### ODT Online comment by Calvin Oaten on Mon, 09/03/2009 – 10:43pm.
Otago Stadium a done deal
Regardless of what we have read, been shown or told…we can come to no other conclusion but that the stadium was decided right from the beginning. The problem was simply how to sell it. It all began when the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) told the Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) that Carisbrook no longer met the standards required by the NZRU and that if we were to retain class A tests it would have to be upgraded. Consternation, the ORFU didn’t know what to do. You see, it was in debt to the Dunedin City Council (DCC) to the tune of $2 million and owed the bank over $4 million. Worse, it was, and had been for some time operating at a loss. It decided to commission a report from consultants to see what could be done. It was resolved that a DCC working party should be set up chaired by Jim Harland.
The working party began its investigations but quickly realised that the DCC should not be seen to be coming to the aid of a stricken private commercial operation. It was therefore resolved to set up an independent body to be named the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST), to investigate what could or should be done to bring Carisbrook up to standard and what it was likely to cost. The CST quickly decided that Carisbrook was out and that a new stand alone facility should be built. Both councils [DCC and ORC] embraced the concept providing they were regularly appraised of developments as the project was progressed. This became a charade of selective information, misleading information, information withholding due to commercial sensitivity and just plain old humbug…
Housekeeping -we abridge Mr Oaten’s comment and commend the full version to readers.