Otago Chamber of Commerce

8.3.10 The Chamber publishes the following statement:



Members will find statements that call into question:

* the foundation for the proposal
* the flaws and self interest in the management of the proposal and;
* the background of Council decision making.

The Chamber has no reason to call into question any of the information contained in the Paterson Pitts report.

Members are asked to read in full this vital document.

Click here for the full report.

Recent media reports have set some background to the Chamber’s twelve month work to change the proposals in Plan Change 7: Harbourside to avoid the loss of industry and jobs that independent advice commissioned by Council says will occur.

To support the Chamber’s work, in conjunction with four other appellants to the scheme, the Chamber commissioned a professional report from Mr Don Anderson, Senior Planner of Patterson Pitts.

The Chamber has now decided to release this report to Chamber members as a background document to the Chamber’s call for action.

Below is the report summary.



“Why has Plan Change 7: Harbourside caused conflict?”
Dramatic changes of land use direction in district plans create winners and losers. Chalmers Property Ltd gains increased land value/ground rentals and redevelopment opportunities along the redundant harbour basin. Existing industry has operational constraints imposed, the expectation that they will exit the area, and no viable relocation package in terms of compensation or location.

This all happened over a four week submission during January/February 2007.

“Has Council identified the public benefits?”
Over the eight year gestation period of Plan Change 7: Harbourside, the public benefits identified by Council have varied. Plan Change 7: Harbourside does NOT reconnect the Harbourside area to the central city. The Rattray Street reconnection remains unresolved, the additional connection between the Railway Station and the Settlers Museum failed to materialise, and the existing St Andrew Street connection is beyond the reduced area of Harbourside.

Plan Change 7: Harbourside’s revitalisation of the Harbourside area was seriously reduced by the removal of the three designations of squares/walkways, the removal of the ‘fanciful’ canal along Mason Street, and by the ‘statutory’ straight jacket imposed on the new rules that are the principal means of implementing the ‘vision’.

“Was the consultation without the rules appropriate?”
Council’s consultation prior to public notification of Plan Change 7: Harbourside did not include any details of the rules by which the objectives and policies were to be implemented. The assurances given that existing industry would be “protected” has proven to be unfulfilled. The rules that result in the loss of industrial jobs as they are replaced by service jobs in cafes, bars, restaurants, visitor accommodation and tourism facilities was never made clear. Effective consultation was never possible without the rules.

“Will the service jobs relocated from the centre truly replace the lost industrial jobs?”
There is no analysis of the economic viability of the relocated service jobs on either the city centre or Harbourside, but as far back as 1968 (TK McDonald) and again in 2000 (McDermott Fairgray), the economic importance to Dunedin retaining existing industrial jobs has been made clear.

“What is the actual demand for apartments within Harbourside to justify the loss of industrial jobs?”
There is no analysis of the current or future demand for apartments within either converted industrial buildings or in new specially designed residential buildings. The experience to date is that residential conversion has been at the lower end of the rental market in Harbourside, and the utilisation of vacant commercial floor space within the Central Activity Area.

“Why is Harbourside favoured by existing industry?”
Harbourside and the adjoining industrial land forms a hub for both Dunedin’s manufacturing and service industry. Hubs are based around well established industrial operations, and play an important role in providing mutual support, as illustrated by the marine engineering group where specialisation widens the capacity of the group. The harbourside area provides operating convenience to the Central Activity Area and existing buildings that can be readily adapted to the changing needs of industry.

“Why not relocate?”
Relocation away from Harbourside is the Council’s intention for all industry along Fryatt Street and all industry within Harbourside that requires an air discharge permit. But Plan Change 7: Harbourside contains no analysis of the implications of relocation. Relocation that results in the loss of industrial jobs in Dunedin will have more than a minor effect on the economic wellbeing of the city. Relocation that results in higher operating costs to industry should attract compensation from those who benefit from the relocation, but that is well beyond the scope of Plan Change 7: Harbourside.

“Benefits to Chalmers Property Ltd?”
Council has already identified that Chalmers Property Ltd is the principal beneficiary of Plan Change 7: Harbourside. The scale of that benefit has not been made public but it would relate to an increased land value and the resultant increase in ground rentals payable by lessees. As prudent landowners, Chalmers Property would not have invested in Plan Change 7: Harbourside unless the return on a continuing basis did not exceed the cost of its involvement in the plan change.

Link to site

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


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

2 responses to “Otago Chamber of Commerce

  1. As a layman, not conversant with these issues, the Chamber of Commerce’s case looks very strong to me. Not that it means common sense will ultimately prevail. I am, in one sense, at a loss why the council(s) would ignore what a body of that standing has to say. Are there any self interests of the promoters, to do with the harbourside area, that come into the equation?
    Reading Gordon Parry’s piece today on the DCC put so simply and effectively (as he often does so well) may also help explain why this plan has got to this point. Decision making by council, in this city, seems so awfully ad hoc.

  2. Peter B

    It’s an interesting read but a bit of a dogs breakfast as a report – poorly written and structured.

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