INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hoteliers Count Chickens and Big Brother Hits Town

Published: Mon 6 Sep 1999 09:21 PM
by Selwyn Manning
Inside APEC Series - Hoteliers are rubbing their hands together in anticipation at the millions to be made in Auckland over the next eight days.
Accommodation in Auckland is in demand with dignitaries, security, police, agents, media, officials and organisers all crammed into the city’s hotels for the APEC series of meetings.
Hotels and motels are displaying no vacancy signs and those who hope to stay in Auckland over the next week and have yet to make arrangements will miss out.
Virtually all beds in the inner city and many out of the city are booked up for the 6,000 APEC delegates.
Michael Barnett, Auckland Chamber of commerce president, says the hotel industry will make about $2 million per night, with around $250,000 of this paid by the New Zealand tax payer.
Meanwhile the extra 2000 police officers, who descended on Auckland for APEC this weekend, have been looking for “who knows what” in all sorts of odd places.
Officers have been spotted removing “No Parking” signs outside the Methodist Mission on Queen Street [where anti-APEC campaigners APEC Monitoring Group are in residence]. The officers inspected the insides of the sign’s mounting poles!
Grates have been sealed, sewers and stormwater ducts checked, rooftops scaled and fire escapes detailed.
Helicopters chop their way across the city throughout the day and an untold number of fit looking, short cropped haired, stoner faced men of an unknown occupation seem preoccupied with an unspoken task.
Hey Aucklanders, Big Brother is in town.
Selwyn Manning - Scoop Auckland
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