Botanic garden's $6 million plan

Dunedin Botanic Garden curator Alan Matchett shows what the garden's new plant nursery will look like if the necessary resource consents are granted. Photo by Dan Hutchinson
Dunedin Botanic Garden curator Alan Matchett shows what the garden's new plant nursery will look like if the necessary resource consents are granted. Photo by Dan Hutchinson
The Dunedin Botanic Garden has applied for resource consent to shift a major part of its operation to the other side of Lovelock Ave in what would be a $6 million project.

The application for a facility to replace the ageing propagation and plant nursery was lodged yesterday and future plans for a visitor centre, cafe and lookout were also revealed.

Garden management staff propose demolishing the nursery and glasshouses, just above the aviary, and rebuilding where the Botanic Garden Centre is, on the other side of the road.

The long-term plans for the cafe, visitors' centre, viewing platform, potted vegetable garden, bus stops and car parking would rely heavily on fundraising.

The final resource consent application had to be scaled down to fit within the $6 million budget and that meant the current administration building and workshop would not be replaced.

Botanic garden curator Alan Matchett said the nursery was ''a dog's breakfast'', inconveniently laid out on several levels and occupied the area of the garden with the best views.

The new facility would be on just one level with high eaves and, although it would be an ''off-the-shelf'' type of structure, it would take care of the garden's needs well into the future.

Funding of $2.6 million was already included in the Dunedin City Council's 2012-13 budget and a further $3.4 million had been included in the draft annual plan for 2013-14.

Mr Matchett said the garden would be working with the Friends of the Garden on fundraising for the future plans.

In the meantime, provi-ded the garden received consent to move across the road, the old site would be cleared and planted in grass.

''We are taking out something that is right in the centre of the garden. You can see the skyline and city and up the Leith Valley. It will be incredible,'' Mr Matchett said.

The fall-back plan in case consent was not granted was to build on the same site but that was fraught with issues, including what to do with the thousands of plants that were there.

Council project manager Hamish Black said the propagation and plant nursery was a ''pretty critical asset in dire need of replacement''.

The Botanic Garden Centre will need to be demolished or moved to make way for the new facilities.

Traffic movement from the new buildings across Lovelock Ave to the main part of the garden was also covered in the resource consent application.

A soft screen of plants and solid fencing would also be constructed in the space between the new buildings and Lovelock Ave to create a ''soft edge''.

Botanical garden

I notice that some people are making comments re the amount of money the Botanical garden is discussing in regards to the changes they wish to do. They state in the article that it would mostly come from fundraising not from the tax payer. The botanical garden is a world renowned place people come from away to visit, and therefore help support Dunedin.

Financial Insanity

We can't afford the things the city needs, let alone the things it doesn't need.

Perhaps if the people proposing this took a 50% pay cut, we could afford something 1/100th the price. 

Otherwise it can be summed up in two words - financial insanity.

Gardens upgrade

Is this a joke? The city is on the verge of being bankrupt and you want to waste another 6 million at the gardens. This council should be spending no money on anything except urgent infrastructure until the city's finances are under control. Thanks to the new stadium, this would only take about 30 years, if the council can show any restraint. Yeah right.

Botanic Garden

I hold to the notion that cities are defined by the quality of their green space. For years the Botanic Garden, a very significant community asset enjoyed by the many, has been under-resourced and under-funded. Despite hardship, the reputation of the Garden has continued to grow. I'm not sure the Dunedin public is fully aware of all the functions undertaken by council staff, and others, associated with Garden business. But comes the time when garden production and skilled maintenance of public green space (at the Garden and throughout the city) requires replacement and upgrade of its supporting infrastructure. Budgetwise, I could be convinced the anticipated modest spend at the Botanic Garden is better value for money than the infrastructural cost of introducing 'cycleways' to our already navigable existing network of residential streets.

Gardens

Only 6 million bucks, a snip, cheap at half the price and that probably is half the price for something that again is not needed, but wait don't worry the already overburdened ratepayer will stump up again and again and again. How about using that much needed cash to sort the infrasructure of our city; ie roads, footpaths, gutters, drainage,water, Middle beach to name a few.

These people are going to have to realize pet projects are going to have to wait, most people are sick to death of the blatant money wasting in this city. Round-up should deal with that thousands of plants problem.

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Albert Town TavernWanakaTaverns
Eat-iblesQueenstownTakeaway Food
Disability Information ServiceDunedinCommunity Groups
Southtile OtagoDunedinRoofers