And still they get it wrong!

So poorly wrong it’s bloody embarrassing.

A packed Dunedin Town Hall last night came out with exactly the same crap time and time again, with seemingly the only major outcome from the evening is the concession is that $66 rates increase average (after months and months of denial and derision) has been settled on as the figure that all along will be the rates burden on the city. So once again like so many other reasons why we shouldn’t build the stadium, the facts have played out to be correct and their myths blown to pieces.

“Mrs Turner complained about what she said was the “obscene haste””. Sorry my dear but this has not been a fast or obscene process. So far at least 18months in the planning. The opposite could happen and take Vancouver WhiteCaps Stadium process, which has been 5 years in the making.

“Dunedin does not need a $200 million temple to rugby to survive as a city.”

WOW – Someone press the fail buzzer. For anyone that continues to believe that this is a rugby stadium and that we are giving money to the ORFU or NZRFU needs their heads read. This illustrates beautifully the Mayoral vision displayed by Mrs Turner, pretty bloody devoid of Vision. If you can not envision the stadium being used for anything that the imagination desires, then you are lacking a vision for this city.

There is a very bloody good reason she is ex-Mayor, precisely this.

Dunedin businessman Alistair Broad “nobody knew what the stadium would cost, most households in Dunedin could not afford the rate rise to pay for it”. Apart from those who have bothered to look at the work done and seen that there is an actual cost. As for the most can’t afford it rubbish, I refute that completely. We are talking about the sum that the StS seems now to concede is the cost $66 a year, or $1.27 a week, I’m sorry but if you can’t afford to find $1.27 a week in living costs, you have serious problems and then there are avenues within the DCC for rates relief. But then he (like so many people) put up the so called opportunity costs from building a stadium, including, “buying the former chief post office”. Awesome, what are we going to do with it? The busses, well the old chicken and egg race there. People aren’t using buses in Dunedin, is because they are old (well some are about as new as you could get)?

“Cr Eckhoff said the the stadium was designed to provide for the New Zealand Rugby Union”

FAIL FAIL FAIL. Enough said, if after 18months that is all you have (and I’m guessing there was a joke or two thrown in), then goodbye failed ex-ACT MP, you have failed.

“The public consultation on the project was a “sham” and the councils should have set up public focus groups and facilitated meetings between the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and those who opposed the project.”

Sham, define that sunshine? What is the point of a council facilitated meeting between the CST and StS. Like so many people Mr Eckhoff has his wires crossed. The CST is not the driver of this project, it is the delivery boy. If my paper is poor, I don’t stand at the street yelling at the poor schmuck sent to deliver the substandard paper. Likewise if I didn’t agree with the poo pipe at St Kilda beach, I don’t go and yell at the workers – what a daft proposition. Seriously is this the kind of mentality that gets on into position of political responsibilty/service – Christ I could nominate my idiot brother for council if this is all you need to get in. Really FFS, once again you are being disingenuous. Mr Eckoff you know that the CST isn’t the correct forum for those opposing the stadium to be confronting – OH I so do dearly bloody well hope you know this.

“Mr Stedman said there had been a lack of detail and “non-partisan evidence” on what the stadium would be used for”. Sorry, Mr Steadman seems to not be bothering to read the papers or even call the heads of the other sporting codes. As for “and there were questions over whether the Otago Rugby Football Union would be able to pay to hire the stadium, as it was “failing dramatically””. Wow – where to start? The fluctuating fortunes of professional sports teams, is just that fluctuating. If the Highlanders continue on their fine form, people will go to the games, home crowds will be come more daunting and more home wins are likely – pushing the team further up the table. If they then finish well, or god forbid even get in the playoffs (as is a very real possibility) then sponsor money comes in and good players come south. Like the economy the economic demise of the ORFU and The Highlanders has been dramatically overplayed.

Dr Hamlin seemed (well quoted in the ODT) to be his usual fluffy self. “He said building companies were not insurance companies and could not provide certainties on the cost”. If that were true, and if you people didn’t live with your heads ‘in the sand’, ‘in the air’ or ‘up one’s a…’. GMP is a concept that construction companies understand and adhere to worldwide. It works and gets the job done. The onus thus goes onto the construction company to come within budget and if they don’t they incur the cost and penalties – very simple concept and of course one completely ignored by those opposing the stadium.

“A guaranteed maximum price contract with a very small hole in it is about as useful as a bicycle tyre with a very small hole in it” Yeah, completely fixable and not of too much concern to an intelligent person. Dr Hamlin made some exceedingly disparaging remarks about the work of the CST at the first meeting, stating that “if any of his students had produced such work, they would have failed”. Somewhat ironic that most of the stuff Dr Hamlin has produced on the very same subject has been completely flawed, erroneous or pure conjecture.

Coming out of the Stadium meeting is a couple of resolutions calling (now get this) on Rodney Hide to be the champion of the people – make me laugh. The closest that man will ever get to being champion of the people is in a dancing competition, and as for caring about the people, let me get off the floor laughing my ass off, he is only concerned for business and business only. Has anyone desperately trying to pin their hopes on this man read any of the far right wing literature that is ACT party puts out? This person is not a champion of the people.

As for the Press Release by The Alliance.

Victor Billot. You completely disingenuous sod “city struggles to support basic things like the community hospice and the sewage system”. I’m sorry but like the salt water infused surfers, you have this wrong. There is no BLOODY POO ON OUR BEACHES – SHUT UP WITH THIS CRAP.

I could have almost stomached this rubbish 18months ago, although even then Mr Billot knew that the sewage was in the process of being upgraded. So why is it continually being used as propaganda against the stadium, because those bereft of genuine reasons why the stadium should not go ahead need to cling onto public fear and misconceptions – it’s a very simple ploy in Public Opinion.

“The National Government”… well colour me silly, an Alliance statement having a go at the National Party. The rest of your comment is somewhat gelatinous like.

I have complete respect for anyone with genuine concerns about the viability of the stadium in Dunedin, but do not drape false ad erroneous layers on it and try to call it a pork pie. I mean I have concerns, but I sure as hell don’t try to say “My Road…” or “The Beaches…” blah blah blah.

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13 Comments

Filed under CST, Disinformation, Economics, Hot air, Media, Stadiums, STS, Stupidity

13 responses to “And still they get it wrong!

  1. Peter

    Nothing new was raised at the meeting, the same tired old crap.

    Media reports suggest 1800 attended — an ok figure but given the stadium is supposed to be a defining issue for Dunedinites, STS should have been turning people away at the door; also the invitation was for anyone interested in the stadium, either for or against — it would seem pretty disingenuous of STS to claim that all those present opposed the project.

    It looks like most of the local ACT, Green and Alliance parties turned up; everyone else stayed at home.

  2. Peter, I have no problem with people opposing the stadium, just do it for genuine reasons and not out of fear. There were some reasoned voices there last night, but as per usual there was some that belonged in the looney bin.

  3. Elizabeth

    I don’t think you made it to the StS Town Hall public meeting (you must’ve accessed media photo files to get that shot from rear stage; we knew the media present).

    Good on you, here are your reactions for something you missed.

    Suggestion: wait for the tapes.

    How to differentiate between genuine reasons and fears. You telepathically talked to members of the audience and some of the speakers last night.

    A more down to earth cross section of the Dunedin public I have yet to see at a public meeting – where normally I catch them in town, at work, at play, in education, on boards, public bodies and volunteer committees, in hearings, at either council (what, you mean staff who are residents too..) and at many splendid events and facilities across Dunedin (real residents! my god, not a vestige of my stereotypical imagination).

    Genuine is where they’re at, and if that has an element of fear beside all the POSITIVES they contribute to daily for the future of this city and where they stand in it, in their multifarious ways, then they earn my respect whether I’m for or against the stadium spend.

    I don’t think the event was ever advertised as a debate, we went to hear the speakers and there was a good MC lined up. What did you expect.

    The debate is happening all the time everywhere around us if we want to listen and participate – certainly, as the councils and CST continue to bulldoze against the grain of common sense and prudence with the stadium project.

    They, we, the people, might genuinely feel HORROR before fear. How’s that.

  4. Victor Billot

    Well that’s the first time i’ve been called a disingenous sod.

    For anyone who’s interested the full press statement is here:

    http://www.alliance.org.nz/index.php/2009/03/29/alliance-party-says-mass-meeting-shows-stadium-project-is-on-the-rocks/#more-890

  5. Andrew Straw

    The part of the protest (as reported by the ODT) that I liked was the notion that people should pony up an extra 10 percent as a “protest.” Eventually, the whole rates bill will have to be paid, either by the current owner or the next. The city could refuse consents to rates refusers and get really nasty about it too.

    In a letter to the ODT today, I suggested that we use the extra 10 percent to pay for better buses. If one assumes 49,000 households in Dunedin (I think I remembered that) @ $6.50 per household, that is over $318,000 per year. Let’s assume that only 1/3 would refuse; that’s still $106,000 per year. Wouldn’t take long before we replaced the whole fleet of polluting buses downtown.

    Also, if the city is allowed to prosecute to obtain the rates refused, each violator would be assessed court costs. This would result in an even bigger pot of money. Let’s say court costs are $100 per case, and 1/3 of the city’s households eventually have to pay. That’s a bit over $1 million annually. You could build a whole new courthouse with that kind of money. I’d take about half of this towards new buses, if possible.

    Whether you are for or against the stadium, encourage people to protest by paying more! I am in favour of spending money on new buses and an improved courthouse complex.

    Andrew Straw
    Dunedin

  6. Don’t take it personally Victory, you just know better than to use the Sewage issue again.

    But thanks for the link.

  7. Cheers for the post Andrew, always welcome fresh voices (ditto Victor).

    Don’t know if it’s the busses per-say but the services offered. I mean why is there a large bus (OK the buses) servicing the Peninsula on weekends. I’ve lived in Vancouver 3 times over last decade, and am constantly astounded at the improvements to the public transport each and every time. Next time I am there, there will be a brand newly completed line of the SkyTrain out to the airport – just think AUK Aiport to Centre City in 15mins and for $2.50 – yip that’s right. As for the busses, out at UBC (University of British Columbia daily on campus pop = 100,000), the small routes have small busses. In fact they are converted pic-up trucks with a cabin on, seats about 20 – the perfect bus for the route. While on the 99 and 99B line massively long bendy busses. If the peninsula had small (read not old and dingy) busses that went more than 3 times a day, I’d consider taking them. If I was to ever live in Vancouver for a length of time, I still wouldn’t buy a car, the public transport is that GOOD. But back here in Dunedin, I take the bus once a year – it’s a service meets convenience, meets economic, meets usability argument.

    I think Michael Deaker though needs massive congratulations for the work he is doing for the ORC with respect to the busses and the services.

  8. David

    A ten year old could work the maths out. $200,000,000.00 input for a return (only if massive crowd go to every game), of just $200,000 – duh

    A total of just $500,000 per year income in venue hire from rugby, and outgoings of $700,000 in ticket rebates to rugby for memberships and corporate boxes.

    $100,000,000 is missing depreciation is not accounted for.

    $74,000,000 in missing interest not accounted for – the difference between ODT estimate $90m and DCC estimate of just $14m for interest costs (tell me where I can get a 1% interest loan).

    The rough annual input from ratepayers will be $5m in interest, $5m in capital payments, and $5m in depreciation for 20 years. (the $66 per year only accounts for 1/3 of this, and not over runs, running costs, higher interest rates, roading etc)

    If the cost is only $66, why is the average household rate going up a massive $593 (according to DCC) in the next 4 years.

    $15m in every year for a return of just 0.2m – genius.

    Is there really anybody who thinks throwing away $15m a year is a positive for the city?

    If there is, call me. I have a great investment plan for you that sounds too good to be true.

  9. And these figures came from? With of course again the false assumption that the only income is going to be from Rugby. And we are done.

  10. David

    Most of the figures come from the CST projections.
    Like the city pays $700,000 for ticket rebates, but only gets $500,000 in venue hire from rugby, just $200,000 profit per year etc – all from CST.

    $539 rates increase per house is the percentage the DCC say rates will go up by in the next four years, multiplied by what they say the average rates are.

    $100,000,000 depreciation over 20 years is the missing figure – missing from CST and missing from DCC. However we can get a pretty good idea of this as our stadium will cost 50% more than Westpac Stadium, so our depreciation will be 50% more than theirs – hence $100m in 20y (although our stadium has now increased by $10m).

  11. David

    And you expect lots of income other than rugby?

    The wildly optimisitic projections from CST only show $200g venue hire from all other sports and events combined.

    This is included in the overall running costs that give just a $200,000 profit per year. This, for an investment that costs 1000 times that amount – what a massive risk for the return of a couple of peanuts (ONLY if their wildly optimistic crowd projections of 17,000 per game are met, and the construction costs do not blow out).

  12. David

    Multi purpose – yeah right.

    Ideas , including some from CST are -
    Swimming events – fantasy land.
    Basketball – stadium too big, false floor too expensive, and will kill off grass.
    Concerts – unlikely according to the promoters. and would probably damage grass.
    Conferences – DCC says conference centres away from the CBD usually fail.
    Cricket – not suitable.
    Rugby – Highlanders play 13 other teams in S14, in 6 or 7 home games. Next year they have six, with one or two in Invercargill, One in Queenstown, maybe one elsewhere. The absolute maximum in Dunedin is just four games.
    Rugby tests – not A grade ones.
    NPC – as long as there are not too many. Grass in indoor stadiums cannot be overused.
    Tennis – false floor too expensive and will kill the grass.
    University sports centre – building is separate from stadium, they won’t use the actual stadium, so is not very relevant. They would be better off building beside sportsfields they can actually use.

    These days the term “multipurpose stadium” is most commonly suffixed with “yeah right”.

    I’ve been hoping to hear a compelling argument for a range of other uses, but no one has come up with one yet.

  13. Elizabeth

    David said, “I’ve been hoping to hear a compelling argument for a range of other uses, but no one has come up with one yet.”

    [with thanks to Michael Stedman] According to Malcolm Farry, his team have been working around the clock for two or was it three years (the claim being so excessive I’ve forgotten how long this death defying sleep deprived mission has been scrambling) to put a programme of events together. So no sleep, no events. Sorry boys, not a recipe that breeds success. You really sound desperate. Have you bought your new houses in Monaco yet. For when the stadium fails and you need a new start (funded by how much consultancy and disbursement from councils’ coffers – which are so not bottomless pits, that’s what erstwhile ratepayers are for, we learn, funding the unquantifiable excesses and blow-outs of local bodies).

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