Majority support for South Dunedin plan

Graphic: ODT
Graphic: ODT
Attitudes about climate change have come a long way since South Dunedin flooded in 2015, one city councillor says.

Consensus had emerged, Cr Jim O’Malley said, as the Dunedin City Council’s planning and environment committee yesterday backed a draft programme designed to help South Dunedin adapt to climate change.

Such matters had previously been more polarising, he said.

The draft programme was developed jointly with the Otago Regional Council and it is to be discussed by that council next week.

Potential changes signalled include providing space for wetlands and waterways and applying stricter controls on intensity of development in some areas, although flexibility and careful planning are features of the programme.

Cr Jules Radich also endorsed the programme at the city council meeting yesterday, although he was less impressed by the amount of achievement in the past decade.

He said he took an opposite view than had been offered by Cr Lee Vandervis, who was the only councillor to vote against the programme.

Climate challenges had not been taken seriously enough, Cr Radich suggested.

An in-depth engineering report was completed by consultant Tonkin and Taylor in 2011 about the coastal environment at Ocean Beach.

Cr Radich was underwhelmed by action that resulted and he noted one of the big problems that came under the microscope after the 2015 floods was a failure to clean out mud tanks.

He hoped work "might actually get carried out this time".

Most councillors lauded the work that had gone into developing the programme.

Cr Steve Walker said community engagement was at the core. The planning approach needed to be enduring, Mr Walker said.

Complexity, uncertainty and risk had to be acknowledged, but the goal was to create a better future for South Dunedin, he said.

Cr Rachel Elder said the programme was strategic and this was the best security for the people of South Dunedin.

Cr Andrew Whiley said involvement of agencies such as GNS Science would be crucial.

Cr Marie Laufiso said the work seemed to be complex and she praised the dignity of mana whenua, who will have further input.

Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the programme was a plan to navigate complexity.



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