Monthly Archives: February 2009

Sorry saga of cost overruns, Kerr

### February 11, 2009
Opinion: Don’t subsidise stadia or events without referenda
By Roger Kerr
Stadiums and events involving central and local governments are often controversial. The redevelopment of Carisbrook is a case in point.
Read more

This piece by Roger Kerr first appeared in the Otago Daily Times, August 11, 2006. Roger Kerr ( is the executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable.

**** is the market-leading resource for interest-rate comparatives in New Zealand. It is the only truly comprehensive source of all interest rates, and is updated many times each day. It is a service by JDJL Limited of Auckland who publish a number of titles on the web.

This service was established in 1999 and has grown to be a key source of research on banks and other financial institutions that provide both lending and deposit products to the New Zealand market. Behind this live-and-free on-line resource are extensive databases, and a market intelligence service that supports many clients. JDJL is completely independent of every financial institution and adviser group in the market. David Chaston directs a number of professional analysts, who generate a range of research, as well as institutional and media rate feeds.
Bernard Hickey, Managing Editor,


See comment by Peter Entwisle at SkyscraperCity on the funding of Wellington’s Westpac Stadium (The Cake Tin) compared to the proposed Otago stadium.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums, Town planning

Income model isn't fair, Highlanders

### Waikato Times Friday, 27 February 2009
By Marc Hinton – Rugby Heaven

Highlanders boss Richard Reid believes the current Super 14 income system is unfair and has called on the NZRU to come up with a more equitable model.

Read more

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums

StS appeal 'lost in post'

### ODT Fri, 27 Feb 2009
Land rezone appeal appears lost in post
By Mark Price

An appeal against the Dunedin City Council’s plan to rezone land in Awatea St for a new stadium appears to have been lost in the post.

Read more


Filed under Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums, STS, Town planning

Stadium Feasibility & Peer Review

Horwath HTL – Update of Financial Feasibility Projections, Summary Report (December 2008), pages 94-118
Report – Council – 09/02/2009 (PDF, 3.1MB)
Proposed Stadium at Awatea Street Attachment Two Part One.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers – Peer Review of the Proposed New Otago Stadium Forecasts (30 January 2009), pages 1-14
Report – Council – 09/02/2009 (PDF, 7.1MB)
Proposed Stadium at Awatea Street Attachment Two Part Two.


Older reports, peer reviews and project cost reviews at:

Leave a comment

Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Geography, Name, Other, Site, Stadiums

Rates Revolt- Words of Wisdom

Letter to Editor (yes another) Cyril Gilfedder, former Registrar High Court.

To clarify what I have already said about the rates revolt (it would be terrible if this was a poorly researched site eh Calvin).

“If payment is delayed until the last day for payment, then it may have a minor impact on council cash flow. If so, council borrows and ratepayers pay. If payment is delayed until after due date, legislation provides that the ratepayer is liable for penalties and, depending when paid, debt collection with court costs, solicitors fees, judgement, interest, publication in the Mercantile Gazette, loss of credit worthiness and, if one wants to be absolutely stupid, the sale of the property…

To be successful with any appeal, the appellant needs to have good grounds. Appeals cost heaps of money and the loser pays. Here we have ratepayers vs ratepayers. So who wins? the only winners are consultants and lawyers.”

Not a lot to be said about it, other than heed the advice from someone who has seen a lot in the courts system, and realise that dear leader isn’t even partaking in the rates revolt – now I wonder why?

1 Comment

Filed under Economics, Politics, STS

Plunket, 'Appeal will be withdrawn immediately'

### D Scene 25-2-09 (page 5)
And then there was one

Dunedin’s proposed $188 million stadium is about to dodge one of the two Environment Court appeals lodged against it this month. Chalmers Properties Ltd have lodged an appeal to the Environment Court through its Auckland-based lawyers. The appeal relates to a Dunedin City Council-initiated arterial route making way for the Awatea St stadium. However, Port Otago chief executive Geoff Plunket says the appeal will be withdrawn immediately.
{story continues}

Register to read D Scene online at

### D Scene 25-2-09 (page 5)
‘A plan change appeal won’t hold up demolition work’ – Trust
Stadium start regardless

By Michelle Sutton

Opponents’ hopes that court appeals will stall work on Dunedin’s controversial megabucks stadium will come crashing down in June. Demolition work at the site will start regardless, according to the Carisbrook Stadium Trust.
{story continues}

1 Comment

Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums, STS, Town planning

Remember this…

Rare Once in a Lifetime Gift for Future Generations

A world class, fully enclosed, boutique stadium is the vision we are asking the region to embrace. Of all of the options this has the highest price tag, but it is also the best long-term and fiscally robust option.

### Read more at Our Stadium Link


Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Hot air, Inspiration, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

Stadium through back door

### ODT Online Mon, 23 Feb 2009
By Jolyon Manning

Jolyon Manning is deeply disturbed by the possible reckless commitment of major optional capital projects currently envisaged for implementation by the Otago Regional Council.

Read more


Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums

What is local government?

What if? appreciates the busy work of elected representatives on local councils. It’s all-consuming, involving consultation, reading, advocacy, teamwork, correspondence, reporting, debate, diplomacy, committees, direct contact with individuals, groups and organisations, and MORE – then too, serving the people can be a thankless task at times.

We note the quality of the information Councillor Richard Walls provides here. We value your online participation, knowledge and wit. Thanks Richard.

Why don’t more councillors blog? To air views, hear ours – it’s a great medium to jointly examine council/community interests and concerns. It’s fun and immediate, ultimately ‘flexible’. [BTW rants, artifice, slams, borax…all that just keeps us awake – but anything!! to drive page views.]

Let’s take a quick look at local government.


The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) provides online resources to broadly explain the role of local government.

The DIA is responsible for administering the Local Government Act, and advising if the local government laws are working as intended. Various government departments are concerned with specific local government functions (eg Ministry for the Environment for resource management).

The following excerpts come from the DIA website.


Local councils promote the well-being of local communities
Wherever you live, your local authority is working with its community to enhance social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being now and for the future.

While Parliament is elected to deal with issues relevant to New Zealand and its people as a nation, local government enables democratic local decision-making.

Regional councils
Responsibilities include:
* Managing the effects of using freshwater, land, air and coastal waters, by developing regional policy statements and the issuing of consents
* Managing rivers, mitigating soil erosion and flood control
* Regional land transport planning and contracting passenger services
* Harbour navigation and safety, oil spills and other issues related to marine pollution.

Territorial authorities (city and district councils)
The powers and responsibilities of city and district councils are the same. The difference is city councils generally represent a population of more than 50,000 who are predominantly urban-based.

Responsibilities include:
* Providing local infrastructure, including water, sewerage, stormwater, roads and footpaths
* Community infrastructure such as parks, museums, playgrounds, recreation centres, libraries etc
* Regulatory services including building control, liquor licensing, public health inspections and animal control
* Controlling the effects of land use through planning and resource consents (including natural hazards and indigenous biodiversity)
* Other functions including community and economic development, events such as summer programmes, and community grants and funding.

Council structure
Councils are made up of members of the public elected in local authority elections held every three years.

Each council decides how to structure itself to work on behalf of its community.

The council is led by the Mayor or a Chairperson, who provides leadership and direction to the council and community, and chairs meetings. They are often seen as the public face of the council.

Councils generally establish committees to look at areas of their work. These might include environmental planning and regulatory services, resource consents, finance, works and services, community development and well-being, or land transport. These committees usually make recommendations for consideration and approval by council, but they are sometimes delegated the power to make decisions.

Councils may also convene sub-committees to examine specialist areas.

Some activities must be approved by the full council. These include:
* Setting rates
* Borrowing money
* Buying or selling some types of land
* Adopting major council documents such as the long-term council community plan (LTCCP) or annual report.

Community boards
Many territorial authorities have community boards to help represent and advise council on community views. They sometimes carry out delegated council service delivery or regulatory responsibilities. Community boards are elected at the same time as councils, but do not have the same powers.

Local government powers
Everything local authorities do is governed by the legislative framework established by Parliament.

Local government legislation gives local authorities quite wide autonomy, but the laws emphasise councils must show how and why decisions have been made, and must promote community well-being.

Key laws that govern and empower local government are:
* Local Government Act 2002 (sets out the general powers of councils, the community outcomes process, and planning and accountability requirements)
* Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (sets out powers councils have to raise revenue through rates)
* Local Electoral Act 2001 (sets out the process for council elections).

In addition, many local government activities are governed by separate Acts of Parliament such as the Resource Management Act, the Building Act and the Biosecurity Act.

Who local government works with
Local authorities often work closely with central government and other organisations, public bodies, businesses and citizens to help achieve community well-being.

Local government funding
Local authorities raise much of their funding through rates, investments, fees and charges. The level these are set at is shown in the council’s long-term council community plan, or annual plan.

Central government also provides some funding or subsidies toward particular activities, primarily roading.

Council services can include:
o Water supply and reticulation
o Drainage and stormwater pipes
o Waste water treatment
o Roads, footpaths, street lighting and parking services
o Public transport
o Public libraries, museums and art galleries
o Swimming pools
o Sports grounds, parks, gardens and reserves (including cemeteries)
o Recreation and convention centres, and community halls
o Rubbish collection, waste disposal and recycling
o Regulatory and planning services
o Community housing
o Grants and community development support
o Visitor information services
o Pest control and biodiversity
o River catchment and flood protection work
o Pollution management and control.

Local authorities make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s economy.

Not all communities are the same, nor do they have the same issues.

You elect councillors as your representatives to make local decisions taking account of local issues, needs and priorities. This means councils may make different decisions on managing similar situations.


Flourishing communities need:
* Sustained economic development and new jobs
* A healthy and safe environment
* Supportive community networks
* A vibrant and developing culture and identity
* A stable political climate.

Local government has an important role in helping secure these outcomes.

Local government affects you daily
Many of your everyday activities are dependent on services provided by your local city, district or regional council.

These range from water flowing freely from your taps, applying for a building permit, finding a car park so you can borrow books from the library, taking your children to the park, putting out the rubbish for collection, to walking your dog at night along well-lit streets.

Other important local government activities include:
* Writing and managing plans for your area’s development, including management of the natural and urban environment
* Making bylaws and enforcing them
* Participating in community partnerships and initiatives such as reducing crime, increasing jobs or access to housing
* Civil defence planning and emergency preparedness.

A key aim for all local authorities is sustainable well-being for their area. This means councils must work toward enhancing social, economic, environmental and cultural factors that contribute to a healthy community.

For more information on local government in New Zealand, and for information about individual councils, visit


The NZ Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) has initiated a useful information site, People shaping progress: local government careers.

Councils provide a huge range of services – from the basics of maintaining an efficient infrastructure of roads and pipes, to providing community facilities such as libraries, museums and parks.

The level of service is largely determined by local communities, who set their priorities through a mandated consultation process with their council called the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP).

The LTCCP was established under the Local Government Act 2002, which ensures that councils consult and report to their communities in a clear and accountable way.

Services and projects can vary widely from one council to another. One community might see water supply as a priority; another might believe traffic management is important. Much will depend on a council’s location and size, development and growth patterns, and population profile.

Generally, council activities fall into six categories:

Arts, Community and Recreation
* Libraries, museums, galleries
* Parks and reserves, cemeteries and crematoria
* Festivals and events
* Social development and support
* Community wellness initiatives

* Coastal, watercourse and land management and biodiversity
* Animal and Pest Management, biosecurity
* Pollution prevention and correction
* Resource Management Act
* Geographic information

* Traffic or transportation planning, engineering and operations
* Water, waste water and storm water
* Solid waste and recycling
* Engineering, design, project management and construction
* Asset and capital plant management

Organisation Management
* Democracy services
* Organisational Planning
* Finance, legal and commercial services
* Property management
* Human resources management
* Information and communications technology
* Marketing, communications, public consultation

* Resource Management Act
* Traffic and transportation
* Community and social
* Strategic planning
* Economic development
* Financial planning
* By-law development
* Urban design

* Resource Management Act
* Building and consents
* Health and hygiene control
* Licensing and permits
* Traffic
* Waterways and navigation

For further information on the local government scene in New Zealand, go to


Old news snippet – or was it.

Local body balance urged
The Press August 31, 1998

DUNEDIN — The days of the “rampant commercial ethos” were over in local body politics, Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner says.

She told the Society of Local Government Managers’ annual conference in Dunedin that balance was required and it was important elected representatives and local body managers worked closely for the benefit of the people they served.


She lost some friends. We lost an aluminium smelter.
Dunedin breathed another future.

“Our first obligation is to stop behaving like primitive tribes people. The cargo-cult mentality among Dunedin’s business community is a major obstacle to any serious discussion of the city’s future. Whether it be an aluminium smelter at Aramoana, a meat processing plant on the Taieri, an environmentally suspect timber mill at Allanton, or a casino in central Dunedin, the message is the same. Only monstrous, ecologically damaging, and socially destructive projects, preferably foreign-owned and financed, can rescue Dunedin’s fortunes.

“This simply is not the case. Such projects are, by their very nature, highly exploitative. They suck resources from both the natural environment and the local economy. Like the gold mines of the last century, such ‘development projects’ produce only a short-term boost in economic performance, and when the resource is exhausted, or as the prices of basic commodities fall below profitable levels, the industry disappears, leaving its host weaker and more vulnerable than it was before the so-called economic ‘stimulant’ was injected…”

— from Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner’s ‘State of the City’ address to the Dunedin Lions Club 22 April 1996

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Geography, Name, Other, Politics

Protest can sometimes be cool

Considering the failed attempt at humour with the Yeah Right rip-off, this one is at least pleasing on the eye, if not diputs yddolb. But then I love political protest and street art. I hope this was deliberate, if not they don’t know how cool they are.



Filed under Design, Media

RNZ National: Dougal Stevenson on Stadium

Radio New Zealand National Feb 22, 2009 9:54 am
Sunday Morning
Notes from the South

By Dougal Stevenson

“Hello. One Sunday in August 2006 I described events at a provocative choice of location. The Carisbrook Stadium Trust had chosen to launch a vision, downstairs from the Dunedin Casino. The lights dimmed, a recorded voice rose in volume to introduce the occasion – my voice, my paid affirmation of the vision, which I now regret…”

Podcast available (6′00″)


You can listen to Sunday Morning podcasts and streaming at by following the links provided.

Leave a comment

Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

In response to Dougal Stevenson

See, why did he have to do that. Dougal was making perfect sense until he went off on a disingenuous tangent. His argument around cost and debt etc all made sense and of course is perfectly cautionary. However as Mr Stevenson {ed correction hideous spelling mistake, so sorry Dougal} is a very intelligent man, these were not flippant words, they were well chosen and deliberately designed to throw more false barriers to this development.

“As things stand, no pun intended, Rugby is about the only sport that can be played under the stadiums plastic roof, on the field, above the gravel and the mud below. Geology to test an Engineer and confound accurate costing.”

See why did he put that in there? He’s a very intelligent person, astutely following the comings and goings of this saga. I saw him at the crucial Council vote the other week, dictaphone in hand making notes all along.

For a start, yes the ETFE roof is a form of plastic, but to use the word plastic is in itself is designed to be derogatory, invoking imagery of cheap, perishable and possibly prone to failing. After all rubbish bags are made of plastic, cheap things are made of plastic. But lets look at that so called ‘plastic roof’ as so many detesters call it. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene or ETFE has “high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature”, further “Compared to glass, ETFE film is 1% the weight, transmits more light and costs 24% to 70% less to install. It’s also resilient (able to bear 400 times its own weight, self-cleaning (due to its nonstick surface) and recyclable.” Continue reading


Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Media, Politics, Site, Stadiums, STS

Dougal Stevenson on Stadium, Sunday morning

### Broadcast Notice

Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
on Radio New Zealand National
22 February 2009

Chris Laidlaw presents a thought-provoking range of interviews, documentaries and music over four hours each Sunday Morning.
Produced by Christine Cessford.

9:55 Notes from the South
Dougal Stevenson returns with some grave reservations about the proposed Dunedin Stadium. Local authorities, he says, are in too deep to clamber out with dignity.

*** Podcast available (6′00″)

1 Comment

Filed under Architecture, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums

Butler not joining StS rates revolt!

### ODT Online Sat, 21 Feb 2009

At least 40 Dunedin ratepayers have joined a rates revolt to protest against the Dunedin City Council’s financial support for the proposed Otago Stadium.

Read more


So much baloney. How completely bloody facile.
A leader (?????) comfortable to stand back while the ‘stadium fighters’ take the brunt. Yeah yeah. Incite a ‘revolt’ (very small scale though it is) and stoop to play goodie two shoes…

People in the revolt (sigh) should take a hard look at the means Dunedin City Council has to recover the money – and make those payments in full, soon as. Avoid trouble – for yourselves.

Don’t be sheep for StS. Be wary of the impending public meeting.


Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums, STS

Poor Crowd Indeed

In response to Sam, his poor sources and his stereotypes.

without wanting to disappoint you, I am very much not a”Rugby Union Type”, my first love is Football – the beautiful game – the worlds game, my second love is that most English of games with whites and a little shiny red ball, my third sport would be Baseball, fourth Ice Hockey, fifth American Football then Rugby and Darts more or less equal. Dang where does F1 fit in there?

But once again stereotypical assumptions are very easy to create when debating this stadium project. Imagine my disappointment when I saw the design of the stadium that didn’t include cricket. Continue reading


Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Hot air, Media, Politics, Stadiums

NZHPT calls for Carisbrook debate

### ODT Online Thu, 19 Feb
Call for debate on Carisbrook plan
By Hamish McNeilly
The House of Pain could provide pleasure for generations to come, says the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, which is calling for a debate on the future of Carisbrook. With the new stadium seemingly a fait accompli, subject to conditions, and the Otago Rugby Football Union indicating it would sell the ground to the Dunedin City Council, it was time for a public discussion on the ground’s fate, NZHPT Otago-Southland manager Owen Graham said.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

Ground membership "in free fall"

What does this mean for the proposed Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza. Had to ask.

### ODT Online 17 February 2009
Rugby: Ground membership in freefall at ‘Brook

The number of ground member ticket holders have plummeted at Carisbrook, with the drop blamed on the credit crunch, night rugby and team performance.

Read more


Filed under Economics, Geography, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums

On engineering risk at Stadium site

He’s not wrong! Further to Paul’s post ‘ODT remiss’ this is where “The Decision” goes on engineering risk for the stadium area.


Planning commissioners Roger Tasker, John Lumsden and John Matthews have made the decision to accept, subject to amendments, Plan Change 8 as notified.

This means the Dunedin City District Plan will contain a new Chapter 27, Stadium as it relates to the (new) Stadium Zone and (extended) Campus Zone.

The stadium site is approximately 5.5ha in size and is generally located between Anzac Avenue (SH 88 ) to the north, Ravensbourne Road, Logan Park and the Logan Point Quarry to the east, the Water of Leith to the west, and the Main South Railway line to the south.

The area is intended to provide for a purpose-built regional stadium with a capacity for up to 35,000 spectators, plus a number of associated activities.


During the plan change hearings, Dunedin City Council (the Applicant) called on the evidence of consulting engineers David John Hamilton and Roderick (Rod) Keith Macleod.

Mr Hamilton had prepared evidence in relation to stormwater issues and flooding threats, including the existing environment, the effect of development, appropriate mitigation measures and response to submissions.

He used the terminology ‘stormwater’ to refer to water that is generated by rainfall on the site itself, and ‘flooding’ to refer to an external threat from either freshwater or sea water.

In his Executive Summary, he said:
(3.1) The proposed site is subject to flooding threats from three sources: Otago Harbour, Water of Leith and Opoho Creek;
(3.2) In my assessment the proposed minimum floor level for buildings set at 3.7m above mean sea level provides an appropriate mitigation of the impacts of flooding from all three sources including allowances for climate and sea level change; and
(3.3) Stormwater generated from the site is expected to be slightly less than that permitted under the current zoning.

He noted the site is reclaimed land that predates 1909. The existing ground level at the site varies from 2m to 3.8m with much of the site above 3.2m.

Mr Macleod had prepared evidence in relation to natural hazards and sub-surface conditions at Logan Point.

The evidence included a review of ‘Preliminary Geotechnical Investigations Report and Contamination Investigations Report’ prepared by Tonkin & Taylor Ltd (T & T), dated December 2007; the ‘additional information’ prepared by Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd (Beca), dated 8 and 22 February 2008; and the Statement of Evidence of David John Hamilton regarding District Plan Change 8.

Mr Macleod found that, “Whilst the site is at risk from: foundation liquefaction; foundation lateral spreading; tsunami events; predicted climate change effects upon groundwater levels; storm surge events; and flooding this is no different that [sic] other land in the area and can be appropriately managed.”

Subject to his concerns regarding natural hazards and foundation conditions being addressed at subsequent stages of the development (building consent), he recommended “the zone change application should not be withheld”.

He could see no reason why Plan Change 8 should be declined on geotechnical or engineering risk matters.

Mr Macleod accepted that specific design of building foundations would be required but this was consistent with the site’s current industrial zoning and consistent with that which would be required on adjacent land. Such matters could be appropriately dealt with at the detailed design stage and could be adequately addressed through the building consent process.


The commissioners referred to Council policy planner Paul Freeland’s evidence in which he said, “Issues in respect of this matter [engineering risk] have been covered in the evidence of Messrs Hamilton and McLeod [sic]. From a planning perspective there remains little comment beyond noting that I am satisfied that the effects of these issues have been adequately considered and mitigated.”

The commissioners agreed with Mr Freeland that the expert evidence provided dealt suitably with these issues.


In regard to Stop the Stadium Inc’s submission (see 10.0 Specific Matters Raised in Submissions), the commissioners observed that while the submission clearly indicated a list of specific concerns [including engineering risk] with the provisions of the Plan Change, “the submitter did not call evidence that dealt specifically with these issues. Accordingly, and in the absence of any further consideration by the submitter, we prefer the evidence presented by Mr Freeland, on behalf of the Council.”


In section 8.9 (para 55) of the decision, the commissioners had this to say about site contamination: “We noted that the documentation that accompanies Plan Change 8 recognises the likelihood of contamination of the stadium site, and that this issue is controlled and managed by the provisions of the Regional Plan: Waste for Otago. We are satisfied, therefore, that any work occurring on a contaminated site would require a resource consent from the Otago Regional Council.”

Postscript: Appeals to Environment Court on the decision must be lodged by 23 February 2009.


Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, Other, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

ODT remiss

Off to CHCH last weekend, the silly move was to take an ODT with me, because what was in the paper but yet another “concerned of Corstorphine” letter, completely ill-informed and not serving any purpose.

I’m sure the author may have some concerns about the site etc, but considering all of these issues have been argued over and over, with the irrational fears and some time genuine concerns put at ease.

Like all major construction projects there has been geotechnical reports etc done about the site. There is no “who knows what they will find when they start digging”, they know what they will find. Yes the site is reclaimed land, but in modern construction that isn’t an issue. Much of Dunedin is built on reclaimed land, the majority of downtown Wellington in built on reclaimed land. The most luxurious hotel in the world is built on reclaimed land in the middle of the Gulf, one of the most incredible airport constructions was built in the middle of a harbour – totally raised from the sea.

I fail to see what the ODT is doing in continually publishing these letters. I do however have a theory. It’s not about democracy, because the issues have been, or are being fought out. For me, it’s a little like the Bush Administration. Keep the people at a heightened state of annoyance and they will believe any rubbish that is fed to them. The ODT does not need to publish every single piece of rubbish it gets. There are NO concerns about the geophysical stability of the foundations of the stadium, so there simply was no need to publish that letter, except to keep a heightened level of disquiet in the general populous.

The ODT needs to learn that there is a responsibility in running a newspaper, and allowing the irrational fears of people to be aired in such a manner is not a public service. That letter voicing concerns is about as valid as someone writing in to proclaim the sky is falling.

Leave a comment

Filed under Architecture, Geography, Hot air, Site, Stadiums

Silence! Ticket prices for RWC 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011 will be held across New Zealand over a six-week period in September and October 2011. Twenty countries will participate in the 48-game tournament. Ticket prices for the tournament remain a closely guarded secret but will be based on international prices.

Sunday Star-Times Link
NZ Herald link


He had earlier claimed ticket prices for the knockout games would be “in excess of anything seen in New Zealand before”, similar to those when France hosted the Cup in 2007, where the final sold for 200 to 600 euros ($490 to $1470).

RNZ 2011 is due to name the pool match venues in March 2009, with a shortlist of team base options confirmed by June 2009.


Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums

Dear Santa English…

Today Otago Daily Times released two ‘secret’ letters putting the request on government for funding assistance to DCC projects:

Letter from Chin and Cairns
Support letter from Southern mayors


No surprises there. We note the Chin-Cairns letter had two attachments:

1 List of opportunities to reduce costs
2 ‘Spin it Wide’ DVD

A local resident’s official information request to DCC for Attachment 1 made on 12 February got this response:

Date: 13 February 2009 1:40:10 PM

The Chief Executive has considered your request for the attachment to the letter from the Mayor and Regional Council Chairperson to the Deputy Prime Minister dated 23 December 2008.

Your request is declined on the grounds that releasing the information would unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the Council, and negotiations that are reasonably contemplated under s7(2)(b)(ii) and s7(2)(i) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

You are entitled to seek a review of this decision by the Office of the Ombudsmen, and to be informed of that right.

Nina Darling
Team Leader – Governance
Dunedin City Council

Ditto no surprise.

See what Roy had to say about the Chin-Cairns letter at ODT Online.

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

HOT PRESS – Dunedin Harbourside Zone

Decision on Proposed Plan Change 7: The panel of commissioners – comprising John Lumsden and Roger Tasker – has given approval for a new Harbourside Zone to be added to the Dunedin City District Plan, to include Stages 1 and 2 of development, subject to amendments and conditions.

The new zone is a mere skip and a jump from the subject site for Plan Change 8 Stadium Zone. The proposed Harbour Arterial is associated with both plan changes.

PC7 seems ripe for appeal.

“Just idiotic” – local business owners expressed their anger and disappointment saying the plan change was not beneficial to industry, given the uncertainty of the future.

ODT Link

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Site, Stadiums

Councillor Walls lets rip!

Yesterday and today, spurred by the stadium debate, Richard Walls provides opinion in the Otago Daily Times on Council debt levels, borrowings, investment and effect on rates. The newspaper properly credits the writer as a Dunedin ratepayer, city councillor and chair of the DCC’s Finance and Strategy committee. Far be it from us to add the word redoubtable before the good Councillor’s name.

### ODT Online: Opinion Thu, 12 Feb 2009
Answering stadium critics
Debt (read borrowings) has become something of a touchstone for those who oppose a particular capital works project. Indeed at times, I and others wonder if the confusing mix of opinion and “own fact” by regular critics of council borrowing is really another imaginative creation from the Miramar workshops of Weta!

### ODT Online: Opinion Fri, 13 Feb 2009
Actual borrowings by DCC ‘low’
Why does the Dunedin City Council borrow and how has Dunedin City Holdings Ltd performed over the past 15 years? In the second of a two-part article Richard Walls defends the council’s rates record.


Cr Walls was always going to have his field day. It would be no surprise then if he earned a stinging rebuttal from local resident Calvin Oaten who is mentioned severally throughout the mountains and valleys of Cr Walls’ thought.

We persisted with his views, not sure if other Councillors would share them or the historical account proffered to get us where we might be today. Nevertheless, we thank him for his trouble.

By the end of the read, perhaps, we had suffered or become faithless – or had slaved as devotees. But at any rate (!!) there is the tendency to become less critical of the stadium project itself at the expense of disproportionate rise in critical appreciation of the Council and its moral baggage, not all of it in a good calm light.

We look forward to public reaction as may suit writers, speakers and users of gestures!


Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums

StS, tired with bags under its eyes

Offensive and threatening letters sent to two Dunedin city councillors are just a “deliberate campaign” by the pair to discredit Stop the Stadium, president Bev Butler says.

ODT Link


The hate mail debacle is not about the stadium project. This is indeterminate hot air, a diversion resembling a cat spiff. It does require a police investigation.

StS, tired with bags under its eyes, in its latest pronouncements does no more than discredit genuine non supporters of the stadium project.

When will it end!!!!!!!


Filed under Hot air, Media, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums, STS

StS's rates revolt, stage one…

Note: What if? advises against a rates revolt. Speak with your bank manager or if in doubt seek legal advice before you take any action recommended by Bev Butler and committee below.


Date: 12 February 2009 11:39:45 PM
Subject: Rates Revolt: Stage One

Dear STS members.

Before I discuss STS matters, let me say that the STS Committee, as I hope all of you, deplore the recent actions of some nutter sending hate mail to Cr. Guest and Cr. Fliss Butcher. We hope the police catch the culprit. It would not surprise us if a pro-stadium person did it as a dirty trick to cause trouble for the anti-stadium movement. One indication of this is that it makes absolutely no sense for an anti-stadium person to send hate mail to Cr. Butcher since she has consistently voted against the stadium proceeding.

Now on to STS matters. Yesterday the Otago Regional Council (ORC) provided yet another stay of execution to the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, even in the face of the warning to the councillors by the ORC’s chief executive, Graeme Martin, that the stadium project had no less than “13 critical project risks”, and that Malcolm Farry’s lot had failed to reach their agreed target for private funding.

It was clear from the comments made at the ORC meeting by the pro-stadium faction that if the DCC did not meet the funding requirements by the new deadline of March 2, they would vote to extend the ORC deadline further. This, in the face of the fact that the “guaranteed” building price of 165 million has come in with tags, which is all the construction industry needs to cover the costs of the inevitable blowouts. No reputable building firm could afford to risk making an unconditional guaranteed price.

It is now obvious that no outcries from the vast majority of Dunedin citizens, no deadlines, no marches, no opinion polls, no critical project risks, will change the minds of those DCC and ORC councillors who are hell-bent on getting a covered stadium. As such, these DCC and ORC councillors consitute a majority of what has effectively become rogue councils.
These misguided fools will be voted out at the next election. But what do we do now?

The answer is to fight this battle on entirely different grounds. STS will be convening a Public Meeting, at which time a new, rather radical campaign of Resistance will be launched. We have no other choice. You will, of course, be personally notified about the time and place of the Public Meeting.

In the meantime, however, there is Stage 1 of the new battle plan, which many of you can painlessly participate in: If you have a Direct Debit arrangement for paying your DCC rates, cancel it. NOTE:

• There is no bank fee associated with such a cancellation.
• The bank with which you have your mortage, if you have one, has no requirement that you pay your rates via Direct Debit. Direct Debit is just a convenient way for you to pay your rates and an even more convenient way for the payee, in this case the DCC, to be paid.

Here is how you cancel your Direct Debit:
(1) Go to ANY branch of the bank with which you have your Direct Debit. (This might be different from the bank with which you have your mortgage.)
(2) Remember to take with you something showing your bank account number. Also take some identification, like your driver’s license.
(3) Go to any bank teller and tell him/her that you want to cancel your Direct Debit to the Dunedin City Council. (There is no fee for this.)
(4) Most banks say that you should then call the DCC, 477-4000, and tell them you have cancelled your Direct Debit to them. (You will probably need to have your DCC account number which is on your DCC rates statement.)
(5) To make your protest known, tell them that you are cancelling your Direct Debit because of your opposition to the Stadium. They will put you on a list and then send you a scare-tactic letter, telling you of the financial penalties of not paying your rates. (Don’t be scared off. There are no penalties for not paying by Direct Debit.)

The one disadvantage of cancelling your Direct Debit is that you will now have to remember to pay your rates, if you want to, by the due date in order to avoid a 10% penalty. Well before the due date for each quarter, the DCC sends you a statement of the rates amount due, whether or not you have a Direct Debit, so you will have plenty of notification about paying your rates, by cheque or in person. In person is better if you have the time, since it is more trouble for them. (The due dates for this quarter are 30/01/09 for Area 1, 20/02/09 for Areas 2 and 4, and 27/02.09 for Area 3. Your rates bill will tell you what Area you are in.)

Kind regards,
Bev Butler. President, Stop the Stadium:
Dave Witherow, Vice President
Jean Harris, Secretary
John Harris, Treasurer
Carol Sawyer, Volunteer Coordinator
Peter Attwooll

1 Comment

Filed under Economics, Hot air, Name, Other, Politics, Stadiums, STS