Monthly Archives: June 2009

Thinly veiled attack?

Despite my differences and criticism of Jolyon Manning in the past, with his credentials I was looking forward to the Opinion piece in the ODT today.

That optimism lasted all of 1 paragraph, when of course the message was overshadowed with an attack on the Stadium Development.

But I was also under the assumption that this sort of forum was a platform to inform people, not to show how much you know. With the use of Malcom Latham’s “Our Kind of City” as a ‘must read’, it’s a heck of a shame that more emphasis wasn’t placed on explaining a little clearly what Latham was on about – many of us aren’t privy to this document.

That aside, I had difficulty with understanding what some of Manning’s criticisms actually are, or is it just another dig at the respective councils and the stadium decision. For instance, correctly he points to the decline of manufacturing to this city, while simultaneously praising and warning the growth of University. However it seems the only criticism that can be laid against the University is that it’s dependent on Central Government funding – and that’s a bad thing? Well yes it could be seen as such, but then what is the exporting manufacturing base dependent on, foreign currencies and foreign investment, and we’ve all seen how fickle these are over the last year. Borrowing sentimentality (which is often the want of Manning), there used to be a saying, nothing’s as secure as government money – and again the US could testify to this over the last year.

I feel that Manning is having difficulty with the changing role of Dunedin, a role that even 20 years ago many may not have foreseen.

“Projects must be developed within the financial resources of the community pursuant to a sound financial plan.”

Yes and No. Business is inherently risky, and often some of the greater risks reap some of the greatest rewards. I fear once again this is relying upon sentiment and a want for the way things were done, rather than any progressive forward thinking.

I do however agree whole heartedly that Dunedin needs to continue and/or develop and strengthen its linkages with the wider Otago region. But then that assumes some very basic ‘regional’ wide tied-to-location business models. Working in the industry that I am in, a strong economic development plan with the view to fostering business growth in Dunedin actually involves many foreign ties. Indeed one of the most successful local industries of late (film/television and multi-media development) just wouldn’t have been possible with the focus being very much on foreign markets. Yes Dunedin must engage the region, but that must then involve working towards a common goal of selling our wares to foreign markets.

I disagree that it’s unwise to expect the University to carry this city forward. Innovative thinking and new models of research and innovation can and must be at the forefront of the city and the University’s thinking. There has been much talk about evolving the University to a more research post graduate focus, the ‘elite’ University of New Zealand approach. This removes the reliance on Volume and provides very real and potentially lucrative revenue streams for the Uni and the city. To dismiss the future growth of the Uni outright is somewhat short sighted.

“And in any case, Dunedin needs to diversify its economy for social and cultural stability in the years ahead.”

Really, you don’t think this is happening now? Dunedin NOW and Dunedin 25 years ago, are possibly the most distantly related cousins one could imagine. Christchurch NOW and CHCH 25 years ago however are not different. Dunedin is evolving, and it seems that some are struggling with how this will play out in the future.

It is completely laughable to look at population growth post WWII as indicators as to how or what the city is achieving. Percentage increases in isolation are no indication whatsoever. Sure Tauranga has grown over 1000%, but then if you are starting from next to nothing any increase is going to be of a magnitude more fantastic looking. NO-ONE foresaw the massive immigration from Asia and the Pacific which has fuelled the growth in population of Auckland. AND NO the Auckland Super City model is nothing that Dunedin needs to look at, unless we are looking at it with incredibly sceptical and critical eyes. There are simply too many flaws in the model. If it was, Dunedin already is a Super City in this region, why haven’t we seen these growth patterns suggested with such a simplistic analysis. What has been the basis for these population growths, what were their starting points, and is population alone any indicator of economic health and well being? What is being achieved with said populations, is there real economic growth, or is it just population growth? To many unanswered assumptions painting a way too simplistic ‘paint-by-numbers’ economic portrait.

So I wasn’t surprised it started with a stadium rant – finished with a stadium jibe, but I was a little disappointed that the analysis and illumination of the so called ‘must read’ hand book was lacking. I’d question if at all we should be looking at said texts, surely the presumptions in which business is suggested to be fostered some 40 years ago are not what should be the foundations for apparently looking forward.

I fear the look ‘well forward’ sentiment is in words only, as I could only see looking ‘well backward’ as the basis for this article. And in the end, I fear it’s just another ‘look what I once knew, and oh yeah, that bloody stadium’.

For the full article read here at ODT

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Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Politics, Town planning

Piles: Eight in, more than 500 to go

### Radio New Zealand News Updated at 7:40am on 28 June 2009
Construction work underway at Dunedin stadium site

Early construction works have begun at the site of Dunedin’s new stadium, a month after demolition works started.

Demolition will continue at the Awatea Street site for the next few months for the controversial $198 million enclosed stadium.

Many opponents claimed the ground at the new site would be boggy and unsuitable for construction on such a scale, but Carisbrook Stadium Trust development director Darren Burden says eight piles have been successfully drilled in.

Mr Burden says that gives the trust some confidence, though there are still more than 500 piles to go in.

It is hoped the stadium will be built in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.


Not reported are the piles that sank without trace…

See the post from Alex on Friday:

“I heard yesterday that there was surprise amongst engineers when they dropped some piles down on the site, they disappeared completely into the ground (sediment?).
And, that the cost has gone up, $35 million has ‘appeared’ on the cost, beyond what was calculated for interest and inflation.
Sorry I can’t back this up with facts guys …”


Filed under Architecture, Hot air, Politics, Project management, Site, Stadiums

Cr Michael Deaker on stadium

Crs Michael Deaker, Gerry Eckhoff, Bryan Scott re-confirm their opposition…

### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jun 2009
Stadium ‘most unnecessary project’
By Rebecca Fox

Otago regional councillor Michael Deaker has described Forsyth Barr Stadium as the most “unnecessary” project he has seen in 14 years of local government…”Worse still, it is irrelevant to our purposes.”
Read more

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Filed under Economics, Hot air, Media, Politics, Stadiums, What stadium

Ouch, thanks Air NZ

Doesn’t bode well for Dunedin’s business development, or the stadium development…

### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jun 2009
Dunedin losing out to Queenstown
By Sarah Harvey and Felicity Wolfe

Queenstown, not Dunedin, is Air New Zealand’s gateway to Otago for tourists, its deputy chief executive, Norman Thompson, said yesterday.
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Filed under Economics, Geography, Media, Politics, What stadium

DCC on stadium


“A comprehensive response to all those who submitted on the Stadium, whether for or against, during the 2009/10 Community Plan process”

Response to LTCCP Stadium submitters 2009/10 (PDF, 88.3 kb)


### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jun 2009
Council posts letter to submitters on stadium
By David Loughrey

The much debated letter to residents who presented submissions to the Dunedin City Council on the Forsyth Barr Stadium was sent yesterday.
Read more

More coverage in Monday’s ODT.


Wait for the splash, and further insult to ratepayers…

• The Carisbrook Stadium Trust is launching its new brand for the stadium at a function on Thursday 2 July.


Filed under Architecture, Economics, Hot air, Politics, Project management, Stadiums, What stadium

Rugby Blues

### Radio New Zealand National 101FM Sun 28 June 2009
Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
10:06 The Sunday Group: Rugby Blues

Seasonal congestion problems, the future of the tri-nations and SANZAR, player drain to Europe * these and other big issues facing rugby at the moment will be thrashed out by Chris Laidlaw and his panel of guests – former All Black Captain Sir Brian Lochore; Herald on Sunday sports editor Paul Lewis; and the Chairman of the Otago Rugby Union, former sports journalist and author, Ron Palenski.



The Sunday Morning webpage,, has further information and links regarding guests, discussions, books and music; as well as instructions on how to listen to the programme online and access archived audio from programmes dating back to January 2008.

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

ORC headquarters

ORC is listening to the public, why not DCC with its stadium…

### ODT Online Fri, 26 Jun 2009
Editorial: ORC headquarters
Credit needs to be given to the Otago Regional Council for responding to public dismay about the spending of $31 million on new waterfront headquarters. The large amount of money for a building for 105 staff would have been hard to sell in the best of times.
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ODT says: While ratepayers do not expect the regional council, particularly because of its resource responsibilities, to be environmentally irresponsible, no other project of any substantial size in Dunedin has had to meet those [five-star green ratings] demands.

Don’t get me started on why we should be voluntarily [thanks Phil] aiming for 5 stars with every large or small building!!!!!!!!

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Geography, Media, Politics, Project management, Site