2014 Dog Control Survey

Karen Anderson made this Official Information request to Dunedin City Council

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Dunedin City Council should have responded by now (details and exceptions). The requester can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Karen Anderson

Dear Dunedin City Council,

My preference is to receive the requested information by email.

On 4 July 2016 I attended a meeting arranged by the DCC Chief Executive for the in-house legal Counsel to address legal issues concerning the 2016 Dog Control Bylaw. In that meeting “feedback” from a 2014 survey was asserted as the official justification and authority for the amendments made to the 2016 Dog Control Bylaw on 27 June 2016.

It was not explained why the information from this survey and the intended changes:
(a) Was not disclosed during the 2016 consultation process;
(b) Was not recorded as being considered by the Bylaw Hearings sub-committee;
(c) Was not included in any information placed before Council when it deliberated on and then adopted the new bylaw (and policy) on 23 May 2016;
(d) Was not disclosed to interested or affected parties and as a consequence was discovered by chance in the agenda for the Council meeting on 27 June 2016.

Given the significance of this information it was agreed it would be provided. The Councillor attending that meeting was subsequently assured on multiple occasions that would occur. The information was not provided.

Between October 2016 and December 2016 I was assured that and other information requested on 4 July 2016 would be provided. It was not. By separate emails on 3 November 2017 the in-house legal Counsel and Cr Whiley assured me I was to be involved in the “next steps” to be taken after the Dog Control Working Party concluded. In context it was quite clear I was to understand those “next steps” would be consistent with the undertakings made in 2016.

After more than a year I was provided with an invalid draft “Final Report” on 4 December 2018. The meeting to validate the document was arranged for 12 December 2018 but Cr Whiley departed after attendees arrived and it was not held. The following week I received an invitation to discuss the Working Party with Cr Whiley in February 2019, although earlier legal in-house Counsel had informed me meetings would be held for a different purpose.

This history forces the conclusion that even if meetings are held in the future, it is improbable they will be used to provide the requested information. Accordingly I have been asked by members of the Dunedin Dog Bylaw Group to request all information and documents relating to the “dog control survey” conducted in 2014. That should include, but not be limited to,
(a) All information provided to participants;
(b) Copies of the actual questions asked, and the “forms” used to collect responses;
(c) How participants were identified and selected;
(d) The actual responses;
(e) The summary of results and any reports made to Council or sub-committees;
(f) The agenda and minutes in which the survey and any reports were dealt with by Council or sub-committees.

Yours faithfully,
Karen Anderson

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