Dunedin’s buy-up plan to mitigate climate change

In a bold plan, the Dunedin City Council has started early discussions with Treasury about Government help as it investigates a $132 million five-year voluntary property acquisition scheme to adapt to climate change.

Wednesday, September 06th 2023

Nobody will be forced from their homes in plans to buy up properties in South Dunedin on a voluntary basis. The initial cost is based on buying 65 properties a year.

If the scheme is approved, it could mean the council starts buying property as early as next July.

Properties will be bought by the council on the open market over decades to enable the South Dunedin climate change adaption strategy, now under development.

South Dunedin Future Programme manager, Jonathan Rowe, says the strategic property acquisition idea was sparked by conversations with the community.

The wider South Dunedin basin was swamped by floodwaters in 2015 and is at risk from climate change and rising groundwater.

Rowe, says the area - home to 13,000 people - is facing a complex web of issues.

"We've got a whole lot of challenges in South Dunedin, mostly around water - rising groundwater, sea level rise, increased rainfall events - they're the sort of challenges we're going to be facing in the future. So what we've been looking at is how do we tackle a challenge of that complexity," he says.

“We’ve talked a lot to the community. We’ve heard people want to stay in South Dunedin, they’re worried about their home and community being ‘red-stickered’ or ‘red-zoned’, and they want some certainty,” he says.

“This approach could help South Dunedin get ahead of the problem, be more resilient, provide certainty and reassurance to the community, and save ratepayers and taxpayers money in the long term.”

Importantly, property could be acquired early with adaptation plans in mind, but before final decisions needed to be made. In the short term, property could be retained, potentially rented to maintain housing supply and provide a revenue stream to offset some costs.

In due course, the property could be used for a range of adaptation projects – pumps or pipes, parks or wetlands, or new more resilient housing developments.

Dunedin mayor Jules Radich says the adaptation strategy will outline what is needed in South Dunedin. Acquiring property will enable us to actually do it.”

“If we start acquiring property today, it will give us more options tomorrow, meaning we’ll be better placed to build a new pipe, expand a park, or move a house – whatever is required to make South Dunedin a safer and better place to be,” Radich says.

“Our proposal is proactive and ambitious.” This is not something the Dunedin City Council can do alone and will require support from central government, he says.


No comments yet

Unity 6.99
Heartland Bank - Online 6.99
ICBC 7.05
SBS FirstHome Combo 7.05
China Construction Bank 7.09
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 7.10
Wairarapa Building Society 7.15
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 7.30
Kiwibank Special 7.35
BNZ - Classic 7.35
TSB Special 7.39
China Construction Bank 6.75
Heartland Bank - Online 6.85
ICBC 6.85
Wairarapa Building Society 6.94
Unity 6.99
Westpac Special 6.99
Kiwibank Special 7.05
ASB Bank 7.05
BNZ - Classic 7.05
AIA - Go Home Loans 7.05
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 7.05
China Construction Bank 6.40
Westpac Special 6.49
ICBC 6.49
AIA - Go Home Loans 6.69
BNZ - Classic 6.75
ASB Bank 6.75
Kiwibank Special 6.79
SBS Bank Special 6.79
TSB Special 6.79
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 6.85
Kainga Ora 6.99
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19
AIA - Back My Build 6.19
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39
Credit Union Auckland 7.70
ICBC 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99
Pepper Money Essential 8.29
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40
Kiwibank 8.50
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50

More Stories

Apartment market takes a dive

Thursday, December 07th 2023

Apartment market takes a dive

Increasing constraints, including the cost and availability of credit, have meant a major slowdown in the apartment market. Consents dropped by 36% in the year to October – the lowest total since July 2017.

Auckland housing market rebounding

Wednesday, December 06th 2023

Auckland housing market rebounding

Wealthy Auckland buyers who can afford $2 million plus houses have returned to the market in force.

Tenant left with damages bill despite not being responsible

Tuesday, December 05th 2023

Tenant left with damages bill despite not being responsible

A woman who left a rented Manurewa, Auckland property she shared with her partner after discovering he was using methamphetamine is still liable for a half share of Tenancy Tribunal awarded exemplary damages and other debts owed to the landlord.

Private landlords should be included in bill – Property Brokers

Monday, December 04th 2023

Private landlords should be included in bill – Property Brokers

A big year is ahead for the property management industry.