Timaru District Council

June 28th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Matthew Littlewood reports:

A Timaru district councillor is “puzzled” by council management’s refusal to link to his blog.

has been running his blog since he was elected to the council two years ago, and has even live-blogged council meetings.

However, recently he asked management to include his blog address on the council’s website.

“We’re in the middle of a representation review, which has pretty big implications for the community, particularly Geraldine, Temuka and Pleasant Point,” Cr Fraser said.

“I would have thought the more community engagement we had on this topic, the better.

“For some people, the blog is the way they interact with me. Certainly a lot of people are finding it easier to comment on the blog or email me than give me a call,” he said.

However, Timaru District Council management told Cr Fraser that it would not include the link to his blog as the “council has no control over the quality, accuracy or opinion contained in your blog”

That’s silly and stupid. A link is not an endorsement. So long as it is clear the blog is the personal opinion of Cr Fraser, then as an elected official he should be able to have it as part of his profile.

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14 Responses to “Timaru District Council”

  1. mavxp (483 comments) says:

    a knee-jerk decision by some middle level IT manager no doubt.

    Easier to say “no” than to think and make a real decision. Don’t you just love bureaucrats?

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  2. Mr_Blobby (173 comments) says:

    “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled. The assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero
    I think this comes under
    The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled.
    Tell the noddy (Autocrat,public servant, slave, peasant)to do as he is told or start looking for a new Job.

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  3. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    I disagree.

    First he is blogging when he should be concentrating on council business.

    Second it is personal opinion. Why should they then not link to KiwiBlog or any other blog. Perfectly reasonable to keep them separate.

    Besides, maybe the guy is just an asshole, and who wants to encourage assholes

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  4. Mr_Blobby (173 comments) says:

    Rouppe you sound like you come from one of the non productive class’s. Beneficiaries, criminals, public servants, bureaucrats. A net cost to the economy. What are you going to do when the productive sector can not be taxed anymore and we can’t afford you.

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  5. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Disagree DPF, why should the Timaru District Council provide access to his blog? What makes him so special?

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  6. nasska (11,480 comments) says:

    The Timaru District Council see fit to publish councillors’ addresses, phone & fax numbers on their website. Any objections to including a web address are disingenuous at best & more probably indicate that Mr Fraser has refused to swallow the crap fed to him by the TDC bureaucracy.

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  7. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Rouppe you sound like you come from one of the non productive class’s. Beneficiaries, criminals, public servants, bureaucrats. A net cost to the economy. What are you going to do when the productive sector can not be taxed anymore and we can’t afford you.

    WTF has crawled up your arse?

    You do realize rouppe was replying to DPF’s post not your own?

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  8. Mr_Blobby (173 comments) says:

    You just did, now get out of there.

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  9. iMP (2,384 comments) says:

    Well, except, that it gives official Council support to one of many political candidates. He gets a free platform link (paid for by ratepayers) that others do not. A Councillor is a contested position; so this would be considered partisan in favour of Cr Fraser. I kinda agree with Council, I think opinion should stay opinion; and Council management should be objective and non-partisan.

    Otherwise in Chch, we’d have Jim Anderton’s crazies linked to Council Sites and Labour 2021 loons linking too. Where would it end?

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  10. iMP (2,384 comments) says:

    Keep it: Rubbish, Rates & Reticulation. Although, maybe his blog would rate under “rubbish.”

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  11. ZenTiger (435 comments) says:

    Where would it end?

    How about at one link per elected councillor.

    It’s a link, not a political endorsement. The councillors are elected to represent their community. The council could get in behind that idea.

    Next, they wont be provding a chair for him (or other councillors) at council meetings in the council chambers, lest that be seen as favoritism.

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  12. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Never mind Bevan

    I don’t take offense from folk that sound like they come from the remedial literacy classes. That’s the problem with folk like him making assumptions – it just makes an ass out of him

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  13. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    iMP: they include his contact details on the web site. Presumably if you e-mail him or call him the the “council has no control over the quality, accuracy or opinion” that someone will receive from him via e-mail or phone.

    In short, they’re choosing to believe that providing an address for his blog is qualitatively different than giving his phone number or e-mail. They need to get with the times.

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  14. trout (939 comments) says:

    The salient quote (as described above) from Timaru Council management to justify not allowing a link (beside the Councillors name – along with his contact details) is: ‘council has no control over the quality, accuracy or opinion contained in your blog’
    By inference they do not want anything published outside their control. Councillors generally, are regarded as a necessary evil by Council executive staff; they are expected to rubber stamp staff recommendations; not develop and especially not propagate independent opinion.

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