Dunedin City Council’s rock and its hard place

Other industry sectors deserve investment for the local economy to strengthen and diversify… and with this comes a shared responsibility for providing suitable, well located – and sustainable – business accommodation, infrastructure, access and amenity.

### ODT Online Wed, 23 Mar 2011
Fears for projects’ viability
By David Loughrey
Dunedin property developers fear a new city policy will make projects unviable and bring development to a halt. The result, they say, will be a flow-on effect throughout the industry, suppressing business not just for developers, but contractors and tradespeople as well. Their response may be the formation of an association to fight the Dunedin City Council’s proposed “development contributions policy”, with a meeting planned for today.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Politics, Project management, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

29 responses to “Dunedin City Council’s rock and its hard place

  1. Peter

    Property developers are naturally in the business of making money. They see having to make an infrastructure contribution will cut into their profits. It’s a simple as that. Some alarmist story of future development being threatened sounds predictable – and premature.
    They seem to forget the council is deep in debt and needs money. These extra charges sound like a good way of returning some of that money back to the ratepayers by spreading the burden to the well off. No doubt many of these boys supported the stadium and other DCC debt loaded projects. Now it’s pay up time. So suck it up fellas.
    I’m curious to know who sent their lawyer to this meeting instead of facing up himself. Maybe a good reason. Maybe not.

  2. Phil

    I’m gotten sick and tired of Lloyd Morshuis using his father’s money over the years to ravage the North Taieri. Unchecked. Remember that this is the same guy who thought it perfectly ok to sell off all the houses in a new development, and then offer the last site to a McDonalds restaurant. So, hardly a man of the people. Making an obscene profit subsidised by the community is not a God given right.

    These developers might think they are being hard done by, but they should be grateful they have had it so easy for so long. Infrastructure contributions are standard worldwide, and it’s a pretty weak argument to try and hold on to an outdated principle. That is only in favour of one party. Here’s how it works in most European countries: A developer decides that they want to build a new subdivision. They apply to the local council. The council looks at the property market in the city and determines if there is sufficient demand for new housing. Nothing looks worse in a city than abandoned or neglected housing. They then look at the proposed site and see if it is in a suitable location, close enough to schools, public transportation etc. They also examine if a development in that particular area is going to work in synergy with their District Plan, and their vision for the future of the city. Remember what planners are supposed to do ? If all those boxes get ticked, the council buys the land from the developer. They could also buy directly from a landowner if they decide themselves that a new housing development is needed. The council then carries out all the infrastructure work themselves on the site. They form the roads, put in all the piped and cabled services to each lot, landscape the area, erect street lighting. They also upgrade any communal infrastructure, sewer mains, treatment plants, substations, bus stops etc, to cope with the demands of the new subdivision. Once all that has been completed, they sell the fitted out subdivision to a developer who will build the houses. For a price which includes all the work they have carried out. So the developer pays for the infrastructure. That’s standard practice.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 25 Mar 2011
      Fury mounting at proposed levy for developers
      By David Loughrey
      A second meeting of Dunedin property developers yesterday attracted twice the number of the first, and there was no decrease in the dire warnings espoused. The meeting, at the Mosgiel Public Library, followed another on Tuesday at which developers said a new Dunedin City Council development contribution policy would make projects unviable, bring development to a halt, and suppress the construction industry.
      Read more

  3. James

    It seems rather telling that there is another school merger within the established city limits on the cards. Could it be that the children that might have attended that school are now living in more recently developed areas?

  4. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 29 Mar 2011
    DCC agrees to postpone development policy process
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin developers have the postponement they called for in developing a policy expected to raise Dunedin City Council charges for their projects. The council yesterday agreed to delay hearings on the draft developments contribution policy until July, following noisy criticism from developers.
    Read more

  5. Anonymous


    It should be obvious from this who owns Council.
    I had a run-in with one illustrious Old Boy this week. Not a pleasant experience.

  6. Peter

    Yes, quite. Developers, as a pressure group, apply pressure and the councillors concerned back off.It seems such a levy is common place elsewhere. It seems fair enough too. Obviously the spadework has been done by the DCC person mentioned in the article. These developers obviously just want to maximise profit.
    Intrigued by your run in with your Old Boy. Tell us more.

  7. Russell Garbutt

    Chris Laidlaw referred to the Tartan Mafia in at least one of his National Radio sessions. Do you want a headless horse in your bed?

    The best thing to do is to expose these sods. Exposure makes their power pointless.

  8. Peter

    So has Murray Deaker and Tim Shadbolt, who have both referred to the ‘Tartan Mafia’, as the Old Boy Network is ‘affectionately’ named here.
    I agree with Russell. Exposure is the best antidote – as long as you have your evidence tightly compiled.
    You do hear ‘rumours’ about individuals, but until you know for sure it’s best to keep your mouth shut. Personally, I don’t have any evidence of criminality concerning individuals who could conceivably be identified as members of the Tartan Mafia. You can usually draw your own conclusions about the honesty of some individuals by the way they behave in civic affairs. That’s usually enough for most people.
    Fortunately, such an entity as the TM is inevitably riven by factions where greed takes over and they are disloyal to each other by dobbing the other side in – especially when someone else misses out. This, optimistically, can be a check on dirty dealing in the longer term. As yet we, in Dunedin, haven’t reached the situation of the Moran Family in Melbourne who have taken to killing each other off in cafes in broad daylight. Not good if innocent people get caught in the crossfire. Otherwise – no loss.

  9. Elizabeth

    NOT FOOLED. I’m sorry Dunedin Property Developers you don’t qualify for any protection at resident and ratepayer expense. The Council is acting responsibly in raising your development contributions.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 7 Apr 2011
    Property developers answer call to arms
    By David Loughrey
    A new association to fight for the interests of property developers was formed in South Dunedin last night, following Dunedin City Council moves that have galvanised the profession in opposition. More than 40 people filled a room at the Otago Southland Employers Association, after the meeting was called by developer Tom Richardson.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 13 Apr 2011
      Subdivision fee may hit single properties
      By David Loughrey
      The cost of subdividing a single Dunedin property could soon blow out to many times the current level, with one homeowner facing a possible $20,000 council fee to split his property into two. As the debate over the Dunedin City Council’s development contributions policy develops, it has become clear owners of single properties could be hit with the same proposed fee increases that have angered property developers. Building industry figures say the effect could be to price sections out of reach, leaving idle land otherwise ripe for development.
      Read more

  10. Phil

    I’m sorry, but isn’t a property owner who is splitting his property in two, also a developer ? 99% of people who are doing that are doing it purely to make a profit, so it’s only fair that they should pay the true cost for doing so. As the larger developers will have to. I don’t really see the justification for all the grizzling.

  11. anonymous

    I too am sick and tired of Lloyd Morshuis using his not-yet-inherited money to ravage North Taieri. Why shouldn’t he (and other developers) have to pay infrastructure fees on their subdivisions?

  12. Anonymous

    Mr Morshuis will learn from Noah in the years to come: do not build on flood plains.

  13. Elizabeth

    Hark. Was that LM ?

    {Moderated. -Eds}

  14. None your business

    It appears Sir that you are a bit misinformed. I would suggest that you review your facts before prosecuting a local entrepreneur with your slanderous word. Do you know anything about this family? Obviously not, or you would know this young man you speak of, has built his business without the help of anyone other than himself, his intellect, and his wife’s support. If you had checked the title records, you would find that Lloyd did not own this lot you speak of. In closing, I would find it a bit imprudent to assume the actions of one’s Families would reflect upon any one member’s accomplishments and/or failures.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    OK, so now returning to the question, why shouldn’t he (and other developers) have to pay infrastructure fees on their subdivisions?

  16. Phil

    Give me a break Lloyd. It’s your father who made the money you’re using, through his timber yard business. If it were not for the family funding you would not be in the position to finance your ventures and your supportive wife would not be able to spend all day riding her horses. Credit where credit is due.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 30 Sep 2011
      Subdivision approved
      By Chris Morris
      A new residential subdivision on the outskirts of Mosgiel, has won approval from the Dunedin City Council. Morclarke Developments (2009) Ltd, headed by director and property developer Lloyd Morshuis, has been granted resource consent by the council for the development at 183 Wingatui Rd.
      Read more

  17. Anonymous

    The influence that Mrs M has on the building programme is to insist on a stable at each new house.

  18. Lloyd M

    I am pleased that you are so interested in what I do, not so nice to see it getting personal….
    Elizabeth please do not mention my godfather as he is dead and no longer hairy.
    And no I am not “None your business”, but I did like the comments!

    As Hype O’Thermia has stated back to the question. It would pay for some of you to look up the current development contributions at DCC. I develop in Mosgiel East and [as] such already pay developer contribution. If you care to look at 2010/2011 fees it was a little over $15,000 plus gst per site, that has been reviewed and 2011/2012 fees are around $12,000 plus gst per site. This review was done by the planning department. Also, all the developers of the same area paid for the upgrades of sewer lines from Centre Street to Rentons Rd, at no cost to DCC. As it shouldn’t be DCC’s cost anyway; as it was for the use of future development, and those costs have to be calculated in developers’ viability figures not DCC’s.
    I personally am not opposed to Development contributions, it should be set to a level of justified costs that are relevant to the particular development. As it is for certain areas around Dunedin – including commercial sites.
    There also seems to be some misconception on how the development process works. Firstly, it has to be approved by DCC by either building in pre-zoned places or applying for resource consent and then you can all have a say. All plans, services, and designs of whatever size subdivision have to be approved, as well by various departments of the DCC. All the infrastructure costs relating to that development are paid for by the developer, not the DCC; then the new services installed (this includes roads in some cases) are then given to the DCC.
    The DCC then takes formal possession and collects rates.

    {Elizabeth’s comment has been moderated. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 26 Oct 2011
      New policy prompts flood of consent applications
      By David Loughrey
      Dunedin property developers appear to be rushing to get approval for new subdivisions before expected rises in the price of applying for consents. The Dunedin City Council has received more than 100 resource consent applications in a month for the first time since the recession hit in 2008.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      {Comment relocated to this thread. -Eds}

      As reported this week, a heap of new subdivision applications received at DCC before the development contributions RISE.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Fri, 4 Nov 2011
        Council developer charge challenged
        By David Loughrey
        A new charge targeting property developers would do more than hit those developers in the hip pocket – it would suffocate development in Dunedin, and bring growth to a grinding halt, city councillors heard yesterday. A hearing on a draft development contributions policy was told by G.J. Gardner Homes Otago franchise owner Laurie Mains that the charge would cut deeply into his business, an argument backed up yesterday by developers, surveyors, property investors and others.

        Otago Property Investors Association representative Cliff Seque said the only real population growth in the city had occurred in Dunedin North, and was associated with the University of Otago.

        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Nov 2011
          Developers raise legal arguments
          By David Loughrey
          The finer points of the legal argument against a proposed new Dunedin City Council charge on developers began to emerge yesterday, the second day of hearings on the draft development contributions policy. The discussion preceded what is expected to be a much more detailed airing of that issue on Monday, when the group set up to oppose the charge will send its legal representative to take on the council.

          • For the Otago Chamber of Commerce, Barry Chamberlain concentrated much of his submission on the legal aspects. Mr Chamberlain said, legally, the council could only charge for facilities that were required because of growth. An example was the Forsyth Barr Stadium, which “absolutely” was not built to provide for population growth.
          • Cr Lee Vandervis said the stadium had been sold on the argument it would attract 1000 more students, and asked Mr Chamberlain if development contributions could legally be charged for that growth.
          • Mr Chamberlain said that under the law contributions could only be charged for “spare capacity for growth”. “I don’t believe the stadium passes that test.”

          Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Tue, 7 Feb 2012
        Brown seeks smooth path for subdivision
        By Allison Rudd
        A Dunedin city councillor subdividing his Mosgiel property has drawn on his local-body experience to try to reduce neighbourly tensions among residents. Cr Syd Brown, who plans to develop 212 sections on the 10ha property he and his wife, Shona, own, said covenants would cover the most common issues between neighbours – where trees could be planted, fence designs, building and landscaping standards, and where items such as trucks, caravans and campervans could be parked.
        Read more

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