Hotel: The height of arrogance

Don’t care how much you’ve spent on slapping Dunedin’s face, chook.
GO AWAY —give your ‘Swarovski crystal’ to some other place.

Bored housewife syndrome:
If you’ve spent a million already your consultants are out of control.

### ODT Online Fri, 14 Feb 2014
Harbour hotel now ‘a long shot’
By Chris Morris
The woman behind the plan to build a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin says the proposal is now “a long shot”. Betterways Advisory Ltd director Jing Song, of Queenstown, told the Otago Daily Times she was frustrated by the delays and cost involved, after spending more than $1 million so far on pursuing the project at 41 Wharf St.
Read more

DEPLORABLY, Mayor Cull has held several meetings with the developers in Auckland “to try to advance the project”. The Mayor deliberately mixes HIS politics with a resource management matter, SHAME.

*Mr Rodgers is Mr Cull’s personal solicitor.

Related Post and Comments:
25.6.13 Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

For more, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Heritage, Hot air, Hotel, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Queenstown Lakes, Site, Town planning, Urban design

36 responses to “Hotel: The height of arrogance

  1. Tom

    The Mayor Has been meeting with developers “to try and advance the project”. At the same time as the group that he heads “Greater Dunedin” has a member of this group on the Hearings committee. May I suggest that this is not a good look for the integrity of this Cull led council.

  2. What integrity? The mayor doesn’t know the meaning of the word. His conflicts of interest in this hotel business is manifest, and the attempts to sideline due process is alarming.

  3. “Integrity” and “Cull” no longer belong on the same page. Power corrupts, and a small amount of power combined with a floppy spine, well, it ain’t good.

  4. Beirut

    That gal sure don’t give up with her gifting. Yessiree.
    What’s a million or two to get your own way…….eventually. Especially when you are a rich …..

    • Another minute note today from the Environment Judge to the parties with a directive to the appellant, and a wider date for appellant reply. Don’t like the way he is trending. More later.

      • Two memorandums of counsel have been received by the court.

        The first from Phil Page for the appellant, Betterways Advisory Ltd, seeking more time to the end of March 2014, to consult with Dunedin City Council about connections for the proposed hotel [I note the misnomer: the renders provided in application show more apartments than hotel rooms in the tower building] to the city centre (across arterial roads and the railway lines).

        The second from John Hardie for s274 party Capri Enterprises Ltd, stating that Capri is prepared to go to mediation and concentrate on issues in contention: the height and location of the proposed hotel in the landscape. Connections to the Octagon will need further resource consents, not the subject of this proceeding.

        The Environment Judge says he wants to accommodate both positions and directs that the appellant reports to the court by the end of April 2014; and advises the other parties, and the court, whether it is prepared to go to mediation on the urban landscape issues generally, and or the height, in particular.

        The Judge also drew attention to a hotel in Chile that appears to have similarities (and dissimilarities) to the proposed hotel in Dunedin.

        • Someone has leaked John Hardie’s memorandum to the ODT.

          Meanwhile the ODT editorial shows its colours and lack of simple comprehension by continuing to boost the proposed development as a luxury hotel… How many times do we need to repeat that this is an apartment tower with more apartments than hotel rooms. Does Dunedin need so many apartments — what is the market being aimed at for the 164 apartments and the lesser number of hotel rooms? The novice applicant has intentionally never made this clear for what is a noticeably sluggish market at Dunedin where the hospitality and accommodation sectors are struggling — not helped by the stadium build !!! Then too, the suited wonders working for the Jing-Song-Pings have been as vacuous and uneducated in their approach to the resource consenting process and contextual design for this old and attractively laid out city as we can scarcely believe – they have been confrontational and bulldozing from day one, not aided by ragtag clowns of the Otago Chamber of Commerce and pronouncements from the distasteful Eion Edgar and Hamish Saxton. No effort has been made at all by the developers/financiers to befriend the people of Dunedin, so there is no fruitful dialogue possible. Significantly, the mayor is not our friend either, in this sorry exercise; he stands too close to the Betterways team leader. Perhaps the ‘negotiator’ will hand back his robe and chains to make his fortune selling unit titles for Steve Rodgers?

  5. Mike

    so who paid for his trips to Auckland? the developers or the ratepayers? neither answer is good

  6. Some of the degrees of separation in this town, you couldn’t slide a zig-zag paper between.

  7. Hype; after the places those zig-zag papers have been you wouldn’t want to wrap you baccy in them. It’s the licking of the glued edge that would balk me.

  8. See earlier comment.


    ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Feb 2014
    April deadline for talks
    By Debbie Porteous
    The Environment Court has given the developers of Dunedin’s proposed waterfront hotel until the end of April to conclude talks with the Dunedin City Council. It has also ordered developers Betterways Ltd to advise the other parties involved, including hotel opponent Capri Enterprises Ltd, and the court whether it is prepared to discuss the issue of the hotel’s height in mediation.
    Read more

  9. Anne Elliot

    A friend of mine introduced the term “accommodation block”, which covers the proposed building to a tee.

    • Perfectly described, Anne Elliot.

      If the developers want to put their money into significant city infrastructure I prefer they make the $100m donation to Dunedin Hospital capital development fund. That would actually mean something.

      Not sure best mates Mayor Daaave and Stevie Rodgers have thought of this.

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Thanks Anne.
    The term “hotel” is [deliberately?] misleading.

  11. ODT via Tuesday’s Ch39 News alerted viewers to an imminent decision for the waterfront hotel. Do we cry, get bloody angry or throw rotten tomatoes with much aggression at Jing Song, Steve Rodgers and Cao Ping if they intend fighting for the 27-storeyed blot… As for that piece of trash Dave Cull who fucked up badly either way by stepping into negotiations when his council is the consenting authority, he should be sacked.

    Catch today’s ODT.

  12. As posted yesterday at another thread, Vancouver is getting rid of thousands and thousands and thousands of ‘invading’ and exploitative Chinese investors. The wise Canadians – but here are we, the not so wise NZers.

  13. Backers hopeful of ‘way forward’ for hotel
    A major step forward for Dunedin’s $100 million waterfront hotel project could be imminent following a marathon meeting of the Dunedin City Council.

    • Mike

      So how does this work? Hundreds of people filed opposing the hotel, did the DCC just negotiate their objections away without their permission?

      • Mike, it is now between the appellant (Betterways) and the respondent (DCC) and the registered RMA s274 parties to the appeal – the hundreds of submitters no longer have any role to play (unless they informally back the registered parties should this go to Environment Court or another court). The DCC and Betterways have been trying to get to an agreed solution without going to mediation or court. Any solution will have to be agreed to by the s274 parties to prevent the matter going to court. The deadline imposed on the appellent to report to the Environment Judge is now late April. There are a significant number of s274 parties.

        There is also the chance that Betterways will submit a new resource consent application or proceed with an application for a plan change – this may be proposed as a private plan change or be one led by the Dunedin City Council. The new ball games, rolled out on plush red carpet.

        • Mike

          thanks – I guess I assumed that the “s274 parties” and the people who filed objections were somehow the same

          {Clarifying – “…who filed submissions on the resource consent application were somehow…” -Eds}

        • Whippet

          Any new resource consent or plan change will, because of Cull’s involvement with the appellant now have to be heard before independent hearings commissioners, and not the council’s hearing commissioners. The only trouble with this is that the Council appoint the independent commissioners, and as we well know from past appointments they have always been very sympathetic to the council requirements. Otherwise they do not get a second appointment.

        • Whippet, I had no idea Independent Commissioners were paid for their Conflict of Interest.

          Oh, but wait, I have names.

  14. Peter

    Dave Cull should have stepped away from this from the start given his close relationship to Steve Rodgers. It is not just right or proper.

  15. ro

    I think we have to hope that the council knows that it is not a court; it knows it’s not in a position to overturn the decision, much as the ODT and CoC would like it to. We should understand in our turn that the proposal wasn’t rejected because of the weight of opposition: it was rejected because it didn’t comply with the requirements of the zone. If the proposal (pointless really to speculate because we’ll know all too soon) is to back a plan change, then there are still hosts of hurdles to be overcome – exactly the hurdles that felled it under the present zone.

  16. Rosemary McQueen at today’s ODT (page 17) – copy supplied. [now a post]

    Hotel decision was legal, not political

    Two related misapprehensions run through nearly all the comment on the application to build a 27-storey residential building in the industrial zone.

    The first is that the reason the development was rejected was that a minority of noisy nay-sayers objected to the proposal. Yet, had 500 supporters put in submissions and only 4 or 5 naysayers, the decision would have been the same. The decision was not made on the basis of counting heads (though no doubt the planners were gratified that the District Plan’s provisions were so whole-heartedly supported by the populace) but on the basis of law. The developers want to build their accommodation block in an industrial area. Residential activity is specifically excluded from this area and only allowed at the discretion of the court hearing the application. Discretionary treatment can only be accorded if the effects of the variation to what is allowed are minor and the general intention accords with the aims and objectives of the district plan. The applicants’ arguments to this effect were rejected at law – not by counting heads. Until that decision is found to be wrong, or those aspects of the proposal change, it can not proceed.

    There is also a view that the the city council could and should have found a way of overturning – or at least of getting round – the planning committee’s decision. This is a misapprehension because the decision is a legal one that can only be overturned by a higher court and the council is not a court. The negotiations that have been taking place have been around trying to find a site and design that complies with the city’s district plan and the developers’ needs. By describing the setback to the development as “red tape” the ODT implied that the development’s lack of progress since being rejected by the planning committee is caused by overweening bureaucracy. But Ms Song has made clear that the site and design are not negotiable. How can the lack of progress be the fault of red tape when the impediment is so clearly the developers’ intransigence, despite having had their application for that site and design turned down because it doesn’t meet the law?

    By insisting the proposal is non-negotiable during their discussion with the city, the developers appear to believe that overturning the planning decision is on the discussion’s agenda and within the council’s power. Instead of dismissing any such suggestion, the ODT and the Chamber of Commerce have encouraged them in the view that the council can change or flout the law in order to allow the development to go ahead. Fostering these misapprehensions has led to unnecessary division in the city. It’s time to stop accusing bureaucrats and antis of holding up progress and start explaining why changes to our built environment are not effected by political whim, but are, and need to be, conducted by rule of law that has undergone full democratic process.


  17. ro

    I can’t stop myself from speculating on what the announcement will be. Is it a city backed plan change? Well such a change would have to go through a very long process and wouldn’t guarantee coming out unscathed. Is it an offer to build a bridge? Well that one doesn’t alter the fact that the proposal doesn’t meet the requirements of the zone… I can’t see what light either of these represents for the developers

  18. In serious planning and development matters there is nothing wrong or irrational about human emotion, fabrication and heat in the arguments, even when at court. Both fact and opinion when clearly stated as such by the arguer have their place, persuasively. A lesson well learned. The craft. Embroidery, deviousness and cunning have their own exclamatory, oft times convincing feast laid out for the arbiter.

  19. Hype O'Thermia

    Agreed, Elizabeth. The danger is that over time both sides’ opinions mate with misunderstandings to breed fact-free entrenched positions. In the case of the accommodation block, this is that the ONLY reasons against it are nice-view types who think their taste is more important than progress, and a council that can’t see beyond its own red tape. The ODT doesn’t help. When did it get back to the fact that when someone insists on a totally non-complying proposition, intransigently putting it forwards as “our way or no way”, they are showing massive disrespect to us – forget about the “gift” wrapping.

  20. I was taught as a child the saying; “beware of strangers bearing gifts.”

  21. Betterways
    Together there can be a better way
    Betterways is about facilitating business relations
    Our offices are in Queenstown, the hub of tourism in New Zealand. Our company promotes cooperation and commerce through building relationships between China and New Zealand. We provide advice to businesses and high net worth individuals who wish to successfully navigate through the many opportunities and challenges in both countries. Our people consist of industry leaders and leading professionals. We are a multi-lingual firm, with expertise and experience in English and Chinese culture and business etiquette. cont/
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    Providing professional and passionate guidance and support for you
    Over the years we have built up a network of professional independent legal, financial and tax advisors both in New Zealand and China. We get the right advice for you. We can arrange hosted trips into China to start relationships with key business people to ensure that your trip is successful. We also provide a luxury hosting services to those who wish to experience New Zealand privately and exclusively. cont/

    The Betterways Team [worth a read…]

  22. Peter

    Also, Calvin. ‘Don’t talk to strangers offering boiled lollies.’ Analogy.

  23. Why don’t we just hock the stadium off to her. A win for alll!!

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