City Block Redevelopment Receives $10 million Government Funding Boost

A day after the announcement that $10 million of Government money was heading south for City Block, developer Scott O’Donnell is a happy man.

“We had no expectation of any money, but any money makes it easier,” he said.

With the Invercargill City Council also agreeing this week to invest $46 million into Invercargill Central Ltd, that made it two lots of good news in seven days.

Scott said the Government funding meant there would now be more shares or $10 million equity in the ICL company.

The new package of infrastructure investments was proposed by the Government to help kick-start the post-Covid rebuild, by creating more than 20,000 jobs nationwide and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects.

The City Block fund will be create around 350 jobs and was part of a $90 million total package for Southland.

Otago was allocated $260 million.

City Block will be created with a range of dining offerings, retail space for large anchor retailers and smaller boutique stores, a covered, multi-storey car park with 625 parking spaces, open air internal laneways and outdoor dining spaces within the precinct, and additional office space and apartments, which will see an additional 1500 people in the CBD every day.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones yesterday outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the COVID Response and Recovery Fund will be allocated across regions, following extensive engagement with local councils and businesses.

This is about creating jobs as we recover and rebuild from the recession caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Because we went hard and early with our health response, weve been able to open up the economy quicker than other countries and get a head start on our recovery,” Mr Robertson said.

Earlier this year, ministers established the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) to work with local

councils and businesses to identify a pipeline of projects to support the economy during the COVID-19 rebuild.

The IRG received a total of 1924 submissions across approximately 40 sectors of the economy.

Those submissions were scrutinised under criteria set by the Government and a short list of 802 projects presented to Ministers.


City Block Demolition Set To Start After Failed Court Attempt

Invercargill Central Limited is pleased to announce demolition is set to begin, following a hearing at the Christchurch High Court today.

Demolition was due to commence on 6 January but was halted after Nelson based property manager Gaire Thompson filed an interim injunction in the High Court at Invercargill in December.

The Invercargill inner-city redevelopment is a visionary project that will bring life and vitality to the CBD, by replacing a full inner-city block with a new centre comprising retail, food and beverage, offices, apartments and more.

Invercargill Central Limited director Scott O’Donnell is thrilled with the outcome and is excited to start demolition.

Kaumātua Michael Skerrett, of Te Runanga o Waihopai, blessed the site on 6 January where demolition work will begin. Demolition will start from the current car park space in the centre of the block and contractors will work towards Kelvin Street clearing the east end of the block.

Buildings in the block which won’t be demolished include the Kelvin Hotel, Reading Cinemas and Bank of New South Wales building. Two building facades on
Esk Street will also be retained.


Property Developer Gaire Thompson Halts City Block Demolition



Property Developer Gaire Thompson Halts City Block Demolition

The demolition of the centre city block set to start on 6th January has been halted by competing property developer Gaire Thompson (current landlord of Farmers Department Store).

Farmers have signed up as anchor tenant in the new city centre development.

Last week Thompson’s lawyers filed an interim injunction in the Invercargill High Court for a judicial review because Invercargill City Council after seeking legal advice, granted the application without public notification of some variations, city block developer HWCP made to the resource consent of the city block development.

A court hearing is set for 21st of January with demolition to start after that.

HWCP director Scott O’Donnell said the demolition would not start on Monday 6th January as planned.

HWCP is a joint venture between Invercargill City Council and H W Richardson group.

More to come.


First Look: Updated City Centre Redevelopment Images


Inductees Celebrated at NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame

Their stories are diverse: but they all share a passion for the New Zealand road transport industry. Five inductees were welcomed to the Mobil Delvac 1 NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame at a gala held at Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill on Friday 27 September.

The eighth-annual Mobil Delvac 1 NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame 2019

Gavin Abbot, Paul Currie, Bill Hargreaves, Murray Sowerby and Mark McCarthy were celebrated by their peers as they were inducted into the Hall of Fame, which recognises excellence in the New Zealand road transport industry.

More than 500 people from throughout the Australasian trucking industry were on hand for the gala dinner, now in its eighth year. The event is the brainchild of HW Richardson Group directors Jocelyn and Scott O’Donnell. Jocelyn O’Donnell says the event aims to honour the outstanding contributions of individuals to the New Zealand road transport industry.

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate those within our industry who have contributed a significant amount of time, care and enthusiasm to forging the way for the future of road transport in New Zealand,” she says.

All proceeds from the event, including a charity auction, are donated to the ProActive Drive Youth Driver Education Trust. The event on Friday raised more than $17,000 for the trust.

Since the event began in 2012, the NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame has contributed more than $100,000 to the ProActive Drive Youth Driver Education Trust. The programme, which aims to make driving safer for young New Zealanders, is provided at no cost to teenagers who already hold a driver’s licence. It offers courses for teen drivers to improve their driving skills, to ensure they are equipped in the event something unexpected happens while they are on the road. Its courses are a combination of theory and practical, hands-on lessons. The programme is also available to corporate drivers.

The NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame has quickly become an industry event not-to-be-missed, with tickets selling out well in advance.

Council Vote Unanimously for City Centre Redevelopment

Tuesday, August 13, 2019, marked a significant occasion in Invercargill’s history, with a unanimous decision from the Invercargill City Council to invest in the centre city’s redevelopment.

After a last-minute debate, the decision went to vote, and 11 councillors plus Mayor Tim Shadbolt were in favour of the development. Councillor Lindsay Thomas abstained from voting due to being on the board of HWCP’s joint venture.

Invercargill City Council will now invest $25 million in the project. Up to $25 million would go toward the three stages, an additional $5 million for possible design changes, and $25 million set aside for streetscape.

HWCP Management Limited director Scott O’Donnell, who has been one of the driving forces behind the project, said it’s “great that Council got the vision and voted to support this much-needed rejuvenation of our city”.

He planned to have the remaining investors signed up by the end of August; then demolition would begin after that.

Scott says that two retail tenants had signed up so far, but most would come on board once the funding had been confirmed.

While ICC had agreed to invest in three stages of the build, there were an additional three which were reliant on the completion of the first. The HWR office building, a medical centre/civic centre, and accommodation made up the final stages, of which thousands of people were expected to benefit.

Southland Chamber of Commerce CEO Sheree Carey says the Chamber is pleased about the ICC’s decision to proceed.

“This is a transformative time for our city, and we look forward to supporting our members through the redevelopment process…the end result will be a heart to our city.

“We should also be grateful to the tireless efforts of Scott O’Donnell and Geoff Thompson over the past few years to drive this incredible project.”

Note: This story has been updated.


City Centre Redevelopment, Council Votes This Week

This week Invercargill City Council meet to decide if the coumcil will invest up to $30 Million in stages 1, 2 and 3 of the city block development. Council is 49% shareholder in HWCP the vehicle used todate to manage the portfolio of properties in the large city block Dee – Kelvin, Esk – Tay.

The only buildings planned to stay are the Old NSW Bank (Pumpkin Patch), Movies, Kelvin Hotel.

Back in June Resource Management Commissioners gave their unanimous support for a resource consent to demolish a central city block to make way for a retail and office development.

The proposal includes plans to demolish 30 buildings and the construction of a new medical centre, more than 850 new parking spaces and a seven-storey hotel.

The project is being driven by HWCP Management, which is a partnership between Southland transport group HW Richardson and Invercargill City Council.

Scott O’Donnell HWCP Director who is travelling overseas when contacted by What’s On Invers said “Great news big thanks to all the team, have yet to read the full decision and we still have have the 15 day appeal period to get through”. UPDATE: No appeals and H&J Smith released a statement saying they would not appeal.

Commissioners John Maassen, Gina Sweetman and Jane Black decided the application should be granted for the block bordered by Esk, Tay, Dee and Kelvin streets, but it would be subject to a long list of conditions.

In their decision, the Commissioners said the development would meet the needs of people in Invercargill and open the door for new opportunities.

“The Applicant’s bold, proposed enterprise aims to respond to that goal and to rescue the CBD from its current trajectory of decline, so that the CBD’s proper function as the retail and entertainment heart of Invercargill will be reinforced and credibly secured by viable commercial activities,” they said.

“A proposal of this scale that would replace most of the commercial building stock and heritage elements in the core of a city that has accumulated over a century does not emerge unexpectedly or from left field.

“The proposal’s scope, incubated raison d’ être and potential impacts can only be comprehended by a sweeping but brief consideration of the history of Invercargill’s CBD, the condition of the CBD’s structures and the aspirations of people concerned for the CBD’s future.”

The decision followed a hearing and public consultation, which received 44 submissions last year – 24 generally supported the proposal and 10 opposed it, while others remained neutral.

“The Southland Chamber of Commerce is delighted with the decision reached by the commissioners for the HWCP inner city project. With this hurdle overcome, significant work can begin on revitalising our city and making sure we are open for business for the years to come” Southland Chamber CEO Sheree Carey said.

While we still have the Council’s consultation process to go, we’re confident the people of Southland are as ready and eager for this change as the Chamber is and we’re looking forward to a brighter and more buoyant future for the region.

We remain committed to Southland businesses throughout what will be a period of transition during the demolition and construction phases and will ensure the affected businesses have our full support during this time.”

Some of the consent conditions included preserving and maintaining the Bank of New South Wales as a heritage building, providing written confirmation to the council before undertaking any demolition, and monitoring the presence of asbestos during demolition.

“A number of conditions were offered by the Applicant to address activation and city centre vibrancy during the period of reconstruction. The most important of these concerned an Activation Management Plan to sustain temporary retail activity on Esk Street during the construction period.

“The Applicant proposed a $20,000 per year contribution to the Neighbourhood Retail Group.”

They said the construction period would be disruptive, both on the site and to nearby businesses.

“The Applicant has given due consideration of how these effects can be managed to reduce the impacts beyond the site, which includes taking a staged approach.”

Members of the public have 15 days to appeal the decision.

You can read the full consent here

This story contrubuted by What’s On Invers and


No Appeal – H&J Smith Confirm Support For New City Centre Development

Consultation Document & New Images Of Planned Redevelopment

Video From Public Meeting On Monday May 20th

Building Portfolio Purchase A “Strategic” Move To Create New Heart In Invercargill


City Centre Block Developer Speaks At Submission Hearing

Day two of submission hearings for the Invercargill City Council’s proposed $20m investment into the City Centre block wrapped up today (Wednesday 17th July).

HWCP director Scott O’Donnell addressed the council detailing the benefits of the city centre development.

In the video, O’Donnell said “CBD statergy very supportive of that, be great for the council to move forward and have something that makes sense for the whole of Invercargill, but it doesn’t mean we have to stop progress. We have an opportunity, we have the solution to the issues of old buildings falling over, we have a solution to a city that has no centre”.

We fear this development won’t go ahead, leaving the CBD lifeless and unattractive. Ben Fokkens from Neighbouring Retailers Group (NRG)

Of the five parties invloved with this development four are based here in Invercargill that have the ability to make it happen, which I think is important. O’Donnell said.

Watch: the video by Stuff

A total of 671 submissions was received during the community consultation, 70% in favour and 29% opposed.


Consultation Document & New Images Of Planned Redevelopment


Best Result In Eight Years For Blue Sky Meats

Growth in all areas of the business, significant financial improvement and continued gains in procurement has Southland meat processor and marketer Blue Sky Meats running at a strong pace. The company will soon release its Annual Report 2019 and is pleased to announce it has delivered its best result in eight years.

The financial year has ended with revenue up by 34 per cent to a record $140 million, and net profit before tax (NPBT) up 36 per cent to $5 million.
Along with processing 25 per cent more animals to a total of 742,000, these results are heartening given the sustained high schedule prices and declining total sheep numbers the industry experienced throughout the period.
Blue Sky Meats CEO Todd Grave was pleased with the results, but was pushing ahead to increase performance.

“We still have some way to go in terms of improving these metrics and delivering them consistently to our shareholders,” he said.
Building on the success from last year, the implementation of Blue Sky Meats’ Strategic Plan continues to make significant gains for the business, exceeding the targets set two years ago. This is a profit gain plan comprised of 20 focused projects within the business to advance company performance and position it on an upward trajectory.
Grave was thrilled with the success of the Strategic Plan, which he put down to the commitment from Blue Sky Meats’ people.

“We’re two years into the plan and we’ve seen the scale and profit of our business grow substantially.
“We have amazing people at Blue Sky Meats. Every person here is part of this success and I’m very proud of the team for the consistent and diligent work they’ve put in.”
The Operations Team have made efficient use of the Gore facility through the further processing of offal into pet food ingredients, with additional opportunities now being explored for its ongoing use.

The current plant capacity infrastructure at Morton Mains continues to constrain growth opportunities. However, additional throughput was still achieved, and an $11 million capital expenditure programme is now underway to address constraints, increase efficiency, reduce physical hazards and improve environmental performance.

In addition to this investment, the company’s injury frequency rate has decreased by 40 per cent over the past three years, and by 20 per cent in FY2019.
Blue Sky Meats Chairman Scott O’Donnell said the past year had been one of significant positive change and improvement within the company.

“We have a great team in place and are now focused on delivering the next stage of the Strategic Plan,” he said.

A successful recruitment campaign and an investment in Blue Sky Meats’ environmental footprint were performance highlights, outside of the financials. Taking a proactive approach in addressing environmental concerns, this year work began on a new $3.7M wastewater treatment plant and dissolved air filtration system.

“This project is going to improve the quality of the effluent we irrigate to land, address compliance requirements and will help reduce odour,” O’Donnell said.

The company’s annual general meeting will be held on 8 August, 4pm at Transport World in Invercargill.

Historic Ford Bonus For Touring Car Series This Weekend at Teretonga Park

There’s a special bonus for members of the Historic Touring Car (NZ) Association travelling to Invercargill for the final round of the inaugural Archibald’s Historic Touring Car Series this weekend – the official opening of the Bill Richardson Transport World museum’s latest special exhibition, a celebration of Ford’s local motorsport heritage, on Friday evening.

Scott O’Donnell-owned ex Paul Radisich BTCC Ford Mondeo. Photo: Fast Company/Alex Mitchell

The brainchild of H W Richardson Group director, and keen classic racer Scott O’Donnell, the exhibition features an iconic line-up of Fords either built and raced with success here in New Zealand or with a strong New Zealand connection.

Included are both PDL Mustangs (PDL 1 & PDL 2), the Mk 1 Ford Escort FVA and Cologne Capri raced by Paul Fahey, Phase 1 and 3 XY Ford Falcon GTs, local motorsport personality Inky Tulloch’s XA GT, plus a genuine Eggenberger-built, Texaco-liveried Group A Ford Sierra RS500 Group A car, and the Ford Mondeo BTCC car – which O’Donnell now owns and races in the Archibald’s series – Kiwi Paul Radisich won the World Touring Car Cup in in 1994.

PDL Mustang II at Ruapuna recently. Photo: Euan Cameron

A special opening ceremony will be held in the main hall of the Bill Richardson Transport World building with the racing Fords surrounded by the museum’s own 40-strong collection of road-going Ford cars and commercial vehicles. Start time is 6.30pm with tickets $40 available at

Two-time World Touring Car Cup race winner (1993 at Monza in Italy and 1994 at Donington Park in the UK) Paul Radisich is the special guest of the HW Richardson Group at the opening ceremony and at the Evolution Motorsport Classic Superfest meeting at nearby Teretonga Park on Saturday and Sunday, while former Ford New Zealand sales and marketing manager Garry Jackson has accepted an invitation to be Masters of Ceremonies.

NZ2LTC Ford Telstar of Kevin Pateman. Fast Company/Alex Mitchell

Having been welcomed with open arms by event organisers and fans alike at circuits in the North Island late year and in January this year, and at the annual Skope Classic at Christchurch’s Mike Pero Motorsport Park Ruapuna earlier this month, the Archibald’s Historic Touring Car Series has attracted an 18-strong grid for this weekend’s final at the Evolution Motorsport Classic Speedfest meeting at Teretonga Park.

The mix of classic rear-wheel-drive Group C and Group A machines and later-model front and rear-wheel-drive 2.0 litre Super Tourers and NZ2LTCs provides real interest for aficionado and casual race fan alike.

Based on recent form Christchurch’s Phil Mauger looks like the man to beat in his ex-Matt Neal/Team Dynamics BTCC-spec Nissan Primera Super Tourer, with close competition expected to come from the Group A E30 BMW M3 of Mosgiel man Arron Black and the BMW 320i E36 Super Tourer of Christchurch’s Bruce Miles.

Father and son Lindsay and Matthew O’Donnell will also be quick in their Super Tourers, O’Donnell Snr in his late model front-wheel-drive Volvo S40, O’Donnell Jnr in his earlier model E36 BMW Super Tourer.

Dunedin is well represented in the entry list with Warren Good in his BTCC title-winning two-door E36 BMW (the ex Tim Harvey/Listerine-backed car) rescued and rebuilt to original title-winning spec by event sponsor Rick Michels, Stephen Grellet who has recently bought a Peugeot 406 raced in the BTCC by Paul Radisich, and Dennis Ham who owns and drives an ex Ashley Stichbury NZ2LTC-spec Alfa Romeo 155.

Warren Good-owned ex Tim Harvey BTCC-winning Listerine BMW M3. Fast Company/Alex Mitchell

Other NZ2LTC-spec cars entered are a Neil Allport-built, Yellow Pages-liveried Ford Telstar owned by Scott O’Donnell but to be driven by Alan Dippie from Dunedin, a similar Telstar owned and raced in period by Timaru’s Kevin Pateman, and an ex-Brett Riley BMW 320i built in Auckland by International Motorsport and now owned and raced by Steven Kelly from Christchurch.

With Paul Radisich driving the Rouse-built Ford Mondeo he raced to World Touring Car Cup victory in 1994, car owner Scott O’Donnell will be behind the wheel of his other Ford Mondeo Super Tourer, a recently acquired Wolf-built car originally raced in the German (Class 2) Touring Car championship.

Other BMWs from the era will be driven by Nick Young and Simon Crampton from Christchurch, while local (not to mention, Holden) honour will be upheld by Invercargill’s Tony Forde in his 5 litre V8-powerd Walkinshaw Commodore.


2017/18 Archibalds Historic Touring Car Series

Rnd 1 Nov 10-12 2017 MG Classic meeting Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon

Rnd 2 Jan 13-14 2018 4 Guys Autobarn Legends of Bathurst meeting Hampton Downs

Rnd 3 Jan 20-21 2018 Taupo Historic Grand Prix Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park Taupo

Rnd 4 Feb 03-04 2018 Skope Classic meeting Mike Pero Motorsport Park Christchurch

Rnd 5 Feb 17-18 2018 Evolution Motorsport Speedfest Teretonga Park Invercargill

Building Portfolio Purchase A “Strategic” Move To Create New Heart In Invercargill

Further to breaking news story earlier this week, HWCP Management Ltd announced in a press statement today (September 28) confirming the company’s purchase of a portfolio of “strategic” CBD properties in Invercargill.

Company directors, Scott O’Donnell and Lindsay Thomas, were pleased with the announcement which included the purchase of multiple properties between Don, Esk, Kelvin and Dee Streets, previously owned by an overseas investor.

Mr O’Donnell said the purchase was a key point to the development of the CBD, and was in line with the company’s goals of aligning with Southland Regional Development Strategy (SoRDs) strategies.

“Invercargill needs a new heart, we can’t achieve this unless we have control of the land and buildings in this key block.

“We already have a hotel and a movie theatre on this key block which gives us a good basis to create this new heart for the city,” Mr O’Donnell said.

“HWCP Management Limited will now look to develop concept plans to revitalise the CBD, and will be working with current and new tenants to get the best result for the city, and for the city’s businesses.”

HWCP is a joint venture between Invercargill City Property Limited and HWR Property Limited. HWR is a part of H.W. Richardson Group Limited, while Invercargill City Property Limited is part of the Council-owned Holdco investment enterprise. originally broke this story on Tuesday when tenants of the properties involved in the sale received an email advising them of the change of ownership.