Council facing flood of stadium submissions

Peter Chin
Peter Chin
The Awatea St stadium may be the subject of 500 of the more than 800 annual plan submissions to the Dunedin City Council next week, but with the contract to build the project already signed, their relevance appears to have waned.

Mayor Peter Chin took a diplomatic stance yesterday when asked how the council would deal with the submissions.

"I have no particular view on it at the present time," he said.

The stadium submissions were sent before the council voted to sign a contract with Hawkins Construction and before the High Court dismissed an injunction attempting to stop it.

"I acknowledge things have moved on," Mr Chin said, but he did not know whether the submitters would turn up, or how councillors would respond.

"I will cross that bridge with the hearings committee when it arises."

The hearings are set to run from 9am to 8pm in what should be a gruelling week for all involved.

They begin on Monday morning with a submission from Chalmers Community Board member Nicola Bould on everything from climate change to the Dunedin-to-Port Chalmers cycleway, and end on Thursday with Mr and Mrs K. J. and J. E. Springthorpe, who are concerned about "a very big debt" for future ratepayers.

Along the way will be annual plan regulars from Sustainable Dunedin to the Chamber of Commerce and a host of individuals with an interest in council matters.

Apart from the stadium, cycleways are a popular subject, with more than 100 submissions.

As well, everything from social housing to stormwater; parking; energy efficient homes; libraries and public toilets will be discussed.

Of the 240 people wanting to be heard, 114 have signalled their opposition to the stadium, while just three are in support.

The council will also have to consider on Monday whether to include the 52 submissions that came in late.

Council governance support officer Jennifer Lapham said that was the number that turned up before counting stopped and they were "still coming".

There were only nine late submissions last year and she was unsure why there were so many this year.

One submitter, Russell Garbutt, raised his concerns with the Otago Daily Times and the council that he did not get an automated response to his online submission, and wondered whether other people's submissions had not been received.

Ms Lapham said there had been a problem with some people not filling in the forms correctly, but that had been dealt with by the council's webmaster.

"I would have been told if it was a major issue," Ms Lapham said.


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