On engineering risk at Stadium site

He’s not wrong! Further to Paul’s post ‘ODT remiss’ this is where “The Decision” goes on engineering risk for the stadium area.


Planning commissioners Roger Tasker, John Lumsden and John Matthews have made the decision to accept, subject to amendments, Plan Change 8 as notified.

This means the Dunedin City District Plan will contain a new Chapter 27, Stadium as it relates to the (new) Stadium Zone and (extended) Campus Zone.

The stadium site is approximately 5.5ha in size and is generally located between Anzac Avenue (SH 88 ) to the north, Ravensbourne Road, Logan Park and the Logan Point Quarry to the east, the Water of Leith to the west, and the Main South Railway line to the south.

The area is intended to provide for a purpose-built regional stadium with a capacity for up to 35,000 spectators, plus a number of associated activities.


During the plan change hearings, Dunedin City Council (the Applicant) called on the evidence of consulting engineers David John Hamilton and Roderick (Rod) Keith Macleod.

Mr Hamilton had prepared evidence in relation to stormwater issues and flooding threats, including the existing environment, the effect of development, appropriate mitigation measures and response to submissions.

He used the terminology ‘stormwater’ to refer to water that is generated by rainfall on the site itself, and ‘flooding’ to refer to an external threat from either freshwater or sea water.

In his Executive Summary, he said:
(3.1) The proposed site is subject to flooding threats from three sources: Otago Harbour, Water of Leith and Opoho Creek;
(3.2) In my assessment the proposed minimum floor level for buildings set at 3.7m above mean sea level provides an appropriate mitigation of the impacts of flooding from all three sources including allowances for climate and sea level change; and
(3.3) Stormwater generated from the site is expected to be slightly less than that permitted under the current zoning.

He noted the site is reclaimed land that predates 1909. The existing ground level at the site varies from 2m to 3.8m with much of the site above 3.2m.

Mr Macleod had prepared evidence in relation to natural hazards and sub-surface conditions at Logan Point.

The evidence included a review of ‘Preliminary Geotechnical Investigations Report and Contamination Investigations Report’ prepared by Tonkin & Taylor Ltd (T & T), dated December 2007; the ‘additional information’ prepared by Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd (Beca), dated 8 and 22 February 2008; and the Statement of Evidence of David John Hamilton regarding District Plan Change 8.

Mr Macleod found that, “Whilst the site is at risk from: foundation liquefaction; foundation lateral spreading; tsunami events; predicted climate change effects upon groundwater levels; storm surge events; and flooding this is no different that [sic] other land in the area and can be appropriately managed.”

Subject to his concerns regarding natural hazards and foundation conditions being addressed at subsequent stages of the development (building consent), he recommended “the zone change application should not be withheld”.

He could see no reason why Plan Change 8 should be declined on geotechnical or engineering risk matters.

Mr Macleod accepted that specific design of building foundations would be required but this was consistent with the site’s current industrial zoning and consistent with that which would be required on adjacent land. Such matters could be appropriately dealt with at the detailed design stage and could be adequately addressed through the building consent process.


The commissioners referred to Council policy planner Paul Freeland’s evidence in which he said, “Issues in respect of this matter [engineering risk] have been covered in the evidence of Messrs Hamilton and McLeod [sic]. From a planning perspective there remains little comment beyond noting that I am satisfied that the effects of these issues have been adequately considered and mitigated.”

The commissioners agreed with Mr Freeland that the expert evidence provided dealt suitably with these issues.


In regard to Stop the Stadium Inc’s submission (see 10.0 Specific Matters Raised in Submissions), the commissioners observed that while the submission clearly indicated a list of specific concerns [including engineering risk] with the provisions of the Plan Change, “the submitter did not call evidence that dealt specifically with these issues. Accordingly, and in the absence of any further consideration by the submitter, we prefer the evidence presented by Mr Freeland, on behalf of the Council.”


In section 8.9 (para 55) of the decision, the commissioners had this to say about site contamination: “We noted that the documentation that accompanies Plan Change 8 recognises the likelihood of contamination of the stadium site, and that this issue is controlled and managed by the provisions of the Regional Plan: Waste for Otago. We are satisfied, therefore, that any work occurring on a contaminated site would require a resource consent from the Otago Regional Council.”

Postscript: Appeals to Environment Court on the decision must be lodged by 23 February 2009.


Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, Other, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

6 responses to “On engineering risk at Stadium site

  1. Awesome, once again I bow to you knowledge of all things planning Elizabeth.

    I know a thing or two about liquefaction, as a matter of course for a degree in Physical Geography, and while site to site there are variations, the basic geo-physics of the processes are the same the world over regardless of material. While NY is blessed to be on solid bedrock very few cities in the world are, and Dunedin is no different.

    But again this I why I needed you on board this blog Cheers

  2. Elizabeth

    Thanks Paul, happy to help.

    In former STS days, well prior to a little decision not to spend money on resource management planners (and thus, on expert witnesses) to represent the membership at the plan change hearings, a local QC recommended to myself and my STS colleague (a retired barrister) that the eminent David Elms, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Canterbury, a recognised risk expert, would be a good person to talk to about the proposed stadium and subject site.

    If only. We’ll never know if Professor Elms was interested or available. What a deplorable waste of potential for the hearing process, to test the Council witnesses.

  3. Just a thought, where was Victor Billot at the recent march, or is he another casualty of the sanity cull in the StS?

    Yeah imagine actually getting experts to test the council, how bloody radical.

  4. Elizabeth

    Victor resigned from committee before I did, don’t know if he’s still a member of the organisation. He stopped helping as an ‘independent’ StS webmaster back in January. That’s a shame.

  5. Ah that explains a lot.

  6. Elizabeth

    ### 3 News Fri, 27 Mar 2009 12:53 pm
    New Stadium not on shakey ground

    Work continues behind the scenes at the [Carisbrook] stadium trust as plans for roofed multifunction venue in Awatea Street take shape. Those against the project say that’s impossible given the uncertain nature on building reclaimed land.

    The Stop the Stadium group will hold a protest meeting in the Town Hall on Sunday night.

    Read more


    There is that complicated matter of the still unknown cost of the foundations for this building, given the nature of the reclaimed land at the stadium site. The guaranteed maximum price approach falters on this and other substantial items.

    Not forgetting, CST hasn’t allowed for a turf farm within the budgets, so which generous landowner is going to supply the ground area for the first lot of turf at no cost, and the second lot, and the third, etcetera, if the grass fails to grow under the ETFE. Does DCC have to buy that land too at some jacked-up price in a softening market.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s