The Dunedin City Council (DCC) and Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) are pleased to announce the sale of Forbury Park, and its acquisition by the DCC.
At nearly 12 hectares, the South Dunedin site is one of the biggest pieces of available land in the city. The sale price is $13.2 million. The purchase will be funded by savings in the Council’s existing Capital Expenditure Budget.
“Today is a massive day for South Dunedin,” says Dunedin City Mayor Jules Radich. “We are committed to South Dunedin and its future. This purchase is a tangible commitment by the DCC to South Dunedin, which in turn will benefit the city as a whole.”
The land was put up for sale by Harness Racing New Zealand after the Forbury Park Trotting Club held its last meeting there on July 8, 2021.
“We are delighted to have concluded a sale with the Dunedin City Council,” says HRNZ Chair Phil Holden. “They have been great to deal with and the result is a win for them, Dunedin, and also our sport. It has taken a while to get here and we couldn’t be happier.”
Exactly how the Council uses the land is still to be determined. At 11.76 hectares, the purchase of Forbury Park creates a wide range of options for the DCC, including options for stormwater management.
“The opportunity to acquire undeveloped land of this scale and in this location is rare. A site of this size is likely to have a variety of uses,” says Mr Radich.
The DCC will consider how it engages with the community on the potential future uses of Forbury Park.
“I’m sure there will be no shortage of great ideas from the public, which could be coupled with public infrastructure on the site. At this stage, all options are on the table, and it is important to get the community’s input,” he says.
The DCC’s purchase of Forbury Park aligns with a number of its strategic goals, including The St Clair – St Kilda Coastal Plan and South Dunedin Future Programme. Due to some of its key features, including being on low lying land, it has the potential to assist in flood mitigation and climate adaptation.
“Yesterday we held a ceremony to acknowledge the building start of the South Dunedin Library and Community Complex and today we are proud to be able to announce the purchase of Forbury Park. Taking ownership of and developing these two pillars of South Dunedin signify council’s commitment to revitalising the area,” Mr Radich says.
HRNZ has long stated the proceeds from the sale will be invested to benefit racing in the region, and nationally.
“And that certainly hasn’t changed,” Mr Holden says. “It is a substantial amount of money, and we will be very prudent in how it is used and will consult widely before any decisions are made.”