McDonald’s keen to open in Green Island

Dunedin could be about to get its fourth McDonald’s restaurant.

The fast food chain yesterday revealed it was planning a new outlet for the site of the former Green Island Commercial Tavern.

The Dunedin community pub, which had about 150 years of history, was closed in August 2021 when the lease on it expired.

Consent documents were filed with the Dunedin City Council in 2021 which proposed the tavern would be demolished to make way for an early learning centre, along with approval for a new retail/office building on the same site.

The consent proposed the centre would have capacity for 90 children and 19 full-time staff.

The former Green Island Commercial Tavern has been earmarked as a possible site for a new...
The former Green Island Commercial Tavern has been earmarked as a possible site for a new McDonald’s. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
However, the Otago Daily Times understands this proposal has been shelved, and that McDonald’s has expressed an interest in turning the tavern into one of its restaurants.

A spokesman for McDonald’s confirmed the brand’s interest.

"McDonald’s is working through the resource consent application process with council on a site in Green Island," the spokesman said.

"We continually assess areas for new restaurants and have a range of criteria that we consider. We’ve been looking for some time at sites in the area to meet customer demand."

Greater Green Island Community Network development worker Ben Mckenzie said the rumour mill had been "rife".

"We’ve heard that conversation everywhere," Mr Mckenzie said.

"It is something that could have an impact on the community ... It also poses some wonderful opportunities, but I’m unsure what the wider community would think."

Janice Wang, of Long Ping Takeaways, said Green Island was a growing suburb, but she did not think having a McDonald’s was a "priority".

"Green Island already has several takeaway places," Ms Wang said.

"We need more businesses and more carparks."

Green Island Takeaways owner Henry Chin said it was "too early to say" what sort of impact the possible arrival of a McDonald’s could have on the suburb.

A spokeswoman for Golden King Takeaways in Green Island said there was room for "every business", but did not want to comment on the possible viability of a McDonald’s in the suburb.

There are McDonald’s restaurants in central Dunedin (George St), north Dunedin (Great King St) and Andersons Bay.

In 2009, McDonald’s announced plans for a restaurant in Mosgiel, but a consent condition restricting opening hours, and some public opposition, prompted it to think again, and the idea was canned in 2012.