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David Benson-Pope


Which communities will you speak for and about at the council table?

The whole Dunedin Community

What is the number one social and economic issue for the community and for the city? (DCC question). What is the key issue for the region at this time and for the next 10 years? (ORC question)

Well-planned sustainable growth.

How will you elevate community aspirations? How will you know what they are? (DCC question only)

The extensive consultation processes that we must follow go some of the way, but dont reach many in our community. That makes the diversity we currently see on council more important, and we do need to continue our efforts to provide factual information to the wider cmmunity on the reasons for our decisions and the challenges we all face. Even more important of late in the face of highly organised disinformation activities.

Under the Local Government Act 2002, councils are required to maintain and improve opportunities for Māori to contribute to local government decision-making processes. How will you honour this obligation in your role with the Dunedin City Council/Otago Regional Council?

Two of our council committees (including one that I chair) now have Maori members, a major step forward, but the the recent dispute with our two Runaka did demonstrate that a number of elected members have some way to go yet in understanding that special relationship.

What is your usual approach to achieving collegial and constructive relationships with the people you work with? What is the most important element of a constructive working relationship?

I enjoy very positive working relationships with the majority of elected members. Less so though with some who dont appear to take the time to porperly prepare for meetings, or who are unable to base their decisions on professional and expert advice.

The DCC's place-based community fund has been a game changer for community-led development and growing connected and resilient communities in Ōtepoti. What more will you do as a councillor to support community development in the city? (DCC candidate question only)

That funding was introduced to provide areas without community boards some of the community support that others already had. I'm delighted that it has proven to be a very good decision and I will cntinue to support such initiatives. The success of the Valley Project especially, shows why.


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.


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