I note with intertest that there is no charge to enter the
new Settlers Museum.
Dunedin rate payers have spent $40 million on this museum and
there will be an ongoing cost of upkeep and staff wages long
into the future.
If MOTAT in Auckland charges an entry price then why not the
new Settlers Museum?
Even at a modest $7.50 per head the 180,000 visitors
predicted would return $1.35 million reducing the impost on
an already heavily indebted council.
As a motel owner I have no doubt my guests would happily pay
as they do to visit Dunedin landmarks such as Larnach
In the meantime rates have increased 5.4% and I understand
the council is considering targeted rates on local
I do not wish to argue the merits of the stadium as it is
here and we must now find ways to make it viable.
What I will say is that my motel has been full 3 times this
year due to the stadium, two Highlander games, and the
Springbok Test Match.
The argument that the stadium has delivered a financial
windfall to the city's hotels and motels is nonsense.
If the local hotels and motels ran at the sort of occupancy
numbers the stadium is attracting we would all be broke.
Gouging rate payers to pay for infrastructure projects which
add to Dunedin's ballooning debt is short sighted and
Tourists think nothing of paying to visit attractions as it
is standard practise all over the world.
How about having a Chinese Gardens, Settlers Museum daily
pass which would be a great day's entertainment?
Let the user pay, don't just keep gouging rate payers to
service the over $600 million council debt.