Same again, Dunedin City District Plan about to be ignored

Just like the application for Prista Apartments in Princes St… pretend the District Plan never happened. Case in point too, the expansion of large retail into land formerly zoned industrial.

Stan Rodger is far from alone in his thinking.
Hello, all Commissioners of the DCC Hearings Committee.

“The DCC’s committee says it is of a mind to allow the consent to proceed, and what that means is that the district plan is meaningless, destroyed,” the former Dunedin North MP said yesterday.

### ODT Online Mon, 13 Sep 2010
Claim consent will destroy district plan
By Stu Oldham
The Dunedin City Council is passing the buck and in danger of consigning its own district plan to oblivion as it moves a step closer to approving a Mosgiel subdivision, retired MP Stan Rodger says.
Read more

Spot the delaying tactic too, the council’s interim “of a mind” thinking. This contrivance while the council gets its ducks in a line, along with all interim decisions, should be tested via the Environment Court. More and more, we see local authorities utilising interim decisions – what is the legality of these? A sop to “economic development” and to hell with everything else a community-consulted district plan stands for? Hmmm, maybe. But let’s test that.


### ODT Online Mon, 13 Sep 2010
118-lot subdivision set for approval
By Stu Oldham
A plan for a residential development at Mosgiel with up to 118 lots seems set to be approved even though 35 of the proposed sections will be smaller than is allowed in the Dunedin district plan. The city council’s hearings committee appears likely to approve the three-stage development Otago Business Park Ltd proposes off Gladstone Rd North, but it wants more information before making a final decision.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

81 responses to “Same again, Dunedin City District Plan about to be ignored

  1. Anonymous

    District Plan does not apply to DCC, apparently.

    “Gentleman’s agreement” for Saddle Hill quarrying.
    Hagart Alexander Drive consent to the benefit of the Deputy Mayor.
    Non-inspected sewerage at sections on Riccarton Road.
    Proposed District Plan breach to the benefit of Allan Dippie.

    If a local authority breaches its own rules and there is damage to property and/or the environment, who is liable? Experience from Christchurch if nothing else should show the need for more rigorous planning of where and how to build, not less.

  2. Phil

    What has always bugged me about the Policy Planning department of DCC is that they are generally reactive, rather than proactive. They wait until an event comes along, and then change the system to fit the situation. They appear to lack strength of conviction. It’s developers who are shaping the District Plan, rather than council driving the shape of the city. The result is a disjointed city which lacks synergy and natural flow. And that’s not what town planning is supposed to be about.

    That being said, I do feel for many of the planners within DCC. They have to work within the guidelines of the District Plan and the RMA. The councillors sitting on the hearing panels, who do not have the skill levels possessed by the qualified planners, are not bound by the same rules. The RMA is in place to ensure the correct use of the environment and resources in a sustainable fashion. It can not, and should not, make allowance for the greed of developers. The panel, on the other hand, can be influenced by such things. So it’s an uneven playing field. Good on the planners for sticking to their guns on this and other recent cases where land is proposed to be inappropriately used. They are the most qualified people in the situation. Unfortunately, the clear message now to developers is that all one has to do is to cry economic prosperity for all at a hearing, and you’re in. The mess that is now Queenstown is a prime example of how shortsighted greed can destroy the only marketable asset that the region possesses.

    • Elizabeth

      Phil said, and I repeat (in bold) two excerpts:

      “The RMA is in place to ensure the correct use of the environment and resources in a sustainable fashion. It can not, and should not, make allowance for the greed of developers. The panel, on the other hand, can be influenced by such things.”

      “Unfortunately, the clear message now to developers is that all one has to do is to cry economic prosperity for all at a hearing, and you’re in.”

      (apologies to Phil, but I’d also put them in lights if I could)

  3. Phil

    Here’s an excellent example of what a city council, and a planning department, can do if they are tough enough and don’t crumble under the pressure from “fly by night” developers. We can but dream of such vision. Taken from a current construction management journal:

    ‘Green residents only’ for new Stockholm district…

    Future residents of a new “climate-neutral” Stockholm city district will face stringent regulations when it comes to their lifestyle and exercise habits. Demands on prospective residents will include sorting waste, engaging in healthy eating habits, using public transportation or cycling, buying eco-friendly brands, exercising, participating in carpools and socialising with neighbours.

    Special courses will be offered so residents could learn the latest in green-living techniques. “Living environmentally smart is obviously the most important part of the project. However, the social dimension is also included in order to create a sense of connection, as well as arranging meeting places where people can meet and get to know the community,” said the council’s environmental and sustainability strategist. The city council passed through an environmental programme for Stockholm’s new prestige project with virtually no debate. Those who move in must, understand the aims and become actively involved.

    Construction on the initial approximately 700 homes began this year and the first residents are scheduled to move into the district in 2012. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.

    A total of about 5,000 homes will be built in the area, in addition to services and commercial activities. The development is on a former brownfield industrial area encompassing 236 hectares and is currently one of Europe’s largest urban development projects. Residents of the new district will receive help from a “residents’ school” (Boskolan), area ambassadors, networks and different activities to take part in its environmental profile. In addition to learning about technical solutions such as how to use a garbage disposer, measure the amount of much water one uses and rubbish one throws away, since it is charged individually, the Boskolan will also deal with healthy eating and how to buy eco-friendly goods. Public health and exercise are part of the sustainable lifestyle for the development. Every resident will be offered a personalised itinerary to and from work. The nature areas of a nearby national park will be used for health-oriented activities. Cars, boats and canoes can be rented, as well as tents and backpacks for hikers. The city is also planning for only an average of half a parking space per apartment to discourage car ownership and to encourage carpooling.

    {Thanks Phil, choice information. We have since discovered that the project has been published widely for educational purposes; one popular source is -Eds}

    • Gurglars

      When I want to be controlled as to food, waste, public transport, cycling, buying eco friendly brands, car pools and fraternising with dodgy repressed neighbours, I’ll move to the Stockholm ghetto. Just how many subservient weirdos are there in Sweden?

      I came back to Dunedin to avoid $1000 car fines, huge transport delays and beach car parking fees of $100!

      Please despite your green leanings any of you do NOT fall for the Totalatarian bullshit.

      The next step is Mr Adolf Hitler, or Mr Joseph Stalin!

      Believe me those systems do not work- just ask your local jew or gypsy.

      Laissez Faire for ever!

      Why can the populous not see that the Y2k, the Millenium bug, Global warming, Climate change, are all just some of the vehicles to reduce you to a quivering jelly that will bow and scrape to our fearless and witless leaders.

  4. Calvin Oaten

    And that is the ultimate living? Benign totalitarianism. All wear beige on Tuesdays. How damnably awful.

  5. Phil

    Each to their own, I guess, Calvin. Personally, if I was offered the chance to live in a place where I knew that my neighbours cared about looking after themselves, each other and the environment as much as I did, I’d jump at the opportunity. I suppose you would only apply for residency into a community like that if those were the sorts of things that you valued.

    The project is not without precedence. I remember, and this is going back about 15 years now, a friend of mine who worked as the caretaker in a gated community in a low socio-economic area of Toronto. The city council had built the complex as part of their social housing works. Quality housing for low income families. They built all the houses, the infrastructure, schools, shopping complexes, medical centres, swimming pools, public libraries, public transport systems etc. Everything a self sufficient community needed. All the residents were warmly welcomed, with one rule being applied upon entry. Any justified complaint with regard to unacceptable behaviour towards your property, the community, or any other person in the community, would result in an instant eviction. Be a decent, caring, responsible member of society, and you get to enjoy the benefits of a modern, safe, and healthy community. Abuse it just once, and you’re back out into the crime zones. Nothing like a bit of postive incentive to encourage an improvement in lifestyles and attitudes.

    There will always be people who demand the right to do what they want, when they want, how they want. And there will always be places for those people to live. But there is also a growing awareness of collective responsibility for our desired way of life. And that’s why Canada and Sweden (at least) have chosen the direction that they have.

    • Elizabeth

      This sort of community is where I’d live if I had the choice… I find Dunedin suburbs bleak to say the least, that’s why I live in the central city where there’s a little more life and social connection (the village).

      I have only one condition – after my time living on the bay at Takapuna (in the old house closest to the high tide mark), I would also need a looong hard sand walkable swimmable beach to go with the sustainable housing community, then I would be the happiest conforming resident, not a grouch.

  6. Phil Cole

    Phil…Hi, it’s the other ‘Phil’ here! I have always shown a fascination for this type of community. The Toronto gated example for low-socio-economic groups sounds excellent – is it still successful, do you know? I take it the city council own all the properties etc otherwise it would be hard to ‘instantly’ evict anyone I guess! The chances are this kind of community will ultimately be successful because everyone has a stake in its future and can take pride in the fact that most people will recognise each other and communicate.

    It reminds me of when I grew up in Fulham, London in the late 1960s and 70s. Fulham was very much a working class area where families had lived in the same (rented) houses for years. All the families knew each other – which in a road with 30 terraced houses on each side (60 in all) is pretty good – and, as a kid, I knew who lived in each house. We’d play football, cricket etc across or down the street and if any of us misbehaved we’d know that our parents would soon find out! The wonderful thing about all that – we didn’t need any ‘community rules or regulations’ – we had respect for our elders, for our street and everyone who lived down it. Of course, things have changed – we all know what and why – so we won’t go down that path.

    It’s ironic that gated communities for the wealthy – there are plenty of those in Britain! – are looked upon as being more than acceptable and have no rules (apart from the fact you need to be wealthy!) yet alienate the ‘haves’ from the ‘have-nots’. Yet any ‘gated’ community with a low-socio-economic base is looked or frowned upon, especially if it happens to be located near to where you live!

    ‘Celebration’ in Orlando, Florida (built by The Walt Disney Company) is an example of another kind of community and, although has a majority of wealthy people living there, does have a cross-section of socio-economic groups amongst its residence. If you leave aside the ‘fake’ autumn leaves, snowflakes and disappearing fountain (!) it actually sounds a decent place to live!,_Florida#Community

    Personally, I think the Stockholm idea (and yes, I have actually spent quite some time in Stockholm, Sweden) is the right way to go….after all, isn’t the ‘sorting waste, engaging in healthy eating habits, using public transportation or cycling, buying eco-friendly brands, exercising and socialising with neighbours’ most of the things we try and aspire to anyway? If that is beige (with respect to Calvin) then that could well become my favourite colour! It beats Magnolia (all houses in England always seemed to have magnolia-coloured walls!), that’s for sure!

    I guess it is all about vision…as long as you don’t suffer from colour-blindness!

    However – and here is a challenge for the three of us, Phil and Elizabeth – how could you achieve that same kind of ‘community’ here in Dunedin? That is a challenge I would love to get my teeth into!

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Phil (Cole) – it’s the perfect challenge! To arrive at healthier, warmer, more energy efficient houses for Dunedin communities (urban and rural) and a ‘sense of place’ that fosters social and environmental responsibility. It doesn’t mean the demolition of all existing building stock, of course – it allows for new build, retrofitting and regrouping. It also means setting boundaries to contain sprawl, assessing how to better utilise available property and vacant sites, increasing density and amenity together… For, amongst other reasons, the avoidance of unhealthy differentiations or segregation – not students “there”, families “over here”, and older citizens “back there” (on sections no-one else would touch with a barge pole).


      At the moment I’m assessing parts of Dunedin’s residential stock in terms of heritage, amenity and urban design potentials. I despair when I see no corner stores, no daycare facilities, no local recycling areas, no parks, walks or cycle ways… just houses, cars (one way to stay connected if you can afford it?), and if you’re really lucky, access to an oblique, untimely infrequent bus service.


      On another level, the DCC’s Built Environment leadership group (comprising members of the community with relevant skill sets and expertise, and council staff – with external assistance from the likes of Anthony Flannery, Auckland-based architect and urban designer) has housing in its remit for reporting into the annual plan and LTCCP process. Discussion and suggestions so far include modelling and prototyping by Council as well as through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) – showing the way, leading by example, innovation, leadership. As we move further into the exercise, the ideas generated will be prioritised by Council for public consultation.

      There’s quite a lot of overlap between the Built Environment and the other leadership groups (Safe and Healthy People, Natural Environment, Accessible City, Wealthy Community, Supportive Community, Arts and Culture, Knowledge City, Active City) and this has been acknowledged within the form of the overall programme via cross-forums. Sustainability (with a number of definitions) is being worked by each group and across the whole.

      As our findings surface, there has to be the ability to work the challenges with our communities of interest.

    • Until these comments, I had perceived Gated Communities to be preserves of the wealthy and classist social isolationist, but Phil’s housing collective is positive. There is great romance attached to intentional communities. The Chelsea, Greenwich Village was famous. Back home, Railways Settlements were extended communities, self policing in some ways. Mind you, never tell a railwayman he lives in an Anarcho Syndicalist Commune.

  7. Phil

    Hiya Phil. I’ll have to try and see if I can dig out the same of the community in Toronto. It’s been a few years since I last spoke with my friend. Shame on me. But, at the time, it was a relatively new development, with a combination of stand-alone and semi-detached houses. They were all wired up for the internet also, which was a pretty big thing at the time (around 95-96). So the council didn’t spare anything when it came to making it a desirable community. All the more reason to be a good citizen.

    I don’t understand why there are not more townhouse type communities being built around the country. For normal people who maybe want the security of a more controlled environment, and don’t want the hassle of having to maintain a large property. I lived in one overseas, and it was brilliant. It was so nice to have my weekends free from fighting with lawns and gardens that were way beyond my needs. We had communal gardens, bbq area, workshops, even a gym. It was a perfect little oasis. As the costs for those recreational facilities are shared amongst a group, the standard of living is much higher than a single family trying to cater for the same on their own property. And social interaction with your neighbours is much easier. I have to confess that I don’t know the names of any of the people in my street once I get 2 houses past my property. I don’t think that such things need to be the exclusive domain of the pensioner, but that seems to be the only market being catered for this far south. I think if there was a developer and a council brave enough to look at such a venture, they might well be surprised by the level of interest.

    Stockholm has to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, in my opinion. The perks of building a city on 7 (I think) islands. Expensive to travel to, but well worth the effort. Sweden is an interesting country to study. After being almost financially crippled back in the 80s, they stripped their entire structure back to the bone and rebuilt it in a more sustainable fashion. To ensure they would never be caught out living beyond their means again, one reason why they remained relatively unaffected by the recent worldwide economic troubles. One simple example is that, with a population of 9 million people, they have only one major international airport. There are 3 or 4 smaller airports around the country that cater for charter tours etc, but the bulk of their resources goes into maintaining just one facility at a high standard. And the airport is not based at the capital city, but midway between two cities, eliminating the need for 2 airports. A few quirky things like that, which make the country interesting to study.

  8. Elizabeth

    Nose-out-of-joint developer thinking to speak for all developers. Yeah right. Property development is a god-given gamble, clearly – should the community pay for infrastructural blights years down the track?

    In a word: Bexley. Or try: Kaiapoi, Queenstown, Wanaka, Mosgiel…
    Lots of similar words fairly leap to mind.


    ### ODT Online Mon, 22 Nov 2010
    Developer may drop subdivision
    By David Loughrey
    An Otago property developer says he is so disillusioned by the year-long resource consent process for his 118-lot residential development in Mosgiel that he may not go ahead with it.

    Allan and Martin Dippie planned to subdivide in three stages, on land zoned residential 6, but with 32 of the properties smaller than allowed in the district plan.

    Read more

    Lastly, Mr Developer – do we need your sprawl on the Taieri. Rhetorical.

  9. Phil

    It continues to amaze me how these developers seem to believe that it is their God given right to be able to make a profit when and how they see fit. And then try to blackmail the city into getting the result they want for themselves, with the promises of riches for all (if your name happens to be Martin or Allan Dippie, that is). If he hadn’t tried to put through such a ludicrous proposal in the first place, he might have been granted consent earlier. Naturally, it’s everyone else’s fault. No sympathy at all for the Dippies who have managed to run foul of every local authority in the region. And, as I read from the article, Mr Dippie obviously holds degrees in architecture, resource management, and town planning. Unlike everyone else involved in the process. Must be great to be the only person who knows everything.

  10. Peter

    ‘Mr Dippie said he was passionate about Dunedin but was not prepared to invest in a city that made the process so difficult, and he did not think any other developers were either.’
    You’d think he was Mother Teresa – there to ‘passionately’ do good works for Dunedin. As if his own interests were not at stake. Give us a break.

    • Elizabeth

      Let the ugly housing sprawl continue???

      ### ODT Online Thu, 5 May 2011
      Housing project changes approved
      By Rebecca Fox
      An Environment Court judge has approved a mediated agreement that gives the green light to a 118-lot residential development in Mosgiel. Judge Jon Jackson, of Christchurch, in a written decision, has approved the amended conditions agreed to by Otago Business Park Ltd and the Dunedin City Council through mediation. It resolved the appeal by Otago Business Park Ltd on conditions imposed by a hearings panel in its November 2010 approval of a resource consent to build the subdivision off Gladstone Rd.
      Read more

  11. Anonymous

    Sticker seen on back of a McEwan’s truck this morning:


    Surely they’re joking? One of the largest landmarks in the area and here is someone who went to the trouble to produce a sticker appearing to be in favour of destroying it? I watched that large truck travel at speed along Kaikorai Road and the built-up Nairn Street. Can’t help thinking the driver of the big purple Mack had the wrong gearstick engaged on two counts.

    Questionable driving aside, I want to believe I’m misunderstanding the message but the type of truck suggests this would be foolish thinking. Maybe the Otago Daily Times would like to ask McEwan’s if this is the position of the company or the driver?

    Where is Taieri ward’s councillor Syd Brown on this matter? Oh, that’s right, busy with stadiums, horses and sub-divisions.

    • Elizabeth

      A trip to their truck yard with camera would help this conundrum along, do they want the mountain or not. We can’t sleep until we understand the sticker.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Sub-divisions, don’t they tend to require driveways & roading (if the council won’t do it for nothing), gravel, drainage – gravel again – and trucks during the process of readying sections for sale?

  13. Anonymous

    Someone should let Colin Weatherall know there might be evidence of a party unconcerned about the “ridge line” of Saddle Hill. Particularly when it’s stuck to the back of a truck mocking the effort.

    Does anyone know if Taieri ward’s councillor Syd Brown got all his pipe and gravel work done? Wouldn’t surprise me if some of that landmark found its way into his business activities around Mosgiel.

    Is Syd’s Café open yet? I bet he could serve up a good bit of pie.

  14. Anonymous

    ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Nov 2012
    Council bid to protect Saddle Hill ridge line
    By Debbie Porteous
    The issue of quarrying on Saddle Hill is becoming increasingly litigious, as the Dunedin City Council seeks an injunction to stop work on the hill’s ridge line. The council alleges quarrying has taken place on the ridge line despite an agreement with the owner, Saddle View Estate Ltd, not to do so.
    Read more

    • ### ODT Online Fri, 23 Aug 2013
      No consent exists for quarrying Saddle Hill
      By Debbie Porteous
      A long battle to save the ridge-line of Saddle Hill has moved closer to a conclusion with the ruling that the company quarrying the prominent landmark hasn’t got consent. The Environment Court ruled yesterday that no resource consent exists, or ever existed, for the hill to be quarried. It will decide ”soon” whether that means quarry owner Saddle Views Estate Ltd has existing use rights to quarry the hill and, if so, the level of those rights. The Dunedin City Council has already told the court that if it decides there are existing use rights, they should be at a level the council says the company has already exceeded. The would mean quarrying on the hill would cease either way.
      Read more

      • ### August 23, 2013 – 6:54pm
        Prominent ridge will remain intact
        The prominent ridge on Saddle Hill will remain intact after the Environment Court found in favour of the Dunedin City Council.

        • ### ODT Online Sat, 24 Aug 2013
          Quarry injunction may be considered
          By Chris Morris
          The man behind the Saddle Hill quarry plans to take his fight to the High Court, but has criticised the Dunedin City Council for putting jobs on the line. Calvin Fisher, the director of Saddle Views Estate Ltd, said yesterday he was ”disappointed” by this week’s Environment Court ruling, which found there was no consent for the quarry on the prominent landmark.
          Cr Colin Weatherall said yesterday the council remained impartial, but had an enforcement process to follow and would accept the court’s decisions. However, the second part of the Environment Court ruling – due next week – would be enforced until any appeals could be heard, Cr Weatherall said.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Sat, 28 Sep 2013
          Quarry rights clarity elusive
          By Debbie Porteous
          The Environment Court says it is not satisfied, at this stage, that there are any existing use rights for quarrying on Saddle Hill. However, it has stopped short of declaring that is the situation and has asked for more specific information which might help it make a final decision.
          The Dunedin City Council is seeking clarity from the court, in the form of a declaration and an enforcement order, on what rights exist that allow the operation of a quarry on the hill.
          The decision is in two parts, and the court has already declared no consent exists, or ever did. The company operating a quarry on the hill, Saddle View Estates Ltd, is appealing that decision.
          The second decision is on whether there are existing use rights.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### Updated at 2:59 pm today
          Saddle Hill quarry goes to High Court
          By Ian Telfer, Otago Reporter
          A quarry on Dunedin landmark Saddle Hill has gone to the High Court to try to prove it has the right to cut as much rock as it wants. Saddle Views Estate is appealing against an Environment Court decision last year which ruled that it has never held a resource consent. The Dunedin City Council took the original case after 40 years of dispute to protect the shape of the double hill, which was named by Captain James Cook. There are references in letters in the 1960s to an historic quarrying permit or consent, but it cannot be found. A lawyer for the quarry, Trevor Shiels, QC, said today that the Environment Court made errors when assessing the circumstantial evidence. Mr Shiels said the court wrongly assessed each piece of evidence individually, when it should have looked at the overall picture.
          RNZ Link

  15. Jock strap

    It will be a bugger if they have to put the quarried rock back on Saddle Hill. There will be a lot of DCC roads that will have to be ripped up including the new highway that runs passed the stadium.

  16. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 9 Sep 2014
    Quarrying defended
    By Debbie Porteous
    It was “just so improbable” that “all that disfigurement” of Saddle Hill could have been allowed to go on without a consent being in place, a lawyer for quarry operators on the hill says.” And it was not only tolerated, but investigated by responsible officials from local and central government who all said the only solution was for somebody to put their hand in their pocket and buy the land to stop it,” Colin Withnall QC told Justice Christian Whata in the High Court at Dunedin yesterday. Mr Withnall and fellow Queen’s Counsel Trevor Shiels are representing quarry owner Saddle Views Estate Ltd in an appeal against an 2013 Environment Court decision that no consent for quarrying the lower hump of Saddle Hill (known as Jaffray’s Hill) exists, or ever has.
    Read more

  17. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 10 Sep 2014
    Judge to decide on hill’s fate
    By David Loughrey
    After more than 50 years of quarrying, and a corresponding period of vocal opposition to the destruction of the landmark, the future of Saddle Hill lies in the hands of one High Court judge. The appeal in Dunedin ended yesterday afternoon, leaving Justice Christian Whata to make his decision.
    Read more

  18. Elizabeth

    The council committee cited concerns including the threat to the area’s rural amenity and district plan integrity, and planners suggested the application might have been more appropriate as a plan change.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Sep 2014
    Saddle Hill proposals go to court
    By Debbie Porteous
    Two Dunedin landowners are arguing their case to subdivide more of Saddle Hill to the Environment Court this week. Calvin Fisher, a union official and director of Saddle Views Estate Ltd, and developer Kim Taylor, director of KJ Taylor Ltd, are appealing a Dunedin City Council decision to decline consent for their subdivisions. An Environment Court panel headed by Judge Jon Jackson began hearing the appeal in Dunedin yesterday.
    Read more

  19. Elizabeth

    Kim Taylor (properties at Riccarton Rd East) and Calvin Fisher (Saddle Views Estate Ltd).

    ### ODT Online Thu, 23 Oct 2014
    Subdivision decision overturned by court
    By David Loughrey
    The Environment Court has overturned a Dunedin City Council consent decision, meaning a developer can go ahead with his subdivision on the lower slopes of Saddle Hill, at East Taieri. Judge Jon Jackson released his decision on the Riccarton Rd East properties yesterday. The appeal relates to a 2013 council hearings committee decision to decline consent for landowners planning to subdivide their properties. […] Yesterday’s decision on Mr Taylor’s subdivision was the first to come, and Judge Jackson said a separate decision would be issued for Saddle Views Estate.
    Read more

  20. Elizabeth

    Justice Whata said while he did not grant the ”negative declaration” sought by the Dunedin City Council, his decision did not allow Saddle Views Estate to remove the entire hill.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 21 Nov 2014
    Saddle Hill decision overturned
    By John Lewis
    Quarrying of the lower hump of Saddle Hill is likely to continue after a Dunedin High Court judge overturned an Environment Court declaration that ruled there was no consent for quarrying in the area.
    Saddle Views Estate Ltd director and quarry owner Calvin Fisher, of Dunedin, appealed the Environment Court decision in September, saying the court’s decision was wrong on 16 points of law.
    Read more


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    High Court Decision on Saddle Hill Quarrying

    This item was published on 21 Nov 2014

    The High Court has today issued its decision on the declaration the Dunedin City Council (DCC) applied for to establish the legal basis for quarrying Saddle Hill. The decision was an appeal against the Environment Court decision which decided there was no resource consent. The DCC applied for a declaration to clearly establish the basis on which any quarry can operate.
    The appeal alleged 16 errors of law. The High Court dismissed 14 alleged errors, but found the Environment Court made two errors.
    The High Court has decided that it cannot conclude there is no consent, nor can it declare there is a consent to remove the entire hill. The High Court has decided the quarry is in an “unusual category”. The High Court states the quarry is authorised by a consent but the precise terms for which cannot be accurately defined.
    The outcome clearly states there is no right to remove the whole hill, which confirms the DCC’s position before the Court, and provides protection to Saddle Hill. However, it is disappointing for all parties that the extent of any right to quarry Saddle Hill has not been completely clarified in this decision. This leaves the status of any consent uncertain for all involved. There remains an injunction in place at the moment preventing the quarry expanding its footprint. The injunction will remain until lifted by the Courts. The DCC is working through the court’s decision and will consider its next step.
    Contact General Manager Services and Development on 03 477 4000.

    DCC Link

  21. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 22 Nov 2014
    Saddle Hill: still serious issues
    By John Lewis
    The future of Saddle Hill looks uncertain, with bickering between the Dunedin City Council and Saddle Views Estate Ltd showing no sign of abating. Saddle Views Estate Ltd (SVE) director and quarry owner Calvin Fisher […] believed the process had been a bid by the council to close the business, and “towards the end, it was a vindictive campaign at the ratepayers’ expense”. Council chief executive Sue Bidrose yesterday rejected the comments, labelling them “offensive”.
    Read more

  22. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 1 Dec 2014
    Residents refuse to surrender over hill
    By Debbie Porteous
    Residents deeply disappointed with a High Court decision that a consent does exist to quarry Saddle Hill, near Dunedin, are vowing to fight on to save it. A public meeting has been organised and residents are calling on the quarry’s owner to put the community before money, and stop digging up the hill.
    Read more

  23. Peter

    Not sure of the legal (etc) differences, in each case, but how come Harbour Cone, and surrounds, is protected on the Peninsula, but Saddle Hill struggles to be maintained in its present, iconic form?

  24. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 2 Dec 2014
    Saddle Hill quarry tale on website
    By Debbie Porteous
    Calvin Fisher says he understands the community’s concerns about quarrying on Saddle Hill, but advises people to direct their frustrations to the Dunedin City Council, not him. And the sole director of quarry owner Saddle Views Estate Ltd is doing as he says, creating a website outlining the quarry’s history and attacking the power of local authorities. Postcards directing people to the website will this week be sent to 80,000 homes around Dunedin and further afield.Read more

    CIDA Uploaded on Oct 15, 2014

    Jaffray Hill Quarry – Quarry Development Timeline

  25. Jacob

    Jaffray Hill Quarry.
    This could be the site for the new Mosgiel Pool. Build it and they will come from every corner of the earth. It could be built to rotate, and the swimmers would have a changing view every hour. This would rival Auckland’s Sky Tower. Momona Airport runway would have to be extended to handle the Dreamliners with all the dreamers that could visit our rotating pool and NZ’s only covered rugby stadium. This could be the answer to our Davies’ prayers.
    Build it and they will come.

  26. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 15 Dec 2014
    Fears Saddle Hill collapse possible
    By Eileen Goodwin
    The Dunedin City Council has been asked to apply for an urgent stop work order amid concerns quarrying of the lower hump of Saddle Hill could cause it to collapse. The requests, which will be sent to the council, were resolutions from a public meeting of local residents on Saturday afternoon.
    The meeting came as the council decides whether to appeal a High Court decision last month that consent did exist for the disputed quarry, overturning an Environment Court ruling.
    Read more

  27. Elizabeth

    Captain Cook’s journal, off the coast of Otago, 1776: ” . . . a remarkable Saddle hill”.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 17 Dec 2014
    Quarry debate digs deep into past
    By Debbie Porteous
    If there is any doubt about the historical significance Cook’s journal gives Saddle Hill today, there can be none to the people living around its slopes. To them the double humps south of Dunedin remain a natural treasure and a defining landmark. But a quarry is gnawing away at the lower hummock, Jaffray Hill, and how much more it can, and should, take is exercising the best legal minds.
    Read more

    Timeline (via ODT)

    1861-1937: Saddle Hill quarried for coal and ”dross”. George Scurr and Co Ltd buy land in 1937 and operate various quarries on hill.
    1960-65: Consent issued and Downer starts large-scale quarrying.
    The hill is significantly altered over next 15 years. Concerns about quarrying surface.
    Taieri County Council inquires as to how it can restrict excavation, but is told it is consented and there is little it can do, other than appeal to operator to stop.
    1966: Taieri resident R. Smellie writes to Minister for Lands, R. G. Gerard, who says Government can do nothing as property is in private hands.
    Early 1970s: Ministerial and government department inquiries ensue.
    1974: May, ”Save Saddle Hill Action Committee” formed. September, 4800-strong petition from Mosgiel community presented to Government asking it to buy and save the hill. November, Minister of the Environment concludes neither practical nor sensible for Government to save hill.
    1978: Quarry operated by Fulton Hogan full-time until 1986 and on as-needed basis until at least 2000.
    2002: Saddle Views Estate Ltd (SVE) buys the hill.
    2004: Blackhead quarries operates quarry.
    2006: DCC-owned company Delta takes it over and supplies rock for several Dunedin projects, including the new stadium. Hollands Excavation Ltd leases and operates lower quarry.
    2008: Mosgiel Taieri and Saddle Hill community boards ask DCC to investigate concerns of Taieri residents, who want shape of hill protected.
    2010: Delta contract ends. Tekapo Investments leases quarry and continues to operate it on a project-by-project basis. DCC can find no documentation on its files proving the quarry’s existing rights.
    2011: DCC seeks a declaration from Environment Court on existing use rights.
    2013: Environment Court decides no consent exists for quarry. SVE appeals.
    2014: November, High Court finds quarrying is consented. December, Community asks DCC to save the hill.

    Call to stop work
    The Dunedin City Council has been asked to apply for an urgent stop work order amid concerns quarrying of the lower hump of Saddle Hill could cause it to collapse.

  28. Elizabeth

    Mr Fisher said he was “more than frustrated” with the issue, for which, he said, the council was responsible.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Dec 2014
    Saddle Hill discussions set to move to next stage
    By David Loughrey
    The court process over quarrying on Saddle Hill could be moving into another complex and lengthy phase, despite a Dunedin City Council decision not to appeal a recent High Court judgement confirming the quarry owner has consent for its activities. […] But that meant the council and quarry owner Saddle Views Estate were back in discussion, trying to reach agreement on what the conditions of the consent – including how much material could be taken from quarry – were. If that did not work, it would be back to the Environment Court so it could make a decision.
    Read more

  29. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 11 Feb 2015
    Quarry mediation
    By Vaughan Elder
    The Dunedin City Council expects to carry out a second round of mediation over quarrying of the lower hump of Saddle Hill. The mediation with quarry owner Saddle Views Estate Ltd comes amid concern from parts of the Taieri community over continued quarrying of the hill. A petition to ”save” the hill has attracted at least 2500 signatures since December.
    Read more

  30. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 17 Feb 2015
    Saddle Hill legal dispute set to continue
    By Vaughan Elder
    A fight over the future of quarrying on Dunedin landmark Saddle Hill is likely to return to the courts after mediation efforts failed. This comes as Saddle Views Estate Ltd director and quarry owner Calvin Fisher pushes a plan to return the hill to its ”former glory” by re-filling it, which he says has attracted little interest from Dunedin City Council.
    Read more

  31. Elizabeth

    The Dunedin City Council rejected a recommendation to relax restrictions on the quarry’s owners.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 19 Feb 2015
    Saddle Hill issue to return to court
    By Vaughan Elder
    […] At an extraordinary meeting yesterday, councillors voted in favour of leaving the decision on resource consent conditions up to the Environment Court after no agreement could be reached with quarry owner Saddle Views Estate Ltd. However, they voted against a staff recommendation to increase the area which could be quarried on the lower part of the hill.
    Read more

  32. Elizabeth

    ### February 19, 2015 – 5:40pm
    Questions linger over Saddle Hill quarry
    A four-year debate between the Dunedin City Council and a local company over quarrying at Saddle Hill is still raging. An extraordinary meeting of the council has seen a number of different options looked at. And as the council refers the matter back to the courts, big questions over the quarry linger.

  33. Calvin Oaten

    Try this: In today’s ODT one L. McConnell writes, suggesting that the DCC’s plans for a South Dunedin library might be a step too far with recent developments in E reading, ease of transport into the central library, and the parlous state of the city’s finances.
    Mayor Cull replies: “The Dunedin City Council’s coffers are not in a parlous state and we are keeping within our financial strategy of having debt below $230 million by 2021.” Can you believe that? He conveniently (or is too obtuse to know) forgets that the city’s ‘consolidated’ debt covering its full gambit of activities, is in excess of $230 million.
    He then goes on to explain: “The south Dunedin complex is part of the DCC’s Long Term Plan and I welcome public feedback when the document is released in March.”
    Next to Cr Thomson he would be the biggest financial ‘boob’ in the building.

    • What about the bloody book buses. They are saturated with service – 3 or 4 locations out there. So we have convoys of empty busses at frequent intervals coming to an empty central library and a network of cycleways planned for the lame halt and blind to use. And he wants this as well on your dime. Long Term Plan – God help us.

  34. Elizabeth

    ### February 25, 2015 – 7:02pm
    Your word on Saddle Hill quarrying
    The Dunedin City Council has asked the Environment Court to intervene in a debate about quarrying on Saddle Hill. The council wants the court to set conditions of consent, to protect the hill’s ridge-line, before quarrying can resume. So our Word On The Street team asked members of the public if they think quarrying on Saddle Hill should be allowed.

  35. Elizabeth

    Environment Court Judge Jon Jackson has ruled the company quarrying on Saddle Hill must not alter the profile of the ridge line, in the meantime. The Dunedin City Council applied for an interim order, after the High Court ruled Saddle Views Estate Ltd had a resource consent to quarry on the hill. […] Judge Jackson, in documents released yesterday, ruled just because there was consent, that did not mean quarrying could go on without limitation. He made the interim order to allow a considered response from the applicant, and applications from the council.
    ODT 4.3.15, In brief (page 3)

  36. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sun, 15 Mar 2015
    Saddle Hill skyline protected, man recalls
    By Vaughan Elder
    A Dunedin man believes he has the answer to a mystery at the centre of a decades-old dispute over quarrying on Saddle Hill. The conditions of a resource consent allowing quarrying on the lower hill remain a bone of contention, because the consent – which the High Court ruled last year most likely existed – has been lost. However, Bill Rolfe (72) believes a memory of the conversation he had with his lawyer father, Fred Rolfe, more than half a century ago sheds light on what was in the consent.
    Read more

  37. Elizabeth


    Complaint to the council from member of the public.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 10 Apr 2015
    Quarry operator faces hearing over breach
    By Chris Morris
    An Otago Peninsula quarry operator found to be digging beyond his boundary faces a public hearing to determine the future shape of the operation. The Papanui Inlet quarry operation, headed by Peninsula resident Steve Clearwater, was found to be in breach of its existing consent following an inspection by council staff early last year.
    Read more

    • Paul

      There is a story about Steve Clearwater. A few years ago one of his trucks rolled while supposedly stationary and killed a man. This happened on the same peninsula.
      There was a police investigation and nothing happened by way of consequences. This left the victim’s widow and son devastated.
      Now this.

  38. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 29 May 2015
    Saddle Hill consent revisited
    By David Loughrey
    The owners of the Saddle Hill quarry and the Dunedin City Council were back in court yesterday, combing over minutes from council meetings from half a century ago to work out just who has permission to do what on the controversial site. […] They included a return to documents from the 1960s and 1970s, when opposition to quarrying by former owners and operators surfaced.
    Read more

  39. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 30 May 2015
    Quarry question rests with court
    By David Loughrey
    The future of what quarrying is allowed at Saddle Hill, in Dunedin, is in the hands of the Environment Court, after both the quarry owner and the Dunedin City Council argued their cases. Saddle Views Estate counsel Trevor Shiels QC spent the second day of a hearing yesterday arguing there were no conditions on the quarrying, and the owners had consent to quarry the entire site. Dunedin City Council counsel Michael Garbett responded by arguing the council had called on the court to decide the extent of conditions and the scope of the quarrying, and the court had the jurisdiction to do so.
    Read more

  40. Elizabeth

    ### July 16, 2015 – 5:50pm
    Petition over the future quarrying of Saddle Hill delivered to DCC
    A petition of more than 3,000 signatures has been delivered to the Dunedin City Council. It calls for action over the future quarrying of Saddle Hill. And the local MP behind it is hopeful of a positive outcome.

  41. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 18 Jul 2015
    Saddle Hill petition presented
    By Craig Borley
    Another chapter in the saga of Saddle Hill’s protection from quarrying was written this week, with the presentation of a 3500-signature petition to the Dunedin City Council. The petition, started by Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran last December, was presented to Mayor Dave Cull on Thursday.
    Read more

    Petition: “Appeal to the Environment Court for an immediate Stop Work Order on the quarrying of Saddle Hill”, and to “work alongside the Saddle Hill community to initiate discussions on the future protection and ownership of Saddle Hill as a unique landmark”.

  42. Elizabeth

    ### July 29, 2015 – 7:29pm
    Portobello quarry faces opposition
    A controversial consent application to expand a local quarry is drawing public opposition.


    Notified Resource Consent Application

    Increase area of operation – 78 Cape Saunders Road – LUC-2006-370881/B
    Closed: 04/05/2015

    Application description
    A variation via section 127 of the Resource Management Act is sought to authorise an increase in the extent of area subject to the excavation associated with an existing quarry operation on the site. A change to the main vehicle ingress and egress point is also proposed, along with associated mitigation measures.
    The site is zoned Rural under the District Plan and is within the Peninsula Coast Outstanding Landscape Area. The proposal is assessed as a discretionary (unrestricted) activity under the District Plan

    The submission period for this application has closed [40 submissions received], and a hearing/decision is pending.

    █ Read Submitter Evidence documents, Application documents and Applicant Evidence documents here:

    █ Hearing Date: [30 July 2015, morning start]
    Date Applicant Evidence Due: 16 July 2015
    Applicant Evidence Supplied: Yes – received and published
    Date Submitter Evidence Due: 22 July 2015
    Submitter Evidence Supplied: Yes – received and published

  43. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 30 Jul 2015
    Fears for Otago Peninsula hill
    By Chris Morris
    A quarry operator accused of flouting rules on Otago Peninsula could seek to remove a hill overlooking Papanui Inlet, neighbours fear. Steve Clearwater Contracting, headed by peninsula resident Steve Clearwater, has been accused by Dunedin City Council staff of showing “contempt” for rules designed to restrict his quarry’s operation.
    Read more

    ODT: Damage horrifies Geary

  44. Elizabeth

    ### July 30, 2015 – 7:47pm
    Portobello quarry getting residents riled up
    The environmental impact of a local quarry is getting Portobello residents riled up. A two-day application hearing for a resource consent variation is under way at the city council. And it highlights concerns from residents most affected by the operation.

  45. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 31 Jul 2015
    May need new consent, quarry hearing told
    By John Gibb
    A “catch-22” legal problem involving a quarry on Otago Peninsula means all parties, including the applicant and many submitters, may have been wasting their time attending a consent hearing. That possibility was raised at a Dunedin City Council planning hearing yesterday by Auckland lawyer Tony Woodhouse, appearing for Megan Bardell and Graeme Granger, who live near the quarry, which overlooks Papanui Inlet.
    Read more

  46. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 1 Aug 2015
    Quarry hearing adjourned
    By John Gibb
    Independant commissioner Andrew Henderson has adjourned a Dunedin consent hearing to consider legal issues linked to a quarry overlooking Papanui Inlet in a “treasured ancestral landscape”. Mr Henderson, of Christchurch, said yesterday he would consider legal issues over how to proceed with an application, on behalf of the quarry operator, to vary conditions in an earlier 2007 consent, involving the quarry on Otago Peninsula.
    Read more

  47. Hype O'Thermia

    I’m bitchin’ buggered and bewildered why defying conditions can earn ANYTHING other than piss off, don’t ask again. And by the way – remediate.
    Being allowed to cause permanent change to something that can’t be fixed – I mean, it’s not like painting a building a naff colour or sticking an oversized sign onto it – and then apply for some more permission that by previous form ain’t likely to mean diddly – why bother? Why have permits, applications and all that fol-de-rol, unless they’re make-work schemes for people who can’t operate heavy machinery. Let’s just say to one and all, go for it, first in gets to plunder the best resources.
    Ready, set… destroy!

  48. Elizabeth

    ### Mon, 21 Sep 2015
    Resource consent amendments declined for local quarry
    An independent commissioner [Andrew Henderson] has declined a local quarry operator’s application to amend his existing resource consent. Steve Clearwater wanted to expand his quarrying operation at Cape Saunders Road, near Papanui Inlet. He also sought retrospective approval for breaching conditions of his original consent. The commissioner declined Clearwater’s application after hearing from concerned Otago Peninsula residents and visiting the quarry. Clearwater can still operate the quarry under his original consent, which is likely to be subject to more rigorous monitoring by the council.
    Ch39 Link [no video available]

  49. Elizabeth

    If Mr Clearwater decided to appeal, he would find a bevy of opponents and Mr Geary would be one of them.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Sep 2015
    Quarry expansion plans scuttled
    By Craig Borley
    Controversial expansion plans for an Otago Peninsula quarry have been declined by an independent commissioner, but quarrying will continue on the site. The Geary’s Hill quarry, overlooking Papanui Inlet, was last year found to have breached many of its 2007 resource consent conditions. […] The council had accepted it had been deficient in monitoring the 2007 consent.
    Read more

  50. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 16 Oct 2015
    Saddle Hill work spurs concerns
    By Craig Borley
    Construction of a new sediment pond and waterway on Saddle Hill has raised concerns quarry operators are flouting a court order banning activity that affects the hill’s ridgeline. […] Saddle Hill resident Dr Colin Mackintosh said work started last week included “carving a new road” in front of the quarry “and clearly altering the skyline”.
    Read more

  51. Elizabeth

    Clare Curran and Scott Weatherall in same Stupid category.

    Wed, 25 May 2016
    ODT: Quarry owner challenges Curran
    Dunedin South MP Clare Curran has been accused of attempting to interfere with judicial process over an Environment Court decision on the future of quarrying on Saddle Hill. Saddle Views Estate Ltd director and quarry owner Calvin Fisher said a letter a local MP – later confirmed to be Ms Curran – sent to the court amounted to her attempting to “influence a judge prior to a hearing” and was “reprehensible”.

  52. Gurglars

    Clare Curran makes enormous sense in South Dunedin and then jams foot fairly and squarely into mouth with inappropriate letter.

    Quite a lot of South Dunedin politicians seem to have a mouth insertion problem. One or two will remember Benson-Pope’s prior activities, and now Clare Curran.

    As to Saddle Hill, am I the only reader who is concerned by the inability of DCC employees to find quarry permits, despite Elizabeth’s best efforts to train filing clerks! Perhaps one of the problems is that one can hardly pay a competent file clerk $250,000 a year and call them a “Paper and letter sorter and processing Team Leader” when all one requires is a smart young person intent upon easy retrieval within one hour of a sensible request!

    When a bureaucratic system requires a Chinese wall, a 4 day delay in provision of simple information and an obfuscation degree, a competent filing clerk is in fact a liabilty and would decrease management salaries.

  53. Elizabeth

    Wed, 1 Jun 2016
    ODT: DCC ‘cautiously optimistic’ after Saddle Hill decision
    The Dunedin City Council is “cautiously optimistic” quarrying at Saddle Hill will cease following an interim Environment Court decision stating there are limits to how much can be excavated. […] The dispute has run through various courts and has attracted public anger since the 1960s. Concerns have centred on the loss of the profile of the prominent landmark.

    • More in tomorrow’s Otago Daily Times.
    [It appears there is evidence that the quarry has excavated beyond the allowable limit.]

  54. Hype O'Thermia

    Excavated beyond the allowable limit? As if.
    Evidence? How careless.

  55. Elizabeth

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Interim decision on Saddle Hill quarry

    This item was published on 01 Jun 2016

    The Environment Court has issued an interim decision on the Dunedin City Council application for a declaration about the Saddle Hill quarry.
    The Environment Court has invited the parties “to make submissions on the issues, on the evidence relevant to them, and on a more accurate declaration as to the extent of the 1960 consent”. The Environment Court has also included some issues the parties should cover.
    DCC General Manager Services and Development Simon Pickford says the DCC is pleased to have the opportunity to make further submissions. It is hoped that step will be enough for the judge to issue a robust decision.
    “The DCC is representing the community in this issue and the community has made it very clear it wants the ridgeline protected. It has been our consistent view that we have wanted clarity around the quarrying rights in respect of Saddle Hill. This interim decision indicates there are limits around the quarrying rights. This gives us a good opportunity to further refine what we think are the limits.”
    Mr Pickford says the interim decision is comprehensive and addresses some challenging legal matters. The DCC is considering the decision and will then decide how to respond. All responses have to be with the Environment Court by 29 July.
    Contact Simon Pickford, General Manager Services and Development on 03 477 4000.

    DCC Link

    Thu, 2 Jun 2016
    ODT: Decision could stop Saddle Hill quarrying
    All quarrying on Saddle Hill could be stopped, an interim decision by the Environment Court suggests. The decision, released to the Otago Daily Times late yesterday, suggests a 1960 consent for quarrying on the lower of Saddle Hill’s two humps, Jaffray Hill, “has no ongoing effect” and work should have ceased over 50 years ago. The finding also suggests the consent was likely limited to excavating 100,000cu m of rock for the building of Dunedin Airport, at Momona, and the limit appeared to be a “fundamental extent” or “essential term” of the consent and would have been exceeded.

  56. Elizabeth

    Wed, 27 Jul 2016
    ODT: Quarry firm queries trial fairness
    The company behind quarrying on Saddle Hill is questioning whether it has been given a fair trial by the Environment Court. The issue was brought up in the High Court at Dunedin yesterday as Saddle Views Estate sought a stay in proceedings while it appeals an interim decision made by Judge Jon Jackson in the Environment Court last month.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “The company behind quarrying on Saddle Hill” won’t admit they’ve had a fair go till it’s Saddle Gully.

  57. Elizabeth

    The [Environment Court] decision, released on Thursday, concluded the consent was still not in force, and any future quarrying would be based on existing use rights. –DCC chief executive

    Mon, 17 Oct 2016
    ODT: Quarry owner plans appeal to High Court
    The owner of the Saddle Hill quarry is vowing to continue the fight — and the digging — despite an Environment Court declaration the hill cannot be completely removed. Saddle Views Estate Ltd director and quarry owner Calvin Fisher told the Otago Daily Times he was not surprised by the court’s stance, and  was already planning a High Court appeal. In the meantime, the company would continue to “quarry responsibly” while complying with an earlier interim ruling from the Environment Court, which limited the extent of the digging, he said. Cont/


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Saddle Hill quarry declaration

    This item was published on 15 Oct 2016

    The Dunedin City Council (DCC) has welcomed the three declarations made by the Environment Court on the Saddle Hill quarry.

    After being petitioned by local residents to protect Saddle Hill’s iconic ridgeline several years ago, DCC sought a court ruling on the extent of Saddle Views Estate Limited’s right to quarry at Saddle Hill, so that any sale value of the hill could be determined.

    The Environment Court has now made three declarations. The first relates to the 1960 consent being limited to the purpose of supplying approximately 50,000 cubic yards of rock for the construction of the airport at Momona. The second declaration decides that the 1960 consent is no longer in force. The third declaration about whether quarrying is now authorised says this depends on whether quarrying was an existing use in 1970. This third declaration circles back to DCC’s long held position that any current right to quarry relies on existing use rights and cannot expand and go beyond the existing quarried area, and therefore protects the hill’s saddle-shaped outline.

    DCC Chief Executive Officer Dr Sue Bidrose says the DCC is pleased about the clarity offered by the most recent decision.

    “Through this entire process, we have simply sought a determination on the conditions that limit quarrying activity on the hill. We have had two judgements now that the hill cannot be quarried to the ground, and in fact that no consent now exists for unlimited quarrying, which has always been our position.”

    In 2011 the DCC made an application for a declaration that the extent of any quarrying rights did not go beyond the current quarried area. The Environment Court decided in 2013 that there had never been a consent. However, this decision was overturned by the High Court in 2014. The High Court then instructed the parties to meet and try to agree what the conditions of the consent were.

    The two parties were unable to agree on these conditions regarding the extent of the quarrying right. The DCC then applied to the Environment Court to establish the terms of the 1960 consent. A hearing occurred in 2015 with a final decision issued yesterday (13 October 2016).

    Saddle Views Estate Limited’s position has been that a consent exists for the quarry and that they have rights to quarry with very few restrictions. From that, they expressed a view that this placed a value on the hill into the millions of dollars. Although DCC had documentation of ‘consent’ being given, no copy of a consent was on file. This meant DCC had to ask the court to determine the limits of any such consent. The court has now determined the consent is not still in force, and the court stated ‘There is a resemblance to the Hans Christian Anderson story of “the emperor’s new clothes” about the existence of the 1960 consent.’

    “This ruling means that the hill is protected without costing the ratepayer millions of dollars. As a result of yesterday’s Environment Court decision it is clear that any consent that enabled expansion of the quarry in 1960 was limited to rock to construct Momona airport. Any other rights to quarry will be based on existing use rights,” Dr Bidrose says.

    There remains in place an interim enforcement order of the Environment Court preventing any quarrying outside the already quarried area and protecting the ridgeline.

    The DCC won’t be making further comment at this time.

    Contact DCC on 03 477 4000.

    DCC Link

  58. Gurglars

    If it wasn’t the scummy DCC and their “loss” of the consent, one could feel more safe in the judgement. As it is I have zero respect from This decision as a bureaucrats support bureaucrats take one for the boys!

    {Fixed 2 typos but your syntax is awash…what is your last sentence supposed to say, we can fix. -Eds}

  59. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

    Tue, 7 Mar 2017
    ODT: More court action on Saddle Hill
    By David Loughrey
    The dispute over the controversial Saddle Hill quarry will head back to court in June as the company behind the quarry appeals the latest decision in the long-running battle. Saddle Views Estate Ltd has listed five “errors of law” it says were made when the Environment Court came down with its decision last year. The decision found consent had been granted in 1960 to start quarrying Jaffray Hill to supply about 50,000 cubic yards of rock for the construction of Dunedin Airport, but also that the consent was no longer in force. That left the question of whether quarrying was still authorised, based on existing use rights, which depended on whether quarrying was an existing use in 1970. The company vowed then to continue to fight the Dunedin City Council to continue its operations. It appealed, and yesterday the council released the notice of appeal after a request by the Otago Daily Times. Cont/

  60. Elizabeth

    Big oops

    Thu, 4 May 2017
    ODT: Quarry upset at ‘bias’ after council mix-up
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin City Council contractors were told not to use rock from the Saddle Hill quarry, going against the organisation’s requirement to hold an open and competitive tendering process. The council said the decision was made by a staff member who mistakenly thought the quarry was not to be used, but Saddle Views Estate Ltd director and quarry owner Calvin Fisher said it was a continuation of 13 years of bias towards his company. Mr Fisher said the council needed an ethics committee to oversee its tendering process. The Otago Daily Times contacted Mr Fisher after hearing there had been communication on the issue between the two parties. Cont/

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