Are you in favour of Dunedin's proposed waterfront hotel?

50% (1007 votes)
45% (913 votes)
Will make a decison based on the hearing
5% (97 votes)
Total votes: 2017
ODT Online polls are not scientific and reflect the opinions of only those internet users who have chosen to participate.

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The 'Walter Mitty' factor

What is spoiling the current debate for most of those who submit our ideas, is the condescention and arrogance, to which we are subjected daily, by QsRC, who seems to see this thread merely as a vehicle for his routine rubbishing of anyone who dares to take an opposing viewpoint to his/her own. If this person has genuine qualifications which would justify his/her sweeping statements, I think it is time for him/her to make them known to the rest of us, and by coming out from behind the safety of his anonymity allow us to judge for ourselves, whether he has the standing in structural engineering which would allow us to take him/her seriously, or is merely just another of the poseurs or deluded dreamers, of which the internet spawns far too many already.

Reclaimed land

Grutness: I agree that Dubai is not exactly a high seismic area.... a less than ideal choice by me for comparison.
However, try Japan, which has vast areas of reclaimed land on which skyscrapers are built. It's one of the most seismically active places in the world.
As pointed out by other submitters, some people need to stick to their day job and not comment on issues they have no knowledge of. I'm only pointing out the obvious, that building on reclaimed land is not impossible by any stretch.


Outa Towners

Why do I get a feeling that a lot of comments concerning the hotel are being posted by non Dunedinites. The comments show a certain ignorance about Dunedin, its people and history. Could it be that outsiders are trying to spin this proposed hotel?

An antidote to piles......

If the piles for the proposed 27 story edifice are causing you concern, why not kill two birds with one stone and 'give' the stadium to these Chinese developers.  The piles and first levels or the building are already in place, just begging to be used.  They could either keep the stadium as it is (I bet ticket prices would escalate to represent the true cost) or they might wish to turn it into a massive hydroponic market garden, the first of its kind in the world.  People from around the globe would surely flock to Dunedin to stay in this wonderous edifice, still with magnificent harbour views, ready made parking and roading, easy walking distance to our shops and tourist attractions.  They would eat fresh fruit and vegetables from the hotels hydroponic gardens, and there might even be room for a sauna and hot-tubs.  Maybe even a covered swimming pool.  Truly a multi-purpose venue!

Just a thought!

What would Steve McQueen do?

An interesting question about fighting fires in tall buildings. In "Towering Inferno", 1975, the fire brigade could not easily access beyond 8 floors. Presumably, design is firestop, like hermetically sealing each floor..

Reclaimed land

Sceptical is right that Dubai is built on reclaimed land. Dubai, however, is not is a seismically active area. Iran has earthquakes, and Dubai occasionally feels quakes from there (which is the reason Dubai goes above and beyond the most stringent earthquake standards for its tall buildings... being a very rich city, it can afford to do so) but the UAE is very low in the list of seismically active countries. New Zealand, on the other hand, is one of the world's most seismically active countries, which sceptical seems to have ignored in his/her comment.

Investing in ourselves

guadalajara: I wouldn't suggest we spend half a billion either - we could do quite nicely with 1/10 of that amount and probably get a similar result simply  by reinvesting early profits back in later tranches. And if leaving half a billion dollars in our pockets results in us investing even a small fraction we'll still be better off, we'll still have more growth than we do with the money stuck in the stadium because the stadium is a net loss to our economy.

People who spend money in the stadium don't create more wealth, more value in the economy, by doing so. Someone who spends the same amount of money in a local machine shop to make a widget which then sells for more than they put in, adds wealth to our economy in a way that paying to see a rugby performer entertain them in the stadium does not. 

Needless to say we still need to invest in our own economy, even with the council picking our pockets for the rugby establishment, we can't depend on anyone else doing it for us. Local capital is far better for our economy than external capital - it means the profits stay here in the community rather than haring off to Auckland, or Australia or China. 


What's the point?

Everyone here is an expert! FB's deepest pile was 25m. Driving one pile on top of another AKA double piling is normal, do you people think you can cast a prestressed concrete pile 25m long in one section then lift it up and drive it in to the ground, come on now be serious. It's common practice to drive many piles to achieve one total depth. 

One thing is clear most of you people should stick to your day jobs cause you'll never cut it as structural engineers, fire engineers, geo techs or any sort of construction consultant what so ever. They should scrap the project team for this and employ the ODT google powered experts to design build and comossion this project.



You're joking right? That is the most outrageous post i have ever seen on here. Maybe we will also need to get Batman and a bat signal to put on top of it.

Fires in tall buildings

Another problem that should be considered is the ability of our existing fire services in Dunedin to contain a fire in a building this tall.  This, I imagine, would mean upgrading of equipment and training to be able to deal with any fire situation involving a building this tall.  I don't think I have seen any reference to this at all.  If this has not been factored into the planning, then it paints a very bleak picture of the overall planning and development of this structure, especially as it will have people living in it 24/7.

As I've said before...

If the DCC had invested $500 million in new businesses instead, there would still be a cacophany of complaints about rates going up.  And don't come back and imply that $500 million extra in ratepayers' pockets over an extended period of time would automatically be reallocated to new businesses in Dunedin. That is a nonsensical assumption.

At the end of the day, the raft of incessant complaints on this and other forums are all about rates going up. Not ideal, I'll freely concede, but if rates going up at around the rate of inflation is the worst city related problem a citizen will face then life is not too bad.  You could always move to Christchurch.

Confidence is misplaced

Qsrc: Your confidence that the engineers have addressed the structural issues is entirely misplaced.  The paucity of detail and variations between different sets of drawings supplied don't inform one even as to whether the columns are to be centred at 8.4m or 7m and 9.8m, let alone what is to happen under the ground.
We do know, however, that uncertainties around the construction method and design are sufficient to give the ORC's property staff concern about its effect on their nearby buildings, both historic and modern.
We also know that as yet no feasibility study has been undertaken to discover whether the project has any financial benefits to anyone. I address this remark to all of the correspondents here who say that this will be of economic benefit to Dunedin. They can know no such thing. [Abridged] 


No engineering evidence has been brought as a brief of evidence by the applicant or their experts to the consent hearings.If you're claiming engineering knowledge or expertise here without declaring your name, qualifications and relevant expertise then you're deeply in the realm of hearsay. Proverbial grains of salt apply.

Facts as they were given

QSRC: The $5 million-$10 million was the amount required to bring the Brook up to standard at the time to allow us to continue to hold international matches.
The idea no stadium in the world returns a profit was thrown at us when they were pushing the new stadium at us. No doubt, this was to make us feel better when our new one didn't. Please upload a link here that shows one that does return a profit
I am not an engineer. My background is in banking and business. Still, doesn't make any sense to me to build so big on reclaimed land. Just look at what happened to all that was built on reclaimed land in Christchurch. I'm fairly sure the piles for the stadium were longer than 18m, so how will this hold up a huge hotel? [Abridged]


Citation required

Cite your sources.

The stadium piles are deeper than that.  Some were double-piled.  I heard that they lost one.

On Hong Kong Island reclaimed land pilings go 30-40m into bedrock.  You say 18m into loose fill which is known to be prone to liquefaction.  You would sign that off as a practising engineer?[Abridged]

What we missed out on

QSRC: Carisbrook didn't require any of our money to upgrade it - it was a private venue owned by the ORFU. It simply wasn't the city's responsibility to provide a venue for a for-profit entertainment business like professional rugby, any more than it is the DCC's responsibility to purchase or maintain movie theatres for Hoyt's and the Rialto.
Sadly, our misguided city fathers committed us to half a billion dollars of spending we didn't have to spend, money we should have spent on economic development.
Think on what half a billion dollars over 20 years would buy: we could have invested a million dollars each into 500 new start-up businesses - 25 a year - thousands of jobs, investments that would pay off both in dollar terms back to the ratepayers and in economic growth. That's the opportunity we've lost because the ORFU and its fans were too cheap to pay for its own facilities. Instead our children will continue to leave and never come back - because good jobs are more important than some entertainment. [Abridged]


Meccano style

The most cost-efficient way for the developers of this hotel to build it would be for the whole thing to be 'modular' - simply an assembly of structural steelwork and materials pre-fabbed in China to be shipped here and assembled on-site.
I am picking that the hotel will be a 'generic' with the numbers of floors almost irrelevant, with 'open-ended' expansion upwards. The only limiting would be the load-bearing capacity of the foundations; and there, to be quite frank, it might be mother nature (via some fundamental laws of physics) which gets to have the last laugh.
And why the oversight of no upward limit on buildings in the area? I think that city councils of past years didn't think anyone would be insane enough to propose building to a height of 27 storeys, in an area where common-sense dictates two storeys should be the practical maximum, in view of the composition of the land.
But, look on the bright side; we might have an 'attraction' fit to rival the main drawcard of Pisa, in Italy. I hope that OSH guidelines take into account the need for for crowds of gawping tourists to be restrained at a suitable distance, eg the equivalent of at least 27 stories in every direction. [Abridged]



building on reclaimed land

I am against the building of this hotel in its current form as it is out of scale with its surroundings and also lacks very little aesthetic appeal.

I must however point out to numerous submitters, who seem to think that this building will fall over if built on reclaimed land, that most of Dubai is built on sand and a good portion of it on relaimed land. They don't seem to have an issue with building the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa (828m) on sand or the Burj Al-Arab (321m) on reclaimed land.

So building a 90+m high hotel on the Dunedin waterfront is hardly a structural challenge. 

Hey Speedy...

Have you ever heard of a rattle space or are you familiar with base isolation?

No? That's why you're not a structural engineer.

Shaky ground....

So many structural engineers and geo techs on here! Its great to be amongst other construction consultants! Shouldn't you all been in Christchurch though?

Now all you clever folk do realise there are 4-5 different piling methodoligies which are suitable for reclaimed land don't you? Now before someone comes along and spouts off it will need 60m piles, the depth required is 18m.

Come on now people do you think this wasn't addressed early in the project?


Carisbrook only required $5-10 million to upgrade it?

It's also a proven fact no stadium in the entire world returns a profit?

Well speedfreak, you just threw your credability out the window.

Next you'll be telling us its a proven fact dolphins don't come in to Otago habour.

Yes it will be on shaky ground

And yes , I have mentioned that here before. Its just ludicrous to think anyone would even consider such a tall building on reclaimed land  with us being so close to shaky town (Chch)

Let's also remember that no matter how well or strong we build it, mother nature will always win . Really dumb idea and hopefully, the people at council will be smart enough not to approve anything so high. Does a "Yeah Right" fit in about here? 

Sadly there is only one Dunedin in NZ

If there was two, most of us would have shifted to the other one by now.

GW Scam: The stadium was always going to be a failure as its a proven fact that no stadium in the world returns a profit. 80% of the ratepayers were smart enough to know this and that's why we were against it when at the end of the day, the Brook only required $5-10 million for the upgrade.

As for the hotel, I'm sure most of us are not against it being built. What we are against is its huge footprint, its ugliness and that it's way out of place with Dunedin's heritage architecture, and the struggling ratepayers having to outlay more to accommodate it when there will be little return as the profits will surely go offshore.

We love Dunedin also, that's why we are still here. How do you expect us to remain positive when the views of the majority are continually ignored in favour of someone's folly. And as for our one of a kind, world class stadium, let's just see how busy it isn't when Christchurch get theirs, which undoubtedly, will be better than ours

Whole idea is on shaky ground...

Is anyone else concerned about the fact that the plans call for a 28-storey building to be built on reclaimed land away from any other structures that would provide more ground stability when the country at large is having major concerns about earthquake stability? One small tremor or two, and we're likely to have the Leaning Tower of Dunedin on our hands, if not worse.

Yes, I know there will be considerable architectural and structural safeguards put in place... just as there were at the Grand Chancellor Hotel.



This is just one question out of many: Can the developers give us Dunedinites a guarantee that this hotel will be built by local industry as opposed to shipping in 300 Chinese builders to complete the task? This is a very simple question to answer and it should be addressed seeing all the hoohah that is being made over the job losses in Hillside.  [Abridged]


Self-selecting polls

QsRC. You make a good point. Such self-selecting polls are unscientific, as acknowledged at the end of the poll.They have no validity. Also, at what point do you end them?

Not anti-progress

This is the problem with your viewpoint.  You think people against the hotel are against "progress".  How many times do we have to say it?  We are not against new developments in Dunedin, or progress, or a vibrant future for Dunedin.  What we are against is a heritage city completely and utterly dominated by a massive shiny structure flown in straight from Miami. 
Develop all you like, but have some bloomin class about it, have some common sense.  Have a look at real 5-star hotels such as the Savoy in London.  That's how it should be done here, not this Miami-fied catastrophe they are proposing.
If I'm hostile it's towards bad taste and profit engineering at our expense, not progress.  I moved my family and export business to Dunedin because I was blown away by the amazingly cool heritage vibe of the city. Let's not destroy that because of a flashy proposal by foreign non-Dunedin interests. 

Invest in Dunedin, don't depend on others

Mr scam, Mr qrsc: It's not a net win to Dunedin unless the stadium makes more than it cost. It's going to cost us half a billion dollars once it's all paid for, probably more now that it's losing millions every year on its operations. Sure, it brought some people to Dunedin - but not enough to pay for running it, much less to pay for actually building it.
It's a giant drain on our economy pulling tens of millions of dollars every year out of the city into the hands of the Aussie banks. That's money we could be investing in jobs and economic growth in our own community.
The only way for us to really grow Dunedin and make its economic future truly solid is to pick ourselves up by our own bootstraps. We need to invest in our own economy, not depend on outsiders who quite naturally intend to take more from us than they put in. So go out and invest in your neighbours - put that Kiwisaver money to work in Dunedin, not Auckland. Loan that smart friend money to start that new business.
Businesses that are owned and based in Dunedin leave much of their income here rather than being shipped overseas. Our successful companies get bought with outside money, often they move away - we need to keep making more if we want to prosper. [Abridged]


Dunedin's not dying

Look, I just don't buy this "Dunedin is dying" idea. Cities based on diverse economies don't die, they might expand and contract in different ways.
The construction industry needs to recognise this as well and diversify their business structure rather than relying on big vanity projects.
The main concern that I do have is that while Dunedin is not dying, it is not prospering either. The reason for that is that we give away too much wealth to others. The stadium was one example, the proposed hotel is another. We're not big enough to retain construction firms large enough to undertake those projects on their own - and we should learn from that fact.
This isn't an attack on council. This is an attack on bad ideas. It's just coincidence (well, that's being overly fair) that council and bad ides have been synonymous for much of the past 20 years.