The $100,000 cost to date for traffic barriers and signs
at the corner of Anzac Ave and Frederick St is lunacy, a
Dunedin city councillor says.
The barriers and signs were erected in 2012 after State
Highway 88 was realigned around Forsyth Barr Stadium,
affecting access to the yard of Hall Bros Transport.
A High Court judge agreed with Hall Bros owner Doug Hall, now
a city councillor, that the council had not consulted him
properly about the land designation for the realignment.
The judge quashed the original designation, meaning the
barriers had to stay put, and traffic lights at the
intersection stay off, until the dispute was resolved.
No agreement has been reached, despite multiple attempts in
the intervening two and a-half years, although a possible
solution involving the sale of the site to another party is
on the horizon.
The council has confirmed the barriers and signs have cost
ratepayers $100,020 (excluding GST) during that period.
That included hire of barriers and signs and the use of a
company to check the site twice a week and make any required
Transportation projects engineer Evan Matheson said the
option to purchase barriers, rather than hire, had been
discussed a few times over the past two and a-half years.
''It appeared that resolution [to the dispute] was possible
on a number of occasions, which would have meant our barrier
and other costs would have stopped, only for discussions to
stall or break down and the barrier hire costs to continue.''
There were 73 barriers on the site. They cost between $500
and $1100 each to buy, depending on their crash rating.
Averaged out, it would have cost about $58,000 (excl GST) to
buy them, compared with hire costs of $44,700 to date.
The cost for signs and management of the overall site - of
another $55,250 - relate mainly to the cost of hiring traffic
management company Traffic Management and Control Ltd to
check the site twice a week.
Council staff did not do that work themselves because they no
longer got involved with any physical work on sites, and
focused instead on design and management of projects.
Cr Lee Vandervis described the spending as ''utter lunacy''.
He recognised six months in that the dispute was going to
continue and urged staff then to buy barriers, he said.
''We've paid for them several times over. There's no way
we're ahead on what we could have bought them for. I tried to
get staff to look at that, but I've almost given up on
suggesting low-cost solutions, because they simply don't
He did not understand why council staff could not check the
The decision-making reflected a culture at council where
staff did not want to risk losing any budget or take any
liability for anything, he said.
Infrastructure services committee chairwoman Cr Kate Wilson
said she thought it was perhaps a situation where hindsight
She was sure staff were managing the situation in the most