Chapter Three

The DCC and Mountain biking

Having illustrated how mountain bikers have pursued their cause through the local club I will analyse the DCC’s subsequent reaction. Investigating how DCC functions have changed since the 1989 local government reforms will contextualise these issues. These reforms are particularly relevant for mountain biking, as the activity only became popular in the late 1980s. There is no previous context before 1989 to analyse how local authorities provided for mountain biking simply because it was only a very minor activity. The discussion centres on how successful a new form of local government reacted to this new type of recreation.

The 1989 Reforms: ‘The Dunedin Philosophy to the New Legislation’(1)

One year after local government reform Richard Walls, then Mayor of Dunedin, declared that in Dunedin ‘there is a fundamental difference between the directions mapped out for New Zealand by central government, and where the people of this city wish to go’.(2) While the Labour government busied itself by privatising public assets the political leadership in Dunedin wanted to maintain ownership of all city assets. These assets include forestry, power generation and supply, and gas supply. The Mayor believed that the new legislation would provide the city with the freedom and flexibility necessary to achieve this different direction. Murray Douglas was the man charged with delivering reform to the newly created Dunedin City Council. He gained the top job as Chief Executive in 1990. The Chief Executive of a local authority wields significant power. They are the sole employee of the elected council and are directly responsible for all staff in the organisation. The power to hire and fire means Chief Executives have a tremendous influence on the staffing and therefore functioning of the entire organisation. To get an understanding of how the DCC functions it is worthwhile to consider Murray Douglas.

Douglas pulled the DCC through this period of reform for local government by the scruff of the neck. He laments that although reform has been excellent, the DCC has hesitated and not taken full advantage of reform as quickly as it should have.(3) The flexibility that the 1989 reforms offered and the subsequent direction that the DCC took, now sees the organisation promoted as a model for other local authorities. Douglas, the driving force behind this model, shared his philosophy with other local authorities at the 1995 Local Government Conference. There, Douglas outlined how the private sector model, on which structure of the DCC is based, has ‘much to offer for how things are done, [but] not why things are done. That is still a political choice’.(4) The DCC model for local government defines a set of core activities such as libraries, parks and the functioning of local democracy. The operation of other activities outside the core functions, such as roading and maintenance, are made fully contestable.(5) Contestability introduces greater choice in the provision of these services. For example, before 1989 roading was the responsibility of DCC staff. As a result of the reforms these staff now work for a business unit called Citiworks, owned by the DCC but having to compete with other operators to win contracts. Public facilities like pools operate under separate managers as businesses with DCC staff and councillors watching over them.

Douglas believes that the DCC is a service organisation. He expands on this notion by saying; ‘We operate with a set of customers, a set of markets in a sense, and we have to become that much more responsive and reflective of that’.(6) This statement illustrates the current trend to replace the rights of citizenship by the rights of the consumer.(7) The commercial model is perceived to better respond to the dynamically changing needs of the public more effectively and efficiently. This model benefits the economically advantaged as they have the capital power to purchase services. For example, if user charges were introduced to fund a community pool, the DCC would have to raise fees to cover previously subsidised income. People on low incomes may not be able to afford to use the pool due to the increased fees and miss out on benefits they once received. This is not to say that Douglas wants the user pays system applied to all DCC activities. Indeed, the funding policy regarding tracks and reserves entails that they generate a citywide public benefit and so should be fully subsidised.(8) However, there is a contradiction in the belief that the DCC must respond to customers needs (consumer) and the fully funded provision of a facility that produces a city wide public good (citizenship). Of course the terms ‘consumer’ and ‘citizen’ are not mutually exclusive but the notion of citizenship implies an equal opportunity to a predetermined level of services such as parks and libraries whereas consumerism benefits those with economic capital and further intensifies inequalities.

The management style of Douglas is also different. He believes the key to local government management is knowing how to administer in elected environs but, seemingly contradicting this statement, he dislikes being referred to as a bureaucrat.(9) Ironically the present Mayor Sukhi Turner, accused bureaucrats of having too much control over Council affairs. When campaigning for the 1995 local body elections she called for more consultation with the community before making decisions.(10) One way in which the community voices their opinions is by writing to newspapers. Douglas, however, describes regular letter writers as ‘professional whingers’.(11)

The DCC Approach to Managing Mountain Bikes

When mountain biking became established in the city in the early 1990s, DCC staff did not recognise that riders had a need for suitable tracks. Staff may have thought that these off road bikes were just a passing fad and complaints from walkers would disappear once the activity lost its novelty value. Even in 1994, Dunedin mountain bikers reminded sceptics that their chosen activity ‘is an Olympic sport in 1996, not just a passing fad’.(12) Mountain biking soon established itself as a popular form of recreation and DCC staff increasingly treated riders as a threat to walkers and not as legitimate users in their own right. For example Mick Reece, a horticultural officer for the DCC, believed that ‘Cyclists riding on restricted tracks are a danger to walkers’.(13) Other staff believed that mountain biking caused unnecessary damage to tracks. Russell Harris, the Park Operations Contracts Manager, reported that repairs to tracks damaged by cyclists had cost the DCC an estimated $6500.(14) This type of comment, reported in the Dunedin Star Midweek, gave the public the impression that mountain bikers were an unwanted menace who caused the unnecessary spending of ratepayer’s money. Other staff were more positive. Mike Moore, a Development Planning Officer, said the DCC recognised that there was a need for other mountain biking areas around the city.(15) Moore’s optimism has been in vain. The only worthwhile project that the DCC has completed for mountain bikers is the production of a pamphlet defining which walking tracks around Dunedin mountain bikers are allowed to use. To some extent the DCC has acknowledged that it has not dealt with mountain biking justly. After the production of the first pamphlet, Recreation Officer Robin Quigg said the problem with mountain bikes and walkers ‘was partly because the walking tracks were publicised whereas biking tracks have not’.(16)

The organisational structure of the DCC, based on the commercial model, is supposedly geared to efficient and effective management responses. In the case of mountain biking the management response has been far from effective and less than efficient. For example, MountainBiking Otago’s proposal for the development of Signal Hill, discussed in Chapter Two, came to the attention of Council staff in 1995. Two years later a staff member indicated to the club that Council would be more supportive of this project once its overall track strategy had been finalised. This strategy will only be finalised when it goes before the full city council in September, 1998. Three years have elapsed since the project was first mooted with no improvement in tracks. The enthusiasm behind a project such as this is likely to be dissipated by the slowness of response. Indeed, this is precisely what happened. The response is slow because all decisions travel through the time consuming bureaucratic process to be finally rubber stamped by the politicians. If decisions were made at the lower levels in the management structure a more immediate response would occur.

The proposed Track Strategy does incorporate policies that would allow the construction of mountain biking track by the club on DCC land. However, a number of conditions would apply. MountainBiking Otago would have to agree to the maintenance and management of the track for five years. Also specific DCC signs would need to be installed and maintained and the track would have to meet DCC design standards.(17) This would require a huge commitment from club members. Not only do they need to raise the funds required to construct the track but the would also be committed to maintaining it for five years. Because the track would be on DCC land it would be available to all members of the public. Even though the club would have a substantial investment and responsibility they would not be able to restrict public use to avoid potential damage. Voluntary clubs are typified by high turnover of members, making the five year commitment even more unattractive.

The DCC Track Policy and Strategy: A Mountain Biker’s Ticket to Trails?

Policy guides management of activities for local authorities. The effectiveness of the policy writing process determines how successful particular policies will be when implemented. I will use the example of the Track Policy and Strategy (TPS) to illustrate this process in the DCC. When implemented this policy will have the greatest practical ramifications for mountain bikers as it is intended to guide track management and develop strategies that prioritise spending. The writing of all significant policy documents follows a three step process: internal shaping of a draft, public consultation in the form of submissions, and modification and formal adoption of the policy document.

As early as 1990 DCC staff has recognised the need for tracks that are specifically suited to mountain bikers.(18) Years passed, during which conflict between walkers and riders increased, before the DCC considered policy solutions. The policy process stared with document entitled ‘A Recreation Strategy for Dunedin’. This document attempted to clarify the role of the DCC in the delivery of recreation services. Guiding principles for this strategy contained the ‘aim to provide equity of distribution of recreation resources and opportunities’.(19) Again, the DCC talk of equity and providing a range of opportunities. Mountain biking is only briefly mentioned in this strategy under areas for future development. This strategy suggest the creation of a walking track working party (later a track users working party) to guide this future development. In 1995, when the policy writing process began, the DCC decided to cease all track development. The rationale behind this decision was so the DCC could establish what tracks existed and not have new tracks confusing data collection. One way this decision can be interpreted is that the DCC used money budgeted for track development on the production of the policy. This is favourable to management and Councillors as no additional money is required. This stance meant that during the three years it has taken to complete the strategy the option of creating mountain bike friendly tracks to reduce conflict was not available.

The DCC began writing this policy in 1995 and hired Boffa Miskell, a leisure consulting firm, to identify track issues and provide the foundation for the TPS. The employment of Boffa Miskell suggests a lack of capable staff within the organisation. The process comprised two parts: the cataloguing and measurement of tracks to provide accurate information, and community consultation to understand user preferences. This latter stage involved meetings with working parties, distributing newsletters and researching users. This is perhaps the most important aspect of the formulation of a public policy document – finding out what the people want.

The content of this policy is interesting and worth further analysis. The TPS states that track managers (i.e. the DCC) can respond to conflict in two ways: through management interventions, and using physical modifications. Management responses are listed as providing information and education, utilising user involvement and the use of regulation and enforcement.(20) The DCC has employed these techniques in the past with little degree of success. For instance even though cycling is illegal on tracks, such as the Pineapple track and Bethunes gully, no riders have ever been prosecuted. A more effective method may lie with the physical aspect of tracks.

The TPS suggests management’s use of physical components can be split into two themes; designing tracks to control speeds, and providing suitable areas to separate conflicting user groups. The latter is suggested in a number of studies as the most effective approach.(21) Providing mountain bikers with an area specifically designed for cycle use will keep them away from walker designated areas. The need for this type of facility is glaringly obvious in Dunedin. As detailed earlier mountain bikers clearly want this development and have showed initiative with funds raised for the development of Signal Hill. Walking groups have indicated a separate area would solve this problem. In a submission to a separate policy document, the Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club suggests that to avoid conflict, some tracks should be ‘developed specifically for mountain bike use’.(22) The DCC acknowledge this need. It is detailed in the TPS and expressed by DCC staff. Paul Coffey, DCC Outdoor Recreation Officer, suggests that no facility in the city achieves the aim of providing the average mountain biker with an easy grade mountain bike track.(23) All three parties involved in this problem (riders, walkers, and the DCC) agree that to solve conflict issues a specific mountain biking area is needed. It is the most logical solution, by creating an area where mountain bikers prefer to go keeps them away from areas that walkers prefer. On-site conflict will not occur if the two parties are separated. The construction of a mountain biking track would give riders something that walkers have enjoyed for years, a specifically designed facility meeting their needs. Yet, when it comes to the money that the TPS recommends to be spent over the next five years this aim will not be achieved. In the ‘solution priority list’, seven projects are outlined. The fourth priority is the need for an easy, multi use track at Signal Hill. The amount of money suggested is $32 000.(24) This money will not go towards building actual tracks. Instead, it is intended to pay consultants for a feasibility study to investigate, plan and design a track network. This money is not intended to spent during the next five years.

Because of the project’s low priority, the report writers did not recommend expenditure to be included in the Long Term Financial Strategy (LTFS). The LTFS details proposed DCC spending over the upcoming ten years. Even though the creation of a suitable area is agreed as the solution to the problem of mountain bikes DCC staff still have not recommended expenditure to be included in the LTFS. Without a recommendation from staff councillors will be unaware of the need to spend money. This raises issues regarding the quality and capability of staff.

A draft of the TPS came before the Community Development Committee in April, 1998.(25) After being in the domain staff and working parties for three years the policy now entered the realm of politicians. This committee approved the draft policy and it became a public document open to further citizen consultation with a six week submission period. A document entitled the Track Policy and Strategy Submission Draft accompanied the full policy given to submitters. This submission form contains only six pages. It includes a two page executive summary of the TPS, two pages of policy statements, followed by two pages for specific and general comments. The format of the policy statements was such that the submitter could tick whether they agree, disagree or don’t know. This type of format limits comment on particular policy statements. While further comment on particular policy statements can be expanded on in the general comment section, this format resulted in policy statements being recommended to be accepted or rejected and not modified.

On 8 September 1998, a revised draft of the TPS went before the Community Development Committee. Staff as a result of the public submissions suggested revisions. One policy was to be revoked and eight policies required minor changes. All of these changes were insignificant and a common phrase used to define the change was ‘subject to wording changes to improve clarity and meaning’.(26) Councillors carried all these recommendations with not one modification. The TPS now becomes final DCC policy. The debate among councillors and the circumstances the recommendations were passed in provides an insight into local government politicians and is worth further discussion.

The Politicians: Dunedin’s City Councillors

Councillors are the ratepayer’s representatives in local government. Although they may not exactly know what citizens want, councillors are assigned legitimate authority entitled to act in their constituent’s interest. The problem is that neither the interests nor wishes of citizens are self-defining. Councillors must use their own judgement to decide what is best for citizens. The conventional view on the role of local government politicians is that councillors are responsible for policy and officers implement it.(27) This is not quite what is represented in the DCC. An interview with long serving councillor Josie Jones revealed that politicians seem to place a great deal of faith in what staff recommend. Councillors do not have much consultation with staff and they ‘assume [staff have] picked over’ the details.(28) While the politicians do not necessarily accept all staff recommendations, Jones described that ‘all councillors know is what is written on paper’.(29)

Local government politics are characterised by both passing skirmishes and underlying consensus.(30) This was clearly illustrated to me when I attended a meeting of the Community Development Committee. It was at this meeting that the TPS was to be discussed after public submissions had been summarised. The TPS was item twelve on the agenda and when it came up for discussion the meeting had already been going for three and a half hours. The vast majority of motions put forward were carried unanimously, illustrating the underlying consensus. The passing skirmish came with the discussion of the TPS. Councillor Teresa Stevenson raised the first discussion point. She believed that the public submissions did not come through in recommendations identified by staff. Stevenson did not want the term ‘multi-use’ in the document explaining that use should be related to users and not some abstract concept. Robin Quigg, a recreation planning officer replied that the working party want to keep multi-use term but acknowledged that not all tracks are suitable for all users. Twenty four out of forty one comments from the public submission related to the confusion of the term ‘multi use’. Stevenson had a valid point, as it was clear that submitters thought term was confused. She put a motion that use be associated users. Chairperson Josie Jones said that councillors shouldn’t ‘promise something we can’t deliver’ and that it is wrong to ‘give people false hopes’. My interpretation of this statement was that if the DCC were to define tracks by users it would be committed to spend money it does not have to make these tracks suitable. It is not politically desirable to have this as a policy because the DCC would not be able to deliver. Stevenson replied that ‘policy is not about money in the kitty’. When put to the vote the motion was lost with Stevenson the only councillor to vote in favour.

From this point on the meeting deteriorated. Other councillors criticised Stevenson for raising too many points. With two more points to discuss Stevenson was cut short by chairperson Jones. Other councillors expressed that Stevenson already had her say when she made a public submission. Stevenson clearly thought the TPS was significant but other councillors wanted meeting over, it had already been going for three and a half hours. For the rest of the meeting Stevenson sat slumped in her seat, arms folded, head down and looking bitter. She abstained from the remaining votes. Stevenson, in her role as a city councillor, wanted to discuss policy issues. Chairperson Jones prevented her seemingly because the meeting was going too long, she already had the opportunity to have her say through a public submission, and that working party had done a good job. This view was reinforced by Jones after meeting saying that Stevenson had her opportunity to participate in working party but didn’t turn up to meetings. I was left with the impression that other councillors were not interested in the implications of the TPS and had desire to accept all recommendations and move on to the next point of business and get meeting over with. Indeed, all recommendations were accepted without modification. The only hint of this debacle that appeared in the meeting minutes was the statement ‘Councillor Stevenson requested her vote against be recorded because she believed she was not able to comment fully on the document’.(31) It failed even to gain the attention of the Otago Daily Times staff reporter whose stories in the following day’s paper concerned the meeting’s discussion regarding the management of the St Clair saltwater pool and the proposed arboretum.(32)

What is intriguing about this meeting is the conflicting motions that the committee carried. I have already discussed the Signal Hill arboretum project. The first time this proposal came before councillors they immediately accepted it. However the TPS took over three years to write, with countless meetings, a public submission process, and a significant amount of work completed by staff. The TPS had a clear vision for the development of Signal Hill, an easy grade, and multi use track. The fate of this development is now questionable. If the Council does gift Signal Hill to the arboretum trust, DCC staff are back to square one regarding the development of a mountain bike track. Because of an ill thought decision by councillors, blinded by visions of a lovely park attracting thousands of tourists, all the work DCC staff have completed to provide mountain bikers a facility is undone. It is now pertinent that this discussion investigates the issue of local government staff.

The Calibre of Staff

Graham Bush, an expert on local government in New Zealand, believes that it is the calibre, outlook and productivity of staff which makes or mars a local body’s performance and record.(33) Paul Coffey is the Outdoor Recreation Officer for the DCC. His job description includes writing and implementing policy and providing advice, information and resources to providers and participants.(34) Coffey believes that ‘Council is committed to providing a variety of recreational opportunities’ and he acknowledges that no easy grade mountain biking facility in city at present.(35) The TPS, of which Coffey is listed as an author, provided the opportunity to bring councillor’s attention to the need for this type of facility. Instead, the document recommended that $30 000 should be spent on a feasibility study. There is a discrepancy between what this officer believes the DCC should provide and what it is actually going to provide. Coffey notes that ‘We [the DCC staff] write the documents but Councillors have final say’.(36) Councillors may have the final say but they rely heavily on advice from officers such as Coffey. Councillors rarely disagree with officers because of inaccurate advice, disagreements are usually due to vested political interests.(37)

When questioned about the demand for mountain biking in the city, Coffey replied that there is a lack of physical research but that was something ‘we’d like to do but it is very difficult to do’.(38) In fact the Council has conducted physical research in the form of visitor surveys of track use in 1996 and 1997.(39) In 1997, Coffey was a member of the project team that produced the research. These surveys utilised questionnaires that were handed out to track users. Three tracks were surveyed each year and in 1997 all surveyed tracks were accessible to mountain bikes. The DCC had also financially supported a study conducted in 1993 by a tourism student at the University of Otago. This study produced quantitative data on where mountain bikes are ridden in Dunedin.(40) Coffey is aware of this study, indeed he found it useful as it identified areas of high use.(41) After three studies that indicate use of DCC tracks by mountain bikes one wonders why Coffey contends that there is a lack of research.

The authors of the TPS have not looked into other methods of determining use. The most obvious indicator of the popularity of mountain biking in Dunedin would be the amount of bikes sold. An owner of a local bike shop revealed that in the past six years mountain bikes have represented 84% of all bike sales.(42) Collectively, the four major bike retailers in Dunedin sell around 2700 bikes each year. While not all mountain bikes are ridden off-road, DCC staff could investigate sales figures for bikes with suspension, either front fork or full suspension, for a more accurate picture. Suspension systems for mountain bikes are expensive and only riders wishing to cycle in an off-road environment would outlay this extra expense. Of course, this would not provide absolute figures for demand. Dunedin riders may have purchased their bikes elsewhere and bikes purchased in Dunedin may be used outside the city. Nor does it take into account the second hand market. Yet this data would give staff a better idea of demand. It is contentious that an effective policy can be written addressing mountain biking issues when the authors have little idea of demand.

Decisions made within the bureaucratic structures of public authorities are even more insulated from public opinion than are councillors.(43) Officers, such as Coffey, exert political power as they control which group’s interests are met.(44) They do so in the wording and intention of documents they write such as the TPS. To some extent the problem with the deficiency of tracks for mountain biking and the conflict that this situation produces can be attributed to the calibre of DCC staff.

Professionalism is important in understanding the recreational manager. This vocation is classified as semi-professional, above manual and skilled labour but below the traditional professional occupations that include doctors and lawyers. As in other semi-professions recreation workers have established their own training courses and qualifications have reached degree status. Both these factors are seen to legitimate the profession while it has struggled for political recognition.(45) Leisure professionals have always existed in a tension between their own role in service provision and legitimacy of these services.(46) This becomes an increasing pressure in the cost-cutting culture of the 1990s. A requirement for professionalism in the 1990s is an emphasis economic efficiency rather than social effectiveness.(47) In this environment there is an internal tension involving the need to curb spending against the need to provide services. The mark of an effective manager in the 1990s is his or her ability to cut spending. This orientation is not conducive to promote spending on capital projects and may be one reason why the DCC has not provided facilities for mountain bikers.

It is pertinent here to refer back to the Chief Executive and his views on DCC staff. Douglas stated that the DCC staff are good to work with as their are ‘a group that tends to have the city’s total interests at heart before their own personal issues and frustrations … that come through [working] in elected environments’.(48) It is interesting to note that Douglas views the elected environment as an impediment to the city’s total interests. The structure of local government is based on councillors representing the publics' interest. Is the public best served by staff who believe that politicians are a greater hindrance than help? Staffing issues are only part of the explanation.

Council Funded Recreation: Profitability and Provision

The case of cycling as both a recreation and form of transportation illustrates the conflict between profit and provision. The DCC has developed a specific cycle policy. This document outlines four key principles that underpin the organisation’s management of bicycles in the city. These principles are cyclist safety, legitimacy of cycles, cycle-friendly infrastructure and the environmental, economic and social benefits that cycling provides to the community.(49) The stated long-term vision of this policy is to promote safe, convenient and enjoyable cycling in Dunedin. To achieve this vision the DCC intends to provide cycle infrastructure, consult and co-ordinate user groups, promote education and ensure adequate resources are available.(50) This policy specifically excludes off-road recreational cycling. The DCC has created a very clear distinction between transportation and recreation values of the bicycle. If the intention of providing cycle friendly infrastructure that is both safe and efficient, as detailed in the cycle policy, is applied to the management of mountain bikes, riders would have tracks that are suited to their needs. Presently mountain bikers are using tracks designed for walkers.

A wholesale approach to cycling in the city, that is one that incorporates all forms of cycle transport including mountain bikes, would better achieve DCC’s cycling vision. One possible reason why this has not occurred is that two different departments deal with issues surrounding cyclists. The Community and Recreation Planning department manages tracks that are used by off road cyclists and the Transportation Planning department manages cycle transportation issues. These two departments have not adopted a combined approach to managing the large number of cycling issues in the city.

Money, or the need to conserve Council finances, is part of the explanation regarding why the DCC has not addressed mountain biking issues. Financial constraints for a variety of reasons can provide answers to this situation. To put this in a political context, councillors lose votes if they demand higher rates, so financial policy is largely conservative.(51) There is also an inherent conservatism in the local government policy system. Expenditure of the previous year is used as an indication to determine the amount to be spent in the following year.(52) These effects can be partly negated by the ‘tugs of war’ among officers, councillors and pressure groups that result in an inclination to allocate more money.(53) The only people interested in cutting funding are councillors politically motivated to lower rates and financial managers concerned with restraining excess expenditure. Another important factor which must be acknowledged which is specific to local government is the concept of inter-generational equity.(54) This means that for both legal and political reasons budgeting for a surplus or deficit is not feasible. A deficit transfers cost to future ratepayers and surplus burdens current ratepayers.

The answer to the presence of conflict between mountain bikers and walkers seems patently obvious to all but the DCC - provide riders with an area that is designed and constructed specifically for mountain biking. Walkers have a large number of exclusive areas such as the Botanical Gardens, Ross Creek and Bethunes Gully. The obvious place for this facility is Signal Hill. It does not have the same attraction to walkers as the Gardens or Ross Creek due to the presence of scrub and the lack of lush flora. Mountain bikers, as a group, have failed to achieve this desired outcome because they have not been innovative in their approach. The finger, in some respects, can be pointed at MountainBiking Otago given that one of their constitutional objectives is to ‘to be a pro-active advocate …[and] to work for improved land and trail access for mountain biking’.(55) In other respects mountain bikers just simply want to ride and it is not their responsibility to provide a facility. The responsibility lies with the DCC. One of its stated goals is to ‘provide quality services at a level that is fair and appropriate to the needs of each part of the City’.(56) Mountain bike riders are part of Dunedin City

When politicians discuss provision for recreation the benefits of suffer as they are less obvious in an economic framework.(57) Providing mountain biking tracks, like other recreation facilities, does not return a profit to the DCC. These activities do not recover any costs at all and appear out of place in the customer driven, market orientated ideology of the Dunedin City Council. Combine this with conservative financial policy and issues involving the competence of staff it is no wonder mountain bikers have been sidestepped and ignored for so long. Even with the proposed tracks on Signal Hill the DCC’s attitude toward this recreational activity seems unlikely to change.

Notes

(1) This was the title of a speech presented to a conference of local government engineers given by Mayor Richard Walls in 1990.

(2) ‘DCC placing emphasis on service’, Otago Daily Times, 12 June 1990.

(3) ‘Douglas: A man in a hurry for change’, Otago Daily Times, 4 April 1992.

(4) M Douglas, ‘Public interest and service delivery’, in P McDermott, V Forgie and R Howell (Eds.), An Agenda for Local Government: Proceedings from the New Local Government Conference 1995, Massey University, 1995, p 253.

(5) M Willis, ‘Accountability and contestability’, in P McDermott, V Forgie and R Howell (Eds.), An Agenda for Local Government: Proceedings from the New Local Government Conference 1995, Massey University, 1995.

(6) ‘Douglas: A man in a hurry for change’, Otago Daily Times.

(7) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(8) DCC, Draft Annual Plan 1997/98.

(9) ‘Douglas: A man in a hurry for change’, Otago Daily Times.

(10) ‘Low-key campaign so far in Dunedin’, Otago Daily Times, 14 September 1995,

(11) ‘Douglas: A man in a hurry for change’, Otago Daily Times.

(12) ‘Mountain bikes’, Dunedin Star Midweek, 19 October 1994.

(13) ‘Problems with mountain bikes’, Dunedin Star Midweek.

(14) ‘Problems with mountain bikes’, Dunedin Star Midweek.

(15) ‘Problems with mountain bikes’, Dunedin Star Midweek.

(16) ‘Maps for mountain bikes’, Dunedin Star Midweek, 16 March 1994.

(17) DCC, Draft Track Policy and Strategy, DCC, 1998.

(18) ‘Mountain bikes on walkways concern’, Otago Daily Times.

(19) DCC, A Recreation Strategy for Dunedin, DCC, 1993, p 2.

(20) DCC, Draft Track Policy and Strategy, pp. 48-9.

(21) Cessford, Off Road Mountain Biking: A Review and Discussion; D J Chavez, ‘Mountain biking: direct, indirect, and bridge building management styles’, Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, vol. 14, no. 4, 1996, pp. 21-35; D J Chavez, P L Winter, and J M Bass, ‘Recreational mountain biking: A management perspective’, Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, vol. 11, no. 3, 1993, pp. 29-36; C Horn, Conflict in Recreation: The Case of Mountain-Bikers and Trampers, Unpublished Masterate thesis, Lincoln University, Christchurch, 1994; Jenkins, All Terrain (Mountain) Bicycles in New Zealand: A Discussion Paper.

(22) Letter, R Bridges and C Pearson (Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club) to the Chief Executive (DCC), 15 August 1997.

(23) Personal communication, P Coffey (Recreation Officer, DCC), 30 June 1998.

(24) DCC, Draft Track Policy and Strategy.

(25) P Coffey, Track Chat, Dunedin City Council, 7 April 1998.

(26) DCC, Agenda for a meeting of the Community Development Committee, p 12.14.

(27) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(28) Personal communication, J Jones (DCC Councillor), 7 September 1998.

(29) Personal communication, Jones.

(30) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(31) DCC, Minutes from a meeting of the Community Development Committee, p11.

(32) ‘Council likely to run St Clair pool’, Otago Daily Times, 9 September 1998; ‘Arboretum planned’, Otago Daily Times, 9 September 1998.

(33) Bush, Local Government and Politics in New Zealand, p 211.

(34) P Coffey, Track Chat, Dunedin City Council, 17 July 1997.

(35) Personal communication, Coffey.

(36) Personal communication, Coffey.

(37) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(38) Personal communication, Coffey.

(39) DCC, Dunedin Summer Recreation Visitor Survey, 1996; DCC, Dunedin 1997 Summer Recreation Visitor Survey, 1997.

(40) Coughlan, Recreation Resource Conflict, Utilisation and Allocation.

(41) Personal communication, Coffey.

(42) Personal communication, S Dyet (Manager, Browns for Bikes), 31 March 1998.

(43) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(44) W R McKinney, ‘Politics, Public Recreation and Park Agencies, and the Chief Administrator: An Evaluation and Policy Research Analysis’, Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, vol. 5, no. 4, 1987, pp. 47-60.

(45) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(46) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(47) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(48) ‘Douglas: A man in a hurry for change’, Otago Daily Times.

(49) DCC, DCC Cycle Policy, Transport and Planning Department.

(50) DCC, DCC Cycle Policy.

(51) Bush, Local Government and Politics in New Zealand.

(52) Henry, The Politics of Leisure Policy.

(53) Bush, Local Government and Politics in New Zealand.

(54) Bush, Local Government and Politics in New Zealand.

(55) Constitution and Rules of MountainBiking Otago Inc.

(56) DCC, Annual Plan 1998/99.

(57) Hillary Commission, Arts and Recreation.