The Dunedin City Council says this groove (right) appeared
in the ridgeline of Saddle Hill in early September. Photo
by Craig Baxter.
A quarry operator has been prevented from removing any
more stone from the ridgeline of one of Dunedin's prominent
Environment Court Judge Jon Jackson has made an interim
enforcement order against Saddle Views Estate Ltd, after the
Dunedin City Council applied to the court last week to stop
immediately any quarrying on the ridgeline of Saddle Hill.
The order requires the skyline to remain unchanged until a
decision is made on an earlier application to the Environment
Court from council seeking a decision on what quarrying can
be lawfully carried out.
The council's original application for a declaration of the
company's quarrying rights - following the inability to
locate copies of consents - was lodged with the Environment
Court in 2011.
After various delays, it is now expected it will be heard in
The council applied for the injunction on skyline work on
November 6 after becoming concerned about a "distinctive
notch" it said had appeared on the ridgeline of the hill's
The council wants the hill's ridgeline protected as a
priority, and it told the court it believed work there was
outside the area where any previous quarrying rights might
It provided two affidavits to back up its application.
Contracting specialist Bob Knox said the notch in the profile
of Jaffray's Hill (the southern hump) had had an adverse
effect on the natural character of the feature.
Senior council planner Campbell Thomson said if no injunction
was in place, he believed further quarrying was likely until
the company's exact rights were determined by the court.
Saddle Views Estate Ltd's sole director is Calvin Fisher, a
union official with the major shareholder, the Amalgamated
Workers Union New Zealand.
Mr Fisher did not return calls yesterday, but the court order
noted the company opposed the application.
Mr Fisher was earlier reported as saying there had been no
impact on the hill's silhouette and he believed the council
was being over-zealous.
City councillor Colin Weatherall, who has been closely
involved in the process since the start, said the council was
pleased both that the enforcement was ordered and that the
hearing date had been brought forward from April next year.