The Dunedin City Council has agreed to provide $150,000
in the coming year's budget for investigations into a possible
council takeover of the city's bus service.
While it had originally decided the $300,000 needed to do the
work should come out of the Otago Regional Council's
transport reserve, yesterday it halved the amount on the
basis that a regional council ''in kind'' offer and possible
funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency would make up
Last week the ORC turned down the city council's request to
use the reserve, saying it was for operational rather than
governance purposes and instead offered its experienced staff
to assist the city council.
DCC chief executive Sue Bidrose told councillors at
yesterday's annual plan deliberations the ''in kind'' offer
was worth about $100,000 and when added to $150,000 in
council funding plus any contribution from the transport
agency, it would cover the cost of the investigations and
If the agency turned the council down, it would look at
reallocating funds from within its transport portfolio, she
The regional council had indicated it would not be using the
reserve to fund its contribution to the work either, she
Cr David Benson-Pope criticised the regional council's
decision, calling its definition of operational as ''arcane''
and saying that supporting the $150,000 was the least
Cr Neville Peat was also concerned the regional council
''could not see its way to help us'' more than just with
Cr Lee Vandervis said while he believed the city council
should take on the bus system, he did not think now was the
right time and it would only open the council up to more
Cr Kate Wilson said now was the best time to be doing the
work given it fitted in with next year's long-term plan and
road transport planning schedules.
While concerned about how the system would be rated for in
the future, the move would be for the betterment of the city.
''We need to at least explore this.''
Cr Vandervis asked for his objection to the motion to be