Major changes in store for Dunedin traffic Privilege used to name figures
CONSULTATION on what are bound to be major and contentious changes to the state highways that run through central Dunedin is expected to start in the next few months.
And the NZ Transport Agency has promised the public will be given the chance to have its say.
It was announced early this year the city’s busy state highway, which carries 31,000 vehicles a day, could be cut to one twoway road running through the city, to incorporate the new $1.4 billion Dunedin Hospital.
The hospital will be built between the Cumberland and Castle Sts oneways systems.
The change, the preferred option in a report released by the Ministry of Health, included reducing traffic in Cumberland St, making Castle St the main northsouth arterial route and slowing traffic in St Andrew St.
The ministry report noted the oneway streets on either side of the hospital sites were significant constraints to the sites, and a barrier to access.
The agency said at the time some traffic might be rerouted through Strathallan, Thomas Burns and Frederick Sts.
Traffic problems have been a hot topic in Dunedin in the past few years, particularly the cycleway build on the highway.
But agency regional relationships director Jim Harland said yesterday consultation would allow the public its voice, as well as stakeholders.
Meetings were held late last year on the issue of the oneways that included the University of Otago, Otago Regional Council, Port Otago and the Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Harland said consultants were about to be appointed for the project.
They would do a detailed analysis of the issues the area faced, do traffic modelling and develop a list of options for the network.
The consultants needed to come up with best longterm plan for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, improve safety for all and improve the city’s livability.
There was a problem with the system in that it was not always clear what the best routes through the city were for the likes of trucks or cyclists.
Consultation could start late this year, but it was more likely to begin early next year.
The feedback would be considered, and recommendations would go to the agency, Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council midnext year.
A business case would be developed for government funding for the work.
Mr Harland said he expected, because the work was being developed to fit in with the new Dunedin Hospital build, it would be favourably considered. WELLINGTON: National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett has used parliamentary privilege to name several of the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s most senior staff and a Cabinet minister she says have known for some time about allegations of sexual assault.
Ms Bennett told Parliament yesterday afternoon the man at the centre of the allegations worked in the Labour leader’s office at Parliament.
Her comments followed the earlier resignation of Labour Party president Nigel Haworth.
‘‘These are serious allegations. The Prime Minister cannot keep her head in the sand and pretend like it is happening somewhere far, far away; it is happening in her own office, in her own organisation — she is the leader of the Labour Party.’’
She named Ms Ardern’s former chief of staff Mike Munro, her chief press secretary Andrew Campbell and the director of her leader’s office, Rob Salmond, as knowing about the allegations.
‘‘I have been told by two victims who work in Parliament that they went to Rob Salmond around Christmas time and made a complaint about the alleged perpetrator.
‘‘The Prime Minister has constantly said her office did not receive complaints and in fact encouraged victims to speak to their line managers — they did.’’
Ms Bennett said it ‘‘smacks of a coverup’’, and went ‘‘straight to the top to Ms Ardern, to senior Cabinet ministers and to senior staff in her office’’.
RNZ asked Mr Salmond to comment on Ms Bennett’s claim. In response, Ms Ardern’s office issued a statement saying, ‘‘we have no comment to make on the allegations made under the protection of parliamentary privilege’’.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson, also named by Ms Bennett in Parliament, has refused to answer questions about whether he was told directly of allegations of sexual assault.
He was asked if a complainant told him about such an allegation in late June.
‘‘I’m going to respect the privacy of the young people who are involved in this situation.
‘‘There is a process to go through . . .
‘‘It’s important the voices of these people are heard and I’m not going to say anything more about that.’’
A recent picture of traffic congestion in Cumberland St.