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Super brothel gets go ahead

An independent panel has granted resource consent for the controversial Chow Brothers Auckland building project.

John and Michael Chow plan to build a 15-storey tower on the former Palace Hotel site in the CBD.

The building will feature offices, bars and entertainment facilities including a brothel and hotel.

The panel, comprising David Kirkpatrick, Rebecca Skidmore, Justine Bray and Bill Smith, decided the activities which took place inside the building could not be considered under the RMA.

It also found it was outside its scope to deny resource consent as a punishment for Chow brothers.

“While we can appreciate that a number of submitters are at least dissatisfied with what occurred or did not occur in the wake of the demolition of Aurora Hotel we have no lawful authority.”

A public hearing was held earlier this month. The project attracted more than 220 public submissions opposing the development.

Auckland Council senior planner Jennifer Valentine had earlier released a report recommending resource consent be granted.

She also found she could not take into account the morality of activities which took place inside.

More by Victoria Young

Comments and questions

Once this hotel/brothel is up and running I hope it doesn't end up as the mystery hotel listed on Wotif.

Top RMA lawyers confirm there is plenty of merit in the opposing legal position.
Why then did the council and the independent commissioners adopt this legal position?
This is a very disappointing exercise of discretion.

I have no opinion on the rights or wrongs of this venture.

It is interesting though that, considering the RMA is always used as an excuse for every interception and objection, that all of a sudden we have a situation where the RMA cannot be a consideration????

What exactly is an Independent Commissioner?

Thank god for that, I was fearing the worst.

Demand for some services never changes :-)

Who are these four people on this "independent" panel? What is their democratic mandate?

How is opposing 220 submissions in favour of these two brothers "independent"?

Only in New Zealand would the act of causing a heritage building to be demolished be rewarded in this way.

Cracks are appearing within the RMA.

Maybe it is just that the voracity with which the cracks were being covered up is waning....

The owners who demolished the heritage building should replace it or forfeit the scene of the "crime". Gutless council caves in again.

But what are the prices of the alleged services to be offered?

Isn't it a bit precious to argue against this sort of activity when voters appear to have supported moves to make the oldest profession legal? If there is such outrage, why didn't the voters get a referendum? Or is this another example of the unintended consequences arising out of left wing politicians?

Good news for Auckland's struggling student population, I guess.

It is, in fact,an entirely predictable outcome which for once observes the law instead of being hijacked by extreme pressure groups.
The brothel issue is a complete red herring. It is a legal activity in an area zoned appropriately. I personally object to the hypocrosy of all the religious zealots who have been (and continue to be) responsible for endless wars and suffering in the world, and yet see a paid consensual sexual encounter as a greater evil. Get real!

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