The Maori owners of many of the erosion-affected properties
at Te Rauone, near Dunedin, have proposed a solution they
hope will attract a larger Dunedin City Council investment in
a protective breakwater off the harbour beach.
Te Rauone Incorporation has written an open letter to
councillors saying it would take ownership of the groyne once
built, so the council would not have to worry about
maintenance or liability.
However, the group would like the council to contribute more
towards the groyne's construction.
Te Rauone Incorporation owns many properties in the area,
which are leased to long-term residents.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said he had not seen the letter, but
greeted the idea as a ''very constructive'' one, and said it
would be something councillors would have to decide in light
of budget deliberations and beside a staff review of the
situation, now being completed.
The issue of who pays for and then ultimately owns a groyne
has become a thorny one in the light of council seeking
further information about the possible implications of
ownership. Residents have been seeking a solution to the
erosion problem for more than 10 years, and say a groyne is
the best option, but are upset at what they say is continued
council stalling on a commitment.
Mr Cull said with no regulatory responsibility there, the
council's interest in the area was solely as a landowner of a
reserve that made up a portion of the erosion-affected
However, one of the reasons for the council's continued
questions about the plan, was why, as only one of the
landowners affected, it was being asked to take ownership of
the wall, he said.
He hoped the group would make a submission on the draft
annual plan when submissions opened.
The proposal would be considered alongside a staff report in
the matter, due in March.
At this stage it is proposed the council contributes a
maximum of $50,000 to the building of the wall. Mr Cull said
he could not think of a precedent where the council had paid
for something and then handed it over to someone else, but
could not see why that should not happen.
The letter, from the Te Rauone Incorporation's management
committee, said it was not happy with the council's initial
indication it would contribute only $50,000 to the building
of the wall. It said at least $95,000 was required.
The organisation had already offered to pay $95,000.
Te Rauone residents felt that, as ratepayers, they did not
get as much for their rates as city dwellers, and were just
looking for a helping hand, the letter said.
The group planned to meet in March and call on the more than
250 Maori owners to consider how the matter was progressing
and what action to take.