The Dunedin City Council has until Friday to determine
whether it will make a decision on the controversial
designation of land for the realignment of State Highway 88
near Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium - or hand the
responsibility for the decision to the Environment Court.
To opt for the latter would be a first for the council, which
is both the authority requesting the land be designated, and
the authority that would require it to be designated.
It publicly notified the requirement for the land last month,
after a previous non-notified designation was quashed by the
court following the council's admission it had not followed
the proper consultation process.
The new road has been built, but final measures including
traffic lights have been in limbo while the designation issue
One of the affected landowners, Doug Hall, who is running for
the DCC, took the council to court to argue the original
designation was illegal because he was not notified as an
affected party, and sought an injunction stopping the traffic
lights from being switched on until the resolution of safety
issues at that intersection and around access to his property
as a result of the realigned road.
Affected parties, including Mr Hall, were consulted on the
new designation late last year, and again earlier this year
after the notification of the requirement was delayed while
negotiations with Mr Hall continued.
The realignment was originally to go through Mr Hall's
property, but was later changed to go around it, affecting
The normal process for a publicly notified designation
requirement would be a public hearing of the submissions
before the council.
Council senior policy planner Paul Freeland said an
independent consultant hired by the council would then make a
recommendation to the council, which would make the ultimate
decision on whether the designation, as notified, would go
However, it also has the option of referring the
decision-making directly to the Environment Court.
That would happen in cases where the decision was very
difficult for the council, it was expected to end up, via
appeal, in the Environment Court anyway, or the situation was
of national importance to the city or the roading network.
In that case, the council would send its recommendation to
the court. Submissions would be read and heard by the court
The council had never before sent a decision straight to the
Environment Court, Mr Freeland said.
Effectively, if an appeal was expected, a decision to send it
to the court directly would remove one layer of
decision-making for the council, and should remove one layer
of cost, too.
Mr Hall has already indicated publicly he would ''fight'' the
proposed designation as notified because it still did not
provide safe access to his property.
The council had received 13 submissions by Friday, the end of
the submission period. Submitters included the University of
Otago, Port Otago Ltd, the NZ Transport Agency, the Otago
Regional Council and several heavy transport companies among
• Submissions from companies owned by Doug Hall, one of the
parties affected by the realignment of State Highway 88 in
Dunedin, were received by the Dunedin City Council within the
statutory timeframe and will be included in the process for
designating the land for the realignment.
The submissions from Anzide Properties Ltd, Hall Brothers
Transport Ltd, and Dunedin Crane Hire (2005) Ltd were
received by deadline on Friday, but were not processed until