A major step forward for Dunedin's $100 million
waterfront hotel project could be imminent following a marathon
meeting of the Dunedin City Council.
The Otago Daily Times understands key parties involved
in the controversial project are poised to make a significant
announcement about the project's future, possibly as soon as
That followed a marathon nine-hour council meeting on Monday,
which included more than an hour spent debating the proposed
waterfront hotel in the non-public section of the meeting.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and councillors remained
tight-lipped about the discussion when contacted yesterday, but
the meeting's agenda listed the ''waterfront hotel'' as an item
for discussion in the closed section.
That could suggest councillors were being updated on Mr
Cull's talks with the developers, or that a deal was on the
table for councillors to approve.
Several parties confirmed an announcement was imminent, but
Mr Cull said yesterday he could not divulge details of
Dunedin lawyer Steve Rodgers, representing the developer,
Betterways Advisory Ltd, also declined to comment, other than
to say he remained ''very optimistic''.
''I'm still very optimistic that there's a way forward
for the city and obviously for my people.''
Hints of progress came after Betterways director Jing Song,
of Queenstown, earlier this month voiced her frustration at
the slow pace of talks with the council, and described the
hotel as ''a long shot''.
She had expected the next few weeks would be a ''very
critical time'' for the project, but remained hopeful an
agreement could be reached.