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The Mayor and Central Otago District councillors are relishing the opportunity to send the findings of Audit New Zealand’s perusal of the council’s long-term plan to critics of the process.

It was with a sense of vindication the council received Audit New Zealand’s report on the audit of the 2021-31 long-term plan consultation document and supporting documentation, along with the final audit report of the 2021-31 long-term plan.

The latter was presented at full meeting of the council in Alexandra last week.

Essentially what was submitted by the council was passed without issue by Audit New Zealand.

The Central Otago District Council (CODC) completed the 2021-31 long-term plan process on June 30, 2021.

This culminated in the adoption of the 2021-31 long-term plan and the setting of the rates for the 2021-22 financial year.

The first stage of the long-term plan process was the preparation of the consultation document and the supporting information behind it.

These documents were audited by Audit New Zealand ahead of the council going out to consultation. Audit New Zealand issued an unmodified audit report on March 24 for the consultation document.

This included an emphasis on the Government’s intention to make Three Waters reform decisions during 2021 and acknowledged the long-term uncertainty of what that meant for the the CODC and the community.

There appeared to be no areas of concern raised by Audit New Zealand.

A second audit began on June 8, in which Audit New Zealand audited the final 2021-31 long-term plan.

The council again received an unmodified audit opinion dated June 30, 2021, being the date of adoption for the long-term plan.

While no names were mentioned, Cr Martin McPherson said the report was “glowing” and asked if copies of the report could be sent to the members of the public critical of the council’s long-term plan and the process undertaken.

Mayor Tim Cadogan said he would be sending the Audit New Zealand findings to those concerned.