The Dunedin City Council has sent a letter to the owner of this Castle St flat asking them to either remove these logos or apply for retrospective resource consent. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A radio station and Dunedin property owner are in hot water
over the sponsorship of a student flat.
The Castle St flat is sponsored by a radio station owned by
the Radio Network, and earlier this year a large logo was
painted on the side wall and a smaller one on the front. The
council this week wrote asking the owner to either apply for
resource consent for branding or remove it, an action one of
the tenants called ''pathetic''.
The council's action comes amid a growing trend of sponsored
student flats. Council resource consent manager Alan
Worthington said the branding was within the council's
definition of signage - meaning the owner should have applied
for resource consent. It was unlikely consent would be given
if the owner did apply, he said.
''I probably wouldn't encourage them to apply. The most
expedient route would be to remove it, I would think.''
The brand logos were different from signs on other flats,
which had been named by tenants.
''Obviously, there is a whole swag of those, which is part of
the character of that environment.''
Radio Network promotions co-ordinator Laura Campbell said it
arranged with the property owner for the sign to be put up
and was not aware a resource consent was needed''Basically,
the owner of the flat gave us consent; that's why we pushed
forward,'' she said.
Flat tenant Abby Van de Vlierd (20) said the sign was
''harmless'' and the council asking for it to be removed was
The tenants had been given movie tickets and pizza vouchers
as part of the sponsorship arrangement and Ms Van de Vlierd
was disappointed the flow of free products could stop.
Otago Real Estate, listed as the contact address for the
owner, did not return calls yesterday.
Former Otago student and member of staff Sarah Gallagher, who
is writing a book on the history on named student flats in
Dunedin, said sponsored student flats were a relatively new
However, the first named flat she was aware of - a flat in
Leith St called ''The Bach'' - dated back to the 1930s and
the practice became relatively common by the 1960s, she said.
Otago Business School senior marketing lecturer Dr John
Guthrie said sponsoring a student flat was a ''mildly risky
strategy'' - especially if the misbehaviour seen in the early
''If it was in the wrong flat and the wrong place and the
wrong students in it, that could backfire quite badly,'' he