Hotel project 'terminated'

Jing Song.
Jing Song.
Plans for a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin have been scrapped and the developers' partnership with the Dunedin City Council has descended into acrimony.

Hotel developer Jing Song yesterday confirmed she had torn up a memorandum of understanding with the council, signed just last month, which had aimed to find ways to progress the project.

Ms Song's move came after she gave the council until 4pm yesterday to hand over a report outlining options to address traffic problems at the hotel site.

The report - being prepared by traffic engineering consultants from both sides - was due on March 21, but was yet to be completed.

By 4.35pm yesterday, after the report had not arrived, Ms Song advised the council the agreement was ''terminated'' and, with it, the hotel project.

Ms Song told the Otago Daily Times she was ''speechless'' at the outcome, after three years' work, and accused the council of not honouring the agreement.

''We are now extremely disappointed and sad. The actions tell all. They didn't take it seriously,'' she said.

''We can't work with a council like this.''

However, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull rejected the claim last night and hit back, suggesting Ms Song was using ''a pretext'' to escape the agreement.

''What I'm saying is they're abrogating this agreement on a pretext. Their motivation is their business. The reasons they're giving for abrogating this are not true - they don't stand up.''

Mr Cull said the council had responded ''with alacrity'' to several requests from Ms Song's company, Betterways, in recent weeks.

Instead, he believed Ms Song had concluded, as others had earlier, traffic problems at the site were ''insurmountable''.

''The council has made every effort to fulfil the agreement that we made,'' he said.

Ms Song rejected Mr Cull's claim when asked last night.

''I'm not sure where he's getting this idea from, and I don't think he's telling the truth,'' she replied.

The tit-for-tat accusations came just a month after Mr Cull and a beaming Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers announced, at a packed media conference, the two parties' agreement to work together.

The ''partnership'' initially required each side to employ a consultant traffic engineer to work together to address complex traffic issues posed by a 27-storey hotel at 41 Wharf St.

The agreement stated the council would ''facilitate'' the work, and set a March 21 deadline that was not made public at the time.

Ms Song said she gave the council ''a few days'', after work began later than expected, but repeated requests for the report after the deadline passed had been frustrated.

The council had responded to questions from Betterways with updates, but not the completed report, while giving new dates to finish it that had also slipped, she said.

That happened most recently last week, when Betterways was told to expect the report by last Friday, which did not happen, she said.

''There wasn't even an email to say 'sorry, we couldn't meet the deadline'.''

When the report had not arrived by lunchtime yesterday, Ms Song emailed council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose setting the 4pm deadline.

Council infrastructure and services general manager Tony Avery emailed back about 1.25pm, explaining the delays, including an update from a consultant, and promising more information soon.

That had failed to eventuate by the time Ms Song emailed again, to say the agreement was terminated, at 4.35pm.

Mr Cull told the ODT he regretted the partnership had ''come to an end in an untidy way'', as he and the council had also put a ''huge amount'' of effort into trying to advance the hotel.

The council did not control the work being carried out by the two sides' consultants, and was not responsible for keeping Betterways informed, he said.

However, the council had been updated by its consultant as work progressed, and assumed Betterways was receiving similar updates from its consultant - something Ms Song denied last night.

Mr Cull said Betterways had also been ''well aware'' the consultants' work had started later than expected, making the March 21 deadline unworkable, but further delays showed only how complex the traffic problems were.

''That has amounted to us jointly putting people in and, when they couldn't come to an agreement, one side pointing the finger at the other and saying 'it's all your fault'. That's what it amounts to.''

Despite that, the council had responded to Betterways' queries, and Mr Cull had no doubt staff had acted in good faith.

''The council treated these developers with care and understanding that's never been extended to any potential developer before. They got the best treatment they could have got - I have got no doubt about that.''

Ms Song, asked if she felt the partnership had been genuine, said Betterways had been ''totally committed''.

''I'm not sure about the council.''

She would not be drawn on the cost of three years' work, having previously said the bill stood at more than $1 million.

She was also not able to say yet what would happen to the company's Environment Court appeal, lodged - but later placed on hold - after resource consent for the original 27-storey hotel was rejected in June last year.

''I think we've probably thrown all our eggs in one basket by trusting the council so much,'' she said.

Steve Rodgers, the Dunedin lawyer who fronted much of the project, said he was ''very upset'' by the result, which was not of Betterways' making.

''I think it's all on the council.''

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Ironic?

Teddybear: you're being ironic, aren't you? It's not a rugby stadium? it was built at the behest of professional, for profit, rugby, to replace the stadium professional rugby owned and couldn't figure out how to make financially viable in these days of declining rugby audiences. Its biggest user and loser of our rates to subsidise it is rugby. It was designed with reverberating  sound between the stands so that rugby would be better - sure, occasionally they put some foreign toff in there, with rugby, and every year or so some musician comes and plays and people complain about the sound.

But, yes, it's a rugby stadium, designed apparently to separate the ratepayers from as much of their hard earned wealth as possible, even if they don't want to go and watch rugby.

Disaster recovery II

Interestingly Cityrise the German indoor beach resort structure to which you refer did not start out as such.  It was constructed by the Cargolifter AG Company I think less than 20 years ago as a hanger to house the proposed successor to the 'Hindenberg' airship.  The project went down in flames (metphorically rather than literally this time round), and only the hanger was built.  This new use was found for it.  I understand that it is quite successful, but it is located in a densely populated and highly urbanised area that makes its financials work despite its very high running cost.

Not a stadium

Granted MikeStk people who go to sporting events at the stadium won't use a 5 star hotel, it's the people who go to conferences that are looking for this sort of accommodation. That's what we need to attract to get full use of the stadium. Remember it's not a rugby stadium - it's a sporting and conference centre.

Beach or skiing resort

Those are both great ideas, but the problem again is a lack of a population base plus the enormous running cost for either. Once converted, that's all it would be able to be used for. With admission at $60 per adult and at least $40 per child, how many Dunedinites would be likely to visit each year?

Hand in our pockets maybe

teddybear: I'm not sure they really do go hand in hand - the sort of people who would choose to pay the extra to stay in 5-star accommodation don't go to the end of the earth to visit dinky little rugby stadiums that don't much get use. They tend to live in larger cities with comparatively larger stadiums that get a lot more use than ours, which is closed most of the time.

Mind you, the same sort of economic thinking that promotes the spin that building large edifices that move large amounts of wealth out of our local economy are somehow going to be good for us might be what you're thinking of.

More for skiing

Cityrise: I've visited similar sorts of places in Norway, unfortunately the rugby stadium is covered in ETFE which is sort of the opposite of what you want for a 'beach resort', it doesn't let infrared (heat) in but does let UV in (careful about that sunburn). It's actually used in some places for covering indoor skiing slopes because it makes it much easier to keep them cold.

Stadium and hotel go hand in hand?

I can't believe that people still bash the stadium. It's there, get over it - we are not going to pull it down. The city should be looking at ways to utilise such a unique venue. Part of what holds this venue back is a lack of first class accommodation.

If we built better quailty accommodation people would come to this city, and if we have nothing then they won't. So doesn't this hotel and the stadium go hand in hand? I would think so.

Stevesone57, so what if most of the guests are Chinese? Do you have something against this? They not going to stay in there hotel room for the duration of their stay. They are going to get out and look at what our city has to offer. That's why they come here, and I assume that would mean them spending money on taxis, shuttles, at tourist attractions, resturants and local shops. Yes, I know about the occupancy rates, but this hotel is in another class. The people looking at 5 star accommdation don't stay in your every day motel.

As for the consultants I hope the council is not paying there full bill, they have to take some of the responsibility for this mess. They charge like wounded bulls for something that anybody with an ounce of sense could tell you, they are always late and never stick to a time frame

Getting off the subject, a cycle way on a main highway is a recipe for disaster. Either a cyclist will be killed or traffic will be impeded. You take your life in your hands now when out cycling I would have thought that an alternative route would be better.

Indoor beach resort

Peter, there are several successful indoor beaches contained within stadium-like structures (one in Germany is amazing).  I think they should convert the stadium into a sealed indoor beach + water park.  It would be a huge tourist draw and there would be plenty of room to have onsite hotel rooms as well.  For those who think I am crazy google search "Germany indoor beach resort".  I don't know about most here, but in the dead of winter I would go there every weekend!

Waterfront highrise

Russandbev, your and my view of what's best to do with the stadium hardly differs at all. Before the decision was made to proceed with it I publicly drew attention to its numerous shortcomings including the unlikelihood of its attracting many large concerts. Since it was built I have publicly suggested looking into mothballing it as possibly the best solution to the problems it poses. If Councillors have talked about 'making it work' I doubt they mean so that it ends up making money but just as I said, costing as little as possible while rendering what benefits it may. If you think many members of this Council believe much else is possible you are seriously mistaken.

Cycleways on SH1 may not greatly improve safety but they should be considered. I have published an article on what a better solution would be - an inland bypass for heavy traffic - but also that at present the Council can't afford it. And again the Council is not proposing the cycleways as a visionary solution to the city's problems as you implied they are.

Also this Council has not been hell bent on getting this project onto the site in Wharf Street. That's the developers' fixation. And, when this project was first proposed and many times since I have publicly stated it was not good on this site.

The main difference between us seems to be that you blame this Council for a whole lot of sins it hasn't committed.

Don't twist words

Michael: I don't care how many Chinese come here - the more that come the more money they will spend. I said that Betterways were going to target the well-heeled Chinese market for much of their occupancy. Five-star hotel tariffs are not something most of the population can afford. They are targeted at the rich, as seen in all major capitals around the globe. These places are not for Mums and Dads, they are pitched at a certain demographic. The University may indeed generate income, but one wonders if having our acedemics and their guests living it up at some swanky 5-star hotel forms part of their ambitions. I can hear the uproar it would cause already. 
Like I said, if anyone wants to come to town and spend $100 million that's fine by me. My argument concerns the fable that we don't have enough accommodation or conference facilities in Dunedin. Didn't some wise man say we needed a new stadium? That if they built it people would come? that it was a multi purpose venue? FSB has heaps of conference space and is already available to the University. I have never heard the University heirachy telling the citizens of Dunedin that they need a 5 star hotel to conduct their business. That is just a figment of someones imagination.

Where the future?

Peter, I'm afraid that you and I have to differ on the wisdom of what to do with the stadium. It has been published publicly many times that Dave Cull and his colleagues have no idea what to do with the stadium other than to "make it work" but without any publicly announced ways in which this is to happen.  It is costing $20m+ per year - if that is not an incentive for action then I don't know what is. 
We all know that getting huge concerts is not an option and the reasons for this have been publicly stated many times.  The only users of any consequence are professional rugby and they have an arrangement whereby they pay very little for the privilege of using the stadium which was built for them.  We now know that professional rugby is now sniffing round to get someone (who do you think?) to inject capital into the Highlanders.  The DCC are conducting a review into the whole stadium structure, but I'd suggest that one of the first things I'd be doing is to ensure that the sector of the community that has directly or indirectly caused this financial mess should be that that fronts up with some serious dollars.  If they can't, or won't, then it would cost less per year to mothball the place.
In terms of cycling - it doesn't take too much knowledge or wisdom to realise that large trucks on SH1 and cyclists are a crazy, crazy mix.  Today's incident at Palmerston just underlines that sad reality.  But the DCC is determined it seems to try and force cyclists to mix it up with SH1 traffic.  Is that visionary or simply stupid?  I know what I believe.
And as for the hotel, it is more than clear that the proposers of the thing simply didn't do their job, but getting an apartment building/hotel on this wafer of land by the wharf should not form part of a key element in Dunedin's future.  A new hotel in a suitable place may be a very good thing for everyone, but it is only part of a much bigger picture.  Being able to enunciate what those key elements is a job for the City's leaders and I repeat, I don't see much of that happening. [Abridged]

Conference accommodation

To Stevesone57: "Are you suggesting that the Uni should be using 5-star facilities to conduct its business on taxpayer funds?"

You will be surprised, but the decent conferences do need a 4-5 star accommodation. Where all the guests (and the families sometimes) could be settled at once but not
scattered across the numerous motels. These hotels also provide the venue for the meetings.  As for taxpayers money, wrong again. University is commercial enterprise and balance for the conferences is paid by registration and accommodation fees. 
As for emphasis on Chinese visitors, what is the problem to bring more of those who will spend in Dunedin? China invests a lot in science;  scientific and educational connections
with University of Otago and Polytech are strengthening.

Waterfront highrise

russandbev, by my reckoning there are only two members of the present Council who voted for the stadium, Crs Noone and Bezett. That's not 'many'.

When the MoU was agreed everything was supposed to be on the table including the height and site of the project. Spending time and effort exploring those alternatives might not have been a waste of time but the developer has abandoned the agreement leaving those options up in the air. It was their representative Steve Rodgers who appeared at odds with Dave Cull at the press conference saying they were still focused on 41 Wharf Street. It wasn't the Mayor or Council who were primarily responsible for spending time on this rather pointless investgation.

The Council's present approach to the stadium is not to make it 'magically work' but to be realistic about its costs while deriving such benefits from it as it may reasonably yield. That may not be 'visionary' but it's what you'd hope any Council would attempt. Similarly, cycleways on SH1 are not being offered as as a visionary solution to Dunedin's problems but as a way of improving people's safety.

 

I can see a way out of the financial mess created by the earlier council, the necessarily long and painful path of spending restraint and debt repayment agreed by the present Council.

A glut of accommodation

Teddybear: I had no issue with private investors building a hotel, but to suggest we need more accommodation in this city is laughable. Like all cities, when we have a big event like a test match Dunedin is booked out. For the rest of the time you can take your pick where you stay, with motel occupancy rates at under 60% and hotels just over 60% occupancy. These are some of the worst occupancy rates anywhere in the country. My understanding was that the majority of guests coming to the new hotel were to be Chinese. As for the Uni looking for venues? If that is the case why is DVML broke when they have so many venues struggling for business? Are you suggesting that the Uni should be using 5-star facilities to conduct its business on taxpayer funds? I really think you need to do some homework.

We went through the process

We went through the process, Peter, of identifying who voted for the present debacle of a stadium last election. We know those who are on Council now who would vote for it given the same circumstances again. Why? Because they always seem to be making unwise decisions about so many things such as cycleways. (Build them and they will ride them, says Mr Mayor Cull; Radio Dunedin, last Saturday.)

Criticism of the DCC is warranted if only to encourage present anti-stadium councillors and to continue pressure about debt and the infliction of it on ratepayers who continue to pay out when none of us can afford it.

If we want a $100 million hotel then get them to build it in a sensible place, not the one proposed recently.

Who voted in favour?

The sole remaining current Councillor who voted in favour of demolishing Carisbrook and constructing a new rugby ground is Cr Noone. He has never explained why he did this even though he "represented" ratepayers and never had a public meeting to gauge ratepayer views. He went his own merry way - as usual.

Land use

Lynden: you explain it well - let's add that the land was a silly site for such a building, hemmed in on 3 sides by the railway, the main container port road bypass south and the over-bridge - all built on fill - great views from the top maybe (taken from those behind them) but a dreary outlook from ground level - the entrance was always going to have to be under the shadow of the over-bridge at its narrowest point.

Really though I think the big issues here are land use, having a luxury hotel would start up the so called 'harbour side' development up again which encroaches on the small engineering precinct would start forcing more small businesses out of the city - better to keep hotels near downtown where patrons can easily access local bars and restaurants and not chase other industry from our city.

Cityrise is right, we should have built an R&D park next to the Uni so that staff and students could easily move in and out of industry (that's exactly how Silicon Valley grew out of Stanford Uni) sadly we put a debt riven rugby stadium on the last good spot for such a building. There are lots of great IP driven companies flowering in Dunedin right now, if you really want to help Dunedin got out and invest in some of them, then they will bring all their profits back into the community. If you don't some Auckland or Aussie based investor will.

Most importantly stop waiting around expecting money fairies to sprinkle you in green money dust - that doesn't actually happen in the real world - the best way to create wealth is with hard work - go out and do some of that yourselves.

I know who voted which way

Peter, I know exactly who voted for the stadium project.  What is galling is that the present Council - many of whom are those very Stadium supporters that directly incurred that debt - seem powerless and visionless to provide leadership for strategies that will enable change and innovation.  Spending time and effort on a project that could never pass muster and continuing to believe that somehow the stadium is going to magically work is not visionary.  Nor is mucking round with cycleways down SH1.  This Council seems to be like the person hoping to win Lotto but not being able to afford buying a ticket.  It may be hard to accept, but there is nothing like hard graft that will achieve realisable achievements.  Yes, the previous Council in toto were the real villains in this whole financial mess, but this Council got voted in on the basis that they could work the City out of it - do you really see that pathway?

Dire prophecy implicates Greymouth

Macca: So, do you know Greymouth, or was it just the nearest comparative that came to mind wherever you are? Thank you for the tedious deluge of negativity. Yours is not the only determinist scenario of End Times sans Hotel. Sorry, we're more resilient, innovative and lateral thinking to accept such fate. Thanks for the heads up about a trend toward online degrees, that is, lesser degrees. Otago, Im sure, will market as 'Want a Real University degree? We're still here'.

I weep gas and oil

I am genuinely disgusted about this. We needed this. I needed this to be confident that this city wasn't old and crusty. At least we have the gas boys coming to make us rich! Saw a car with stop deep sea oil on it today, blew my mind as it was burning a lot of oil! Shows the backward type that live here.  Oil Oil Oil! Bring it on!

And who on council wanted the stadium???

If Peter Entwhistle is able to name the councillors who did not vote orginally for the stadium, why not refresh memories of councillors who are on the council now and yet forgot to share their stadium support on the run up to the last election? Take a bow Cr Bezett and Noone. Still on the council, but very quiet indeed about their stadium support. Funny that.

waterfront highrise

teddybear, the city's property manager tried to direct the developers to another site. I tried. They insisted they wanted this building at this height at 41 Wharf Street, never mind it was an impossible fit with the district plan.

Dave Cull even held out the prospect of changing the plan although the smart thing to do would have been to find another site. Now they have given up that idea because they didn't hear or didn't like the feedback from their own traffic engineer.

It's obvious who's being unreasonable here and it's not Dave Cull or the city council.

Time to speak up

Teddybear: The fact was Betterways would not compromise. They wouldnt move to another location (several were suggested) , they wouldn't lower the height, they wouldn't change the design. It seems they never did due diligence in checking their project met all laws, local bylaws, the district plan and the RMA.

For once this isn't the council's  fault. Betterways simply expected to flash the wallet and we'd all fall into line. They didn't even provide the council with the requested information deeming thats it wasn't required for the proposal to pass.

Even if the council changed the district plan and local bylaws the fact is the project fails in the RMA hearing.

This project was doomed from the start because of Betterways' attitude.

Council consolidated debt

Rather too soon to underestimate russandbev's take on the DCC's consolidated debt. It has already been shown that the only two councillors to vote against the council's decision to build the stadium were Teresa Stevenson and Fliss Butcher. Crs Cull, Staynes and Wilson - for whatever reason, procedurally or otherwise - voted For the stadium project to proceed. And, to this day they appear happy enough to countenance further unprincipled spending on 'making the stadium work' - while ignoring the $20+ million per annum rifling of ratepayer funds to prop the stadium mission. It is morally and fiscally abhorrent for our elected representatives to treat vulnerable citizens in this way. The day will come for councillors to be made individually accountable for these wrongs and lack of fiduciary duty of care.

Renovate and sell?

"I would also like to see a council-operated programme to renovate 100s of dilapidated houses in the inner city.  Crews can roll in, renovate these dumps, re-sell them and break even or maybe even profit."  

But Cityrise, does the council own those properties?  I don't think so - maybe one or two from some long-ago manager's decision to "invest". One can't possibly guess purchasing decisions have been made, they emerge slowly when someone gets a hint and goes through the official channels to squeeze information out of the DCC.  
So, if the houses already belong to people, how can the council operate a programme to renovate then sell them?  Could they confiscate them under the Public Works Act, whatever its current name is?  I doubt it.  Perhaps they could put the rates up so high the owners fall behind in payments, then seize the houses to pay the debt.  All in all I can't see how you worked out this scheme.  Would you mind explaining in more detail, please?

Time to speak up

I'm one of the majority that never speaks up, but this is one time I need too.

Dunedin is a great place to live and bring up children, but if we don't have progress there won't be a Dunedin to do this. It's not every day somebody comes along who wants to invest into Dunedin's economy, let alone $100 million worth. People are very narrow-minded when it comes to this sort of thing, saying that its not good for the city and we will see no money return to the local economy. Yes, some may go offshore, it is owned by a Chinese company, but aren't the banks all owned by Australia and where do there profits go? They still employ local people.

What about the businesses who would supply such a big hotel? They would all be local, wouldn't they? Tradesmen, catering, staff, taxis, rental companies, tourist operators and guests would spend their money in local businesses.    Dunedin has missed out on a great opportunity to finally get some life back into this city. Hey, it may be too big and in the wrong location, but as soon as news broke of this project the council should have appointed a liaison officer to help move this investment forward. I'm sure there is a site somewhere in this city that would have been suitable.

As a city we needed this hotel. We don't have enough quality accommodation. I have heard of lectures moving from the University and business conference's being cancelled because of the lack of accommodation. I'm sure it would have helped our stadium if more accommodation was available for bigger acts to come support it.

As a tradesman I see a lot of empty buildings around this town going to waste. Some of these old buildings will take a huge amount of money to bring up to standard and a lot of owners just can not afford to do this without help from the ratepayers. This project would have been privately funded with out the ratepayer having to dip into there pockets. We need to encourage business investment not chase it away. Old is good, new is better and a mixture of the two is perfect. Come on Dunedin, lets get it together before its too late. It may be already.

 

Not a big difference

What is Dunedin minus 1 x hotel manager, 6 x front desk staff, 2 x concierges, a few bellboys and a couple of cleaners? Not going to make a big difference. That is the reality - the rest is just speculation and hot air. 

What is wrong with South Dunedin? Why are people knocking SD? I grew up in SD and prowled the streets since the late 70s. Most of it's all there, well sort of, except for the stolen stadium and the crippled Hillside. For those two, people should have made more noise, but they didn't. I guess all these whingers lamenting the loss of the hotel are outta-towners anyway, that explains their fear and disdain of SD. 

Who cares if Song did not get her way? It would not have made a difference to SD anyway. She still has her billions, she will get over it. Dunedin will be fine, it was here before she came and it will be here after she has left. 

Short-sighted Kiwis

I'm speechless at how short sighted Kiwis are. I'm not 100% sure about the credentials of this Chinese company but for people to be simply against a hotel development to preserve the views and quiet life in Dunedin is almost laughable. Quite typical too, I may add, particularly in Dunedin. Being an ex Otago Uni student who is now plying my trade abroad where opportunities are plentiful, to see opportunities for economic growth disappear as well as hundreds of potential local jobs, is disappointing.
If the council has any commercial sense whatsoever it will make heads roll for this starting from the top and do everything they can to get talks back on track. Mr Cull should be offering his resignation as this is how serious an investment this is. The council's response here is absolutely disgraceful: "we hired consultants and we were not responsible for keeping Betterways updated" ..... When you have $100 million of investment which could lead to billions of dollars of further investment off the back of it, then you take responsibility for those 3rd party contractors you employ to make sure they are meeting potential investors deadlines. A bit of extra care and diligence wouldn't go amiss here.
It is not unreasonable for an investor to set deadlines. The council said work started later than expected - why? When you have $100m of investment why is there any delay in that? She gave an extra week and what she seems more disappointed about is the level of care and communication. They didn't feel like they were treated as VIPs. In business that is how you treat prospective investors. Of course that doesn't mean forking out money for them as that needs to be negotiated carefully, but when they set deadlines you either meet them or give very clear communications on any obstacles.
Dunedin is sadly a city built around its university, a great university at that. But that is unsustainable as we are now seeing with students choosing to go elsewhere, the local rugby team's demise (only just getting back to first division and always under achieving at super 14 level). The university needs to be built around a wonderful city, not the other way around, and without international investment utilising the beautiful and untapped Dunedin waterfronts Dunedin will wither away into the next Greymouth of New Zealand.
Keep up Dunedin. Auckland is now one of the most attractive cities to tourists around the world. Wellington is developing into a world class city of opportunity for investors. Christchurch is completely revamping and will be back to a tourism powerhouse on 5 years time and sadly Dunedin is viewed simply as a run down 1970s town unworthy of its city title. Get with the times. [Abridged]

 

 

Waterfront highrise

Russandbev, you are blaming the wrong people. It wasn't this council which incurred the stadium debt. The present Mayor Dave Cull, then a councillor, councillors Chris Staynes and Kate Wilson who were also on the council at the relevant time all voted against it. This is not 'their own self-inflicted $650m+ debt crisis'. It's one the present council inherited.

'The Council', never mind who happens to be on it at the moment, is a convenient target for earlier decisions made by other people. To really sheet home responsibility you need to find out who voted for what.

Waterfront hotel

I am delighted that DCC have for once listened to the people. For the moaners, most Dunedinites do not want to be like Auckland or other major supercities.

If you are not happy, then you move.

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