SH88 realignment – update

### ODT Online Wed, 21 Jul 2010
Negotiations on land near realignment
By David Loughrey
A piece of land near the State Highway 88 realignment in Dunedin is holding up completion of land negotiations in the area, and the release of details. But the issue would not stop construction of the road, Dunedin City Council property manager Robert Clark said yesterday.

“There is nothing holding up the building of the road, but there is some adjacent land we are looking at, which we may do something with.”
–Robert Clark

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Politics, Project management, Site, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

35 responses to “SH88 realignment – update

  1. Anonymous

    “may do something with” = Phase 2 of the realignment.
    “completion of negotiations” = total stuff-up that should involve people being fired

  2. Russell Garbutt

    Once again the CST are in the midst of the negotiations.

    A private, non-elected, and seemingly publicly non-accountable trust acting on behalf of the DCC. Why? Is it so there is someone to blame, or perhaps has it something to do with the fact that it was Farry who insisted on such a vehicle being set up – he even re-iterated that stance in a recent radio interview. Why on earth would that be I wonder?

    The winning supposition gets to pick their own prize courtesy of the ratepayers.

    • Elizabeth

      Russell – the harbour arterial which includes the SH88 realignment is the DCC project which has qualified for Transit NZ funding. CST has no part of this although the synergy with the stadium project and the extension of the University of Otago campus (taking fast moving through-traffic out of Anzac Avenue) is noted.

  3. Anonymous

    Mr Clark said: “There is nothing holding up the building of the road, but there is some adjacent land we are looking at, which we may do something with.”

    That’s the money quote right there.
    Abso-freaking-lutely hilarious, if you know the background. Anyone with half a brain who can read a survey plan knows what is needed on that land and how badly this has been managed.

    It’s another one in the list: Bathgate Park, Caversham Valley Road…surprised they didn’t just do a compulsory purchase for the Leith-Lindsay flood protection scheme.

    • Elizabeth

      Any project that is envisaged as ‘long-term’ for the community good (what is a multi-use stadium?) should have proceeded using the Public Works Act for land acquisition – obviously, before the provisions of the Act apply there is room for negotiation of market value using registered valuers by the parties to the pending ‘acquisition’.

      That has always been the proper process – anything else unless it was a bequest of land to DCC, a peppercorn sale or a land swap based on sound valuations, is not going to hold up to any rigorous valuation scrutiny. Thus rightly, people should be fired.

      The fact is the RUGBY stadium project has been forced by idiots promoting RWC 2011 as the way to grease their own (subtle-like?) property investment palms in the wider location – who incidentally are small fry to the snaggler holding DCC to ransom yet again in that glorious part of town. (untold gains from your land acquired by DCC for the stadium, and untold gains for your land acquired for the SH88 realignment, yep synergy)

      A property investor in George St today said DCC should cut its losses now and give the stadium to the university or ‘rugby’. Just walk away.

      But can any of us see a DCC election candidate with the smarts to know HOW a super bad deal is offloaded…

  4. Russell Garbutt

    Elizabeth – here is the quote from the story – “The council’s role in land deals in the area has been its acquisition of land for the stadium, completed by the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST), some of which would be sold to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), which was building the highway realignment, Mr Clark said.”

    Just what is a private trust doing acting for the ratepayers? Oh yes, it’s because Malcolm Farry wanted it that way – and why do you think that should be?

    Speaking of valuation scrutiny – has anyone actually seen any registered valuations and the basis of those valuations for land acquisitions including Carisbrook? What we have had is assurances from Chin and Harland and co about “professional advice” and the likes. If you trust these people then this is probably good enough for you – but if you don’t – then………

    Roll on October. I don’t think we have seen the half of it yet.

    • Elizabeth

      Good question, Russell – however, DCC always said CST was handling negotiations of land acquisition for the stadium and then there was a public ‘correction’ (or was that clarification) that DCC would be handling the related monies, not CST. Some land purchased (via CST/DCC) extended across the area needed for the stadium and the area needed for the highway realignment.

      Months ago when ODT mentioned the sale of land by CST to DCC for the realignment we choked over what seemed like double dipping. “We” (the community) bought the land once via CST negotiation, oops and then “we” (the community) were buying it again from CST who should never have had it as their asset in the first place, if they were the negotiators only, and DCC the bank therefore landowner.

      I’m a humble confused citizen because I can’t see the paper trail and no-one else has either. Being blonde doesn’t help.

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Richard. Answers. Oxymoron.

  6. Anon

    I see over on the stadium facebook page that Delta will be the contractor for installing the turf. Interesting choice.

    • Elizabeth

      Delta crew maintain the gardens at Anzac Square in front of the Railway Station. Different worlds from specialist turf science. So are they hiring for specialists?

  7. Johnson

    Why is it an interesting choice ? A local company with the skills and resources to do the job. You seem to have doubts about their ability. Wirehunt…….lay on !

  8. Anon

    Interesting because Delta is a DCC owned company and it might be perceived that certain parts of the stadium cost will be disguised within, dispersed across wider DCHL group activities; say for example, and purely hypothetically, what if Delta paid for a turfmaster system to enable an ongoing turf maintenance contract at the stadium. One exclusion from the GMP quietly ticked off.

  9. Richard

    Elizabeth – your understanding is correct. It is the DCC that is negotiating the sale of the land referred to. The CST has nothing to do with it, nothing at all.

  10. kate

    elizabeth you are not blonde!

    {oh! -ek}

  11. One of your correspondents has been on my blog and manipulated what I was discussing by ignoring context and has accused moi of wanting to spend spend spend. This is wrong I am a very frugal person.

    She has copied a paragraph from the “Campus Future?” discussion from my blog. However I would like to thank her as she pointed out a flaw in my argument. I was assuming incorrectly that everyone knows that City Property developments are not rates funded but are paid for by endowment money and profits from clever property deals carried out by the department over many decades. I have changed that paragraph to now read :

    “What about forming a development company consisting of a collaboration of DCC (through its corporate arm and therefore no rates funding) of City Property, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and the private sector. Let’s call it Dunedin City Development Company (DCDC). Its mission is to identify and buy up large blocks of land around the city and build beautiful, warm, comfortable, people friendly, sustainable urban neighbourhoods (eco-neighbourhoods) that would also include co-housing. Just a little mission!”

    {All comments on this thread about social housing have now been copied to the Dunedin social housing thread -Eds}

  12. Phil

    Fliss, that’s a great idea. Elsewhere in the world it is local authorities who build modern residential subdivisions. For some reason, New Zealand seems to believe this is the wrong approach. Nice to know that 4 million people are right, and 6 billion people are wrong. I thoroughly endorse your proposals. A few years ago City Property did look at the idea of getting into the commercial housing market. But the idea was promptly slapped down by the Council of the day, on the grounds that DCC should not become competitive in the local housing market. And it’s never resurfaced since.

    I agree that City Property is self funded. And in some areas, that’s entirely appropriate. I do object, and have always objected, to social housing being forced to be self funding. I believe that part of the social responsibility of the DCC is to care for the most vunerable people of our society. And DCC falls down in that department when it comes to the standard of social housing. I’m not talking about the 7 new units being built every year which is a token gesture when the demand for social housing outstrips supply by 20+ new applications every year. And, to be honest, the new units are not being built with future technologies and demands in mind. I’m talking about the 1940s concrete block units offered to 90% of the occupants. Caring for the elderly is part of the reason why we pay rates, and I believe that ratepayer funding should be taken by City Property for those purposes. Maybe councillors should ask themselves one simply question before taking a position on the condition of DCC community housing as a result of current funding policies: “Would I have my grandmother live here ?”.

    • Elizabeth

      Fliss, have always liked your ideas about housing and community, neighbourhoods for that matter – pity we can’t get heaps more people to think this way.
      Agree, Phil. No, I wouldn’t put an older person in the concrete block units – and certainly not a one of our Dunedin friends (young and not so young) with special needs or circumstances where a comfortable respite, a home with no imposed time limits offers hope to daily existence. We (the public) share with council an increasing responsibility to provide smart housing in the interests of social justice. New Zealand has an overt disparity between the well-to-dos and the withouts. Quite frankly, I have no idea how we can reduce the extent of this unscrupulous divide in short order pronto.

  13. Peter

    The new houses on Prince Albert Rd, built two to three years ago(?), are council owned. I notice they have what look like solar panels on their roofs and they are presumably properly insulated. What other ‘future technologies and demands’ do you have in mind, that haven’t been taken into account, and given the present parlous financial position of the council, how can we afford it?
    Also, how likely is it that social housing will end up being sold off to pay off mounting council debt?

  14. kate

    Social Housing now provides gardens that are raised and available for vege growing and have electric plugs for scooters/ electric cars I think. I think they are also double glazed.

  15. Peter

    It would be interesting to know of other existing examples of social housing – like the Prince Albert Road houses – which are of the same standard and with those ‘ecological extras’ mentioned above. At least a start has been made.

    • Elizabeth

      When at PSO I suggested they approach Parker Warburton Team Architecture for an opening conversation re a multi-agency collaboration for a small number of houses in Wakari. I haven’t visited the built result to see how they perform. Not sure how extensive the brief got in sustainability terms, or not. Not in the order of what Phil has in mind I wouldn’t think.

  16. Phil

    “At least a start has been made”. That’s the problem, a start has NOT been made. The demand for community housing is increasing at a faster rate than the construction of new units. Which means that the new units are not replacing old units, they are merely trying to cope with part of the increased demand for accommodation. While it looks on the surface that the old units are being replaced with new, that’s not the case.

    The new units built over the past few years have included solar hot water heating systems. And that’s great. But that’s where the “future proofing” has stopped. The remainder of the design is purely to the current building code. Part of this is due to a lack of knowledge by the designers, and part of it is due to the minimal budget available. A typical 50 sqm community housing unit costs around $200,000 to build. It’s very expensive when compare to a standard house, because the same basic amenities (bathroom, laundry, kitchen etc) have to be provided as for a 3 or 4 bedroom house. City Property is also forced to pay market price for suitable land in desirable residential areas. DCC is not permitted to go “door knocking” to buy up properties for development, and so must compete with other developers and landlords when properties come up on the market. They have to pay for the existing dwellings on purchased properties, even though they are immediately demolished. So it’s a very expensive exercise and that’s why there are insufficient new units being built to cater for replacement of existing units.

    One of the major failings with the community housing blocks, in my opinion, is that each unit is being constructed as a complete self sufficient unit. That’s incredibly wasteful as a society, and not the way of the future (or indeed the present). For years now, various people (including DCC’s own Energy Manager) have pushed for communal heating within community housing complexes. That is, one common source of heating that provides continuous heating and hot water to 5, 10, or 30 units on one or adjoining sites. This is a standard energy efficient system that has been heating homes throughout Europe for 50 years. There was a call for a communal geothermal heating system to be included within the last design package, but this was rejected by the in-house designer who admitted that he simply didn’t understand it. Despite such a system being cheaper than individual solar heating systems, and despite the system being shown to be far more efficient than a solar heating system and ideally suited for the South Dunedin area with a high water table.

    I’ve heard the arguments from City Property housing manager that the tenants wouldn’t like having communal systems. That’s fine, there are 100 people on the waiting list who maybe would. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. One of the housing contractors told me once that the refusal of the housing manager to ban smoking within DCC community housing units was costing $200,000 a year in extra repairs. That’s one brand new unit that could be built. Every year. Who’s running the show here ?

    I believe that the construction of a small self sustaining (with communal heating, water recycling etc) community housing block in a Dunedin residential zone, by DCC, would serve as a “show home” to drive other homeowners and developers to immediately see the financial and environmental advantages, and thus inspire them to follow suit. DCC should be leading the way here, showing the way that the city should be heading for the next century, and not just getting away with what is required to satisfy consents and budgets.

  17. Peter

    Phil. How much would a housing unit cost with your ideal eco design? Is it near the $200,000 you mention for a present style new housing unit? From what you know, how many new units would need to be constructed to cover the demand for community housing?

  18. kate

    Social housing has recently been reviewed by Council as you will know – and probably is best not linked to SH88 – many issues were canvassed in the process – although I wasn’t on the working party myself.

    I totally support Council having a role in Social Housing, but not necessarily being the only provider. At present I think DCC has more social housing per population than any other Council. Central Government has a role as do agencies. DCC has chosen a specific market to fill the needs for. So the costings as requested should be for that group – which I think is generally single or couples, not families and there are age specific priorities. Will try and post a link – maybe Elizabeth we could have a different page?

    • Elizabeth

      The difficulty of the threads is appreciated when we go off on important or interesting tangents. I will start a new page now.

  19. kate

    hopefully this works

    {this is the correct link from the DCC website -Eds}

    Social Housing Strategy (PDF, 1.6 mb, new window)
    The Social Housing Strategy provides a platform for the consideration of social housing issues right across Dunedin. Social housing is defined as the provision of accommodation assistance for individuals and families whose housing needs or circumstances are not adequately provided for by the private sector. The Strategy also directly addresses issues regarding the Dunedin City Council’s own social housing stock.

  20. wirehunt

    Good to hear someone local got some work out of this. About bloody time, although I did hear a painter was making a killing doing all the repair work on the pipe welds, opps, I mean structural welds…..

    Had an interesting conversation today with someone about the DCC and how it has been NON compliant for three or four years on several dangerous goods installations. It seems there wasn’t and still isn’t enough funding as the money had to go elsewhere. What’s that all about?

    I would have thought the safety of the public and environment would have come first, before any stadium. But it seems council has different ideas, makes you wonder….

  21. Pingback: Dunedin social housing « What if? Stadium of Dunedin…

  22. Phil

    Peter, from discussions I had with the former housing manager, a minimum of 20 new units would need to be constructed each year, purely to accommodate those people who currently have been assessed, approved, and are sitting on the housing waiting list. There are about 900 existing community housing units on City Property books. So, if we were to build say, 30 new units every year (instead of the current 5 to 7) it would take 90 years to replace the current housing stock.

    As you can see, this problem is too big for City Property to manage alone on its limited budget. This is an issue that requires DCC as a whole to address.

    I’m drawing at figures from memory here, but I believe that CP collects something like $3 million dollars a year from community housing rentals. $1 million is immediately given to DCC in the form of rates and water. There is no rates or water relief offered to social housing as are enjoyed today by Cadburys etc. Industry gets benefits, but our parents and grandparents don’t. So that’s gone. CP housing staff wages are also recovered directly from the rentals, rather than from the DCC general wages bill. At the end of it all, there was less than $1 million a year to be fed back into the operations, maintenance, and upgrading of the existing housing stock. And don’t forget that $200,000 of that $1 million is lost in repairing damage purely from smoking tenants. Leaving about 800 bucks to be spent on each house.

    I haven’t done number crunching capital cost comparisons between the current and “best practice” options. I’ll have a go at that though. But I know that the Energy Manager has. Which is why he was pushing so hard for an improvement in the design. As a guide, a typical radiator heating system costs about $1,000 per radiator, by the time you add in for the heating source, pipes etc. So a small, well insulated, 2 bedroom dwelling would cost no more than $4,000, with 6 or 7 units sharing the same heating source equipment. That is already cheaper than the existing solar heating systems, which require an electrical heating system to be used for 6 months of the year, and provides hot tap water only with no heating. Heating in the current newly constructed units still relies on electricity.

    But, keep in mind that this exercise should not only be about pure construction cost, as it is at present. It’s also about how we best make use of our resources as a society. And DCC are in the best position to lead the way forward. If we really wanted a “Wow Factor” (he must REALLY regret saying that), having a sustainable city would have been the smart way forward.

  23. Elizabeth

    Please take up social housing topic on new thread provided, cheers ALL. Great discussion!

  24. Calvin Oaten

    50 sq m social house to build $200,000. Land cost $80,000 (Iwish). Total $280,000 plus rates and insurance $2,500. New total $282,500. Depreciation at 1% (100 years) on building is $2,800. New total $285,300. A 5% return equals a rental of $274.32 pw. A 7% return $384.05 pw.
    Get real, who are we going to rent them to? Beneficiaries? Pensioners? Not without enormous ratepayer subsidies, and who is this being fair to?
    More thought required Phil and Fliss, I think.

  25. Elizabeth

    {All comments on this thread about social housing have now been copied to the Dunedin social housing thread -Eds}

  26. Anonymous

    Wondering what the new building is adjacent to the old Peter Baker Transport site next to the new bridge. A steel and concrete frame has gone up in the last week or so. This building is “controlled” by the DCC. What is it?

    • Elizabeth

      Gosh, must make enquiries of City Planning if no-one here has the answer! City Property did say it had plans for the area, wonder who the lucky tenant is for the purpose built.

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