every aspect of council operations that will benefit everyone. For example: How can we expect our youth (adults of tomorrow) to show respect and responsibility if our civic leaders do not?
Things that could be done better include:
Consultation - The waste mis-management debacle being one recent example.
CBD revitalisation - Although some good things have been done, in Esk Street for example, the momentum has been lost.
We need a people-friendly focal point that draws people to the centre, creating a busy, lively hub of activity. The same applies to South City.
South City - I live in South City. It is my view that the token ad-hoc development must stop. Jill Corson's report was a useful first step, but only as a consultation document. We need a proper city-wide planned approach. The Blumsky Report missed the mark. Family friendly (rather than child friendly) would at least be more inclusive, but Invercargill and Bluff are already safe and friendly places for all ages. Also, the "Invergigglel" concept is demeaning and degrading, we should not be promoting ourselves as a laughing stock.
Everything the council does should be based on the principle "Do it right, do it once", to ensure good use of time, effort and ratepayers money.
A harmonious group of people with sound, logical and independent minds is needed to take our city forward to a prosperous and happy future.
This will require sound leadership from the mayor and all elected representatives as we are certain to be faced with a number of crucial decisions that will have a major impact on our city and its residents.
We must create more employment opportunities in Southland to ensure our population base will not decline. More encouragement needs to be placed in this area. Our Awarua industrial land should prove invaluable when the time is right for a major new industry to start up.
Resource and building consents are often a major disincentive to new projects and I would like to see a more customer friendly approach in this area.
Our CBD is long overdue for another upgrade. This will take considerable input and support from all user groups and an early start is essential.
The next stage of the South City upgrade is another priority for early attention that I strongly support.
Waste management and recycling is another area that we need to do better. The latest decision to go to a 2 bin collection is a good start. Only time will tell if we have got it right. Whatever system we have it will never please everyone. Our duty is to do what is best for the majority within the waste guidelines set by Government.
If re-elected I shall continue to look at all the options put before council and support the best, taking into account the opinions of a majority of our citizens.
hank you Barbara for the quest
I believe in openness and transparency with this comes decisions which are debated in the public arena.
Which means the public would have the same information as councilors and be able to have input through the public form.
This way the public can have there say before the decision is made rather than public excluded meetings and workshops.
I also believe improvements can be made in other areas such as providing equal services to all communities.
South City for example should not have had to wait 5 years for a toilet, where as a private company can erect a cell tower in a blink of a eye.
I would also adovate for council staff be utilised rather than getting consultants in to do what they were employed to do it is a waste of ratepayers money
for example a consultant put a report to council at there last meeting empolying himself in another reporting roll for council.
This is only a couple of thoughts as it is the culture of the council and staff that needs to change from we know best to the public knows best,
and come hell and high water thats is what i would try and do
Charles Te Au
Candidate for Invercargill City Council
Authorised by Charles Te Au 322 Gore Street Bluff