Long-lasting benefits from hotel

 The proposed Dunedin waterfront hotel. Image supplied.
The proposed Dunedin waterfront hotel. Image supplied.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive JohnChristie extols the benefits to Dunedin of a large hotel with quality accommodation.

Debate over the hotel proposed for Dunedin's waterfront has been heavily centred on its appearance, size and location. Whether it's too tall, or creates wind problems, will be up to the Dunedin City Council to decide. What the Otago Chamber of Commerce would ask residents to consider, however, is what a large hotel with such quality facilities and accommodation will do for Dunedin.

The benefits to the city's construction industry of a development that will cost $100 million to build are impossible to ignore. This is the initial boost - an extra 100 new permanent jobs in Dunedin's economy, and all the associated needs for services, will be a long-lasting benefit to the city worth millions.

Then there are the flow-on effects of this development to the city's tourism industry. This industry has been a shining light among the gloom of company closures and shifts the city has seen in the past two decades. A five-star facility is just what is needed to significantly grow the lucrative high-end segment of this important economic mainstay. Dunedin restaurants, tourism operators, the casino, museums and retailers all stand to benefit. And new employment opportunities could also come with the type of money this high-end sector, in particular tourists from China, typically spend during their visits. There are also 164 self-contained apartments planned, adding new ratepayers to help share the load of city funding in the future. A snowball effect, as other developers are encouraged to invest in the city, is distinctly possible.

In making an investment in a five-star hotel with 215 bedrooms, two restaurants and two bars, the developers are stating their belief in Dunedin, Otago's business community and tourism industry, and we welcome their interest. They clearly value what the city has to offer, and believe that other like-minded people will appreciate its attributes as they do.

The city's strong historic and present links with the Chinese community are also a major drawcard.

Now is the time to capitalise on those links as trade with Asia becomes central to New Zealand's economic future. In terms of Dunedin's history and current relationship with Shanghai, it is not overly ambitious, but in fact only right and proper, that Dunedin should enjoy some of this economic bounty. The Dunedin City Council and partners, including the chamber, have spent much time and energy creating and obtaining local approval for the Dunedin Economic Development Strategy which includes - as one of seven key targets, Links Beyond Our Borders - improving international investment. And Dunedin residents themselves have recently rated economic growth as a critical imperative for the city's future.

Dunedin needs both domestic and international capital to grow. It sorely needs more jobs. It needs to capitalise on its popularity as a destination. Now is the time for our city to put its words into action.


Think Miami Vice

Dunners. It is clear why people are 'picking on' Miami as a classic example of such architecture.Think of 'Miami Vice', an old TV programme. [Abridged]

Need a good lungful of air for this one..

"pre-fab profit maximized Miami cookie cutter monstrosity"

Why is everyone picking on Miami?  There must be hundreds of cities with large buildings, why single out Miami? 

And what is wrong with pre-fab construction, if indeed that is how it is to be built?

Pass the cookies, you're making me hungry!

And they keep coming

"Cookie Cutter Big Smoke" vying for top spot. You have to admire the fertile minds that come up with these - really, you do.

Great name!

"Towers of Dominance" is a great name for a brothel!

You have to laugh

The rhetoric in this thread as well os other similar ones is hilarious.

"Towers of Dominance" is my favourite so far.

Keep up the good work.

Learning Chinese

IWAS: my comment was rather abridged - mostly I was trying to make a couple of points:

- Our school are teaching pretty useless languages in this modern world (French? How much trade do we do with France?)
- Mr Christie's usual rant in favour of unrestrained development rung rather hollow since many of the jobs he is touting would not be available to any of us.

We do need to trade with China - it's where the action is, not France. We need to have people who speak the language, if only to be polite to potential customers.  In school I wish I had had the chance to learn Mandarin rather than the quite useless French and Latin I was forced to learn - I've used French exactly twice in my life and Latin never, but I do business in China and my tiny amount of self-taught Mandarin is taxed regularly.

Any truly 5-star hotel experience for Chinese visitors is going to require staff speaking Mandarin and Cantonese - however doing business in China, selling our own products, can be done just with a fluency in Mandarin which is what I'm really trying to promote here. [Abridged]


Sorry MikeStk,

I don't agree that we have to streamline our educational system according to hollow promises of grandeur from the Chinese tourism sector. I rather agree with your former suggestion of local investment feeding income locally over the long term, rather than these towers of dominance the Chinese want to build over our fair town. Sure it would be great if we had the people already to stock all the jobs, but that ain't happening and we know it.

We are better off without this vacuum cleaner.

Thinking about the future

Mr Christie and others keep pointing out the wonderful jobs that this hotel, built to service the burgeoning Chinese tourist trade, will create.
However, apart from the most menial jobs - changing beds, cleaning, busing tables - most of the well paid jobs in this hotel, the ones dealing with customers, will require fluency in both Mandarin and Cantonese . That's not something that most job seekers in Dunedin, even those who are 2nd generation Chinese immigrants, can put on their CV.
The well paying jobs that this hotel might create wont go to locals; they can't if the hotel plans to be successful in the market it tells us it wants to target.
China's currently our second largest trading partner, and home to one quarter of the world's population, yet only a couple of local schools teach Mandarin and none teach Cantonese. Instead we continue to teach French. It's time we changed and taught our kids skills that will actually help our country prosper. [Abridged]


Not its existence, but its design

John Christie needs to realise where the opposition is directed against with this proposal. It is not the existence of the hotel and its potential benefits, but its height and overall design. Once that is sorted, in a reasonable way, the go ahead can happily happen.