Media release

Community feedback sought on concepts for Leith

Tuesday 24 July 2018

The second round of ‘Love Your Leith’ consultation opens this week, with concepts displayed at the Otago Polytechnic hub and available to view online.

The concepts for visual amenity, public access, and ecology improvements for the lower reaches of the Water of Leith (Forth Street to the Otago Harbour) have been developed following stakeholder and community engagement earlier this year.

A working group, tasked with steering a path towards feasible concepts, was formed in late 2017 with representatives from Otago Regional Council, Dunedin City Council, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and Kai Tahu (Aukaha). Other stakeholders, including Port Otago, Dunedin Venues, Otago Fish and Game, Liquigas Ltd, DoC, Dunedin Youth Council, Dunedin Amenities Society and adjacent businesses were also invited to give input.

Key themes identified by stakeholders and community were:

  • Better accessibility to the water
  • Less concrete, more nature
  • Connected, shared pathways along the river
  • ‘Destination spaces’ for seating, public art, or sculpture
  • A greater connection to the river
  • Over 75% of respondents agreeing they use the Leith
  • Walking alongside the river is most common activity
  • The top three values: accessibility, native plantings, and visual amenity.

These themes have been developed by the Working Group into core proposed concept areas for each part of the Forth to Harbour reach. Forth Street to Anzac Ave is themed natural stream; Anzac Ave to SH88 is themed tidal estuary and SH88 to harbour is themed to connect to the sea.

The second stage of consultation will be an opportunity for the community to feedback on the visual concepts that develop these core themes. Consultation opens online today at 5pm on, and will run through until 5pm 24 August. The concepts will be displayed at the Otago Polytechnic Hub for the next fortnight.

“The section we’re looking at is infamous for its high concrete walls and "drain-like" environment, so there’s a really wonderful opportunity for improvement there” says Michael Deaker, the Council’s Communication Committee Chair. “We’ve been so pleased with the volume and quality of input from the community on this project so far and really encourage people to take the opportunity to engage with the potential future look and feel of our city river.”

For more information contact:
Charlotte Panton
Communications Advisor
Otago Regional Council
027 202 5539


Photorealisitc Images

Cross-section views and higher resolution images available on request

Forth St - Anzac Av

Anzac Av - SH88

SH88 - Harbour



What is Love Your Leith?

Love Your Leith is the consultation and community engagement for the Leith Amenity Project, one of the final stages of the Leith Flood Protection Scheme. The purpose of this amenity project is to enhance the visual amenity, public access, and ecology of the Forth St – Harbour reach of the Leith.


Who designed the concepts?

The Leith Project Working Group developed a comprehensive brief based on community input, their organisation’s feedback, and ORC requirements such as those regarding hydraulics, flood protection (factoring sea level rise), ecology. ORC engaged landscape architect Mike Moore to bring the Working Group’s vision to life, supported by Dave Compton-Moen from DCM Urban Design Ltd.


How can the public give feedback?

There are two ways you can give feedback on the concepts:

  1. Visit the exhibit display at the Polytech Hub and leave a ‘love note’ on the display with the Post-it notes supplied. This will be open until 9 August.
  2. Online via YourSay – ORC’s online engagement platform. Visit


How long is the consultation open for?

It is open from Tuesday 24 July 5pm, until Friday 24 August 5pm.