Hotel decision . . . (the vacuum)

DCC says NO


Having carefully considered all the relevant reports and documentation supplied with the application, submissions, and the evidence presented to us during the course of the hearing, we have resolved to refuse the application from Betterways Advisory Limited to construct and operate a licensed hotel with residential apartments at 41 Wharf Street, Dunedin.

Since the proposal is a non-complying activity we were required to consider the particular restrictions imposed by s.104D in the Resource Management Act 1991. This requires the proposal to pass at least one of two tests. Having considered these, we were not satisfied that the adverse effects on the environment would be minor (s.104D(1)(a)), and nor were we satisfied that the activities associated with the application would not be contrary to the objectives and policies of the Dunedin City District Plan (s.104D(1)(b)). Having made these determinations, in terms of s.104D, we were unable to grant consent.

Throughout Chapter 6 of this decision we considered the environmental effects that were brought to our attention and have drawn our own conclusions as to how each of these issues impacted on this decision. Having done so, we have also undertaken an overall evaluation of the adverse impacts of the proposal in light of the expected positive effects.

Having examined the proposal with reference to Part 2 and Section 104 of the Resource Management Act 1991, we have also concluded that the proposal is not consistent with the overriding sustainability purpose of the Act as expressed in s.5(1).

The Hearings Committee of Ministry for the Environment-approved independent Commissioners was comprised of Crs Colin Weatherall (Chair), Andrew Noone and Kate Wilson, and John Lumsden of Christchurch.

Full decision (PDF 1.5 MB, 333 pages)

Stuff at 11:06 06/06/2013

ODT Online 06/06/2013
ODT Online 06/06/2013

RNZ News at 8:45pm 05/06/2013
RNZ Checkpoint 05/06/2013

Ch39 at 6:54pm 05/06/2013 [with video]

RNZ News at 12:24 05/06/2013

Stuff at 12:12 05/06/2013

3News at 10:36 05/06/2013 + Video

ODT Online 05/06/2013 [with video]

TVNZ ONE News at 9:46 05/06/2013 + Video

DCC Media Release 05/06/2013

► Enter *hotel* in the search box at right for more.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Hotel, Media, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

60 responses to “Hotel decision . . . (the vacuum)

    • Laughed at the line in the Stuff article:
      “The proposed site sits to the side of an inner-city overpass that takes commuters from a heritage precinct to the Dunedin wharves.”

      The DCC rarely acknowledge the DUNEDIN HARBOURSIDE HISTORIC AREA registered by NZHPT – but maybe this is a Stuff stuff up. In which case it could be written:

      The proposed site sits to the side of an inner-city overpass that takes commuters from a heritage precinct to the Dunedin wharves and the Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area.


      • Steve Rodgers: “The council has come to its decision. Reading that decision, I am of the view that the panel was keen to say no.”

        I think the DCC has been as careful as it could to justify the decision it has reached, so that No means No.

        • The earlier ODT article today…

          ### ODT Online Wed, 5 Jun 2013
          Decision on hotel still under wraps
          By Chris Morris
          The company bidding to build a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin has been given its answer, but what that answer is remains a secret. The decision of the Dunedin City Council’s hearings committee was presented to Betterways Advisory Ltd late yesterday.
          Betterways director Steve Rodgers would not comment about the decision when contacted yesterday, and neither would council staff nor committee chairman Cr Colin Weatherall. The decision will be unveiled during a two-part media conference this morning.
          Mr Rodgers was studying the decision when contacted by the Otago Daily Times last night. Pressed on whether the decision was a yes or a no, he would only say it was ”definitely one of those”. ”There will be a lot of happy people in Dunedin and there will be a lot of sad people in Dunedin.”
          The decision will be published on this morning.
          ODT Link

        • From the commissioners (reasons for their determination):

          [paragraph 460] “Our final comment must reflect the fact that, in our opinion, the application as presented to us had a number of shortcomings. Foremost among these was the lack of any compelling landscape evidence that was able to demonstrate that the proposed hotel was an appropriate development at that site, and would not have very long-term adverse visual effects that would change the character of the city. Given the scale of the proposal, and particularly the fact that the land is reclaimed and subject to seismic activity, the lack of any consideration of construction effects was a also serious omission in our view. We also had significant misgivings about the notion of a five-star hotel located on a site that is effectively an ‘island’ constrained by an active railway yard and main trunk line on one side and a four-lane arterial roadway on the other. Notwithstanding potentially problematic access and egress for vehicles, and road transport issues, the lack of connectivity for pedestrians, both to the city and the Harbourside, was a major concern to us. It did not seem sufficient to claim, as the applicant did, that the proposed hotel would act as a catalyst to provide the necessary bridges.”

        • Mr Rodgers should not have been surprised and should take a hard look at what his counsel and ‘experts’ provided. Nice the potential investor is already overseas looking at other investments, she must have known something he didn’t. We’ll never know WHO was to put up the money for the waterfront building. There are as many games to play as there are supposed forms of sincerity. Oh, someone has reined in Mr Liability Cull.

          Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull – who had said the council would ”run out the red carpet, not red tape” for the hotel – would not be interviewed about the decision while an appeal remained possible.

          ### ODT Online Thu, 6 Jun 2013
          Hotel ruling disappoints
          By Chris Morris
          The company bidding to build a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin is considering its options after the project was rejected by the Dunedin City Council’s hearings committee yesterday. The decision prompted immediate celebrations from opponents of the project, but also disappointment from supporters, after the committee’s ruling was released at a packed media conference yesterday morning. Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers told media he was ”very surprised and very disappointed” by the decision. He would not rule out an Environment Court appeal or an alternative development. He and the hotel’s backers – Jing Song, of Queenstown, and her husband Ping Cao, of China – would need all of the 15 working days allowed to decide whether to appeal or how else to proceed, Mr Rodgers said. However, Ms Song was already overseas considering other investment opportunities, and the couple might yet decide to simply move on, Mr Rodgers warned.
          Read more

          *Ms Copeman, in the article, is on the board of the Otago Chamber of Commerce. Why I don’t know. But if that’s the calibre.


          ### ODT Online Thu, 6 Jun 2013
          More information ‘would not have helped’ hotel bid
          By Chris Morris
          The bid to build a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin has been criticised for failing to deliver crucial information, but the man promoting the project says the information would not have helped. Dunedin City Council hearings committee chairman Cr Colin Weatherall delivered the verdict to a packed media conference yesterday by announcing the decision to decline resource consent for the hotel. The decision noted the hotel bid by Betterways Advisory Ltd contained ”a number of shortcomings” and lacked any ”compelling” landscape evidence showing the hotel would not damage the city’s character. The committee had requested five additional pieces of information after the first round of the consent hearing in December, but Betterways provided only three and declined to demonstrate the hotel’s height or commission a report by a recognised landscape architect. Cr Weatherall told media yesterday that was Betterways’ right, but the lack of information counted against the hotel. ”We can’t evaluate what we don’t know”.
          Read more

        • Hopefully, Dunedin will stay closed to hoods and vagabonds… you know, less of the ragtag but if you want to work with this community, know this community, have pride in the form and scale of this city – and you’ve got a beneficent vision and a great site, you’re open and honest, and have the means to a good architect, engineer, landscape architect, counsel et al – the door is most surely open. The air of lightness.

          ### Last updated 11:06 06/06/2013
          Dunedin council defends hotel decision
          By Wilma McCorkindale and Mike Houlahan
          Rejecting a proposed waterfront skyscraper hotel in Dunedin showed the city was closed for business, the developer’s representative says. A Dunedin City Council-appointed panel of commissioners unanimously declined resource consent yesterday for Betterways Advisory Ltd’s proposal to build a $100m 27-storey hotel on industrial land on the city’s waterfront.
          The hearing panel’s decision criticised the applicants for several aspects of its proposal, saying it had a number of shortcomings. Most notable, the panel said, was a lack of “any compelling landscape evidence that was able to demonstrate that the proposed hotel was an appropriate development at that site, and would not have very long-term adverse visual effects that could change the character of the city”.
          A record 507 submissions were made on the proposed development. Of those, 80 per cent were opposed.
          Betterways representative, lawyer Steve Rodgers, said he had emailed the decision to his client, Betterways owner Jing Song, who was in Korea. He had not heard her reaction or spoken to her about a possible appeal. The company has 15 working days to consider challenging the decision. “I imagine she is as disappointed as I am,” Rodgers said. “In fact, I may even be a little more disappointed because, to me, the decision sends a message Dunedin is closed.”
          Read more

        • ### June 5, 2013 – 7:07pm
          Nightly interview: Norcombe Barker
          As we heard at the top of this bulletin, a resource consent hearings committee has rejected an application for a 28 storey hotel by Dunedin’s Steamer Basin. For some early reaction to the news we are joined by the chairman of tourism industry body DunedinHOST, a man who is also a director of tourism venue, Larnach Castle.

  1. BillyBob

    Good decision. All that harbour-front space will be needed as an Oil exploration base

  2. Peter Entwisle

    The decision is unusually elaborate and looks robust. I think this is what Mr Rodgers is getting at, although doubtless some will take it he is saying the committee was biased.

    A passage at p.94 looks significant ‘…long term adverse visual effects that would change the character of the city…’ are given primary importance. It has sometimes been difficult persuading committees this is in the district plan.
    This was a spectacular example of a project with such effects but it’s good it’s been acknowledged and the application declined.

  3. Rob Hamlin

    I would agree with Peter. Having now looked at it this decision appears to have been written with considerable care and more than half an eye on the Environment Court. The authors are to be complimented on the standard of their work, whether or not you agree with its outcomes.

    The land as of today has a GV of $550,000 and is owned by a company whose actual ownership is cloaked in a service trust company arrangement, which defeats the Companies Register.

    As it sits, the land is now once again a derelict piece of industrial real estate, that nevertheless has considerable strategic importance – governing as it does the short single lane ‘pinch’ in Wharf Street. This route has been the subject of much speculation about state highway arterial reroutes, and even now runs pretty much at capacity in the mornings. Both indicate that a single to two lane upgrade may be in the offing. Any such upgrade is very likely to require the use of at least some of this land.

    Any land that controls such ‘pinches’ may be a potential vehicle for a bit of speculative gain. To give you a totally hypothetical and out of this world example of how this might happen – let’s say that in a galaxy long ago and far away, a bunch of speculators realise that a rumpty industrial zoned planet sits on a pinch in the intergalactic highway between one part of the galaxy and the next. They buy said planet for a billion solar stars (its quoted galactic value).

    Some time later the Jedi Planners show up to start work on widening the intergalactic highway. They try to compulsorily purchase a tenth of the planet for a tenth of its quoted galactic value. The speculators then reveal that they have had the plant rezoned for industrial world to pleasure world status, and have acquired planning permission for a five-galaxy space resort with an unprecedented 28 pleasure moons. They haven’t yet spent a single solar star on building the resort or installing the moons yet, the whole planet is in fact still a complete tip, but they argue in the Cosmological Environment Court that removing a tenth of the planet to build the intergalactic highway will make their proposed pleasure world unviable and deprive them of projected profits of 60 billion solar stars.

    The Jedi Planners refer the matter to Dave Vader, the President of the Dinangular Cosmological Council who rolls out his self-levitating anti-gravity red carpet and authorises an out of court settlement to buy the whole planet off the speculators for 40 billon solar stars – courtesy of the astroratepayers of the Galaxy. The speculators move off grumbling loudly about the injustices of the Universe, but with 39 billion solar stars profit to console them.

    Maybe now that this hotel matter has been settled, the time to upgrade Wharf Street [for the Harbourside Arterial] is now upon us. I was under the impression when Harland, Chin, Cairns et al were talking about linking the SH88 and SH1 via the Gyratory (remember that?) to form a single arterial route that this particular upgrade was a matter of some considerable urgency with regard to the future welfare of this City.

    It was perhaps unfortunate that this excellent idea seemed to emerge just as the Forsyth Barr stadium was going through its approval process, which must have been distracting for them. However, they did make a grand start by rerouting SH88 behind the emerging Stadium with some very pioneering and novel junction work at the southern end of it.

    But for some reason all has gone quiet on this arterial reroute front since the Forsyth Barr Stadium was completed. The City still awaits its transport salvation.

    However, I am sure that completing this wider arterial road plan is still a priority, as these strategic schemes must have been developed by these gents with the long-term interests of the wider community in mind. In fact Jim Harland as the local state highway head honcho is in an ideal position to complete the good work that he helped to initiate as CEO of the DCC.

    If this is to be done, then it would of course be necessary to compulsorily purchase part or all of this particular bootlace of derelict industrial zoned land pretty much immediately. However, this should be doable at its GV or close to it. As far as I know there has not been a great increase in the value of industrial land in the southern part of the city since the last GV’s were issued. Indeed, the recent sale of Carisbrook by the DCC as an industrial plot of land for half of the valuation issued by a highly reputable valuation practitioner, and the subsequent refusal of the Auditor General’s Office to investigate the matter further would indicate that the value of industrial land has actually declined by about 50% over the last two years in some quite nearby areas.

    I do not know what price this land changed hands for recently, but as far as I know in compulsory acquisitions situations it is the value of aggregate transactions in the wider area that forms the basis of any price paid, rather than whatever was paid for the individual block concerned. That is unless of course some logical basis for a one-off increase in value, such as a tangible improvement (eg building) or intangible improvements (eg rezoning) can be demonstrated. Sadly, as far as I know, industrial land values in the area are flat at best, and neither of these other things has appeared or happened.

  4. Rob; I agree absolutely with your summary of the traffic situation surrounding that piece of derelict ‘space’. I feel sure that the ‘Bestway’ folk will definitely be looking for the maximum exit value for it. I also think it will all go very quiet until after the elections and then, depending on the outcome we might see both the transport bottleneck at the ‘hotel site’ and the confrontation with Doug Hall being resolved. Result, the completion of the arterial route as originally planned. Which brings up the question; how on earth did that hotel project ever get legs in the first place?

  5. Anonymous

    The SH88 work has a High Court decision resolved adversely against DCC. Ask yourself why they have not reached settlement with the landowner or started the redesignation process. What is the event that has to happen in order to trigger liability insurance to pay out?

    • Anonymous, dammit I’m struggling to answer that question. Was it more a case that the Civic Centre might fail in an earthquake, or something more incendiary under the likes of Anderson Lloyd. I dunno, perhaps we need to find oil and gas off St Clair because trying to sell up DCHL to meet the cost doesn’t seem likely. Flummoxed. Or a bad road accident in the DCC’s offending stretch of SH88, heaven forbid. Not that many straws left to clutch.

  6. Mike

    Might I remind you that the DCC now carries its own insurance – that means we pay for it

    Even if they did have liability insurance I’m not sure you can insure against your own incompetence

  7. Hard to imagine ‘liability insurance’ covering a self inflicted liability. That the judge saw fit to describe the SH88 diversion as being illegal one would have to qualify that as self inflicted. Anyway, as Mike says the DCC in its wisdom recently opted to carry its own insurance so in the end all will be put right and the ‘lumpen proletariate’ will pay. As always.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    ODT poll:

    How do you feel about DCC’s decision to decline consent for the waterfront hotel?
    They made the right call
    Disappointed, Dunedin needed this
    Don’t care

    • I hear, the hotel screamers have all gone to ODT facebook. Where no-one sane visits.

      • It was put to me today that Dunedin City Council, in the past, has not adopted the decision of the commissioners… in that a decision was changed. Readers may remember the particular ‘political’ instance, the great turn-around, involving our senior congressman Sydney… and his Taieri subdivisions.

        So… What if ????

  9. Robert Hamlin

    The DCC cannot carry its own insurance – its liquid, unhocked out of area assets simply cannot meet the potential liability of even a small seisimic event, or even a big slip/seawall collapse. It, and we, are effectively uninsured.

  10. Anonymous

    I went there once for a look. It was an odd and uncomfortable experience. It seems the Oddity has gone the way of a number of businesses who have bought into the drivel that splashing yourself across networks like Facebook and LinkedIn will grow business. All it does is keep the professional delegators and psychotic managers busy updating their profiles.

    Likewise it is also sad to see how many people want to place their hope in the lie this type of venture will help the community. That is the media leading the gullible. This is about the ultra-rich, some rich guys from Queenstown, a few self-interested individuals, and one or two large companies. Some local jobs might even be available, although anyone remembering the stadium farce should know better by now.

    Anything else that comes from that pie in the sky is just falling crumbs and none of it will ever make a long term change to the wealth and well-being of the community.

    If the ODT went back to its values of writing local, newsworthy articles I might be inclined to take up a subscription again. But I can’t even afford that now with every other essential cost of living going up.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    And why is it the job of the DCC and everyone else to find possible sites for this apartment block/hotel? Generally as soon as the word goes out that you want to buy or sell any property the real estate agents cluster around, how come their energies can’t be relied on this time?

  12. Peter

    Excellent point, Hype.

  13. Mike

    The ODT’s editorial gets even more strident demanding “If there are sites available, those in the know must identify them and work with, not against, Mr Rogers in getting them in front of the developers as quickly as possible.”

    Personally, given the amount of dissembling from Betterways and their faux hotel apartment building plan I don’t think we owe them anything – it’s easy to argue that such a hotel would in fact be bad for our local economy, with a 55% occupancy rate a foreign owned hotel/apartment building is more likely to siphon wealth from our economy than add to it

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Doesn’t anyone else wonder just what the agenda of the ODT is these days? So many issues that the ODT has adopted a “position” on and subsequently reports on as fact. Long gone are the days when the buyers of the paper could rely on unbiased factual and even investigative reporting. Seems like their position is now more attuned to being a mouthpiece for the GOB’s and their interests. No news to be printed that is in conflict for the interests of the influential.

  15. Peter

    Those of you who went to primary school a few decades ago will remember the language skill we were taught called, ‘Dictation’. It seems Muzza and the editorial boys haven’t forgotten this skill and have duly reprinted what the bosses and Eion, the self appointed philanthropist, have read out to them. Where’s the journalistic pride, boys?
    (As a footnote, notice how the ODT usually describe Eion as an Otago businessman AND philanthropist.)

  16. amanda

    Is the ODT editor setting up for the arrival of Saint Eion The Savour of All to come in on his white charger and save all the red faced peasants and bring Jobs and Prosperity. Do as the ODT and Eion say, trust them, all will be well.

  17. amanda

    How nonhopeful politicians will get around the bias of the local media is the real challenge. We may have the incompetent and gormless delivered to us again in October. People who want to stop this better start figuring out how to sidestep this media bias now.

  18. Robert Hamlin

    McPravda’s editorial confidentiality appears to have kicked in again. This was posted this morning on their website (Yes I know it’s a waste of time for me), but Steve Rodger’s ‘It’s so hard to find space’ line as peddled by McPravda just begged for a response. Predictably it had not appeared by 5.00 this evening. Take a look at what’s apparently too sensitive to post:

    “It is worth noting that this building was home to not one proposal, but two. A hotel with around twelve floors – with a slightly larger privately owned apartment block (vertical housing estate) stuck on top of it. It is not just a ‘hotel’ as described in this article.

    Mr Rodgers is looking for suggestions? Well, he has a variety of site options open to him. Let’s look at just five:

    1) He could use the current location if he is happy to build the twelve story hotel only – which even if its current slab form was retained would be considerably less objectionable to many residents of the city if it was reduced to this height. If the private apartments were the primary objective, then disposing of the hotel part of the proposal has a similar calming effect on the proposed height, but does sadly rather do away with the arguments relating to ongoing economic benefit to the city.

    2) The Old Post Office may well be a viable alternative for the hotel only as the floor areas do not seem to be grossly dissimilar. As other posters have noted, five star hotels have a tendency to be medium to small sized and sited in heritage buildings in the centres of the cities they occupy. The Old Post Office ticks all these boxes.

    3) The very much larger harbour front site lying between the harbour slipway and the windsurfing club is still unoccupied after being cleared to make way for the ORC headquarters building that never happened. I understand that this is DCC owned and the proposed earlier use is certainly not industrial. It in fact forms part of the area to be redesignated non industrial as part of the Harbourside Phase One Development Plan.
    The fact that the Wharf St proposed hotel site just missed out on being in this redesignated residential/commercial area has been a bone of contention for a while between the DCC and the site’s owners – the recently declined hotel plan being just the last of a long line of non-industrial proposals and related legal activities.
    If Mr Rodgers and his clients really MUST have harbourside apartments, then other plots of land nearby in this Harbourside Phase 1 area can be used to construct them on a slightly lower rise basis.

    4) The car park lying between the Town Hall and the pool bar on Moray Place has been identified as a site for a hotel of this nature for a considerable while, and I believe that it is owned by the DCC.

    5) Carisbrook offers a very large site with good communications. A spectacular facility could be built around the large established central courtyard lawn this site offers, that has been kept in pristine condition for some strange reason by the DCC. An application for its redesignation for this use would stand a reasonable chance of success in my opinion.

    So there’s five. What I find astonishing is that these sites, offering the advantages that they do, do not seem to have been considered as a destination for this $100 million investment in improvements in the first place.

    Terrible stuff don’t yer think Billybob?

  19. Tony

    {Found in Spam. Restored. -Eds}

    Dear o dear, I have just had the displeasure of reading this entire thread. Elizabeth, you are seriously a bitter old woman. Surely you have something better to do with your time than sit on a computer and write this drivel. You do your credibility no favours with this one-sided BS. Get a life. The DCC Jedi-planners had a job to. You bagged them for trying to find a way to approve it, it didn’t happen. Eat some humble pie and recognise maybe the DCC applied the some rigor and made the right choice. Anyone who immerses themselves in this blog should stop, go tramping in our beautiful country, challenge/scare themselves, give their husbands/wives some (more) attention and get a life that contributes to something meaningful rather than this feeble outlet for the discontented. I know several hard working staff at the DCC and they are 100% committed to improving the city for everyone – not just a few.

    If the elected officials are such turncoats/corrupted/incompetent, I challenge you to get off your backside and run in these coming elections and let’s see what contribution you bring to the city. That is assuming anyone but the other sad posters here voted for you. I pity you fools.

  20. Lance

    I always thought that the staff were there to carry out the policies and direction of the elected representatives rather than being committed 100% to improving the city (that is maybe why the esplanade is the way it is). I will have to look out for their names on the voting papers next time.

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    I have no problem with staff being “100% committed to improving the city for everyone”. I am considerably less comfortable about leaving it up to them to make the decision on what are improvements, as I think there are too many of them with special enthusiasms that they should not be able to push through using cherry-picked reports supporting their views. And councillors should take responsibility for sourcing AND READING THOROUGHLY – nudge-nudge – independent information.

    • Staff at a certain level (not all) appear to still adhere to empire building in their silos. The cost is to residents and ratepayers – since the mayor and ‘electable’ councillors plunder that ‘thinktank’ for votes.

  22. Hype O'Thermia

    11-12pm: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – Peter Dunne,
    housing and industrial legislation
    Food with Martin Bosley – cooking in prison
    ****** Urbanist Tommy Honey – consultation and change: no new hotel in
    Dunedin and Auckland’s Unitary Plan *****

      • ### ODT Online Mon, 10 Jun 2013
        Harbour hotel refusal about law, not politics
        By Peter Entwisle – Art Beat
        So, where are we now? The hearings committee has declined resource consent for the waterfront hotel. Many, most, are breathing sighs of relief – but what happens next and what can we learn? The applicant has a right of appeal and 15 days to exercise it. Jing Song and her husband Ping Cao are out of the country. Their representative Steve Rodgers has indicated the decision will be studied and an appeal considered. The decision he observed is ”robust” (ODT 6.6.13). So it is, unusually so and illuminating for this lay reader in what it details about the Resource Management Act and the Dunedin City District Plan and what they have to say in such cases. Mr Rodgers also said he thought the committee ”was keen to say no”. I disagree and think that’s unfair.
        Read more

        • ### June 6, 2013 – 7:00pm
          Nightly interview: Peter Entwisle
          The long-running process to decide whether or not to allow a 28-storey hotel in Dunedin ended yesterday, with a resource consent committee saying “no” to the idea. Subject to appeal, that appears to be the end of a $100 million project. The hotel drew plenty of opposition, including from historian and columnist Peter Entwisle, who joins us tonight with his reaction to the decision.

  23. ### June 12, 2013 – 7:26pm
    Your word on the Hotel decision
    The application to build a $100 million five star hotel on Dunedin’s waterfront was turned down last week. The Council’s Hearing committee says the proposal was not successful because the 28 storey building is too tall, within an industrial zone and out of character with the city. This week’s 39 Dunedin News Word on the Street team decided to ask if you agree with the decision.

    • Let’s do a group yawn for COC… while the COC Clan beat themselves up over the hotel decision, the rest of us continue our business, unfettered, unaffected and mildly sneering of the boys, their drivel, drama and superficiality. These are the boys (the fat get fatter) who wanted a stadium to bankrupt the city, since there was no other ‘gain’ expected from that ‘resilient’ project. McIntyre’s twaddle is the sum of the brains trust at COC.

      Otago Chamber of Commerce president Peter McIntyre says Dunedin must be seen to be open for business.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 13 Jun 2013
      Business ventures welcome in city
      By Peter McIntyre
      Last week’s Dunedin City Council decision on a proposed five-star hotel development on the city’s waterfront pleased some – and disappointed others. The council made its decision based on current legislation and its own district plan, and has clearly stated the proposed development was unable to pass those hurdles. Whether or not there is an appeal to this particular decision, the Otago Chamber of Commerce hopes that one fact does not get lost over the matter – Dunedin is open for investment.
      Read more

      • ODT 10.6.13 The Wash by Dave  Cannan (page 2)
        Heights – ODT 10.6.13 The Wash by Dave Cannan (page 2)

        The height of the proposed hotel and apartment building is noted as 96.300 metres in the drawings supplied by Betterways Advisory Ltd’s resource consent application.

        • The [notorious] Carisbrook Hotel [remember the Dunedin ‘sex ring’ case involving local police and ‘city fathers’ who enjoyed the entertainments of watching under-age girls ‘attacked’ on stage by men or beast], Jim says, “will be purchased and incorporated in the complex and given a makeover as a ”typical old-time Kiwi rugby supporters’ pub’.'”

          ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Jun 2013
          Welcome to the Hotel Carisbrook, such a lovely place
          By Jim Sullivan
          Now that the proposal for a waterfront high-rise hotel has been turned down, I can reveal the real deal. The high-rise proposal was simply a softening-up ploy for the not-so-high rise hotel. Because of my interest in preserving our heritage, I have been retained by the developers as a spokesman for the project, so here goes with my first $10,000 balanced and objective press release: ”NEW HOTEL WILL BE WELCOMED”

          The details will be drip-fed so that, day by day, the public will warm to the proposal.

          Good news for Dunedinites devastated by the short-sighted approach by the Dunedin City Council’s hearings committee in turning down a perfectly reasonable application for a waterfront hotel which just might have shaded a few office blocks for a moment or two in the early morning. Backed by multibillionaire Saudi Arabian oil magnate and scrap merchant Sheikh Itup Beybey, a group of progressive, forward-thinking and not-bad-looking local businessmen has plans for a hotel of equal capacity on a different site. The hotel will cost $200 million and is, in the sheikh’s own words: ‘a, how you say, a small token of thanks for the kind way my student sons have been looked after in Dunedin. Especially by the traffic police. Very kind men’.
          Read more

          –Jim Sullivan is a Dunedin writer and broadcaster.


          More on the Dunedin ‘sex ring’ case at Investigate magazine:

          To Serve & Protect: June 07 (published August 14, 2007)

        • Oi! Are we IMPRESSED.
          Here’s some hype from a Rachel Elder (who)… is she married to a COC member ? (woops)
          She can crawl back under her rock.

          ### ODT Online Tue, 18 Jun 2013
          New City Hotel
          By Rachel Elder
          OPINION In New Zealand’s tourism plan our target for Chinese tourists in the next few years is a shift from the present 200,000 to five times that number – 1 million – and this is with the endorsement of the Chinese Government (John Key and the Chinese Premier TV3 news). As such the $100,000,000 Betterways Hotel interest in citing a hotel in Dunedin is incredible and an offer we as a city are very fortunate to have. Just because the Wharf proposal did not meet the requirements of legislation does not mean Dunedin City does not want the hotel. There are many people in Dunedin who see this hotel as a great opportunity not the least for our struggling economy and for employment opportunities (down 0.8% Full time Equivalent jobs in 2012, according to the BERL regional database 2012) both during the build phase and also for ongoing staffing.
          Read more

        • [Since ODT failed to explain who “Rachel Elder” is, a google shows Ms Elder is an ’employment consultant’ at Workbridge. Listed and photographed at

          Ms Elder’s submission on the DCC Annual Plan 2013/14 is here.]

  24. Mike

    typical northern hemisphere developers, assuming the sun shines from the south ….

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    I am heartened to see correct usage of the word “incredible” here:
    “As such the $100,000,000 Betterways Hotel interest in citing a hotel in Dunedin is incredible.” Pity about “citing”.
    The word “hotel” is also inappropriate given the ratio of apartment accommodation to hotel. I do wish people would say “apartment” or “apartment/hotel complex”.

  26. amanda

    Ah. So the ODT is not too concerned about her conflict of interest in her desire to have the hotel. Well spotted. Need to take careful note of who support this hotel, so that they can be held accountable when Song and Co come to council with their hands held out for ratefunds.

  27. amanda

    Just as with the stadium these individuals such as Elder will be very reluctant to broadcast their involvement in the hotel push after it goes ahead. I doubt the ODT will be keen to remind readers/voters of their support too if it makes life awkward for them.

  28. amanda

    We need names of who are decision makers in COC. They have been given complete freedom and power for way too long, We have McIntyre and Christie. Who else hides behind the COC?

  29. amanda

    Oh and the Great and Good Sir

  30. Hype O'Thermia

    From Ms Elder’s submission on the DCC Annual Plan 2013/14 “some of the idea’s we have put together”.
    I used to wonder why job applications had to be in the applicant’s own handwriting, even for a job as a typist. Given the embarrassing literacy levels that are revealed by people in positions where written expression and reading for meaning are surely important to adequate performance of duties, I understand now how that requirement would have assisted in the early weeding-out process.

  31. Albert McSquare

    Hype.O.Thermia, It’s also ‘an’ hotel. The ‘h’ is silent. Not that it can be heard in the linear. L’hotel trop chaud.

  32. jeff dickie

    Read this in Edinburgh today. I Quote: Science News April 11, 2013
    “It is popularly believed that around AD 1600 the Easter Islanders faced an environmental crisis and stopped worshipping their iconic statues. The Rapanui, as they are known, turned instead to a new birdman religion, or cult.”
    Sound familiar?

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