Application lodged for FIASCO Hotel by Tosswill #DunedinWrecks

At Facebook:


Tekapo-based businessman Anthony Tosswill is hoping to send the signal “the city is open” with this master-disaster, or something closely akin.

An application for resource consent was lodged with DCC today for this unlanced boil on the elegant hind quarter of our heritage city.

Details in brief according to ODT deputy editor Craig Page at Channel 39 News tonight:

● 17 storey ‘glass hotel in central city’
● 60 [read 64] metres at highest point
● 210 rooms
● 64 apartments
● 4 penthourse suites
as well as retail opportunities.

The proposal exceeds the district plan height limit (11 metres) – meaning the application is to be publicly notified.

ODT will publish concept renders and contextuals tomorrow.

Get your Smart Hats on Dunedinites, give him a fricking run for his (or other people’s) money. Beyond the Mass Unsightliness, you will lose your convenient central city parking area – be prepared to walk for blocks next time you want to attend events at the Council, Town Hall, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Central Library or Regent Theatre.

Has the Dunedin City Council SOLD YOU OUT ???
Ratepayers own/owned the site. What DEAL has been done by council politicians and staff to prosper an OUT OF TOWN private individual above and beyond your immediate and long term LOCAL requirements in the central city.
JFC ii

DCC Webmap – Filleul St council-owned parking area (shaded)

Market Gap Report Hotels – Evidence Stephen Hamilton, Horwath HTL
December 2012 (PDF, 482 KB)

Related Posts and Comments:
● 18.12.16 DCC set to take away CBD car parks without Economic Impact research
● 15.10.16 Battle of the hotels : DCC meat in the sandwich (unedifying)
● 5.10.16 Dunedin bauble #votecatcher
● 4.10.16 The Demon Duck freak show of partial ‘Civic’ information! Before voting closes! #Dunedin
11.1.16 Un hôtel. Dunedin.
19.8.15 Hotels ? Business ? [DCC lost +++152 fleet vehicles] —Cull in charge of building chicken coops, why ?
1.4.14 HOTEL Town Hall… Another investment group, Daaave’s pals from the communist state?
25.3.14 Hotel We LIKE: Distinction Dunedin Hotel at former CPO

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Heritage, Hotel, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

60 responses to “Application lodged for FIASCO Hotel by Tosswill #DunedinWrecks

  1. nick

    Do the Indian backers of this 1980s-style glass tower understand the (in)security of power supply to the CBD with Aurora’s ageing underground HV cables?

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Flashback! Chase Corporation, “Gloss” on TV, fortunes made and as quickly lost on shoulderpad futures, lashings of champagne. Yes mirror-glass is redolent of a special era, an era of naive money-centred naffness.

  3. Peter

    Another glass tower you can see anywhere else in the world. Not unique to Dunedin. Nothing new, or imaginative, about that design. Architecture schools seem to turn out some rather dull designers.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, the three professional Schools of Architecture in New Zealand produce high performing architectural design students not all of whom go on to enter the profession – and don’t forget the entrance standards here, competitvely, are very high. Many graduates go on to excel in creative industries, globally. Their pathways are (invitationally) monitored as part oversight of the professional architectural degree system and through alumnae projects.

      Might I add that Thom Craig is by no means fresh out of school. He is an older practitioner.

      While Craig’s name is stated as the architect for the proposed hotel in Filleul St, my researches support the idea that Craig doesn’t normally design ‘things’ like this – the hotel design appears somewhat ‘off the shelf’ (what we might refer to as stock standard acontextual construction – ‘plonk’ buildings)…. that we see regularly cropping up, of formulaic kind, in cities around the Pacific Rim where low-rent Chinese investment is occurring (as said further down this thread, via ‘hot money’ – laundered from China). There’s a plethora of formula $100m towers, of which the ‘impoverished concept’ for 41 Wharf St, the proposed waterfront hotel, was a sad example.

      The $75m edifice is a lower tier to the soulless bland of $100m mushrooms. Gee, the Dunedin choir of ‘build it and they will come’ thinks this hot potato on Filleul is awesome – like progress on steroids. Poor they of so little industry sense and learning.

      Folks, it’s thin and lacklustre. Something you would’ve found in the first days of Mayoral Drive off Queen Street, Auckland. Blaaah.

      So Peter, why would Thom Craig have his award-winning name connected to this exercise. Are he and Tosswill cousins ?

      It’s true to say that Craig has a contemporary sensibility; that is, he’s not generally considered to be an expert in contextural architectural design for historic heritage environments such as Dunedin’s; or an across-the-board expert in contemporary green star hospitality design that would be fitting to the Dunedin site and surrounding built environment as a precedent for future developments.

      With this, Craig looks to have had his own aesthetic (spatially more spare, materially stark) imposed upon by the client’s and or the financier’s 30-40 year old chipped record, a style that is neither ‘cool’ (nostalgic airs) or environmentally well rendered for the contemporary Chinese travellers now balking at group travel packages, or the open-minded millennial – or indeed the hipster apartment crowd mixing with well-heeled trust-fund semi-retirees, aged 40 and up. Hmm.

      Remember, the Chinese visitor market is in decline across New Zealand.

      But how’s Tosswill getting on with his “other” hotel developments around the country – as mentioned by ODT when he first popped up out of the woodwork. Many if not all were not financed, and probably still aren’t. Let’s hope ODT’s tracking him down for progress reports on these. We need to know what sort of creature he is, what sort of pedigree, and the reality of why he’s wanting to dent Dunedin this way.

      I’m not beyond doing the same sorts of research once the application is publicly notified on Saturday.

      Wouldn’t it be marvellously funny if he knows Jing Song. And our poor dear Mr Rodgers.

      • Peter

        Thanks for that background, Elizabeth.
        Interesting image on ODT Online showing how the hotel will look when viewed down Harrop St with the Town Hall and Anglican cathedral seen as book ends to the hotel’s dominance of the area.
        The revised design is nothing more than a NCEA resit….Except it doesn’t achieve a Merit or an Excellence.

        • Elizabeth

          Peter, Dave Cannan on Ch39 last night told us Tosswill is saying the height and the design are non negotiable.

          The Tekapo chap will find out life in the RMA process is nowhere that simple. There are plenty of us to make sure of that.

          ODT this morning has more on Mr Tosswill. And then some…. on diverse public reaction to the proposed tower.

          It appears ODT took the images from the application documents. To that extent they’re not exclusives and I also hold copies.

          The montage including St Paul’s Cathedral and the Dunedin Town Hall has the tower curiously down-scaled to make us think the proposal has “fit”. Not many were fooled when they saw it.

          Dave Cannan characterfully told news presenter Craig Storey that we’ve already been through this (ie the tall building malarkey)…. and humphed resignedly that it had taken “two years”.

          We get the feeling ODT might not be thrilled with more of same.

          It didn’t seem a coincidence on first viewing that ODT’s Thursday front page splash enlarged the most slant image. A telltale sign of the paper’s bemusement?

          Today ODT staff are set to ‘explore’ the man behind this inane and archaic building proposal. Let’s hope they hoe into him and who he’s working with over the next weeks. Anything can happen after a polite start!

          And anyone who says “non negotiable” on height and design – contrary to the district plan – is setting himself up for heavy leaden shot to the head from the Octagon canon. Splat.

          Here we come. The fight will be dirty….

          64 metres less the allowable 11 metre limit is 53 non compliant metres of callous disregard for the City of Dunedin, pitched by a self-important blaggard and annihilator of all that’s good about our exclusive city fabric. He deserves a good rollicking.

          Jing Song was the last to catch the acid of her own arrogance and imperialistic nature. This guy is motoring down the same misguided track.

          Dave Cull is to blame. He wants a cretinous shrieker of a non sustainably built legacy project – the irony and contradiction is enormous as he tries to dislodge the living population of South Dunedin from their homes and businesses, at the same time he wants to pander to the Chinese with a tower.

          It does not get more insane and self-aggrandising than that.

          It is fully possible someone might ‘arrange’ independent commissioners who Are Not – commissioners with a penchant for tall old fashioned overheating leaky buildings clad in (yawn) coloured glass, as weakly engineered as Wellington’s brittle modern highrise.

          This is going to be one heck of a waste of public time and energy but the submission and appeal processea are going to be targeted merciless fun.

    • Anthony Tosswill

      I would like to point out that Residents in Londo complained about the about the Shard in London and the London Eye yet, Yet Today we Recognize London for these 2 Buildings as they are also Top Tourists sites as is the Palace. Hindsight is marvelous

      Do you recall the complaints when the stadium prior to been Built now its recognized as one of the Top 20 in the World. Dunedin be proud.

      One may tell us of Identical Buildings so we can learn from your expertise.
      The Design relates to minimizing views from residents behind plus maximizing views of Tourists that want to appreciate Dunedin and its Harbour we believe in our design and concept.

      Retrospective opinions are great if you are trying to stop the future progress of Dunedin, if your view point is taken seriously its Dunedin’s loss.
      Spokesman for the Developer.

  4. lyndon weggery

    I will certainly be objecting. Not only about the siting and height of the Hotel, but also that at no stage in terms of the Local Government Act has the Council bothered to consult with me as to the future use of this land other than as a vital DCC Carpark for ratepayers and residents alike, who just happen to legally own this land.

  5. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:


    ODT reports:

    “The building, rising to 64m at its highest point, would provide 210 hotel rooms, 64 apartments, four penthouse suites, and licensed premises, retail, conference and meeting spaces.” [my bolding]

    “The project was said to come with an estimated $75million price tag, but also a global five-star hotel operator to run it.”

    “An urban design report by Anderson & Co, also included, said the hotel’s height would be “well above” the 11m site limit and have a “more than minor” impact on views for people behind it on Cargill and London Sts. However, the hotel would not be “out of context” with other tall buildings in the city’s commercial centre, from John Wickliffe House and the Forsyth Barr building to St Paul’s Cathedral and First Church. It would also support businesses and facilities along George St, and “help consolidate the Octagon as the central focal point for the city”, it said.”

    █ Images and more mutterings at

    █ The consent application will be publicly notified this Saturday. Submissions close on Wednesday, 10 May 2017. The application will be heard by independent commissioners, July onwards.

    *Don and Conrad Anderson need their heads read. We already know what we think of Mr Page and Mr Crick. Isn’t it strange how the same names keep coming up. But as for Thom Craig, this is not exactly starchitect quality ‘envisioned’. It has the hallmarks of a cheap-nasty build at the dubious figure of just $75M.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “The project was said to come with an estimated $75million price tag, but also a global five-star hotel operator to run it.” Is there a guarantee that the “global five-star hotel operator” will last as long as the building?

  6. Elizabeth

    Proposed hotel, cnr Moray Place and Filleul St, Dunedin – application documents [image supplied]

  7. Elizabeth

    Joke: ODT supports the pushers (?)

    Today’s headline says “Consent in for five-star hotel”.

    Nope. No consent has been granted, folks.

    That headline should read “Application in for five-star hotel”.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Rape culture has spread to rape of our cities. Can’t tell application from consent is the same kind of logic as I told her I wanted to have sex with her == sex was consensual.
      I don’t like the way society keeps telling the less powerful they have no real say in what happens to them, to the place they live.
      How long will it be before ALL of us less powerful ordinary people who still raise our voices to protest against ourselves and our fellow ord.peeps die out or are worn down & out by these continual assaults?

  8. nick

    All growing cities are a mix of old and new buildings. I guess the trick is to preserve what is worth preserving, which is being done well in parts of Dunedin, while taking care with any new architecture.

    The siting of this proposed hotel within a precinct of other tall buildings is far more fitting than the earlier waterfront hotel box proposal that deserved to be shot down.

    Dunedin should be open to the visions of others prepared to invest in the city’s future growth. Visitor accommodation in such a location is surely a plus for the health of Dunedin’s economy. It’s a winner for the numerous graduation ceremonies in the Town Hall, and as far as I know has no ties to the ORFU!

    Let’s just know about the true state of our utilities infrastructure (power, water and waste) before we load up this area with further demand. It might be the catalyst needed to get some overdue action on a lot of the buried headaches within the city’s CBD. In which case, would the developers contribute to an ‘infrastructure renewal account’ or would the costs be borne solely by dear old ratepayers again?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Nick – “within a precinct of other tall buildings” – no, taller & dominant.
      “Dunedin should be open to the visions of others prepared to invest in the city’s future growth” – yes, and it should employ all faculties e.g. judgement, taste, commercial real-life knowledge of this city. One person’s vision is another person’s nightmare. Look at the visions of Ideal Society and Righteous Living according to Marx and assorted religious neo-messiahs including L Ron Hubbard and Rudolf Steiner to see the truth of that.
      All – well nearly all – had some good ideas. Either these were mixed in with weirdness, or their top-level followers (implementers) warped them in execution.
      Vision schmision. The very word Vision now alerts the suspicion hairs on the back of my neck.

      And “Let’s just know about the true state of our utilities infrastructure (power, water and waste) before we load up this area with further demand. It might be the catalyst needed to get some overdue action on a lot of the buried headaches within the city’s CBD” – a good point, up to a point. BTW you can bet a kidney the “favour the developers are doing for the city” will require our gratitude in the form of doing the infrastructure gratis.
      And what will this mean for the most urgent infrastructure renewal and repair in even more vulnerable parts of the city – parts full of ord.peeps already ground down by bitter experience to know that their voices won’t be heard because they aren’t worth enough – their wallets don’t weigh heavy enough to register on the City Leaders’ scales.

    • Farmer

      I’m with you on this Nick. We berate the council for the city stagnating, no growth, no vision, no jobs etc and now it seems there are a lot of people lining up to shoot this proposal down. What do you want?
      Yes all growing cities are a mix of the new and the old, but it seems it can happen all over the world but not in Dunedin. Have a wander around Melbourne to see a thriving bustling city with some outstanding historic buildings still in use and wonderfully preserved. In fact I think sometimes new buildings actually highlight the beauty and grandeur of the old ones beside them.
      Read the 3rd paragraph of Nick’s post again. I think we have to be open to the visions and ideas of others willing to invest. We don’t have to sell our soul, but just have an open mind. Surely there is some middle ground?

      • Elizabeth

        Farmer this is not growth. People have funny ideas about what growth is.
        As a colleague with ‘industry’ and finance/lending knowledge says this project is likely funded by hot money from China (or Asia). Is that ‘heat’ worthy of our time and resources. Of course not.

        Cargo Cult is Not growth for Us. Overseas buy-up of our restful safe havens is Not sustainable for Us.

        • Farmer

          I disagree Elizabeth. A $75m build in a city our size must have spin off benefits and surely we must benefit from the tourists and visitors for years to come. Where the funding comes from is surely irrelevant. Surely it will at least look like something is happening in our city and we are moving ahead. What is your alternative? Do nothing?

        • Elizabeth

          Those of us in or linked to the visitor accommodation industry – or who might be more widely read on the topic – know box towers are not the market. It is boutique hotels which offer an experience. I’ve already published on this information. See you at hearing.

        • nick

          Thank you Farmer.
          I agree with your Aussie observations – Sydney too is a splendid mix of old and new buildings.
          And reading through the posts on this topic, it does appear that any and all reasons to keep this new development out of the city make the status quo the preferred option.

          You quite rightly ask ‘what do you want?’
          Dozens of inner city carparks on demolished building sites with puddle-filled potholes, and a plethora of hostile tow-away signage . . . it is a pretty unimaginative and unsightly way to make a few dollars.

          It often takes an outsider to spot an opportunity, and it often takes foreign money to back it. Is that a bad thing?

          Surely there are merits to this new proposal?
          Surely there are alternatives to some of the obvious design problems?
          Surely Dunedin can gain and benefit from this proposal?

          What if Dunedin . . .

        • Anthony Tosswill

          Hi Elizabeth,
          you made several comments. Architectural design.
          a) Design and the Changes,
          In Response, I respectfully point out that does not relate to commercial facts or results, hence for any 5 Star Hotel and in Particular in Dunedin our view is very different but it is for this type of Development whats been Built in All Cities around the World, we are one of the 99% (Not the 1%)

          b) We have incorporated a Design that shows off Dunedin, with new Technology that is expected today by 5 Star Guests. Dunedin is the Showcase, the Development is to provide Access to the City not be the City~

          You suggest and refer to your time and Resources “What are They”?
          It Also appears that you think Asians are also different or at least there Money is, maybe you should complain also about the contribution made by Asians that go to Otago University is their money bad? I like Asian People, I married to one.

          Love to know more about whatever Cargo Growth is? Are you a Supporter of Cadbury Factory Closure as well? Is that not a local Resource?

          400 Persons Daily Spending Money in New 5 Star Hotel in Dunedin is Growth to Dunedin, please re add up the equation since you have an alleged financial background your sums should add up one cold think,

          Good on you Farmer for having an independent view point congratulation is this Elizabeth’s Blog its appears to be!

          Spokesman for the Developer

  9. Elizabeth

    Nick, this is a design and context issue. This is a clear and unreasonable attempt to be contrary to the operative district plan and the proposed second generation district plan – both have height limits which this proposal Far Exceeds. There are likely to be no winners here except the opposing submitters because the adverse effects are more than minor.

    Oh. By a great number of floors.

    Incidently, it is not just the neighbours that will be affected by the proposed edifice.

    The project is little different to the 41 Wharf St (waterfront) hotel project put up by Jing Song and the fawning old boys. City residents and ratepayers face many of the same issues.

    Further, the fact that DCC is contemplating being the vehicle to offer this up (the ratepayer-owned site) in straight competition to existing Dunedin accommodation providers is a bare-faced insult to ALL. The council is not put on this planet to compete with commerical ratepayers – something its property division has NEVER understood. And certainly not the current Mayor of Dunedin and his councillor jollies.

    The Aussie banks have all but closed their credit lines to speculative developments across New Zealand. So who are the bastards from here and overseas fronting the cash to deliver this shite. In a market very far from proven to actually exist, either now or in the future at Dunedin.

  10. Elizabeth

    We need a truly green and contemporary designed accommodation complex to 11 metres or less in height.

    With…. public car parking made available by any developer of this site – to be in the very immediate vicinity, to make up for the loss of all existing onsite parks (some of which are leased).

    [We’re about to lose Filleul St carpark, Frederick St carpark, Dowling St carpark, car parks from Great King St for the stupid bus hub, car parks from the SH1 one-way system because of ill-considered cycle lanes being imposed as well as potential rerouting of SH1 itself, on it goes (see post) – the effects on local businesses and the people who work, dwell and recreate in the heart of the city will be immense. DCC has not produced an economic impact study to be followed by an issues and options paper on car parking, for public scrutiny and consultation.]

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Cleopatra. ‘My salad days, When I was green in judgment: cold in blood, To say as I said then!’
      I know we’re all supposed to walk, cycle or bus in Dunedin now, according to Dave and the Cleopatsies, consulting their navels and the gut feelings that lie beneath. False oracles!

      Christchurch is experiencing one result of loss of parking – hospital staff assaulted as they make their way through night streets to far-off safety of their vehicles. Retailers in CBD suffer high rates – and move out – as well as non-spenders checking goods and prices only to go home and shop online. The idea of happy crowds ambling through town doing “shopping as recreation” ignored all those of us who shop as quickly as possible because there is something we need. Actually most of the “needs” are now out in big-boxed with free parking, not as anchors in the middle of the CBD, it’s the way Christchurch had gone pre-quake, city centre given over to boutique nicknacks, fast foods and travel agents, while all the places people needed to go regularly to spend regularly fled to malls of high utility and no charm whatsoever.

      Parking is necessary, not a nasty-to-have. Time our dreamers-in-chief got a grip.

    • nick

      Long live the carpark.
      Dunedin is well represented with inner city carparks on vacant land where buildings once stood and have since been demolished.
      It has to be one of the most inefficient uses of ground, as well as signifying a shrinking appetite for revitalising parts of a city with new buildings.
      Much as I dislike using the multi-storey parking buildings, I believe they are a better argument to the problems associated with the space taken up by empty vehicles sitting all day on sites that could be better used with a higher resulting value to the city in terms of economic activity.
      I welcome the interest shown by this new proposal. I think its design could be far more sympathetic to the area, but sorting through the issues around the shortcomings should be a constructive opportunity to help get it right.
      As for the Aussie banks Elizabeth, a look around Sydney and Melbourne shows why they have been caught out so badly. Scores of unfinished and stalled apartment block buildings litter those cities’ skylines – all spec built on nil-demand, fuelled by Asian property investors who put down their deposits off the plans, and failed to close their contracts after realising they were unable to onsell. Simply no bona fide buyers to be found. It has made those big banks look stupid again, and is the reason for their sudden caution on this side of the ditch.

      • Elizabeth

        As you will know nick, the income off on ground open-air car parks often exceeds that able to be derived from owning old vacant buildings that have not been redeveloped… To that extent, car parks are a sensible economic use of inner city sites whether we like it or not, townscape-wise. Reality bites in a depressed city anywhere, hounded by lack of economic growth. But is that a viable long-term solution for retaining vibrant CBDs and central activity zones – and is parking better situated on the urban fringe (industrial and mixed-use zones) within easy walking distance of the centre of town or supported by shuttle services?

        See the reasons that underpin building retention in Dunedin’s warehouse precinct south of Rattray St (many buildings saved by property developers working in a relatively short economic window od opportunity, some critical mass around ‘buy cheap then earthquake strengthen’ for, hopefully, long-term returns. Not everyone is AD Instruments.

        As discussed at older posts and mostly in comments by the knowledgeable contributor Phil, the city council has been the main developer of parking buildings in Dunedin.

        This activity hasn’t been a raging success financially for Dunedin ratepayers; not helped by the torturous charging regimes that operate between the departments Citipark and City Property, and complicated by use of the ‘global player’ Wilsons. This has been discussed at length here in recent years.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          nick, “space taken up by empty vehicles sitting all day” – when I have to go into the CBD I park for an hour at a time, max. I don’t linger, window-shop or go for coffee, not at those parking prices. There may be one or two other people like me, don’t you think? Possibly even more!
          Besides, returning to the dilemma of workers in the middle of town – should “empty” vehicles have low priority? They are the means by which their owners arrive and leave, and if those people have to do so in the dark is it reasonable that they should have to walk a long way or use parking buildings which are not the safest places on earth, esp for a woman on her own.
          I never use parking places operated by Wilsons. They are rapacious swine. If DCC were not so dedicated to commercial ineptitude Wilsons would have been turned back at the border.

        • Elizabeth

          As you say, Hype O’Thermia – rapacious swine.
          We’ve been reading about the issues for Dunedin Hospital workers and others in the central city coming off late shifts who have no ability to catch buses after midnight, with taxis being unaffordable. Lack of safety for these essential staff in accessing their vehicles necessarily parked at a distance from their workplace should be a strong concern of the employers and the council. But the situation has drifted on for years without address.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    “We need a truly green and contemporary designed accommodation complex to 11 metres or less in height.” Hmmm, I’m so-so about contemporary, some of it’s frightful – very little of it “up” (ahem) to the pre-crash grossness of the mirrorglass extravaganzas that blessed Auckland with Added Vulgarity back in the day though.
    Where did you get that 11 metres height, though? Could it be the District Plan? Could it be that cast-in-stone set of rules that cannot be bent or tweaked for ordinary Dunedin people trying to make something fairly low-impact, economically feasible, in a tricky site?

  12. Rob Hamlin

    I am convinced that most people these days don’t love old buildings for their own sake. It’s more about how they hate the new ones that replace them – and with good reason. It’s no coincidence that ‘modern’ architecture and the heritage building preservation movement arrived at about the same time. I am not sure that Moorhouse Avenue in Christchurch was a ever a pretty street, but surely it could never have been as ugly as it is now.

    It’s not as if the ugliness of modern architecture is redeemed by any kind of usefulness – or the capacity to stand up in earthquakes if the ‘flop down’ pattern in Ch.Ch. and Welli. is anything to go by. Indeed their only redeeming feature is their shoddiness in design and execution, which means that they fall down of their own accord quite quickly. One wonders how many rusting Chinese plasticene anchor fittings lurk within these enormous tilt-slab buildings that are everywhere now.

    Designing attractive items, including buildings, is about observing some rules of proportion (always), symmetry (occasionally) and balanced detailing (always) – along with nicking other people’s ideas that are proven to work well. These skills no longer seem to be taught at architecture schools. As to nicking other people’s ideas – well up to 50 years ago this was how architecture progressed. Now it is a practice that is utterly forbidden as ‘pastiche’, which is pretty much the modern architect’s ultimate act of naughtiness.

    It’s worth remembering that the Parthenon is in fact a pastiche of a wooden shed. This does not mean that it is entirely without attractiveness or architectural merit – although some modern architects might differ on this one. Ditto Prince Charles’ residential community pastiches in the UK, roundly denounced by modern architects, but which now attract residents like a dead dog attracts flies, unlike the ‘brutally architecturally correct’ non pastiches, such as the centres of Milton Keynes and Telford, which…well……don’t, and never will.

  13. Tadpole

    Just wondering if our iconic railway station was to come up for resource consent in this day and age.
    It doesn’t meet district plan height restrictions. Blocks the harbour view from the Octagon and lower Stuart street. The stone for the building will be quarried from prominent landscape leaving a horrible scar on the landscape. There is insufficient car parking. Not enough tradesmen to build it, so will have to have cheap labour from China to build it. Iwi may object as it is to be build on their foreshore and seabed. Bloody good job a lot of our present day objectors were not around in the good old days of no RMA. Oh well I think I will just crawl back into that puddle in the hospital car park. Nite Nite.

    {The tower of Dunedin Railway Station doesn’t breach the district plan height limit. -Eds}

    • nick

      You speak of an age Tadpole, when some fine architectural building construction prevailed in Dunedin – the city was progressive and proud, and all achieved without the RMA. How could that ever have been possible?

      Watch out for car tyres in those hospital carpark puddles Tadpole. May you turn into a healthy frog, and get spotted by an enchanting young nurse who just might pick up your cold and clammy little body to steal a quick kiss . . .

      I think there might be more chance of this happening than any new hotel getting the “What If” seal of approval.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    Looks like another round of the “Five Star Hotel’ scenario. Once again, has anyone done an honest assessment of the true demand for this type of establishment here in Dunedin? I doubt it, just like the Stadium , which we all know is a financial disaster. The heavily promoted waterfront hotel was of a similar ilk, not wanted, needed nor happened. I guess at the end of the day, that is what will happen here. It just seems that the world is full of stupid people who in this credit/debt world just have to be doing. When all the stars line up, such as the Mayor, the Town Planning, the excited Developer then it is a case of putting brains in a pocket, get fired up and who knows. A lot of hot air, months of toing and froing and ‘Wallah! the whole thing collapses under a veil of common sense. Or not. If not then God help us all.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes they have Calvin – certainly as a part of private commercial development assessments.

      The base reference document is already included in the post at top of thread. Various extrapolations have been made since in private evaluations.

      Projections for visitor accommodation are something you can Google easily in relation to New Zealand and regional tourism and visitor strategies.

      Dunedin City Council is currently working with strategic partners to produce its Destination Plan; soon to be available for public consultation. [See the recent council report available online.]

      Destination planning has largely bypassed the Dunedin market in favour of the development markets in Auckland and Queenstown, obviously.

      Cutlers also produce reports that are available online. Etc etc.

    • Farmer

      You are being very negative. In answer to your opening question of if anyone has assessed the demand for such a hotel, obviously they have and are willing to put there money up. Are we not in the middle of a tourist boom? We don’t want freedom campers, surely the high end of the market is what we should be aiming for.
      Will all due respect, the financial viability of such a project has got nothing to do with you – or me. Neither has the viability of the newest pizza shop or bar or tourist operation. It’s called free enterprise – people with ideas and vision willing to put together a project, find funding and see the project through to completion. Is this not exactly what happened right through history? Is this not what resulted in the historic buildings being built that we try so hard to protect today?

  15. Jeff

    A world of incredible architecture and unique cities filled with structures that resemble art. YET, for some freaking reason everything proposed for Dunedin is complete rubbish, yet again we’re faced with a variation of a rectangle, oh but the hooked 3 rectangles together, wait even better a big gash going down the front of them and an angel halo on the top. This is a pathetic attempt. I’d be open to a hotel there given the design was not pathetic, uninspired and offered NOTHING to the city from a visual standpoint. These people are useless.

  16. Calvin Oaten

    Farmer, you are so right. Except that ‘FUBARS” are not uncommon, but getting to the point, where is the money? And if it does come through that doesn’t put heads on the silken pillows in vast numbers. Sure there is a market for ‘Five Star’ but it is not by the hotel full, it is for a few rooms which are already there in the Distinction, the Scenic and that’s about it. Build this and watch the whole game go sour. Think about it please. Elizabeth, you say the surveys have been done. But again surveys don’t put heads on the silken pillows. When the next GFC comes the visitors might just disappear as well. Face it, holidays and ‘Five Star’ are discretionary expenditure.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin. Yikes. I’m agreeing with you! – as the Stephen Hamilton gap report says there’s a tiny market only at Dunedin for 5 star. Why do we think Distinction keeps its 120 rooms at 4-star plus? >> no market for 5 stars (Geoff Thomson knows his Asian market well).

      St Clair Hotel has its penthouse level at 5 stars. There are a few private lodges locally also.

      Most travellers in NZ actually go for 3 – 3.5 stars, it’s the bread and butter of the hotel industry – for accessible pricing and the basics of ‘all you need’.

      4.5 stars caters well for those with more cash. But then, why would you choose hotel rooms if you can do Airbnb and get a whole superior apartment or designer house with garaging at Queenstown + adventure tourism, skiing and boarding, wineries, restaurants and bars, faultless scenery and nightlife, plus a switched-on superior international airport ….not at Dunners?

  17. Elizabeth

    Fri, 7 Apr 2017
    ODT: Hotel height, design not negotiable: developer
    By Chris Morris
    The man behind Dunedin’s latest five-star hotel bid is calling for public support, but says the building’s design and height are non-negotiable. Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill was commenting as technical reports, prepared for his resource consent application, detailed the building’s impact on its surroundings. As well as lost views for some neighbours immediately behind it, the 17-storey building, which would be 64m at its highest point, would cast a shadow over the Octagon on winter afternoons and funnel more wind down Moray Pl and Filleul St. Cont/

    See earlier associated comments in reply to Peter at

    DCC Webmap – Filleul St carpark (shaded area)

    Concept renders for proposed tower [supplied]

    We’re told the proposed tower will overshadow the Octagon – the last render here is so inaccurately scaled that the overshadowing doesn’t seem quite possible. D’oh.


    Fri, 7 Apr 2017
    ODT: Hotel plan draws fans and detractors
    By Chris Morris
    ….Readers who emailed the Otago Daily Times yesterday were evenly split between supporters and opponents, as some called for progress while others feared the consequences. Cont/

  18. Peter

    Useful superimposed images of roughly, or not so roughly, what the design would look like. Adds anything special to the city’s beauty? Nup. Likely to be an iconic building with the passage of time? Nup.
    What gives Mr Tosswill the right to barge into our home and dictate what is negotiable or non negotiable? Would he like it if we lifted our leg in his neighbourhood (Tekapo) to mark our territory? Sounds a bit like Jing Song’s crap about giving Dunedin a ‘gift’ while throwing her toys out of the cot when she didn’t get her own way.
    These people have a gall. We don’t need them.

  19. Elizabeth

    Dave Cannan comments through The Wash, and provides new renders (of the horrid and disgusting edifice – my words).

    At Facebook:

  20. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  21. Elizabeth

    From last night:

    Channel 39 Published on Apr 6, 2017
    Debate over latest five-star hotel set to increase
    The debate over Dunedin’s latest five-star hotel bid is set to increase following the lodging of a resource consent for the tower in the heart of the city. Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill said his project would be a major economic generator that delivered new jobs, more tourists and better marketing, and send a signal the city was “open for business”.

    Ch39 Link

    The Tekapo spider

    Channel 39 via YouTube [screenshot]

    Read more comments at Facebook:

  22. nick

    The news today that Mr Tosswill considers his hotel height and design to be non-negotiable has placed my ambivalent attitude towards his development now firmly in the negative frame.

    Try Auckland sir.

  23. Pb

    LOL-tower. Where are all the pilgrims coming from who will stay at the glass monolith. Is this Dunedin’s Mecca? Growth needs to come before beds. The idea that Kristallnacht will create growth is twisted.

  24. I am very suspicious of ‘hotels’ which include apartments. I would be looking at the plans carefully to see whether the design for the hotel floors allows easy later conversion to apartments. Where is the market? Except for Chinese students.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      You’re not alone in that: “very suspicious of ‘hotels’ which include apartments” – looks like a cunning way to bamboozle naive councillors and DCC into allowing apartment buildings of scale and in position where they would not be permitted if honestly described.
      It’s the cargo-cult promise – 5 star hotel = $$$Money!!! Progress!!! Growth!!! Success!!! Sign now and get the Free Offer of another smoothie blender!
      Those cargo cult spins have been damn good at spinning their wheels and derailing their critical faculties.

  25. Yes, significant investment in this city is not solely a matter of how much private money is spent. I think investing in essential infrastructure to maintain high quality of life more important. And ‘sharing economy’ accommodation, like AirBnB, has been fantastically successful (US $24 billion and growing

    Based on a rationale of ‘DON’T build it and they DO come’, quite the opposite of you-know-what.

    Dunedin has so many heritage buildings which could be re-purposed for boutique accommodation, on various scales, which would enhance the city’s unique character without detracting at all from the quality of life. The DCC has never bent over backwards to support this. In contrast, they do seem to me to lay out the red carpet for some potential big investors, holding private stakeholder chats, and it’s impossible to appear even-handed doing this.

    The global economy matters. There are strong indicators that China’s ‘economic miracle’ is over (ghost cities and zombie companies everywhere). There’s good reason to believe that the main thing China will be exporting in the coming decades is not commodities but well-off Chinese. The smart and wealthy want to get their kids out, away from the pollution, at least.

    Here’s a documentary about how Chinese ‘millionaire immigration’ has affected Vancouver. You will find no such straight talking about how the same thing has already affected Auckland. In fact, if you tried it, I think a certain famous squash player would be trying to censor you. BUt this is not about race – it’s about money.

    China’s Millionaire Migration

  26. Elizabeth

    Unfortunately, Airbnb at scale has slaughtered Queenstown (see overbearing costs to their district council and the small number of permanent residents) – QLDC is on the warpath BigTime for lose traders (property owners) avoiding paying the correct rates due and those into tax evasion. Data sharing and mining the online property hire ads has been “fruitful”.

    Not saying genuine home owners in less greed-ridden environments are anything less than kosher but they now may be few and far between.

    Airbnb, the global corporate, has evolved to being an online rort. It has got too big for its boots without sufficient checking of individual space providers and making investment into quality assurance.

    Accommodation providers (hotels/accommodation corporates) are also milking Airbnb for all its worth – the cash cow greed operates worldwide.

    As always, travellers need to be very wary and well researched. To a large extent, tight social media networks can cut through the chaff and avoid the fat sharks.

  27. Yes, I agree. A lot of voracious greed and a lot of grey and downright black economy stuff going on in this area. Market competition, much more wary hosts and guests and public authorities (including tax agencies) are all putting pressure on the sector to clean up its act.

    AirBnB facilitates both short-term rentals of an entire house or flat and also guest use of a spare room in an owner-occupied house. IMO, they are totally different things re business model, planning effects and social and economic impact.
    Short-term rentals are banned in New York City, a case similar to Queenstown. I think entirely justifiably, as they make rents unaffordable for local residents.
    (All the same, when you think about it, this means landlords are being seen as having a ‘social duty’ to provide affordable housing, rather than being purely market players seeking maximum profit. I’ve never really liked government, both central and local, leaving the provision of rental housing totally to the private sector.)

    Plenty of home-owners here are using a spare room for a flatmate/home-sharer or international students/home stays. For a struggling young family, it can help pay the mortgage. For empty-nesters, such extra income (which, from AirBnB, in NZ, is, on average, only about $4,000 pa for an owner-occupier) can help pay for otherwise unaffordable home maintenance.

    It will be interesting to see how the DCC manages the issue in the new District Plan. At the moment, having four or fewer guests in an owner-occupied house is not considered a ‘commercial use’ by the DCC. (But, of course, the income earned is taxable, just as with more than one boarder.) There are plenty of flats and studio complexes with more bedrooms in use than this. I noticed the DCC has been cracking down on some of those ‘studio room’ complexes because they actually qualify as ‘boarding houses’.
    (Six or more rooms, I think.)

    There’s presently a vast gulf between the generations in terms of the quality and accessibility of basic housing. There’s an increasing aging population, with a lot of three-bedroom homes with a single occupant and little in the way of affordable alternatives for them. And then there’s young people living in garages, cars, camping grounds and even on the street. I think it’s worth thinking about whether the sharing economy could somehow help to relieve the disparities.
    Another area where I think the world now moves and changes faster than planning law can keep up with. Councillors with strong critical thinking skills very much needed!

  28. Calvin Oaten

    China’s economic miracle is over. So says Diane Yeldon, but why stop at China? If you were to look at the financial state of most if not all countries you could only come to the conclusion that the ‘World’s economic miracle is Over’. Watch for the big collapse when one of the majors folds its cards and calls enough. I don’t believe it’s far away either. Just look at China, the European Union, the United States, Brazil, Russia and others. First you put up a few rockets to show who the ‘Top Dog’ is and then watch the space.

  29. Elizabeth

    I like your thinking Diane. Especially re “There’s presently a vast gulf between the generations in terms of the quality and accessibility of basic housing.” and where you start to go with that.

    I was talking to a wealthy colleague last night about this and they reckoned it was up to (central) government to build social housing (aka state housing) – given the hiatus in this activity in the last decades.

    But I don’t think this is the answer – it will be blighted by population density politics…. the likelihood of social housing by ‘government’ in Dunedin is so very unlikely.

    The reason there’s no money in it for the private sector (or local government !!) is down to the appalling never ending amount of property speculation that heats NZ.

    [I don’t think my colleague has personally had to think about “prolonged austerity” for a very long time – could be wrong.]

    • nick

      Interesting to see where this is all going around accommodation issues and housing Elizabeth.

      It possibly deserves a heading of its own, but the plague of ‘property investors’ who are currently scouring all cities and regional towns of NZ, looking for ‘better yields’ and buying houses that young people should have as affordable first homes, is a massive travesty.

      This fashionable investment trend of buying a ‘few rentals’ is a scourge on our society. ‘Investors’ pay no tax on their capital gain (unlike other businesses), often collect a taxpayer funded ‘accommodation supplement’ as part of their weekly rental receipts, but more importantly are helping to create huge disparities in equality in our society. They are helping to entrap our younger generation into a lifelong prospect of only ever being able to afford to live in someone else’s house.

      Sadly, our present government has been happy to ignore this plight of young NZers; the interests of both foreign and local property investors has been of far more importance.

      We elect governments to look after the interests of all NZers – not just those who have already done well for themselves. Unfortunately, we are seeing an administration that is almost totally bereft of any sense of responsibility to helping keep our society fair for all. The present lack of any social policy initiatives around housing affordability is a disgrace, especially when viewed against the previous progressive social housing programs that once helped provide the security that goes with owning a home.

      • Elizabeth

        Well said, nick. There have been posts previously discussing lack of housing affordability. A bit dated but not wrong. Might raise a new post during the week. Lots to bring to it in all our heads.

  30. Simon

    Will the hearing commissioners be councillors or Independent commissioners, and who makes the appointments ?

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