Community board heads outline big issues of 2020 and focuses of 2021

An aerial of Otago Peninsula. PHOTO: ODT FILES
An aerial of Otago Peninsula. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The Star
asked the heads of Dunedin’s six community boards for responses to the same two questions. Q1: What were the big issues for 
your board last year? Q2: What will the board's focus be for this year?



Barry Williams
Barry Williams

March Creek, in Middlemarch. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE
March Creek, in Middlemarch. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Q1: Well, 2020 was an interesting year and the effects of Covid-19 have even been felt in the Strath Taieri. The lack of tourists has caused the mothballing of the Taieri Gorge Rail. The board has been actively working with the community to see this service retained. We believe it is a service that provides a point of difference in our community and that if it is not reinstated it will be lost forever. The board realises that like many things in a community it won’t necessarily make a profit, but it has values that make it unique and we believe that it should be viewed in this light.

Q2: Our aims and goals for this year include advocating for better flood protection, such as the installation of larger culverts and a proper cleaning of March Creek, to avoid the village flooding the way it did earlier this month and in November 2018.

We will continue to work for the entire Strath Taieri community to make it a better place to live and advocate for our fair share of council funds to keep our part of the city looking its best, be it graders on rural roads or keeping our townships free of weeds and looking attractive, or the restoration of regular trips to Middlemarch by the Taieri Gorge Railway.



Paul Pope
Paul Pope

Q1: Some of the biggest issues in 2020 had to do with the Peninsula Connection project in engagement and ongoing project management. We’ve had some success in smaller improvement projects and the initiation of art projects on the Peninsula. Completion of the board’s Civil Defence Plan has paid off, particularly during the recent fire. Covid-19 placed significant pressure on the community, but people were resilient and supportive of one another. However, the post lock-down period and the economic future of tourism for the Peninsula is highly uncertain. While regional options are helpful the global closure of borders is still a significant effect on businesses and jobs.

Q2: Ensuring that design options for the Broad Bay and Portobello sections of the Connection meet community needs is essential and ongoing. A focus on the ongoing support for biodiversity and business is going be a continued priority. The DCC and ORC LTP processes are of significance for the community. The board must seek a balance between essential services and increased costs from both councils. This year could well be a very tough one or the community with projected rates and power rises combined with the ongoing economic effects of Covid-19. We need to ensure sustainable management of those issues for the welfare of the community.


Scott Weatherall
Scott Weatherall

Q1: The proposed landfill at Smooth Hill, south of Brighton, has been the most significant issue or challenge for our Community Board this year — the challenge of being heard and being listened to was the greatest frustration for our community.

We have asked the Council just to pause and let’s work together to make the best plan for our whole city.

We are awaiting some direction from the Otago Regional Council as to where to from here in regards to the resource consent hearing process.

The Brighton community is as tight now as it’s ever been. This challenge has united our community from the young to our older residents.

We are still aiming to work with the relevant staff at the council to understand and plan for coastal erosion along our coastline.

This remains super important for our community board as the coastline makes up a significant part of our community board boundary.

The Saddle Hill Community Board area covers Dunedin's southern coastline. PHOTO: STAR FILES
The Saddle Hill Community Board area covers Dunedin's southern coastline. PHOTO: STAR FILES

Q2: We are really looking forward to the opportunity to begin the coastal dune enhancement programme along Ocean View which is a multi-agency programme to plan Pikao, an exciting prevention programme.

We will be strongly supporting and advocating the community’s concerns and ideas to the resource consent process in regards to any potential development of a city landfill at Smooth Hill.

Working with the Waldronville community to further enhance its recreational space — we worked with the community this year around what development of the play and recreational space will look like. Moving into 2021 we now need to bring those ideas and plans into reality.



Joy Davis
Joy Davis

Q1. Last year was a year like no other. Covid changed everything.

It was fantastic to see the Mosgiel and Taieri communities and businesses respond well, adapt and carry on.

The board’s main priority was to check in with locals, link in with council and support services, inform them of the community’s needs and do our best to ensure those needs were met.

The announcement in early May of approval for the new pool complex was a huge boost.

Our current pool is tired and does not meet the needs of our rapidly growing area.

Thanks to all those who (over many years) advocated, fundraised, and supported, never giving up on this project.

A fast-growing population, more new builds and infill housing brings associated demands on infrastructure, especially 3Waters (drinking, waste and storm water), roading, transport, and the need for a variety of recreational areas and activities.

The Safer Schools Project trials resulted from increased rolls, feedback from parents and schools asking for safer streets to enable our young people to walk, cycle or scooter to school.

The trial is ongoing, and residents will note changes as a result of their recent feedback.

Q2. In 2021, the board will continue to advocate positively and strongly for all the above, support all those who live here and work with others to ensure our community continues to be a place where everyone feels connected and valued.

A walkway near the wharf in Karitane. PHOTO: THE STAR FILES
A walkway near the wharf in Karitane. PHOTO: THE STAR FILES


Alasdair Morrison
Alasdair Morrison

Q1: Vehicular vandalism along the foreshore in Waikouaiti is a recurring problem, with people in 4WD vehicles, quad bikes and motorcycles seemingly of the opinion that they can treat the beach and environs as their own high-speed playground — thus causing damage to the ecosystems and endangering wildlife, and local residents out for a walk. The storm damage to the walkway close to Karitane Fishermen’s Wharf was more serious than in previous years. We are having conversations with the Dunedin City Council to have it accept responsibility for this popular walking track. We have been growling loudly to the council about the poor state of maintenance of grass verges, drainage ditches and overhanging trees.

Q2: The items mentioned from 2020 will also be receiving attention in 2021 and we will be keeping the community advised of progress through local newsletters and Facebook pages. The hidden gem that is the Truby King Recreation Reserve at Seacliff will be receiving our attention this year as we aim to give the revised management plan some teeth to enable us to get on top of much needed maintenance work. An improvement to the poor bus service in our area is very much a focus, although most of that rests with the Otago Regional Council. Following some public meetings last year, we are looking to make progress with the start of the cycleways through our area, which will eventually connect Oamaru with Dunedin.

An aerial view of Roseneath and the West Harbour area. PHOTO: OTAGO DAILY TIMES FILES
An aerial view of Roseneath and the West Harbour area. PHOTO: OTAGO DAILY TIMES FILES



Francisca Griffin
Francisca Griffin

Q1: Covid, Covid, Covid, and all its implications.

As a society, we are having a good hard look at how we live, and on a local level, how we can go about that.

Council projects were variously put on hold, scaled back, or went ahead as shovel ready.

We missed out on two meetings which, of course, are very important.

We presented our annual plan submission, had an informal meeting, and I met with the council executive leaders team and the mayor, all via Zoom.

It was very exciting for us to see the next phase of the shared path begin and we are looking forward to the end of 2022, when it is due for completion.

Port Otago worked with Maersk Shipping, requesting that it installs mufflers on their its noisy Rio class ships, which it did.

Q2: We will continue to advocate for all West Harbour residents, at the grassroots level, keeping our eye on the natural and built environment, assisting with projects where we can, listening to our residents, and acting where we are able to.

On Saturday, January 30, we are joining with Port Chalmers Lions to hold a collection day for electronic waste and scrap metal alongside the skip day that is taking place at Watson Park, Port Chalmers.

We see this as a great initiative to get people thinking about their waste, and how we can divert it from landfill.

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