The Dunedin City Council has signed off its new transport
strategy, but not before a final round of impassioned support
and last-minute criticism.
Councillors at Monday's marathon full council meeting voted
to accept the document, which is now called the integrated
transport strategy, to reflect the merger with formerly
separate pedestrian and cycling strategies.
The move came after a sometimes explosive hearing that saw
public support mixed with withering criticism from the Otago
Chamber of Commerce and one of the hearings subcommittee's
members, Cr Lee Vandervis.
Despite that, Cr Kate Wilson, chairwoman of the hearings
subcommittee that considered submissions on the draft
document, was full of praise for the results at Monday's
She said ''substantial changes'' had been made after the
subcommittee heard from 64 submitters, and thanked members of
the public for the ''passion'' they showed ''on both sides of
''I think it was a really good process to go through. We
didn't always agree, but we got there in the end. I think we
have come up with something that we should be proud of.''
Even the chamber now accepted the document because of some of
the changes made, she added.
Subcommittee member Cr Andrew Noone was also happy with the
results, saying the subcommittee had managed to work through
Others continued to express doubts, including Cr Vandervis,
who said he remained concerned despite the changes.
The strategy still lacked input from motorists and heavy
freight movers and was instead dominated by ''cyclists,
cyclists and more cyclists'', he claimed.
He reiterated claims of false assumptions underpinning the
strategy, which ignored the role of technology in transport
changes and instead advocated ''going back to pedal power''.
Cr Jinty MacTavish, another subcommittee member, disagreed,
saying the strategy was about choice, safety and resilience,
but also provided for freight, and claims it was anti-car
were ''completely unfounded''.
''Comments that have been made, that I'm tempted to call
histrionics, but I won't . . . I think it's unacceptable to
use words like that to describe our strategy.
''I think it's an eminently sensible and well-rounded
strategy,'' she said.
Cr John Bezett also worried about a lack of direct input from
significant partners, such as the University of Otago, which
left the council at risk ''of criticism that may be
He worried the council could repeat controversial changes to
inner-city parking made in the last council term, which
prompted an uproar at the time from businesses claiming there
had been inadequate consultation.
''I don't think there has been sufficient consultation [on
the transport strategy].
''We have got to go to people and say `look, this is
important, we want your views'.''
However, Mayor Dave Cull questioned whether the council was
to blame if other organisations chose not to submit, saying
there was little more that could be done short of
Deputy mayor Chris Staynes said his focus was on economic
development, but, despite that, he supported the strategy,
which would help make the city ''more livable''.
''It doesn't get in the way of economic development. It
creates a platform from which the city can grow.''
The strategy outlined planned improvements to the transport
network over the next 30 years, primarily aimed at improving
road safety, but also including everything from improved
public transport to new cycleway and freight initiatives.
Cr Wilson stressed individual projects would still need to be
considered and consulted on as they came up.
Councillors voted to accept the strategy. Cr Vandervis
recorded his vote against it.