Rent-free offer from bank

Westpac's Grant Andrews outside a flat which is available rent free for three lucky students. The...
Westpac's Grant Andrews outside a flat which is available rent free for three lucky students. The car is offered as part of another student-related deal. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Three flatmates wanted: Must be willing to live rent free in a new centrally-located student flat: Contact large bank for details.

In a first for Westpac, the bank is offering a free flat in Clyde St - dubbed the Westie Pad - to a student and two of their friends for this year.

And the catch?You have to sign up for an application pack, be selected as one of five finalists, before you and your potential flatmates compete in an "Amazing race" on Friday for the prize.

In addition, the winning team would be asked to sign a code of conduct.

Westpac marketing manager (for under-35s) Grant Andrews, of Auckland, said the competition was an attempt to increase the bank's share of the crucial student market.

Tertiary study was a time when banks could gain or lose market share, and Dunedin as "the only real student city in the country", was a high priority for the bank, he said.

The previous flat was demolished late last year and the new one, which is owned by Dunedin man Cliff Seque, was completed last week.

"We did joke about putting an ATM at the front."

The red and black flat comes complete with dishwasher, flat-screen television and leather couches, and has attracted plenty of interest since the students returned to the area, he said.

Mr Andrews said he was spending a few nights in the flat himself, and despite being noisier than he expected, he was enjoying the chance to live in the student area, and a more relaxed dress code.

"If we turned up looking like a bunch of bankers they wouldn't want to talk to us."

The competition would be run for each of the next three years, and there was the potential the Dunedin model could be rolled out nationally, he said.

"We love Dunedin, and we think this is the greatest city to study in."


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