Dunedin City Council and sustainability

### ODT Online Fri, 18 Sep 2009
Councillor attacks parts of report
By David Loughrey

Dunedin city councillor Michael Guest has attacked parts of a report on sustainability he said were “from the loony left”, and urged the council not to treat the idea as a religion.
Read more

– Councillor Michael Guest chairs the Dunedin City Council’s Planning and Environment Committee, strangely.

Report – FSC – 14/09/2009 (PDF, 152.7 kb, new window)
Sustainability Framework Update

###ODT Online Mon, 21/09/2009 – 4:54pm.
Comment by JimmyJones on Sustainability or common sense?

DCC Councilors have been pressured in recent times, by the DCC staff, to impose Sustainability on the city. Few Councilors have had the courage to stand up to these people – Cr Guest is one that deserves some credit for opposing aspects of the report.
Read more

On the sustainability question…

A birdie tells me councillors are looking at the potential of creating farm parks on Otago Peninsula.

This to stimulate economic development and lure private investment – after all, what do you do for the local construction industry and the investment community once the stadium is built.

Answer, as councillors, you try to sink the good people of Dunedin City into mass unsustainability practices.

If rural subdivision in Dunedin City gains more traction councillors would be seen as doing their damnedest to hike the infrastructure services bill to ratepayers, by permitting unmitigated sprawl and unsustainable land management practices…

More power to the few, is where it leads.

And hey. Local ratepayers will welcome an influx of rich folk to our rural climes – be they absentee property owners that want for no more than to run a horse for their darling children in a week of the school holidays – just like in Queenstown Lakes District?

The circus there of rural subdivision and housing sprawl, promoted by prominent Dunedin-based ‘entrepreneurs’ among others, hasn’t been a holistic or credible exercise in sustainability. It’s got them a functioning international airport though. So much for the aviation fuel industry.

A farm park is suburbanisation.

Farm parks are another enticement to life stylers that want everything pretty, tarsealed (oops, not so pretty) and fetching in terms of house aesthetics for guests (or renters at $1000+ per week), with a few hazelnut trees thrown in. The show ponies… the credit card set that blow hot and cold.

Let’s decorate Otago Peninsula with more of them. Why not.

It’s not like it is a rarity in New Zealand to have an outstanding set of existing coastal communities, to be found just a little bit further away than the Waverley sprawl. Is it?

Ransack the bays and the peninsula hills. Why not.

That’s productive isn’t it – we want to look and act like most of the world’s real estate greed incarnate. As soon as we can. We are the real sheep. Or diary cows, for want of a phrase.

Dare I say the sprawl at Mosgiel over the years has taught no lessons. There are, of course, the councillors that own property there in subdivisions, or who caused the subdivisions. We could name them after wider study of the Rates Book, which has gotten to be very interesting.

It all connects to the review of the District Plan in relation to rural land use.

A liberal entry at the council website says:
Monitoring Rural Land Use August 2004 (PDF, 460.6 kb, new window)
Dunedin City is unique amongst larger New Zealand cities in that it contains vast tracts of rural land. The District Plan seeks to maintain the productivity of rural land, to discourage rural land fragmentation, to maintain the character of rural areas and to provide for rural residential development in a sustainable manner.

It’s an observation shared that the planning staff at council – or one in particular – are of the view that market forces should dictate rural land use, leading to greater levels of subdivision of rural land.

This does not assist regional export and production. This does not restore an environment that has been highly modified in the past through exploitative farming practice and land clearing.

Fêting the creation of farm parks and rural subdivision as a whole perpetuates the ridiculous, mind numbing New Zealand preoccupation with pumping the housing market to the exclusion of making (organic) investment in productive industry and export.

Roll on, the consequences of the capital gains, the manipulative credit lines and the foreclosures… and further degradation of the environment over responsible farseeing stewardship.

Is this what the present councillors are pushing us to explore further? Is this what they think the community wants – no sustainable future?

In a word, shocking.

****

References:

Zone Provisions – Rural and Rural Residential (PDF, 708.3 kb, new window)
This document explains the rural and rural residential zones and their management under the Dunedin City Council District Plan.

Plan Change 15 – Mosgiel Residential Expansion

Dunedin LMA Review – April 2007 (PDF, 4.4 mb, new window)
Boffa Miskell Limited were contracted by City Planning to assess the landscape values of Dunedin. This report contains descriptions, threats and values of the various landscape character areas identified. It also recommends a range of planning approaches for managing landscape values in rural Dunedin.

growRural Dunedin
growRural Dunedin is an initiative developed by the Dunedin City Council in conjunction with Dunedin Rural Development.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

101 Comments

Filed under Economics, Geography, Politics, What stadium

101 responses to “Dunedin City Council and sustainability

  1. Phil

    “loony left”. It took just two words in the article to have my head meet my hands. If that is the attitude from the top, then what chance is there. I was glad to see a couple of the newer faces step in and challenge it. But, sheesh, it’s worth checking if the microphone is on or off some days, before opening one’s mouth. Whata Mistaka T’Maka.

  2. Phil

    Market forces dictating land use ? Ok, that begs the question as to why we currently have a policy planning department. They seem to be surplus to requirements. Is it just me that sees this as being completely back to front? That business is deciding how the city should be laid out? Today’s “market forces” may last only a few years. But, by then, the landscape, and population densities have been altered beyond repair. And those who have made their money out of this have relocated to the Gold Coast. Of course those landowners on the Peninsula want to be able to subdivide. And plunder as much of the spoils as those on the Taieri have. It’s interesting to note that few of those rural developers have sought to live within one of their subdivided areas.

    Can we not learn from the Queenstown disasters while where is still a chance? Uncontrolled urban sprawl has decimated that environment. Dunedin had, HAS, an opportunity to cash in on that. By offering a clean landscape. This is, well, I am just lost for words. Almost.

  3. Caz

    Elizabeth said
    “Dare I say the sprawl at Mosgiel over the years has taught no lessons. There are, of course, the councillors that own property there in subdivisions, or who caused the subdivisions.”

    Those of course are the ones who go to church every Sunday and rip the ratepayers off from Monday to Saturday

    {Caz, your post remains here because I consider that it is opinion, I have received an email that claims the post is “defamatory”. After re-reading it, I am inclined to view the post as getting at sensitivity and perception only. I’ve seen and heard much worse tonight on TV3’s programme “7 Days”,* a round-up of politics and media by top comedians. Elizabeth}

    ****

    *TV3 says:
    7 Days sees New Zealand’s top comedians pit their wits against the week’s news and each other. Jeremy Corbett is host and referee as two teams of our top comedy talent and their special guest dissect the news of the last seven days with uninformed brilliance.

  4. Phil

    Ok, I’ve been given a bit of a background history lesson on the Peninsula “Farm Park” proposal. I understand this has risen from the ashes from previously failed subdivision applications, where the terrain within new 2 hectare blocks was considered to be unsuitable. Being all hills and gullies etc. As it was explained to me, a 20 hectare block of land would be set aside, for 10 houses. All the houses would be built in the same area, utilising the only building platform on the site. Connected by a sizeable sealed road to the existing roading network. The occupants would then jointly own the remaining land, like a body corporate. A modern day commune. The result on the landscape would be a small village appearing. Under the normal rules, it is required to have a minimum 200m gap between rural dwellings. This looks to me like an attempt to go through the backdoor to achieve the same, unwanted result. I sincerely hope this gets treated in the same manner as the first attempt by the applicants.

    • Elizabeth

      Yep. Thanks Phil. I strongly concur with the sentiment in your last sentence.

      The issue of farm parks goes wider in terms of who (in-house) is promulgating such an idea in council workshop fashion.

      By the by, I’ve been looking into a resource consent granted for the Walton Farm Park at Tumai River mouth, north of Waikouaiti.

      I was an opposing submitter on the farm park application. The council granted the application with conditions. No such extenuating (!!?? bah) reasons for this one as you mention for the Otago Peninsula site(s)… At Tumai, the old unproductive land for farming argument has been cast [I know this coastal land very well indeed for reasons I will keep to myself] and the notion that (AD HOC, my term) subdivision will see in the restoration of the tidal estuarine environment… the COMMON old garden variety ploy for seeing about shonky coastal development, and the council fell for it. A sad affair.

      I was unable to attend the resource consent hearing, unfortunately. My concern was that the proposed development would set a dangerous precedent.

      Opposing submitter Tony Parata, a local resident and former Dunedin City councillor, took a similar view. He invested resources into an appeal to the Environment Court, with the result further conditions were imposed by the court. In essence, I believe, the appeal was a genuine attempt to prevent similar subdivision (read sprawl) from happening on neighbouring farm property. The new conditions include roading matters.

      A couple of weeks ago I was informed (certainly not by the council – although as an original submitter I could be considered an affected party… along with all other submitters), that the council has relaxed a condition set by the court – if not ignored or overridden it, in my opinion.

      The Resource Management Act says:

      s 295 Environment Court decisions are final
      A decision of the Environment Court under this Act, or another Act, or regulation, on any matter other than an inquiry, is final unless it is reheard under section 294 or appealed under section 299.

      This leaves an interesting situation for exploration. It is fair to say.

  5. David

    Councillor Guest attacks sustainability?

    How sustainable is it to Dunedin to try to stop people from going into the city? (via a deliberate strategy, carried out by making parking expensive and hard to get).

  6. Phil

    My understanding was that, once a decision was made by the Environment Court, the process had progressed past Local Authority jurisdiction, and all parties were then legally bound by the decision. Do the LGA powers extend to legislating out the law?

    • Elizabeth

      It well may be there are professional competency issues here.
      The legal issues are being attended to. Will provide more information as it comes to hand.

  7. Phil

    Glad to hear that. There have been a few shockers come out of City Planning of late. Some pretty basic oversights. Which I’m sure they will address internally.

    The Peninsula interest worries me a lot. I’ve given up on the Taieri, the damage has already been done there. The Peninsula is the one major natural tourism icon that we have remaining. Why we would even consider compromising that in favour of a group of land owners who have shown themselves publicly to have little regard for their local environment over the past few years, simply amazes me.

    I understand that there are council employees with a stake in the current proposal, which is why I am even more amazed that council as a whole is not treading more carefully than they appear to be doing.

  8. Phil

    I wonder how much thought has been given to the delicate inlet eco-systems that exist in that area and the effect that newly introduced commuter traffic will have. That it has survived industry “market forces” so far is, in itself, a miracle. Possibly falls outside of the area of expertise of the council planning department, but maybe the ORC air quality plan can lend some weight on vehicle emissions. There have also been numerous studies completed overseas on the negative effects of noise and of vehicle vibration, on ecosystems. This is NOT the type of land where we want to be encouraging population expansion.

    • Elizabeth

      Phil said:
      “I wonder how much thought has been given to the delicate inlet eco-systems that exist in that area and the effect that newly introduced commuter traffic will have. That it has survived industry “market forces” so far is, in itself, a miracle. Possibly falls outside of the area of expertise of the council planning department, but maybe the ORC air quality plan can lend some weight on vehicle emissions. There have also been numerous studies completed overseas on the negative effects of noise and of vehicle vibration, on ecosystems. This is NOT the type of land where we want to be encouraging population expansion.”

      It was getting late (or very early) by the time I got back to the thread last night (went off to Youtube for a while) – I took it correctly you were referring to the Otago Peninsula, I think the queries you raise are important ones. The University of Otago Aquarium (Marine Science) is monitoring/measuring some harbour areas but I’m not sure to what extent across the total harbour marine environment, ecosystems, species type and variables. Perhaps what they are doing is quite localised and or relates to spawning grounds and foodchain. This came up in some other work I was doing and I’ve lost touch with their studies since then.

      ORC could have some news for us…I wonder. Phil, do you know anyone there to ask?

  9. Richard

    The Tumai decision was well canvassed and impressively argued by all parties before the Hearings Panel of which I was a member.

    That included “the inlet” that Phil refers to. I assume he is not aware that the application – and consent granted – provided for those parts of the inlet which had been ‘reclaimed’ to be reopened through removal of the causeway?

    The Huirapa Runaka were supportive of the proposal. The NZHPT had a different view, indeed they inferred they had more knowledge than local iwi and that ‘their’ Act gave them rather more power! One of the most curious things I have personally witnessed in my 11 years on Consent Hearings. They got ‘a red card’ in the decision for their approach!

    Phil’s understanding of the ‘powers’ of the Environment Court is correct.

    Tony Parata was party to – as I recall – to the mediation ordered by the Court.

    Which, quite frankly, leds me to wonder what the relevance of Tumai is to the wider issues you are discussing here?

    And, apart from Elizabeth, whether you have actually read the application and the reasons for the decision.

    That DID NOT set a precedent. The circumstances are UNIQUE. They have no relevance to The Peninsula and The Taieri.

  10. Phil

    Actually, I have to hang my head in shame and confess to having completely missed what happened at Tumai. The inlets I referred to in my earlier comments are those on the Peninsula. Has work started on the Tumai project ? It would be interesting to be able to see one in action.

  11. Richard

    I am not sure but recollect someone saying it has. The development was scheduled in stages.

    • Elizabeth

      Firstly, Richard
      The Tumai properties are for sale through Metro in the ‘suburban/metropolitan’ section of property sales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Are we not surprised then.
      (Equals stage one of an UGLY STUPID UNWORTHY UNBELIEVABLY UNSUSTAINABLE PROJECT THAT DCC THINKS IS KOSHER). Perhaps you know what my view is given the use of capitals.

      “Farm Park” is a sledgehammer planning device that exercises a local body to excuse unmitigated sprawl on rural zoned land (in the Tumai case, exquisite coastal environs).

      The Walton Farm Park at Tumai will set a precedent. Wait for independent planners and lawyers to exercise their can-openers on behalf of other clients relatively soon. And don’t act surprised when they do. What was that about DCC’s head being in the sand.

      Secondly, Richard
      I have witnessed a lack of neutrality and irritation in the manner you have treated NZHPT in resource consent hearings recently that I have either observed or been party to as an independent submitter, as well as in later comments. In one hearing you deliberately asked me what I thought of NZHPT (given perhaps that I am a former Otago branch chair, having left the organisation on good terms after a ridiculously long stretch in that position)… it’s been this bad, Richard. I think you should desist, while you’re ahead. Treat the NZHPT with respect, try and get past the blinkers.

      You say:
      “The Huirapa Runaka were supportive of the proposal. The NZHPT had a different view, indeed they inferred they had more knowledge than local iwi and that ‘their’ Act gave them rather more power! One of the most curious things I have personally witnessed in my 11 years on Consent Hearings. They got ‘a red card’ in the decision for their approach!”

      That paragraph is heading to NZHPT attention. Which I’m sure you will not mind in the least.

      But let’s level the playing field. Comparing the stance of the runaka with the stance of NZHPT is facetious if not vacuous and is a disservice to the entities concerned, a disservice at your own convenience.

      ****

      I will remind:

      The New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga is New Zealand’s leading national historic heritage agency. Its mission is to promote the identification, protection, preservation and conservation of the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand.

      It is charged by Parliament with identifying, recording and caring for the nation’s significant ancestral sites and buildings, and ensuring that these are passed on to future generations.

      Legal Protection of Archaeological Sites
      The Historic Places Act 1993 makes it unlawful for any person to destroy, damage or modify the whole or any part of an archaeological site without the prior authority of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. This is the case regardless of whether the land on which the site is located is designated, or the activity is permitted under the District or Regional Plan or a resource or building consent has been granted, the Act also provides for substantial penalties for unauthorised destruction, damage or modification.

      Protecting Maori Heritage
      The NZHPT employs specialist Pouarahi (Maori Heritage Advisers) and other regional staff based in its offices in Kerikeri, Auckland, Tauranga, and Wellington. These advisers form part of a national team ‘Waka Taonga’ which is led by the Kaihautu Maori and supported by a Senior Maori Policy Analyst in the NZHPT’s national office.

      Ko tenei te ropu hei tautoko i nga Iwi, Hapu, Whanau hoki. He ropu awhina hei hapai i te kaupapa ‘Tiaki Taonga’.

      These staff can provide advice to Iwi and Hapu on the preservation, conservation, protection and management of Maori heritage places. They can also provide advice on the strategies, mechanisms and management tools available to iwi and hapu to exercise their kaitiakitanga and manage their heritage. Each situation should be treated on its individual merits.

      ****

      Enough from me on this one. While you are welcome to your opinions, and I to mine, I want no more questions to me on my views of NZHPT performance when I am submitting to hearing as an individual in my own right.

      You will remember that I politely refused to answer the question from you – and the Chair of the Hearing Committee, Cr Colin Weatherall, agreed with my reaction.

  12. Richard

    Elizabeth:

    I am not “irritable” at all about NZHPT per se. They have a very important role to play in many areas, not the least Consent Hearings.

    What (I think) I asked you was essentially in relation to their changed approach to Hearings (and other things) that has occurred in recent times. To many it is perceived as ‘confrontational’.

    The Tumai Hearing was the first where we encountered it. The panel (not me) were critical that their representatives had no delegated authority to respond to any of the matters raised by other parties, in particular, the Runaka. It led to a very awkward and unfortunate situation in regard to ‘archaeological’ matters. Indeed, “cultural offense” was taken.

    As for Tumai, I really do not get your argument.

    The landowner already had a resource consent to subdivide the whole property into 15 hectare blocks, as indeed he is/was entitled to do.

    I think it was Don Anderson who subsequently picked up on what is now “the farm park” concept and persuaded the owner to try for that. It was a most interesting application to deal with and, of course, a concept that had not been anticipated when the District Plan was drawn up.

    Is it better than all the 15 ha blocks? Absolutely!

    It enables what houses there are to be very carefully located in ‘small clusters’, for the blocked off part of the tidal estuary to be re-opened etc and, very importantly, for the most of the land to be economically farmed. That would not have occurred if the 15 ha subdivision had taken place.

    Members of Hearings have had to go through the RMA Certification Courses. That does not make us ‘experts’, but we have to do our homework. So should everyone else!

    And the first thing is that we should all know our jurisdiction!

    I will continue to ask the “hard questions” of all parties – and especially “expert witnesses’ whether they ‘irritate’ or not.

    Someone has to!

  13. Richard

    “The Huirapa Runaka were supportive of the proposal. The NZHPT had a different view, indeed they inferred they had more knowledge than local iwi and that ‘their’ Act gave them rather more power! One of the most curious things I have personally witnessed in my 11 years on Consent Hearings. They got ‘a red card’ in the decision for their approach!”

    That paragraph is heading to NZHPT attention. Which I’m sure you will not mind in the least.

    But let’s level the playing field. Comparing the stance of the runaka with the stance of NZHPT is facetious if not vacuous and is a disservice to the entities concerned, a disservice at your own convenience.”

    Elizabeth – The matter was referred to in the decision so is already known to all parties.

  14. Richard

    “Tumai”

    In the interest of all who are following this thread:

    What consultant planner Don Anderson, said in his evidence: “With respect to the present proposal, Mr Anderson considered that the Resource Management Act 1991 was about sustainable management and not strict adherence to district plan rules. As such, the original proposal to subdivide the applicants’ property into 15ha was ‘put on hold’. Cultural, ecological, natural, landscape and farming assessments were undertaken and the reports included with the application. The findings of those reports lead to the Pleasant River Farm Park proposal. This proposal seeks to avoid compromising cultural values by providing a 20m esplanade strip and avoiding future use of land not previously cultivated. The proposal also includes the reopening of the estuary, replanting with native vegetation, the clustering of the residential activity, the retention of a 262ha sustainable and productive farm, and the construction of three dams.

    What the Committee said in its reasons for granting the application:

    “23. The granting of consent has the potential to challenge the integrity of the District Plan and set an undesirable precedent should the Committee not be able to establish a true exception for the proposal. The Committee considers that this property, and this proposal, has unique characteristics which would constitute a ‘true exception’. Few properties will have large areas of land which can be vested with the Crown as coastal marine area, and which can be restored as natural estuary, thereby enhancing the wider river estuary system. The replanting programme combined with the restoration of the estuary flats will have significant ecological and landscape benefits for the wider area. The subject site is relatively remote, and not easily seen from readily accessed public viewpoints. Accordingly, the construction of up to 22 residential dwellings in this location will have limited visual impact or other effects in terms of the general public’s perceptions. This proposal will enable the farm property to continue operations as a viable economic unit, and will not result in a large portion of land becoming unproductive. There will be few other properties able to recreate this model of development at a comparable scale, and with so few adverse effects on the environment.

    24. The Committee considers that the development is consistent or generally consistent with almost all the relevant objectives and policies of the Sustainability, Manawhenua, Rural, Landscape, Indigenous Vegetation and Fauna, Hazards, Subdivision, and Transportation sections of the District Plan. The development is considered to be inconsistent with the policy of the Subdivision section seeking to avoid subdivisions that inhibit further subdivision activity and development. This is because the proposal will result in a Rural zoned lot of 262ha which cannot be subdivided. However, it is the restriction of subdivision of this land which makes this proposal valid as a farm park development. As such, the Committee does not consider that the development raises any issues for the objectives and policies of the District Plan.

    25. The Committee considers that residential activity is an expected component of the Rural zone, and it is only the clustering of the houses which produces an unexpected element to the landscape. However, the landscaping and planting mitigation, combined with the relatively remote area, means that the proposal will have adverse effects on the environment which are no more than minor in the medium to long term. As such, the proposal is considered to meet the two gateway tests of section 104, and the Committee is in a position to consider the granting of consent.

    26. The Committee has assessed the proposal as being consistent with Part II of the Resource Management Act 1991 insofar as it will provide for the sustainable management of the natural and physical resources.”

  15. Richard

    “Tumai”

    And what “went down” in evidence in regard to the submissions of the NZHPT.

    For the Applicant:
    “Mr (Bobby) Mikaere (of Mikaere & Associates, an expert witness for the applicant) tabled his written submission which discussed the cultural implications of the proposed development. He noted that the Runaka for this area was Runaka O Puketeraki, with their identification as tangata whenua not being in dispute. While the Runaka submitted in support of the proposal, Mr Mikaere acknowledged there were a number of concerns raised in the submission. There were known archaeological remains on the estuary edge, and the potential for further archaeological deposits to be present elsewhere on-site. A Consultant Archaeologist had been commissioned to undertake an archaeological assessment of the property, with her report being appended to the application. The recommendation of that report was that archaeological protection should relate specifically to those areas where earthmoving activities are planned, and should include education of contractors to recognise relevant material, and/or the monitoring of earthmoving activities for archaeological remains by a suitably qualified person. Mr Mikaere understood the tangata whenua archaeological concerns to have been satisfactorily resolved.

    Other concerns raised by the Runaka were with regard to the implementation and monitoring of the ecological management plan and landscape development concept. Mr Mikaere proposed a number of conditions for consent to ensure that the future landowners took responsibility for the on-going implementation of these plans, and monitoring of the programmes continued. He noted that a Memorandum of Understanding between the applicants and the Runaka was to be signed. Mr Mikaere considered that the Runaka submission was being properly addressed.

    Mr Mikaere then considered the proposal in terms of the planning provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991; namely sections 6(e), 7(a), and 8. He concluded that the proposal complied with the relevant Part II sections, and the cultural impacts associated with those sections addressed.

    With regard to the submissions received, none raised issues of a cultural nature except the Runaka and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The Trust sought a full archaeological assessment of the subject site in order for there to be assurance archaeological deposits will be noted and investigated.

    A request to destroy or modify archaeological sites on the site will be made to the Historic Places Trust pursuant to section 11 of the Historic Places Act 1993.

    Mr Mikaere did not believe there was need to comply with the further request by the Trust for an amended project AEE.”

    Mr Bray and Mr Schmidt spoke on behalf of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Mr Schmidt is the Regional Archaeologist with the Trust. Mr Bray listed the known archaeological sites within the vicinity of the proposed development, concluding that the Pleasant River Estuary is an important archaeological landscape. The Trust considered the archaeological investigation undertaken by the applicant to be deficient and that a further in-depth archaeological assessment needed to be undertaken as part of the resource consent process, and completed before consent was granted. It was considered that a more specific assessment would ensure building platforms are sited so as to avoid any archaeological sites as practically as possible. The Trust did not see how the Committee could be fully informed when assessing the proposal without the full archaeological report. Mr Bray recommended that the consent be declined, based on insufficient information being available. However, should the applicant commission an archaeological assessment of a standard acceptable to the Trust, and commit to negotiations with the Trust, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust would be willing to reconsider its opposition.”

    The Committee questioned Mr Bray and Mr Schmidt, noting that the Trust had maintained its stance without acknowledging offers by the applicant for investigative work. Mr Walls queried whether the Trust was saying that the Historic Places Act 1993 was to apply over all other statutory legislation. He also noted that the Trust’s views on archaeological significance seemed to be at odds with those of the Runaka and the protocol they had proposed. Mr Schmidt replied that the proposal should be considered under the Resource Management Act 1991. When asked whether there was an acceptable alternative to a full archaeological assessment prior to the granting of consent, Mr Bray said he did not have the delegation to agree to any compromise.

    Mr Mikaere discussed the consultation already undertaken by the applicant with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The applicant had done their best to meet the requirements of the Trust. An archaeological report by a person recommended by the Trust had been provided, which concluded that there was no reason to suppose the proposal would have adverse effects on the archaeological values of the area. Mr Mikaere asked what more could the applicant do? He was ‘alarmed’ that the New Zealand Historic Places Trust believed they could veto the development. Mr Schmidt responded by saying the applicants had refused to acknowledge that the archaeological assessment was an issue, and that they had had plenty of time to undertake an adequate assessment.”

    And what the Committee said in the reasons for its decision – please note Clause 21, in particular:

    19. The consent holder has signed a Koiwi/Taonga/Wahi Tapu Protocol with the Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki to cover the discovery of significant artefacts during the development of the subject site. The Committee is mindful that, despite the potential for koiwi, taonga or wahi tapu to be present in this location, the Runaka has not opposed the development.

    20. The Committee noted the opposition of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust to the application. The Trust submitted that a hearing should not proceed until a full archaeological assessment of the subject site had been completed to the satisfaction of the Trust. The Committee considers that a full archaeological assessment of the subject site would have been time consuming and costly for the applicant when there was no guarantee at that time the consent would be granted. The Committee is of the opinion that archaeological assessment provided with the application served to highlight the potential for archaeological remains to exist in this area, and that a more specific investigation at the time of development along with an ‘accidental discovery protocol’ similar to that negotiated with the Runaka would adequately serve to protect the Trust’s interests.

    21. The Committee was critical of the stance taken by the Historic Places Trust at the hearing which sought to have the consent declined outright when no actual evidence of archaeological artefacts on-site had been presented by the Trust, and that the Trust staff present had no authority to negotiate a compromise acceptable to all parties thereby allowing the application to proceed with Trust approval. That the Trust believed it had the authority to have the hearing delayed until its criteria for an archaeological assessment were met lead the Committee to conclude the Trust were was confused as to its role in the process. While section 6(f) of the Resource Management Act 1991 lists as a matter of national importance, ‘the protection of historic heritage from inappropriate subdivision, use and development’, the Committee does not believe the development for this environment, in light of limited known historic heritage on the hillsides surrounding the estuary, is inappropriate. The Committee has had regard to the evidence on historic heritage presented with the application, submissions and at the hearing. This evidence defined the known archaeological deposits for the Pleasant River area to all be located at the estuary edge, and if this is indicative of deposits generally, it is anticipated that there will be a limited number of sites on the hills where the proposed new housing is to be located. The estuary edge of the subject site is to have minimal disturbance except at the sites of the existing and proposed causeways.

    Accordingly, the Committee preferred the stance of the Runaka, and that of Mr Mikaere for the applicant, and provision has been made in the consent decision regarding disturbance of archaeological sites that could arise from accidental discovery.”

    Those extracts are taken directly from the decision as notified to all parties. By all means, have an exchange of opinions et al, but let’s be clear about what this decision was and hopefully it helps. I’ll post the whole decision, if you wish’ or send it you Elizabeth so you can reference it through a hyperlink or whatever.

    Now, I must “depart” – we have an ‘Open Home’ today and there are lawns etc to be cut. We may have our house on the market but – before you ask – NO we are not intending to go far, just downsize.

    And, Elizabeth, it shows my comparison with between the approach of the Runaka and the NZHPT was not ‘facetious’ as you suggest and the reasn why I asked you the question I did at the particular hearing you refer to (Methodist Church, Hillside Road) where the question of ‘jurisdiction’ again arose. I was entitled to ask the question (or what your opinion was), as the Chair said, “you did not have to answer it”. That is correct as it sought your opinion and was not strictly relevant to the application itself.

    • Elizabeth

      I see my comments have stirred something up, Richard.

      I remain resolutely opposed to subdivision of rural land, particularly coastal land, for sprawling housing development. You can blither usefully on as much as you like and cite whatever, but I’m not shifting position on this one.

      This council and its District Plan needs a sharp shove to eternity, possibly.

      As I said, demeanour in relation to NZHPT in hearings is in need of some improve, be it removal of testiness. The hearing committee has the privilege of non public sessions to speak frankly – if there is an irritation, I’m sure. The hearing committee chair, when wearing that hat, is seen to conduct himself in a fair and reasonable manner always. He is an excellent role model for all.

      Lastly, speaking to the submission process.
      There is the tendency for some councillors to interrupt – without going through the chair – submitters when they are orally presenting their submissions to council committees and hearing panels. This is regularly observed by submitters and hearing participants. Cr Guest and Cr Walls appear to have the problem shared. Again, look to your peer, Cr Weatherall as a suitable role model.

    • Elizabeth

      Re Richard’s post submitted on 2009/09/20 at 9:51am.
      I’m very familiar with the text you cite, having been a submitter I received this paperwork and I subsequently had several discussions about it with interested parties. What has occurred with this resource consent since is another matter.

      In my opinion, broadly, DCC continues to have an issue over what constitutes archaeological assessment in terms of the Historic Places Act 1993 and the Resource Management Act 1991. Even in light of successful prosecution of the council over its handling of site disturbance at the Wall Street development on George Street.

      The broader question of what a developer is expected to provide in assessment of the ‘existing’ resources of a subject site is something the council and developers have yet to grasp in the fullness.

      It is not for members of the public, the council or the NZHPT to do the developer’s work in providing that information pre-application; the onus rests with the developer.

      Providing a guide to consultant names for the undertaking of archaeological assessments or heritage assessments cannot speak to the ongoing competence of any one professional or set of professionals in a field or discipline – for obvious reasons.

      Off into the sun for the afternoon.

      PS. The frightener is that National government might vest the statutory archaeological authority role with councils. Imagine that.

  16. Richard

    And Elizabeth, it is not the for the Hearings Committee to set “policy on the hoof” or do anyone’s ‘work’ for them!

    As for ‘interrupting’, sometimes it is best to seek clarification as things go along. It is NEVER abrupt!

    All members of the Hearings Committee – including the Chair – “intervene’ as they deem appropriate. Inevitably, the Chair has to intervene more than others – and does so.

    With respect, attendance at a few hearings in which you have an interest (and I do not recall you having attended any at which which I have been in the chair), does not qualify you (or anyone else) to comment on procedural matters ‘across the board’.

    I had better stop there. I only came into this to clarify or balance the ‘Tumai’ situation, not contest your opinion. Any more and next time you have an interest in an application, I would not like you to treat me as ‘hostile’ ….. or vice versa.

    • Elizabeth

      Richard, in reply it is fair that I amend by addition a paragraph in my last comment at 2:17pm to read:

      It is not for members of the public, the council or the NZHPT to do the developer’s work in providing that information pre-application; the onus rests with the developer.

  17. Richard

    Noted. By the way for the record, the DCC Hearings Committee comprises: Colin Weatherall (Chair) Richard Walls (DC), Andrew Noone, Paul Hudson and Fliss Butcher.

    Michael Guest is NOT a member given that he heads Planning and Environment which is, of course, the planning policymaking committee.

    • Elizabeth

      Quick reply, Richard, not as a hostile raid.

      My comment below at 1:36pm includes the paragraph:

      There is the tendency for some councillors to interrupt – without going through the chair – submitters when they are orally presenting their submissions to council committees and hearing panels. This is regularly observed by submitters and hearing participants. Cr Guest and Cr Walls appear to have the problem shared. Again, look to your peer, Cr Weatherall as a suitable role model.

      I didn’t say Cr Guest was on the Hearings Committee – this would be unlikely as he is Chair of Planning and Environment Committee, the committee of council that has sustainability as its religion.

      An episode of Antiques Roadshow coming on, at Prime.

  18. Richard

    And, I am not on it!

    Listed membership of the committee for others.

    I really have no need to defend myself and I will continue to “intervene” as appropriate or required.

    We have the power to do so and we do not have to pose any question through the chair. I am surprised you have not noticed that I nearly always do so after quietly – very quietly – raising it with him.

  19. JimmyJones

    Elizabeth: Next time you have a personal gripe, I suggest you send an email, instead of messing-up a potentially interesting thread.
    Also don’t be so surprized when NZHPT encounters opposition – all lobby groups encounter opposition. NZHPT exists because it’s viewpoint isn’t mainstream (as do all lobby groups). Because you don’t get your own way doesn’t necessarily indicate “a lack of neutrality”, it could indicate that your case is weak.
    You (and others) use the term “urban sprawl” without recognizing that it describes an opinion not a factual description. “Urban sprawl” is merely a way to tag some development as being undesirable. Do you call Mosgiel or Mornington “urban sprawl”? Probably not now, but in the time that they were being developed you probably would have. Not all growth is bad.

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks for visiting here as always, Jimmy – will do, can send you an email any time.

      The two authors on this site do the occasional splurge on topics, stirring up comment good and bad. And spirited. I see you’ve been having a good go at city parking on ODT Online. Here, when local stadium news is hard to come by in these early construction phases, we’re up for wider topics, clearly. A little wrangle here and there. The views we write aren’t always what we’re thinking at the time or at other times. This isn’t science.

      I’m fully independent of NZHPT. I don’t think NZHPT has ever been measured as “mainstream”, how would anyone do that. What would be the relevance exactly. To help clarify, NZHPT is not a “lobby group”.

      NZHPT is a crown entity and is charged by the government to do the work it does, as described further back in the thread.

      ****

      Yes I would call recent subdivisions at Mosgiel sprawl – my history precedes the formation of the Silverpeaks County Council to the days of Waikouaiti and Taieri county councils. Subdivision of rural land is contentious, and I’m not just talking about high class soils or other areas, I’m more concerned with patterns of settlement and quality of settlement and the economic reasons for continuing to foster ‘suburbia’ in a paddock.

      Growth doesn’t have to be sprawl. Is sprawl sustainable, is it growth? Is sprawl sustainable in the long term? Why should we support subdivision for short-term gains to the developers, at the expense of long-term cost to the wider city? More contextual work is required in explanation. Why is growth a necessity in some minds – what do they mean by this?

      If there was a city master plan developed, say, combining an urban design strategy and a rural development strategy, is there more opportunity then to consider the various sides of the argument for growth and sustainability? Are they happy bedfellows? Can we define them more cohesively?

      It is likely there will be a draft ‘urban design strategy’ readied for councillors in the New Year, maybe in March.

      Can this and or another set of strategies provide a more considered framework in determining what the trade offs are for intensification of the built environment and or subdivision of rural land.

      Could trade offs include raising the standard of low-cost new housing in our cooler climate, to improve health statistics and provide easy access to essential services for the residents.

      Sustainable growth – if growth is needed, how do we go about defining or measuring that; how do we counter subsequent hikes in infrastructural charges to citizens and ratepayers. If we apply sustainable approaches to building development, including water and waste management, and public transportation, for example… Can we “spread” more safely and knowledgeably within some socially agreed limits as to impact on environment and preserving what is unique about New Zealand.

      Does the Walton Farm Park at Tumai estuary have all the elements of a sustainable subdivision. It ticks some boxes and misses heaps of others in the long-term view. What can we learn from this that won’t endanger Otago Peninsula if the council pursues a farm park approach to one of the country’s most iconic landscapes?

      If growth means ‘open cheque book’ for the residential property and construction sectors to slice up tracts of land when our population is static and we haven’t invested enough into sustainable business, employment and investment opportunities regionally to attract learned people to Dunedin to foster more entrepreneurial activity… Well, you have to wonder why many are stuck in the ad hoc mode of future planning for the city… Ad hoc means limiting opportunity for the region going forward, OMG because we sunk all our cash and credit into unproductive ventures in the domestic economy. Or it could mean that.

      ****

      For how many years has New Zealand not seen the big picture properly.

      Are we better to densify and add amenity to existing built environments (metropolitan areas and rural townships), when our larger aim regionally must be directed to export and production. Do we need more people living here to build smarter business? Have we amazing skills and strengths within the existing workforce, R & D, and investment sectors to limber up our returns?

      Yes to all but carefully, while we set higher standards for ourselves and this community. Grazing another bunch of off season dairy cows at Tumai won’t solve it.

      • Elizabeth

        Further to last post, news from Port Otago this afternoon, most unfortunate for those affected.

        ### ODT Online Mon, 21 Sep 2009
        Port Otago jobs on the line
        NZPA

        Up to 35 people could lose their jobs following a “marked deterioration” in cargo volumes, Port Otago directors say. Port chief executive Geoff Plunket said job cuts were a “necessary response” to economic conditions and a downturn in numbers of ships and containers passing through the port. This was despite Fonterra building a new 45,000 tonne drystore and a 17,000 tonne coolstore on the old Fisher and Paykel factory site at Mosgiel, partly to support its shipments through Port Otago, a move which Mr Plunket said was effectively neutral for port traffic.
        Read more

  20. Phil

    I think that both Mornington and Mosgiel are excellent examples of the definition of urban sprawl. Both have been allowed to be expanded and extended with little long term vision or forward planning. Planners following merrily along behind self centered developers. I believe the phrase “market forces” was used recently to describe the planning process.

    Mornington has to be the most disorganised suburb in the South Island today. With few, if any, options available for improvement. Short of bulldozing and starting again.

    Existing industries in Mosgiel have had to spend ridiculous sums of money in order to safeguard peace and tranquility of encroaching urban subdivisions. The regional council is having to provide additional stormwater systems, as building platforms continue to occupy more of open ground.

    So I believe that, in both those cases, growth was bad.

  21. Hang on a second, sorry late to this but prior to building my house on the peninsula I was a resident of Mornington and I love the place.

    If you want disorganised urban development just look at London (Multiple Nucli Model of urban development), where small towns have been consumed and assimilated – one only needs to try to plan a car trip across the town to know what a nightmare it is. Mornington is not that. Mornington has a couple of stunning park areas, nice link to the Green Belt and a very compact and useful shopping area.

    Mosgiel, well that’s simple old 5th form Ribbon development isn’t it, or otherwise known as Sector Theory. Take a flat piece of land, add a couple of main roads and a train line and you have a classic urban sprawl (loathed to use that term) development.

    The problem (if that is the right word) with urban development, it’s like a weed. A weed is only the wrong plant in the wrong place. Same goes for urban development. The wrong buildings (light industrial, commercial, housing etc) in the wrong place is undesirable. Unfortunately in NZ we have a habit of allowing uncontrollable lateral and concentric urban development. Any memory of 5th form Geography will also tell you, that more often than not the most expensive and productive farm lands are close to most cities (translating these ideas from US and UK Urban Geography of the 50s and 60s). In NZ we have and continue to allow said development of this urban boundary rural land. The most shocking example of this can be seen in the so called town of the future Rolleston. Nothing more than a satellite commuter town serving CHCH, this sort of development in this day and age should not have been allowed to develop without some sort of radical green and efficient public transport plan, which of course didn’t happen. This is the worst type of urban development and a black mark against whoever conceived and rubber stamped that plan.

    To tell the truth I know little of the development of Mosgiel, apart from the fact that many recently have decried the amalgamation of the town into the greater Urban Dunedin. However the land around the town is productive farm land, which has been encroached upon time and time again. Mosgiel unlike Dunedin does have fantastic advantages. It is a much truer gateway to Central Otago, being the starting point for 2 routes into that area. It is well served by the airport and still has a rail link. It is also well served by stunning (if not small) industrial land and as a classical service town for the rural hinterland, it has a strong and varied economic base built on the more traditional primary sector industries.

    Yes this is all a little too simplistic and 5th form, ie descriptive. But to add a little meat to these bones, I can then draw the comparison to another port city I have lived in, Vancouver. I have harped on time and time again about ‘City making in paradise: nine decisions that saved Vancouver’, but it should be one of the cornerstone texts in which all urban planners measure themselves by. Yes Vancouver has its problems, but having lived there, it’s easy to see why that city has been voted time and time again the best place in the world to live. And many of the reasons it is that way are down to the vision and determination of the various City Councils and the Provincial Government, almost zealously sticking to the vision for the city.

    First they had a plan (or more correctly a vision which was enacted upon with various plans), and secondly they had a strategy in which to communicate and educate the public on this plan.

    To cut a long story short (apart from the fact that it’s a stunningly brilliant short read), the focus on bringing people back to the city and urban fold in the form of apartment living (which entailed massive green space trade offs to make this concrete and glass existence more enjoyable), an integrated and complex urban transport plan based upon PUBLIC transport, and finally a belief that the uncontrolled concentric urban development as seen in other North American cities should not be allowed to happen. This preserved the distinct culture of the 5 or so urban areas which comprise the greater Vancouver (or Lower Mainland) area, while retaining the precious rural urban boundary and farming land. A population which was encouraged to live in the city centre (80,000) live in apartments in the downtown area alone – astonishingly high for more or less any modern western city), but was also well served by the almost insanely brilliant public transport system, really didn’t need to ‘sprawl’. The apartment developments started with the classic gentrification of the old historical parts of the city, then involved the development of the classic high rise apartments. Not all were a success, but do a simple google image search of Vancouver and you’ll instantly see the classic massively high coloured glass apartment complexes which actually just add to the stunning vista (mountains a couple of kilometres to the north and sea to the west).

    Rather tragically the Kiwi experiment with this type of development in Central Auckland resulted in the dreaded ‘shoe box’ apartments, which apart from an unmitigated disaster rather put most other Kiwis off the idea that inner city living is a good and ‘life style’ option. I feel that Dunedin could easily do with a massive dose of inner city living apartments, above and beyond the piecemeal approach currently seen. Yes there is some funky inner city developments, but on the whole there isn’t a vision, as seen in the Vancouver experiment. Take for instance the various plans around the waterfront development. In Vancouver (and the likes of Seattle and San Francisco) the old wharf buildings which currently block any humans from seeing let alone interacting with the inner harbour, would have all been converted to artists co-ops, trendy cafes and the like. With the various old glorious buildings surrounding them transformed into stunning apartment complexes. In a bizarre way the third part of the equation to a successful development in that area happened without the first two – the placement of high value tech industry. The synergy that would be struck by the development of the three variables has in many cases, been a huge success in other parts of the world. To be able to live, play and work within a gentrified inner harbour, Dunedin could have been the envy of the world. But for some strange reason, despite having one of the best Ports in the country, many have decided that it’s wise to have a second inner harbour wharf? Others will be able to try to explain the logic of that to me (given that Port Chalmers is served with not only a rail line but a fantastic main road). If one was to look at it dispassionately, this form of urban gentrification would site nicely along side a clearly defined inner city and a classic suburb structure. But considering the likes of Sth Dunedin have been in need for an integrated service centre library complex for the last 25+ years, and that various parts of the Princes St – George St precinct have been allowed to develop sporadically, resulting in the current fight for the historic buildings in that area, it’s no wonder this city does seem a little directionless at times.

    I like the student area. I’ve seen these work perfectly well in places like UBC and other areas. It’s not so much the lack of ‘local’ residents within the greater student populous, it’s more the lack of care that has gone into the urban design of that area. I mean it has a stunning Botanical Garden and river running right through the middle of it. Slum lords (for want of a better term) have been a blight. There is no way, not even for pretty shoddy old buildings, would the filth that is seen in both the buildings and the treatment of the area by the students, be tolerated in Vancouver. Strict City by-laws prohibit simple things like littering and mixing of recyclable and normal rubbish. Starting from City Office, through to the University and finally the local community boards, even with a massively intense student body, there is just no way the squalor of North Dunedin would be accepted in Vancouver. Which begs the question, why do we do so here. And don’t just blame the students. Do the students living in the nice flats on Castle St trash them, no. It’s an exercise in simple human psychology, give the people a nice surrounding to live in and they will respect it.

    The urban planning gone into Dunedin over the last 50 years baffles me somewhat, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t do anything about it. Not many cities in the world are gifted with the natural, physical and educational facilities we have, and yet we continually under perform time and time again. Don’t bemoan and single out a Stadium development for tying up development for the next 20 years, because if I haven’t learnt anything else in the 20 years since I first came to Dunedin as a drunk Canterbury Student, 20 years is gone in a flash, and if we aren’t already planning for the years in between and the years immediately after the 20 year plan for the stadium, then we are already doing an injustice to the people of Dunedin.

    I’d love to know why folk are beating up on Mornington more, and their thoughts (outside of the lazy cease and desist) on Development of the whole Mosgiel – Dunedin corridor. After all (again if we haven’t learnt anything in the last 20 years), our link to Central Otago is now more important than ever, and that corridor is our lifeblood to the commercial and tourist area which really has no reason to slow its development down.

  22. Phil

    Sorry, Paul. Didn’t mean to offend an old stomping ground. But I’m sure you’ll agree that Mornington appears to have very little forward planning in its development. Rather, it has just happened. Wandered out in all directions, with narrow local roads unable to cope with local traffic within the area. And a terrain that is not conducive to high density residential occupation. Being located within the Town Belt region has afforded it a good share of green space. If it’s retained any sense of order, I suggest it’s more by good luck than good management.

    London’s a mess, I agree. Saved only by the underground rail network. But again, within each satellite town, ease of commuting and organised structure is pretty much non existent. Imagine how much worse things would have been in the centre of London if it hadn’t been for the Great Fire. I’ve seen some old sketches of the layout, pre fire. If you can call it a layout. Maybe that’s our solution ?

    • Elizabeth

      Largely Dunedin exists as Kettle planned it in his survey. Not that much has changed – we have a planned city, a rarity.

      BUT THEN, we developed versions of a district plan…one that completely fails to look holistically at a regional future, a shared vision if you will. The Plan is outmoded, gappy, inconsistent and deleterious – very far from anything we would now consider meaningful as urban design and structure planning, and it is definitely not geared to supporting the optimisation of rural industry tied to (more urban, if you like) efficient transportation planning (freight and people) to service and industry areas.

      It’s like Dunedin is still at playschool, nowhere close unfortunately to your secondary school (but commonly accepted) aspects of geography Paul, that we schooled in, then lived in on exploring the world vicariously and compared with what we had at home that is ropey but endearing. If it weren’t so broke in many parts (dollarwise and designwise).

      Like I say, to be smarter is the hope. A couple of weeks back I posted some links to Flickr images of Vancouver waterfront featuring the apartment complexes and the waterside amenity areas that accompany the decision to densify/intensify residential living …as well as a link to Wiki describing Vancouver and why it did this. I’ll link back to that shortly, but any google will pull this stuff up from sources.

      Here it is: https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/city-waterfronts/#comment-8167

      Particularly enjoyed the post Paul~!!!

  23. But what you are describing re Mornington is Wellington through and through, and I loved living in Wellybone (apart from the City Suits and the climate). The narrow roads and terrain just add to the charm – if I was to live in the city again, it would be there. There is something about those crazy windy roads that are just a hoot, and to tell the truth, no matter how bad the traffic it is only 5mins from the centre of the city. Sometimes a classic suburban area like that doesn’t need a lot of planning. I think it’s evolved nicely. But to be frank Unity Park is a shocker, and that should really be one of the easiest Tourist look-outs in the history of town promotion. As it stands I’d hate to take anyone up there from out of town. One of the oddities of Mornington is the small concrete plant.

    As for London, I have scanned this most excellent text for us to devour.

    http://www.buildingcentre.co.uk/galleries/galleries_cafe_details.asp?article=4

    And will make it available here as soon as I have compiled the PDF

    • Elizabeth

      One of the best things about Mornington, for me, is the walk through the parks with the views and on down High Street, past the school and the old houses to the central city – as I contemplate what a real ‘updo’ of the heritage street would create, interspersed with great new architectural design…(I don’t mind the place Russell Lund built but it could’ve been more pronounced)…and if I’m feeling like it, continuing the walk cutting through the Exchange [NOT SEEING the goddam heritage shame-hole created by Scenic Circle in needing a single level carpark building UNMASKED] straight to Dunedin Railway Station on Kettle’s unrivalled access line and vista. Turn and look at where you’ve come from and the view is as amazing.

      I always remember that former City Architect Robert Tongue (was it) wanted to build on Dowling Street carpark area and into lower High Street carpark area, effectively blocking the High St vista for the future. The drawings were rather glum. Who knows what will appear on the Dowling St carpark site one day…but it better be with a “sustainable” approach to one of our best urban streets.

      I’m a little fearful for the new DCC urban designers because sooner or later their work will surface for critique here, and we are, I suggest, collectively tough on wanting quality structure, design and connections to take the place (greater Dunedin) forward. It’s going to be about process…top down master planning, organic change, the mix, the separation – fascinating. Can’t wait.

  24. Phil

    I lived in Wellington for 3 years. Part time on Mount Vic, and part in Karori. I agree, it was a heap of fun, and I loved the atmosphere. But it was, and still is, an absolute nightmare to find your way through those tight suburbs, unless you are completely familiar with them. Last year I had to try and find my son’s apartment in the back streets of Te Aro. I presume that he is alive in there somewhere. I’ve found Mornington be the same. No worries if you live there, not so easy if you are intending a one off trip to a particular street. Good planning should assist everyone, both locals and visitors. And should not have to rely on acquired local knowledge in order to work..

  25. You know me Elizabeth, just another typical rant from me (guess I must be on top of work at the moment), but then it’s one very close to my heart.

    I’ll post some of my pics of the Vancouver Waterfront and possibly the introduction to the City Making in Paradise book for our ‘educational’ use.

    One of my biggest bug bears (correct use of bear?) is public transport, or more likely the complete lack of a vibrant and fully integrated public transport system. However having said that Cr Deaker has been doing some great work in this area. However as far as I am concerned it needed binning and starting right from the very beginning. One of the most obvious issues is the appropriate vehicles themselves. If anyone could explain the logic of a full sized bus running 1-3 people in the middle of the day out to the Peninsula, and have that logic make sense I’ll buy them a cup of tea, coffee or beer (shandy?)

    • Elizabeth

      Paul says: “If anyone could explain the logic of a full sized bus running 1-3 people in the middle of the day out to the Peninsula…”
      Topically, DCC’s principal urban designer Steve Miles brought that very thing up when I met with he and urban designer Mike Daffern recently. Steve’s done a lot of work on London transportation planning…

  26. But Phil you are asking Victorian planners to second guess a future that they had no right guessing. I lived Mt Vic for 8 years, with friends and family all over the place. I agree those Roseneath and Haitaitai roads are a nightmare, but then they have a little more like 50% more people to move in that area. One of my Fav streets in Wgtn was of course Devon St, a challenge to any driver. But apart from the obvious overpopulation problems, it actually works. Each hill suburb really has an identity, despite their close proximity to each other – something quite remarkable for a city that small. Having taught in Kilbirnie for the best part of the whole time I was there, living in and around Mt Vic, Newtown etc was an experience.

    I really like some of the architectural responses to the challenges of renovating or replacing the buildings perched precariously on the hillsides.

  27. Quick simple question?

    When was the last time city planners, designers, architects and interested parties (transport forum, chamber of commerce, Sth Dunedin reps) all sat down with A1 sheets of paper plied with tea, coffee, wine and beer (and of course responsible food) and were given the free liscence to draw their ideal Dunedin. And if this hasn’t been done, why not, and what are we going to do to facilitate this.

    It would of course have to be without any pretensions, sure bring your ‘expertise’ but leave the ego at the door. We did that in the various design companies I have worked with, we even did that at the last School I worked in. I’ve heard it down with towns and small cities.

    I’d be there in a flash, heck I’d even help organise it if I thought for a minute people would come. The biggest problem I had was getting people to leave their egos at the door. You may know x,y & z about issue A,B & C, but do you live, work, and play there.

    Apply some of the fun questions

    How is it working?
    How could it work?
    What is there and what should be there?

    Fun day out for duned.in (?)

    • Elizabeth

      It has happened in cliques and is likely to happen again…part of how I see the City Development Team taking a facilitative role, even though there is hardly any budget…the Southern Urban Design Forum hosted a city watersides workshop before the harbourside plan change and the NOR for the harbour arterial, which was way too late to change much but it certainly gave impetus to some of the individual, organisational and institutional submissions and the hearing discussions. Sadly, although I minuted that workshop and the presentations, this never received an overview/summary statement from the SUDF acting chair so ideas/findings not published out (I’m very embarrassed about that).
      It was fun, a whole day and I’m currently at work resurrecting SUDF to do more, so welcome duned.in to the design fray as a PUBLICISER, and a publishing and brainstorm medium for all interested.

  28. “I’m a little fearful for the new DCC urban designers because sooner or later their work will surface for critique here”

    If I was them, I’d be saying, Critique away. The only way we can come to good design resolutions is by critique and discourse. Look how far we have come with the discussions on the stadium, and yes those in the position to influence decisions re the stadium do read this blog (modest as it is). We may not agree on the outcome, but I’d like to think we have in some small way influenced some of the processes and results – if not for the immediate project then for future ones.

    I was saving it (for duned.in blog), but I’ll also post my (may I add winning) designs for Vision Dunedin competition which was run some years back, in which I designed a board walk between Company Bay and Macandrew Bay. Would have cost at least 1/3 of what we have now with the stone structure (not that I’m not grateful for the new walkway), and would have been visually and physically more enticing. (argh scanning and pic hunting).

    BTW, as you may all have noticed What if really has become the precursor to http://duned.in The beauty of the platform is that we’ll be able to export these last few weeks of Urban Design discussion to this new site (sans Stadium Politics) and really go to town with the guest and regular contributors.

    • Elizabeth

      “If I was them, I’d be saying, Critique away.”
      Don’t worry they’re tough cookies and I have no doubt they’re into critique of their work – depends what the darn elected representatives expect of them.

  29. Phil

    Ah, architecture, there’s a different story. It’s always fascinated me how regionally unique architecture is throughout New Zealand. In a country with such a relatively small land mass, and such a brief history. You don’t see a St Kilda villa in Auckland, and you don’t see a Wellington “Close to Home” house in Timaru. Show someone a picture of a residential suburb taken in the 1920s, and you can bet they will know the name of the city. I think we are quite unique in the perspective, and it’s rather cool.

    I remember visiting a hardware store in Sweden, which is very similar in size to New Zealand. They sold only one house paint, called “Swedish House Red”. For the whole country. You know the colour I mean, otherwise known as American barn Red. I do love our individuality.

    • Elizabeth

      Yikes. “American barn Red.” Spent a few hours over the years using that colour on our tractor shed at Waikouaiti, the old stables in board and batten with a hay loft in the gable, and a big tool shed in the lean-to. My father raised the whole thing off the ground onto new concrete footings. One of my favourite buildings, yes because of the colour and the way it was dug into the hillside. The former Hawksbury Estate stables building (same form as the Matanaka one, and another Johnny Jones build) was the same colour but in very bad repair when we bought the neighbouring farm, the original homestead block. The cattle had walked through it and it ended its days by our grader blade. The sense of guilt over that has never left me, so much for 70s thinking on cleaning up farms and not taking any account of the archaeological values. You live you learn you sigh. And think about barn red tortuously.

  30. Phil

    Elizabeth, I’m going to harp back to the concept of cooperation and adaptation. I suggest that there are 3 buses running in the middle of the day today, it’s because people insist on the right to be able to go in to town when they choose. The reality is that most time, most times, timing of commuting is not the most critical part of the process. Unless it’s late, of course. If there were only buses at 7am, 8am, and 9am, then that’s when people would have to go. And adapt their trip accordingly. If you’ve got an appointment at 11, then you have to take the 9am bus. And maybe use the extra time to drop your library books off on the same trip and pick up your watch repair. Rather than making 3 trips. Not going to work every time, for everyone. But it’s about compromise.

    On both sides.

    We, as a city, have allowed for population growth in areas such as the peninsula, where the available roading networks are stretched to capacity. We put them there, so we have a responsibility to look after them. So maybe it means that additional services have to be provided. To meet the needs of commuting workers, and school children.

    The system can’t work if only one side concedes.

    • Elizabeth

      Phil says: “The system can’t work if only one side concedes.”

      Exactly.

      I confess as Paul knows, that scrooge mcduck here is not on broadband. Keeping up with busy urban design stuff here means I’ll be needing the additional speed anytime soon.

  31. David

    Paul says “Don’t bemoan and single out a Stadium development for tying up development for the next 20 years, because if I haven’t learnt anything else in the 20 years since I first came to Dunedin as a drunk Canterbury Student, 20 years is gone in a flash”

    First, you’re wrong. The last twenty years actually took twenty years – it wasn’t just a flash.

    Secondly, $200m could build our city 40 projects the size of the Chinese Garden. It’s a fact that the stadium is tying up a massive amount of development money for 20 years.

    Even if there was the will for the Harbourside development, we’re so far in debt, with the risk of it going out of control, that there’s just not the money to do it.

    Similarly the ORC cornerstone building for the harbourside development was canned, largely from pressure because they had committed so much money to the stadium.

    We would have been better spending money on projects that bring extra money into the city, rather than suck millions out.

    What we really need to see is comparisons to cities of a similar size to Dunedin – it’s largely pointless to endlessly compare ourselves to cities with populations ten and twenty and a hundred times that of Dunedin.

    You’re more on the mark with why we have 1-3 people on a full sized bus. With those numbers, not even running a minivan would be economic.

    I think this is a clue to the problem. Even if we had a highly efficient regular public transport system, it’s unlikely we have the population or density to fill it to the point where it’s worthwhile.

  32. Steve Miles needs to be put on a plane and flown to Vancouver and given a months bus pass (I still have one), and go to town on the integrated Bus, Sky Train, Sea Bus and train system.

    Take for instance the small University of British Columbia routes. Routes C19 and C20 stay within the bounds of UBC and run converted trucks (but actual buses).

    Check this crazy little video about the buses in Vancouver, very cheesy but while we are on the topic.

    I really could live with a family in Vancouver, hold a job and not need a car, that’s how insanely great the public transport system is.

    {edit, I’ve removed the last video, I’ve seen it in the past, but somehow it’s been re-uploaded and obviously didn’t work, sorry}

  33. Phil

    ok, next time I’ll read the original post, before engaging mouth.

  34. So you are saying David that we shouldn’t be planning for post stadium developments?

    Or are you saying that you are going to allow the so called burden of the stadium to block any forward planning?

    I do dearly hope that the city planners use this time constructively instead of thinking of the the 40 Chinese gardens they aren’t building.

  35. David

    We can plan – we just can’t do.

    • Elizabeth

      Time waits for no investor…the next years have to be coordinated between council and community and that includes how money flows to support sustainable development. I hope the change is slow and incremental in part, but faster in getting some of the bone structure right. Like not putting truck/shuttles on if it means reducing mobility access (accessible journey) for the people who need it, and as the population ages.

  36. Yay I finally found a link to the sort of bus that we should be running in Dunedin

    http://www.trek.ubc.ca/programs/community_shuttle/

    These are the small buses that they run on the less populated runs in Vancouver. Despite what David claims, yes we should be looking at what Vancouver is doing, because as any intelligent person will know, we can learn from any example. We can learn what is done well elsewhere and we can learn what is done poorly.

    These small buses would be perfect for some of the runs like the Peninsula run. Because unlike what David seems to be saying, if I have learnt anything about public transport having studied it for the last 10 years of going to and fro to Vancouver, is that the appropriate service (bus, fare, routes and times) will increase patronage.

    If there were more of these on the peninsula route, with a more reasonable cost (it’s more expensive than running my car at the moment), I’d seriously consider taking the bus.

  37. On the contrary the El Dorado National mini-bus is perfect for disability access with the right design (it’s a very highly adaptable design). The one I rode around UBC everyday to the main campus bus terminal linking to the city had a brilliant wheelchair entrance adaptation and was used.

  38. Phil

    The last time I used commuter transport regularly was to commute 30km to and from work each day. The bus fare cost was almost identical to the fuel cost for running my car. And it took about 10 minutes longer than by car, with dropping off and picking up. However, the cost for parking in the city was also the same price as a single bus fare. making the cost of the bus ride half of the total cost of bringing my car into town for the day. And I avoided the stress of the traffic. As has been mentioned many times of late, DCC have started the process. By removing, and increasing the cost of, all day parking. But they (and ORC) have let the process down by not adapting the available public transport system to cater for the people who sit in those very cars they want to discourage. Halfway can look very much like no way at times.

  39. Phil

    The commuter bus does say that it has wheelchair access capability. Must be another door somewhere. Or a roof rack.

  40. There is no way that using a bus while living on the peninsula is a viable option.

    Like you (if I read your post right Phil) I too am relatively happy with the increase in parking fees, as yes this is always the first step in creating disincentives for the use of private cars.

  41. David

    Paul – if you’re looking for a transport system, you need to look at similar low population sprawled out cities.

    You can forget undergrounds, rail systems (we have a single line), and the sky train. As for the small bus – it’s blindingly obvious that if we’ve got one person in a full sized bus, we could probably do with a smaller one.

    With few traffic problems, and until recently few parking problems in most of the city, public transport has to compete with private transport.

    With our population, current hourly bus services with 1-3 people are not going to turn into services every ten or fifteen minutes with enough people in each bus to cover costs.

    And while the wait for the bus is longer that it takes most people to drive to the city centre, then you’re always going to struggle to get people onto public transport.

    And here’s the nub of the issue – you’re trying to solve a problem that largely doesn’t exist for most people.

    The last time I heard someone complain about commuting problems in Dunedin was……..well apart from this website, I can’t ever recall anyone complaining about commuting problems.

    (except the incident in 1979 when the Cumberland St traffic lights were stuck on red for two phases)

  42. This was a typical pic. On top of this service the BC government (responsible for public transport in BC) operates the HandyDART service on most of the main routes and special routes

    http://www.bctransit.com/regions/one/accessible/handydart.cfm

    As for the bus in the pic, there is a great big back door with the coolest wheelchair contraption – there was a wheelchair child on our route, I saw it in action a lot.

    http://www.translink.ca/en/Rider-Info/HandyDART.aspx

  43. Phil

    Enquiring minds need to know. Here’s a link with a good picture of the wheelchair access:

    http://www.oodle.com/view/2003-ford-e-450-eldorado-shuttle-bus-w-wheelchair-lift-a4152-071/1577235514/

  44. Phil

    I think that wheelchair or accessiblility access is standard on most new public transport. Most new buses I’ve seen, drop down to kerb level and have a simple extendable ramp operated by the driver to span the gap between kerb and bus exit door. And there’s generally an open space directly opposite the door with tie straps for wheelchairs or prams.

  45. David

    Artificially giving Dunedin big city problems (expensive hard to get parking), is insanity.

    It’s now easier and cheaper to shop from Auckland online book and music websites than it is from local Dunedin shops.

    How ironic – we’ve got people who moved south to Dunedin primarily for the ease of getting around here, and council parking stuffs it up to a point where it’s easier for them to shop where they used to live.

  46. “With our population, current hourly bus services with 1-3 people are not going to turn into services every ten or fifteen minutes with enough people in each bus to cover costs.”

    I’m not looking for a 15min service, but everyone I know living out here would love to be able to use the bus, even if it was 30mins, and the cost was effective. But until recently on a Sunday there were 3 buses in total. Now that is not a service.

    “And here’s the nub of the issue – you’re trying to solve a problem that largely doesn’t exist for most people.

    The last time I heard someone complain about commuting problems in Dunedin was……..well apart from this website, I can’t ever recall anyone complaining about commuting problems.”

    Are you kidding me? The rest of the world (and most recently NZ) were desperate to find alternatives to the expensive NZ private car. Late last year when the price of petrol spiked there was a scramble to find a decent public transport issue.

    The issue in Dunedin isn’t commuting problems, the problem is there is a large number of people wanting to use public transport. It’s not a matter that there isn’t a commuter problem in Dunedin, it’s a matter that the people want and demand a proper public transport system.

    I have heard you and others bemoan the cost of the stadium on the ratepayer, well if petrol prices – scrub that WHEN petrol prices rise above $2.00 or $2.50 and above again, then the economic impact on every single citizen will be far greater than any stadium development.

    Are you suggesting that because YOU don’t have an issue with commuting in Dunedin now that we shouldn’t be considering future options now? That seems to be a very narrow vision for the future of public transport in Dunedin.

  47. David

    Paul says “The issue in Dunedin isn’t commuting problems, the problem is there is a large number of people wanting to use public transport.”

    Was that the one person or three people we’ve been talking about?

    Most people don’t live down the bay. Most people live within 5 or 10 minutes drive to the city centre – i.e. for most people, they’d be at their destination before they bus would have even arrived.

    So it makes sense to have good services where they might be used – outlying areas like Mosgiel, Port Chalmers and Portobello, and perhaps where there more people who don’t drive – i.e. South Dunedin. Virtually every other area is going to struggle to have a viable service, and even these areas probably will too, outside rush hour.

    Most people in Dunedin only use a litre of petrol to get to work, and home again. So even at $2.50 a litre, it’s a pretty low cost. Specially if there’s two people.

  48. “Most people don’t live down the bay. Most people live within 5 or 10 minutes drive to the city centre – i.e. for most people, they’d be at their destination before they bus would have even arrived.”

    You obviously don’t have any interest in a public transport system. Those of us who have used successful systems see this issue completely differently. It’s not about getting to town faster, yes take the car if you want to get there asap, it’s about the reduction of cars on the roads, and a raft of other issues.

    You are assuming that everyone has a car, further you are assuming that everyone can drive, and that everyone wants to drive and that everyone can afford to drive. As I have stated, and as most economists predict within 6 months to a year the price of petrol will be back over $2.00 and trending north very quickly.

    I’m not sure what you are trying to achieve with this line of reasoning, because the last oil spike clearly showed (even in Dunedin) that the cost on the total economy was far greater than a litre of petrol per person increase. The last spike last year led to a total CPI increase. The price of everything went up, from the basics of bread and milk, through to luxury items. This WILL happen again, and the poor and middle classes will be hit 10x harder than an assumed simplistic equation of being able to afford $2.50 a litre of petrol.

    But considering your assumption as to how close people live to their place of work or city centre in Dunedin is severely flawed, I find the rest of the reasoning a little hard to follow. How many people living in Corstorphine or Concord, let alone Green Island and Waldronville are within 5mins of the city centre.

  49. David

    Paul says “Are you suggesting that because YOU don’t have an issue with commuting in Dunedin now that we shouldn’t be considering future options now?”

    No – I’m just saying you’ve got to keep it real. We have a small spread out population. We’re never going to have a regular highly integrated cheap public transport system.

    When you have three people on a bus you’ve failed on fuel consumption comparisons even against three cars.

    You’ve pumped out more carbon, and you’ve done it in clouds of diesel smoke that the crowds of shoppers on George St all breathe in.

    And you’ve failed on cost. It would have been cheaper to send those three people home in a taxi.

    So who pays the difference between $7.50c in fares and the $50 it cost to run the bus? The rate slaves?

  50. Phil

    You’ve touched on another issue there, David. The relatively low cost of petrol in New Zealand. Not enough of a disincentive for people to move towards public transport. But that’s a central government issue.

    There’s a bit of a false security impression about the door to door transport times. I lived just a 5 minute drive from the Octagon. And worked nearby. However. I had to drive from the hill suburbs, past the Octagon, over the railway line, and into the port area. To find an all day parking space. Then I had to walk back into the CBD. I boasted that I was only 5 minutes from home, but the reality of my total travel time during week days was nearer to 30 minutes. Longer than the equivalent public transport commuting time. Yet I drove my car every day. In Wellington I walked to work on Willis Street from my home on Mount Victoria, and I often found myself walking past my neighbours driving in their cars along Vivian Street.

  51. David

    Paul says “How many people living in Corstorphine or Concord, let alone Green Island and Waldronville are within 5mins of the city centre.”

    I used to live in Corstorphine. It took 7 minutes to St Andrew St. 8 minutes if it was busy. I could do drop offs or pick ups in 15 min.

    Yes we need a public transport system – the best that is viable.

    But unless it has high levels of patronage, it ends up costing MORE per passenger journey on public transport than it does by car.

    And of course if you have high enough patronage to cover costs, you have a very slow journey with lots of stops.

    And in a small city like Dunedin, it’s not usually viable to offer any more than a single bus route for most suburbs, meaning a lot of the time the bus isn’t going where the people want to go.

  52. ” Not enough of a disincentive for people to move towards public transport.”

    I’m not sure if we need that much of a disincentive we need incentives, ie see that it’s actually worth taking the bus over a car.

    David, now you are suggesting we don’t run a bus service at all. This long dismissed ideological dogma you espouse is a tired political philosophy, and one that has no place in ‘keeping it real’.

    We don’t have a small population. We have 100,000+ citizens, and yes you have hit the nail on the head, we have a spread out population (although you have contradicted yourself with the 5min to town claim), which is precisely why we should have a public transport system.

    It’s easy to see where the bus services are patronised greater than others, and what I am others are suggesting is modifying the vehicles to meet the needs and costs of those routes. It’s completely inappropriate for a huge 50+ seater to run the peninsula route, starting from the physical size on the road.

    Please stop with that Rate Slave rubbish. Fortunately we all live in a social democratic society in which the costs of the community are met through various social contracts, of which Rates are one. We’ve been down the ‘I don’t use that service why do I need to pay’ route and it’s plainly erroneous and fully debunked. I have never needed the services of the Heart Surgery team, but am more than happy to pay my taxes so that these services can be enjoyed by the community as a whole. This is the beauty of our social democracy and one which will outlive the moaning neo-cons.

  53. David

    Phil – why didn’t you catch the bus?

    In the same time I do a Kew, St Clair, City Centre Upper Stuart St, Edgar Centre, and home for a coffee. (then later on the reverse).

    If I tried to do that by bus 30 min would turn into several hours (each way) and there’d be kids left abandoned all over the city after their sports had finished.

  54. Phil

    As much as I’d like to think the best of people, I think that most people are more likely to change their habits if their current habit becomes more difficult to sustain. Which is why I advocate disincentives. While promoting incentives also, of course. It’s a two pronged attack. Making patches cheaper than cigarettes doesn’t discourage habit smokers from smoking. Increasing the cost of a packet of cigarettes to 30 dollars, at the same time, might. Most of us need a reason not to retain the same habits we have today, if we’ve survived so far doing them. We’re simple folk.

  55. David

    Paul – you keep changing what I actually said, and substitute your own spin.

    I didn’t say we shouldn’t have any bus service.

    I did say most people live within 5 or 10 minutes drive of the city centre. That’s plainly obvious. Even way out at Fairfield is only 10 min these days.

    I have not contradicted this claim.

    Paul says “Please stop with that Rate Slave rubbish.”

    No. Council and companies are going into debt to $300m each – that’s $13,000 per house. Spending is out of control. And we’ve got people still wanting ratepayer subsidies for even more.

    Paul says “We’ve been down the ‘I don’t use that service why do I need to pay’ route and it’s plainly erroneous and fully debunked.”

    No it’s not. It’s just not possible for ratepayers to pay for everything. There is a limit. Every time vast sums of money are to be spent on subsidising minority use, a decision has to be made. We can’t fund everything.

    The point is to get people on public transport we can end up getting artificial problems made (deliberately higher parking costs and difficult availability), and artificial incentives (ratepayer subsidies for cheaper fares).

    And often it ends up costing MORE per passenger journey than previous private transport.

    Meanwhile the rest of the city also pays extra for parking and rates, but there is no advantage.

    Public transport becomes efficient when it has high patronage. Until that time, it is often less efficient.

    It would be very easy for the city to blow millions on a great but under utilised transport system, with little gain – only costs.

  56. David

    Phil – Dunedin doesn’t have particularly bad traffic problems, so why are we trying to get people onto buses?

    If it’s because of carbon emissions, then more efficient or electric cars might be a better alternative to buses.

    Few people I know do a standard commute these days. There’s shopping, kids to pick up or drop off, spouse to pick up and drop off, sports, and a host of other things that they do most days of the week between home and work or vice versa.

  57. Otago Regional Council chief executive, Graeme Martin, says that Dunedin bus services were a “hospital pass”. Costs have risen from $2.15 million to $4.8 million in 2 years but the planned-for increase in patronage has not occurred, so that, in the last year, fares have only covered one-third of costs. It is hard to see patronage increasing until the price of petrol increases.

  58. Phil

    Why didn’t I catch the bus? Heaps of reasons. I was lazy, I’ve driven to work every day for the past 20 years, I’m a creature of habit, I might want to go somewhere else after work, I couldn’t be bothered changing my ways, I could afford to. Tons of reasons, just none that had any substance.

    So I continued on a daily basis to behave badly towards my local and extended environment, I contributed towards the increased running costs of road maintenance, I actively participated in making the city a little less attractive for both locals and tourists. Why? Because I could. And no one made it difficult for me not to.

    Nothing on my daily list, and on the list shown above, needed to have been done with my car. Nothing. There was an alternative. I recall being so strapped for cash when buying my first house, that we sold our car to help fund the deposit. Funnily enough, we managed to do everything that we had been doing before. Nothing changed in my life. Except that I was forced to become a bit more organised. A few years later, when we had managed to afford one car, I picked my son up from day care by bus, did our minor shopping and chores by bus. We even walked occasionally. He thought it was great.

    I’m not advocating a leap back to the great depression, I like life as it is today. But would you prefer to walk down George Street with Friday lunchtime traffic, or Sunday morning traffic? What would our big ticket industry, tourism, value the most? There is no reason why we can’t strive to make our living environment better every day. Rather than stopping because we’re not as bad as Auckland. Should that really be a good enough reason? I guess that we all view quality of life in different ways. And that’s ok too.

  59. David

    Traditional wisdom says that if you improve the service and frequency, you’ll get far more people using the service.

    But that’s reliant on there being more people who would want to use it. The other day, early afternoon, the bus to Portobello had two people on it, perhaps there was a third.

    At the same time there were very few cars on Portobello Road – just the occasional campervan or trades van.

    So you could triple the frequency of the service, and the chances are you’d end up with three buses with one person on each. Even if you had a 300% increase, you’d have three people on each bus, so you’d have three buses losing money instead of one.

    So we can have a service that’s not particularly efficient.

    And to get more people to use it more, the plan is to make ALL OTHER travel less and less efficient until people switch over.

    And when/if it gets to the point where it pays it’s way we can all applaud an efficient transport service – and keep quiet about the fact that the other 90% of road users are much LESS efficient than they used to be. i.e. the overall cost for ALL commuters goes up, just to push a few onto buses.

  60. David

    Paul says “As I have stated, and as most economists predict within 6 months to a year the price of petrol will be back over $2.00 and trending north very quickly.”

    Oil futures experts say “Even next year, prices are unlikely to rise much unless clear signals emerge that the world is pulling out of recession in a sustainable fashion.”

    http://www.nzx.com/news/2888839/Oil-prices-fall-3pc

    As oil prices go up, many people can easily cut their usage for commuting by 50% simply by sharing a car. Demand goes down, followed by prices, and the cycle starts again.

  61. Peter

    You assume that oil prices primarily relate to car usage rather than global manufacturing requirements.

  62. David

    Peter – it works the same for everything else.

    Oil goes up, world power prices go up, usage goes down, and for the first time since 1945 we’re about to have a drop in world electricity production.

    And there’s lots of factors to curtail future massive rises. i.e. a slow recovery from recession, world-wide change of focus to building renewable energy instead of oil based, US auto makers dropping large engined models, world auto makers concentrating on efficiency instead of power, manufacturers looking at more efficient methods and power sources etc.

    All over the world people in all areas are looking at better energy efficiencies, carbon usage – from insulating homes to bio passenger jets to oil miles for how far your produce travels etc.

    World wide oil usage has dropped sharply from last year, and stockpiles have been growing.

    For the massive price spike that Paul is predicting in the next 6-12 months, first current usage would have to dramatically change, then the growing stockpile would have to significantly reverse, and production would have to drop even further.

  63. “For the massive price spike that Paul is predicting in the next 6-12 months, first current usage would have to dramatically change, then the growing stockpile would have to significantly reverse, and production would have to drop even further.”

    Hey I’m only going by the likes of The Economist, The FT and CNBC.

    “current usage would have to dramatically change,” Simple it’s called the economic recovery and the US winter. There is always a seasonal short fall with the onset of the US winter.

    I’m more than happy to hope that these prices aren’t seen again in a long time, but it’s simply head in the sand stuff to assume that they won’t happen.

    And again David you are making rash assumptions that the price of fuel will only impact on the family car. As demonstrated last year, when the price of Crude Oil goes up, everything goes up, from the petrochemical plastics industries, Medical, Agricultural prices etc etc, the on flow of the rise in Crude Oil is horrendous.

  64. Richard

    Way back at the start of this thread, Elizabeth and later Phil commented about FARM PARKS ON THE PENINSULA and that Council was actively considering the matter.

    I have checked and can advise that Farm Parks on The Peninsula is NOT something that is being considered by the Council.

    As far as I can ascertain no committee meeting or workshop has discussed this matter other than that the Harbour Cone Working Party considered and discarded the option for one part of that property.

    So, I just do not know where these sort of claims have emanated from.

    If anyone has something that counters my advice, then please do not hesitate to email me.

  65. David

    Paul says “And again David you are making rash assumptions that the price of fuel will only impact on the family car.”

    And again Paul, you are making up false positions, and assigning them to me.

    It’s blindingly obvious that oil affects everything – I’ve already mentioned manufacturing, electricity generation, home heating, food, and air travel.

    I’m not sure how you make the leap to that I was only talking about family cars.

    And as power, food, air travel, and manufactured products go up, people buy less, Air NZ parks up jets, people cut their power usage. And demand goes down.

    Hence oil drops 80% from $150 a barrel to $30 a barrel, and settles at around 50% of the highs.

    Currently you can buy a futures contract to buy oil in eight years time in 2017 at $90 per barrel, or any time before then at less – not a great deal higher than current prices (roughly a 2% per annum increase from today’s prices)

    If (as you say) most economists are predicting massive oil price rises, then why haven’t these futures contracts been snapped up at $90 per barrel and onsold at a much higher price?

    (or oil for a year’s time at the same price as last week, or two years time for only a dollar more).

  66. Richard

    Oh yes! I was going to say: “Now back to Parking” but I see that David has done that!

  67. Phil

    Thanks, Richard. Is that where we started ? That’s the beauty of this website. Each thread seems to take on a life of it’s own. I think we’ve only got world peace left to solve now.

  68. David

    Phil – world peace?

    Is that some sort of DCC initiative that ratepayers will be hammered for?

    There’s simply not enough money for a new stadium AND world peace.

  69. Phil

    Fair comment. We’ll defer world peace.

  70. Richard

    It’s been done – the Peach Pole is in the Museum Reserve. A gift from international students several years ago. A gift but, of course ……

    Next?

  71. Richard

    That’s a peach! Should be PEACE POLE!

  72. David

    Richard – Cromwell has a Peach Pole as well. And an apricot Pole, a necatrine pole and an apple pole.

    So that’s great we can have world peace AND watch Otago play Mangatanoka B team at the new stadium.

  73. Richard

    I assume, David, u mean Mangatainoka, Tararua District, North Island, the home of Tui Beer. Well, I am not a fan of Tui but judging by the participants in their TV advertisements, ‘Tui Mangatainoka B will attract thousands when they play Speights Otago B at the FB Stadium!” Bring it on! And that would be an extra to the top tier Air NZ Cup or whatever it is to be called in the future!
    Slaithe!

  74. David

    Richard – yes. Mangatainoka (I thought I might have missed an “i”) – home of “yeah right” and the new sport of bikini rugby?

    • Elizabeth

      Loose question, has the stadium debacle made us more sensitive to council activities and sustainability issues generally…

      ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Sep 2009
      Waitati on way to generating own power
      By Sarah Harvey
      The Blueskin Bay community north of Dunedin is well on the way to owning and managing its own renewable source of power generation.
      Read more

      ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Sep 2009
      Anger spurs DCC parking survey
      By David Loughrey
      A survey on Dunedin’s issue of the moment – the city council’s recently introduced and much maligned parking strategy – will be conducted in the city today. Council consultant Gabites Porter will have about 20 people on the streets counting how many vehicles are using parks, and interviewing drivers about their parking experiences.
      Read more

      ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Sep 2009
      Motorcycle parking raises ire
      By David Loughrey
      Natural History New Zealand post producer Mark Orton has raised more questions about Dunedin’s new parking regime, this time about provisions for motorcycles.
      Read more

      ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Sep 2009
      People ride train to work on Car Free Day
      By Ellie Constantine
      Rain may have put many people off walking or biking to work yesterday, but 100 delighted and dry passengers took a Taieri Gorge Railway train into Dunedin for World Car Free Day. Dunedin City Council subsidised the trip.
      Read more

      ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Sep 2009
      Social housing on agenda
      By David Loughrey
      The future of the Dunedin City Council’s social housing will come under the spotlight today when a hearings committee considers public submissions on the matter.
      Read more

  75. Peter

    I don’t think so on the whole. It just seems to have made some interest groups more militant.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 24/09/2009 – 2:57pm
      Comment by JimmyJones on Floods, Fire & Brimstone, Pestilence
      … There is nothing sustainable (enduring), nor Sustainable (the UN’s political campaign) about the stadium. The DCC makes plenty of dumb decisions even without trying to enforce Sustainability. These are some decisions where the priorities of Sustainability took priority over common sense…
      Read JimmyJones’ list – get ready to position yourselves.

      {this item first appeared at ODT Online on Wednesday -EK}

  76. Elizabeth

    This has turned into a very long thread, but earlier Phil had a query (September 19, 2009 at 2:09 am) re Otago Peninsula. He said:

    I wonder how much thought has been given to the delicate inlet eco-systems that exist in that area and the effect that newly introduced commuter traffic will have. That it has survived industry “market forces” so far is, in itself, a miracle. Possibly falls outside of the area of expertise of the council planning department, but maybe the ORC air quality plan can lend some weight on vehicle emissions. There have also been numerous studies completed overseas on the negative effects of noise and of vehicle vibration, on ecosystems. This is NOT the type of land where we want to be encouraging population expansion.

    ****

    Today, this opinion piece was published:

    ### ODT Online Thu, 24 Sep 2009
    Opinion: Harbour ecology taking a hit
    By Neville Peat
    The widening of Portobello Rd between Macandrew and Company Bays will become a superb facility for visitors and locals. But what of the negative impacts on the ecology of the disappearing intertidal zone, wonders Neville Peat.
    Read more

    – Neville Peat, author of the award-winning book, Wild Dunedin, and the photographic souvenir, Dunedin – A Portrait, is a former Otago regional councillor.

  77. Phil

    In 2 minds about the works there. I see that as being different to, say, a subdivision proposal in a similar environment. On one hand, I applaud the concept of constructing a route for non fossil fuel powered traffic. That’s a good thing, we should have more of them, and they should be more user friendly than the normal carriageways. To encourage their use. However, it comes with a negative impact on the environment. So does all development, and sometimes one has to be sacrifice if there’s going to be forward movement. It’s a shame that this particular work is in our most important ecological region of the city. I’m sure that, hope that, the project team are taking all steps to mitigate the negative environmental effects. Either way, it’s better than a new 15 lot subdivision in the same environment, with 30 extra cars commuting to and from every day.

  78. Elizabeth

    This thread contains several references to DCC’s purchase and subsequent use of Harbour Cone.

    Deal aims to resolve dispute between council and landowner Alistair Young dating back to 1986.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Sep 2015
    Land swap proposed to resolve dispute
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council is proposing a land swap to resolve another long running property dispute on Otago Peninsula. The deal, if approved, would result in the council signing over a 735sq m slice of the Frances St recreation reserve in Broad Bay – including a playground and open space – to a private landowner. In return, the council would receive 1.3ha of land next to the Hereweka/Harbour Cone reserve, effectively extending the reserve’s boundary.
    Read more

    Report – Council – 01/09/2015 (PDF, 1.2 MB)
    Frances Street Recreation Reserve – Request for Access Across the Reserve

    [screenshot]
    DCC Frances Street Reserve

  79. Hype O'Thermia

    ‘Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the proposed solution was “a bit of a no brainer”.’ Our esteemed Mayor has put considerable efforts into widening his understanding of no-brainers. On our behalf he takes this knowledge from theory into practical areas of governance in our city. We are indeed blessed.

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