DCC preparing waterfront plans

Dunedin's harbourside vision. Image: Architecture Van Brandenburg
Dunedin's harbourside vision. Image: Architecture Van Brandenburg
The Dunedin City Council is preparing the city's waterfront regeneration plans as it waits for a decision on a bid for a multimillion-dollar chunk of the Provincial Growth Fund.

Cabinet is expected to decide on the city's bid for a major allocation from the fund - understood to be $50million or more - later this month.

The funding, if approved, would pay for improvements to sea walls, earthworks and other work needed to ready Dunedin's waterfront for development.

In the meantime, the council was pressing on with early planning work needed to progress new public spaces, and access to them, on the waterfront.

Council community and planning group manager Nicola Pinfold said that "master planning" was focused for now on how the community could best be involved in helping shape the development of such spaces.

The council had already received plenty of public feedback and suggestions on what should feature on the waterfront, she said.

However, public consultation on plans for the area was still considered "critical" for the project, and was expected to be under way by mid-this-year.

She hoped that would involve a more "active, collaborative process" approach, like the public workshops used early in the development of the central city upgrade plan, to contribute ideas, she said.

"That's an exercise we will be doing with the community ... making sure the public spaces have full access and meet all the desires of the community - making them real people spaces.

"That's kind of one of the principles of regeneration, making a place accessible and then there being something to do when you're down there."

The waterfront project has already received $820,000 from the $3billion Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to pay for a feasibility study and business case.

A memorandum of understanding, committing to support the project, has also been signed by the DCC, University of Otago, Port Otago and Ngai Tahu, as well as Damien van Brandenburg and businessman Ian Taylor, who first floated the concept.

The council has also committed to building a $20million, architecturally-designed pedestrian and cyclist bridge to the waterfront, beginning later this year, and the idea of a smaller "metro-style" playground, in the vein of Christchurch's Margaret Mahy Playground, has been suggested as an early attraction.

Ms Pinfold did not want to be drawn on the merits of the playground concept for now, except to say it was an example of ideas from public input.

Open-air events, or Port Otago's removal of old sheds on the northern side of Steamer Basin, to make room for public fishing access, were other examples of attractions that could bring people into the area quickly, she said.

The council also planned to work with Ngai Tahu, as a key stakeholder, to ensure any development reflected the cultural significance of the area and its importance to iwi, she said.

The transformation had already begun, with Port Otago's work on new public fishing access, and progress would continue, she said.

"We've made a commitment to the waterfront. We're hoping, from now, we can start making it more of a people place."


 

Comments

Despite the extremely fast public consultation being claimed to be 100% favorable shortly after this project was first brought to public attention ( and remarkably swiftly followed by council budget allocation) there were plenty of speakers at the oral submissions to the DCC Annual Plan who were critical of this project and did not think it a high priority.

I doubt that residents of Dunedin have really had time to think about whether this project is good for the city or not, regardless of the ‘free’ government funding involved. From the AP submissions, the oral ones, at least, I suspect that if given a choice many Dunedin residents would prefer public money to be spent on better, cheaper public transport. And this includes climate change activists, who characteristically advocate for better public transport as a key climate change adaptation strategy.

Oh good grief DCC. One branch is busy planning the withdrawal from south dunedin while another is planning a grandiose building spree on low lying, reclaimed land. Sigh.

Putting a kids' playground in probably Dunedin's most consistently windiest spot is not a justification of a bridge to no-where. Parents/kids who are brave enough to use it will drive there- no one lives in that area.

DCC appears to have 'pledged' this bridge to someone on zero economic or practical grounds- not for ratepayers anyway.

Dun Vegas. Ostentacious, frivolous, wasteful, unnecessary. Scamming and gimmicking. Banks/finance/debt and construction companies will benefit again.
Very windy, it will be empty in autumn winter spring. Sterile and empty and then mouldy. It will ruin the view from the higher suburbs, that flashy, eye-catching, Sydney Op House rehash does not suit Dunedin in any way.

So the Council can afford to spend money on this waste of space, but can't look into the social housing situation in Dunedin.
What is wrong with yous all, why spend money on a building, where in the end rate payers will probably have to fit for the bill.
Dunedin needs houses, whether they be flats or houses!!!

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