The Chinese investors behind a proposal to build $60
million international school in Dunedin are re-evaluating their
plans, and could yet shift to another South Island centre, it
has been confirmed.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie - who
is pursuing the potential development on the city's behalf -
said yesterday work to secure a Dunedin site for the school
However, the unnamed developers were reconsidering their
business model as the project continued ''evolving'', and
their original timeline to build the school was now
''probably optimistic'', he said.
''They're actually reassessing whether or not the location's
correct here. While they did say this [Dunedin] was their
preference for a site, they did have some other options.
''I know they're in constant discussion with people about
that. We haven't quite got this across the line yet.''
Mr Christie said he and council staff were still in contact
with the developers, and would be discussing the project with
them again next month.
That would include checking what their latest plans were,
''and what they require from us'', he said.
He could not yet say whether the project was likely to
proceed, but it ''definitely'' had some challenges to
''There's a lot of work they've got to do, I think.
''I'm hopeful we can still achieve something good for the
Details of the Chinese investors' plans were revealed in
February, when it was confirmed they had selected Dunedin as
their preferred location for an international school.
The school would offer live-in facilities to pupils studying
an international syllabus and would target wealthy overseas
families - from China and elsewhere - wanting to send their
children to Dunedin.
It had the potential each year to attract hundreds of pupils
to the city, create hundreds of jobs and pump ''tens of
millions'' of dollars into the city's economy, it was
The update on the project came days after it was confirmed
Dunedin's education sector was working on a plan to double
the value international education brings to the city's
economy, from $160 million a year to $330 million a year, by
''Project education uplift'' also formed part of Dunedin's
economic development strategy, and aimed to promote the city
as a premier study destination for international students.