Buildings get rates relief

A prominent historic harbourside building and a former student pub have been given rates relief as part of a policy to preserve Dunedin's heritage buildings.

Russell Lund, owner of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co Ltd building in Thomas Burns St, has been granted rates relief for the building for the next two years.

The 50% rates relief, totalling $10,088.48 over the period, is to aid strengthening work for the building, which is to be converted to apartments.

The rates relief was signed off by the Dunedin City Council at its full meeting this week.

The council allocates heritage rates relief from a contestable $70,000 annual fund developed as an incentive for upgrading heritage buildings.

When making a decision, the council considers the level of investment, whether it will expedite the use of buildings, and public benefit.

Orari Street Properties Investments Ltd, which is renovating the former Captain Cook Tavern in Great King St, has also been given 50% rates relief for one year, totalling $4895.88, for earthquake strengthening and restoration work.

McCrae Property Ltd, which owns the building at 66 Princes St, where Brimstone Nightclub is, has been given rates relief of $5563.50 for one year, which will help it to do earthquake strengthening and fire rating on the building.

• A new fraud prevention policy has been unanimously adopted by the council.

Chief financial officer Grant McKenzie said it had become ''very clear'' in the past six months - in which the council uncovered an alleged $1.5 million fraud in Citifleet - just how unclear the council's old fraud policy was about to whom people should be reporting suspected fraud.

The new policy clarified that situation, he said.

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