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The DCC Draft Annual Plan: A Call To Arms for Democracy in Dunedin

By   /  March 26, 2014  /  Aaron Hawkins, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

Last year Council only got 262 submissions. Fewer than half a percent of people in this city were able, and willing to share their opinion by taking part in the Annual Plan process. To me, that’s a sign that our local democracy is sick, and we all need to work together to try and fix it.

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The oil free future is needed now

By   /  January 14, 2014  /  Aaron Hawkins, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

This past Saturday in Dunedin, as part of Oil Free Otago’s ‘Oil Free Future Summit’, more than 200 concerned citizens gathered raise red flags about the continued expansion of extraction, and discuss alternatives that can buy us some time on this beautiful planet. Among us were Professors and academics (of physics, economics and social geography), artists, activists and policy makers (local and national).

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“What If Our Government Tried To Guide Democracy, Rather Than Dictate To It?” And Other Rhetorical Remarks

By   /  November 27, 2013  /  Aaron Hawkins, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

Winning the election is one thing, doing the governing is another completely.

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My question is to all MPs & asks: Is there something wrong with your inside voice?

By   /  November 12, 2013  /  Aaron Hawkins, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

Our two largest and oldest parties spend the entire time plodding through their well-rehearsed parochial barrage, yelling over the top of each other and applauding wildly whenever they think their boss has told a funny. Each caucus is as bad as the other, and it is a funny kind of conundrum seeing people you respect personally and professionally make you start to question all of that all at once

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An Eternal Week In The Classic Mould

By   /  October 22, 2013  /  Aaron Hawkins, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  1 Comment

It is an odd feeling being not quite a constituent and not quite a representative, treading more diplomatic lines than your humble narrator is used to while the incoming Council (new and returning) wait to get their feet under the desk

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One Ward To Rule Them All?

By   /  October 15, 2013  /  Aaron Hawkins, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

The bigger a ward becomes, the more difficult it is for candidates to connect with the voters whose support they need to make it to the Council table. There are two ways of doing this: having the free time and physical capacity to individually visit every household in the city (impossible if you have mobility issues, say, or a 9-5 job), or invest enough in advertising to get your message out that way.

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Notes From The Hustings, or, “So … how’s the campaign going?”

By   /  October 9, 2013  /  Aaron Hawkins, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  6 Comments

For at least seven or eight months prior, I’d been working my way through the democratic rigor of our official nomination process, selected by consensus by members of our local branch and vetted at a national level.

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