The Dunedin City Council is set to square off against one
of its new councillors, Doug Hall, in the Environment Court
The council has asked the court to decide a long and
expensive land dispute between the council and Mr Hall, the
first time the stand-off has gone to the Environment Court.
Documents sent to the court last Friday outline the DCC's
belief that given a long history of litigation between it and
Mr Hall, an appeal on any decisions made by the council
It was more efficient and timely for everyone involved for
the Environment Court to consider the matter directly,
council chief executive Paul Orders said in a letter to the
court. Specifically, the council has asked the court to make
an order on two designations for part of the road near the
Forsyth Barr Stadium. The road will eventually be part of
State Highway 88.
Territorial authorities which require land for roads must
issue a notice of requirement so the land can be designated
for that purpose.
The council has recently issued a fresh notice of requirement
for land near the stadium, where a road was built in 2010,
after the designation in place was cancelled by the High
That followed a council admission it had not consulted Mr
Hall, an affected landowner, when it altered an original
designation to allow the road to go around his property, near
the intersection of Anzac Ave and Frederick St, instead of
through it as originally planned.
The change meant the council did not need to buy any of Mr
Hall's land, creating problems with safe access to his
The council, using an independent commissioner, would
normally sign off on such designations, which could then be
appealed to the Environment Court.
Mr Hall has indicated to the council personally, and in
submissions, he opposes the new designations.
In an affidavit to the court, council infrastructure and
networks general manager Tony Avery said it was clear to him
Mr Hall, who had opposed the designation throughout, would
continue to do so.
An appeal and therefore Environment Court hearing seemed
inevitable, so it was more efficient for the court to make a
decision. A date for the hearing, in Dunedin, will be set
later this year, and a court spokeswoman said the hearing
would almost certainly be next year.
Asked whether the council would continue to try to reach a
settlement with Mr Hall in the meantime, Mr Avery said the
council was always open to resolving the matter.
Mr Hall said he was looking forward to the hearing.
''I'll just sit and wait and see how it goes; that's all I
The dispute is likely to lead to a series of conflicts of
interest for Mr Hall in his role as councillor.
He and council staff are meeting today to discuss how those
will be handled.