The cost of building new hotels in New Zealand is being called ridiculous by the developer of a new 200-bed establishment in central Auckland.
Hong Kong-based Sudima Hotels and Resorts will spend $65 million on its seventh hotel in this country. The four star-plus hotel is to be built near the International Convention Centre being developed by Sky City and is due to open in 2020.
Sudima chief executive Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala said building a hotel in this country can be as much as 40 percent higher than in Australia.
"The cost of construction is one of the highest in the world.
"I can't emphasise that enough, it is ridiculous how much we pay per square metre."
He said the company is talking to three firms experienced in building hotels and apartments, but it's quite possible that whichever one wins the contract may have to bring in foreign workers to finish the job.
"Finding enough staff to finish the job is a huge challenge... We are facing a huge skill shortage, if someone can bring someone from overseas then why not," Mr Jhunjhnuwala said.
He said the company was looking for sites to develop new hotels in Wellington and Queenstown, and was also eyeing Australia and the Pacific Islands for medium-term growth.
Sudima has four hotels - at Auckland Airport, in Hamilton and Rotorua and at Christchurch Airport - and is developing two others, in Christchurch City and Kaikōura.