I’m concerned about the chilling effect Government cuts are having on Dunedin. Links to a couple of recent articles I’ve written about this are in the text below…
It used to be the case that the Government had representatives close to the coal face who understood local interests and fed into policy processes. But now local officials’ jobs are being cut. The remaining Dunedin officials are increasingly being kept in the dark on policy development, and then asked to defend the indefensible to local service providers. I’ve written that the Wellington cookie-cutter, one-size-fits all approach, is not working for Dunedin.
Due to a range of factors that includes a stable professional workforce, and a relatively static local population, Dunedin compares well with other centres on social service provision. Providers often lead nationally in terms of innovation and effectiveness.
Solutions trialled and implemented in Dunedin are sometimes rolled out further afield. Mornington PHO is a case in point. It was a trend-setter nationally, until its wings were clipped and a cookie-cutter model was imposed.
Dunedin solutions may sometimes work elsewhere. Trouble is, the converse is not necessarily true. Many of the ‘solutions’ central government is imposing on us are not working for Dunedin.
And another thing. Cuts are affecting Dunedin’s volunteers too.