Plan Change 7: Harbourside – remove stage two

### ODT Online Wed, 10 Mar 2010
Businesses could close if harbourside plan proceeds
By Mark Price
Three of the main heavy industries in the harbour area of Dunedin say they could be put out of business by a Dunedin City Council proposal to rezone harbourside industrial land so it can be used for residential and commercial use.

The council’s harbourside plan change 7 incorporates one stage around the harbour basin and a second stage involving industrial land north from the harbour basin. Asked if a compromise with the council was possible, Foundry operator Bradken manufacturing manager Roger Denston said: “They could remove stage two from the plan.”

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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8 Comments

Filed under Economics, Geography, Politics, Town planning, Urban design

8 responses to “Plan Change 7: Harbourside – remove stage two

  1. Elizabeth

    Farra’s design and construction expertise meant it was able to supply most of the units for new buildings in Sydney.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 12 Mar 2010
    Farra cleans up in Sydney
    By Hamish McNeilly
    A Dunedin engineering company is towering over its Australian opposition. A one-of-a-kind maintenance unit built by Farra Engineering Ltd is on its way to the top of a new commercial building in Sydney.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      DCC chief executive Jim Harland has a “different view” to the Otago Chamber of Commerce, which has commissioned a report from Patterson Pitts Resource Manaagement on the propposed Dunedin Harbourside plan change.

      Well Mr Harland would take a contrary view, wouldn’t he. There’s an ongoing confusion within the city council as to where the chief executive’s role begins and ends, in regard to how he’s utilising his planning credentials in championing Plan Change 7: Harbourside.

      And frankly, I’m no longer clear where DCC sits in relation to the aims and objectives of Chalmers Properties Ltd (the property subsidiary of Port Otago Ltd), which include plans to divest its harbourside property holdings…

      The Otago Chamber’s decision to publicise the issues as they see them deserves all credit. Simply, the matters they identify must be in full view for public consideration.

      Tossing a major plan change or resource consent application under the dark rug of Environment Court processes doesn’t appear to have happened anywhere else lately – see Meridian’s Project Hayes, Holcim’s Weston cement plant, Meridian’s North Bank Tunnel Project et al.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 13 Mar 2010
      Harbour-side rezoning seen as damaging city
      By Mark Price
      The Dunedin City Council will damage the city’s economy by changing the zoning of harbour-side land, according to Dunedin planner Don Anderson, of Paterson Pitts Resource Management Ltd. The council wants to rezone industrial land near Otago Harbour’s steamer basin to allow it to be used for residential purposes and for bars and cafes.
      Read more

  2. Phil

    The unfortunate byproduct of a certain public servant’s pig headedness is that a number of cockroach developers have already converted their industrial zoned properties into residential properties, and are currently receiving income from these. Despite the objections of reverse sensitivity from the neighbouring industrial companies. The DCC planning department have been rendered powerless by their own organisation to take any enforcement action as the lawyers representing the developers have taken the stance that the CEO’s pet project will go through, making their client’s currently illegal works perfectly legal. So there’s been a Mexican standoff until the plan change issue gets resolved. There’s a history within council of amending the planning rules to suit developments already in place. And this is why things are such a mess. Planning should be about guiding the city, not wandering along behind. I know that Jim may wish to leave his legacy on the city, as Peter is doing with the stadium. But, like Peter, this isn’t the one to win with.

  3. Elizabeth

    Plan Change 7: Harbourside
    Some of the best Letters to editor received to date by the Otago Daily Times, in my opinion.

    Today: (ODT page 12)
    [excerpts]

    Harbourside issue intrinsically political
    The chief executive of the Otago Chamber of Commerce, John Christie, responds to a public assertion by the Mayor of Dunedin by pointing out, with the support of two legal opinions, that the mayor is wrong. From the mayor a stunned silence; from his chief executive, an outburst accusing Mr Christie of “politicising the issue” (ODT, 9.3.10)…
    -Harry Love, Dalmore

    …[DCC chief executive Jim Harland] went on to say that one of the reasons that New Zealand is one of the least corrupt countries in the world is that planning is not politicised. Mr Harland did not stand for and was not elected to the council. He should not act as a councillor or as the mayor. The biggest risk of corruption we face in Dunedin is the council conducting business in secret behind layers of company structures…
    -Alistair Broad, Dunedin

    …The effect of the harbourside plan is to radically change the use of part of our city from its purpose over the past 100-plus years and which is still fully functioning for this use. If this is not something that entitles citizens to raise issues for informed and democratic debate then what is? In my view, Mr Harland’s desire to prevent debate is exactly what gives rise to accusations of corruption.
    -Steve Rodgers, Dunedin

    Read the full letters in print and digital editions of the Otago Daily Times.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Mar 2010
      Workers to discuss harbourside plan
      By Mark Price
      Workers at two businesses in the harbourside area of Dunedin will meet today to discuss the implications of the Dunedin City Council’s proposed plan change 7: harbourside. NZ Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union organiser Mike Kirwood yesterday said he would be speaking to union “membership meetings” at Farra Engineering and Bradken. The purpose of the meetings was to inform members of the issues and determine what action they required from the union.
      Read more

  4. The proposed harbourside change is totally Jim Harland’s “blue sky vision”. It has run into trouble with industry, workers and the Chamber of Commerce alike. The sooner we get a mayor and council with enough ‘mojo’ to tell Harland to get behind his desk and do what he is paid to do, namely, attend to the administration in carrying out its business of effecting policy set by elected council. Stay out of the politics, it’s not his place.

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Problem is that we have the classic case of something filling a vacuum. We all know from our science lessons that a vacuum is something that needs to be filled with something else.

    We have a Council that has not – despite protestations to the contrary – been able to really provide a long-term plan acceptable to the community. We have huge demonstrable divisions in our community. Such a long-term plan needs to be discussed by the community, and the various aspects of that need to be backed up by solid, transparent facts and figures.

    The LTCCP process was a joke and something to be endured by those that were incapable of real strategic vision, and/or unwilling to accept ideas from those who did provide aspects of such vision. And before someone dives in, I am one of those that believe that no one person has the ability to provide a total comprehensive vision – it is almost always the product of a lot of good ideas accepted in good faith and assembled in a co-ordinated way.

    In that “headless chook” vacuum environment that is the DCC, it is easy, and almost inevitable, that the resultant vacuum of strategic vision will be filled by ideas from someone with the power to provide it. Enter Jim.

    Up pops Jim’s vision for Harbourside that has no connection with reality. The loss of jobs vital to ensuring that the City has an infrastructure ready and skilled for any future petro-chemical industry as an example, doesn’t enter Jim’s vision, and meantime the Mayor sits stunned on the sideline. Not sure whether he is stunned at what is happening, or simply stunned that something is happening. But one thing is for sure – neither he nor Jim want to talk about it. Talking about it may mean that they have to justify their current position in public.

    One can only hope that sufficient opposition and publicity eventually comes forth that will assist in getting rid of the current vacuum and the undesirable things that have been filling it.

    • Elizabeth

      I always come back to the other party to the 50-year vision, Chalmers Properties Ltd (CPL), Port Otago Ltd’s property subsidiary.

      The presently ‘silent partner’, CPL, wants to reduce its (Port Otago’s) Dunedin property portfolio. CPL could have initiated a private plan change. DCC decided it would rather ‘host’ the plan change, in the public interest.

      All comments on the portside industrial zoning and established harbourside businesses aside, in a CPL private plan change scenario it’s quite possible that the public’s ask for improved access to the harbour edge, and the future use and enhanced amenity of the harbourside area would not have been optimal. Turning that on its ear, maybe CPL’s planners would have arrived at a better area vision than the DCC chief executive’s. We will never know.

      Why DCC, via Jim Harland, is not supporting the entrepreneurial strength and the national and international reputation of Dunedin’s heavy industry, connecting as it does to a number of other businesses within or serving the engineering cluster, as harbourside essentials… is one of Dunedin City’s worst and most profound anomalies.

      Besides the stadium project.

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