Interim injunction: Walker knows what he's up against

### ODT Online Thu, 7 May 2009
Deal reached on stadium case date
By Allison Rudd

A compromise has been reached over Queenstown property developer Basil Walker’s attempts to get a High Court interim injunction to stop the Otago Regional Council putting ratepayer funding towards the Awatea St stadium within the next few weeks.
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69 Comments

Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Politics, Stadiums

69 responses to “Interim injunction: Walker knows what he's up against

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 7 May 2009
    Opinion: Your Say
    Comment by Fungus Pudding on How does ORC funding work?

  2. Fungus – why the hell do you need to know, do you really think that there are councillors sitting in their offices with a big monopoly board and make believe money, not consulting any lawyers, not talking to any accountants, not consulting any engineers.

    I am tearing my hear out with you guys. It’s a freaking legal undertaking for a $200m dollar job!!! of course every freaking t and I have been hung drawn and quartered. You people may be amateur accountants or lawyers, but I can tell you that the people who are actually employed as PROFESSIONALS have and do know the law and legalities of these contracts.

    Your freaking Idiots.

  3. Ah this is of course the dear old Mr Walker who campaigned so hard on behalf of “New Zealand” to scrap the emissions trading scheme. Didn’t represent me, I bloody liked the ETS. Sir you may speak for yourself and some, but you don’t speak for all.

  4. David

    Paul – this professional expertise you talk about – is it the sort of expertise that commits to a $200m stadium –

    – but doesn’t even ask if the Highlanders will still be around when it’s finished.
    – but doesn’t even find out if the whole competition will still be around.
    – can not explain where half of the loan repayments ($5m per year) will come from.
    – can not explain who will pay for $3m or more of depreciation (every year).
    – arguing there is a need for new conference and meeting facilities at the stadium, while committing to $45m of new conference and meeting facilities at the Dunedin Centre (because they say these facilities are pointless if they’re not right in the CBD).

    I’ve had experience with a previous major city project of council bungling, incompetence, breaching its own policy, acting without authorisation, breaching the Resource Management Act, conflicts of interest, white-wash reports, cover ups, then outright lies to the public (from the very top). So nothing would surprise me.

  5. Richard

    David:

    “I’ve had experience with a previous major city project of council bungling, incompetence, breaching its own policy, acting without authorisation, breaching the Resource Management Act, conflicts of interest, white-wash reports, cover ups, then outright lies to the public (from the very top). So nothing would surprise me.”

    I am aware that you are referring to previous comments made here – and elsewhere – in regard to Mitre 10 Mega. (Elizabeth recently referred to them). You were very prominent in a subsequent protest.

    I was not involved in any part of that Consent process – nor was any elected councillor – because it did not proceed to a public hearing – as I recall the only submitter withdrew when his objection was met.

    As Deputy Chair of DCC Hearings, I understand that your subsequent protestations were, as I understand it, investigated and found wanting.

    Your continued comment casts suspicion on council staff who are not in a position to answer back.

    I invite you to send me the verified details and I will investigate.

    Richard

  6. David

    Richard, to set the record straight, there are no current DCC staff who I am casting suspicions on – everybody with direct involvement with that particular resource consent left either immediately after they granted the consent (to work for the company who applied for it), or they left when started asking difficult questions about the process. We ran out of people to question – not a single person with direct involvement in the consent was left.

    You mentioned it was investigated and found wanting – that was the point of my earlier comments.

    The Mayor told the public through the ODT that there had been a full and complete DCC review into all aspects of the process, and that it had found no problems whatsoever.

    I asked to see the review – no luck (you’d think they would gladly hand it out if it backed up what the Mayor said)
    I asked to see the review under the Official Information Act – no luck.
    I asked the Ministry for the Environment if they had a copy of the reveiw (as they were also looking at the matter) – no luck.
    As the DCC did not supply a copy of the review as they were required to, I had to go to the Ombudsman.

    I told the DCC I was about to do this, then finally, weeks after the legal deadline, I received a letter from the DCC, saying that this full and complete review into all the various issues had been conducted on an entirely verbal basis – there wasn’t a single piece of paper or email that I could see for the whole review (if this was true, why didn’t they tell me at the start)

    At the same time, I received a letter back from the Ministry for the Environment, who had a letter from the DCC, stating clearly that no review had ever taken place.

    So either the Mayor lied, and there was no review, or the review is being kept secret, and the DCC was telling porkies to the Ministry for the Environment.

    Dealing with the DCC on this issue was like dealing with a brick wall – instead of wanting to get to the bottom of it, they did everything possible to stonewall, cover-up, delay, hide, and protect any information about it.

    As for there being no objections to the consent – that was because what we were shown we were getting, and what we got, were two completely different things. The “artist’s impression” of the finished building in the ODT, showed a building with the Orange part of the building (i.e. most of it) completely ommitted. There wasn’t a shred of orange to be seen.

    Richard, how common is it for the DCC to do full and in-depth reviews into contentious issues on a totally verbal basis?

  7. Richard

    David

    My comment was that: “I understand that your subsequent protestations were, as I understand it, investigated and found wanting.”

    Perhaps I should have used “complaint”. No matter.

    In the absence of anything to the contrary, your allegations were found “wanting”.

    I cannot establish whether that outcome is true or not on generalised allegations. I need factual material.

    This is not the place to post that.

    If you wish me to pursue this matter, please copy all the documentation you refer to and send it to me.

  8. David

    Thanks for the offer Richard, but I’m not sure if anything positive would come of it, especially judging by the way it was all treated last time i.e The DCC has never ever supplied any of the important documents I asked for, but a DCC manager told the ODT I have been given every single document ever I asked for – a blatant lie. I asked for a retraction and apology, but before that happened he resigned as well.

    In the interests of avoiding a repetition, I’ll send you a list off the top of my head of the numerous conflicts of interest, breaches of DCC policy, unauthorised decision making, failure to follow due process, failure to assess, failure to consult, false public notification, building on top of a public road etc. etc etc

  9. David please

    Paul – this professional expertise you talk about – is it the sort of expertise that commits to a $200m stadium –

    – but doesn’t even ask if the Highlanders will still be around when it’s finished.
    – but doesn’t even find out if the whole competition will still be around.
    – can not explain where half of the loan repayments ($5m per year) will come from.
    – can not explain who will pay for $3m or more of depreciation (every year).
    – arguing there is a need for new conference and meeting facilities at the stadium, while committing to $45m of new conference and meeting facilities at the Dunedin Centre (because they say these facilities are pointless if they’re not right in the CBD).

    I’ve had experience with a previous major city project of council bungling, incompetence, breaching its own policy, acting without authorisation, breaching the Resource Management Act, conflicts of interest, white-wash reports, cover ups, then outright lies to the public (from the very top). So nothing would surprise me.

    You know for a fact that they haven’t asked these questions, or you are assuming that they haven’t asked these questions.

    Again, you are assuming that you know more about this project than the professionals and experts in the field (the turf management experts etc) and that everyone else has it wrong. Sorry I just don’t buy that as valid argument, either that or you are some sort of divine genius who is wasted in dunedin here.

    STOP with the acting without a mandate rubbish, we have been through one election and one massive round of consultation over this issue, the people gave the present council a mandate and all of your denial of it amounts to hollow crying at the moon (or whatever the tired cliche may be). If you didn’t vote of a pro stadium councillor and you still didn’t get the council you wanted, welcome to democracy. I knew before I voted who was pro and anti stadium and I urged all people I know to vote according to their views, as I foresaw people bemoaning this and that post election re the stadium – boy if I could only foresee the winning lotto tickets this week.

  10. David

    Paul says “You know for a fact that they haven’t asked these questions, or you are assuming that they haven’t asked these questions.”

    I know for a fact.

    I saw the Mayor interviewed on TV3, and they asked him about the Highlanders franchise contract ending, and if he was worried about the possibility of it not being renewed.

    In a huge embarrassement to Dunedin, he admitted he didn’t know anything about it.

    As the decision of whether there will be a Super 14 or not when the stadium is finished – that hasn’t even been decided yet – so how could anyone know if there’ll be a super 14/15/17/18 or whatever, and if it will include us?

    I’m not contradicting the turf experts’ opinions, or saying I know more than them – I’m QUOTING their report.

    YOU are the one that contradicts the turf experts.
    YOU say there are not turf problems whatsoever – THEY say it won’t grow in winter and may need complete replacement, massively expensive winter lighting, and can’t be used for multi-purpose use like concerts the seven months a year a roofed stadium is most needed.

    You say my figures are wrong (when I’m using CST figures).
    You say my comments on turf problems are wrong (when I’m quoting the experts employed by CST).

    I know a lot of people who feel tricked by the position of councillors. Most I saw at the last elections said they would only make up their mind AFTER they had seen all the facts. Now we hear numerous opinions like yours, that their decision had actually already been made.

    If what you say is true, then a lot of people have been misled.

  11. Re the Mayor and the Highlanders, sorry he may not know anything about it, but I can tell you many of the other councillors did, and besides, he’s not the one doing the feasibility studies and professional planning, that has been charged to the CST, and if they foresaw that as an issue it would have been raised.

    Yes a lot of people have been misled by the anti-stadium brigade, and don’t worry the grass will grow.

  12. David

    Paul – you seem to say a lot of things off the top of your head with nothing to back them up – like saying the experts found no problems with the turf, when they have found the opposite.

    And yet again you contradict the expert report, and the experience from roofed stadiums around the world, and non-roofed stadiums in a similar climate.

    It’s really difficult to beleive anything you say when it
    a/ contradicts the expert report
    b/ and you never back anything up with.

    Do you really expect us to believe the experts are wrong and you are right, just because you say so?

    The mayor is the one voting and signing for the stadium, and you think ok for him to make the decision and sign without being aware of crucial issues that could mean major losses of money to ratepayers.

  13. Richard

    For the record:

    Council had up-to-date reports from Jock Allison on the turf and a letter from the NZRFU confirming its commitment to The Highlanders franchise before it at its meeting on 20 April.

  14. David

    The embarrassing TV moment for the Mayor was well before this. However it made it look like Dunedin was going full steam ahead, without knowing (or even bothering to find out) the most elementary information.

    Now that the Highlanders have been confirmed, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what sort of competition they will play in, especially with the possibility that the Super 14 might fall apart with threat of South Africa pulling out.

    As I’ve said before. I’m all for the stadium if someone can show me an intelligent financial analysis that shows the benefits will outweigh the costs. We also need to be clearly told how these costs will be paid, which has never been done.

    And we need to see the rugby community put in a decent contribution – if only they would put as much effort into fundraising, as they have into trying to freeload and con ratepayers to buy them a stadium.

  15. Richard

    Elizabeth:

    The last reports on the turf were those considered on the 20 April and discussed in that meeting, in particular, by Colin Weatherall.

  16. Richard

    David:

    For the record: The ORFU (nor the NZRFU for that matter) never ASKED for “a new stadium” when this thing started out in 2001.

    The ORFU has always made it clear that it wanted to be a hirer of the existing ground (as recorded in the report of the CWP in 2004) or the new stadium.

    Having said that, I think you will find that most of those who have signed up for boxes and seats in the new stadium are from “the rugby community”.

    I also think it appropriate, whatever our views on the stadium, to remember that the ORFU is a substantial employer in the town with anything up to 80 employees at any time (including contracted players etc) and a payroll of some $1.6 million, most (if not all) of which will be spent locally.

  17. David

    Richard, how did we get from the point of the ORFU never asking for a new stadium, AND the council promising ratepayers that not a dollar of their money would be spent on upgrading Carisbrook, to the opposite end of the spectrum – the ORFU getting a new stadium with a roof, demolishing all the new multimillion dollar facilities at Carisbrook, and the ratepayers being forced to pay for the majority of it?

    As for memberships and corporate boxes – that’s buying a product – it’s not making a financial donation to the capital cost, like ratepayers are being forced to do (under threat of losing their houses).

    And it shouldn’t even be counted in capital funding anyway – that should be the ongoing running revenue.

  18. David,
    since when has not knowing the crucial issues that could mean major financial losses to the rate payers ever stopped Mayor Peter Chin from signing documents?
    The Mahinerangi land/water deal with Trustpower springs to mind.
    Richard, why would you ever think that a tentative rugby payroll of $1.6 million, even if it was all spent locally, be sufficient grounds upon which to base a decision to commit the citizens to a $200 million plus project?
    Especially when the ORFU are not even willing to enter into a lease agreement to locate to the stadium. Rather, they will only commit to renting it event by event. How tentative is that?

  19. Richard

    David

    There are so many side issues that have bedevilled this whole saga that it is important to record some of the basic things that have been misrepresented.

    So let me deal with the ones you raise.

    The Council has NEVER said – in relation to CWP proposal to acquire and redevelop Carisbrook or the Awatea Street proposal – that there would be no public/rates funding involved.

    Quite the contrary as reference to page 6 of the minutes of the Council Meeting on Wednesday 28 February and 1 March 2007 confirm.

    This was the first time Council formally considered the “Masterplan and Feasibility Plan” put forward by the CST and adopted OPTION 1A FOR CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMUNITY.

    The selling of “Memberships” – whatever you like to call them – has always been a principal part of the private sector funding. It is how the Stadium cash flow is allocated that determines what goes where, i.e. to repaying capital funding or operations etc.

  20. Richard

    Calvin:

    As I have said above, there are so many side issues that have bedevilled this whole saga that it is important to record some of the basic things that have been misrepresented. There is not much point in arguing over them!

    Fact: The Mahinerangi deal you refer to did not result in any financial loss to Council at all.

    Fact: The ORFU role as a significant employer was not a factor in the stadium decision. I only mentioned it given a lot of the anti-rugby stuff that has permeated the (so-called) debate. Your comment surprises me.

    Fact: The ORFU/Highlanders training ground and most of their physical activity is located on Logan Park – at the back of the old brick building which also houses their gym – and not Carisbrook. I cannot recall any suggestion/proposal that they would relocate that or their administrative offices to the new stadium.

    Fact: The ORFU has entered into a Hire Agreement for the new stadium.

    Trust this is helpful.

  21. David

    Richard, when the Carisbrook upgrade was first mooted, we had a promise from council that it would not include any ratepayer funding.

    Revenue from ongoing memberships and corporate boxes (quite a bit of which will be paid back to the ORFU as ticket rebates) should be part of annual revenue – not initial capital costs.

    If the private sector and the rugby community had come up with more than naming rights and a $30 donation, then they revenue wouldn’t need to be used as capital.

    It would be interesting to get a breakdown of where the corporate box and membership revenue will be spent, becasuse it appears in both the capital funding, then again in annual revenue.

    Presumably it hasn’t been counted twice, but it won’t all come in for years, so someone picks up a massive bridging loan – presumably that’s the poor old ratepayer as well.

    And what about the rest of the shortfall in private funding – who picks up that in the meantime? (or forever)

    And what if millions need to be spent on pitch replacement or special lighting to amke the grass grow – presumably again it’s old muggins the ratepayer?

    And what spectator numbers continue the trend of the last ten years, and keep declining. Who will pay for running losses?

    These are all not just faint chances – they are very posible likelihoods.

    I like the idea of the submitter reported in the paper – for every $1m that the project over runs, or funding falls short, or annual losses are made, each councilor who voted for it should donate $1000 to the hospice.

    And if the gamble is too great to risk a few thousand of their own money, that’s proof positive that the risk is way to great for $200,000,000 of our money.

  22. Richard

    David

    Apart from the first point – there has never been such a ‘promise’ made by council – all the other points have been covered (some interminably) in reports and informed comment.

    I do not see the point – nor do I have the time – to sit here pointlessly arguing the toss over your opinions. You are entitled to those. That does not, however, make them facts.

    Cheers!

  23. David

    Richard says “Apart from the first point – there has never been such a ‘promise’ made by council ”

    When the upgrade (pre Awatea St) was first mooted, it was reported in the ODT that council said no ratepayers money would be spent on the upgrade.

    I think it was in response to the worry that ratepayers were still waiting to get money back from the ORFU, and they should not be given any more until it is payed back..

    Even with this debt, the DCC was and still is slyly handing ratepayers money over to the ORFU via Delta – that’s an appalling abuse of ratepayers money.

    Elizabeth – you’d expect a $200m property investment to return in the order of $25m to ratepayers. The stadium is expected to return just 1% of a normal commercial return.

    i.e. if you take all factors like interest into account, it will run at a loss of many millions of dollars per year.

    Some people think this taking $200m away from Dunedin homes and businesses, and putting it into a facility that runs at a massive loss, will have a positive financial effect – duh.

  24. Richard

    Elizabeth

    No, the differing roles of the CST and Council and who is doing what has been the “problem”.

    I am surprised though that you think Council is “going to run the stadium”. That has never been suggested. Nor will it be run by the CST. Neither have the expertise or experience to do so.

    Quite the contrary, it will be run – as stated many times – by the proposed Venues Company on the same lines as Christchurch’s V-Base.

  25. Richard

    “When the upgrade (pre Awatea St) was first mooted, it was reported in the ODT that council said no ratepayers money would be spent on the upgrade” – David.

    You may be recalling a comment Malcolm Farry made in August 2006 when the various options were first unveiled by the CST. That is the only thing I can link it to.

    Lyndon Weggery gave an interesting – if not complete – summary of the chronology etc in his submission to the LTCCP on Tuesday evening.

  26. David

    Richard – I think it was before the various upgrade options were public, and Awatea St wasn’t even on the radar.

    At the time they were looking at new stands for Carisbrook, including building one on top of Neville St etc.

    And the council was reported as saying no ratepayer money would be spent on it.

  27. Richard

    David

    That would seem to relate to when the ORFU made an approach to the ORC and DCC to replace/rebuild the main stand. (The design looked something like one of the stands at the Adelaide Oval and was intended to mirror the Southern Alps!). That would be about 2001-2002.

    That being so, I believe your are picking up on advice given to the DCC by the CEO, “that it was not possible to use public funds to improve/upgrade privately owned property” – or words to that effect. Which is correct.

    Something quite different though from how you remember it!

    It was from there, of course, that the saga started.

  28. David

    Richard says “That being so, I believe your are picking up on advice given to the DCC by the CEO, “that it was not possible to use public funds to improve/upgrade privately owned property” – or words to that effect. Which is correct.”

    That might be it. However I don’t like the way of getting around this – lets build them a whole new rugby stadium, call it multipurpose, even if the pitch can’t be used for other events over half the year, then rent it back to them for a token fee.

    And the ratepayers can fund it.

    Outside of fundamental services, there would be few city projects that could take so much money, and have such a small return, with so little use.

  29. Richard

    That is why the CWP was set up. It recommended, of course, the acquisition and upgrading of The ‘Brook. I have detailed on here before what happened from there!

    Suffice to say that if that had not been ‘sabotaged’, the Awatea Street project might never have emerged.

    Note: I say ‘might’ because there was a suggestion being put up at the time for a harbourside stadium but the site was closer in to the Harbour Basin.

    Now that will get Elizabeth going!

    All history now and while, like George Griffiths, I enjoy visiting the past, I do not live in it.

    And why is the thread under “Injunction’ anyway?

  30. Richard,
    Fact: The Mahinerangi land/water deal did not result in a loss to the DCC at all. Correct.
    Fact: The Mahinerangi land/water deal, as our asset, should have at the very least, be providing a negotiated royalty per KW/hr. generated in perpetuity. That is where the amateurish performance of both staff and the mayor shows up.

    Fact: The ORFU was not a factor in the stadium decision.
    Fact: It most certainly should have been as it is the only viable user identified. Nothing else suggested has made the slightest bit of sense.

    Richard, the whole stadium fiasco has been, and is, arguably the worst, least thought out project that has ever been foisted onto the long suffering citizens.

    You must be congratulated on your steadfast defence of the indefensible on this one. A regular Don Quixote forever tilting at the windmill. It must be really hard, when in your heart of hearts you know what an atrocious situation you are in.

  31. Richard

    Calvin: you are entitled to you opinions but, as I have said before, not your own facts!

    Again, as I have stated before, I have never been an advocate of the Awatea Street project. Moving to support it for reasons I have set out is something quite different.

    Now please do not try and convince me that Don Quixote was “a Netherlander”.

  32. “Richard, the whole stadium fiasco has been, and is, arguably the worst, least thought out project that has ever been foisted onto the long suffering citizens.”

    No Clavin the ‘have’ and deception of the people by the STS has been the biggest injustice done on the people of Dunedin possibly ever. Take for instance the latest graphic (for want of a better word) with made up figures parading as fact, the cost will not be $700m due to foundation problems. But this doesn’t stop the StS brainwashing/deceiving the public of Dunedin. There will be some poor buggers out there that will believe this shit, and it’s about all it’s worth – print it out and use in the toilet.

    Sorry the StS has HURT Dunedin, the democratic process of a council elected on a mandate to investigate and build a stadium, has been a thorough one, every avenue of cost tightening and testing has been undertaken, but still the StS come up with these myths.

    The StS have nothing but contempt for the facts and even less for the people of Dunedin. And it’s there for everyone to see in pixels and bytes over at their web site.

  33. David “even if the pitch can’t be used for other events over half the year” I would respectfully request you stop repeating this lie, it’s not a good look.

    For an opinion from a DRAFT report from 18months ago, with testing continuing, is not fact, or evidence of a factual event. What would be fact is if after the first year not one single other event, conference, meeting or function, let alone concert etc had taken place then we can call it single use, and if the pitch hasn’t been used (which it isn’t likely to be used anyway as has been stated, this isn’t the concert season), then you can state as a fact that the grass can’t be used. Until that time, you have a draft report from 4 years out of opening and that is all.

  34. Richard,
    I never said you were an advocate of the Awatea St project. But you do defend it.
    Two of the facts I quoted were mine, two were yours. You are entitled to yours, I am entitled to mine. As a matter of fact, you are factually correct, as indeed am I. And that’s a fact.
    No, he was not a “Netherlander” but Spanish.

  35. David

    Direct quote from the experts turf report

    “Only programme non-sport events on the playing surface such as concerts if there is sufficient time to guarantee turf grass recovery before the next event (eg outside the months of March to September inclusive).”

    If this is wrong, why are you complaining to me? You should be trying to get the experts sacked for giving false information.

    If this advice has been retracted, please show me where I can see the newer report (this is the newest one I’ve seen on the stadium section on the DCC website).

    And what would have changed since the draft report? Do we now have two suns? Perhaps we’ve dialled up more sunshine hours in winter? Or shifted the sun to a more overhead position?

    Even you Paul, were suggesting a turf farm at the airport (I don’t know why because you say the turf will not need replacing).

    And even when Richard explained this was a non-starter because of a high risk of bird strike to planes, you STILL thought it was a good idea.

    Perhaps Richard has (or could point us to) a more recent turf report.

  36. “Paul, were suggesting a turf farm at the airport”

    No I WASN’T suggesting a turf farm, someone else suggested it, you said “Too Expensive” and I being an intelligent human being, possessing that most human of traits, the ability to work around problems (something missing from this whole debate), offered a solution off the top of my head. Whether it’s needed of feasible is for study, but it’s possibly a solution, and until we have been told it’s too expensive or can’t be done is a possibility.

  37. Richard

    STS have lodged an application to the Court of Appeal.

    Am I the only one around here that keeps up-to-date?

  38. “And what would have changed since the draft report” Well considering it was 18 months ago, Oh I Don’t know TURF SCIENCE – alternative solutions, think about it. Imagine the things they’ll be able to do in 2-3 years time – teach people to think – we live in hope.

    Turf Science is evolving all the time, even year to year as new grass stock is developed. The assumption is that these things don’t change is quite laughable if not completely bloody ridiculous.

  39. Richard

    Reword:

    STS have lodged an application to the Court of Appeal.

    Am I the only one around here – apart from Paul – who doesn’t let the grass grow under our feet?

  40. David

    Paul – high tech artificial grass already exists – they just don’t want it for rugby.

    The main issue was lack of sun. But clearly you want to take a $200m punt with our money that a miracle grass that currently doesn’t exist, will magically be found in less than two growing seasons (even though other places have been trying to find it for years, but have failed).

    Your naive optimism that nothing can possibly go wrong could potentially be an admirable trait if you weren’t betting on the outcome with $200,000,000 of someone else’s money.

  41. Richard

    Calvin

    As Chair of Finance and Strategy, I will uphold a decision of council and answer relevant questions on them whether I personally agree with it or not.

    In any case, I never came on to this site other than to do the latter.

    I have never questioned your right – or that of anyone else – to hold an opinion.

    I do endeavour to respond when someone has got hold “of the wrong end of the stick”.

    You – or anyone else – do not, of course, have to accept my explanation.

    Even if it is factual.

    Your choice!

  42. I wasn’t talking hybrid turf, I was talking simple genetic turf development, the stuff they have been doing for years and years, deeper setting roots etc.

    Funny lack of sun was an issue for so many plant stocks coming through Agrisearch, and what do you know they even managed to get over that issue for pastures and crops.

    Here’s something for you. SFA difference between existing Carisbrook and new stadium with regard to light and sunshine etc, but even after a a decent rugby match (at most 2 in a row every now and then) with lots of scrums etc, Carisbrook as it stands can get rained on for the 5 days between matches, the new stadium gets controlled watering and if need be a light rig passed over it.

    You say Naive Optimism, I say simple investigating possibilities. Sure it (stadium) could sink into the soil if we are to believe the nay-sayers, just I prefer to believe in the physical sciences and know that it won’t sink into the soil, same with the turf.

    Hang on, it’s $200m (nice adding all those extra zeros to make it look big, how many decimal points are relevant), according to the StS it’s $700m+ due to foundation failure?

  43. But then that has been the nub of the whole thing Richard, facts have been neglected for the sake of alarmist public opinion – failing foundations, rising sea levels, terrorists, glass roofs, grass, $700m price tag.

    Facts have been the first causality of this so called “public debate”.

  44. David

    Paul – surely if you are going to spend $200m on a stadium, you should have grass that will work BEFORE the stadium is built – not maybe have it in a few years or perhaps ten years, or maybe never.

    Paul says (yet again factually incorrect) “Here’s something for you. SFA difference between existing Carisbrook and new stadium with regard to light and sunshine etc,”

    wrong wrong worng

    Under ETFE the experts have told us there will be 40% LESS light in winter than would naturally occur.

    Considering Carisbrook is at the very limit of grass growing in winter, 40% less will make qute a difference.

    Better ETFE might improve this by 4%, to make it 36% less light than Carisbrook, but factors like dew might reduce it again by even more. (unless they employ dew wipers to clean the whole roof every morning – the problem is serious enough for this to have been suggested).

  45. Richard,
    Fair enough.
    And yes, I do know that an appeal has been lodged against the decision in favor of the DCC. Interesting eh?

  46. David

    Some of Pauls “FACTS”

    1/ The experts have not identified any problems with the grass.

    2/ We’re going to get lots of big concerts, and all the promoters are wrong.

    3/ A magic grass will be found (maybe you’ve already been trying magic grass?) and we can use the pitch all year with no issues.

    4/ The biggest spending demographic for concerts is students, who have suddenly found they have a large disposable income they didn’t previously realise they had.

    5/ The stadium will be filled by rugby fans desperate to see the Highlanders play the Nagasaki Sanyo team in the Super 35 competition.

    6/ It will also be filled to capacity, when they fill the stadium with water and use giant fans to blow wind surfers around.

    7/ The 150 car parks will be plenty for the capacity 30,000 crowds.

    8/ Birdless turf farms can be built beside Dunedin Airport runway to provide all the turf that isn’t needed. It can be farmed by workers who quickly scoot across the runway between flights.

    9/ The stadium will cost less than $200m, and the $100m interest just doesn’t count because that will magically appear from somewhere, and $100m of depreciation that has to be funded in the first half of the stadium’s life will be donated by a Highlander player who won an international lottery and became New Zealand richest person..

    10/ The scores of millions recently spent on Carisbrook upgrades to the pitch, lighting, terraces, railway stand, corporate boxes etc, is completely valueless and should be demolished.

    11/ We’re going to get lots of top end test matches.

    12/ The new stadium will increase Highlander crowd numbers by 10,000 to every single game, year after year after year – guaranteed for at least two decades.

    13/ The stadium will bring in massive freezers and temporary ice rinks for ice shows, which will be very popular. The magic grass will still grow underneath even with no sun.

    14/ The massive household rate increases, and $13,000 additional rates for commercial properties has no effect whatsoever on Dunedin people or the local economy, and golden eggs are found regularly in the vicinity of the stadium.

    15/ The Super 35 competition will be increased to Super 52 so they can play every week of the year.

    16/ The Highlanders will win the inaugral Super 52 final, in a thrilling 3-0 win over the Taiwan Transistors.

  47. Phil

    The unfortunate aspect of the test rig episode, was that the turf trials were carried out during the summer months only. As we’ve already established on this site, there is no argument about the fact the the pitch will receive direct sunlight for about 8 hours of the day during those months. Unfortunately, that’s not the time of year when the requirement for good turf is going to be an issue. What is important is how that same turf will hold up between May and September, when club football, Super rugby finals, and the national domestic competition are all held. That’s the unknown and, in my opinion, those who commissioned the testing have been negligent in their time constraints for a critical item. Having a 12 month trial, or a six month winter trial would have put all the arguments and speculation to rest. Rather than leaving it hanging there until the end of the first winter after completion. They certainly haven’t helped the case any.

  48. I really can’t be assed, off to bed, too much fun to be had with family in the weekend, but I’ll take the bait one last time.

    “7/ The 150 car parks will be plenty for the capacity 30,000 crowds.”

    What a load of rubbish. Do you even live in this city? Seriously, or you just don’t get out?

    a)How many bloody car parks are at Carisbrook currently, about 15-20 from memory.

    b)The new stadium is CLOSER to the city than the present,

    c)it is closer to Cumberland St Motel district where so many test people stay (who subsequently walk all the way to Carisbrook),

    d)it is one hell of a lot closer to the varsity district who all will walk to tests,

    3)it’s next to a bloody train line (get creative people), Train direct from ChCh to the Stadium Door, sold by creative tour guide – and don’t say it can’t happen, it bloody well can if someone wants to make money out of it.

    4)it’s in a non residential area(comparatively to the Carisbrook), apart from events on at Logan Park (which won’t be during big games) and considering Varsity won’t be on, there is the entire varsity precinct in which people can park. Every single one of the parks at the Uni are free in weekends, there are bloody thousands of parks in that area in Weekends and Evenings, as opposed to the current stadium where one has to walk for bloody miles to even try to get a park in Suburbia.

    Nice try mate, but that argument is classified as shot down in a blaze of alarmist glory.

  49. Bugger me, I didn’t even bother reading to the end of that great piece of fiction, and then I bothered. It illustrates perfectly that in the face of people not having anything constructive or intelligent to say in the blogosphere will resort to making crap up just to see their words on screen.

    I am sorry for you that it has come to this. I should do the right thing and close this thread off, it’s natural and laughable conclusion has been reached, next step is not pleasant and not needed in this forum.

  50. David

    Paul – you’re right. A train line goes right beside it. There’s no reason people can’t come by train, and hop off right at the stadium. We need to shift the stadium to there.

    There’s absolutely no way that could ever have happened at Carisbrook as the railway lines are absolutely miles away from the ……er…..Railway Stand.

  51. Paul,
    Your constant use of profanity, and plain poor construction, demonstrates a paucity of expression unbecoming of a person who sets himself up as arbiter of all that should be said about almost everything.

  52. What the hell are you on about Calvin? You seem to have taken offence at the use of the word phrase Bugger Me (on could only imagine how offensive the television commercials with the ‘Bugger’ dog were to you), but then sentence construction and modern grammatical usage also seems to offend. Sorry I can’t be arsed waxing lyrical, evoking imagery of “A regular Don Quixote forever tilting at the windmill” to illustrate very simple points. The slim demographic audience that would be aimed at just isn’t worth it, plus it smacks of a generational arrogance that simply is beyond me, one does not need to code references to classical Spanish literature to get one’s message across.

    Never claimed to be an “arbiter”, perhaps a pundit or buff, relying on the enthusiast and supporter in me to defend what is a good idea. Sorry if it is now a crime to come up with alternative solutions to what is seemingly insurmountable problems, when all it takes is a little imagination, something so lacking in this debate I start to wonder if Dunedin isn’t the place where Ideas come to die, or to twist it around, people come to Dunedin to stop thinking?

    If however you would like my opinion on the compounds used in F1 cars this year, the pros and cons of the inclusion of the magnetometer included in the hardware of the next iPhone, US Foreign Policy, whether Eion Scarow should not have hung his spade up gracefully years ago, if Milly Cyrus isn’t using the media to leverage her career (I could go on for bloody hours – whop’s did it again) then perhaps I could start a blog, call it Cheers Bar and invite you over.

    However as this is a site about the pros and cons, pitfalls and possible solutions to the stadium, then let’s keep it at that, rather than generational snobbery about one’s apparently colloquial language and somewhat loose grammatical construction – eh!

  53. Besides a far more appropriate comparison for the City vs The people would have been found in central characters of Nikolai Gogol’s short stories. Gogol one of the fathers of Russian Modernist Realism, often depicted the state in ludicrous ways. This somewhat more satirical comparison would have been more apt.

  54. Nikolai Gogol was a story teller who, to the best of my knowledge has never been to Dunedin. Draw all the parallels you like, but the facts are here, real, and evolving by the day. The stadium is a totem, much like the stone statues of Easter Island, foisted onto the populace by the few, because they can.
    It is a common failing through history that stupid people accidentally finding themselves in positions of power, are driven to build monuments.
    The world is littered with them, some become through time, iconic. Think Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House etc.
    Forsyth Barr Plaza? I don’t think so.

  55. Come Calvin, I thought you would have been a fan of the Russian Realists rallying against the bureaucratic machine. Hell of a lot more appropriate comparison than satire of the romances of chivalry.

    Funny, I can’t recall Miguel de Cervantes ever coming to NZ either, didn’t stop you using it.

    (Big massive game show buzzer) Buzzzz – wrong. If one understood (or even accepted) the role of the stadia within the cultural and sporting psyche then you’d have a better understanding of the need and want for this project. Musings on stone statues or Spanish writers and completely erroneous interpretation of the role of Architecture within society are no basis for criticism of a stadium development within the context of modern day Dunedin. No one has ever said that Forsyth Barr Plaza was to be a global iconic architectural piece, then the history of the world is littered with these and they have served hundreds of millions of people admirably over time.

  56. David

    Paul says – “If one understood (or even accepted) the role of the stadia within the cultural and sporting psyche then you’d have a better understanding of the need and want for this project. ”

    We already have a stadia with much of it barely ten years old.

    Carisbrook is perfectly capable of hosting all the Super 14 and NPC games – that leaves not much else.

    So the “need” you talk about does not exist.

    It is a “want” you are talking about – similar to the want of a cargo cult.

    It is so illogical you’re prepared to subsidise $500,000 – $1m for every rugby game and major event – that’s around $50 – $100 for every time someone sits on a seat.

    And it won’t make the Otago team play any better. All it means is that you can feel good about having a new stadium, instead of a newish stadium.

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