Funding set for strategy

Dave Cull.
Dave Cull.
The environment, bus governance and pool admission fees dominated discussions at the first day of Dunedin City Council annual plan hearings yesterday.

The absence of public submissions was a notable difference at the hearing.

The public had a chance to voice their opinions on the 2017-18 draft annual plan at public forums and drop-in sessions from March 30 to May 1, rather than at annual plan hearings as in previous years.

Dunedin's environment strategy received 26 comments during the consultation.

Mayor Dave Cull said the comments provided ''a pretty clear response'' about funding for the initiative.

The council sought feedback on how much funding should be spent on the strategy.

Of the 62 people who provided feedback on the question, 48 voted the council put $200,000 into the strategy for the 2017-18 year.

The council moved the decision to give the strategy $200,000 to continue work towards making Dunedin a zero carbon, healthy environment.

The state of the city's aquatic facilities generated two public comments during the forum period. However, the topic had strong interest from councillors at the hearing.

A proposal by Cr Aaron Hawkins that a 50c spectator fee at the city's pools be removed received unanimous support.

Council infrastructure networks general manager Ruth Stokes said the move would enable the council to focus on driving participation rather than collecting revenue from those watching.

A proposal by Cr Andrew Whiley to make entry to Moana Pool free to child swimmers was not backed by other councillors.

Three public comments were made on the governance of Dunedin's public transport.

The uncertainty expressed by the public in regard to whether bus management fell under the jurisdiction of the DCC or Otago Regional Council was indicative of the need for a review of the regional council's governance, Mr Cull said.

The DCC would look to have a joint consultation document with the ORC to seek public feedback as to which council should manage buses.

Cr Staynes said a change in the governance of buses would cost ratepayers, but Dunedin transport requirements could be better addressed by a city rather than regional council.

The hearing will continue today.

margot.taylor@odt.co.nz

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