Monthly Archives: August 2008

Stadium debate invades trust meeting

I’m all for public accountability, however…

There was a letter in the paper (again, letter a day-athon at the moment), stating that the CST (and Malcolm Farry) must trust and accept the professional opinion of so called critics of the stadium. Which is a little two faced, as the stadium proposal has been put together by professionals, but the StS doesn’t want to accept these professional opinions, only theirs. Continue reading

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Filed under Hot air, Media

A little respect please

Meg Davidson was doing HOK Sport Architects, the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and the public of Dunedin a massive disservice in her letter to the editor, ‘Architecture rethink best for stadium’ (ODT 22.8.08).

She claimed that the options for redevelopment of the old Carisbrook were passed over as in her words, ‘asking HOK if you need a new stadium is like asking a barber if you need a haircut’.

Several points; despite what has falsely been claimed by the opponents of the new stadium, several upgrade options for the old stadium were considered. This included partial and full upgrades. These were considered and dismissed as not meeting the full needs of the city in the future. If they were to go ahead Architects would still have been employed.

Second, despite the somewhat ‘awestruck’ view the STS thinks the Carisbrook Stadium Trust has of HOK Sport, they are paid to do whatever job they choose to take on. If the CST asked them to add a dunny out the back of the terraces, if they were inclined that is what they would have produced. The client, with the dollars, has the final say.

Funny this so-called ‘increase in plan B’ seems actually only to be coming from certain quarters of the community with the badge STS pinned on.

But then like elections I can see the blur and smudge campaign swinging iron to full effect. Two negative opinion pieces in two days, and not one of them based on the facts as they stand.

I wonder what’s in tomorrow’s paper ‘Otago won’t play in new stadium’?

Posted by Paul Le Comte

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Carisbrook, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Inspiration, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

Disinformation campaign in full swing

I’m guessing that there is a direct correlation between the establishment of an organized oposition to the proposed new stadium, and the public disinformation campaign now being played out in the local media.

Just last week there were sensational claims made with respect to the information available to councilors before they made a crucial vote. That got front of the newspaper coverage, while the truth dispelling the suggestion was burried deep in the next days paper.

Just yesterday, councilors opposed to the development made claims calling into question the plans for facilities in the stadium now lack original specifications. This too has been dismissed the following day.

It’s always easy to put the classic kiwi knocking machine hard hat on and rubbish something, even if those claims have little or no grounding in the truth.

I’m just going to have to get used to reading rubbish claim time and time again, with retraction or correction following. But in true Kiwi style if enough mud is thrown, the poor public will be left thinking the mud slingers.

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Filed under Media

Historical value of Carisbrook

Previously having been largely a supporter of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, I was somewhat amazed by the executive summary of the report on Carisbrook stadium.

There has been a move by the NZHPT to place some sort of “special significance” order on the place, which quite simply seems to be tantamount to a gagging order. This is no small matter. As stated on page 34 under protection measures:

Should any decision be made that Carisbrook and its facilities not be retained or be downsized as a venue, NZHPT recommends that the land comprising Carisbrook be designated a public reserve pursuant to the Reserves Act 1977, and to be held in Trust for the citizens of Dunedin City. NZHPT recommends that the pitch, turnstile building, a representative section of the Terraces and a representative section of other grandstand structures be retained, and a conservation plan be prepared.

Summary. Build you new stadium, but don’t expect to be able to do anything with the old site, least of all sell it and recover costs. What exactly does the HST expect the fine folk of Dunedin to do with a “representative section of the Terraces”? Do we sit there in weekends and reflect? What a strange and I would suggest somewhat devious conclusion.
Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Design, Inspiration, Site, Stadiums

Business Benefit from Sports Events study shows

In the light of the glaringly obvious negative press that has come out of the Chamber of Commerce’s survey of businesses post Rugby Test, I’ve decided that, instead of falling into the all too familiar and easy Kiwi route of negative publicity, I’ll look at the positives.

In July 2008 the All Blacks and the Springboks, possibly the two most marketable brands in world rugby played a very important test match in Dunedin. The game was a sell out and it was estimated that the match bought in several million dollars from tourists and fans. Today the Chamber of Commerce released a study that showed that over 17% of Dunedin businesses benefited economically from the test. That is brilliant. Nearly 20% of business in the Dunedin area benefited from one solitary rugby match. Imagine if we were able to get 1 regular top flight rugby test and at least one minnow test (England?) a year.
Continue reading

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Filed under Media, Stadiums

Disinformation a disservice.

Getting the supposed “ten facts” flier in the mailbox today, I thought it only prudent that I now continue this crusade against the StS (which this unwittingly has become).

Readers of this blog will know well that I believe that the StS is running on hyperbole and loose interpretation of so called “facts”. This is well illustrated in an opinion piece on the StS web site by Ian Smith, in which (along with his prejudices) “facts” are painted with a big fat liberal brush known as disinformation.

The tone of the piece seems to be summarised in one of the opening sentences “We have never been there and never intend to do so, but of course are paying for it“. Later it follows “Ultimately, whether we have a Stadium or not, is down to us. Civil disobedience in the form of subtracting from our rates payment that part of them, which is due to the Stadium, is one solution, but it’s ‘dated’, with a ring of the ‘sixties’ (when people still had the gumption to stand and be counted on matters of principle)“. Continue reading

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Filed under Hot air

Massive Protest

OK, I’m being facetious. Good on the 600 people for turning out to the protest today, it was such a nice day for it – first sunshine in 10 days.

But to tell the truth I expected a lot more than .5% of the population of Dunedin to turn out. I was under the impression that this was a defining issue for the city of the likes we’ve never seen before. It’s also been in the media and public domain for nearly 2 years – it’s not as if people don’t know about this development.

So on the one hand I’m being completely dismissive of the piddly turnout, and on the other hand I’m massively relieved that not even 1% of the population could be bothered to turn out for the defining issue for Dunedin and Otago for the last 50 and possibly the next 50 years.

Come on folks, I was under the impression that there was a groundswell of massive public distrust. But .5% of the population on the first sunny and mildly warm Saturday in ages, doesn’t concern me at all. I’m glad that they got to protest and I’m glad for the guys there were 600 there. If the next (?) produces anywhere near 2000 people I’d start to think the public were interested.

Well done on the march, I hope it achieved what you wanted, I’m glad it was such a small turnout.

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Filed under Media, Stadiums