Acklin on poison

Or how to piss off the public…

So DCC/CST provided a series of meetings to fully explain the stadium project to the Dunedin public? DCC/CST, you’ve had years of opportunity to do so. Why haven’t you. Again, why haven’t you.

### ODT Online Wed, 8 Apr 2009
Opinion: Why the STS bug is poisonous

By Bill Acklin

Opponents of the proposed Awatea St stadium conveniently ignore the origins, history and true purpose of the project, argues Bill Acklin.

Read More Online Here…

Read more

ODT credits Bill Acklin as a Dunedin city councillor and ratepayer.

• Tomorrow: Stop the Stadium vice-president Dave Witherow questions the DCC’s commitment to consultation.


Filed under CST, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Politics, Site, Stadiums, STS

21 responses to “Acklin on poison

  1. Peter

    It didn’t piss me off in the slightest. Good on Cr Acklin for writing this opinion piece.

  2. This was one of the best pieces written on the subject ever.

    Take for instance the so called stadium debate held at the Town Hall public meeting. I was always under the impression that a debate included both sides of the issue and where possible informed or professionals, you know the people who actually know what they are talking about, not opinionated sods.

    Unfortunately the likes of the more insane arm of the StS has completely overshadowed the more reasoned arguments and commentators like Elizabeth Kerr.

    No doubt they’ll come out slamming this article, after all any form of reason went out the door months and months ago.

  3. Anne Elliot

    Isn’t Cr Acklin’s framing of opposition to the stadium interesting? Cast as a “poisonous bug” he is able to promote an image of stadium detractors as distorting “the true intention of this stadium project” and spreading misinformation.

    Acklin goes on to suggest that “a new stadium with a roof, with links to the university and Logan Park that would allow many varied activities to be part of its use” won favour. Favour with whom? Some councillors, yes. The public: By and large, No. Not when presented with the facts about the proposed funding. The opposition has grown. But the citizen’s views are not the concern of Cr Acklin. He knows what’s best for Dunedites.

  4. David

    In interesting question to councillors – at what point do you vote against the stadium – if you constituents are 60% against ratepayer funding, 70%, 80%, 90%?

    At what point will our representatives decide to be representative?

  5. KGB

    People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
    Cr Acklin should have informed his constituents that he had been charged with a drink driving offence in April 2007.It was after the November elections that he finally appeared in court.Had many of his constituents known this at the time of the elections,he may have found himself out in the cold.

  6. KGB,

    this has absolutely nothing to do with anything, and a bloody cheap shot.

    Because we have this little thing in New Zealand called innocent until called guilty. If he didn’t appear in court until after the elections then the presumption of innocence has to be assumed.

    That aside, what the BLOODY HELL are you one about?

    He wrote a piece in which he has stated a well formed opinion that any form of rational debate around the stadium has been blown out by the campaign of misinformation that I have been on about for the last 8 months or so.

    I would have LOVED for this to have been played out on the facts from day one (both sides), but once crap like stuff that was spewed out at the very first StS meeting, there was no turning back.

    Once people have been poisoned (a bloody good term for this) with crap about global warming, terrorism, glass roofs, grass won’t grown (from non experts), bullshit opportunity costs (the infamous poo infested beaches) blah blah bloody blah, there was no turning back. Evidence, just this weekend past I was lectured to (really interesting how people are willing to give their ‘opinion’ stated as fact, without me wanting to know it) on how the foundations were not up to it and the glass roof was going to kill people when it cracked and fell.

    Yes there has been lots of good debate, but sorry, the misinformation and lies has blighted the issues so much, been repeated too often (without an consideration of the actual professional facts), that this is not a rational debate any more, and any suggestion of a referendum will be completely tainted with the shit rather than the facts.

    Wasn’t it one of your personalities that told me over at SkyScraper page that Fact South Dunedin was going to float away. When, unless Newton and other physicists got it completely wrong, there is no way on gods clean earth that that insane eventuality would occur. I rest my case.

    BTW, I’d have still voted for the bugger, there’s also a thing called forgiveness.

  7. No coucillors are elected to see through mandates, and unless I am the only one with a memory in this city, the last election was fought on a $188m waterfront stadium.

    The council was duly elected, since then all manner of conspiracy theories have blown more or less any rational debate out of the water, and the StS are now crying foul, running a moral campaign to bring back democracy to the people.

    Sorry, you don’t get extra democracy just because you have been so poorly informed that you believe any old rubbish. And NO Bev it’s not a blinkin moral campaign of bringing back democracy, it’s a story of a rabid bunch of idiots hijacking what could have been a bloody good argument.

  8. David

    Paul, funny that you poo poo opportunity costs, when they are used in CST calculations and the audit of them.

    There’s a lot of misinformation on both sides (i.e. you say there is no long term downward trend in rugby spectator numbers).

    I think what is clear is there is a lot of distrust of council, and it’s not just because of StS. It’s because of secret meetings, failure to explain the missing millions, whacky ideas for “multipurpose uses”, numbers that don’t come close to stacking up, personal abuse of genuinely concerned citizens, and threats to “pay for our stadium or we’ll take your house” etc.

    Personally I’ve never got any of my information from StS. The most damaging information I’ve come across comes directly from council and CST.

  9. There isn’t a long downward slide in Rugby number, and there is no way with RWC2011 just around the corner that this is a trend that will continue infintium until Rugby has no place in the NZ sporting venacular as you are more or less suggesting.

    Paraphrasing the popular Twain-ism “Rumours of the death of Rugby in NZ have been great exaggerated.”

    This distrut in the council has been borne of the totality of the rumours, half truths and bullshit that has been presented in the media day in day out (Dave Witherow’s ODT so called ‘opinion’ piece today for example).

    You can not say that it’s not going to be multi-use, until the day it is retired and not one single other event hasn’t ever been staged there.

    As for the personal abuse, sorry, but the worse example of that has been from the StS, I have seen the emails that some councillors have been subjected to by those very angry and abusive people, and believe me they aren’t publishable. Even the police have been involved. Take for instance Cr Acklin’s article yesterday, the abuse that he came in for for that – really, makes you wonder.

    You may not have any of the info from the StS, but the poorly informed public have, and that is no basis for a free and fair public referenda.

    Funny why is it you are spelling the death of the DCC with these figures when even the peer reviews weren’t this critical (they were critical, but no where did they say don’t do it).

  10. Elizabeth, I have this somewhat antiquated view that councillors (and politicians) are voted to see through a mandate.

    There is no empirical evidence that this mandate, which I expressly voted for, will cripple the city. There is caution and concern (as there should be for any major project), but the level of criticism and apparent need to know basis of community concern is disproportionate to the project at hand. If my figures are right, more money will be spent on water treatment and sewage treatment upgrade than will be on the stadium. Yet were people writing to the ODT demanding to know how many jobs for these will be local, how much the contracts are for, what materials they will be using.

    Quite simply people have been led to believe way too much about this project and are now demanding stuff which they simply have no right to know or even need to know. Did anyone question the engineering of the poo pipe at St Kilda, yet so many have had a go at the engineering and design of the stadium, despite the fact that the companies involved in design are responsible for over $1 trillion USD worth of stadium development over the last decade – they know what they are doing. Doesn’t stop the ODT publishing letters from moaning buggers stating that the ground is unsuitable for construction – irrespective of the professional knowledge and the existing plant on site at the moment.

    The most dangerous thing Dunedin could do at this stage is vote in an Anti-Stadium council after construction has started, that would be a complete disaster.

    But I fear that this election has already been blighted by the stadium and the misinformation, and any suggestion that this will be free of hype and hyperbole (not to mention lies and bullshit) is possibly already gone with the southerly that came blasting through this week.

    Evidence of this is the Witherow ODT ‘opinion’ piece today, more repeated bullshit and lies.

  11. Peter

    I actually think much of the noise coming out of some parts of the anti-stadium camp relates to positioning themselves as a future local body candidates. In the real world there is no way individuals from the Alliance, ACT and Greens would have gained as much profile to the Dunedin citizenry as they have through STS.

  12. KGB

    Elizabeth said
    [If I was a South Dunedin resident I wouldn’t vote for Acklin, simply he doesn’t impress me much having heard him in council committee meetings (this lack of faith has nothing to do with his criminal drink driving conviction).]

    {KGB. I’ve edited my comment in your message, and where posted originally. Legal discourse has it that drink driving is not a criminal offence, it is a driving offence. Until today I was unaware of the distinction; apparently this is commonly confused…hard not to see drink driving as a crime, especially with the number of drink drivers and recidivist drink drivers on our roads. The Law dealing with drink driving is covered by the Land Transport Act 1998. The Act provides that it is an offence to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road while the proportion of alcohol in the breath exceeds 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. Elizabeth}

    It amazes me how can this man can say that the STS bug is very poisonous when the blood in his own veins was far more venomous especially when he was driving.
    What amazes me more is that his DIC charge was held off for 7 months until 1 week after the elections.
    In saying that,I have to agree with what you said too Elizabeth

  13. Yeah it’s a hell of a crime isn’t it. Last year 362 people killed on the roads. 5000 died of smoking of which 1500 were cause by other people.

    Hmmm Bev Butler smokes????

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