Tag Archives: Accommodation

Thoughts on marketing

Received from Hype O’Thermia
Sun, 8 Jun 2014 at 11:11 am

Strategy guru, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter was speaking at the World Business Forum in Sydney on Wednesday and highlighted two key features of a good business strategy.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/10127196/The-value-of-unhappy-customers

“….1. Choose a distinctive value proposition.

Porter says leaders must decide which customers they are serving and then work out what are the needs of those customers that the business is a “master” at fulfilling.

“We can be pretty good at some things, but what are we going to stand out on? Customer services? Product design? Customisation? Which particular needs of that set of customers do we really want to meet and what price will we ask?”

Leaders should decide what the value proposition is and how it compares with competitors.

“Because, unless we have a unique value proposition, unless we have different answers to these questions than our competitors, then we have no strategy. We are just competing on operational effectiveness,” he says…..”

The university / rugby / stadium would do well to look at that and ask how their “marketing” lines up with that sensible advice.

Tourists and other visitors do not come here for a stadium. Some come here to watch a game, a concert. Where it is held is of little importance. When it’s what they want to see – it’s what they want to see.

Over-filling accommodation and eats and drinks venues once in a while is poor business. It’s a big boom, long bust strategy. It’s temp staff working their guts out, then days and weeks, possibly months, of having short hours and thin paydays.

Amusements as an attraction to students is likely to attract young people who are more interested in prolonged privileged adolescence than the quality of the teaching and research available. Fostering these people as bar clients is an effective way of parting them from their money, at some cost to the rest of us in terms of messy antisocial behaviour, and isn’t doing them any long-term favours. We have seen something in the drive to cater to students, that is not unlike the cynical placement of disproportionate numbers of pokies in low-income suburbs.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin housing

Leith Street houses IMG_8995 (1a)Leith Street student villas to Water of Leith

“Dunedin’s housing stock is older and colder than elsewhere in the country and being part of this trial ensures these issues are considered in a housing warrant of fitness.” –Rebecca Williams, DCC Events and Community Development

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Housing WOF Trial Results Announced

This item was published on 15 May 2014

The results of a nationwide rental housing ‘warrant of fitness’ field trial have been released. More than 140 rental properties were given the once-over by home assessment experts in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin earlier this year. The pilot aimed to test whether draft WOF checklists and methods were practical for landlords, assessors and tenants. This is the first step in a collaborative project aimed at making rental housing safer, healthier and more energy efficient. The field trial has not resulted in the immediate issue of a WOF for each home, but it is an important step towards standardising the approach to ensure the credibility of any national WOF scheme.

“This collaborative programme has given us a lot of useful information about the assessment tool and what to do next. The trial has made it clear that a rental housing WOF system would be very useful, helping prospective tenants to make a call on whether a house is safe, healthy and energy efficient, making it warmer and more comfortable to live in. Hopefully, this would mean tenants would stay in their rental home for longer, which is good for both landlords and tenants. We are also grateful for the co-operation of the landlords and tenants who took part in this worthwhile project.” –Dave Cull, Mayor

The rental housing WOF field trial involved the Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin councils, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the New Zealand Green Building Council and the University of Otago (Wellington). The trial tested a range of criteria that could potentially be included in a housing WOF. It aimed to identify aspects such as average assessment times and how to best communicate results to landlords and tenants. The assessment tool was developed by the NZ Green Building Council and the University of Otago, Wellington, with feedback and input from the five councils and ACC. The steering group behind the WOF survey trial says work is now underway to tweak the WOF checklist.

“We have received good feedback from landlords, tenants and the assessors and we are now going back to look at the checklist and criteria to make sure we have a robust and usable housing WOF for the rental market. The trial was really important so that we could gain an understanding about what is going to work for landlords, assessors and tenants. For a housing WOF to work it has to add value for the landlords and we needed to actually trial the draft WOF checklist and methodology.” –Julie Bennett, University of Otago (Wellington)

Key information gathered from the field trial and subsequent interviews includes:
● Landlords surveyed were supportive of a WOF in New Zealand.
● Landlords surveyed said that they were going to undertake work as a result of the new information from the draft WOF assessment.
● 36% of the homes that went through field trial would pass all of the draft WOF criteria with relatively minor fixes ($50 – $150 worth of materials/hardware estimated).

Examples of items that are attracting most of the attention during this testing phase are whether houses need a fixed form of heating, such as a heat pump or a wood burner, in order to ‘pass’ the WOF. Similarly, one of the requirements of the trial checklist was that all windows have stays for security and to prevent children falling out – however due to difficulties in assessing these, and landlords saying that they were not keen on security stays, the steering group has agreed to drop them from the checklist.

After the inspection system has been refined it will be presented to the participating councils for discussion. Most assessors who were interviewed after the trial said they were willing to make ‘easy’ fixes, while doing the inspections, to make homes compliant. The fixes included installing smoke alarms or smoke alarm batteries, changing light bulbs or adjusting the hot water temperature. Many homes still lack working smoke alarms – despite extensive and ongoing advertising – but the trial also found the overall condition of the homes that participated was good. About 94% of the homes inspected in the field trial did not pass at least one checklist criteria, but most dwellings failed on only a handful of the 31 inspection targets on the WOF checklist. About 36% of homes would pass all the criteria in the draft WOF checklist after just a few minor and inexpensive fixes.

In terms of the next steps for the project, the partners in the project aim to:
● Share the results of the trial, including reporting back to relevant councils.
● Get endorsement/agreement from participating councils on the next steps.
● Continue discussions with Central Government to work towards one WOF tool for NZ.
● Finalise checklists and methodologies.
● Investigate next steps for introduction of a voluntary WOF scheme.

Leith Street houses IMG_9518 (1a)Leith Street villas (1-2 storeys)

Facts and figures from the trial:
● 144 houses inspected.
● The inspection checklist looked at 31 items that covered a wide range of aspects ranging from weathertightness and insulation to ventilation, lighting, heating, condition of appliances and general building safety.
● House age ranged from 1880s to less than 10 years old
● Wide range of houses participated – from detached to apartments.
● Average time to inspect houses – 51 minutes.
● The majority of houses ‘failed’ on only a handful of checklist items.
● Top five checklist items that homes did not pass:
○ 40% of houses did not pass the water temperature check
○ 30% of bedrooms did not have a working smoke alarm within 3m of the bedroom
○ 31% of houses lacked code-compliant handrails and balustrades
○ 37% of houses did not pass the check for having a fixed form of heating
○ 38% of houses did not pass the security stays check

█ Full report at www.dunedin.govt.nz/rentalhousing-wof-pretest

Housing WOF Trial – associated information (PDF, 763 KB)

Contact DCC Manager Events and Community Development on 03 477 4000
DCC Link

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Dundas Street terrace housing IMG_9066 (1a)Dundas Street terraces

### ODT Online Fri, 16 May 2014
Trial shows value in rental housing Wof
By Timothy Brown
None of Dunedin’s houses will pass a rental warrant of fitness if the standards used during a recent trial of scheme are applied. The inspections, carried out by home assessment experts, looked at weather-tightness, insulation and ventilation, lighting, heating, condition of appliances and general building safety.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images by whatifdunedin (2010)

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State Housing matters

State housing [APN]All state house tenants, regardless of age or disability, will find themselves subject to the government’s new policy of reviewing state house tenancies.

### NZ Herald Online 11:45 AM Wednesday Mar 19, 2014
Elderly, disabled included in state house review
By Simon Collins
More than one in five of the first 780 state house tenants facing possible eviction under a new Government policy will be elderly or disabled. A paper taken to Cabinet last month by Housing Minister Nick Smith and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett reveals that the two ministers have decided not to exempt the elderly and disabled from the new policy of reviewing all state house tenancies, ending the previous policy that a state house was “a home for life”.
The full paper, placed on the Social Development Ministry website last week included a detailed breakdown showing that 20 per cent of the first batch of tenants to be reviewed would be 65 or over and 27 others would be “permanently and severely disabled”. The paper was later removed and an edited version was subsequently posted with the breakdown of affected tenants deleted.
The controversial policy is intended to “shift expectations away from social housing for life to social housing for the duration of housing need”. It takes effect after the Social Development Ministry takes over allocating social housing from Housing NZ on April 14, and the first affected tenants will be notified before the end of next month.
Read more

Cabinet paper on state house tenancies

### ODT Online Tue, 18 Mar 2014
Fewer Kiwis own their own homes
The number of homeowners in New Zealand continues to fall, with less than half of all Kiwis owning their own property, new Census figures show. In 2013, 49.8 per cent of people aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the home they lived in, compared with 53.2 per cent in 2006, according to census results released by Statistics New Zealand today. 2013 Census Quickstats about housing, which contains detailed information about New Zealand’s housing stock, also reveals trends in the number, type, and size of the dwellings we are living in. APNZ
Read more

2013 Census QuickStats about national highlights

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: APN – State Housing

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George Street: Two new uglies (thanks DCC, no City Architect…)

(just DCC resource management planners with no design training, and use of the odd ‘consulting architect’ who lamely fails to press that architectural details be made “right”, lest they upset “the boys”—be they lousy small-time architects (as opposed to REAL DESIGN ARCHITECTS), architectural designers, draftsmen, builders, property developers or investors). Our kindom, for a City Architect —to compile and enforce design guidelines, and through district plan mechanisms, to require the use of registered architects by developers working in important townscape precincts like George Street, and to shove an unforgiving multidisciplinary Urban Design Panel at the buggers.

No. 1 —Apartments, 581 George Street
We’re all familiar with Farry’s Motel, now Farry’s Motel Apartments at 575 George Street. The complex used to look out on a green area, and vehicle parking with mature trees and shrubbery at 581.

DCC Webmap 575-581 George StreetDCC Webmap 575-581 George Street

Malcolm Farry recently sold the properties at 575 and 581 to Ethel Limited, a family company led by Frank Cazemier who has worked for Cutlers as a “University Investment Sales Specialist”. A cursory check of directorships at the NZ Companies Office website shows Cazemier is “one of the boys”. Pity he knows next to nothing about contextual commercial residential design, architectural bulk and location, facade modulation, sun angles, or landscape architecture —such that can’t be solved by ready trees.

575 George St (1c) IMG_4619581 George St (1c) IMG_4618581 George St (2d) IMG_4623

Farry’s Motel Apartments now looks out on a poorly designed featureless boundary fence, and the sobering double block of apartments ‘next door’ at 581. The block furthest from the street (walls of light blue), when seen from driveways to either side, reveals a ‘long elevation’ running parallel to George Street that resembles a jerry-built, badly-windowed reclad of a tired country hall (the low, horizontally-orientated fenestration allows for another floor of rooms above, in the roofspace).

581 George St (3c) IMG_4602581 George St (4c) IMG_4606

The marketing statement for Farry’s Motel Apartments at 575 still says:
“Set alongside a large grassed area that provides a playground and picnic spots, we are one of the most centrally located Dunedin motels, offering an absolutely superb main street position.”

This is no longer the case.
The very likely expensive exercise in ‘infill design’ (intensification/ densification…) issued from the drawing board of Bill Henderson, Architect of (fuck-a-daisy)WANAKA —someone who appears to work at the ‘cheap-looking’ end of the market, or at least has diminished design flare, poor knowledge of scale detail and proportion, and lack of expertise in three-dimensional architectural composition. As a result, and while meeting planning criteria for the zone, the motels/apartments at 575 and 581 now look about fit for student stays only, or at a pinch, the G&T parents of capping graduands. No fear, the new apartments will be mouth-wateringly expensive to rent. The student ghetto continues, behind the tacky dress-up to George Street.

Incidently, Farry’s operates a charge back system with the former Farry-owned Cargill’s Hotel, now Quality Hotel Cargills at 686 George Street.

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No. 2 —Apartments, 2 St David Street, cnr George Street
There used to be a nice old single-storey bungalow with fine curving bay windows and a palm tree on this site, next to Quality Hotel Cargills. Only the palm tree remains. The bungalow became victim to an excavator. It isn’t clear if the windows and internal period joinery (if still present) were dismantled for re-use.

DCC Webmap - 2 St David Street2 St David Street (7b) IMG_03402 St David Street (9c)

The site is now owned by Newmarket Investments Limited and has been recently developed for apartments. The company directors are Clive Hewitson and wife Wendy May Hewitson. Clive Hewitson’s profile at LinkedIn says: “Director – Otago & Southland, New Zealand | Real Estate”. Hewitson is another of the “boys”, as records at the NZ Companies Office show. Some link up in the past with companies of which Frank Cazemier (mentioned above) has also been a director.

2 St David Street (2b) IMG_45912 St David Street (3b) IMG_4580

The apartment complex is faced, not too convincingly, in ‘red brick’ – at first glance, no-one can tell if it’s real brick facing or veneer! Questionable are the lack of reveals, and the scale and position of openings (doors and windows) in the street elevations; with tweaking to proportions and placements this could have solved. The glazing bars are all wrong. Small frosted bathroom and toilet windows to the street (on the public face of your building) are a No-no. The shallowness of the gables to the street elevations, also grates in perpspective. The grey wooden pickets added to the base of the original garden fence are completely odd. The whole is unnecessarily dreary. Taxi drivers hate it. The pencil cypresses may provide a foil, once mature (the building really needs one hell of a lot of ivy). Have to admit, designing anything between Quality Hotel Cargills and Econo Lodge Alcala is a free-for-all, BUT why not try…

2 St David Street (6c2) IMG_4583No registered architect. It shows. The developer used RJ Oliver Architectural Design, Mosgiel – spot the spelling mistake!

2 St David Street (1b) IMG_45982 St David Street (5b) IMG_4595

Why didn’t Quality Hotel Cargills buy 2 St David Street to take control of the prominent corner to George Street? We note Dunedin architect Hamish Wixon is a director/shareholder of 678 George Street Limited and Cargills Hotel Limited. Perhaps we can look forward to developments at the tired Cargills…

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Strategic Site: 715 George Street, cnr Regent Road
Can we possibly imagine what will get built on the site of the former BP 2go Regent service station? Another horror story? Another ‘architectual’ (sic) bodice-ripper? 715 is owned by Northfield Property and Investment Company Limited. The sole director is Bryan Howard Usher of Dunedin.

DCC Webmap - 715 George StreetDCC Webmap – 715 George Street (context)

Post and building images by Elizabeth Kerr

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University buys LivingSpace Dunedin

LivingSpace Dunedin (former Glendermid building) 1

Received by email.

Monday, 15 April 2013 4:09 p.m.
The workers were told at a meeting today, LivingSpace (the accommodation block in Castle Street, used to be Glendermids) has been sold to the university.

It was the only profitable one of the chain, propping up the lousy Invercargill/Christchurch ones.

The company has been in receivership for quite a while, during which the Dunedin business was steadily busy and AFAIK profitable.

Wtf is the university doing with yet another (no rates I suppose) building? More student accommodation? Landlords will be thrilled.

Could be a challenge to the harbourside accommodation block too.

Cleaning staff have been given the heave-ho.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Chongqing, Southwest China

Chongqing, China (aerial 2006)### news.xinhuanet.com | English.news.cn 2013-01-26 21:27:26
Chongqing sets new roadmap in post-Bo Xilai era
CHONGQING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) — Chongqing’s municipal government vowed Saturday it would shake off the impacts of the Bo Xilai scandal and make law-abiding governance the priority alongside further reform. Huang Qifan, mayor of the metropolis in southwest China, described 2012 as an “extremely extraordinary year” for Chongqing’s development in his report on the work of the municipal government, which was delivered to the 4th Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress.

The local legislature convened its annual session on Saturday with aims to outline the city’s future blueprint for the next five years. The mayor said the government has endeavoured to maintain steady economical and social development despite the severe toll of the incidents involving Bo Xilai, with the city recording an annual economic growth of 13.6 percent. “It turned out that Chongqing citizens have weathered storms and withstood ordeals,” he said.

The government published the full text of its work report, in which it placed governing in accordance with the Constitution and the law as a main focus for this year, while references to Chongqing’s previous high-profile crackdowns on organised crimes are notably absent. In 2009, when Bo Xilai was the CPC (Communist Party of China) chief of Chongqing, the city launched a massive anti-crime campaign, prioritising fighting local mafia-style gangs. Though Bo and Chongqing’s police were credited with reducing crime, concerns were raised about abuses of power and the neglect of due legal process.

The government should rule in accordance with the law, and “no organisation or individual has the privilege to overstep the Constitution and the law,” the work report said. A power reshuffle in this session is set to usher in new local leaders, higher requirements are posed for the municipal government to further intensify reform, Huang told the lawmakers, adding that improvement to work style should be made following the central leadership’s call for eradicating bureaucracy and formalism in December.

Officials in Chongqing are urged to remain low-key and down to earth, talk less and work more to better serve the people.
Read more

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“Amazing city… but without spirit… is a City with many construction. Don’t have the beauty of Brasilia… is a new city of construction.” –Cidade_Branca (architect) at SkyscaperCity CHONGQING | Projects & Construction (2.11.07 03:36 AM)

Wikipedia: Chongqing

Chongqing, two rivers (1)

“One river is naturally brown from the silt, the other is normal dark blue.”
the spliff fairy at SkyscraperCity (28.2.13 01:54 PM)

### nytimes.com September 26, 2011
Built in a Dirty Boom, China’s Biggest City Tries to Go Green
By Coco Liu – ClimateWire
CHONGQING, China — Wandering around in downtown Chongqing, it is hard to imagine that this is a city that is going green. Vehicles clog roads in every direction. Construction cranes stretch to the horizon. And huge posters displaying locally produced industrial goods show where the city’s exploding economic growth is coming from. But Chongqing (population 28,846,200) is more than meets the eye. After living with acid rain and toxic smog for decades, the city has been scrambling for ways to clean up the air. It is also overhauling its power-hungry economy and rebuilding it on a base of industries that use less energy.

Chongqing isn’t alone on such a transformation path. It is one of several pilot provinces and cities that Chinese leaders picked last year in an attempt to find a low-carbon growth model that can be spread to the rest of the nation. Experts attribute this new Chinese desire to the fact that China’s environment and natural resources can no longer afford the blights of heavily polluting, energy-intensive growth. Moreover, there is growing pressure from the outside world to reduce emissions.

Chongqing, controlled demolition 30-8-12 (2)Chongqing, controlled demolition 30-8-12 (1)Chongqing, controlled demolition 30.8.12

Cities will play a major role in that effort. During the next 20 years, more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to come from the developing world’s cities, and more than half of that will come from Chinese cities, says Michael Lindfield, a lead urban development specialist at the Asian Development Bank. “So the importance of making Chinese cities energy-efficient is really a global issue, not just a Chinese issue,” Lindfield added.

But none of this comes easily. For one, it is hard for cities to uproot decades-old economic foundations. In addition, cities risk revenue losses. Energy-guzzling factories that are shut down, in many cases, can’t be immediately offset by low-carbon industries that are still in their nascent stage. Moreover, the switch from traditional industries to green businesses claims jobs, at least for a short term. While cement makers can hire people with few skills, solar panel producers can’t.

Chongqing [became] one of the nation’s industrial hubs. It is China’s biggest producer of motorcycles. It leads in aluminum production. Every day, containers of made-in-Chongqing steel, chemicals and machinery are loaded on cargo ships and then sent from here to destinations along the Yangtze River. All this came at a heavy price.

Data from the World Bank showed that in the early 2000s, one-third of crops in the Chongqing area had been damaged by acid rain — the result of sulfur dioxide and other industrial pollutants. Breathing here became a dangerous thing to do. The World Bank reported that in 2004, residents in Chongqing were inhaling six times more lung cancer-causing pollutants than the World Health Organization considers safe.

“The city was always enveloped by fog and smog,” explained Li, the local economist. The mountain terrain around it helped concentrate Chongqing’s murky air, he said, “but pollution from heavy industries was the key.”
Read more

Chongqing Planning and Exhibition Centre. The city model shows a concept idea of the future of Chongqing. Most important skyscrapers aren’t added until they have a definitive design. –z0rg at SkyscraperCity CHONGQING | Projects & Construction (6.8.06 09:32 PM)

Chongqing Planning and Exhibition Centre 6.8.06100 towers taller than 200m including 20 supertalls in one city.
Chongqing 200+ metre Listz0rg at SkyscraperCity (6.7.08 10:05 AM)

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[ODT] The project was being advanced on their behalf by Betterways, of which Ms Jing Song was also a director.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 Mar 2013
Betterways, Diamond Heights link
By Chris Morris
DUNEDIN — The construction company linked to Dunedin’s proposed $100 million waterfront hotel is building the tallest tower in western China. The building will be the tallest for the time being, at least. It has been confirmed the company linked to Dunedin’s proposed hotel is Diamond Heights Construction Engineering Co Ltd, which is based in Chongqing, China, and employs more than 1000 staff. The company is owned by Ping Cao, who together with wife Jing Song, of Queenstown, wants to build Dunedin’s five-star hotel on industrial land at 41 Wharf St.

While it was said Diamond Heights would not be directly involved in construction of Dunedin’s hotel – should consent to proceed be granted – Mr Cao and Ms Song planned to fund it together and contract a New Zealand company to build it.

Mr Cao’s company is responsible for the construction of the 65-storey Shangri-la Hotel in Chongqing, which at 290m high will, when completed, be nearly three times the height of Dunedin’s proposed hotel. It was almost finished, with only the exterior cladding to be added, and was an impressive sight when visited by Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers last year, he told the Otago Daily Times.
The company was also involved in other projects in China, including two sprawling mixed-use developments comprising hotels, other commercial buildings and housing.
Read more

Chongqing, Shangri-la Hotel at nightShangri-La Hotels and Resorts is said to be Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group. Four Shangri-La hotels are projected for Chongqing.
Image: businesstraveller.asia

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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ODT editorial (spot on!) — ORC temporary headquarters

### ODT Online Sat, 11 Aug 2012
Editorial: High price for convenience
Many people will shake their heads in disquiet about the Otago Regional Council’s decision to spend nearly $1 million building a temporary council chamber in its Stafford St car park. Perhaps the councillors and chief executive know something we do not, but it seems poor use of precious ratepayer money when the primary reason appears to be convenience.

It is always important that councillors remember they are serving ratepayers and residents of the region, and that they should do so with a minimum of fuss or ostentation. At the same time, it should be acknowledged that, although there are calls for the council to be disestablished or merged into unitary authorities, it does have significant roles.

Read more


Related Post:
26.6.09 ORC headquarters

[ODT Thumbnail]

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