Explore New Zealand tours owner Andrew Rutherford says the
Dunedin City Council is looking after the interests of
cruise-ship companies and not local business by not
allowing him to sell tickets to his tours in the Octagon.
Photo by Tim Miller.
A Dunedin tour operator says the Dunedin City Council is
favouring big cruise-ship companies by not allowing local
operators to sell their tours in the Octagon.
The shuttles that transport cruise-ship passengers from the
Octagon are provided by cruise-ship companies and approved by
Andrew Rutherford, who owns transport and tour bus company
Exploring New Zealand Ltd, was told at the end of last year
he would not be able sell tickets for his tours in the
Under the mobile trading bylaw, the Octagon is a restricted
Selling goods or services is not allowed without a fixed
''What is the difference between me selling my tours in the
Octagon and the cruise companies doing the same thing?'' he
Last year, tour companies were able to sell tours to
passengers from the wharf, but earlier this year Port Otago
banned operators from the wharf, citing unruly behaviour.
Mr Rutherford said proposed changes to the mobile trading
bylaw should have addressed the issue but instead would make
the bylaw more restrictive.
Tour operators should not be considered mobile businesses, Mr
Operators were still able to market their businesses to
cruise-ship passengers but had to sell tickets through the
council's i-Site office in Princes St.
Not all tour companies agreed with Mr Rutherford.
Richard Trainor, the owner-operator of Good Company, said the
present bylaw was working well and meant everyone was on a
level playing field.
If everyone was allowed to sell tours in the Octagon, the
same issues which saw operators banned from the wharf would
shift to the city, Mr Trainor said.
''The thing about the law, it keeps everything nice and clean
for visitors and that's what you want to be presenting - not
a whole bunch of operators climbing all over each other,'' he
Dunedin City Council environment health team leader Ros
MacGill said operators could have their say on the proposed
bylaw changes when it was discussed by the council later in