The New Zealand Transport Agency says value for money is its
overriding concern when sourcing roading materials.
That means a Saddle Hill Community Board call to stop using
material from the Saddle Hill quarry is unlikely to be
followed by action.
Community board chairman Scott Weatherall called on the
Dunedin City Council recently to stop buying metal from the
quarry to help prevent further damage to what he called a
Mr Weatherall made the suggestion as part of the board's
submission to the council's 2014-15 draft annual plan, where
he asked the council to ''stop all quarrying'' at the site.
Quarrying on Saddle Hill has been an issue since the removal
of material began in the 1950s.
The issue is before the Environment Court, which has ruled no
consent exists to quarry the hill, after the council sought
clarity on the issue.
Quarry operator Saddle Views Estate has appealed that
decision to the High Court, an issue which will be heard next
The council has said it does not buy material from the
quarry, although it does have ''numerous roading contracts
with various contractors'', some of whom choose to use
material from the quarry.
Infrastructure and networks general manager Tony Avery said
last month the council had no ability under New Zealand
Transport Agency rules to restrict where contractors got
their materials, as long as they met relevant technical
standards and come from a legal source, which the Saddle Hill
Questioned on its stance, New Zealand Transport Agency
southern agency planning and investment manager Ian McCabe
said any concern arising from a local authority requesting or
stipulating a certain provider not be used would centre
around whether or not it demonstrated, in making that call,
it had adhered to ''the principle of achieving the best value
for money for the investment''.
''We expect local authorities to obtain aggregate that meets
the appropriate specification from the source closest to
where the work is being carried out.''
The agency would be concerned if additional costs arose from
a council stipulating this could not happen for reasons other
than the source being unable to provide aggregate that met
the appropriate specifications, or because the contractor was
able to make additional savings from sourcing it elsewhere.
The agency had used aggregate from the quarry, most recently
in the Caversham Valley improvements project.
It sourced the material ‘‘based on the specifications for any
Mr Weatherall said yesterday he acknowledged the issue was
‘‘on hold'' until the court hearing next month, and that the
council was locked into some contracts.
But after the court process, the community board ‘‘would like
to see all quarrying stop on Saddle Hill'', he said.