Monthly Archives: March 2009

Elizabeth…

Before visitors get huffy with some posts, know that the authors are caught in the dire/fun task of bantering on in polar opposite about the very successful public meeting held last night at the Town Hall, which was a series of eloquent speakers presenting on the ensuing debate about the proposed Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza (aka the albatross, silent pebble or heavy anchor).

If you were there it helps.

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Filed under Hot air, Inspiration, Politics, Stadiums, STS

Real Debate

stadium

I love it, all this democracy, taking action into one’s hands etc. The death of Democracy we’ve all heard time and time again, the bemoaning of the lack of debate, the inability of people to be informed or voice opinion. Sure these things conceptually might have happened – I don’t know, personally I feel well informed.

But look at the above picture. What do you see? Concerned ex-Mayor re-splendid in here Scottish heritage outfit. Seated on the left, anti-stadium speakers, in the middle a very considered adjudicator and seated on the right anti-stadium speakers. Is this debate – no? Is this considered opinion, in many cases no.

If the likes of Eckoff et al think that the CST (wrong messenger) has been remiss at conducting public consultation forums, well who the bloody hell are the adult here. Why hasn’t the StS been organising it. If they were genuine about any meaningful debate on the subject they would have taken the time to hire a hall (hmm like last night), invite speakers (hmm like last night) and allowed voices and opinion from all sides to speak – whops so not last night.

I thought the meaning of the word debate meant it was necessary for there to be two sides to every story. The ability to question, investigate and question again is a uniquely human trait that has been sorely ignored through this whole debate.

If the StS thinks that there was genuine lack of debate on this topic, why hasn’t any of it’s meetings included the actual meaning of debate. I mean I have opened this forum to both sides of the story, and I think you will all agree that there is an intelligent level of debate which up until recently has been missed in this whole story.

Come on StS, put your money where your mouth is and organise a debate, I’ll turn up happily (I mean I really want to see the literature that Prof Harris is holding on to, to confirm her Global Warming doom scenario). I would love someone to actually confront someone over the continue “Poo on our Beaches” rants…

But just like all things, there will be the mad and bad (not pointing the finger at anyone within the StS hammering things to Council doors) who will wish to shout out rational debate – bring one’s boxing gloves?

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Filed under CST, Hot air, Media, STS

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

On local government

When is a stadium core business? Is it when you blatantly offer up your council’s social housing to central government to help pay for a rugby stadium. Is that what the LGF is on about below, not quite but you get the drift…

### NewstalkZB 30/03/2009 8:00:25
Councils told: stick to basics
Councils are being told to stick to their knitting. The Local Government Forum – a group lobbying on behalf of businesses – has released a report that tells them to steer clear of forming social policies to even up the distribution of wealth. It says that is the government’s job, and it should stay that way. Mr Finny says local councils should focus on providing public services. Read more

The link to the newly released report will be posted here when available.

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### Business NZ 14 Mar 2007
Business groups launch Local Government Manifesto
Business groups say local government needs to be more focussed on its core business, to ease the disturbing growth in the country’s rates bill.
Read more

Download: Local Government Forum (2007), Democracy and Performance: A Manifesto for Local Government, Local Government Forum, Christchurch.
[First published in November 2008 by the Local Government Forum, Christchurch.]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Politics

Media coverage Town Hall meeting

### ODT Online Mon, 30 Mar 2009
Stadium rates revolt plan
By David Loughrey and Sarah Harvey
The Dunedin Town Hall echoed to the sound of a clapping and stamping crowd clearly and vociferously opposed to the proposed stadium last night.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Politics, Site, Stadiums, STS, Town planning

StS Town Hall meeting SMART POINTED BRILLIANT

Telling it as it is – Stop the Stadium has done an incredible job.

CONGRATULATIONS.

Dunedin people from all walks of life filled the Town Hall to capacity.

It was the speakers who did all the work tonight – Alistair Broad, Dave Cull, Gerry Eckhoff, Robert Hamlin, Michael Stedman and Sukhi Turner, along with Dougal Stevenson in the critical role of MC. Together they were honest, truthful, pointed, on task, funny, believable and more transparent than anything the Dunedin City Council, the Otago Regional Council or the Carisbrook Stadium Trust has had to offer on the stadium proposal to date as to business feasibility – and potential effects on ratepayers and residents (citizens all), the council ledgers and the Dunedin economy for the extremely long haul ahead IF the “silly” “stupid” “appalling” project goes ahead.

The media has material enough for the largest field day, tomorrow. Since when does an ex-Mayor of Dunedin invite a civic uprising, can I say “ours does”. I say it with utmost pleasure.

The meeting was scandalously GOOD.

And hey, tomorrow, Dunedin City councillors pushing the stadium project – being ever hopeful they can get it over insurmountable odds – will once again see stadium business into non public. HOW LONG can they keep this façade up. Really. Will Crs Cull and Staynes succeed with their Notice of Motion?

Two resolutions were passed at the public meeting. In essence: 1. Hello Mr Rodney Hide, come open the books at DCC and ORC. 2. Oh, procedure: Hello Local Government Act and DCC’s LTCCP, what is due process. [Wording of the unanimous resolutions will likely be cited by the press.]

But here’s what everyone can do, safely, yes actually! {Best consult ODT 31/3/09 for clarification; I did say it was “interesting” in the next sentence; seemed too good to be true, if you’re into rates revolts that is. Elizabeth.}This is the flyer distributed at meeting end, which has interesting confirmation from Dean of Law Prof Mark Henaghan:

stop-the-stadium-notice

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Finally, thank you DUNEDIN BUSINESS PEOPLE FOR VOICING YOUR VIEWS and for being there on stage and throughout the audience. We waited for this. It has happened. Let’s turn this monstrous DCC/ORC/CST process on its ear.

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ANOTHER THING: EVERYONE who doesn’t want the stadium and or is not prepared to pay for it please write submissions saying so – in your very own words, with your very own feelings or facts – on the DRAFT Dunedin City Council LTCCP and the Draft ORC Annual Plan. INDICATE in your submissions that you DO WISH TO BE HEARD on your submissions. This is not a frightening process.

Check out the council documents online or contact the councils for more information about how you can participate in the process.

If the councils don’t hear from US, they will continue to falsely assume (the great CHARADE) that we want the stadium and everything that follows… as it sinks the city.

The councillors who oppose the stadium project NEED YOUR HELP. Now.

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

Don't forget your StS Bingo Card

At the meeting in the town hall tonight don’t forget to have a little fun while the doomeisters are predicting the end of the world as we know it.

Simple Rules.

Cross off a word ever time it is mentioned and of course first line and fill card wins.

bingo1a

bingo2a

And if you think, he’s being bloody facetious again, well yes I am, because for the simple fact that these are neither new voices, with I imagine little or nothing to add – $10 to the charity of your choice if Dr Hamiln basically stands up and say’s “told you so” or “investor entrapment” within 1 min. of the start of his speech.

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Filed under Economics, Politics, STS