Choice Hotels, which operates in 40 New Zealand locations, is looking for seven to eight new properties worth $40 million to $50 million this year.

Trent Fraser, the Melbourne-based Asia-Pacific chief executive of Choice Hotels which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, said the business had been operating in New Zealand for 10 years.

The $40 million to $50 million was the value of investment planned this year, he said.

Choice also wants a further 30 properties in Australia and Fraser is coming to New Zealand tomorrow for a regional conference in Wellington.

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In September, Choice will hold its annual conference in Auckland, bringing all Asia-Pacific franchisees together, he said.

The Washington DC-headquartered business operates 15 Quality Hotels and Quality Inns and Quality Suites here.

"We're looking at growth in Australasia of 36 hotels in 2014," he said.

He wants new places in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, on the West Coast and Queenstown. Choice does not intend to have new properties developed for it but instead wants to take over existing properties via a franchising arrangement.

Fraser said Choice has 270 properties with 12,000 rooms in the Asia-Pacific region.