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Dunedin's Dowling St car park will soon make way for the site of the Accident Compensation Corporation's (ACC) new office building.
Construction is set to begin next year on a four-storied, 8000sq m building at the site - a 50/50 venture between Ngai Tahu and ACC.
ACC will lease the building from Ngai Tahu for 20 years, an agreement solidified in s signing ceremony this morning, and was expected to be complete in 2024.
The project was encouraged by mana whenua and the Dunedin City Council, and reflected a long-standing relationship between the city and local Runaka, who were at the signing.
ACC chief executive Scott Pickering said Dunedin was an essential hub for ACC’s national operations and the new building would be able to house up to 650 staff currently in four separate buildings in the city.
"The new building will provide a modern and environmentally friendly office space that will be safe, welcoming and easier to access for our people and our customers,” he said.
The building solidified ACC's commitment to the South, and reflected developing an enduring, long-term relationship with Ngāi Tahu, he said.
"This complex will be a symbol of the strength of that partnership and we look forward to building on that in the mahi we will do together in the coming years.”
The development would incorporate sustainable design features, a capacity for 80 bike parks and multiple charging stations for electric vehicles, including cars, bikes and scooters.
Ngai Tahu Holdings Group chief operating officer Craig Ellison said the building would define new standards in office accommodation for Dunedin.
"We’re talking about a market leading and highly energy efficient working environment and very much in line with our Ngāi Tahu values.”
Council support had been critical to the project, he said.
“We must acknowledge Dunedin City Council, who have played an integral role in getting the development to this point.
"This is just another example of the enduring relationship between Ngāi Tahu and DCC, as well as the strong partnership between these three entities.”
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu deputy Kaiwhakahaere Matapura Ellison said the influence of former Ngai Tahu chief executive Tahu Poitiki was felt.
“Tahu Pōtiki, who was passionate about investing in Dunedin, was a major champion of this project.
"Unfortunately, Tahu is no longer with us to see it come to fruition, but his influence on it is certainly still felt," he said.
“Ngāi Tahu Property is an iwi company with an intergenerational view, so it’s strongly focused on investing in our regions.
"Local Rūnaka will have an active role in this project, including ensuring an authentic Kāi Tahu narrative is reflected in the build.”