HOTEL Town Hall… Another investment group, Daaave’s pals from the communist state?

ODT (via Channel 39) tells us that Dunedin City Council is discussing a proposal for another hotel in the city. This time, near the Town Hall.

For the Filleul Street/Moray Place car park site?

[ODT Link added 2.4.14] CBD may get new hotel

Together with the hotel project for 41 Wharf Street (Worstways), is Daaave intent on cutting off at the knees developer Geoff Thomson and the locally financed Distinction Dunedin Hotel? Oh probably.

Daaave’s that thick. And so is Staynes. Both men should not be in charge of this forsaken city. Staynes, will keep pumping the $20 million Dunedin airport runway extension. (The Chinese love investing in quiet ports and airports – why not sell them Dunedin Hospital too? And an aquarium where we can watch mermaids swim.)

If Worstways elected to piss off from the waterfront, the ‘Town Hall’ site or the Dowling Street carpark would count as sensible solutions for DCC to control height, townscape and cultural landscape.

City Property had better not be hocking off prime publicly-owned development sites to the overseas Horror Brigade. Of course they will, to meet the Council Debt CRISIS created by the criminal STADIUM build.

Or… City Property (in a new group guise) will do the hotel build and lease out to our ‘Mainland’ customers?

DUNEDIN IS UP FOR SALE by the IDIOT DCC which determinedly FAILS in business. Time and time again, while CLOSE MATES in the private sector accumulate wealth as they clip their tickets and pillage City Ratepayers and Residents.

Fail-proof DCC recipes for widening The GAP.

Exactly what you’d expect from the short-arsed mayor and his dumb-blond wine taster. Hospitality anyone? Nah, we’d rather go to Queenstown too.


Subsequent to writing the above HYSTERIA, this was found at the DCC website. BINGO. We are DEAD.

[How to raise property prices beyond the reach of Dunedin people and all New Zealanders (see Auckland issues) – recent tweets from Sophie Barker have been promoting Chanel O’Brien. Both Economic Development Unit babes-in-the-woods are taxed with selling this city from beneath our feet. Check their CVs. Then think about who the EDU manager is.]

Do note, The Prospectus, joke, will be distributed WITHOUT being formally approved by the elected Council.

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Promoting Investment in Dunedin

This item was published on 01 Apr 2014

An investment prospectus has been developed for Dunedin to provide valuable information for potential investors.

The prospectus is a generic, high-level “fishing “document which aims to elicit interest from businesspeople who are considering options to expand their businesses and ex-pats thinking of returning to New Zealand. It also encourages high net worth individuals/investors from New Zealand and offshore to seek further information about opportunities in Dunedin.

Co-ordinated by the Dunedin City Council’s Economic Development Unit, the investment prospectus aligns with projects under the umbrella of Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy.

DCC Business Development Advisor Chanel O’Brien says work on the prospectus has been carried out in collaboration with the City Investment Panel, which is developing a cohesive approach to investment in the city under the strategic theme of ‘business vitality’.

“In addition, the document aligns to another strategic objective, ‘linkages beyond our borders’, proactively attracting more businesses and investment into the city.”

After consultation with businesses, support agencies, the tertiary sector and skilled migrants, the prospectus focuses on the key areas of health and education across the tertiary and business sector.

The internationally-recognised research capacity of the University of Otago, coupled with the market validation and product development capacity of the Otago Polytechnic, is a focus of the document, along with a wide selection of businesses that have started and grown in the city. Opportunities are noted in areas such as education and learning, health technologies, design technology and niche manufacturing.

Ms O’Brien says the 37-page prospectus also features information on access to markets, infrastructure, resources, the regulatory environment, and business culture and lifestyle.

The investment prospectus has been endorsed by the City Investment Panel. This is a collaborative group of economic development partners, including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, which is committed to generating market confidence and trust in Dunedin as a prime location for investment. The Panel also includes representatives from all the partners driving Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy – the DCC, Ngāi Tahu, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, the Otago Polytechnic, the Otago Southland Employers Association and the University of Otago.

To see a copy of the prospectus, visit

The prospectus will go to the DCC’s Economic Development Committee on 7 April, for noting.

Contact Business Development Advisor on 03 477 4000.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, Heritage, Hotel, Media, Name, New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design

30 responses to “HOTEL Town Hall… Another investment group, Daaave’s pals from the communist state?

  1. Daaave says: “We welcome any hotel proposal that advances the aspirations of our community, so long as it fits with our rules.”

    “Our rules”??? Does that fit with the Hotel MOU with Worstways for 41 Wharf Street? Nothing about the proposed commercial residential tower block fits with any rules set out in the Community-owned district plan.

    For years we’ve wanted a hotel development at the Filleul Street carpark – why is DCC putting the word out this early – as it has done for the university aquarium etc – when details for news release are so vague? DCC shooting itself in the foot? Or is this the amateur ‘before the flag’ build-up for the council’s monopolising investment in “City Marketing”?

  2. Spargo flagged the idea of the DCC building and leasing a four/five star hotel on the Moray place site back around 2002 or thereabouts. He floated off to make his fortune in Wellington as a ‘consultant’. Nothing happened fortunately as council didn’t seem to hear him. Next Peter Brown floated the idea of selling the site to a major hotel chain developer to promote business. At the time I said that the site is well known and if the industry saw a need for a four/five star development in Dunedin, they would be beating a path to his door uninvited. His response was that I knew sod all, else I would realise that a hotel on that site could realise economic benefits for Dunedin in excess of $3.6m per annum. That was when he was starting to push for the Town Hall/Conference Centre development at a cost of $14 million. It then got to $18.5m, to $29m, to $36m and finally Kate Styles set it alight at $42m. It is now complete at nearer $50m. But still no takers for the hotel site. Now some-one lets loose a whisper and Cull and Staynes egged on by Thomson gets all adrenalined up. watch this space.

  3. Carol

    Ha Ha I’ve been chuckling all day Elizabeth about your description of Dave Cull “The short-arsed mayor”.
    Poor old Dunedin. It goes from having one short-arsed mayor to the next and it never seems to go ahead.

    • Carol, anatomy is everything when it comes to spending other people’s money and blistering to be a Cargo Cultist. Another prominent spendthrift (although with the height and manner of a foul leering bully) was the former director of Otago Museum. You’re right about Dunedin going ahead, or not… some little companies here are doing incredibly well, the right levels of R&D and brains – far and away a cut above the Old Boys selling us short using someone else’s fast unethical money, with hidden price tags that will come back to bite and slash us later.

  4. Peter

    Is it possible that the news of this possible new hotel development – vague as it is – is somehow being used, somehow, as a bargaining chip with Jing Song and her hubby? In other words, you are not the only fish in the sea, Jing. Compromise, sweetie.
    I notice Steve Rodgers says he is cool about it, but that would be playing the game too.

  5. Innovation is driving the Otago economy, writes Callaghan Innovation chief executive Mary Quin.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 2 Apr 2014
    Otago talent has what it takes
    By Mary Quin
    Otago registered growth of 3.2% in 2013. Unemployment has dropped a full point and job advertisements are up 10%. It is easy, but too simplistic, to link Otago’s economic success exclusively to the high dairy payout and the flow-on from bullish farmers. The hidden story is the impressive expansion of new innovative businesses setting up shop in the South and taking on the world.
    Read more

  6. ### April 3, 2014 – 5:52pm
    Economic development team releases prospectus
    The DCC’s economic development team has released what it is calling an ”investment prospectus” for potential investors.


    The summary of exploits may draw polite guffaws at DCC EDC’s meeting next week.

    ### April 3, 2014 – 5:46pm
    Business clinic a hit
    A business clinic at the Dunedin Public Library has had a steady stream of appointments since its opening in February. The DCC economic development unit initiative – the first of its kind in New Zealand – provides a business development advisor to help with business ideas and plans. The initiative is one part of the council’s economic development strategy that is one year old. The results of the clinic, and other aspects of the strategy, will be presented to the local authority’s economic development committee on Monday.
    Ch39 Link

  7. Does anyone know what the Economic Development Unit’s budget is? Well go to page 17 of the Draft Annual Plan to see that it claims Revenue consisting of: General funds (what from where?) $15.287m Economy/Tourism $0.5m External Operating Revenue $8.007m External Capital Revenue $0.125m Unrealised Investment Property Gains $2.285m Total $26.204m.
    Expenditure by Outputs : see for yourself: Total $19.633m Surplus $6.571m.
    Expenditure by Inputs : Staff Costs $3.087m Operational Costs $7.591m Loan Interest $5.481m Depreciation $3.474m Total $19.683m.
    Now those are factual for 2013/14. For 2014/15 it more or less is the same.

    More important, can anyone name any new enterprise that wouldn’t have happened if the EDU wasn’t in existence?
    Right there is $20m which could disappear and not even be missed.

  8. Sadly, the new DCC chief executive is backing the EDU for now, soon to be part of her new (rates) divestments, via regroupings for city growth. Jesus weeps.

  9. Elizabeth; it’s this preoccupation for growth that is consuming vast amounts of citizens’ treasure. Far better that money left in their pockets. That way the entrepreneurs can get on and do their own thing. The Town Hall should get the hell out of their way and encourage them to get on with it. What’s with these bureaucrats that think they know best how things should be done? Dunedin’s halcyon days are over and we will at best only see small start up businesses. Central Government has determined that by concentrating all major emphasis on Christchurch and the North Island. Gone are the days of multi engineering complexes, woollen mills, stock & station merchants and wool stores, warehouse and importing emporiums. Just look at the demographics, this town has been static, population-wise for over 100 years. If it wasn’t for the influx of temporary residents in the form of students we would be going backwards. The sooner this council and its bureaucrats realise this and start planning to reduce all costs of being in Dunedin so as to give it a point of difference to attract newcomers the better. Because it is abundantly clear that we aren’t going to grow naturally. In a word, cut our cloth to suit. Stadiums, museums, conference centres, all debt funded won’t do it that’s for sure. If the so-called “movers and shakers” of this town don’t see this and bloody soon, there will be no-one left by the end of this century.

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Strangely the iD fashion show has had to beg and scrimp for funding, yet the people it attracts from overseas – designers, press, people who are deeply interested in new designers and the NZ take on fashion – are precisely the influential, innovative, creative and creative-follower people who add directly to the desirability of a place, either to visit or – because of the creative people here and what they do, and how easy it is to meet and exchange ideas and enrich one another’s imaginations – to live here.

    And why not live here? Media from prestigious to populist come here to film, photograph, interview and review? Artists tend to gather in shabby old areas where premises are affordable and they can be close enough to one another for cross-fertilization to occur. Music, painting, clothes, performance, poetry. Gardeners and furniture makers and potters and jewellers. People working with old media and new. Computers as tools to achieve what used to be done with pens and paint, and to do things that were impossible – and things that have not even been thought of today but may be only months away from the first early adopters experimenting with new ways of creating new things.

    I hope that, having slowly noticed that iD succeeds, the DCC won’t barge in and set its something-or-other manager with a diploma in events publicity in charge along with funding. They’re organising the show themselves, the last thing they need is a DCC mediocrity handling the cash and costing us twice as much for half the result. The number of bums on seats cannot have escaped the Council’s notice : “A sold-out crowd of 1350 was at the Dunedin Town Hall tonight for the 10th iD International Emerging Designer Awards”.

  11. More on the bleeding prospectus. Then too, poor Margot of the Chinese Garden disaster has a shot at “sorting business” in the EDU playpen. When is the council’s EDU being shut down!?! (my 2014 mantra)

    “A separate report by council business development adviser Margo Reid, updating progress in addressing red tape, would also be considered at next week’s economic development committee meeting.”

    WORTH attending Monday’s EDC meeting but only if you behave, no laughter or boos from the public seats.

  12. ### April 7, 2014 – 6:56pm
    Nightly interview: Chanel O’Brien
    The DCC’s economic development team last week released what it is calling an ”investment prospectus” for potential investors. The prospectus targets business people wanting to expand their businesses and ex-pats thinking of returning to New Zealand.


    TWO astute comments at ODT Online:

    farsighted – Outstanding

    MikeStk – Invest in ourselves

    The prospectus is a shambolic and hateful exercise — btw the DCC EDU has no nationally recognised economists on staff, not now, not anytime soon.

    • Mike

      I wouldn’t quite go that far – getting people with money to invest in new industry in Dunedin is a good thing as as a rule that puts money into the economy, but getting them to invest in service industries (rented properties, stadiums, and retail shops etc) tend to be a net negative as they move a net amount of money out – hotels are iffy, if they’re funded from outside then their profits leave too.

      We’re in a state where there are no good answers, other than hard work. The money fairy will NOT come and sprinkle green sparkly money dust over Dunedin, and getting excited about stuff like oil drilling or silly hotels is a waste of people’s time and energy, that way just leads to disappointment.

      The best investments are the ones we make ourselves because when they pay off the profits stay here – local companies like Animation Research and ADInstruments are great examples of this going right, as are the little cluster of Dunedin GPS companies

      I see people here putting down China and Chinese investments, I think that doesn’t really help, it’s a bit simplistic (I write this sitting in an airport on a business trip returning from China) – China’s got 1/4 of the worlds’ population …. and 1/4 of the really smart people … we can’t beat them, but we can join them – you treat investments from there just like you treat any other investment, judge them on their real merits. It’s surprisingly easy to do business there, I used to think that Vietnam was the most capitalist communist country I’d visited, I think China has it all over them. I think the trick is to do the part of your business that makes sense in Dunedin and the bits where the economics don’t work somewhere else

      BTW: “What if?” is banned in China, likely because blogspot is ….

      • My point is DCC DOES NOT HELP when it seeks foreign capitalists to speculate in our property market. It’s fucked. Increasingly, Dunedinites can’t afford to own their own homes.
        [I suggest you’re not quite the typical Dunedin resident, Mike.]
        [Nor am I. I’m a long-term renter by choice and budget, for to stay in the central city.]

      • Another thing, Mike – what do you think about Human Rights in China when you do business there?

        • Mike

          I think that’s a great question I think about it a lot. I think there’s a lot of value in having a China that’s one of us and aspires to many of the same values we do. I also think that having a large worldly Chinese middle class will be a great moderating force in the world. Middle class people don’t like to go to war they have too much to lose.

          (Must board plane ask me more later)

        • Fair answer. Will discuss later on.

  13. I re-iterate my point. The DCC has no business (pun intended) in spending citizens’ treasure running these sort of programmes. It’s not their function and their track record shows it is only a spend, make job exercise for themselves. The DCC’s function is to provide and maintain the city’s infrastructure at the lowest possible cost, reduce all rates, consents, compliance costs to the lowest possible level so as to make it a desirable town to set up and do business in. It’s not rocket science, it is good practice, and would over time pay off handsomely. We’ve got to have a point of difference to compete with the larger cities. Loaded to the gunwales with non performing debt is not the way,

    • Calvin Oaten for Mayor.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Right again, Calvin. If they were to do the infrastructure stuff very well it would be a better city for the people who are good at running companies and making things to sell for profit. It would be a city with a better reputation among those kinds of people if the DCC did other aspects of their work better than average: get compliance & inspection & permits (a) to the minimum (b) very prompt (c) only what is sensible for non-fanatical safety (d) stand by their permits granted, inspections carried out i.e. no dodging when the job turns out to be ramshackle.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        And cut out the overpaid roles for designing and providing candyfloss. Businesses, entertainment and cultural groups will provide their own candyfloss if they want it, what they need is ready access to knowhow – people who can point them in the direction of who’s got it. And the DCC’s Candyfloss Manager budget could go into funding (including small short-term loans where appropriate) for cultural -fun, amateur sports, parades, exhibitions, music and so on – events. Many of them cost the DCC already, this way people could do their best to run things their own way on the smell of an oily rag if necessary, look at the number of events in tiny venues, singers, commedians, such a variety of shows!
        The big “quality” shows and parades are fine. But most people are audience only. In small towns the one-act drama festival involved “actors” who joined only because “Please Dave, we desperately need another man about your age!” In small settlements everyone is needed, gathered in for the tennis, choir, card evenings, school fair, if you can’t do anything else you’re needed to set up the trestles, make the tea. Dunedin has no end of clubs a person could join but no new person is totally, personally, needed. The more top-down organisation steps away, the more unpaid people will be pulled in to help. In the process they’ll meet people outside their usual associates, learn new skills, and find they have abilities they never guessed they had.

  14. ### April 8, 2014 – 6:02pm
    Economic development unit gave update
    A Dunedin City Council committee got an update from its economic development unit this week, as a plan to develop a more business-friendly council had its first birthday. The Red Tape Not Red Carpet project was launched a year ago. And despite its strategy to say yes to business, staff promised it did not mean getting around council policies.


    Tabled at the DCC Economic Development Committee meeting held on Monday 7 April 2014:

    Report – EDC – 07/04/2014 (PDF, 2.4 MB)
    Red Carpet Not Red Tape Project Update

  15. On the “prospectus”…. The ODT Editor has a meltdown on the perverse EDU effort, and rightly so. Further, ODT concedes Cr Lee Vandervis has a point.

    What is the point of pushing for a presence in Shanghai without some tangible proof with which ratepayers can view value for money? (ODT)

    The document is available online, and a change of terminology could be quickly implemented in time to avoid any unfortunate consequences. (ODT)

    ### ODT Online Mon, 14 Apr 2014
    Editorial: Relationship building important
    OPINION […] On April 1, the Dunedin City Council launched what it called an ”investment prospectus”, developed for Dunedin to provide valuable information for potential investors. […] However, a prospectus, in business terms, is a formal legal document, which is required by and filed with the relevant regulatory authorities, that provides details about an investment offering for sale to the public. A prospectus should contain the facts that an investor needs to make an informed investment decision. […] The council document is more of a marketing document than a prospectus, something which may confuse people – particularly from overseas – when they receive one of the 3000 copies which have been printed at the cost of $12,000 to ratepayers.
    Read more

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    And I can imagine the response to this –
    “A prospectus should contain the facts that an investor needs to make an informed investment decision. […] The council document is more of a marketing document than a prospectus”.

    It reminds me of the Extreme CV phase, where people, particularly women, hoping to re-enter the paid workforce were encouraged to write screeds of stuff along the lines of “Being the Mother of 3 children I am skilled at time management through getting them off to school on time, picking them up and taking them to sports and creative dance activities, also doing all the laundry, house-cleaning and cooking for our family. At school I excelled in English Written Work and was captain of Under-12’s netball. My money-management abilities blah blah ………”

  17. Betterways have seen better days. It’s all over Jing, sayonara. Roll up the red carpet. Roll on Post Office.

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