Hotel land sale approved: details secret

Mystery surrounds the site of a new hotel proposed to be built in Queenstown by a Chinese company.

Earlier this year the Overseas Investment Office announced it had granted consent to New Zealand ZhiXiang Investment Ltd to buy 1.024ha of non-sensitive land in the resort to construct a hotel - the cost of commencing business was $121.9million.

No details were provided within the decision as to the location of the land.

The Otago Daily Times requested a copy of the application and the decision under the Official Information Act.

However, the OIO's response redacted all information relating to the location of the land, its vendor and other details, including the proposed timeframe for construction.

The information was withheld to ''protect the privacy of natural persons, including deceased natural persons; and because making the information available would be likely to reasonably prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or is subject of the information''.

Details relating to the vendor of the ''bare land for high density use'' was largely redacted, but the decision said they were was ''property developers'' who specialised in land subdivisions but ''do not ordinarily construct large-scale commercial or dwelling buildings''.

Details of what the applicant company proposed were also redacted.

New Zealand ZhiXiang Investment Ltd was established in October 2015 and aims to establish a business of ''holding long-term commercial properties [redacted] in high growth locations in New Zealand,'' it said.

''The proposed investment is the applicant's first long-term commercial property project in New Zealand.''

Cheong Wong had controlling interest in the investment through his financial support, made by his group Hainan South Asia Group in China.

That company was founded by him in 2004 and specialised in commercial real estate development including ''upscale hotels and modern complex plazas''.

The decision said Wai Shing (Wilson) Wong - Cheong Wong's son - was the 100% shareholder of the company and one of two directors.

Both father and son held New Zealand residence class visas, but neither intended to become ordinarily resident.

During the assessment the OIO found Wilson Wong did not comply with a section of the Companies Act 1993 because he had not been ordinarily resident in New Zealand since the company was registered in 2016.

Subsequently, John Dalzell, general manager of project management company Silk Road, was appointed as a New Zealand director.

Last March, The New Zealand Herald reported Mr Dalzell was representing a Chinese joint venture bid to build part of Auckland's City Rail Link.

He was also the immediate past chief executive of Auckland Council-owned Panuku Development Auckland - a consortium which wanted to build the city's new light rail from the CBD to the airport. .

Special conditions of the consent were that it would lapse if the hotel was not built within four years from the date of consent, or if the hotel had ''not commenced'' within five years of that date.


I wonder if this new place is on the corner of Frankton Road and Stanley Street.