PO Box 5045
14 May 2017
To whom it may concern,
Re Objection to revoke reservation over part “Emerson Street Recreational Reserve”.
I object to the intention to revoke the reservation over “part Emersion Street Recreational reserve”
(part Section 11, Block XV, Dunedin and East Taieri Survey District, Part CIR 447977) because it is
considered surplus to reserve requirements.
I wish to be heard by the Hearings Committee in support of this submission.
I record I consider it unacceptable the unexplained and unjustifiable delay in re-reviewing the
Dunedin City Council Dog Control documentation, intended to commence early 2017, and the
consequent failure to clarify provisions concerning dog access has the predictable result of requiring
objections on this (and other matters). That failure:
a. Is a breach of oral and written undertakings.
b. Requires ratepayers to continue to expend time involved with the detail of otherwise routine
Council business instead of more productive matters.
c. Requires staff deal with objections and other matters arising which predictably increases the
costs required to perform relatively simple tasks.
d. Appears to reflect an unacceptable lack of respect for ratepayer time and other resources
whether expended by them as individuals making a submission, or via unnecessary costs
funded out of rates.
I object for at least the following reasons:
a. The area proposed to be revoked is set aside for off-leash exercise for dogs pursuant to clause
5.6.1 (d) of the Dunedin City Dog Control Bylaw 2016 (Map 54).
i. The nearest exercise areas available for off-leash dog exercise are Corstorphine Park
and Miller Park. Both are almost 2kms distant, and the terrain and need to cross the
motorway create a barrier to accessibility without using a vehicle and increasing
environmental unsustainability. Both are laid out as sports fields, significantly
reducing the area actually available, and Miller Park is subject to the further
reduction of actually available area given the intention to lease a part for grazing. The
situation in the immediate area is further exacerbated by the intention to enter into a
lease for grazing part Mulford Park, which removes further space, albeit on-leash only.
ii. During at least the last 12 months Dunedin City Council has made numerous references
to the pressure on inadequate public spaces. It is not possible for there to be
inadequate public spaces to provide for residents needs at the same time as there are
so many public spaces that existing ones are considered surplus to reserve needs.
iii. That is particularly relevant to this land given 550m2 is adequate for use for a diverse
range of dog owner and dog recreational physical and mental activities such as
obedience training, rally-o practise, agility foundations, and tricks. These activities
also directly contribute to improved dog “manners” but cannot be practised inside
current dogs parks given they have been designed without allowing space for such
activities to be conducted without being interrupted by the other users.
iv. That is especially the case when the area is already part of a larger space so it forms
part of a much larger total available area. It and lies on one side of the reserve, away
from the prohibited playground area so dog-related activities can take place without
interfering with other reserve users.
b. The Information Pack provides no information about how the land is intended to be used after
the reserve status has been revoked.
i. It is therefore relevant the development of the properties at 16 & 18 Emerson Street
encroach on the reserve, and in the case of 18 Emerson Street, includes building
approximately 50% of a building beyond their legal boundary and on public land.
ii. The newly released land would appear to be only accessible by foot across the reserve,
or via those private properties. It would only become available for another use after
the owners removed their developments, including approximately 50% of a house. It is
therefore of little practical use to any other person except those adjacent landowners
and therefore seems likely to have little value to any other prospective purchaser.
c. The Information Pack does not identify the affected landowners but other sources list the
ratepayers as the same for both properties. Those persons can be immediately identified as
having long-standing close connections with the Dunedin City Council. If it is intended to make
the area available for purchase after revoking the reserve status, and future plans for that
area mean it will have little practical use to any prospective purchaser other than the existing
adjacent owner of the affected lots, revoking the reserve status would allow that private
owner to enjoy the benefits of:
i. Avoiding liability for unlawfully encroaching on the reserve.
ii. Avoiding the costs of removing their developments from the reserve and reinstating
the land so it becomes available for public use as intended by its reserve status.
iii. Being able to purchase land of for which there are likely to be few competing
purchasers, with an expected reduction in price.
iv. Being able to purchase land that will substantially increase the value of their existing
property, particularly 18 Emerson Street given that secures at least 50% of an existing
d. This has the unsavoury flavour of reducing the available public space in order to facilitate a
private gain by a party with a long-standing close relationship with the Council. Note it is
completely irrelevant whether that is actually the case: It is incumbent on Council to conduct
its affairs so as to avoid tainted transactions, even if that is not occurring at all.
e. That is particularly the case in relation to the reclassification of land already reserved for
public benefit, of a size and location that allows it to return an identifiable direct and indirect
benefit to multiple user groups, and this action has been justified on the implausible basis the
Council has surplus reserve land in direct contradiction to all other statements concerning the
adequacy of existing public spaces.
No public gain has been identified that outweighs the public benefit of holding landowners to
account when they build on public land, while also preventing them from benefiting from the
unlawful act of doing so.