Mayor on hotel: 'get on and achieve something'

An artist’s impression of the new Tekapo Sky Hotel.IMAGE: SUPPLIED
An artist’s impression of the new Tekapo Sky Hotel.IMAGE: SUPPLIED
Despite an online petition against it, Mackenzie Mayor Graham Smith is calling for the developer of a planned 112-room hotel in Tekapo to get on with the job.

"Tekapo badly needs this accommodation and we're working hard to get accommodation happening," Mr Smith said.

"I say he needs to get on and achieve something for the sake of Tekapo."

Anthony Tosswill
Anthony Tosswill
NZ Horizon Hospitality Group director Anthony Tosswill, who lives in the area, declined to comment this week, but in a previous statement said the concerns about his coming four-star hotel were "totally unfounded".

Work on the hotel was expected to start before the end of next month on the corner of D'Archiac Dr and Aorangi Cres, near Lake Tekapo School.

The online petition, organised by Tekapo resident Dr Natalia Zuleta, has called for the project to stop, citing safety concerns for the school.

"There has been full knowledge of this hotel project for over four years, with signs that residents drive past every day, so I am bewildered and disappointed in this latest attempt to obstruct the development and intimidate the Mackenzie District Council," Mr Tosswill said in a statement.

Dr Zuleta's petition, "Put Child Safety First", was was started to "gather support to find an alternative location for this development".

It has drawn about 1000 signatures.

"We believe this application should have been publicly notified in the first instance, where submissions could have been heard with consideration given to the risks it poses to the Tekapo community and in particular our children," the petition said.

In a recent online post she added: "... I have made it clear I never had an issue with the developer.

"My concern was the lack of public consultation regarding the resource consent issued by Mackenzie District Council."

Graham Smith
Graham Smith
Her partner Matt Murphy, who is a newly elected Pukaki ward councillor on the council, referred comment to the mayor.

A spokesman for the council said consents for the hotel were granted "after due process some years ago'.

"The site sits in a zone designated `tourist' in the district plan. There are 33 conditions attached to the consent dealing with traffic flows amongst other things. The final condition is a `review condition' which allows council to review and amend conditions if necessary once the activity is given effect to."

NZ Horizon Hospitality Group's website says "current projects under way" include hotel and residential apartment projects in Queenstown, the 112-room hotel on the corner of D'Archiac Dr and Aorangi Cres and a 237-room five-star hotel, the Radisson Blue Resort, in Tekapo as well.

"All projects have resource consents (development approvals) and completed concept designs," the website says.

Mr Tosswill has been trying to win support for a proposed five-star hotel in Dunedin, since unveiling plans for a 17-storey tower in 2016.

Tekapo plans

  • International hotel chain Radisson has partnered with Anthony Tosswill’s company NZ Horizon Hospitality to build a four-star 112-room hotel, which was projected to open in the second quarter of 2021. 
  • Mr Tosswill and Radisson are seeking also to build a second 237-room five-star hotel in Lakeside Dr, to open in late 2022. Mr Tosswill has already bought the land for this development.
  • Mr Tosswill’s company and Radisson have plans for developing two hotels in Queenstown, close to the airport, and a proposed cable car that would connect to the Remarkables skifields. One hotel would be a 171-room complex and the other would have 257 rooms. Both were planned to open late in 2022.

-  By Chris Tobin and Hamish MacLean






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