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.”

Hand on a second, so many people have attacked the plastic roof, the potential for soiling, the lack of light, the strength etc. So if it’s stronger than glass, self cleaning, transmits more light, why have the detractors been able to get away with their flippant rubbish for so long – oh that’s right the ODT have been the gatekeepers of this sorry saga and they allow any manner of rubbish to be published in the name of poor debate.

So this ‘plastic’ is to be the roof on an indoor stadium. I remember Ian Smith on the StS site claiming that the grass won’t grow. That would be in his capacity as turf management scientist – no just stadium opponent. So successful is this material at encouraging growth in plant matter that it is the chosen material for the internationally acclaimed Eden Project’s biomes. These biomes contain some of the finest collection of plant material anywhere in the world. Plastic roof indeed.

The potential and wonder of this material can be seen in another iconic structure, the famed Beijing National Aquatics Centre – the famous Water Cube. The use of this ‘plastic’ on this structure was never questioned (well not by anyone with knowledge in this area). Another Iconic building is the stunning Allianz Arena in Munich. This is not some cheap plastic not tested, prone to filth and unable to foster plant growth. This is state of the art and cutting edge.

As for “above the gravel and the mud below… Geology to test an Engineer”. Again this is rubbish. Considering they were able to raise a 6 star luxury (to be so dismissive) hotel out of the water on a man made island of stone and sand in the Arabian Gulf, the idea raised over and over that this is going to be difficult for engineers, is again disingenuous and deceitful. Westpac stadium in Wellington is built on more recently reclaimed land on one of the most geologically dangerous fault lines (only 80m to the west) in this part of the world. This was a test for the engineers, but considering these people are highly paid professionals whom have all come along way from the days of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge debacle, where “Galloping Gertie” collapsed in 1940 due to resonance stresses, I have absolute confidence in the engineers, but then again I should, they are professionals, I am not.

Some points raised are well and truly open for debate, including the peer reviews, the concert promoters etc. I don’t buy the concert promoter argument at all. Who is the prime demographic for concerts, high discretionary spending 18-35 year olds, of which this city has an abundance. The success of the likes of Rippon festival, Rhythm and Vines, Kaikoura Roots etc, all demonstrate that you don’t need a so called big population to run a successful concert. I fully believe that this stadium is the prime location for the South Island equivalent of a big day out. Considering the NZ round of the big day out precedes the Australian leg, and many bands play gigs a day or two before the big day out in CHCH, Wgtn and Auckland, what about a mini day out. Its simply not impossible, in fact it’s exceedingly plausible and something this part of the country has been needing for such a long time now. I am sick of time and time again, Auckland getting the spoils of the concert bandwagon.

The peer reviews correctly do pose serious questions, then they should do shouldn’t they, no development of this nature isn’t without risk. One thing the peer reviews do not do is categorically or implicitly suggest that the development should be halted. They urge caution, they question revenue streams etc, but they do not state that this is a failure in the making. There is no warning of “Disaster” as so eloquently described in the dulcet tones of the broadcaster, there is caution, but the clever use of tone and delivery from a respected broadcaster added extraordinary weight to the implication of impending doom. He suggested that government hasn’t come up with money, that isn’t true, and considering this is a very stringent right wing ideologically government, the mere fact that consideration is being taken, suggests merit in the development.

It was as if they whole second half of the speech was lifted from the pages of the StS’s website. The words have been heard over and over again from various members of the StS and other opponents. Take for example the survey. Again for the sake of being bloody boring, nobody knows exactly what the people were voting for in that survey. I have spoken to people who voted against it because they don’t like the Mayor. These weren’t the ratepayers, these were uninformed masses. Because once again I will maintain that the debate about the stadium hasn’t been about reasoned opinion, they have been irrational, ill-informed although thankfully at times reasoned and constructive. To be told over and over that the stadium will flood, that no concerts will be held there, it will sink blah blah blah, this was never a reasoned and informative debate. Now to add gravity to the situation, the StS is urging the masses to revolt against the council in not paying it’s rates, yet not bothering to do so themselves. This has been heralded as a moral campaign, an act of civil treason, you name it opponents have tried to pin it on the council. While there are no absolute facts of the matter (as there never is with construction projects) there are projections and forecasts. This is how every development is assessed, these can not be dismissed because they are not 100% shut down, but this is the standard method of development.

But I’ve stated this over and over, and seemingly despite my desire to have the world read this blog, it seems that people simply aren’t taking in the full range of argument. Come the end of 2011, when the hype of the RWC is starting to wain and the city is looking forward to another concert and quite possibly one of the two major Football age group world cups, I wonder what a public survey will show. Because I know for a fact that given the first $66 installment of my contribution to this, and a couple of RWC games under my belt, possibly a concert of small festival and many coffees in the new University Precinct later, I’ll be voting a massive yes to this project. Without being too rude, I am however sad that some of the most fervent opponents of this development won’t be around to celebrate in the spectacle.

Source for ETFE


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

19 responses to “In response to Dougal Stevenson

  1. Elizabeth

    Woe, you’ve been busy here.

    Hey but pretty sure I wrote the item!?!? (sorry Paul, your ‘alternative voice’, well, has a voice…)

    Don’t you think Dougal’s done a brilliant job catching the popular disenchanted imagination, our collective dread for the project!!!!!!! YES.

    Of course, the stadium project has moral and ethical dimensions, how could it not.

    Hey, don’t get too upset about the ETFE barb (yeah, always good for effect), it’s trending to a 50-year lifespan based on international building examples, which is consistent with the New Zealand Building Act.

    I plan to be alive and kicking after 2011, will the horrid stadium.

  2. Russell

    Someone mentioned this site to me so I’ve had a first look. Firstly, I assume that Paul le Comte has a lot of time on his hands or this is some sort of paid initiative he is making on behalf of someone else. Probably the latter – would you like to clarify this Paul?

    However, his rants on a number of other sites under other names is at least consistent. Don’t worry too much about the facts, make sure there are a lot of personal attacks and slurs on anyone who cares to address the “facts” rather than opinions, and constantly push the interests of the few who will benefit from the process of the stadium. Again, the suspicion of some vested interest here – am I wrong Paul?

    Dougal Stevenson – it would pay to at least spell his name correctly – got it dead right in his piece on National Radio this morning. I have no idea whether Dougal attended Council meetings with his dictaphone – presumably Paul had time or was paid to go to the same meeting – but it seems that Dougal was doing his homework, and is a long term Dunedin resident who, I suspect, is more in tune with the populace than Paul le Comte.

    Your other regular posters – apart from the mutual adoration society you seem to be heading – also are in the same vein. Interesting that Richard Walls is a regular poster insisting that his view of the world and whether the debt is here or there is the only one worth listening to – but at least Richard doesn’t get personal. In the discussion with Calvin Oaten, it seems to me that Calvin has a much more up-to-date handle on what is designed to happen than Richard. But thats only an opinion.

  3. Elizabeth

    Paul owns the site and writes what he likes when he likes. I get paid 1000k per post to be anti stadium. What’s your problem.

  4. Russell,

    a little cynical?

    some people who tend to be passionate about things, tend find time to do things. I don’t play a concert piano, I’ve long since given up art, and alas I don’t read non-fiction. I’m also a web developer and designer, get the picture. I know those opposing the stadium tend to think they are in the vast majority and that only paid hacks of the so called old mans club are interested.

    This also is the sum of two years work, which started out as an investigation into architecture and development with the view to some sort of PhD, having recently completed my Masters degree. Yes I have spent some time on this, is this a crime? And I am sorry, but the only people who are in any way shape or form allowed to be critical of the time I spend on my blogs (yes this isn’t the only one) is my wife or kids.

    Do you want me to spell it out for you Russell, I am not paid by anyone on either side of the debate. I’m also not particularly close to the CST, if I am assuming you are suggesting. The sum total of me meeting Malcolm Farry is less than 10 seconds. I have however shared a beer with some of the members of the CST. I have probably exchanged a sum total of a couple of dozen emails with the CST, mostly to check facts and figures – imagine my surprise to find that Dr Hamlin’s assertion that the stadium had a capacity of 20,000 and falling wasn’t correct. Also if you had bothered to go to the first post, you would have seen that I have been at times quite critical of the CST, in particular over the design.

    This is the site where my alter-ego is put aside. I will challenge you to go to any of the other sites I have been to and find one thing that I claim which isn’t factual. I actually pride myself on sticking to the facts. I will attempt to shoot down any fact which I see as incorrect or skewered to support the StS’s claims. I will also ridicule (possibly a little unfair) anyone that stands by stupidity as a fact, South Dunedin is not about to float away. Actually with Rosie I was going to err on the side of pity, but given the preposterous nature of many of her posts over at other sites, this time a massive dose of ridicule was necessary. She still hasn’t produced any documented facts to back up her claims, which she stuck to through thick and thin, or should I say Dumb and Dumber.

    For those who don’t know what Russell is on about, over as Skyscraper City, my non de plume is Buckmeadows, I was signed up with that long before the stadium was about and Buckmeadows is a strange little town of 50 people 3/4 of the way to Yosemite from San Francisco (and as is common on blogs, people tend to go in undercover so to speak). On the ODT, I am PaulOnTheBay (work it out) for the very simple fact that I’m pretty sure I was the first person to register there, on account of me being one of the developers that developed the site. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be debating the stadium over there, otherwise old Bucky probably would have had a little fun.

    So, not a member of the CST, not paid by the CST or any intermediary etc, posts at other sites, and I still challenge you to find any so called fact which I have embellished.

    Here’s some so called facts for you (which have no basis in reality or any tentative relationship with facts) which have been regularly put up as a reason why we shouldn’t be building a stadium.

    It is a terrorist target
    It will flood (at a greater risk than any other building existing in that area)
    Twickenham is a single use stadium
    Capacity is less than 20,000
    Global Warming will drown it
    It will cost $500m
    The poo on St Clair beach
    Dunedin’s poor broadband
    The Grass won’t grow
    The plastic will fail
    It will sink (tech name liquefaction)
    Fisher and Paykel closure (I know WTF?)
    Portobello Road will fall below sea level
    South Dunedin will float away.

    Hope you find these facts as alarming as I do, and this is just the tip of the chillingly disturbing ice berg that is the the sea of miss/disinformation that the StS is swimming in.

    Sorry for the spelling mistake, I’m sure Dougal will get over it, you see my Dyslexia is at times a problem, in that if the spell checker doesn’t pick it up and I don’t see a problem, It gets published in all of it’s incorrect spelling glory. To err is human, to be picky about is is just bloody boring. However it’s one of the pitfall of the impersonal non face to face communication of a blog, because I sure as hell wouldn’t stand in front of you correcting pronunciation or grammatical errors, that would be dammed impolite.

    You really are a sanctimonious twat aren’t you? Once again I am not paid, and if you took the time to read the post where I got to the DCC meeting, you will see that I attended nearing the end after my work and before I got home to put the kids to bed. Dare I question what you are doing on the web in the middle of the afternoon – no not relevant, of course it’s not, so my attending meetings in my own time is neither.

    Wow so longevity is the relevant factor as to one’s ability to comment on this topic. When I lived on the West Coast, there was a joke going around, even if you lived your entire life and died on the coast, if you had the misfortune to have been born at say CHCH Womens hospital, you just weren’t a coaster. Sorry I don’t have the credentials to argue such things. Someone better tell my old professor of coastal geomorphology that his career going around the country advising councils on all things coastal, was based on the strangely false assumption that a career and life of research in his profession of choice, didn’t amount to much, because he wasn’t a local, what the hell was he doing advising on the erosion around the Oamaru region – the misguided arrogance of the man, hope the locals didn’t listen to him and built on a nice cliff about to fall into the sea.

    Sorry if I got a little personal in this response, because you obviously have come here with baggage, couldn’t give a single toss about the facts (did you bring any to the table?) and just wanted to have a dig. Did you not read the bit where I said that some of his argument is relevant, and that he only lost me when he dove into the StS hymn book of the banal misinformed fact.

    Sorry Russell I am a little confused, what was the point to your comment? If you came to yell at me, you have the email address why not address me directly. {Sorry been over the comment, many spelling mistakes?}

    Please don’t take the tone of this post as abuse, it’s called sarcasm.

  5. PS Elizabeth, I’m paying you too much too, I’ll never afford my Aston Martin at that rate.

  6. Elizabeth

    Ah well, Paul has stirred the Russell problem, somewhat…

    And me, I’ve taken an instant pay cut to indulge his penchant for cars with “power, beauty and soul”.** The few of us, we’ll do anything, yes anything, to stay in Paul’s mutual admiration society. We love it here. We’re imprisoned here.

    I’m kinda f e e l i n g, Russell (aka ‘russandbev’ – see you round on ODT Online et al), you won’t be back here in much of a hurry.

    But, Russell, to use your cue (para 3)…”Dougal Stevenson – it would pay to at least spell his name correctly”…

    Do make that:
    Paul Le Comte – it would pay to at least spell his name correctly.



  7. Droll, the only time in my life I ever bought lotto tickets, was when I was suckered into the lure of an Aston Martin on Big Wednesday. I mean if you ever won enough to buy one, of course one couldn’t. Thank goodness they’ve devalued themselves with AudiR8 – and I’m not even a car guy – go figure?

  8. KGB

    The new stadium will be a world class, multi-purpose, vibrant, civic, entertainment, academic, sporting and business hub that’s capable of working for its living 24/7.

    It will be the biggest indoor venue in New Zealand, and after Melbourne’s Telstra stadium, the second largest in the southern hemisphere. This will give the new ground a significant advantage over other stadia in NZ.
    So says the CST.

    Wow this sounds so terribly impressive especially in a city the size of Dunedin with a population of around 118 000 people.
    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the sheer absurdity of it all.

  9. Russell

    Ah, Elizabeth, I did come back but only briefly.

    As for Paul, methinks he does protest too much regarding the connection with payment and publishing “his” points of view. I don’t believe him.

    Paul, your comments unfortunately reflect your inherent choices to personally attack people that have sincere and honest views, rather than address the issues. Keep on taking the pills but try putting them in a different place.

    I won’t be bothering with this site again – it is a little like trying to converse with some badly behaved children in a nursery.

  10. Sorry if you aren’t able to accept the fact that I don’t accept any payment what so ever from the CST, DCC, ORC or anyone connected with this development. That must really grate you?

    Twice you have been to this site and neither time have you considered posing a question, thought or opinion about the Stadium, you have however used it as a forum to attack me personally?

    What is quite poetic is that this is in black and white for everyone to see, that I gave you the courtesy of posting at this site about the stadium and both times you declined.

    It is a very strange way of dealing with people by simply stating you don’t believe them. Actually you are the one behaving like my 3 year old, who despite the fact that he can see it’s raining outside states that it’s not.

    If you wish to comment against the stadium, you are more welcome, if you are going to come back just to poke at me again, I would respectfully ask you to restrain yourself.

  11. Calvin Oaten

    Masters degree? in what? Irrelevance? Some sort of PhD? A thesis on inconsequential verbiage perhaps?

    I have never read so many lines covering so much space saying precisely nothing. Ill constructed, poorly researched, pervasively snide, crap. Adding absolutely nothing to the debate. Dougal Stevenson is, in comparison, concise and articulate, covering the subject matter precisely and without drama.

    If I was your supervising professor (and I couldn’t be, having only two years secondary education) there would be no way you would ever achieve a PhD with that standard of research and presentation.

  12. One is calling me a liar and the other is calling names.

    Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the wonderful world of the arrogant and sanctimonious.

    It matters not one bit how long one stayed in secondary education, as manners and respect are learnt in life.

  13. Taking a considered response to this strange comment by Calvin Oaten.

    As I stated in my post above, Stevenson was making perfect sense arguing the economics of the debate. I have no problem with someone saying that this development is possibly going to be too great a strain on the city, it’s a bloody hard proposition to argue against, however there is plenty of evidence in the published material to suggest that this will be a successful development.

    I do however take issue with a couple of points.

    The platform in which Stevenson has is one of privilege. Sure it’s an opinion piece, his notes from the south, however I have never assumed such a time slot was to be so blatantly political. I rather doubt if there will be an alternative view ran at a similar time next week.

    That aside, what I take real exception to is what Calvin Oaten calls “concise and articulate, covering the subject matter precisely and without drama”.

    Stevenson is a very intelligent articulate and wonderful commentator to listen to. However he is not a geophysicist, not materials expert and not privy to the entire construction costs and figures.

    It deeply disappoints me when good people with fantastic careers and reputations for one reason or another pig headily refuse to acknowledge that they aren’t experts in fields new to them. Emeritus Professor Jocelyn Harris, has a distinguished and outstanding career in English literature, recently has defied all of the published material from the authority charged with Climate modelling in NZ, NIWA and ascertains that, contrary to what NIWA states, the area of the development will be subject to flooding due to Mean Sea Level rise due to anthropocentric global rising. This is deeply disturbing, as with the title ‘Emeritus Professor’ people add weight to what she has to say.

    Likewise, as suggested, Stevenson again raises the issue of the roof, construction footing and reclaimed land. Despite what Oaten believes, these issues are not concise and precise, they aren’t even debatable. I have yet to hear from ONE (Elizabeth may know) geotechnical expert who has said the site can not be built upon. Sure it is reclaimed land and such land that is prone to liquefaction, however, modern construction methods can mitigate risks to a level acceptable to any development, least of all our stringent building standards. Because to take a contrary view suggest that this development will not be built to the legal standards required, and that is disingenuous to say the least. It may shock Oaten to know that some of the most innovative and stunning architectural developments of the last decade have involved raising buildings from the water then sand, literally building from the depths of the oceas. If Mr Oaten or Mr Stevenson doubts this, I would suggest they take even 5mins to search the web, it’s there for everyone to see, but then also question why they think such a construction would go ahead which wouldn’t meet the minimum legal requirements for construction.

    As to his assessment of the ‘plastic’ roof, well I have addressed that above (seemingly Mr Oaten didn’t recognise research). Sure it only took all of 5mins to find out, hardly hard research, but then 5 mins to confirm what we already know illustrates how thin that myth that this is merely a ‘plastic roof’.

    The issue of a single use Rugby stadium is a misnomer, that even the suggestion is laughable.

    He raises the issues of the peer reviews, that despite what the StS hoped, were not the death nail of this development. It heeded caution, suggested improvements, and as was expected from such a document(s) a template from which the development could continue. No where in the peer reviews is it stated categorically that the development should be halted here and now (well middle of last year).

    Stevenson is well within his right to question the close economic situation and tight framework, however to raise issues once again which are not open for debate, like the Climate Change argument, is disingenuous verging on disinformation, for it was deliberate and on a platform that required pre planning and fore thought.

    I will never doubt anyone who thinks that this development might be a strain on the city, I will however use the skills I have in my years of university study and research to debunk and challenge anyone who continues, despite the full body of evidence, to publish along the lines that it will flood, the ground unstable, the roof is only plastic, it will be a terrorist target etc, for these are myths which have no grounding in reality or fact.

    Finally it continues to astound me that anyone deems it necessary for this development to be completely different from every other development in the history of the world. All developments are made on projections and costings, but for some reason these must be absolutes, and because these can’t be, this is reason enough not to go ahead. But then this is the case for this development, expectations greater than ever seen before in such developments are bare minimum, or absolutes.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    Hoist with his own petard.

  15. Once again you fail to address these issues. If I am so ‘light weight’ pre tell, which of the issues described above are incorrect or open to debate.

    If you have published material stating categorically that NIWA has it wrong with respect to the level of Mean Sea Level rise, or that the ‘plastic’ isn’t up to scratch (someone please tell the water cube, Alliance Arena and the Eden Project), that the land will not be stable or that the construction methods and engineering aren’t acceptable to the laws of the land, then please, we would love to hear it. I will take the continued snide remarks for what they are, vacuous and condescending.

    However if you have something meaningful to contribute, by all means, this is an open forum.

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.” Einstein.

  16. Richard

    “This whole thing was dreamt up by the local boys looking to become a little richer in hospitality, law and construction – to name but a few heading for the corporate boxes – from the public purse. Oh, don’t forget, property valuation” – Elizabeth.

    Now that disappoints me, Elizabeth. Sure, the acquisition of land did not go according to plan and maybe – maybe – in a couple of instances, more was paid than it was worth in current market terms, but the untangling of land ownership, leases, sub-leases, cross ownership et al means the city now owns a very valuable site and the realignment of the State Highway to put it right alongside the railway line is now possible.

    Thus the physical obstacles to ready harbour access are being put together as one, instead of two! There is room for campus expansion and heavy traffic is being removed from Anzac Avenue. All that has advantages that I am certain you will recognise.

    Only one councillor refuses to understand and/or accept that.

    One of the unexpected side benefits is that with Fonterra freed up to look for new coolstore/storage, they were in a position to buy the soon-to-be-vacated premises of F&P on the Taieri. The unexpected plus from that is that they will utilise the railway siding at that site for freighting their containers by rail to Port Chalmers. I am told this will remove 300 truck movements from the Dunedin-PC highway each day. That has to be good!

  17. Elizabeth

    With respect, Dougal Stevenson’s ‘Notes from the South’ are on many occasions political – we have come to expect nothing less from this senior media person and commentator.

    Aren’t we very keen to have southern people express their views and politics on national air – know I am. Bring it on. Satire’s fine.

    Why are you citing privilege here…very odd. Dammit, each of us is privileged to breathe fresh air! Suggest you catch other ‘Notes’ to understand the scope of Dougal’s ‘cover’ each Sunday morning. You will not be wasting your time.

    Not only this, Dougal is successfully positioned in Chris Laidlaw’s show that brimmeth over with the examination of politics, ideas and media expression. Dougal’s right on cue.

    You say, “However he is not a geophysicist, not materials expert and not privy to the entire construction costs and figures.” I would point out that hardly anyone is privy to these, and THAT’S THE PROBLEM with the duck shoving project coordination in play.

    Dougal did not claim expertise where you assert he has. You’re colouring your own picture here. Which is your right and I will read it as that – as indeed anyone can, including Dougal.

    I think you’ll find the “difference” of this development lies in the comparison of how it was locally promoted as a funding prospect by CST with what it has turned into: massive ratepayer contribution.

    Forget worldly comparisons with building projects, that’s completely disingenuous – the problem is here on your doorstep and you keep tripping over it, gladly I might add.

    We did not, did you Paul, expect such a disappointing facility as this to feed the rugby $drain down the Leith.

    This whole thing was dreamt up by the local boys looking to become a little richer in hospitality, law and construction – to name but a few heading for the corporate boxes – from the public purse. Oh, don’t forget, property valuation.

    Reading a delightful book at the moment, about how a small group of property developers fuelled the building boom and transformed Ireland.

    I’ll refrain from claiming our local lot have that kind of brilliance, but let’s say the Irish saga begins with chequebook zoning, and all that follows (secretly or otherwise) sounds vaguely familiar.

  18. Elizabeth

    That was peevish of me. And unresearched. Mea culpa. Know I should get past the frustrations of how this project has administered itself. Hard to rid the personal is political – did lots of post-structural research in architecture and contemporary design philosophy in the mid to late 1980s; it haunts me ‘constructively’ still. Thank goodness! (she said)

    Some of the things you mention, Richard, are of course improvements, or let’s say ‘developments’, to watch.

    For instance, I’m aware that Fonterra placed a ‘staffer’ at Port Otago’s offices to look at the whole freighting matter and systems handling.

    In the end, not too much happens by sheer coincidence in the southern provinces’ monopoly board.

    The late Howard Paterson taught me that much.


    Today, of course, we read that patients are being put at risk as the Otago District Health Board keeps delaying spending on medical equipment and buildings.

    Budget cuts have been achieved by this deferral and only replacing or repairing equipment which has broken down, rather than regularly upgrading equipment. As a consequence, Richard Thomson says, the clinical risks are growing “extremely fast”.

    Some say (indeed as ‘some of the some’ subside into insolvency) we need to be spending/doing everything – be risk-averse, just ‘cycle’ and bluff our way through to a sunny day, just like before.

    I can’t go there, to indulge a stadium, if we can’t look after ‘home base’ better.

    As citizens, it would be great to have a (note this word:) compassionate choice about how our community dollars are prioritised and spent. Any day, for me, placing money on essential health care and treatment comes well before commercial sports entertainment in a shed (so stripped down it has no realistic chance of being multipurpose to be operationally viable) [forgive me, this sounds exactly like the Health Board].

    Go on, leave off the practical, statutory, arbitrary and artificial distinctions between local government, health boards, central government and others for just a moment, while we defy stadium development for rugby or development’s sake.

  19. Elizabeth

    On ETFE – from Carisbrook Stadium Trust Report* to DCC Finance and Strategy Committee (17 March 2008):

    5.1 Roof Structure

    The roof design has not changed significantly since the concept design stage. The design consists of a series of tied arch trusses spanning 100 metres between the south and north stands with ETFE fitted to the underside. The arch trusses are supported by a main truss at the leading edge of the south stand roof and the back of the north stand.

    One of the issues with the roof structure is the impact that shadows have on the pitch. The shadow studies that have been completed to date indicate the roof structure has limited effect on the surface and benchmarks well against other stadia. At this stage it is not envisaged there are any issues that may affect the activities on the field of play nor lens flare issues for broadcasters. This is an issue that will continue to be modelled during the design process.

    In terms of maintenance, access walkways will be provided along the main truss and each of the tied arch trusses.

    5.2 ETFE Covering

    Details of ETFE have been widely reported to DCC previously. However, for background purposes, its full name is ethylene tetra fluoro ethylene and it is a thermoplastic co-polymer extruded into thin foils. It has been successfully used for over 25 years in a number of high profile buildings and stadia. It has, however, never been used in a stadium over a turf grass pitch which is why a significant amount of research has been continuing both on the ETFE material and turf growth under it.

    Research has shown that the choice of ETFE is an appropriate material and that the grass will grow. We are now moving to stage two on establishing the soil and grass types necessary to achieve optimum results.

    Connell Wagner, one of the consulting engineers on the project, along with Professor John Sutherland of Unitec have completed a review of the ETFE cladding system. While this review concentrated on matters for compliance with the NZ Building Code, it uncovered a number of previous research studies on various aspects of ETFE. For instance a 1988 study indicated that ETFE foil cushions were based on a material that had been in use without serious degradation for 20 years. Based on advances in technology, manufacturers are now offering 25 year guarantees (available for this project) with an expected 70 year plus life without serious degradation. Specific UV tests over a ten year period have also been carried out which indicate no evidence of any optical or mechanical changes in the material.

    The project team has previously confirmed that due to the recent material advances in this technology it is now available on a large scale commercially making it viable for a project such as this. Interestingly, a fixed ETFE roof is currently in construction on a new football stadium in Norway (Fornebu Arena). The product is self cleansing due to a very smooth surface, has exceptional light transmission by maintaining solar control, has structural strength and durability and is in the event of a fire self-venting and self extinguishing. The product with a mass of less than 1kg/m2 is lightweight and self supporting.

    ETFE is relatively simple to maintain. It can be patch repaired if needed and it is possible that rainwater harvested from the roof can be used through a simple irrigation system to clean the roof during dry periods or any other reason. If any of the ETFE pillows require replacement it is anticipated this can be undertaken using access equipment from below and the latchway/ walkway system via the trusses. The ETFE cladding system will need to be routinely maintained on an annual basis. A maintenance strategy will be developed at the appropriate time in the design process.

    * Source at:
    Report – FSC – 17/03/2008 (PDF, 1.2 mb, new window)


    Darren Burden (CST) has since provided further information on ETFE in verbal reply to questions from Dunedin City councillors, including ETFE’s performance under heat and fire load. That is to say when exposed to intense heat and fire the material vaporises.

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