Tag Archives: Otago Chamber of Commerce

Cull’s council takes business away from retailers

Mayor refuses to recognise chaos created by buses and council-imposed parking changes in the CBD.

Dunedin City Council moves to activate commercial activity in the city’s warehouse district south of the Queens Gardens pose risks for existing business, gallery owner says.

### DScene 31 Oct 2012
Businesses slam council focus (page 5)
By Wilma McCorkindale
David McLean was adding his voice to jeweller Brent Weatherall’s recent criticism of the council’s support of business in the city. Weatherall said the Dunedin City Council (DCC) was dictatorial rather than consultative on some aspects of its economic development strategy, in the wake of a battle over the proposed council banning of footpath signs. Otago Chamber of Commerce retail committee members believed consultation was largely ignored, Weatherall said.

The council needed to focus on parking concerns and attracting businesses into empty main street shops.

Constant requests for a CBD shuttle appeared to have been ignored, even though [McLean] mooted it several times. He believed a free or cheap shuttle would help circulate shoppers throughout the city business district. The Otago Regional Council, which administers public transport in the city, did not have a responsibility for keeping activity going in the CBD, he said. “And yet buses are an issue for that.”

Transport issues in the city held the town to ransom, especially struggling businesses south of the Octagon, some of which had already been forced to shut. “Now we’ve got a focus on the new warehouse district. They’re going to end up with a city ghost town.”

Concerns over loss of main street parking, replaced in some cases by bus stops – with buses sitting on them pumping out dirty diesel – remained a problem. [McLean] had repeatedly asked for free 30-minute parks to be reinstated in the main street to encourage people into the Princes St side of the Octagon. However, the loss of parks continued to be an issue in the wake of council’s botched 2009 parking restructure, he said.

“Council is very aware of the strength of the main street – of the main shopping street,” Cull said. “We wouldn’t do anything to compromise that.”

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the council consulted widely with the business community as well as those in the wider community, and that such decisions did not always please everyone. Some may have misunderstood the focus of the proposed warehousing precinct, which was intended to have a creative and residential focus. Cull understood parking issues had been sorted.
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Related Post:
17.10.12 “But there’s more to Dunedin than just bloody cruise ships”

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“But there’s more to Dunedin than just bloody cruise ships’’

### DScene 17-10-12
Big brother is watching (page 1)
Jeweller Brent Weatherall says Dunedin City Council is being dictatorial and ineffectual when it comes to some aspects of economic development. See p3. #bookmark

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CBD not just for tourists
‘Dictatorial’ council angers city businessman (page 3)
By Wilma McCorkindale
City retailer Brent Weatherall says Dunedin City Council (DCC) is dictatorial rather than consultative on some aspects of its economic development strategy. The George St jeweller said Otago Chamber of Commerce retail committee members were ‘‘hot under the collar’’ after a recent meeting with Cr Kate Wilson over proposed city council changes, such as banning footpath signs. “I think [the DCC] is being quite dictatorial in what they’re trying to push through council in regards to the economic development strategy.” Weatherall said during forming of the strategy the Chamber retail committee was approached in consultation and made a submission on changes to the council’s commercial use of footpaths policy, aired at a hearings subcommittee in May. The council’s response? A talk from subcommittee member Cr Kate Wilson on the virtues of introducing the ban because DCC saw them as a hazard. It left the Chamber retail committee “all up in arms”, Weatherall said. “Everyone that was there said ‘for God’s sake – we opposed this.’ I feel that our suggestions at times fall on very deaf ears in Dunedin. It’s a real shame.”
{continues} #bookmark

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Stadium Councillors back coastal oil exploration

Backing seen as re-election bid by councillors.

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Sep 2012
Support for oil giant
By Debbie Porteous
Dunedin businesses, and several city councillors, are throwing their arms wide open to oil exploration giant Anadarko. A group of six Anadarko representatives, in the city this week for a series of “community engagement” meetings, will be greeted this morning with a two-page spread in the Otago Daily Times and an open letter from the Otago Chamber of Commerce welcoming the company to the city. The letter is supported by 155 businesses and organisations, MP Michael Woodhouse and seven city councillors.

The city councillors listed in the advertisement are Crs Bill Acklin, Syd Brown, John Bezett, Colin Weatherall, Andrew Noone, Paul Hudson and Neil Collins.

The company plans to explore for oil off Oamaru in late 2013, after a global shortage of rigs delayed its exploration drilling programme. The Anadarko group met local iwi representatives and Mayor Dave Cull yesterday and are to meet the chamber and others early this week.
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Related Comments (see thread):
https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/stadium-deathwatch/

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DCC: More IGNORANT ignore of Otago Chamber of Commerce

How DUMB is your Dunedin City Council? You’d think councillors and council staff might have some conception of what the Chamber is and who it represents–given Harbourside, given Parking, given freaking EVERYTHING commerce related. Perhaps the council has a collective brain aneurysm; there must be some sort of obvious explanation. Would it further insult the general populace to learn what it is. And who’s the chair of the council subcommittee considering the policy revision, oh right, none other than Councillor Wilson, a cafe owner of Middlemarch. 1 + 6 = 3

### ODT Online Fri, 8 Jun 2012
Bold bid to clear footpaths
By Debbie Porteous
Dunedin city councillors are recommending all portable advertising signs and possibly all displays of goods be banned from city footpaths. But the moves to keep the city’s footpaths clear for the whole community’s use was greeted with scepticism by some of those who might be affected by the revised policy.
Second-hand trader Neville Herd, of Arkwright Traders, who displays furniture outside this South Dunedin stores, said the public should decide what was appropriate.

Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said the proposals were very bold and it was frustrating the council did not include them in the original extensive consultation on the issue.

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D Scene: fubar, another revelation

“Forsyth Barr have had the advantage of over two-and-a-half years of advertising locally, nationally and internationally without digging into their own pockets.” -Bev Butler

### D Scene 9.5.12
Up in lights – you paid (page 5)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin ratepayers borrowed money to cover naming rights funding while waiting for Forsyth Barr to stump up for Dunedin’s stadium. The revelation comes from stadium critic Bev Butler who said official documented forecasts showed under the original deal with the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, Forsyth Barr’s payments were ‘‘effectively two years overdue’’ by the time of its first single monthly payment towards naming rights in September 1, 2011. Details gleaned under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act showed Forsyth Barr made no payments until September 1, 2011, Butler said. “It is now plain that the much heralded millions of dollars promised upfront in 2009 by Forsyth Barr for the naming rights to the new Dunedin stadium just never happened.”
{continues} #bookmark

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Losing friends (page 6)
By Mike Houlahan – Editor
As biting the hand that feeds you goes, the lawsuit members of the Otago Rugby Football Union are proposing to take against Mayor Dave Cull takes some beating. The merits of the case are for the court to decide, but there is a different burden of proof in the court of public opinion. With its very existence hanging on the good grace of the Dunedin City Council – which decided, against strong public sentiment, to forgive half a million dollars of ORFU debt ratepayers could ill-afford to write off – the rugby union needed to be apologetic, and forthright in dealing with the circumstances which got it in trouble.
{conmtinues} #bookmark

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Moneytalks : Business News
Dunedin extends helping hand (page 9)
By Paul Gorman and Mike Houlahan
Dunedin is gearing up to play a major role in the rebuild of Christchurch but is aware of the risks of losing tradespeople and future business further north. The South Island’s second city is positioning itself to supply materials and services to Christchurch while recognising the Canterbury earthquakes have also affected its economy. There is also a proposal to provide special train services to carry workers between the two cities. The Dunedin City Council has calculated that the expected $20 billion to $30b cost of the rebuild is up to 6.6 times Dunedin’s total annual gross domestic product. Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said Dunedin was not eyeing up Christchurch opportunities in any ‘‘predatory manner’’, but having a strong Christchurch was good for the South Island.
{continues} #bookmark

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Tartan Mafia

Last year, the Otago Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 150th anniversary. The Chamber has commissioned a book to remind the province, and the rest of New Zealand, how important Otago has been to commerce in the country.

Tales of the Tartan Mafia: Celebrating 150 Years of Commerce in Otago, written by Clive Copeman, will be launched officially on Tuesday.

Chamber president Peter McIntyre said Otago had a rich history of business, with companies that had started in Dunedin going on to gain a national presence.

Chamber chief executive John Christie believed the book showed how strongly the chamber had advocated on behalf of its members and how its members had advocated on behalf of regional businesses.

### ODT Online Sat, 3 Mar 2012
In business of backing business
By Dene Mackenzie – Business Editor
One of the long-standing traditions in New Zealand business is using the term “Tartan Mafia” to denote any business person from Otago. As part of the Otago Chamber of Commerce celebrations of 150 years of commerce in Otago, president Peter McIntyre and chief executive John Christie urge all Otago residents to lend their support to a new wave of entrepreneurship in the region.

• The chamber remained frustrated the wishes of the majority were often overridden by the minority, [Mr McIntyre] said. When more than 80% of the population favoured a measure, it should not be stopped by a small minority. The minority should be listened to but not be able to stop the wishes of the majority.

• Over the years, the chamber has often had a testy relationship with the Dunedin City Council but Mr McIntyre was full of praise for the work being carried out by new chief executive Paul Orders.

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DCC self-examinations…

### ODT Online Wed, 17 Aug 2011
Project Gateway on hold
By David Loughrey
Project Gateway – an initiative that has cost the Dunedin City Council $3.5 million over the last decade – will be put on hold and “reviewed” after results that have fallen well short of initial goals.

Despite early hopes of attracting 60,000 visitors a year, creating 555 jobs and opening up a market worth $21 million, council economic development unit manager Peter Harris said it had instead sparked sales of about $4.6 million, and helped create “around 34 jobs”.

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Local media step up reports on RWC 2011 campaign, leaving real costs out

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies said the building of Forsyth Barr Stadium was going to plan and it was set to be handed over at the end of July.

### ODT Online Wed, 1 Jun 2011
Cup organisers confident
By Steve Hepburn and Hamish McNeilly
One hundred days from the kick-off of the Rugby World Cup, organisers say they are on track with tournament preparations. Travel companies handling accommodation for teams and fans had sourced hotel rooms as far afield as Queenstown, Oamaru and Gore on Dunedin match days, Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said.

Dunedin City Council Rugby World Cup co-ordinator Debra Simes said the council’s transport and traffic management plan was in its final stages, and would include suburban train services.

Read more

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The council has teamed up with the Otago Chamber of Commerce to provide information for retailers on how to capitalise on the tournament.

### ODT Online Tue, 31 May 2011
Dunedin shops urged to make most of World Cup
Dunedin retailers may extend their shopping hours as they seek to capitalise on the Rugby World Cup. The event represented a “once-in-a-generation chance” for the city, and businesses should start planning now, Dunedin City councillor and George St retailer John Bezett said yesterday.
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Related Posts:
26.5.11 RWC Bunting: Drape It Good
26.4.11 RWC 2011, this isn’t looking grand
16.4.11 Dunedin conniptions over RWC 2011, yawn
14.4.11 The haunting
9.4.11 Watching Dunedin spend for RWC 2011…
10.3.11 Events could shift south #eqnz
12.2.11 How many additional (unbudgeted) dollars will be needed from DCC…
22.1.11 No Fanzone at Octagon
20.1.11 No final RWC party at new stadium
18.1.11 Bleed out at DCC continues for RWC 2011
18.1.11 Is the stadium worth it, to private hospitality spending during RWC 2011?
10.1.11 Trains for RWC 2011?
1.1.11 In a city spending up large on RWC 2011

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Layers of Gold – Dunedin Heritage Festival 18-21 March 2011

Celebrating Gold – the Foundation of Dunedin’s Rich Heritage

150 years ago when Gabriel Read made the first major discovery of gold in Otago, at Gabriel’s Gully, he well and truly put Dunedin on the world map. Dunedin became the gateway to the goldfields, and the Otago Goldrush became the catalyst that laid the foundations of Dunedin’s rich heritage.

‘Layers of Gold’ celebrates not just the discovery of gold in 1861, but the rich layers of the city’s past that have been woven into the fabric that is our vibrant city today.

In 2011 the Bank of New Zealand, Allied Press, Cerebos Greggs, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, Galloway Cook Allan and the Dunedin Fire Brigade will all celebrate their 150th anniversaries.

Dunedin is a proud city of outstanding achievements and outstanding people. The ‘Layers of Gold’ celebrations, set against the backdrop of the city’s fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture, will be an opportunity to reflect on the past, enjoy and celebrate the present and look forward to the next ‘layer of gold’ the city’s future will undoubtedly unfold.

When: Otago Anniversary Weekend | 18-21 March 2011
Where: Dunedin, New Zealand
UPDATED* Event Information: www.celebrategold.co.nz

Contact: Dunedin Heritage Festival
138 Lower Stuart Street
Dunedin
New Zealand

Ph (03) 474 9256
Email Enquiry Form

Celebrating Our Living Heritage | Proudly presented by Dunedin City Council

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BNZ – Festival HQ
The historic Bank of New Zealand building is the fitting focal point for the ‘Layers of Gold’ celebrations serving as both Festival HQ and Exhibition Hall. The BNZ, which will also be celebrating its 150th birthday, opened its doors in Dunedin in 1861, on the corner of Princes St & Rattray St in the heart of what was to become the Exchange. Its opening was just three months shy of the establishment of the Bank’s first branch in Auckland. The BNZ building that stands on the site today was built in 1884.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin can provide vacant buildings, warehouses and offices #eqnz

UPDATED 7 March 2011

Civil Defence in Christchurch wants people to hold off on demolishing buildings unless there is an immediate risk to public safety #eqnz

### ODT Online Mon, 7 Mar 2011
Help, not exploitation Dunedin focus
By Eileen Goodwin
Dunedin must walk a “fine line” between helping Christchurch business and seeming to exploit the situation, Dunedin City Council economic development unit manager Peter Harris says. Mr Harris said the business unit viewed the situation primarily as aid, rather than a commercial opportunity.
Read more

### ODT Online Mon, 7 Mar 2011
Steady stream of real estate inquiries
Some Christchurch businesses are considering moving to Dunedin but uncertainty over practical issues such as insurance means they are unable to make firm decisions, Dunedin commercial real estate agent Mike Elford says.
Read more

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### ODT Online Thu, 3 Mar 2011
Dunedin space offered
By Chris Morris
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie yesterday told the Otago Daily Times the Christchurch earthquake was a tragedy, but could also be a “game-changer” for the entire South Island economy.

The Otago chamber had been inundated with more than 100 offers, after asking members for a list of vacant buildings, warehouses and offices in Dunedin available for use by Christchurch businesses. That included premises available free of charge, at low cost or commercial rates, and for flexible, short- and long-term leases. Others were offering free internet, office furniture or reduced-cost transportation, among other services, or to take on apprentices from Christchurch short-term.
Read more

### ODT Online Thu, 3 Mar 2011
University of Otago aiding affected students
By John Gibb
In the aftermath of last week’s earthquake, the University of Otago is taking several measures to support Canterbury and Lincoln University students who have been affected. Since late last week, Otago University has been helping with the relocation of international students from Christchurch to Dunedin. A limited number of domestic students had also made inquiries about transferring to Otago and some had already arrived in Dunedin.
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HARBOURSIDE Announcement

Otago Chamber of Commerce
Media Release

17 December 2010

Council Makes Further Move to Protect Industry

The following press release marks a further milestone in the Chamber’s drive to support its members, industry and the retention of employment in the city and the region.

The Chamber supported by Farra Engineering Limited, Kaan’s Catering Supplies, Bradken Dunedin & Crawford Glass recently appealed against the Harbourside Development believing that it would be harmful to industry, jobs and the economy of the region.

This latest move by Council justifies this belief and exonerates the ‘tight five’ from the criticism that the action to stop Harbourside was somehow against the best interests of the city when it was not.

Every member of the Chamber should be grateful for the actions of the Chamber’s co-appellants who used their own time and not inconsiderable personal finances to protect jobs in the city.

Members likewise should take comfort from the Mayor’s acknowledgement that your representative organisation, through its successful and constructive efforts, is now seen as a contributor to the good of the city instead of an objector to council proposals.

This will enable the Chamber in the future to be more successful in its representation of members’ interests with the Council.

The Chamber wishes members to note with appreciation the untiring efforts of Cr Colin Weatherall. Without his patience and perseverance over this long journey this great outcome would not have been achieved.

This success has not been won without hard work over more than two years. It would not have been possible without the support of the wider membership when we asked for the effort with the logo page in the ODT.

With your continuing support this success can easily become the model for the future.

OCC page link

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Dunedin City Council
Media Release

17 December 2010

Council Withdraws Fairley Street Walkway Plans From Harbourside Vision

This item was published on 17 Dec 2010.

The Dunedin City Council has withdrawn its Notices of Requirement relating to the Fairley Street Walkway as part of its plans for a redeveloped harbourside area.

The designation of the walkway was publicly notified in January 2008 alongside Plan Change 7: Dunedin harbourside which re-zoned the area adjoining the Steamer Basin as Harbourside. The Commissioners decision on the designation and plan change was released in February 2009. The Council has been involved in negotiating appeals on the decision.

The decision to withdraw the Fairley Street Walkway designation was made at the Council meeting on 13 December 2010 to assist with negotiations on the appeals to the plan change and designations.

Mayor Dave Cull praised the contribution of Cr Colin Weatherall’s efforts in bringing this to a satisfactory conclusion, along with the Otago Chamber of Commerce for its leadership in protecting jobs in the city and wider region that it felt were threatened by Council’s proposal. “The Chamber’s constructive contribution, and that of the co-appellants, was crucial to this successful outcome,” said Mayor Cull.

Meanwhile, Otago Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, John Christie, said “The Chamber applauds the Council’s decision to withdraw from this course of action. They have listened to the very reasonable arguments put forward by our members. It is to be hoped this represents a shift in our relationship with the new Council. My members and I look forward to further constructive partnership with the Council”.

The Council is still looking at ways to meet the community’s wish to have better access from the city to the harbour. Options include a new pedestrian-friendly connection between the Railway Station foot-bridge and the Steamer Basin using a boulevard alongside Thomas Burns Street. Pedestrian and cycle access across the road and rail barrier at the bottom of Rattray Street is also being considered.

Contact DCC on 477 4000.

DCC page link

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D Scene: 2nd birthday, 100th issue

### D Scene 9-6-10 (page 1)
Rail rally
Hillside workers and supporters have vowed to press on with their against the odds campaign to convince their employers KiwiRail to keep a lucrative engineering contract in-house.
#bookmark

Hillside workers rally (page 3)
By Mike Houlahan
About 200 Hillside workers and supporters braved wind and rain yesterday to vent their feelings over state-owned KiwiRails’s refusal to tender for its own contract to supply rail carriages for the Auckland service. Workers at the South Dunedin engineering works and their fellow workshop at Woburn in Wellington have slated their employer’s assessment that the firm can not and should not tender for the multi-million dollar contract – work which an economic assessment has said has said could be worth 1300 jobs and $250 million to GDP.
{continues} #bookmark

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Parking question (page 5)
By Wilma McCorkindale
More maneuvering of the city’s parking regime may be forced, after complaints by businesses in the Moray Pl arts quadrant. The area’s spokesman David McLeod, of the Quadrant Gallery, said he met with the Dunedin City Council Parking Working Party chairman Syd Brown recently to thrash out several requests from the business community. That included free Saturday parking for the Moray Pl arts and culture quadrant south of the Octagon.

“Why not do something to attract people back to this area – something to revitalise.”
-David McLeod

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South Dunedin (page 6)
Council planners on the South Dunedin revitalisation project have lots to work with, Dunedin City Council (DCC) city development manager Anna Johnson said. Almost 100 people had their say at a recent consultation event in the suburb and more than 55 had written submissions to the DCC’s South Dunedin strategy document.
{continues} #bookmark

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Talk: Dunedin on Dunedin (page 9)
Your say: Letters to the editor #bookmark
Promises, promises…
By Peter Attwooll, Dunedin Central
We hear Amalgamated Builders Ltd and Lund Construction have missed out on a carpentry contract for the stadium (D Scene 2/6/10). They lose out to an Auckland company which gives a lower price.
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A scandal
By GR MacDonald, St Kilda
The revelation that Dunedin workers have lost out to an Auckland company over a Forsyth Bar Stadium carpentry contract is truly a scandal.
{continues}

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KiwiRail decision ‘opens up’ opportunities

UPDATED

### ODT Online Thu, 13 May 2010
Quinn dashes Hillside’s hopes
By Mark Price
Any lingering hopes KiwiRail’s Hillside workshops might get the chance to build trains for Auckland have been dashed. KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn met staff in Dunedin yesterday to break the news the workshop would not be bidding for the contract to build 38 three-car, electric multiple units (EMUs) and 13 electric locomotives as part of Auckland’s $500 million urban rail development. That decision had left rail workers “gutted”, according to Rail and Maritime Trade Union general secretary Wayne Butson.

KiwiRail was “actively” trying to find work for the workshops from “any source we can get” and was “keen to present Dunedin’s engineering capability to the wider world”.

Read more

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### ODT Online Thu, 13 May 2010
Opinion: On right track for trains
By Steven Joyce
Phil Goff’s emotional approach to KiwiRail does not change the facts – the Crown owns a struggling business and needs to make some tough calls, on behalf of the public, to turn KiwiRail around, writes Steven Joyce.

It is all very well for Phil Goff to make an emotional argument for Auckland’s new trains to be built at Dunedin’s Hillside workshop but this is precisely the kind of “do it at any cost” mindset that got us into the difficult position we now find ourselves in with regard to KiwiRail and the Government’s books more generally.
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DScene – Geoff Thomson buys back former CPO

### DScene 12-5-10
Four star future (page 1)
The former central post office is set to become a luxury hotel, scuppering a proposal to redevelop the historic landmark as a central library. See page 3. #bookmark

Former PO to become hotel (page 3)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin’s former Chief Post Office building will not become the city’s new library, and will instead be developed by Invercargill businessman Geoffrey Thomson into a luxury hotel. It is the second time Thomson, owner of the Distinction Hotel chain – with hotels in Te Anau, Queenstown and Rotorua – has owned the Dunedin building. In 2003 Thomson announced he had bought the property and had a $230 million revamp of it in mind.
{continues} #bookmark

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Quinn to visit Hillside Workshops (page 3)
By Mike Houlahan
KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn steps into the lion’s den today, visiting workers at its Hillside [Workshops] to explain the company’s position on tendering for the building of carriages and engines for Auckland’s rail system. […] “We believe there are good opportunities for any of the tenderers to be looking at Hillside and all the other suppliers to see if there is an opportunity to align themselves with New Zealand companies in order to fulfil the tender requirements.” –John Christie, Otago Chamber of Commerce

{continues} #bookmark

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Youth Zone: Final days to have your say (page 6)
The Dunedin City Council has had a huge response from young people to the Youth Zone(s) consultation, which has been underway for two months. The aim is to identify what the city currently offers young people for recreation and leisure, and what the gaps may be.
{continues} #bookmark

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Plan open to public now (page 7)
The public gets to see the Dunedin City Council’s plans for South Dunedin today. People like DCC principal urban designer Steve Miles and South Dunedin Business Association president Jane Orbell are presenting a public display and information day as part of consultation on the new South Dunedin Retail Centre Strategy document. Consultation ends May 28.
{continues} #bookmark

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Party scene with Pete Hodgson (page 8)
NZ transport is off the rails
Transport Minister Steven Joyce made a public pronouncement recently that New Zealand does not have the capacity to build Auckland’s new electric trains. He is wrong.
{continues} #bookmark

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Biz: Crunching the numbers (pages 14-15)
Robot love: Robotic applications key
Two nondescript sheds off Portsmouth Drive are home to a world-leading engineering firm. Mike Houlahan profiles Realcold. Very few firms worldwide have the capacity to build and install a state-of-the-art meat and food chain from scratch. In fact, long-established Dunedin firm Realcold Milmech think they may be the only ones.
{continues} #bookmark

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D Scene – train building, buses and forest products

### D Scene 5-4-10
City to take case to KiwiRail (page 5)
By Mike Houlahan
Today a Dunedin delegation, headed by Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie, meets KiwiRail to put the case for the firm’s Hillside Workshops to be part of a bid to build new carriages and engines for Auckland’s rail system.

Christie said the meeting was proceeding despite [Transport Minister Steve] Joyce and [KiwiRail chief executive Jim] Quinn’s comments, and that he did not regard the exercise as a fool’s errand.

{continues} #bookmark

Passengers lose out in timetable decision (page 6)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Industry players say they have missed the bus and passengers have been short changed because of an Otago Regional Council u-turn on a planned improved timetable for its southern routes to Green Island and beyond. Informed sources – who would not be named – said the council should have re-tendered the routes and consulted on them again because of massive eleventh hour changes it allowed in awarding the contract.
{continues} #bookmark

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Talk: Dunedin on Dunedin (page 9)
Your say: Letters to the editor
South Dunedin not doing that bad by Elaine Cole, Caversham
Incorrect conclusions by Keith Harris, Dunedin
#bookmark

NZ on show at World Expo (page 13)
When World Expo 2010 opened in Shanghai on Saturday, New Zealand showed itself to the world, but just what does it take to represent contemporary Aotearoa? Sarah Catheral finds out. Fairfax
{continues} #bookmark

Biz: Crunching the numbers
More than just logging: Very much an NZ company (pages 20-21)
For many Dunedinites the smoke from the Mount Allan fire earlier this year was the first time Wenita Forest Products impacted on our lives. However, the timber firm has closer ties with the local community than that.
Mike Houlahan reports.

  • Wenita owns and manages about 30,000ha of forest in the Clutha and Dunedin districts.
  • Around 60% of Wenita’s annual harvest is exported – mainly to China, but it also sells to Korea, India and occasionally Vietnam. The remainder is sold to customers from Canterbury to Southland.
  • All forests are managed on a sustainable basis, with 1400-1500ha of trees planted annually to replace that year’s crop. Trees generally remain in the ground between 27 and 30 years before being felled.
  • {continues} #bookmark

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    Why we love Dunedin Engineering! Make it a WIN!

    UPDATED

    ###ODT Online Tue, 4 May 2010
    KiwiRail says own workshops not up to tender
    By Mark Price
    Kiwirail has all but ruled out its own workshops, including Dunedin’s Hillside workshops, being given the chance to “have a crack” at tendering to build $375 million worth of passenger trains for Auckland. Chief executive Jim Quinn yesterday said the final decision would be made in the next few days, but KiwiRail was “unlikely to be a bidder”.
    Read more

    ****

    ### ODT Online Sat, 1 May 2010
    Bid for $400m KiwiRail contracts nigh
    By Dene Mackenzie
    The campaign for Dunedin engineering firms to gain some of the nearly $400 million KiwiRail plans spending on new rolling stock begins in earnest on Monday with the release of an economic report. The report, prepared by forecasting agency Berl, has been commissioned by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, which represents workers at Hillside Workshops and the Dunedin City Council. KiwiRail plans to buy 38 three-car electric multiple units (114 cars) and 13 electric locomotives. The new rolling stock is likely to cost $375 million to produce in New Zealand.

    Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie chairs a working party in Dunedin that has been quietly building support for KiwiRail to seriously consider building the EMUs and locomotives in New Zealand. The working party includes city MPs, trade union representatives, members of the DCC and the Otago Regional Council and representatives of Dunedin’s engineering industry.

    Read more

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    Harbourside: more negotiation to come

    ### ODT Online Sat, 17 Apr 2010
    Plan for harbour resolved
    By David Loughrey
    The Dunedin City Council appears to have staved off what could have been a bitter Environment Court battle with the city’s business community, after a joint announcement yesterday that an agreement on the harbourside development had been signed. For its part, the council has agreed to dump much of stage two from its harbourside plan, meaning a reduction to its “50-year vision” for the area. Businesses have agreed to accept stage one, subject to further negotiation.

    THE AGREEMENT
    • DCC has signed an agreement with Otago Chamber of Commerce and businesses affected by harbourside development to avert Environment Court battle.
    • Council has agreed to drop stage two of the development, reducing its size.
    • Chamber and businesses have agreed to stage one, subject to continued negotiation.
    • Parties will now negotiate, before taking resolved issues to Environment Court for approval.
    Read more

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    DCC media release – Harbourside Stage Two

    [Otago Chamber of Commerce Media Release below]

    Dunedin City Council
    Media Release

    DCC To Withdraw Part Of Stage Two Harbourside Development

    Dunedin (16 April 2010) – The Dunedin City Council has resolved to withdraw part of its planned Harbourside development partly in response to concerns raised by appellants concerned about effects on local businesses.

    Cr Colin Weatherall, authorised to represent the Council in negotiations with the Otago Chamber of Commerce and five affected businesses, says the Council will withdraw part of its proposed Stage Two of the development.

    It will continue to mediate with those affected to confirm objectives, policies and rules for the rest of the Harbourside zoning.

    Along with all of Stage One, the Council is planning to retain from the original Stage Two parts to the south of Stage one and the designations of the Fairley Street Walkway, and the Heritage Buildings identified in the plan.

    Parties to the agreement to withdraw part of stage 2 are local businesses Crawford Glass Dunedin Ltd, Kaan’s Catering Ltd, Bradken Resources Pty Ltd, and Farra Engineering Ltd, along with the Chamber.

    The Council’s vision for a revitalised inner Harbourside basin, with a mix of activity, people, places and industry, depends on changing zoning in the area. A change of zoning to Harbourside was approved in February last year, but has looked likely to end in the Environment Court due to concerns about the effects on businesses.

    Cr Weatherall says all parties hope that by removing the most controversial parts of the proposal, mediation can continue with goodwill on all sides, hopefully without need to have lengthy appearances before the Environment Court.

    He says the parts of the zoning north of Willis Street, which will be abandoned, were unlikely to take place for several decades anyway and, given the changes to Dunedin and the world economy in just the past couple of years, it seems sensible to come back to the inner harbour as the principle focus .

    “This allows us to keep the visionary view of what the area can become, but retain the viability of local businesses” says Cr Weatherall.

    Public notice of withdrawal of part of Plan Change 7: Dunedin harbourside to the Dunedin City District Plan
    Clause 8D of Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991

    The Dunedin City Council gives notice of its withdrawal of the area marked ‘A’ on the map below which was rezoned as Harbourside by way of Plan Change 7: Dunedin harbourside. The area marked ‘A’ on the map below will revert back to Industrial 1 Zone or Port 2 Zone as it was prior to notification of Plan Change 7 on 26 January 2008.

    There will be consequential changes to some District Plan provisions to remove reference to the area that is now being withdrawn. A full copy of the updated provisions for Plan Change 7: Dunedin harbourside are available from the City of Dunedin website www.dunedin.govt.nz/harbourside.

    The reasons for the Dunedin City Council’s decision to withdrawal part of the Harbourside Zone are:
    a) this is a compromise with appellants to resolve the appeals.
    b) it allows the objectives of the plan change to be met while protecting industrial activities in the area.

    Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Media Release

    Council Votes to Save Jobs

    The signing of this agreement and the resolutions passed by Council on the 29 March 2010, are a clear indication that the Council has listened to the Chamber’s representations and has reassessed its “vision” for the Harbourside development.

    The Chamber, on behalf of its members, and in the best interests of the city, has opposed part of the Harbourside development plans as proposed in the conviction that, had it proceeded as planned, existing jobs would be lost along with any future job prospects. The Chamber, together with the other appellants Farra Engineering, Bradken Resources, Kaan’s Catering and Crawford Glass Dunedin, have worked hard with Council representative Cr Colin Weatherall to reach a position that will satisfy many of those concerns.

    On behalf of the Chamber and the appellants, and all the industries within the Harbourside, I wish to take the opportunity to thank all those many people who assisted in the outcome. Particular thanks are due to Cr. Weatherall who, on behalf of the Council, has worked tirelessly with us to fully understand our view of the impacts of the proposal on industry and jobs and, having understood, represented those issues to Council with total integrity to achieve this positive outcome.

    The Chamber has worked successfully with Council on a number of initiatives over the last twelve months. The Harbourside Plan Change is one of the few issues that have taken longer to successfully resolve.

    I take this opportunity to place on record the Chamber’s pride in its working relationship with the Council. On behalf of its members we remain committed to offering the large pool of expertise represented among our members and to working with the Council on issues that will improve the economy of Dunedin and the lifestyles of its residents.

    For more information, contact John Christie, Chief Executive on
    Phone 03 479 0181 or 0274 915 916

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    DScene choses to profile one building owner, why? Squeaky wheel gets the oil, why?

    This week’s headlines hint at a positive “discussion”… but obviously, no changes to the Dunedin City District Plan can be about one building owner. In the meantime, are the ‘co-owners’ of the McIndoe buildings following established best practice in recognising the historic heritage values for their buildings? Are they proposing appropriate uses? Will they draw business away from the city centre? Are they flouting the zoning rules? Who is measuring this? Why should they pay less than others in consent fees? Why is their company a prospect for rates relief? And why is the Council trying to get some runs on the board for “Heritage” before the local body elections? We’re not told.

    ### DScene 31-3-10
    Harbourside and heritage (front page)
    It seems time is going to be called on Dunedin’s large scale retail zone – a part of town advocates believe would be the perfect location for the revamp proposed in Dunedin City Council’s controversial Harbourside redevelopment proposal. See p3. #bookmark

    Register to read DScene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

    Editorial: Time for candidates to speak up (page 2)
    It’s put up or shut up time. DScene – and quite a few others besides – have been wondering how many of the current crop of city councillors will be standing again in October, and who will challenge the incumbents.
    {continues} #bookmark

    Council may drop plan (page 3)
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Dunedin City Council seems likely to drop its large-scale retail zone – an initiative which has struggled to revive the area of the city between the wharves and the central city. Advocates are now hoping council can be persuaded to move its controversial proposed rezoning of the harbourside back a few blocks, to redevelop the large-scale retail zone. […] New Zealand Historic Places Trust Otago Southland area manager Owen Graham emphasised the importance of heritage to Dunedin. It had the potential to contribute just as much economically to the city as the building of new developments.
    {continues} #bookmark

    Building owner’s protest may pay off (page 3)
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Last week’s protest by heritage building co-owner Lawrie Forbes may have paid off. Forbes featured in last week’s issue of DScene protesting the restrictions of the large scale retail block where the McIndoe buildings are located – and a potential $37,000 bill for consents and related costs. Forbes was confident after an eleventh hour meeting with Dunedin City Council planners late last week he would obtain a resource consent for existing use, to allow the urban renewal of one of the former John McIndoe buildings on Crawford St.
    {continues} #bookmark

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    Withdraw proposed Harbourside plan change in its entirety!

    On the basis of all information now to hand, there is no basis whatsoever for the proposed harbourside plan change. Not for stage 1, not for stage 2. Not for any of it. Certainly, not while there is no at grade crossing in Rattray-Fryatt St for direct vehicle, cycle and pedestrian access to the Steamer Basin from the CBD.

    The ODT editorial writer can descend into waffle as much as he likes (he started well) – the whole plan change must be withdrawn. Throw it back at Jim Harland and Chalmers Properties Ltd. May it knock them out. ABANDON PLAY.

    There is no point in a compromise.
    There is no point in the Environment Court process being pursued.

    Lunacy is very hard to give up.

    ****

    ### ODT Online Sat, 27 Mar 2010
    Editorial: Harbourside jobs
    The clamour against the Dunedin City Council harbourside district plan changes is louder than a foundry hammer. Businesses in the area are alarmed and upset and are being backed in an extraordinarily strong show of support by the Otago Chamber of Commerce and other firms around the city. The businesses fear that changes to a mixed “harbourside” zone will kill them off, whether it be quickly or – as one manager said – by a thousand cuts. Gone will be the security of industrial zoning rights to underpin current operations and possible expansion.
    Read more

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    Harbourside: POL boss says the issues of reverse sensitivity “overstated”

    ### ODT Online Wed, 24 Mar 2010
    Chamber campaign to sink harbourside scheme
    By Mark Price
    An Otago Chamber of Commerce advertising campaign aimed at putting pressure on the Dunedin City Council to drop its controversial plan change 7: harbourside, is being backed by more than 160 businesses. An “open request” from the chamber, to be published in the Otago Daily Times tomorrow, calls for the council to “immediately withdraw the proposed harbourside plan change and save the jobs that will be lost …”

    The plan change, expected to be debated at Monday’s council meeting in Middlemarch, would open up the harbourside to non-industrial uses such as apartment buildings, cafes and restaurants.

    Read more

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    Otago Chamber of Commerce campaigns for harbourside

    The Chamber calls for the support of its members.

    Tweets received today:

    @OtagoChamber We need your support re Harbourside http://ow.ly/1nw1i Otago Chamber ODT campaign (facebookpage http://ow.ly/1nwbi )

    @OtagoChamber Become a fan of the Otago Chamber of Commerce on facebook http://ow.ly/1nuWi

    The Otago Chamber of Commerce is the leading economic agency in Otago.
    It has a mission to actively promote and encourage business growth and opportunity in Otago, New Zealand.

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    DScene: Michael Guest ‘ruled out standing for mayor, saying he had never considered it’ (page 6)

    ### DScene 17-3-10
    Council lashes out at Chamber (page 4)
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Dunedin City Council chief executive Jim Harland has lashed out at the Otago Chamber of Commerce over its challenge against proposed harbourside rezoning. The two organisations are battling the issue out in the Environment Court, and are at the mediation stage.

    Last week, John Christie claimed the chamber had been working hard for more than a year to get council to the table on achieving a resolution that would see harbourside access and improved amenity value of the harbourside, but not cost the city jobs. The magapaper says Jim Harland believes the chamber was on dangerous ground and its moves were creating an impossible situation.

    {continues} #bookmark

    ****

    Question of 3D to come up at conference (page 5)
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Do science centres see 3D in their futures? That’s just one of the questions being raised at the coming week’s ASPAC science centres conference at Otago Museum. Peter Hayden of the internationally renowned Dunedin-based Natural History New Zealand (NHNZ) is presenting a keynote address on links between NHNZ and Otago Museum, and the challenge of attracting audiences, including the future of 3D in that context. Around 100 delegates are expected to converge on Dunedin for ASPAC.
    {continues} #bookmark

    The Asia Pacific Network of Science & Technology Centres (ASPAC) was formed in 1997 to facilitate communication and cooperation amongst centres, museums and other organisations which use interactive approaches to encourage excellence and innovation in informal learning and the public understanding of science and technology in the Asia Pacific region. www.aspacnet.org

    ****

    Guest takes time to return to law (page 6)
    By Michelle Sutton
    Dunedin city councillor and former Invercargill District Court judge Michael Guest has yet to step back to law – six months after campaigning successfully to be reinstated to the bar – and is refusing to comment on his future direction.
    {continues} #bookmark

    ****

    Register to read DScene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

    Advertising feature [excerpt] (page 26) #bookmark
    South Dunedin…
    “At the end of March the Business Association will be taking part in a meeting with other community bodies and the DCC to review the council’s draft plans for the further development of the Lorne Street site. […] The council’s proposals include plans for enhanced lighting, soft landscaping, outdoor eating areas with tables, seating, and a drinking fountain, and a possible children’s play area. This is just the beginning. It’s an opportunity for local stakeholders to comment on and provide input to the draft plans to make this a truly worthwhile resource for residents and visitors alike. We believe in a positive future for South Dunedin so we’re delighted to see the momentum for redevelopment of the area building so strongly.”
    –Jane Orbell, South Dunedin Business Association

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    Unions given mandate to represent workers over plan change issue

    Dunedin City Council will debate the proposed Plan Change 7: Harbourside at its meeting on 29 March 2010.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 17 Mar 2010
    Workers tell DCC: leave harbourside
    By Mark Price
    “Leave it the way it is.”
    That was the message industrial workers in the harbourside area had for the Dunedin City Council after a series of meetings yesterday.

    An Otago Chamber of Commerce-led campaign has suggested heavy industry in the harbourside area could be forced to shut as a result of the plan change.

    Read more

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    D Scene maintains stadium construction cost is $198 million

    ### D Scene 10-3-10
    Perilous seas (front cover)
    Dunedin surfers are concerned debris dumped at St Clair beach will seriously injure someone riding the waves at the popular location. See page 3.
    #bookmark

    Editorial: Have your say on how your money is spent (page 2)
    [excerpt] Dunedin City Council has just put out its draft annual plan for how to spend your ratepayer’s money for consultation.
    {continues} #bookmark

    Esplanade ‘falling to pieces’ (page 3)
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    A St Clair Beach surfie claims the popular recreation area is a neglected danger zone. A regular surfer at the beach for the past 30 years Mark Stevenson said he had twice succumbed to “dangerous” sharp bits of steel protruding out of the sand and among rocks at the St Clair Esplanade. He believed the steel scraps had been discarded by tradesmen working on the site, and the council should be ordering them to pick up the scrap.
    {continues} #bookmark

    Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

    Topping if off (page 6)
    Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin tightens bolts on work at the city’s multi-million dollar stadium. The Mayor’s picture opportunity at the stadium site marked work starting on the first of two steel columns that will support the stadium roof.
    The stadium construction cost is currently $198 million.
    {continues} #bookmark

    Zone change will ‘cost jobs’ (page 8)
    By Wilma McCorkindale
    Otago Chamber of Commerce had made a scathing attack on Dunedin City Council’s proposed harbourside [plan] change 7. “Plain and simple, it’s going to cost the city jobs,” chamber chief John Christie said. “The city council’s own advice, in its own reports, indicated this will cost the city jobs.”
    {continues} #bookmark

    ****

    Talk: Dunedin on Dunedin (page 10)
    Your say
    GST on Stadium costs by ID Fincham, Mornington
    Dunedin City Council finance and corporate support general manager Athol Stephens replies. #bookmark

    ****

    Strong business case for potential Port merger (page 25)
    By Alan Wood
    A confidential report says “there is a strong business case” for a potential merger between Port Otago and Lyttelton Port of Christchurch, with one of the port owners saying a joining could happen by December. The Otago Regional Council, the owner of Port Otago, is in principle in favour of a port merger with Lyttelton Port of Christchurch though it says further discussions are needed before any merger proceeds.
    {continues} #bookmark

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