Public meeting: planning the future of Dunedin heritage buildings

### ODT Online Sat, 13 Mar 2010
Meeting on heritage building reuse
By Chris Morris
An initiative to promote the economic reuse of Dunedin’s heritage buildings has been unveiled. The Dunedin City Council has formed a new steering group, which will hold a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways of planning for the future of Dunedin’s heritage buildings.
Read more

█ The council’s steering group, chaired by Cr Dave Cull, has invited owners of pre-1930 commercial buildings to the meeting. Cr Cull said the group would seek two representatives from building owners, to advise on planning for the future of Dunedin’s heritage buildings.

WHEN: Tuesday, 16 March 2010
WHERE: Bracken Court Building, 480 Moray Place
WHAT TIME: 5pm – 7pm

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Stadiums

104 responses to “Public meeting: planning the future of Dunedin heritage buildings

  1. Elizabeth

    ### RNZ National Wednesday, 17 March 2010 at 08.39am
    Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Sean Plunket
    Dunedin’s heritage buildings are the focus of new committee
    Dunedin’s commercial heritage building owners want more flexible planning processes to assist them to redevelop their properties.
    Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (3:04)

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Mar 2010
      Assessment of heritage significance
      By Debbie Porteous
      The former Dunedin prison may have more heritage value than initially thought, after the New Zealand Historic Places Trust found the courtyard style of the building was a rarity in New Zealand. The building was decommissioned in August 2007, after operating as a prison for about 111 years. At the time of its closure, it accommodated about 59 medium-security prisoners and 40 remand prisoners. It has a category 1 historic rating and is worth about $1.8 million, according to Dunedin City Council rating information. The crown disposal process began last year. Ngai Tahu has the first right of refusal, but has not yet been offered the building.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Story about a gutless wonder, who does not know the meaning of “good stewardship”. Shameful words and inaction from Sam Chin, building owner. There are no excuses for the risks he alone has perpetrated.

        ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Mar 2010
        Safety fears close Sammy’s
        By Chris Morris
        Dunedin nightspot Sammy’s has been ordered to close immediately, after being condemned by the New Zealand Fire Service as a potential deathtrap. The order – by the Dunedin City Council, based on Fire Service advice – was confirmed yesterday, taking with it plans for last night’s “Cave Rave” dub/roots music event which had been relocated from Long Beach.
        Read more

  2. It may be a good idea if the NZHPT gave annual awards for the most disgraceful upkeep of major historic buildings in Dunedin. Would a ‘name and shame’ angle be worth pursuing? Saying this, I understand the Trust’s work must be cut out trying to preserve our built heritage.

    • Elizabeth

      Probably better generated by the public, Peter. I completely understand the sentiment!

      However, property ownership can be onerous – especially under the current NZ Building Act which drives code compliance (see Central Government statutory requirement).

      A better way to presume is to balance regulatory and voluntary compliance – DCC is sort of heading in this direction gradually, with the newly set up ‘heritage investment’ committee, chaired by Cr Dave Cull; and having brought a Policy Planner – Heritage onto staff as well as two urban design positions.

      These DCC positions and the incumbent staff, no disrespect, should not be confused as having expertise in building conservation, concerning technical ability and proven expertise in materials culture, in terms of research, assessment, treatment and construction method.

      At present, for the Otago Southland region, this specialist and or accredited expertise is available via NZHPT (as the leading national heritage agency) as well as appropriately qualified and recognised private practitioners and consultants.

      By far and large, the work NZHPT does is out of the public eye in partnership with responsible property owners. That’s the GOOD news!!! It’s not always easy or straightforward work – but it’s not predicated on the negative forces of enforcement and litigation.

      It’s the clangers that make the media (what’s news??? …the bad stuff, not the good).

      In New Zealand, “good stewardship” of heritage values is subverted – if that’s the right word – by private property rights. Overseas, statutory and legislative powers exist to impel a property owner, for example, to weather seal their ‘old’ structure or building – in other words, to ‘mothball’ it until economic conditions improve to carry out remedial and conservation work that would see the place become viable for use once more, or indeed a change of use that is sympathetic to the heritage values. The penalties available, including work orders, are a significant deterrent to ‘demolition by neglect’; and the ‘culture’ of the population area or ‘nation’ is such to uphold historic heritage as worthy of preservation.

      New Zealand, in as much as Dunedin… has a lot to learn about appreciating heritage values and the historic heritage it’s got – and finding ways to make property owners ‘positively’ aware of their obligations, the incentives available for keeping heritage in place (including providing new incentives), and the (regional and internationally available) pool of professional expertise to assist economic staging of building conservation and adaptive reuse where it is an appropriate option.

      Nationally, there is a very weak understanding of why we need to focus on sustainable building approaches, and what embodied energy actually means. There’s no excuse for this ignorance – tunnel vision is not a virtue.


      NZHPT as a Crown entity manages its risk and liability closely (due to limited fighting funds available nationally) – where it perceives a legal precedent can be set it will consider spending priorities to ascertain which cases to pursue.

      Take into account too, the National Government is hellbent on restructuring all CEs, including NZHPT – the process of which (a review of the Historic Places Act) has begun in the form of ‘consultation’ (yeah right) to shed community representation altogether in favour of government appointees. Meaning NZHPT member-elected branch committees and member-elected (national) NZHPT Board representatives are heading “out”, even though there is a select committee process to suffer first… halleluya.


      Furthermore, we worry local authorities are being devolved, by National Government, into non democratic CCOs, which means ratepayers will have little say on how their rates are to be utilised going forward. Don’t imagine historic heritage will get a fair deal in the process.

      Once we fall for all this – non democratisation – the New Zealand we knew and loved, ‘the place’ we could freely debate, is shot down and made the slighted victim of corruption.

      Disclaimer: Elizabeth Kerr is a former Otago Branch Chair (2000-2008) and former subscription member of New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The views expressed in this comment are ventured independently and are not those of New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Mon, 22 Mar 2010
        Chin family to discuss future of Sammy’s
        By Chris Morris
        Dunedin’s Chin family will today meet to decide what to do about their nightclub being ordered closed on Friday by the Dunedin City Council after being designated a fire risk. Sammy’s nightclub was started more than 30 years ago by Sam Chin and his late father Eddie. Mr Chin told the Otago Daily Times last night he was shocked by the apparent lack of notice from the New Zealand Fire Service.

        “They should have said something before they closed it. All those people lost all that money.”
        Read more


        Sam Chin, as the building owner, should have ensured his building meets the regulations for a live entertainment venue. End of story.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Monday 22 March 2010
          Letters to the editor
          City council guilty of heritage hypocrisy
          By Hayden Cawte, Dunedin
          I write to applaud the initiative taken by the Dunedin City Council in forming a heritage building steering group. This does, however, appear to be a prima facie case of heritage hypocrisy. On the one hand there is the formation of a steering group to protect heritage, but in the face of a council of a mind to grant consent to demolish a block of heritage buildings within their own protected heritage precinct.

          The full letter is available in print and digital editions of the Otago Daily Times.


          I note the buildings threatened with demolition Hayden Cawte refers to, 372-392 Princes St, stand in the South Princes Street Townscape Precinct – not a heritage precinct, per se. That said, a townscape precinct is predicated on the historic heritage it contains, as acknowledged in the Dunedin City District Plan. And hey, under section 6f of the Resource Management Act, heritage is a matter of national importance – something, Dunedin City Council isn’t applying legal diligence, policy imperative, or staff training to. It shows.

          I suspect this is happening because elected council representatives, as a whole, won’t assume leadership in heritage governance and policy matters – while it might be seen (in their misguided view) to interfere with the shoring up and connivance of ‘local business’. But oh dear, then there was harbourside… and large scale retail occupying industrial-zoned land… Golly, no consistency in Council’s adherence to the publicly-consulted District Plan!!!!! Name the private sector interests that are rolling over the Plan’s rules and objectives with the Council’s unerring endorsement. Sham City.

          It’s like councillors (a number of whom are planning commissioners) are acting as practised infidels (heritage heretics) – grounded in an obsolete, flawed, unethical binary opposition – where economic development and entrepreneurial business practice cannot support or sustain the overall thoroughgoing retention of city heritage values.

          Heritage resource management is ‘unfashionable’, usefully ‘misunderstood’ and vastly ‘too technical’ (conveniently parade that as ‘too costly’) for the councillors’ less than learned minds.

          [there are exceptions in the councillor ranks… but heritage resource management is HAMSTRUNG by a lack of mayoral leadership, lack of committee chair leadership, lack of councillor learning and research, and the resulting council voting imbalances]


          Despite scripting a Dunedin City Heritage Strategy (joke), Council hasn’t reached any effective understanding that the city’s future economic development is greatly dependent on preserving the uniqueness and quality of the historic environment (my assertion does not preclude adaptive reuse and new build).

          This differs from current and recent efforts to turn the city into a hollow Disneyland of ‘mickey mouse’-thin historical building fronts that have their meaning erased – being degraded vestiges of Dunedin’s noble trading and commercial continuance. Examples: Farmers Trading store, Meridian Mall (former Arthur Barnett store), McDonalds, Harvest Court, Crown Clothing Building, former Penroses Building et al.

          The Princes St buildings under threat of demolition (by something I will describe as ‘council ignore’ of the community’s District Plan) are also listed in District Plan Schedule 25.1, where it states their facades to Princes Street are protected above the verandah line. Note: that’s facade protection, not protection of the buildings as a whole.*

          *See Schedule 25.1 Townscape and Heritage Buildings and Structures for the precise protection details.


          The Townscape section of the District Plan, in practice, primarily deals with superficial ‘drive by’ street appearance – rather than the technical assessment, description and preservation of townscape and heritage values that relate to whole buildings and structures, the componentry of city blocks including open spaces and alleys, and special areas.

          All of which is a grave disservice to city sustainability and the preservation of our colonial and post-colonial heritage values that strongly determine Dunedin’s physical character and cultural identity, offering a very real point of difference with other cities as a measurable driver of local/regional community wellbeing and economic development into the future.

          My comments aren’t intended to dismiss or detract from Hayden Cawte’s views. The council “hypocrisy” he labels is well understood by those of us working in the heritage sector and investing in heritage property.


          The other building threatened with demolition, part of the Prista resource consent application, is 11 Stafford St, which is older than 372-392 Princes St. It features bluestone foundations and a modified facade to the street. It has no District Plan protection; its heritage values have not been assessed by the Council. It is well documented in historical photographs and its establishment history is known.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Tue, 23 Mar 2010
          Chin to plead for future of Sammy’s
          By Chris Morris
          The owner of Dunedin nightspot Sammy’s plans to meet Fire Service and Dunedin City Council staff to plead for the future of his building.
          Mr Tilyard (NZFS) said “Mr Chin long term is going to have to pick up his management of the building…[Mr Chin] is the building owner…He’s the one responsible for making sure it operates safely – not me or the city council.”
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Tue, 23 Mar 2010
          Art gallery demolition plan expected today
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council is today expected to unveil plans for the partial demolition of the former art gallery building at Logan Park.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 22 Mar 2010
          Fire Service defers central station upgrade
          By Debbie Porteous
          Plans to refurbish the Dunedin Central Fire Station have been postponed after engineers found major conservation work and earthquake proofing are needed to bring it up to building code standards.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Tue, 23 Mar 2010
          Gallery hit for six by cricket plan
          Part of Dunedin’s former art gallery at Logan Park would be knocked down to make more room for the University Oval cricket ground under plans unveiled by the Dunedin City Council today.
          Read more

          Full coverage in tomorrow’s Otago Daily Times.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 24 Mar 2010
          Restorer of building frustrated by zoning
          By Chris Morris
          Blocks of heritage buildings in Dunedin could be rescued from neglect by possible zoning changes to be considered by the Dunedin City Council. Council staff have confirmed they are in the early stages of researching possible changes to the council’s district plan, including zoning, which could encourage a greater use of heritage buildings in the city.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 25 Mar 2010
          Mayfair makes light work of new truss
          By John Lewis
          “It was quoted at theatre conferences as being the ugliest, most dangerous piece of theatre equipment in New Zealand.” But now, the Mayfair Theatre’s front-of-house lighting truss has been replaced, theatre manager Bruce Collier says… The theatre had been increasingly busy during the past two years, which meant it could fund the new truss with theatre reserves which had built up from “modest” operating surpluses.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Sun, 23 Mar 2014
          Trust will drive theatre redevelopment
          By Brenda Harwood – The Star
          A newly formed trust has big plans for the Mayfair Theatre, in South Dunedin, as the theatre celebrates its centennial year. Opened as The King Edward Theatre in December, 1914, the theatre continued as a movie theatre until 1967, when it was bought by the Dunedin Opera Company. The theatre was re-named The Mayfair in 1934.
          This year, the independent Mayfair Theatre Charitable Trust has been created specifically to take over the running of the theatre. There are five trustees, chaired by Opera Otago stalwart Geoff Patton, with theatre manager Bruce Collier as secretary, and trustees Tom Ross, John Collier, Stephen Manning and Steve Hydes.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          The council yesterday admitted the theatre should have been informed before the ”for sale” sign appeared in King Edward St.

          [A courtesy to ask Mayfair if they want the option to purchase… long before the site was placed on the market – in order for fair and reasonable negotiations to follow, but this is the ‘satisfying’ and SKINT DCC we’re talking about.]

          ### ODT Online Tue, 29 Jul 2014
          Car park sale ‘kick in guts’
          By David Loughrey
          Opposition to the Dunedin City Council’s sale of millions of dollars’ worth of surplus land is growing, with the second recent sale to emerge infuriating a nearby community theatre. The Mayfair Theatre, in South Dunedin, learnt yesterday an adjacent public car park used by patrons is for sale, with tenders closing in four days. Theatre manager Bruce Collier described the news as ”a kick in the guts” for the small charitable trust that runs the theatre.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 4 May 2011
          Central Dunedin Fire Station work on hold
          By Debbie Porteous
          Plans to upgrade the Central Dunedin Fire Station have been suspended further in the wake of Christchurch’s earthquake, despite engineers finding it needs major earthquake strengthening work. Tenders were called for the work on the building, which was meant to cost several million dollars and take about two years, in late 2009.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 31 Mar 2010
          Plans to reopen Sammy’s soon
          By Chris Morris
          Dunedin nightspot Sammy’s is on the road to revival, just weeks after being condemned as a potential deathtrap and ordered to close. Deputy Chief Fire Officer Trevor Tilyard, of Dunedin, yesterday said he would be happy to see the popular live music venue reopen – albeit with a limited crowd capacity – once it was confirmed a new fire evacuation plan was in place and the fire exits were clear.
          Read more

  3. Elizabeth

    The following comments have been moved here from Dunedin City moves to three-ward system. Relevance.


    Calvin Oaten 2010/03/28 at 11:24am [Read the full comment by following the link -Eds]

    ….The parking fiasco, the rubbish dilemma, the financial justification of the $45m plus ‘international conference complex’, the controversial ‘harbourside dream’, and of course the STADIUM. Every one of those extravaganzas have been promoted and pushed by the bureaucracy, led by Mr Harland. Why? Because the mayor and council relinquished the control to him. What else was he to do?….

    {The currently proposed and budgeted Dunedin Centre Redevelopment, which includes building changes to the Dunedin Town Hall, the Glenroy Auditorium and the Municipal Chambers, has not been touted as an ‘international conference centre’ by the Council. The complex will be adapted, in stages, to accommodate performance, concerts, graduations, hospitality, seminars, meetings, conferences, trade shows and similar. Due to lack of overall size and geographic location the complex isn’t conceived of as being able to attract ‘international’ conferences although it doesn’t preclude them – given the availability of nearby venues (including the Regent Theatre and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery) to complement Dunedin Centre capacity. -Eds}


    Calvin Oaten 2010/03/28 at 5:05pm
    Excuse me Editor; but if you look at the so called business plan supporting the whole Dunedin Centre redevelopment you will see it is based wholly and solely on conferences and the increasing of same. Practically no mention of any other activities, except university graduations. Have you seen the plan?

    You and I know that it has neither the size nor the geographic location to attract “international” conferences. You try and tell them that.

    {The events you mention will in part subsidise community use of the community-owned asset – it’s not that the other uses don’t exist for the Dunedin Centre’s future activity. The buildings in the complex must be brought up to code compliance and this represents a large proportion of the capital spend – this has been discussed elsewhere at What if?. Old news for those following or involved in the project. There are no real surprises; the council has been open in its process and through consultation. You were always welcome to participate in this process that members of the public and stakeholder groups were comfortable in contributing their time to. There is a sense you might be a bit late with the criticism; the friendly horse hasn’t bolted, it is plodding on diligently. If you have gripes – speak directly to your elected representatives in person. We hasten to point out that posting here won’t solve anything if you’re genuinely concerned that all is not right with the proposed Dunedin Centre Redevelopment. You can also make a submission to the Dunedin City Council Draft Annual Plan 2010/11. -Eds}


    Calvin Oaten 2010/03/29 at 9:41am
    Hello Ms Editor; I am sorry, but I beg to disagree on a good number of points. First, the whole project was predicated on the development of conferences, dating back some seven or eight years, first instigated by Peter Brown and Debra Simes, subsequently pursued by Kate Styles. If you care to look at the history, you will see that it has all been promulgated on the increase of conferences. As the costs escalated, so too did the projected number of conferences and revenue budgets. It has never been about other benefits, other than to placate the people expressing concern about the cost. And that, editor is the crux of the argument, THE COST!

    You may well have your opinions to which you are entitled but make no error, this whole exercise, (other than the refurbishment of the Town Hall which is due and essential) is a campaign initiated by staff, and promoted by staff in a classic case of empire building.

    You say it has been consulted extensively, and that is true. But that doesn’t necessarily right. Witness the stadium as proof of that.

    In a sense I might be a bit late with criticism, if I have gripes I should speak to my elected representative, you say. Well. Have you not read my letters and articles published over the years? Why would anyone bother now to talk to any of the current obdurate lot?

    I am sorry Elizabeth, but I do think the horse has bolted.


    Phil 2010/03/29 at 11:20am
    There’s a few un-necessaries in this project. I agree with Calvin on that front. Not as far as the Town Hall goes, but the redeveloping of the Municipal Chambers. Spending that kind of money just to create private meeting rooms for councillors is not something I agree with. Not when the Civic Centre already has meeting rooms available for use.

    There were more cost effective alternatives available, other than the path taken.


    Elizabeth 2010/03/29 at 11:31am
    Not sure where you got this information from Phil –

    Municipal Chambers, besides the Council Chamber and the Visitor Centre (i site), will comprise publicly usable and hireable function and meeting areas (breakout space) – these aren’t restricted to use by councillors.

    NZIA Southern amongst others pushed for the building interconnections; this also allows direct entry to the Dunedin Centre off the Octagon, and improved wayfinding in terms of horizontal and vertical circulation within the building complex – a total plus!

    Our earlier discussions at What if? referenced architect Norman Ledgerwood’s recent researches on the Octagon – noting the historical design of the ‘back end’ of architect Robert A Lawson’s Municipal Chambers. Lawson designed the back wall with ‘openings’, as historical photographs show, anticipating future connection into the public building that would eventuate ‘behind’. Needless to say, the later Concert Chamber didn’t utilise the ‘openings’; instead, a void was created between the two buildings. The void has been useful in terms of planning contemporary services and managing level changes for the two buildings.

    Key features of the approved plan for the Dunedin Centre Redevelopment are:

    * Transforming the Glenroy Auditorium into a multi-use space suitable for orchestral music, conferences and other uses.
    >>> * Extending the Glenroy foyer into the ground floor of the Municipal Chambers building. This space will double as a discrete conference/function space.
    >>> * Converting the first floor of the Chambers into two new conference/function spaces.
    * Building a new entry to the Town Hall on Moray Place, which will provide front entrance disabled access.
    * Building a new wind lobby entrance to the Glenroy Auditorium on Harrop Street.
    * Improving the technical infrastructure within the building and room acoustics for function spaces.
    * Building new kitchen facilities.
    * Improving the ventilation systems in both the Town Hall and the Glenroy Auditorium.


    Calvin Oaten 2010/03/29 at 4:00pm
    Hi Elizabeth: At the risk of banging on a bit you might like to read a piece I submitted to the ODT which they declined to publish. It is aimed at showing the whole financial aspect for the fraud that it is. I don’t expect you to agree. Fair enough, but suffice to say, this project, if completed, will be a serious additional economic burden on the already suffering ratepayer.

    Subject: Opinion Town Hall/Dunedin Centre

    There is considerable talk from some councillors expressing concern at the direction of rates and the capital expenditure. Why? Is it because of genuine concern, or simply because it is election year? Cr Syd Brown has even suggested deferring some major projects, such as the Town Hall upgrade and the Settlers Museum. Cr Butcher says she doesn’t want to see the Town Hall deferred. She says it is necessary for the city. When the latest version at $45.14 million went into the 2008/09 Plan Cr Guest said “let’s bite the bullet and build it”.

    So what is the position with this project? Well, it was first mooted by staff in a 2000 report to council, at a figure of $14.5 million for a recommended upgrade. In 2004 it showed for the first time the controversial “glass clip-on.” This was then costed at $18.5 million, supported by a consultants economic benefit report showing a return to the city of some $3.5 million. This was based on an additional eight conferences per year, attracting 2,970 delegates, spending an average of $400 per day, with an average stay of three days and two nights. However, a survey conducted of the 2006 NZ Federation of Women’s January conference, revealed that the daily spend was just $175 per day – less than half.

    In November 2006, it was announced that the project cost had increased to $29.32 million. In support of this increase, a new model was presented showing that the project would now result in an additional 16.2 conferences of various sizes, bringing an extra 4,400 delegates to Dunedin. These delegates would be divided into two categories, normal, and high yield. Overall, there would be 5,600 normal, each spending $857 during their stay, while 2,800 high yield folk would spend $999 for their stay. The result would be a total expenditure of $17.028,303. This was in a report prepared by Debra Simes and approved by Kate Styles.

    When the project arrived at $45.14 million there was no cost benefit information supporting. In the September 2009 issue of ‘City Talk’ Kate Styles said, “The Town Hall Upgrade Ticks All The Boxes.” She said, “The business case showed clearly that conferences and events will bring in the revenue that will support the performance and community side of the venture.” Several times I asked for the business plan, only to be ignored. I finally obtained it by invoking the Local Government Official Information Act. It is a document produced by Horwath HTL, consultants to the hotel, tourism & leisure industries. The same firm who produced the financial feasibility reports for the stadium. So, what did it say? Well, it is eighty eight pages long including appendices.

    There were four options considered, but these were distilled down to just two. These were, firstly, a regulatory upgrade of the Town Hall only; and secondly, the Alternative Option, consisting of not only the Town Hall but also the remodeling of the Glenroy space, smaller atrium upgrade of the entrance, extended Dunedin Centre foyer/ exhibition space (in the former ‘Hungry Frenchman’ space). two additional ‘heritage’ meeting rooms in existing Municipal Building, improved functionality of the Fullwood Room and a new Dunedin Centre kitchen.

    The First Option would effectively provide no more space than now, and at an estimated capital cost of $22 million. The Alternative Option was $50.6 million, but, by excluding the ‘clip on atrium’, reduced to $42.6 million. It should be noted that these estimates won’t necessarily be met by tendered prices. The feasibility of either of these options are evaluated in simple terms and decided on the basis of estimated usage and revenue. It all really boils down to guessing how many conferences will be gained by creating the debt for the city to carry. Then guessing if those conferences will be sufficient to cover the servicing and repaying of that debt.

    The report discloses that:

    For 2008 the actual number of conferences held were; over 500 delegates 1, 250-500 delegates 4, less than 250 delegates 11. Total 16.

    In 2016 the estimates for the First Option are: over 500 del. 0, 250-500 del.1, less than 250 del. 9. Total 10. A reduction on present of 6.

    In 2016 the estimates for the Alternative Option are: over 500 del. 5, 250-500 del. 11, less than 250 del. 20. Total 36. An increase on present of 20.

    Looking at the 2016 cash flow scenarios for the First Option we find the following: with 10 conferences, total revenue $713,333, total operating expenditure (excl. rates, interest, internal DCC charges & depreciation) $997,124. A deficit of ($283,791). We then have the total other charges and depreciation amounting to $883,462 to make the deficit up to ($1,167,253). Add the loan repayment provision of $2,240,749 and the total deficit is ($3,408,002) annually.

    For the preferred Alternative Option: with 36 conferences, total revenue $1,567,805, total operating expenditure (excl. rates, interest, internal DCC charges & depreciation) $1,277,772. A surplus of $290,033. Strangely, for each option, we have the same charges and depreciation of $883,462 to make a deficit of ($593,430). Plus the loan repayment provision of $4,338,904 making a total deficit of ($4,932,334) annually.

    How Kate Styles could say that the Alternative Option can “bring in the revenue that will support the performance and community side of the venture” eludes me. On the face of it, it looks like we will be at best, in the gun for $3.408 million and at worst, $4.932 million per annum. And that is if the 36 conferences eventuate.

    The question now is, how many councillors read this information? Indeed, how many councillors over the last nine years have read, understood and more importantly, done due diligence on the project before committing? It would seem, in view of the current situation, that few if any have any concept of just how flimsily based the whole supporting arguments are. Nothing more than anecdotally dreamed up scenarios, without a shred of empirical evidence to sustain the proposition that by spending upwards of $50 million, Dunedin would become an recognised international [’boutique heritage’ -Eds] conference centre. And now, some councillors are wondering if it should be deferred. Perhaps Cr John Bezett was right when he once described me as “one who knows the cost of everything but the value of nothing”.


    Elizabeth 2010/03/29 at 6:37pm
    I’m a supporter of the Dunedin Centre Redevelopment through and through.

    So not bothering to read the diatribe, with respect, Calvin. The Horwath information was available to the public; not sure why you had to use the Official Information Act.

    Why didn’t you enter project discussion when everyone else was invited to. Where were you when this was being debated by the project team, the subcommittee, the stakeholders, the focus groups, and in discourse of the previous annual plans. Question mark.

    Is it easier to campaign single-handedly against this proposed development than the stadium? Maybe.

    Are you electioneering, Calvin? :D


    Alistair Mackay 2010/03/29 at 7:02pm
    The extraordinaryly high cost of the Dunedin Centre Redevelopment is shown on page 16 of the Draft Annual Plan: Dunedin Centre costs rising from the current $1.7 million to over $6.9 in 2013/2014 and after. This $5.2 million increase is more than ratepayers a being levied for the Stadium.
    Just as with the Stadium, critics of the financial burden of this project were ignored. Time will tell if the promised bonanza of conferences will eventuate.


    Phil 2010/03/29 at 7:39pm
    I may be referring to an outdated design, by the looks of things, Elizabeth. Back at the start, when the Town Hall/Municipal Chambers redevelopment was being thrown around, it was also linked to the Civic Centre accommodation review. A number of Councillors were grizzling that they needed more private meeting/office space than what is currently provided for them within the Civic Centre building and on the upper floor of the Municipal Chambers. And they didn’t like the idea of having to walk “all the way” across the link bridge once a week. The plan was that the Mayor’s office relocate into the area occupied by City Property and to build offices for Councillors within that area, as well as increasing the number of offices on the upper floor. Given that there are already perfectly adequate facilities for such activities, it was that part I didn’t agree with spending money for. Especially when other areas of staffing are being asked to make space sacrifices. I am referring partly here to the suggestion by the project team that Animal Control, Building Control, Parking Services, and Environmental Health were to be asked to share desks, as there was insufficient space within the area allocated to them under the accommodation review. Whereas Council, as part-time occupants, were demanding an increase in space for themselves. In an area which has recently had considerable sums of public money spent in renovating and redecorating. As for the Town Hall itself, I have no problem with the redevelopment. Every city needs one good conference facility, and the upgrade will ensure that Dunedin continues to have one.


    Elizabeth 2010/03/29 at 8:10pm
    Phew – that clears it up Phil. Thanks. I have to say though, it’s weird to have Opus Architecture dealing to the Dunedin Centre redevelopment and Baker Garden Architects working on the Civic Centre accommodation review. Since one good firm could do the lot, quite frankly. I’m assuming the Project Manager (Octa Associates) is common to both projects…

    It was frustrating for a long time – this when City Architect Robert Tongue’s ‘glass clip-on’ atrium was still in vogue to be resisted – to not have the Council see the interconnection of the buildings as possible, and preferable, in terms of efficient space handling.

    Credit due to Cr Syd Brown – it was he, when I was submitting to the draft annual plan hearings, who asked if I thought the various uses could be combined into the existing buildings without building the glass atrium. Bingo, Syd!

    Not long after, the Council, having heard from many, went down the right path. It’s a great love story, ahem, for Heritage.


    Richard 2010/03/29 at 8:35pm
    Well, I have no idea where Phil sourced his info.

    The only request elected councillors made to the Civic Centre accommodation review team (a staff team) was somewhere with sufficient space to store papers on the premises, provide a couple of computer workstations and – when required – enable us to met with citizens.
    The other options I have never heard of.
    Councillors request was simply considered in relation to the overall review of the use of internal space within the CC. It certainly did not drive it.
    Nor did it have anything to do with linking the two buildings.


    peter 2010/03/29 at 10:14pm
    Just a general point or two. I don’t think it is fair to dismiss Calvin’s points as a diatribe. He supports his case with specific figures gained from council documents/media reports. You are free to challenge those figures. You don’t. A diatribe tends to read as waffle with mainly generalisations, unsupported by any attempt to marshall and assemble evidence to support one’s case.
    I realise you feel passionate about this project. In fact, you have called it a ‘pet project’. The proponents of the stadium see their project in the same light. It is an ‘asset’ they just wanted, no matter what. It has a ‘feel good’ factor. Malcolm Farry and Co seriously believe it is a ‘vision’. (Read: wet dream – in my opinion.) Economic feasibility doesn’t come into the equation.
    I think the city has been governed, for the last few years, with project decisions made from the heart, and not the head. My impression is there has been a competition of ‘pet projects’, bartered between opposing camps with the political and administrative wings of the DCC. It has to stop. Sadly, we sometimes to have put our pets down when they are too sick to survive.


    Calvin Oaten 2010/03/29 at 10:42pm
    Elizabeth: Say no more. That fact that you admit you won’t even read my piece does not show respect, but rather a closed mind. You dismiss it as a diatribe, even though you haven’t read it. There is in my book, nothing worse than that. It is at the seat of most conflagrations throughout history. Whether it be political, religious or just plain bigotry. It’s attitudes of mind such as yours which I abhor, and it disappoints me.

    Support the Dunedin Centre Redevelopment through and through, regardless of the cost or the feasibility by all means Elizabeth, but don’t you dare lecture me on what I should or should not do, nor how I should do it. I stand on my position and say again it is wanton extravagance which will never show any return. And no, I am not standing for election.

    {Confused, thought we’d read it or parts of it somewhere before… -Eds}


    Elizabeth 2010/03/29 at 11:02pm
    It’s absolutely a pet project, you’re right Peter – I’ve said so. I’ve also said my position on the pet project parallels how prostadia see their project.

    I’m not concerned at the budget required. The sooner it’s upgraded for contemporary use the better in business terms, in central city terms, in Dunedin terms.

    It’s vital the Dunedin Centre Redevelopment project goes ahead, staged if need be and allowing Regent upgrades to proceed without deferment – as Councillors are keen to see happen. So that staging between the two projects on the construction timelines means there’s at least one large central city venue available at any time, with least disruption to citizens.

    Progress costs. Stomp on the whiners. Just do it. Spend up large. Build it and they will come.
    What have I missed out… :D

  4. Richard


    The costs that you refer mostly relate, of course, to interest costs and depreciation on the redevelopment.

    While it looks like a sudden increase, that is because while interest costs are being incurred in the prior 2 years (i.e. during the constructioin period) they will not be shown as operating costs on the Income Statement until the project is completed.

    • Elizabeth

      This comment has been moved here from the thread Dunedin City moves to three-ward system:

      Richard 2010/03/30 at 11:25am

      Phil: you say: “There’s a few un-necessaries in this project … the redeveloping of the Municipal Chambers. Spending that kind of money just to create private meeting rooms for councillors is not something I agree with. Not when the Civic Centre already has meeting rooms available for use.”

      Again, I do not know where you have got this from. There are no private meeting rooms being created for use by councillors in the Municipal Chambers. Not one. Elizabeth has commented accurately on that score.

      A small ‘office come meeting room’ for elected members is being created on the ground floor of the Civic Centre along with two small meeting rooms for general use. The (so-called) councillor’s office can also be used for meeting purposes.

      I personally disagree with this separate ‘office’, its size and more particularly where it is but, as I posted last evening – also in response to you but on a separate thread – it is not what councillors originally asked for. Nothing like it.

      But that’s besides the point. There’s a certain irony though in that it is where a ‘lolly shop’ used to be!

  5. Elizabeth.

    Not sure that the repositioning of these threads makes it any easier to access for archive reasons. Never mind.

    You are at least honest with your position on the DC Redevelopment. Spend/Build it and they will come. No business case required. You have now indirectly acknowledged Calvin’s points, by not countering them, but don’t care, apparently, because the town hall is YOUR pet project. I think this makes your own stated anti stadium position untenable and unconvincing.

    By the way, can you explain how ‘progress’ is synonymous with debt spending? Yes, progress, as you see it, does cost.
    You say,’Stomp on the whiners’. That tells us a lot, doesn’t it?

  6. Elizabeth:
    “Progress costs. Stomp on the whiners. Just do it. Spend up large. Build it and they will come.
    What have I missed out….:D”

    Oh dear, Elizabeth, you really have lost it now haven’t you? That paragraph illustrates an echo of Council exactly.

    What have you missed out? You have deleted in total my article which demonstrates the history and the economic misrepresentation of the viability of the project. If you intend to bury the facts which don’t suit, and extoll only what does, suggests an intolerant attitude. Not good really.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin: Your comment has been relocated not deleted – it is open to view lower down on this thread within the relocated group of comments received about the Dunedin Centre Redevelopment. At no time did it not appear on this site.

      Perhaps the re-direct links provided when the original thread was interrupted by editorial shift weren’t clear enough. Although how many mice does it take to screw in a light bulb.*

      Earth Hour jokes aside. Cruel irony aside on pet projects and weasel words…

      The limits of this blogsite template are such that, when moved, the comments appear under the name of the editor, unfortunately. However, names and times of the original postings have been fully retained.

      Best thing is use the threads ‘on topic’ or as near as possible – to avoid any distress afforded by future edits. We wouldn’t dare to think our threads are being utilised for mass communication because ODT won’t publish certain items.

      The editors have access to the dashboard for archive searches, a finer tool than the webpage “search” provided to readers. -Eds

      *A: Only 2, but the hard part is getting them into the light bulb #earthhour (via @bobsyauncle)

  7. Elizabeth; *A: Oh right. Here was me thinking it was something to do with cheese.

    OK, so would you read the diatribe, and tell me what figures you don’t agree with, and indeed, which figures refer to any thing else than conferences. then tell me which deficit you prefer, the $3.048ml. per annum or the $4.932ml. per annum? Either one will do to prove that the concept is not a good deal for the city nor the ratepayers. Or is it that you don’t care much about deficits?

    • Elizabeth

      I’ll attempt something tonight, Calvin – just off to bank to deposit profits of my prostitution of this site. Back soon.

      • Elizabeth

        After immersion in a project tonight, my reply to Calvin is pretty much that I’m not the person to be debating the Dunedin Centre Redevelopment project budget and its financing. I can’t speak for the council.

        I don’t see the spend as extreme given the scale of the project, knowing how much has to be packed in and given the known project challenges. Opus Architecture and Octa Associates are more than capable of managing this type of project through. Richard is ultimately your man.

        The justifications the stakeholders and interested parties to the project were presented with appeared on the whole to be fair and reasonable – as prior to the councillors’ decision to stage the project.

        The project managers will work their projections as for any building project. My understanding is the proposed staging is not all bad in terms of the funding path.

        It will be no consolation to you that I see the Stadium project and the Dunedin Centre Redevelopment project as two different things in terms of scale and effect on council borrowing. I’m not a fan of rugby; nor do I countenance a major spend on a sports code that is failing to excite an audience – not when we already have the workable Carisbrook rugby stadium.

        As Phil once discussed, in essence, it’s unfortunate the stadium project has come to bear on our reading of other worthwhile projects – he put it much better than I have here.

        Worthwhile and necessary are the words I attach to redevelopment of one of our outstanding heritage resources – for the people, for Dunedin’s cultural and social identity. It’s one of Australasia’s foremost performance venues. It has received little care and maintenance in preceding years. In its current state, the Dunedin Centre, is not a desirable hire venue for contemporary users.

        When we consider the award-winning conservation and redevelopment work that has gone into the Auckland Town Hall, including restoration of their concert organ, I say it’s well and truly time we brought our own municipal cluster into the spotlight of professional refurbishment and greater community use. It will happen.

  8. Phil

    My apologies to both Richard and Elizabeth regarding the Municipal Chambers “offices”. Obviously grossly outdated information, that came from my time sitting in the early working group discussions with one of the consultancies involved. The intention, and it did read at the time as a client directive, was as I stated. But, that’s clearly been passed over since.

    Glad to hear it.

  9. Elizabeth:
    I have never denied the need to bring the Town Hall up to date. It is an icon in this city and must be preserved. However, I note that you fail to address any of the figures upon which the overall project is predicated. Surely if you did, you would see that they are all based around the growth of conferences. Nothing else. I say again, it is fiscally irresponsible, the conference growths upon which it is based are no more than figments of the imagination. A very sad premise on which commit $50m plus, a figure which, in my opinion, particularly with the Council’s commitment to the stadium, is simply madness.
    Elizabeth, you also fail to pick which projected deficit you feel is most applicable for the citizens. I am sorry, but your advocacy of this project suggests emotion rules rather than cold hard analysis and economic facts. That is the problem we have with present council, and look where that has taken us.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin: A number of people might agree with your points of view. Have you canvassed them? Your argument is not with me, I’m not sure why you think it is. I’m not the decider for this project. I support the redevelopment of the Dunedin Centre.

      I’m not interested in seeing the buildings left to rot or under utilised – plain and simple. If I did I would not be the passionate supporter of contemporary architecture, heritage and urban design that I am.

      The city council as well as the community owe the Dunedin Centre, including the Town Hall, Glenroy Auditorium and Municipal Chambers, a duty of care.

      Through the campaigns of Hands off Harrop Inc and others, the city got to witness rather overwhelming support for the redevelopment of the building complex – within the existing building envelope. This cherished grouping of buildings carries a lot of pragmatic and emotional connection for people, from near and far. The city council responded positively to private and public opinion by commissioning reports that firmed the construction brief in terms of structural requirements, user requirements, cost management, viability et al.

      In the statutory cold light of day, retaining our historic heritage for future generations is a matter of national importance under the Resource Management Act, section 6f.

      Further, as discussed a number of times at this website and elsewhere, any change to a building triggers the need for compliance of the whole with the New Zealand Building Act.

      Good stewardship of community-owned assets of such prominence means ongoing expenditure.

      Any entity with this building cluster or similar in their property portfolio must be fully awake to the cost of compliance and treating the fabric, spaces and connections in ways to enhance overall use and amenity of the facility.

      Dunedin City Council, through many levels of consultation, has received much public and expert input into the current project. And I repeat, the work has already been budgeted and approved in the Annual Plan process – that in itself requires pragmatism under the watchful eyes of engaged public supporters.

      The Dunedin Centre Redevelopment is only one of the council projects I get excited about – the council is undertaking projects daily that make me glad I live in this municipality.

      I’ve always thought a community watch dog does better with a clever pack behind it. Hands off Harrop Inc had front people and back people working in all sorts of ways, still does. HOH was against what it saw as inappropriate development; it favoured – always – a better development solution than the glass atrium.

      What do you propose for the Dunedin Centre, Calvin? Have you a better solution than the one on the table, and with a substantial force of the public behind it? I don’t mind if these questions are housed in the rhetorical, if because your main concern is, say, curbing council debt.

      Ah well, the minds may never meet. They don’t have to. I can glory, if I choose, in the stadium construction project as a feat of engineering and design, at the same time I dislike the funding regime and the council’s handling of the project as a whole. However, I don’t stay awake at night fretting about those with the nous to manipulate the project through. We put the elected representatives in place and we have to take responsibility for not stopping the whole thing in its tracks by the proper legal means available.

      Some of us weighed our options and chose the Dunedin Centre project as one we had more chance of influencing politically in the formative stages – we were right. The stadium project would have taken rather sizeable collectively organised cheque books and professional networking to quash from very early on. The time and the energy required for that was mountainous if not precipitous – very few could consider going beyond personal and professional prudential limits to take it on.

  10. Elizabeth:
    Well, what can one say? You are definitely of a mind to see this thing through. But really, the refurbishing of the Town Hall at perhaps $22m as estimated, would accommodate the conferences likely to happen (emphasis on likely), as well as graduation ceremonies and concerts. It would satisfy your peoples’ concern over the external aspects. The development of Harrop St as a people place also poses no problem. But seriously Elizabeth, another $30m plus to mix and match the interior – and face it, it is the interior – is, at this time a serious chunk of debt to load onto an already bleeding city. My argument all along has been that the case for a threefold increase in conferences is no more than a dream. More so, with the economic times we and the world are facing, plus technology replacing the need for face to face meetings, strongly suggests that conferencing will be a diminishing market, rather than increasing. Again I reiterate it is the fiscal side not the dreamers that should win out here. But then you will obviously disagree, as is your right. We cannot afford to indulge ourselves like this.

  11. Phil

    This issue surrounding Sammy’s has intrigued me since it first “blew up” a couple of weeks back. The very public reaction by Building Control didn’t seem to fit with the problems being reported, and a voice in the back of my mind questioned the connection between their actions and the negative comments posted by a high profile local government figure about the acceptability of the event due to be held in the building. We’re all grown up here, so we all know that I’m referring to the Councillor who publicly stated that Council should be using their power to bypass government regulatory processes and ban a recent public event. A dumb comment of the highest order.

    The way it reads to me now, as it did then, was that the “dangerous” aspects of the building were minor, and easily remedied. There was no Fire Evacuation map stuck on the wall, and there was rubbish in the fire exit routes. Two minute jobs to fix. I’m not saying for one moment that it wasn’t work that needed to be done, just not sure that any other building, hosting any other event, would have drawn the same reaction from the regulating authorities. Reading the Building Control response that the “notice to fix” wouldn’t be removed until after the venue owner paid around $200 for an alarm consent fee (which they only need if they exceed a certain capacity) was more like a petulant child sulking because they hadn’t got what they wanted.

    I’ve been involved in many Building Warrant of Fitness inspections over the years, and the faults noted by the Fire Service are rather common. Encountered on a weekly basis. I’m surprised that Sammy’s is not required to have a BWOF, as I’m sure it would contain many of the systems included within a BWOF. A BWOF is required when there are systems within a building that deal specifically with fire prevention or control. Like fire exits.

    BWOFs are regulated by…… DCC Building Control.

    A couple of points to ponder: The fire exit routes in the Town Hall building do NOT comply with the requirements for a BWOF. Never have. As confirmed by the approved assessor who inspects the building every month. This building holds a current BWOF, which is signed off every year by Building Control. The issues will be addressed as part of the upgrade, but remain non-compliant today. No “notice to fix” has ever been issued during the life of the Town Hall building.

    The Regent Theatre stores its Book Sale stock, as well as a large quantity of theatre props in the corridor tunnels under the stage. Have done so for years. These corridors lead directly to the Fire Exit doors, making them fire escape routes, and thus required to be kept clear of any flammable material. The Regent Theatre displays a current BWOF, issued by DCC Building Control. No “notice to fix”.

    Sammy’s should be required to maintain their building to the required level of safety. But if there was one rule applied for all, then the risk of being blamed for attempting public political point scoring in this case would be greatly reduced. Sammy’s has been in the same location for a long time. Why now?

    • Elizabeth

      We might know more soon.
      The same day Sammy’s (the more urgent case) was being ‘processed’ there was at least one other building (control) query put that also involved fire egress. That query has been acknowledged by council staff and the building safety officer has yet to communicate the building’s status.

  12. Richard

    Phil: I take your comments seriously and have referred them to those on staff in a position to answer. There is unlikely to be a response, however, until after Easter.

    My understanding of the issues at Sammy’s is that they are much more extensive than you allude to. Whatever, it appears that the building owners and lessee are taking appropriate action to remedy the defects.

    In so far as the Dunedin Town Hall is concerned, yes there are issues which, as you acknowledge, will be addressed as part of the extensive $25 million upgrade of that building. It has been said before – by me and others – that, if things had been left as they are, capacity would have had to be reduced to about 600 persons to allow it to continue to operate. (Claims that have been ‘pooh-poohed’ before by one regular contributor to many threads on this site.) Until that is done, current safe use of the auditorium is being met by the employment of extra staff in the auditorium and elsewhere.

    As for The Regent, the books for the Annual Regent Book Sale are sorted and mostly stored in a section of the basement that was created when the flytower was built. The ‘corridors’ you refer to are in the original “V” section of the under stage area and these were completely clear when I and most of my council colleagues went through the place some weeks ago as part of an inspection in relation to the current redevlopment proposal. In any case, there is only one Fire Exit that I can recall that runs from the auditorium under the stage area and that is the one on the lefthand side.

  13. Phil

    Thanks, Richard. Great follow up. You can tell I was in a grizzle mood. I’m not worried about the Town Hall upgrade in the least. Issues such as fire prevention, adequate heating, lighting, and ventilation are long overdue. I know that these make up much of the cost of the upgrade. The logistics alone of working at the heights involved, while protecting the surrounding structure, always meant that this wouldn’t be a cheap operation. But very necessary.

    I actually came across the fire exit issues in the Town Hall by accident, while attending a concert one evening. A number of us went to exit from up in the “Gods” directly to the street, via what later turned out to be the Fire Exit, and found that we couldn’t. The staircase corridor was extremely narrow, was completely unlit, and the exit doors onto the street were locked. For security reasons. As luck would have it, I met with the building assessor the following week, on an unrelated matter, and he confirmed to me that what we had experienced was the norm for the building. Which is why I’m fully in support of the upgrade.

    There’s always going to be a problem with buildings that pre-date the Building Act and BWOF requirements, and usually a common sense compromise approach is taken.

    Storage is a problem for the Regent. I accept that. A fire escape route is not just limited to the fire exit doors. It includes any direct path to the final exit doors where the occupant does not have the choice of an alternate route. In the case of the back of the Regent, the escape route likely terminates where the driveway meets Moray Place (a place of dispersement). I was shocked to find, maybe 3 years ago, that those narrow tunnels under the stage pass through wider corridors (almost like rooms) on their way to the final exit doors. And it was those areas that were piled high with books. And that’s where my concern came from.

    I hope that there is more to the Sammy’s issue than what has been reported. Bad reporting if that proves to be the case. Nobody needs me being grizzly.

  14. Richard

    Yes, you have it in ‘one’ re ‘The Gods’ in the Town Hall! As for The Regent. I am pretty certain that there is no Fire Exit from The Auditorium that goes through any rooms but I will check it out.

  15. Anonymous

    If we’re all serious about fire prevention all of a sudden, someone should check out the fire escape route in the Geology Attic at Uni Otago. If I recall correctly, it goes out of a window above waist height.

    • Elizabeth

      Fire Safety and Egress: All queries can be noted to Chris Randell, Building Safety Officer, Development Services, Dunedin City Council.

      Telephone 03 477 4000; Fax 03 474 3523

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sat, 3 Apr 2010
        Museum’s fitting shop saved
        By John Gibb
        The Dunedin Gasworks Museum’s endangered fitting shop has been stabilised and strengthened, and restoration work will be completed in about two months, organisers say. An engineering report had previously warned that the heritage-listed brick building, sited near the museum entrance, was “likely to collapse” unless immediate action was taken. Architectural planning for the restoration and redevelopment project is being undertaken by Ian Butcher Architecture Ltd.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 5 Apr 2010
          Gallery’s use after restoration up in air
          By Mark Price
          The Dunedin City Council has no specific use for the former Logan Park art gallery it plans to spend $5 million restoring. The council’s resource consent application notes the “possibility” of “a wide range of uses”, including offices, sports ancillary, conferences and functions.
          Read more

  16. Richard



    As indicated previously, I referred your comments/questions to staff and have now received responses from which I quote as follows:

    “The first point that needs to be made is that while the DCC issued the notice to close Sammy’s it was the NZFS that made the decision to call it Dangerous. Once Council receive the NZFS notification it has no option but to act.

    The DCC NTF specified that the owners needed to satisfy the NZFS before the building could be reopened to the public. Accordingly, the owners need to talk to NZFS to sort out a solution. This issue is about the way the building is managed more so than the physical structure. Sadly, there is a long history of problems at Sammy’s.

    As for the Town Hall it certainly does not meet the current NZBC requirements however it does comply with the NZBC to the extent required by the Building Act. There is no knowledge of any report suggesting it is ‘dangerous’ nor the need for any concern.

    Perhaps the difference between Sammy’s and the Town Hall is the way they are managed??

    It is important to remember that a building will be compliant when it is built and remains compliant until there is either a change of use or the owners decide to make changes that require a Building Consent. Just because the Building Code requirements have changed since it was built doesn’t mean it automatically needs to be up graded to meet the new standards. If this were not the case every building in the country would need to be altered every time there was a modification to the NZBC.”

    I trust you are reassured.


    {NTF Notice To Fix -Eds}

  17. Phil

    Excellent reply, Richard. And lightning fast. Thanks for that. I realise that the Building Act cannot be applied retrospectively, in most cases. The exceptions being fire protection and accessible toilets, which need to be shown to be considered whenever a new Building Consent is applied for. Although the enforcement of those requirements are a bit more flexible. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it’s something along the lines of “if practicable”.

    I agree that the management of the Town Hall building, by the occupier, is of a high standard. And, as you say, that can well be the difference in saving it from a Sammy’s fate in previous times. Neither meet their requirements for a Building Warrant of Fitness, even though the Town Hall is issued with such a certificate every year. I don’t know if Sammy’s has such a certificate or not. The Town Hall issues will be resolved very soon, which is great.

    The more this plays out the more it reads as poor reporting by the ODT, and perhaps a rather rushed quote from Building Control. It’s human nature to believe that the information one reads is complete, at first glance. Particularly when from regulatory authorities. After all, that’s usually our only source of information from which to form an opinion. The initial reporting did not stack up with the imposed enforcement action. The end result, however, is that Dunedin will have another safe concert venue, without a great deal of fuss. And hopefully now it will stay that way.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 10 Apr 2010
      Sammy’s allowed to reopen for business
      By Chris Morris
      Live music will be back on stage at Dunedin nightspot Sammy’s within weeks, after the Dunedin City Council lifted an order preventing the venue from opening. It was yesterday confirmed the council had withdrawn its “notice to fix”, which was issued on March 19 and required the building to close or face a $200,000 fine.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        This from left field, always popping up with not the full facts in tow…a hindrance really. Not sure her panic is shared in current heritage circles or by the city’s property investors.
        Claiming a syndrome has to be the lamest shot ever, and anyone in touch with the business end of Dunedin’s built environment is unlikely to use such hyperbole.

        Don’t bother your pretty heads, Ms Galer (plural). Mother and daughter should pipe down and enjoy what time is left to them. And it has been an awful long time since Lois Galer has had anything to do with NZHPT in an official capacity, for which I am most grateful.

        ### ODT Online Mon, 12 Apr 2010
        Opinion: Heritage group must act against neglect
        By Lois Galer
        Lois Galer asks: Do the historic buildings in Vogel St, Dunedin, face a grim future? While the Dunedin City Council is to be congratulated for taking aboard a policy planner to deal specifically with heritage issues, the Heritage Buildings Economic Reuse Steering Group, formed last month, will need to act with haste if it is to stem the tide swallowing up Dunedin’s stock of heritage buildings.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Fri, 7 May 2010
        Venue’s crowd capacity could be raised
        By Chris Morris
        The manager of Dunedin nightspot Sammy’s should find out today, just hours before New Zealand band the Phoenix Foundation takes to the stage, whether the venue can host up to 700 people. Sammy’s managing director Sam Carroll said the finishing touches were being added to new automatic heat and smoke detection systems yesterday, and he hoped to have the systems signed off by Dunedin City Council staff today. That would allow the venue’s capacity to be lifted from its restricted limit of 250 people to about 700 people, he hoped.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 12 May 2010
          Sammy’s given temporary licence
          By Chris Morris
          Less than two months after being ordered to close because of fire safety fears, Dunedin nightspot Sammy’s is back to full capacity after receiving temporary approval for crowds of more than 700 people.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Thu May 13, 2010 (page 16)
          Letter to the editor
          Challenge on heritage buildings
          By DR Murray, Musselburgh
          I would like to issue a challenge, to allcomers, to identify any other commercial building in central Dunedin as old as the threatened building at 386 Princes St. It needs to have been constructed by 1862 (gold rush days) and its original form should be recognisable. Bonus points will be given if it is of three storeys, is part of a group of other early buildings, has interesting architectural features, such as round-headed windows and unusual quoining, was designed by a famous architect, or was the subject of an early song by Alastair Galbraith. 386 Princes St boasts all of these features. I will be delighted if comparable examples can be found but expect that the difficulty (if not impossibility) of the task will highlight the significance of the threatened building and its neighbours.

          Due to the nature of the challenge, the letter has been printed in full here. It is available in print and digital editions of the Otago Daily Times.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Tue, 11 May 2010
          Your Town: Dunedin
          Opinion: Historical (cultural) precinct revitalisation
          By dmcld [David McLeod]
          Congratulations to Mayor Chin – he wants to ” revitalise historical precinct”. This area has been a vital area of the cultural heart of Dunedin for some time. When the Dunedin Public Art Gallery was relocated to central Dunedin, concerns were expressed about free access. The council at that time assured Dunedin that free access would be maintained. We now have a punitive parking strategy that is counter to that assurance…
          Read more


          Last week I had a chat with various retailers in the vicinity of the ‘precinct’. It appears to me that useful discussion should be had between the retailers and Council’s Economic Development Unit (EDU) staff about mechanisms to support and boost central city retail (small businesses) – particularly in ‘places’ where a cluster of like businesses exist and regularly co-market their convenient location and their range of services and wares (eg studio/gallery shops).

          These businesses provide quality components of the retail experience, are not ‘franchise’ operations, offer fine individualised customer service, and contribute strongly and uniquely to street vitality through regularly changing window displays.

          Many are synonymous with “Dunedin”. They serve the tourism economy (domestic and international) in many ways, not least by offering New Zealand and locally made product. The businesses are a vital part of the ‘optional mix’ available to the ‘cruiseship’ and ‘independent traveller’ experience of the city – an easy walk (or ride) from the i-site in Princes St, near the Octagon corner.

          Fact: North Islanders are known to fly in and out of Dunedin to pick up ‘things they can’t get anywhere else except here’. The gallery shops support highly experienced and nationally recognised visual artists, craft-jewellers, designers, furniture makers and more!

          I’m hoping we can keep them and raise them.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 19 May 2010
          No opposition to gallery’s demolition
          By David Loughrey
          A plan to demolish part of the former art gallery at Logan Park, in Dunedin, to make way for the expansion of the University Oval has received no opposition as the resource consent process begins. Only seven submissions have been received for a consent hearing expected mid-June. Five support the proposal and two are neutral.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Tweet about StreetMuseum:

          @CreativeReview The Museum of London’s new app places old photographs of the city over the real-time view of a range of locations

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 27 May 2010
          $750,000 lift for Regent Theatre

          A $750,000 Otago Community Trust grant has lifted funds raised for the redevelopment of Dunedin’s Regent Theatre to $1.3 million. Otago Theatre Trust chairman Mike Shield described news of the grant after the community trust meeting this week as “just fantastic”.
          Read more

          • For full coverage of The Star’s “Help Save The Regent” fundraising campaign, including donation updates, the Star Regent book sale, and the confirmed line-up for next month’s Star Regent Variety Concert, see The Star 27/5/10.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 31 May 2010
          Regent close to target; go ahead likely
          By David Loughrey
          The Otago Theatre Trust has all but raised the $2 million it needs for a major upgrade of the Regent Theatre, with the Dunedin City Council poised to approve the project today. The trust has taken its fundraising effort to $1.6 million, a result Otago Theatre Trust chairman Michael Shield said was a “real thrill”.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          On the Otago Polytechnic School of Art and recent announcements about new building plans, the University of Otago Campus Master Plan, and more…

          ### ODT Online Mon, 31 May 2010
          Art Beat: More thoughtful, popular arts building plans needed
          By Peter Entwisle
          It’s good to see that Marilynn Webb, a distinguished senior artist in our midst, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Otago, acknowledging her achievement as an artist and also as an art teacher.

          The Dunedin [art] school’s record speaks for itself. But its administrators in the Otago Polytechnic have been trying to save money and decided to disestablish jobs…The polytechnic has also announced a capital plan which envisages demolishing the old buildings the art school uses on the corner of Albany St and Anzac Ave. One wonders if any of the people involved in that decision know what the buildings are, or were.

          Read more

          -Peter Entwisle is a Dunedin curator, historian and writer.

        • Elizabeth

          Do we really need a new Otago Polytechnic art school built beside Water of Leith? No. We don’t.

          Do we need a new University of Otago performing arts centre near the stadium, on the site of the old broadcasting studios on Albany St? No. Not when we’ve got Sammy’s and stunning heritage buildings on Vogel St, near Queens Garden.

          Here’s some inspiration for Dunedin arts, find alternative spaces by purchase and temporary donation around the city, move the student artists and their lecturers around these.

          [Stop separation of town and gown due to aggregation around a mightily unwise stadium project? The Campus Master Plan is short on wholistic ideas for sustainable living in the built environment.] #knowyourcommunitybyworkinginit


          via @rewealth Bullets to Art: Adaptive reuse of 1870 munitions bldg. on Governors Island.

          ### June 1, 2010
          Exotic Isle for Artists, Right in City
          By Robin Pogrebin
          When New York City artists plan their workdays, they usually don’t have to factor in a ferry boat. Then again, they usually don’t have studio space on Governors Island, either. But since March, 24 visual artists and 4 performing groups have been making art in a former munitions storehouse there, rising early to catch one of the first ferries from Manhattan for workers on the island (they start running at 6:45 am) and then rushing at the end of the day to catch the last boat, at 5 pm. But the bankers’ hours have their compensations.
          The studio program is run by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, a nonprofit organisation that helped revive the arts downtown after the terrorist attacks of 2001 and has for several years found donated spaces around the city for artists. It selected two groups of artists for four-month residencies in Building 110 on Governors Island. The first crop has essentially had a corner of the 172-acre island to itself, though that will end on Saturday, when the island opens to the public on weekends, through October 10.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          The no-news story, really ODT…

          ### ODT Online Wed, 30 Jun 2010
          Hotel plans under wraps
          It is billed as “Dunedin’s finest hotel”, but the group which bought the former chief post office is not revealing details about its development.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 20 Dec 2010
          2012 opening for new hotel
          By Hamish McNeilly
          An extreme makeover to transform the former Dunedin chief post office into a 170-bedroom luxury hotel will begin early next year.

          The finished hotel was likely to have 170 bedrooms, including corner suites overlooking Otago Harbour, conference facilities, a gym and restaurants all owned and operated by Distinction Hotels.

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 13 Jan 2011
          Consent hopes for ex-post office project
          By Mark Price
          The owner of the former Dunedin chief post office, in Princes St, hopes he will have Dunedin City Council consent by February 7 for the first stage of work required to turn the building into a hotel.

          “I’m a bit worried about leaving [the roof]. There’s still a bit of water getting in in places. It would be nice just to get a new roof on it and actually protect the building. So we are starting that as soon as possible.”

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 16 Mar 2011
          New roof a priority for luxury hotel
          By Hamish McNeilly
          Work has begun on converting the former Dunedin chief post office into a luxury hotel, with the multimillion-dollar project set to rejuvenate the area, its owner says. The first priority of Distinction Hotel Group owner Geoff Thomson is to replace the ageing roof of the 1930s building. And it is easy to see why.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 4 May 2011
          Hotel developers put new roof on former chief post office
          By Gerard O Brien
          Work is well advanced on replacing the leaking roof of the former Dunedin chief post office.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 27 Aug 2011
          Hotelier Thomson adds to stable
          By David Loughrey
          Invercargill hotelier Geoff Thomson, the owner of the former chief post office building in Dunedin, has added the Century City Hotel in Wellington to his stable.

          Mr Thomson said little work had been done at the former chief post office after work in May to replace the leaking roof, but a structural engineer was expected to start the next stage soon.

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Mon, 6 Feb 2012
          Former Post Office Savings Bank staff reunite
          The last manager of the Post Office Savings Bank at the old chief post office, Bernie O’Loughlin, and long-time bank employee Judy Reid, who still works for the ANZ (formerly Post Office Savings Bank) stand outside Dunedin’s old chief post office. They reminisced with former employees of the Post Office Savings Bank at a reunion in Dunedin at the weekend. About 60 people attended, some travelling from Australia.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          “It’s whether we believe it can handle 170 rooms into a market of 500 rooms – that is a large increase.” -Geoff Thomson

          ### ODT Online Sat, 12 May 2012
          Work progressing on former post office
          By Hamish McNeilly
          Work on transforming the former Dunedin chief post office into a hotel is “still ticking away”, the developer behind the project says. Geoff Thomson, of Distinction Hotels, said his company remained committed to the building it bought in May 2010, for a reported $4.4 million.

          In regards to yesterday’s announcement of a $100 million, 28-storey luxury hotel, Mr Thomson said Dunedin had “a stunning stadium that needs more rooms but it might be for only 20-30 days a year”.

          Mr Thomson said work on the project was continuing, including the building being re-roofed, steel beams installed, and the company had taken possession of an airbridge to join a proposed car park at the rear of the Princes St building. In addition, he had also invested in a local engineering firm to assist with the project.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sun, 7 Oct 2012
          Chief Post Office might become distillery
          By Simon Hartley
          A whisky distillery could be operating in Dunedin by the end of next year. The New Zealand Malt Whisky Company is considering two historic sites as potential locations for the distillery. The 450 barrels of whisky, assets of the Malt Whisky Company, were acquired in October 2010 by an international syndicate of nine investors, led by Tasmanian businessman Greg Ramsay, which had since sold about 15% of stocks and still has about 380 barrels. Mr Ramsay first mooted the idea of a Dunedin distillery more than a year ago and was in Dunedin recently to look at the former chief post office (CPO) in the Exchange.
          Read more

          ● The international syndicate paid an undisclosed sum for the assets of the former New Zealand Malt Whisky Company, which was placed in receivership in February 2010 by South Canterbury Finance, owing an estimated $3 million.

          From another thread:

        • Elizabeth

          Latest from the owner of the former Chief Post Office in the Exchange:

          ### ODT Online Sun, 14 Oct 2012
          Committed to hotel ‘at some stage’
          By Hamish McNeilly
          The owner of the former chief post office remains “absolutely” committed to its development. Geoff Thomson, of Distinction Hotels, told the Otago Daily Times “we will be doing something there at some stage, in one shape or form”. The Invercargill-based hotelier bought the Princes St building in Dunedin for a reported $4.4 million in May 2010.[…]Work to date on the building includes it being secured, re-roofed, and steel beams for the atrium installed.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 1 Feb 2013
          Move to former chief post office option for Silver Fern Farms
          By Simon Hartley
          Silver Fern Farms is considering moving its Dunedin headquarters into the former chief post office as the anchor tenant. Property industry sources in Dunedin say SFF has signed a conditional lease agreement for the ground and first floor of the Princes St building, subject to board approval. SFF chief executive Keith Cooper said yesterday, when contacted, the landlord’s redevelopment of the company’s present George St building would prompt a ”rent review”, which would be based on a ”materially higher value”. The old chief post office was one of several sites being considered and, in order to ”future-proof” SFF, a new site would include facilities for a larger workforce, product development and meeting facilities.
          Read more

        • Owner says, the waterfront project – if approved – was unlikely to affect CPO project.

          ### ODT Online Wed, 20 Mar 2013
          Security to prevent fittings theft
          By Hamish McNeilly
          Recent work on Dunedin’s former chief post office in the Exchange was an effort to secure the site of the proposed hotel project, while discussions were continuing with a possible tenant.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Register to read D Scene online at

          ### D Scene 1-6-11
          Future of Sammy’s uncertain after eviction (page 3)
          The future of notable Dunedin music venue Sammy’s is uncertain, after the eviction earlier this week of the operators of the Crawford St business. Building owner Sam Chin told D Scene yesterday that he had moved into the venue on Monday night and changed the locks. “The venue is closed for now and we’re just cleaning things up.”
          {continues} #bookmark

        • Elizabeth


          (2 June, 8:32pm) @DunedinTV Sammy’s closed down due to being in a complete state of disrepair #channel9 #dunedin #tv #nz

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 23 Jun 2011
          Nightclub owner angry over damage at venue
          By Nigel Benson
          Sammy’s owner Sam Chin has experienced some wild nights at the nightclub over the years. But he was not prepared for the sight which greeted him when he changed the locks on the building three weeks ago, after not receiving rent from the lessee since November.

          The venue opened in 1896 as the Agricultural Hall, before being renamed His Majesty’s Theatre, and has a long history as a hall, theatre and live music venue. Mr Chin said he wanted to maintain that tradition and reopen it for concerts next month.

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sun, 7 Aug 2011
          Sammy’s set to reopen this month
          By Nigel Benson
          Sammy’s will reopen this month after being closed in June for refurbishment. Owner Sam Chin shut the venue after the building fell into disrepair. He said yesterday demand had led to him taking bookings again.

          “We had a lot of inquiries about when we were going to reopen. It’s such a good space with plenty of room for 500-plus people. We’ve already got three or four university graduation dinners booked in over the next couple of weeks.”

          Read more

  18. Richard

    For The Record and without comment (enticed though I am!):

    At the Council meeting on 29 March, Rates Relief was approved in terms of longstanding council policy in regard to restoration work on the following heritage buildings:

    The former National Mortgage Agency Company Building at 49 Water Street.

    The former Rogan McIndoe building at 57 Crawford Street and 76 Vogel Street.

    The former Bank of New Zealand and Canton buildings at 201-205 Princes Street.

    {Shortlink: -Eds}

  19. Stu

    The minutes of that meeting indicate that these decisions were made “in committee”. The meeting was held in Middlemarch on 29th March.

    Under what circumstances can “in committee” material be made public if Local Government Act privilege has been asserted???!!!

    {Shortlink: -Eds}

  20. Richard

    I think you are referring to the agenda item relating to the Minutes of the EDC meeting held on 9 March.

    Whatever, the Rates Relief Resolutions referred to were considered and approved by Council in open meeting on 29 March – refer No. 26 in the Minutes.

    {Shortlink: -Eds}

  21. Elizabeth; even as the self appointed ‘fount'(or is it font) of all knowledge re heritage buildings, I think you ought to apologise to Lois Galer and her daughter Jo Galer for your caustic remarks. Most uncalled for, and more especially so from the site editor.

  22. Phil

    That’s quite a major limitation of the RMA, I think, Elizabeth. There is little requirement in NZ for building owners to maintain their properties to any pre-determined level. Visual impacts, for example, are very difficult to control or enforce. Outside of designated areas. There’s nothing to stop someone from piling up rusting car bodies on their front lawn, or allowing a property to fall into disrepair. Indeed, those people often have the law behind them. Just ask the folk working in Environmental Health how frustrating that can be. The “wisdom teeth” sculpture is a perfect example. Providing it complies with the relevant zoning and footprint requirements, there is little, if any scope for the planners to determine if the structure is appropriate.

    Visual and social impacts are well catered for in English and in European laws. Which is why you rarely see “demolition through neglect” in European cities. It’s a major flaw in our central government legislation which will continue to be exploited. I do believe though that there exists the opportunity for local authorities to form bylaws to mitigate the problem. Requiring buildings within zones to be maintained to a specific standard would not be legislating against the RMA, as no such provision exists within the RMA today. So I think it would be perfectly enforceable.

    • Elizabeth

      I like your thinking Phil. Know you raised these sort of ideas at an earlier post, probably last year. All good, and worthy of follow-up by mention to the City Development Team.

      In Christchurch, within the last few years, there have been particular (individual) cases of demolition by neglect – they didn’t amount to bird flu, although a sickening amount of CBD heritage fabric was laid waste in the 20th century.

      Here, we’ve been very lucky to retain an impressive extent of city heritage fabric. We find that a significant number of property investors, developers, architects and building industry professionals dwell in heritage houses. This tells us something.

      The District Plan is being reviewed in several capacities, and heritage policy and methods are very much part of the mix in looking to the community’s future well being and pride of place; potentially predicating heritage as an economic generator.

      Right now, of course, banks are tightly controlling lending for property development. For this, and all sorts of other reasons, there are areas of heritage buildings standing ‘as is’ – whether for commercial storage or other low-intensity use (very few are ‘boarded up and derelict’). In March and April I’ve photographed significant swathes of the city where heritage values are ‘rampant’, building by building, block by block, house by house, alley by alley, and so on – doing sample grid analysis. When you look you learn.

      In the period leading up to the harbourside plan change, there were constant assumptions made by various citizens that the Harbourside area was “dead space” – they only ‘knew this’ because they never went there, never walked around it on a Sunday even, to witness the frequency of (mixed) use. I did hear occasional comments that buildings over there were ‘derelict and boarded up’. Quelle surprise. I started photographing the full extent of the Harbourside area – again, by grid analysis – in 2001 on request, repeating the exercise in subsequent years.

      I had to dodge a lot of trucks, vans and forklifts during the task. Harbourside was totally alive; is totally alive. Entirely what I expected, having crossed the tracks many a time on farm missions to buy metal componentry, or to picnic in the car on the wharf when in town with time to spare (loved the days of the Fryatt St level crossing).

      Collectively, a lot is happening quietly and sustainably to get ‘ourselves’ in better shape to manage and retain our heritage infrastructure at the same time appropriate new build is welcomed.

      We tend to live here because the ‘old stuff’ has character and grace, giving Dunedin its strong cultural identity, in a unique if not stupendous cultural landscape. There are not a few of us working on it.

  23. Stu

    Minutes – Council, 29/03/2010

    It was moved (The Mayor/Collins):

    “That the public be excluded from the following parts of the proceedings of this meeting, namely, Items 18 – 25.

    The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under Section 48 (1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution are as follows:

    21 Economic Development Committee meeting held on 9 March 2010

    (14) Rates Relief – One Zeal Ltd

    That the public conduct of the whole or the relevant part of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exists. Section 48(1)(a)

    (Protect information where the making available of the information would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information – Section 7(2)(b)(ii))

    {Shortlink: -Eds}

  24. Richard

    Stu: that is precisely what I responded with before. Now go to Item 26.

    {Shortlink: -Eds}

  25. Russell Garbutt

    So, who is right? Richard or Stu? Should be easy enough to determine.

  26. Stu

    The *resolution* was made in public in item 26, yes.
    The matter was *considered* in committee in items 18-25. There was a 3 hour period with public excluded.
    That’s the way I read the minutes.

    {Shortlink: -Eds}

  27. Richard

    The reason the item ex EDC was taken in non-public, is because when the Committee considered the applications at its meeting on 9 March, it had before it matters relating to the applicants proposals which are confidential to them.

    Thus that section of the minutes must be taken in non-public at Council.

    Which they were. Took all of 30 seconds if that.

    The EDC can only recommend on Rates Relief. Any resolutions relating to Rates Relief must be taken by Council in open meeting.

    The items that took up the time in non-public related to “Harbourside” and – to a much lesser extent – the Realignment of SH88.

    {Shortlink: -Eds}

  28. Russell Garbutt

    Richard – in the considerations of SH88 land acquisition, what can you tell us all of the companies that seem to be in control of this land?

    Are there, for example, any companies, owned by people outside of New Zealand?

    • Elizabeth

      Use Webmaps to find out the ratepayers, follow with a company search, or do a title check – this is all publicly available information. Use the NOR decision and maps for SH88 realignment to know which properties to check.

  29. Janet

    Re your comments about the harbourside area being alive. It’s good to read this from someone who has actually been there and confirms what the businesses and the Chamber of Commerce keep trying to tell Jim Harland and Council. The area is not derelict and is alive and well. While it may not look pretty to someone driving past, it’s a working port and an industrial area and of significance to the economy in Dunedin. The area does not need gentrification nor the additional facilities for recreational use as mentioned in the DCC annual plan for 2010-11. Good facilities for water recreation already exist elsewhere on the harbour.

  30. Elizabeth


    @lee0007 The Future of History: Museum of London’s augmented reality StreetMuseum via @kohdspace

    • Elizabeth

      We might prefer that Cr Guest’s head rolls, for any reason…

      [BTW, how much is the stadium costing extra without any justification by Cr Guest???]

      ### ODT Online Tue, 1 Jun 2010
      Greater cost to restore museum angers
      By Chris Morris
      A row has broken out over the cost of restoring the Dunedin Gasworks Museum. Cr Michael Guest – also the chairman of the Dunedin Heritage Fund – claimed at yesterday’s Dunedin City Council meeting, after learning the museum could need an extra $2 million over two years, that “someone’s head” should roll.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Jun 2010
        Hearing on buildings to reconvene
        By David Loughrey
        Opponents of a plan to demolish a group of historic buildings in Princes St, Dunedin, will have one more opportunity to make their feelings known, with a public hearing on the issue to reconvene on July 7.
        Read more

  31. Russell Garbutt

    Does the word hypocrisy even begin to describe Cr Guest’s reaction to the cost escalation of the Gasworks Museum?

    The only thing that should be rolling is the head of Cr Guest and those of most of his Council colleagues who have consistently voted for, and promoted the interests of the ORFU as opposed to the ratepayers. Did the price of land acquisition for the new rugby stadium rise from $20m to $37.5m? Did the “valuation” of the Carisbrook purchase rise from $3m to $7m? Did we hear Cr Guest and his mates yelling for people’s heads? No we didn’t – wonder why?

    Now we have the amazing sight of this small “professional” group that is connected with the Highlanders based round the old Art Gallery in Logan Park wanting us all to shell out some more money so they can relocate their offices and training spaces to a place that they caused us to build for them, but they can’t afford to inhabit because of their ineptitude.

    Way back in the 17th century there was a poem written that still applies:

    “They hang the man and flog the woman
    That steal the goose from off the common,
    But let the greater villain loose
    That steals the common from the goose.”

    Roll on October my friends.

  32. Phil

    On the positive side, Cr Guest has been providing us with no end of moral crusade (of the people, for the people, always have been, blah blah) entertainment in the last minute panic rush leading up to the important date in October. It would have been nice to have seen him out there championing the people’s causes throughout the entire term, and not just in the final weeks. Helps with credibility and all that. I thought that he must have been either in a coma, or serving undercover in Afghanistan these past couple of years.

  33. Calvin Oaten

    Neither: Cr Guest has been busy pursuing the holy grail of social acceptability. Failing miserably, going by his attempt to reinstate himself as a barrister with an unencumbered practicing certificate. So now he must turn his attention to retaining his council seat, lest he face unemployment. No stone will be left unturned, going by the recent humbug over the Gasworks Museum financial imbroglio.

    • Elizabeth

      With the Gasworks, it was NO SECRET the conservation and redevelopment project would likely amount to more. It does show Cr Guest was not listening to the interested parties if he finds the increased cost objectionable.

      Out of the loop, by own posturing – a new syndrome. Nah.

      Phil, don’t give him ideas although I hear the pay is very good – pity about the risk.

  34. Stu

    In support of the University of Otago proposal to house performing arts at the old radio station. It’s actually a good idea. The building is a classic design; it was intended as a 4-storey building. It has separate concrete pads to isolate the recording studios from the rest of the building. It is well-connected, both to the University and to the broadcasting station next door. Actually, 182-184 Albany St will be the last place in Dunedin where the lights will go out (yes, Civil Defence will go first). There is a unique, dedicated power feed to that complex.

    • Elizabeth

      Performing arts range more widely than studio recording. Not negating what the former broadcast studios add to the equation for the contemporary university and commercial use, but I was thinking about the two proposed flexible-use lecture theatres indicated in the Master Plan. As well as thinking about the bug-eyed drivers of a ‘performing arts centre’ who sit in the VC’s development office…

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Fri, 11 Jun 2010
        Museum to use old PO
        By Chris Morris
        An Otago Museum plan to occupy and upgrade the vacant 132-year-old former post office building next door – at a cost of up to $1 million – has been approved by the Dunedin City Council. The council’s community development committee this week voted to approve the lease of a 420sq m slice of reserve land to the museum, which included the former post office building built in 1878.
        Read more


        ### ODT Online Fri, 11 Jun 2010
        Smashing day at the Beach
        By Stu Oldham
        The demolition of the former Beach Hotel, which began this week, is the start of a series of redevelopment plans for the high-profile site in Dunedin’s St Kilda. Wreckers have reduced the two-storey building on the corner of Prince Albert and Victoria Rds to a single-storey shell in the first stage of a rebuild from the ground up.
        Read more

        ### ODT Online Fri, 11/06/2010 – 6:02pm.
        Comment by thehighlander on Another one gone
        Why wasn’t there any protest about this 100-year-old plus building being demolished?

        ### ODT Online Fri, 11/06/2010 – 8:41pm.
        Comment by dmurray on and more are likely to follow
        It was built around 1884 apparently, but was not on the District Plan list or [New Zealand] Historic Places Trust register, so no public consultation was required for the demolition. These historic buildings need recognition and advocacy before owners look to demolition. It’s already too late when the decision is announced out of the blue. I suggest people check if their favourite buildings are on the above lists.

  35. ### ODT Online Tue, 8 Oct 2013
    ‘Things are really taking off’ at CPO
    By John Lewis
    All eyes were skyward around Dunedin’s former chief post office yesterday as a large crane lowered truck-sized sections of steel through the roof to form two new lift shafts. The work was part of the historic building’s multimillion-dollar transformation into the four-star-plus Distinction Dunedin hotel, which is on schedule to be completed by the end of next year, Arrow International strategic development manager Stephen Cairns said.
    Yesterday’s operation was centred on the Bond St side of the building where the main entrance will be located.
    Following the completion of the commercial tenancy build, Mr Cairns said work would begin on a three-level car park across the road on Bond St, and the conversion of the remaining post office floors into a 120-apartment hotel.
    Read more

    • ### ODT Online Sat, 16 Nov 2013
      Another major tenant for Chief Post Office
      By John Lewis
      Activity at Dunedin’s former chief post office is about to increase with another major tenant this week confirming a move into the building. Multipeak Health and Fitness will occupy two-thirds of the second floor, giving its co-owners, Cindy Bradburn and Jacques Villard, 600sq m of space for their facility, which is open 24 hours a day.
      Read more

      Former chief post office (via ODT)
      Tenants: Silver Fern Farms; Multipeak Health and Fitness ; Distinction Dunedin Hotel.
      • Silver Fern Farms to open March 2014.
      • Multipeak Health and Fitness to open April 2014.
      • Distinction Dunedin Hotel to be completed at the end of 2014.

  36. This is going to be one dog ugly building. It won’t be connected to the former CPO by an air bridge as was previously planned. So what does this mean for this section of Bond Street which was “sold” to a previous owner of the CPO – is it still a through street or not? Stephen Cairns might care to explain and see to release of an “artist impression”.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 5 Jan 2014
    Making way for parking
    By Debbie Porteous
    The car park at the rear of the former Dunedin chief post office building in central Dunedin has been cleared in anticipation of the start of construction of a multilevel parking building on the site. The post office building is being redeveloped for a mix of hotel and other commercial uses.
    Read more

  37. Um, did anyone tell Ch39 that work has been going on for months at the former CPO ????

    ### January 28, 2014 – 6:48pm
    Work begins on historical building development
    The former chief post office in Dunedin is just two months away from again housing city workers.

  38. Exciting !!! The 10-storey heritage building is being converted to a 120-apartment hotel and office space.

    ### March 12, 2014 – 7:19pm
    Front doors revealed
    With only weeks to go before the former Dunedin Chief Post Office reopens, the front doors have finally been revealed.

  39. Peter

    Now this is what we all could call a positive development for Dunedin. Great to see a lovely old building brought back to life. Congratulations to Geoff Thomson, the developer.
    A lesson for Jing Song and Ping Cao here. Welcome if you do something as positive for our ‘beautiful city’. Come on board…. or be despised. Your choice.

    • Yeah. Here’s to the hotel guests and apartment dwellers who will enjoy the revitalised Exchange without a view of scree, tracks and shunting. Or a dead waterfront.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        It’s a long walk from the Exchange if you want to sit on the wharf with a piece of breakfast sausage on a bent pin, waiting for a retarded fish. Jing Song won’t be discouraged, she knows her site has it all over Geoff Thomson’s for the fishing fraternity.

        • Wharf area (derelict and haunted by the memory of Swann’s vessel) reminds me of the unsavoury coast of Florida Keys minus the hulks of ex drug craft parked up after seizure.

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