If the Otago Regional Council decides to transfer its
public transport responsibilities to the Dunedin City Council,
its transport role in Queenstown could be up for discussion as
Tomorrow, the regional council will discuss whether its
public transport function fits more appropriately with the
Dunedin City Council and, if so, it will agree to approach
the city council with an offer to transfer the function and
its planning and operational functions, possibly by the end
of the year.
Its regional council finance and corporate director, Wayne
Scott, said in a report to be considered at tomorrow's
committee meeting the appropriate home for Dunedin bus
services had been discussed for some period and it was time
to formalise a conclusion to the question.
''Given the discussions and debates over a period of years,
it is considered that the councils should finalise their
views as to the most appropriate governance model for the
Dunedin public transport function.''
The regional council's public transport functions involved
planning and an operational role in contracting and
administering public transport services.
In addition to Dunedin's bus services, the council also
oversaw Queenstown's, although they were run on a commercial
''If the Dunedin passenger transport function was to be
transferred to Dunedin City, options for the Queenstown
passenger transport function should be explored, including a
similar function transfer to the Queenstown Lakes District
Council,'' Mr Scott said.
If the regional council was to transfer the services, Mr
Scott recommended its full planning, including the regional
public transport plan, and operational activities be moved to
the city council, not just one function or the other.
It would leave the regional council with continued
responsibility for the preparation and monitoring of the
overarching regional land transport plan as well as the
regional total mobility programme.
Positive aspects of a possible transfer to the city council
would be the direct integration of activities, such as
roading management, parking policies, street infrastructure
and urban development planning, with public transport, Mr
The financial implications of a transfer would result in the
city council having to collect transport rates, estimated to
be $3.2 million this coming financial year.
The regional council had a $10.2 million budget for
transport-related projects and a transport reserve of $4.2
million, which enabled the council to enhance and update
technology and infrastructure for bus services.
''It is estimated following completion of these planned
enhancements, a reserve balance of approximately $1.1 million
If both councils decided to go ahead with a transfer, the
timing needed to be considered as the procedure for doing so
was to be amended in the Local Government Act Amendment Bill
due to be enacted in May.
It would mean ''appropriate targeted consultation'' rather
than consulting through the annual plan or long-term plan
process, Mr Scott said.
Also to be considered was the need for the ORC's regional
public transport plan to be adopted by early 2015 and the
need for budgeting and resourcing the services to be included
in next year's annual plan processes.
''Again, this would point to an end-of-2014 timeline,'' Mr