Dunedin Hotel – revised design

As advised today, image supplied.


Related Posts and Comments:
2.12.12 Roy Rogers and Trigger photographed recently at Dunedin
26.11.12 Proposed hotel, 41 Wharf Street – indicative landscape effects
20.11.12 City planner’s report recommends against consent for hotel
10.11.12 Dunedin Hotel, 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212)
4.10.12 DUNEDIN: We’re short(!) but here is some UK nous…
8.9.12 Waterfront Hotel #Dunedin (Applicant names?)
7.9.12 Waterfront hotel: DCC to notify resource consent application
16.5.12 Dunedin Hotel

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Name, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

57 responses to “Dunedin Hotel – revised design

  1. Ben

    Dunedin’s loud minority luddites once again destroy an opportunity for job creation, in particular something that would have had a huge redeployment scope for laid off Hillside workers, but oh well at least no view is possibly obscured and the falling down earthquake prone old wrecks nearby won’t have to worry about their integrity being compromised, give yourselves a big round of applause

  2. Anonymous

    How do engineering workers get ongoing employment in a hotel? Do they retrain overnight to become receptionists or something?

  3. DaveM

    Will the finger revolve? It could have a restaurant in it.

  4. Ro

    Making the finger revolve is the job of the engineers

    • Elizabeth

      ### ch9.co.nz December 6, 2012 – 5:53pm
      Attacks on proposed hotel intensify
      Attacks on the proposed 28 storey hotel in Dunedin have intensified, with some heavy-hitters weighing in. The resource consent hearing on the hotel stretched into day four, with some prominent organisations involved. Along with those organisations came lawyers and consultants with evidence that countered that of the developers.


      ### ODT Online Thu, 6 Dec 2012
      Submitters attack $100m hotel plans
      By Chris Morris
      Submitters have attacked plans for a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin, including the evidence used to support its construction, at a hearing that will decide the project’s fate. The critiques came as the Dunedin City Council’s hearings committee considered a third day of arguments about the 28-storey hotel, which Betterways Advisory Ltd wants to build on vacant industrial land at 41 Wharf St. The session was dominated by Christchurch barrister John Hardie and two expert witnesses, appearing on behalf of Capri Enterprises Ltd, which own significant tracts of industrial land in Dunedin.[…]Hours earlier, Mr Hardie began by questioning the credibility of evidence given by Dunedin architect Francis Whitaker, who gave a glowing endorsement of the hotel plans on Tuesday. Mr Whitaker was an architect, but spoke about urban design issues, which he was not qualified “in any way, shape or form” to do, Mr Hardie said. Mr Hardie said he was not asking for Mr Whitaker’s evidence to be excluded, but might if the same claims were made in the Environment Court.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### RNZ News Updated at 10:56 pm on 5 December 2012
        Luxury hotel plan is illegal land use, opponent says
        A hearing panel has been told a proposed 28-storey hotel for Dunedin’s waterfront would be an illegal use of an industrial zone. Opponents of the controversial $100 million hotel and apartment project at Steamer Basin have begun giving evidence on the third day of resource consent hearings.
        John Hardie, a lawyer hired by a major waterfront landowner to fight the project, John Hardie, told the panel on Wednesday the legal test in the Resource Management Act is in two parts, and the building fails both. Mr Hardie says the rules in Dunedin City Council’s district plan designate the site an industrial zone and specifically exclude any non-industrial use. He says the other legal test is that the effects of the project must be more than minor, and there is no way that can be true for a 28-storey hotel. Mr Hardie told the panel however good the benefits for the South Island city, the project has to be rejected because it would be illegal to approve it.
        Meanwhile, an urban planning expert from Auckland told the hearing the planned hotel is too big for the site. Clinton Bird said the building would damage the harbourside and city with its look, height and bulk, and possible wind effects. “I’m not opposed to tall buildings, and nor am I opposed to tall modern buildings. The issue is, you’ve got to put them in the right place – and I don’t believe this is the right place in Dunedin.” Mr Bird says Dunedin’s cityscape rises gently with its hills and a 28-storey building would stand out badly.
        RNZ Link

        Listen to report on Checkpoint


        ### RNZ National Wednesday 5 December 2012
        Checkpoint with Mary Wilson

        18:46 28-storey hotel illegal use of industrial zone
        Opponents of a controversial 100-million dollar hotel planned for Dunedin’s waterfront say putting up the 28-storey building would be an illegal use of an industrial zone. (2′44″)
        Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

      • Elizabeth

        LUC-2012-212 Betterways Advisory Limited – 41 Wharf Street, Dunedin

        Evidence to hearing now available online at DCC website:


        More to be loaded…

  5. Anonymous

    Andy Carr’s Traffic Engineering report would have received an F grade if he had gone to the same University as me…appallingly bad.

  6. Anonymous

    I have now read Don Anderson’s submission and feel dirty.
    What is the penalty for submitting false evidence to a Hearing?
    The before and after views are not correct – compare the height of the lighting tower (35m) to the height of the hotel (100m). These are not accurate submissions and should be deleted as evidence.

  7. Peter

    Just spray and wipe away. I wish.

  8. Anonymous

    And from Steve Rodgers’ submission:
    “With this hotel he is confident Chinese tourists would be keen to fly direct to our airport and stay two days in Dunedin. Chongqing has a population of approximately 32 million people and if we only attracted 0.5% of their population that would provide an additional 160,000 tourists to Dunedin This Hotel would not be able to accommodate all of these tourists.”

    Woolly-headed thinking like this is representing a $100 million project? Wow.

    Let’s unpack the above:
    – estimating based on “if we could attract …” is cargo-cult thinking of the first order. Wishing something does not make it so.
    – 160,000 tourists flying to direct to Dunedin. The largest aircraft that could fly direct from China to Dunedin is a 767-300 with approximately 270 seats. 160,000 tourists equates to 570 flights, or 2 flights per day. This would be slightly more than 1100 additional passenger movements through the airport per day or about 20% of the current volume.
    – flying a 767-300 into Dunedin twice per day would require the runway extension to be built and also additional taxiways. This would fall under the remit of Dunedin International Airport Ltd, a Council-owned enterprise.
    – if the estimated stay is 2 days, most of these visitors would not hire cars; they would require transport to/from the airport. There is no rapid-transport system that can cope with this volume. Compare with servicing a cruise ship, where shuttle coaches are used to meet the needs of a similar number of visitors going between Port and Central Dunedin.
    – However, the traffic engineering plan specifically EXCLUDES a large number of coach movements.

    “This Hotel would not be able to accommodate all of these tourists”


  9. Peter

    Stephen Rodgers seems to be afflicted with the same kind of wide-eyed, orgasmic dreams we saw with Malcolm Farry. They overstate the ‘potentials’ – seeing population figures and dollars based elsewhere – and think,’We can have that too’. No business plan (admitted) with any idea of how we can manage these imagined hordes of Chinese tourists and why they would specifically come to Dunedin…. because we specifically have a new 5 Star hotel to accommodate them.
    My advice to these kind of wide-eyed, wet dreamers is to go home and have a good wank.

  10. Russell Garbutt

    Wouldn’t it be good to know some detail from all these people putting forward their plans. China Airlines? Type of aircraft? Airport transfers? Research on potential tourist numbers?

    At the moment it all sounds just too familiar to the hype that preceeded the stadium misinformation. If every cent on building and all of the allied infrastructure including roading, bridges – the whole 9 yards – is at the developer’s cost and risk and this is in concrete, then this is one issue that has yet to be shown to be true. The other issue which is quite different is whether the building in its current form is good for the Dunedin community.

    If issue 1 is surrounded by hype or a lack of information, then it places further doubt on issue 2.

    • Elizabeth

      Russell, Betterways Advisory Ltd used Stephen Hamilton, a Director of Horwath HTL Ltd, to provide a brief of evidence on the hotel and tourism industry. In his evidence he states his main areas of expertise are in relation to financial consulting in the New Zealand hotel industry {continues} – see paragraphs 4-5.

      Evidence of Stephen Hamilton (PDF, 482.0 KB)
      Evidence presented to the Hearings Committee.

      Hamilton’s evidence was padded out by Steve Rodgers (Betterways). However, Rodgers announced to the commissioners that no Business Feasibility had been undertaken for the proposed development project… yet he maintains the building cannot be reduced in height. The mystery of the missing feasibility study and business case remains unsolved.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    Has there been a robust survey of middle class Chinese in Chongqing (or any other city/region) to back up Steve Rodgers’ daydream-as-evidence?

    Alt.daydream: Using airships, will enhance NZ’s clean green image, larger “cargoes” of passengers could be brought in, landing in the harbour on a pontoon connected by a short wharf to the hotel itself. So the huge numbers of people all over the world who are concerned about anthropogenic climate change will all want to come here, and it may be necessary to squash them in 5 to a room, such will be their eagerness to partake of this experience and spend money in Dunedin.
    That doesn’t sound like delusional bullshit either, does it?

    • Elizabeth

      [OCR scan – with text strike-outs deleted]

      SUBMISSION No. 12

      1. I am John Murray Hanan a director of Hansborough House Ltd formerly a lawyer and lecturer in business law and officer in the Royal Institute of Public Administration.
      I appear as an objector to The Waterfront Hotel.

      2. As can be seen from the synopsis of objectors concerns I have concerns about almost all the issues respecting the application for consent by the developers starting with the fact that the hotel is contrary to the zoning of the District Plan which means the Plan, if not upheld, is being regarded as worthless. It suffices to say the District Plan was decided on a principled basis and Lyttleton’s case mentioned by Mr Page is really irrelevant. As a lawyer his convoluted argument of justification I consider too strained to be the acceptable law.

      3. As an aside the Planner’s advice is not misguided. The implication that the public will fund an overbridge is decidedly “pushy”. This was looked at some years ago and rejected. Others will ventilate most of my other concerns so I need not pursue them.

      4. Anderson & Co for the hotel seemed to think I particularized my complaint to shadowing effects. They wrote to me and sent me the diagrams of Arcon Solar and Shade’s projections as if to placate my fears with the comment “much of the shadow falls on the adjoining railway shunting yards.” It could as well have said ‘it stretches almost to High Street and falls over the exchange’ and what is likely to be the newly sited court precinct. Given this is already a cold area built over reclaimed land, any loss of sunlight will impair this plaza as a rest area. Whether this is direct umbra or penumbra shadowing or whether or not there is a shine effect and dazzle with similar or more extensive glitter patterns was not clarified but we know sun dazzle is as equally as annoying if not more so and whether this will bounce off the glass structure is not mentioned. Likewise the effect of the hotel lights affecting the visibility of the sea at night for many is not considered. The comment of Mason & Wales that the shadow is “limited” is a personal opinion quite out of line with the majority view and has no special weight simply because it is an architect’s. Indeed it may be a discipline blinkered attitude.

      5. I wish to make 2 points not related to the synopsis:
      (a) If the building is given the go ahead in any form I want a bond be given by the developers to provide enough capital to complete the structure in total or else provide for its demolition if unfinished so we don’t get left with an incomplete structure.
      Too often we have seen developers run out of cash as at Kawerau in Queenstown leaving unfinished constructions that hang on for years looking derelict, bedraggled and slumy. Our old Post Office is a prime example. The size of the bond must be enough to prohibit and prevent this and induce completion [words struck out] and thereafter [word struck out] be [word struck out] amortised over the expected life of the structure. A roughage like this would be refined after the final evidence is in. The bond would be required to be guaranteed as provided under the RMA section 108 A (2)(f).
      Essentially it is critical we do not have grandiose slums in our city and I fear this would eventuate should this venture proceed and not finalise.

      (b) On the other hand if the applicant is unsuccessful I want it clearly to be understood by those involved should accept a stand down period of some time [words struck out] before any re-application be made.
      This may not be compellable under the Act but the public’s attitude evidenced by the multiplicity of objections needs to be recognised by the applicants and heeded. Too often I have seen developers use the “proof by exhaustion technique” to achieve their aims; that is to say they start by asking too much knowing that after all the evidence and appeal processes have been run through they will have “softened up” councillors and objectors to accept something lesser in extent and size to get what they have always intended. The objectors fall away lacking the means to proceed and the profit incentives of the applicant. I anticipate the developers, despite denial, maybe doing just such. [words struck out] The argument that the hotel needs to be of this 27 storey height for sufficient financial return so this height is necessary, is suspect and not a ground for approval. Any return may vary according to room rate and demand.
      Technically a new application will mean another resource consent hearing but after this one, such an application with its renewed legal niceties is commonly enough to fob off repetition by objectors of their concerns.
      This must not happen.
      Really what one is getting is a peculiarly contemporary Communistic styled skyscraper of flatlets unsympathetic to the nearby primarily heritage buildings and more like the glassy black box Otago House obscuring First Church.
      The white elephant blockage of the harbour views afforded by the size of the proposed building should be sufficient to debar its erection as the District Plan implies.

      6. Besides these two matters having been a former shareholder of Big Steam Ltd owned by objector David Hanan (yet to give evidence) I endorse his submissions especially as they relate to the privacy of his tenants, updraft, potential traffic problems, shadowing effects etc. as I endorse the comments of my wife Dame Elizabeth.

      7. I compliment the DCC officers on their fulsome reports.
      In the main they reject the applicant’s rich proposals and I broadly concur with the thrust of their considerations.

      Murray Hanan B.A., LL.B., R.I.P A.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    No business feasibility study undertaken – you’re kidding!
    You’re NOT kIdding?
    This gets weirder by the minute. Weirder and smellier, there’s a distinct whiff of rat.

    • Elizabeth

      Somewhere in my hearing notebooks I got him verbatim on that.
      None. Or was that none that could be declared for whatever reason.

      Maybe you don’t need one if the highrise development is being funded by something squiffy that keeps on giving.

      The other day I couldn’t help wondering if the pencilled banquet hall would turn out to be a gaming floor… fly to New Zealand, stay in your hotel capsule beside the unsightly railway marshalling yards, keep your eyes fully on the gaming tables and machines between quick trips to Queenstown and Milford Sound, lose most of your money without the world seeing, then fly out via (last fling) Jonkey’s casino and conference centre at SkyCity, Auckland. That’s the culture isn’t it? New Zealand’s tourism slash casino offerings to internationals. This would almost have ‘neighbourhood fit’ with the mentality of those promoting a stadium lottery to keep wolves from the door.

      If that’s not enough, we can maintain those loopholes (woops) in New Zealand company laws for exploitation by international syndicates setting up shell companies linked to criminal offending overseas (see coverage by NZ Herald).

      At Dunedin we do a great line in white collar crime, it’s second nature for keeping rugby balls and horse racing in the air – the old boys like to keep busy, oiling their gang connections, bringing Asian women to New Zealand on rotation for work in massage parlours and unlicensed brothels at rented addresses in the suburbs.

      No wonder the hotel tower can’t be reduced in height if the men want to bend odds inside.

      Why not convert a selection of hotel and apartment suites to use as a high class brothel (rivalling the Chow brothers’ consent to build the 15-storey “super brothel” in central Auckland).

      As Calvin would say, heads they win, tails we lose. Whoever “they” are.

  13. Anonymous

    Bang on there Elizabeth with the gaming floor. Congratulations, you’ve found the hidden door in their game plan. Now pick up that discarded paper and revisit the next clue competing commercial interests.

  14. Peter

    Mysterious, hugely wealthy overseas developers, gambling/casinos, rugby mafia, prostitutes, drugs, favoured customs/immigration treatment. All part of the mix. Did I miss anything?

    • Elizabeth

      A while back we swapped notes at What if? about houses (bought or rented) we knew of in the city set up as unlicensed brothels for immigrant workers, mainly involving Asian women. There appeared to be some connection between this and the history of labour being brought in from Fiji to work on Southern dairy farms, under substandard conditions.
      Caught up with a colleague last week, turns out they’d reported an illegal brothel to authorities, a house (Roslyn) that we hadn’t picked up on earlier – the roaring trade was being run by a male of dubious character. The clientele involved a lot of suits. No doubt these pop-ups are making some serious money.

      • Elizabeth

        The point is not to be so green or naive about the tendencies, motivations and activities of the local lads with whom we mix (the inference might be we should merely look up to them…), which have been in evidence a very long time.
        ‘Face value’ is the problem not only with the Betterways Advisory Ltd players, but also the limited information they’re making available for the proposed building.

        Do we anticipate an application for a casino venue licence sooner or later if the espoused purpose of the building should fail sometime following construction. No doubt a new (surprise) business feasibility study will be floated then.

        • Elizabeth

          The law around applications for casino venue licensing isn’t straightforward, and offers restriction on the number of casinos operating in New Zealand. However, some interesting leeway with other classes/forms of gambling as set out in DIA web pages.

  15. Anon1

    Now we are descending into racism

  16. Calvin Oaten

    I note in Murray Hanan’s ‘gongs’ the RIPA ? does the ‘A’ mean almost?

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    Anon1, What’s racist about objecting to overseas investors busting a gut to impose a huge ugly building in our city, to provide us with the dubious benefit of short-term construction jobs and ongoing work aa servant-grade lowest pay rate staff? What’s racist about being wary about hidden agendas behind this project which has nothing but wishful thinking, so far, produced as evidence that it is necessary and will be utilized? What’s racist about the belief that profits will be taken out of NZ to the country of the investors? What’s racist about being aware that the infrastructure costs will with 99.999% certainty be made the responsibility of the DCC, in other words, ourselves as ratepayers? Get over the cheap “racist” name-calling attempt to discredit those who continue to examine this proposal in detail, as more information becomes available, pooling insights and coming to ever-increasing certainty that it will be of no benefit to Dunedin, in fact just the opposite.

  18. Anon1

    Hypothermia: What’s not racist about sweeping generalisations about gambling culture, prostitution and triads?

  19. Hype O'Thermia

    Anon1, what’s “generalisations” about the link between organised crime and involvement in gambling and prostitution? What’s not a criminal organisation about Italian Mafia, the Russian Mob, and the Chinese triads, for example, as well as some of the youth and biker-origin gangs. It so happens that according to what we have been told, the promoters of this hotel are Chinese. So while they may be people of excellent reputation, the stated client base – Chinese tourists – and the importance placed on designing the hotel to appeal to them particularly, would make the transition from current (as stated in public) plans, to alterations in use, not difficult to envisage, nor is it difficult to envisage the down-side, not if one has taken notice of what has happened elsewhere in the world.
    For example –
    “AUSTRALIA -Chinese mafia groups have infiltrated and corrupted the highest levels of Papua New Guinea’s police force, crippling the struggling nation’s attempts to tackle its law-and-order crisis and posing a potential national security threat to Australia. An Age investigation has uncovered alleged links between 16 of PNG’s most senior police and Asian criminals implicated in people-smuggling, money-laundering, prostitution, illegal gambling, fraud and theft.”
    PNG/WWW.THEAGE.COM.AU/2.19.05 http://www.casinowatch.org/sex_prostitution/prostitution_8_25_05.html

  20. Anon1

    If the investors were American would you make unsubstantiated links to the Mafia; or Japanese to the Yakuza – I think your comments prove my point. It’s pure xenophobia as our your comments about foreign investment in general.

  21. Peter

    Anon 1. It makes no difference whether it is negative Chinese, Japanese, German or American influence on NZ society. The lot should be treated the same…. and rejected.
    It is a common link that ‘Chinese gambling, prostitution and triads’ go hand in hand. Not always – maybe – but commonly.
    I, for one, am not prepared to slavishly suck up to rich and powerful foreign interests in order to get the crumbs off their table.
    Likewise, we expect those same foreign interests to prosecute those who leave our shores and trade in drugs and sex and exploit/harm their citizens.

  22. Anonymous

    Weird coincidence how the same cards are played when discussing business ventures that involve Queenstown businessman Eion Edgar.

  23. Rob Hamlin

    An interesting exchange. Can’t really see the point of it however. Up to this point we have no concrete evidence of any investors at all – not from New Zealand, nor America, nor China nor the dark side of the fourth dimension of the Planet Tharg for that matter. Hard to be racist about non-existent beings.

    We have assurances that they do indeed exist – But I have firm opinions as to their actual value.

    • Elizabeth

      We have to take the application seriously legally until it is proved the application shall not proceed. We don’t have the luxury to ignore it, whether we want to or not.

      If it is found conclusively that the development application is without ‘foundation’ then we will see some local people in the courts, their professional reputations decimated.

  24. Calvin Oaten

    I agree with Rob on this one. A tremendous lot of totally unsubstantiated conjecture. If and when something of substance does emerge, then is the time to comment. Meantime all we really know is that some people /organisation, fronted by a local solicitor are seeking – for better or worse – consent to build a 28 floor hotel. End of story.

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    True, but with no business feasibility study undertaken? Local solicitor coming out with Farryistic “visions” of who and how many are going to use the hotel? That’s a load of unsubstantiated conjecture if ever I heard it!

    • Elizabeth

      Absolutely Hype!
      There’s full conjecture from the applicant, much of it insulting to the residents of Dunedin – hours of it delivered as briefs of evidence. Therefore I’ll put conjecture in reply; there are enough experts being used by registered submitters to deal to the applicant’s lack of FACT and lack of EVIDENCE. My submission airs at hearing on Monday 17 December, I haven’t decided how to fill the 10 minutes yet.
      Calvin and Rob both use conjecture. I welcome it, it’s additive to the nature of debate.
      Playing fair isn’t what this application is about, not one iota. Stir the pot.

  26. Anonymous

    Sometimes throwing down a bunch of thoughts can help others see something of value.

    Sometimes thoughts are anger over the white collar criminals who have got away with so much, done so much damage and still people conspire to cover their tracks. Sometimes it’s frustration because of those people still getting away with it. Sometimes it’s humour to undo some of that frustration.

    It’s an interesting game too to read the Otago Daily Times and try to feel what the reporter was really wanting to say and occasionally it is about finding the questions never asked (or answers not printed).

    And sometimes, something shakes out.

    I know a lot of people who read the broad content on this site and feel they understand the enormity of the corruption in this city just a little bit more. Most people now understand debt is crippling and continue to chip away at the bone but see a council who doesn’t while spending other peoples’ money.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    I was thinking last night about what Anon1 said, “If the investors were American would you make unsubstantiated links to the Mafia; or Japanese to the Yakuza” and concluded No, I wouldn’t. Not because of racism if that means “being anti a particular race”. Not the Yakusi because they are not renoiwned for getting involved in dodgy activities outside Japan. Not the American or Italian Mafia, because the Italians and Americans as individuals do some very random things. Chinese businessmen however – whatever their connections or the connections-of-their-connections – have a different reputation. Business is personal, that’s why (we’re told) the sister city relationship is so important because they want to meet the person they’re doing business with, dine and drink with them, get a feel for their quality and whether they are the kind of person they want to do business with, then it becomes as personal as when contracts were sealed with a handshake. They have a reputation for doing their homework, for not being impulsive. That side of their natures belongs in a separate area, the casino or race track. They don’t buy Battersea Power Station on a sentimental whim and have it transported in thousands of numbered crates to be reassembled. If they did they would have worked out a sound reason for doing so: done a feasibility study. Chinese business/entrepreneurial culture didn’t seem to wither during the years of Communism. Their culture doesn’t seem to mix emotion-based recklessness with business. The very idea of not doing a business feasibility study is too weird, and like other things (e.g. why the only “Dunedin needs a good stadium, how can we achieve this” solution was “build a brand new one in this one specific place despite access and parking and traffic factors”) that are too weird, there is a mystery crying out to be investigated.

  28. Peter

    I’m not sure whether I would agree with Rob and Calvin. We should know, after the stadium experience, that anything is possible. Time and again, we told ourselves, at various stages along the stadium’s progress, that ‘X’ would not happen, that the stadium was a dead duck. We were wrong.
    The financials for the stadium were wrong, but that didn’t stop the stadium from happening.
    These ‘mystery’ hotel developers, who have almost certainly been identified on this site and in the ODT, obviously have truckloads of money to punt on.Besides,they won’t be carrying all of the financial burden. No doubt others will be burnt from buying apartments off the plan and the city will be left carrying some sort of tab if the project keels over.
    Building the hotel for these people is just another project, another monument to their own glorification with its dominant physical imprint on a new city.
    A lot of things don’t make financial sense, but it doesn’t stop them happening.That’s why debt is such a major global issue and why we are increasing debt, with quantative easing for example, to get out of debt. (which doesn’t make sense either.)

  29. Calvin Oaten

    Peter; I hear all that you are saying. This hotel project has all the hallmarks of the stadium. Same hyperbole’, same optimistic claims and returns. The one thing you didn’t mention is the ‘IDIOT FACTOR’. This is manifested on both sides of the table here, as indeed it was with the stadium. Why does it happen here in Dunedin? Just look at the flock in the Town Hall. I rest my case.

  30. Anonymous

    And again the usual marketing spin is being run through the ODT – online is another example of how it could “replace all the jobs recently lost in the city”. Will it? It might create some temporary jobs but, like the stadium, the majority will come from out of town and leave once completed.

    As this is going to be a Chinese-made hotel, it is likely the out-of-town investors – who are multimillionaires in construction – will build it with their own resources and staff it with people whom visitors will be comfortable with. I am sure there will be a few local staff and gimmicks to present the New Zealand experience but those few will be nowhere like the spin being used to shut down debate.

    Also like the stadium stakeholders, their hotel soldiers are readily identifiable by the tendency to describe anyone who disagrees with their stand as negative in the first sentence.

    And the Stadium Councillors will be awaiting their orders.

  31. Anonymous

    Apart from its size, the colour is the other half of the fugly equation for me. It would be kinder on the view if it was eight stories stout which could be made up in girth. I guess part of their argument would be in the simplicity of the copied template but the colour wouldn’t be a factor in changing that. Instead of skyline-killer reflective blue, what about a darker theme, maybe the brick work including Oamaru stone (support local) or an equivalent to Aberdeen granite? The windows could then be made of a low-sheen black or that black/gold tint you see in some buildings? Inside it’s business as usual.

    Dunedin’s view is stunning from just several floors up – it doesn’t require a 28-storey bright blue glasshouse to achieve a vision that could meet in the middle, instead of splitting a city further down the middle.

  32. Hype O'Thermia

    Remember when poison bottles were made of blue glass?

    • Elizabeth

      Used to collect blue bottles as a child from the remains we owned of the old Hawksbury Estate (Waikouaiti), and despite getting a professional degree or two in architecture at Auckland with overseas travel to check out facade design of commercial towers in cities developed in response to oil production, looking at their height, location, form and bulk, detailing, faceting and fenestration patterns, I’ve never craved to plonk an acontextural monolith at the head of the Steamer Basin. Poison, indeed.

  33. Anonymous

    Is there an “Ooh Aah It’s So Big” page up on Facebook for this thing yet? I’m assuming the stadium’s soldiers, freebie bludgers and blind followers of professional rugby need something else to croon over now.

  34. Peter

    Yes, Calvin. We will get the usual IDIOT chorus of this is just what Dunedin needs. It will bring jobs to the city, the tourists will spend up large over the two days or so they are here, the city won’t die with the last ‘one’ to turn out the lights, build it and they will come, etc, etc, etc. Cliche upon cliche.
    If the developers are prepared to negotiate what we want as a city alongside their plans – fine.
    But we will get the usual apologists who are prepared to go prostrate and serve as 21st century eunuchs at the Chinese (in this case) court.

  35. Anonymous

    It appears the ODT poll Are you in favour of Dunedin’s proposed waterfront hotel? has received its largest response with 1911 total votes.

    > Yes – 49% (945 votes)
    > No – 46% (872 votes)
    > Will make a decison based on the hearing – 5% (94 votes)

    At a glance most contentious votes range around 400 with some close to 700. Only a few – at a glance – get close to breaking a thousand including How do you feel about the stadium? 1771 and Should there be a referendum to decide the fate of the stadium? 1471.

    I’m not sure what this suggests but points to strong interest from both sides but for me once again suggests a few wealthy individuals are prepared to corrupt a city further to line their own pockets.

    Some people must be really getting mad out there.

  36. Rob Hamlin

    As I have said earlier, it will almost certainly be approved, and then we shall see. At the end of the day only a handful of people have any input to the final decision, and the opinion of the rest of us is all white noise (although it is a vital civic duty to generate such white noise).

    I have always suspected that the necessary key decision-maker votes that were necessary to see the Stadium through all its hurdles were fully sewn up well before the rest of the population ever got to hear about it.

    It would of course be impossible to prove this, so a suspicion it must remain. However, some may remember the remarkable multiple conversions from a state of candidate openmindeness to total Councillor commitment to the Stadium that occurred in the days that followed the elections before last.

    These elections occurred after the project became public, but before it was finally approved. No positive information about this project emerged between the election and the project’s final approval that could reasonably be identified as the cause of this remarkable metamorphosis – Strange.

    Only Michael Guest had a mandate to continue to vote for this proposal as its terms of investment for the DCC continued to deteriorate after this election. This mandate was based on his making a clearly stated and virtually unqualified position of support before the electorate cast their votes.

    So why would this rather smaller exercise be any different?

    10 steps to happiness

    1 – Vote to build stadium
    2 – Generate a debt crisis
    3 – Vote to approve hotel
    4 – Vote to spin off water into DCHL & realise massive ‘community profit’ for DCC on transfer of the assets (see 2012 DCC accounts re Stadium sale ‘profit’ and 2011 accounts for ‘discovery’ of $25 million worth of rare books in library and recognition of same as ‘income’ for existing examples).
    5 – Vote to commit to refurbishment of Carisbrook for pro-rugger on basis of ‘investing this community profit to generate economic impact’
    6 – Vote to astroturf Foobar as a ‘community asset’ on basis of ‘investing this community profit to generate economic impact’
    7 – Vote to commit to all sorts of hotel related ‘extras’ on basis of ‘investing this community profit to generate/secure economic impact’
    (Perhaps $100+ million for the three)
    8 – Generate a second and incurable debt crisis
    9 – Vote (with regret) to sell water and every other community asset with value that is not bolted down and on fire outright to a secret group of private ‘habitual investors’ (as in established DCC bond placement practice)
    10 – Retire and move to Lakes Area (which is not in the DCC rating/service charge zone) & accept knighthood.

    All it takes is eight people in the right place and all of the above is possible. After the vote, the rest of us are both irrelevant to and abandoned by both our local politicians and the agencies of Central Government that are supposed to police our constellation of locally elected dictatorships and thus to protect our interests – And the local power brokers know it.

    The issue is a systemic one. While we may hate political parties, they are essential for the proper functioning of representative democracy. New Zealand is virtually unique in not having one set of political parties organised at all levels of government.

    That’s why our local MP’s don’t give a damn about how badly the ratepayer gets screwed by local government – ditto the Cabinet and central Civil Service. They most certainly would if it had been a Labour or National ‘branded’ Council that had achieved what this mob have achieved over the last five years.

    Likewise having a politically branded mayor that promised one thing as a candidate and delivered quite another as Mayor would carry with it a potential political cost for their national party that would greatly reduce the chances of it happening, and greatly increase the chances of effective remedial action being swiftly taken if it did.

    As Mayor of Dunedin and head of his own local, private, political pygmy party, Cull has nothing to worry about on this front. He might well do if he was the Liberal Democrat Mayor of Manchester for instance.

    Without large and enduring political parties you simply do not know who or what you are voting for at an election. They are just a row of fuzzy faces with fifty words of platitudes apiece – and there is no comeback or guarantee in this country if you make the wrong choice based on this inadequate information.

    That is why political parties – loathsome though they often are – are (virtually) ubiquitous in the World’s democratic systems. We need them. We probably need them even more than normal to counterbalance a system that is so desperately personality – incumbent rigged as Dunedin’s.

    So, do not think for one moment that any report/recommendation submitted by the Three Waters Group to retain the water asset within the DCC structure will be considered to be binding by the individual members of the full Council. These recommendations (and our own opinions) are also just white noise in a system that carries no control on our elected decision makers – and apparently no consequences either.

  37. Calvin Oaten

    I have just revisited an opinion piece I wrote and had published in the ODT on May 14th 2007 “Expecting an unbearable debt burden”. It was my summation at the time. Reading it today, it was as if I had known where we would be today. I make no claim to clairvoyance but it has panned out uncannily as per scheduled.

  38. amanda

    Rob. You are on the money, the stadium was the gateway to full takeover of this city. The debt crisis the stadium created is good for stadium councillors, they can cry their crocodile tears safe in the knowledge that the local media will not hold them to account for their part in creating the debt crises. No consequences for them, and they can continue the agenda of selling off the city under the guise of trying to ‘save’ the city they are hell bent on destroying. Crs Hudson, Brown, Bezett, Collins, Weatherall, Noone, Acklin hide behind the other councillors like the cowards they are and hope real hard that we all forget their role in this debt; that is the plan on the run up to next year’s election.

  39. amanda

    With our weak and complicit media too afraid to hold corruption to account, Rob, I think what you predict is a real possibility.

  40. amanda

    As you note Rob, the council is so desparate to sing the song of ‘togetherness’; I can see why this suits the stadium councillors who hide behind ‘The Council’. This only benefits the councillors not the electorate. We need to divide them up, they don’t like this, that is why I try to not refer to ‘the council’ but the two cabals; the stadium and Greater Dunedin. Divide and conquer them, just like they do us. And when I hear the greater Dunedin ones mouthing about togetherness’ with the whole council; I know they either don’t understand the dynamics of politics, or just like Hudson and co. they want to hide behind the ‘council’.

  41. BillyBob

    Apparently, the moon landings were staged also (but don’t tell Buzz)

  42. Carol

    Shhh don’t remind him that he is 43 years older now, that’s if he can remember

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