City council urged to keep focus on residents


    AN unsuccessful Invercargill City Council (ICC) by-election candidate offered councillors some words of encouragement at yesterday’s full council meeting.

    David Pottinger asked councillors to act in the best interests of the people of Invercargill when he spoke during public forum time.

    He said there had been a discussion around the table at last month’s meeting on whether a media protocol was needed.

    After discussions with several ratepayers, Mr Pottinger said people thought they could rely on the “good sense and sensibility” of the people elected to the position.

    “I encourage the council to think about the important things that they have been elected here for,” he said.

    “So all I’m saying is, I encourage you when there is a decision about what is needed to get the council back on track, what is needed to make sure the Department of Internal Affairs is not prying into our business, is to make sure the decisions are made in the best interests of the people of Invercargill.”

    He also noted the council had shown an empathetic side when it voted on the rent increases of elderly tenants at last month’s meeting.

    “I saw a very good side of the council. You were caring about people.”

    Mr Pottinger, who is the brother of councillor Ian Pottinger, said the prayer recited at each council meeting and the oath councillors made when sworn in stated they should act in the interests of the people.

    “All I’m saying is, we of Invercargill rely on you 13 people to help lead us, to help guide us you.”

    Later in the meeting, ICC external appointee and governance group chairman Jeff Grant said another councillor-only briefing workshop would be held to discuss the draft charter for the Working on Working Together framework for the delivery of phase two.

    The budgeted $310,000 to address issues raised in the Independent Governance Review (Thomson Report) was well under budget, he said.