DCC stewardship #FAIL —Tomahawk School (community asset)

Blog: Paul Pope on the Peninsula
My life and issues on the Otago Peninsula Community Board

Paul writes a new post
Waste Not Want Not – Tomahawk School

I’ve never liked seeing things go to waste. Especially when those things can be used again by someone else or redesigned for another purpose. It’s probably why I have a garage full of “junk” or as I like to call it “things that might come in handy one day”. Now I’m just talking about small stuff, nuts, bolts, door latches and bits of timber, but lately I’ve seen a much bigger issue of waste that has been frustrating Tomahawk for more than three years.

SONY DSCImage: Paul Pope

In 2012 the Dunedin City Council purchased the Tomahawk School site from the Ngai Tahu for $300,000. The school had been closed by the Ministry of Education in 2010 and the property sold by the Crown. The 2012 purchase by the Council was made as part of the Coastal Dune Reserves Management Plan process, creating a required level of protection for adjacent dunes. However, it appears that coastal protection was not the only reason for the purchase by the Council. It would be fair to say that those reasons have become considerably muddled. On one hand there is the thought that the land and school are a community asset. While on the other there was a view within Council that it was essential to buy the property to stop subdivision and consequent residential development on coastal land into 15 properties with 15 houses.
It gets worse, read on…. more photos

Media Stories
3.3.12 ODT: DCC buys school from Ngai Tahu
3.2.10 3News: School with no pupils forced to remain open

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Name, New Zealand, Ngai Tahu, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Pools, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, What stadium

17 responses to “DCC stewardship #FAIL —Tomahawk School (community asset)

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Sustainability, indeed!
    Community hubs, hmm.
    Importance of children learning to swim, uh-oh.
    Activity is important for all.
    Local people planting fruit trees and bushes. Community gardens. Come to the council to buy a worm farm, we care so much!

    Now let’s continue to waste this asset because when push comes to shove, hypocrisy rocks.
    Slogan time: “Dunedin, feckless city”.

  2. There’s a golden opportunity for the City Council to reconnect with a community that has largely been forgotten. They’ve lost their school and they’ve lost their representation on the Community Board. Now they stand to lose their school a second time through neglect. The loss of a school in any community often tears the heart out the area. It damages the traditional community communication that was once present around parents and supporters. By giving the school a new purpose there’s a chance that the community spirit can be rebuilt and energised. This won’t happen if people are locked out of both the building and the process to make it happen.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      With active encouragement from the DCC North East Valley has more community activities than you can shake a stick at. And they didn’t even have a ready-willing-and-able building, garden space and swimming pool. Tomahawk is beautiful, it could be the pride of Dunedin for “lifestyle” plus city life. Where’s the investment culture in this blasted city?
      Investment, I said. Not frittering money away – that culture has to go, sooner the better.

      There’s an election coming.

    • Calvin Oaten

      Breathe deeply Paul, first comes the Cricket lights $2m, then $17m plus for the Mosgiel Aquatic Centre, the saving of south Dunedin from ‘Sea Level Rise’ then and only then could Tomahawk be given a thought. And it would be only a thought. As a suburb it desperately needs some notables. I wonder if they somehow could induce Stuart McLauchlan to settle there.

  3. Gurglars

    Paul, Hang in there, The Tomahawk area is one of the most beauitiful areas of Dunedin, However it is clear that the DCC and its employees have invested in Maori Hill, so intelligent analysis of Ocean Beach will not be conducted except by you.

    However you are more credible than the 700+ employees of the DCC, you have passion, they have salary.

  4. Elizabeth

    Tomahawk residents argue their case for maintenance of site buildings and potential future use as community facility.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 16 Mar 2016
    Tomahawk interest in former school site
    By Timothy Brown
    The future of the decaying former Tomahawk School may finally be decided more than four years after the Dunedin City Council bought it for $300,000. The council’s community and environment committee [unanimously] approved an expression of interest on the site to assess community and private interest in the future of the former school.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      It’s a great shame the pool was left to deteriorate after OTT elfinsafety rules came in that made it impossible for the school to afford. Previously it had been a community pool, much like at Port Chalmers. This foolishness repeated all over the country can’t have anything to do with the number of children who don’t learn to swim, can’t have anything to do with the number of drownings….

      Retaining the rest of the Tomahawk school buildings for clubs and activities would be a boon not only for the immediate locals but for the area from, say, Musselburgh and St Kilda. For driving it’s on a par with central Dunedin and the parking would probably be better and cheaper, perhaps even free.

      • Elizabeth

        Pertinent points, Hype. DCC has a lot to answer for. However the local community have a less combative stance than my own. The point of their presentations to Community and Environment Committee was to not antagonise DCC about past decisions and inaction (including dereliction of the assets) – rather they wish to salvage something! Great.

  5. Elizabeth

    Sun, 22 May 2016
    ODT: Ideas for former school site wanted
    Four years after buying the Tomahawk School site, the Dunedin City Council will invite the community to contribute ideas on ways to use or develop the site. The expression of interest (EOI) process is expected to begin within a fortnight. And residents say work on the site cannot come soon enough.

  6. “At the time, the intention was to protect the dunes and subdivide some of the land to residential lots to recover some of the purchase price”.
    This is yet another example of the DCC claiming some funding source to justify projects, but the funding never turns up and ratepayers are left with the bill. Subdivision was also meant to help pay for Harbour Cone.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Yes, “the DCC claiming some funding source to justify projects” but it’s nothing new.
      Imelda Marcos’s shoes. Come on, she didn’t need that many for wearing. Shopaholics have permanent access to our wallets.

  7. Gurglars

    Hype was Imelda selling her shoes to the employees?

    That would explain the 550,000 hits on trademe😏!

    However it would implicate girls, women, transgender and cross dressers which is probably not P.C.

    Sorry to all those I’ve offended!

  8. Elizabeth

    Thu, 2 Jun 2016
    ODT: Ideas sought for former school site
    The Dunedin City Council is asking those with ideas for the use of the former Tomahawk School site to come forward. From Saturday, the council is calling for expressions of interest for the future use of the 1.6ha site at Ocean Grove. Proposals must be submitted by 4pm on Monday, July 18.


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Interest sought in former Tomahawk School site

    This item was published on 02 Jun 2016

    Do you have a bright idea to transform the former Tomahawk School site?

    █ From Saturday, the Dunedin City Council is calling for expressions of interest for the future use of the 1.6ha site at Ocean Grove. Proposals must be submitted by 4pm on Monday, 18 July.

    DCC Recreation Planning and Facilities Manager Jendi Paterson says, “We welcome any ideas for the site and see this as an exciting opportunity for the community to be involved.”

    Otago Peninsula Community Board Deputy Chair Paul Pope is pleased the process is underway. “It has taken several years to get to this point and now there is the opportunity for the Tomahawk/Ocean Grove community to engage with the Council through the consultation process. The Community Board is very keen for the community to express its various views on what the future of the site should be. We actively encourage people to get involved.”

    In 2010, the school was sold by the Ministry of Education to Ngāi Tahu. The DCC purchased the land and buildings from Ngāi Tahu in 2012. The site is not suitable for subdivision or resale, but contains a number of buildings that have the potential for community or commercial use.

    █ The public will be able to go through the former school buildings from 4pm to 6pm on Wednesday, 15 June and 10am to 12 noon on Saturday, 25 June.

    Ms Paterson says all proposals have to include:
    ● how the proposal will affect/enhance the environment
    ● how the proposal will be funded
    ● an approximate timeframe for the proposed project to be completed
    ● the potential benefits for the community and/or the local area
    ● whether the buildings and facilities will be retained or demolished.

    The site is part of the Ocean Grove Reserve. The reserve falls within an urban landscape conservation area in the District Plan. This means any development will have to take into account the natural landscape qualities and character of the area.

    Once the expressions of interest process has closed, the proposals will be assessed by staff and then presented to the Community and Environment Committee.

    █ For more details visit http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/consultation

    Contact Jendi Paterson, Recreation Planning and Facilities Manager on 03 477 4000.

    DCC Link

  9. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz Thu, 16 June 2016
    Former school’s future over to the public
    Residents are having their say about the future of a historic piece of land at Ocean Grove. The Dunedin City Council is calling on public submissions for what should be done with the former Tomahawk School site. But some in the area say the consultation is overdue.
    Ch39 Video

    • Thanks for adding this. Last night was the first opportunity for the community to see inside the building for more than three years. We had about 25 people come through, many with close affiliations to the school. I can only hope that the community will look strongly at the options of the land and buildings. As a $300k council owned asset the facility needs some sort of future.

  10. Elizabeth

    Thu, 15 Dec 2016
    ODT: Ex-school site offer to kindergarten
    The former Tomahawk School site appears likely to become a kindergarten, after a Dunedin City Council decision to approve a 20-year lease. The lease will be offered to the Anderson’s Bay Community Kindergarten, though its head teacher said yesterday the issue still had to be discussed at a committee meeting. […] Council recreation and facilities manager Jendi Paterson said the kindergarten was yet to sign a lease. Cont/

  11. Elizabeth

    As known for weeks….

    Decision not to take up lease made partly for financial reasons, and partly because another site in Jeffery St, by Andersons Bay School, came available.

    Wed, 12 Jul 2017
    Kindergarten withdraws interest in former school
    By David Loughrey
    Plans to find a use for the former Tomahawk School site are back to square one, after [Andersons Bay Community Kindergarten] that was to have moved there withdrew its interest. […] In December, the council approved a 20-year lease for the kindergarten […] The Dunedin City Council will now reconsider the future of the site, as well as two other community buildings in Ocean Grove, the domain hall and the sports club rooms at the recreational reserve. Cont/

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