Council plans to fix potholes despite rates woes

Jules Radich
Jules Radich
The Dunedin City Council has vowed to fix "irksome" potholes despite the pressure on rates.

Council voted 12-1 to adopt a draft budget for roading and footpath expenditure, in its 2024-25 annual plan, at a meeting on Wednesday.

Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich said there had been a decrease in debt for capital funding — what had been estimated at $17 million in year four of the previous long-term plan had been reduced to $13m for 2024-25.

Mr Radich said from his own observation, Dunedin’s roads and footpaths were in good shape and had very few potholes compared with areas in the north.

Cr Lee Vandervis said some areas of town looked "woefully unrepaired" namely Hall Rd, in Sawyers Bay, and he questioned if prioritisation of road repairs had been properly assessed.

Lee Vandervis. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Lee Vandervis. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Despite the cost increases, the expenditure on transport was "just simply too much".

"I do not believe we can afford to be spending so much on transport, as in fact I don’t believe we can afford to spend so much on water either.

"[This budget] is simply too big, interest rates are too high, debt is too out of control and if we keep pouring this massive amount of money into these departments, we are going to find ourselves in a situation where suddenly we just can’t do it any more."

Cr Christine Garey said the spending was not frivolous "at all" as there would always be potholes outside doors that people would find "irksome".

Damage from events caused by climate change meant repairs to transport infrastructure would be an ongoing problem.

Cr Marie Laufiso said infrastructure was about people, and people needed reliable infrastructure "especially now, when the world is burning".