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Rachel Elder


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

All of the communities. Maori, Pacifica, Disability, Multi-ethnic, Lower Socio-economic, Mental Health, and local communities

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)

The availability of warm, dry and affordable homes to rent or to buy

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

I aspire to remain connected to our communities by attending events, visiting groups, listening to annual plan submissions and public forums and ensuring people feel like they can approach me if they need assistance and support. I have an empowerment model which means I work with community groups to enable them to submit to annual plans and come to public forums. I support community boards and place-based groups and encourage them to be a voice for their communities. I have also encouraged the annual plan process and 10 year plan process to reach out to our communities and engage in ways that work for them and create documentation that is in plain english and other ways to input into plans at workshops.

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?

I have a commitment to our partnership with Maori. That commitment means I am keen to take a lead from local Maori as to how they want to be represented at the council table - presently that is in the Infrastructure and Planning committees. I support the update of our strategies to reflect our Treaty Partnerships and am particularly happy with how we are involving Maori in the look and feel of the city through reflecting their culture in design. We have a Maori Participation Working Party to work through issues as they arise and I am keen for that to be strengthened. Though the annual and 10 year planning process I am committed to engaging with Maori in a way that they are comfortable with and have advocated for this to happen. This includes working with and consulting with Mataa Waka and Arieteuru Marae.

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 am committed to treating all people with dignity and respect. That means around the council table debating the issue and not the person. I like to congratulate people if they have done something well and also ask after people if they are not feeling so good. The most important element to a constructive working relationship is respect and kindness.

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)

As a person who stood for council for council to advocate for stronger and more resilient communities I have a strong commitment to community development across a wide range of communities. I am grounded in community development and was very involved in both the Pinehill Playcentre then Pinehill School when my children were growing up. If we want healthy families, children and individuals then we need to create healthy and inclusive environments and healthy, accessible communities. I can advocate with staff and fellow councillors regarding the importance of supporting our communities. I am also keen to strengthen communities own voice by listening and by encouraging and supporting them to use that voice through planning processes and public forums. I also try to keep abreast of the issues facing our communities through relationships and reading newsletters from community groups. I would like to get around more community groups in the next term as this term with 2 1/2 years of covid has meant I feel disconnected.


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


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