The corner of Frederick St, Dunedin (left) and Anzac Ave
(State Highway 88) and the entrance to Doug Hall's
transport yard. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Dunedin City Council has been ordered to pay more
than $185,000 in costs following its botched handling of the
state highway realignment for Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The realignment of State Highway 88 prompted Doug Hall to
obtain a High Court injunction last year, after concerns over
access issues for his Anzac Ave-based transport business.
That action resulted in the council being ordered to pay
plaintiffs' costs of $79,524, expert fees of $95,605.26 and
disbursements of $10,489.77, in a High Court decision from
Justice Alan MacKenzie.
The plaintiffs, Anzide Properties Ltd, Hall Brothers Ltd, and
Dunedin Crane Hire (2005) Ltd, had raised safety concerns
about the configuration of the road, before its opening on
April 5 last year.
"The council has proceeded to build the road which affects
their properties and their businesses, in reliance upon a
decision of the council, which it has accepted was improperly
made," the decision noted.
"The road is, it seems, in place with no proper legal basis."
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said last night "it would be fair to
say council did not handle things in an ideal way".
"[The decision was] the cumulation of a process that started
with the development of the stadium, and the development of
SH88 was by any measure fast-tracked to accommodate the need
to have everything ready for the start of the Rugby World
Asked if heads would roll over the council's handling of the
saga, Mr Cull replied "No".
"I think things in hindsight could have been handled better
... Given the circumstances before the World Cup, there was a
lot of pressure to get things done in a hurry.
"A few things slipped, it's fair to say. At the time, council
did not make the best decisions, but they probably made it in
good faith, so that is the way it is."
He said "considerable efforts" went into trying to find a
solution for both parties.
Mr Cull, who did not know if costs had been paid, said
"no-one wants additional costs", but it was better to know
the costs now so the issue could be resolved.
"The important thing now is to find the best accommodation
that suits Mr Hall, the council and the community at the most
In June the ODT reported the council had spent
$300,000 on the roading dispute, with the final cost expected
to be much higher.
Mr Hall referred comment on the decision to his lawyer, but
echoed the same message as Mr Cull, that both parties were
working together to find a solution.
The decision noted the dispute dates back to 2007, after the
council developed a proposal for the realignment, and issued
a notice of requirement in June the following year.
Anzide was listed as an affected party, but in June 2010, the
council decided to realign the arterial route so it ran
adjacent to the affected land, but not across it.
"It did not notify any of the plaintiffs of its intention to
make that change. It now accepts that it should have done
so," the decision noted.
Temporary access proposed by the plaintiffs allowed them
partial use of the road, but restricted the full use of the
entire roading scheme planned for the new road, the judgement
Mr Cull, when asked for a timeframe in sorting out the road
layout and the still-switched off traffic lights, replied;
"as soon as possible".