QUALMS over STS website

www.stopthestadium.org.nz has a new appearance theme: Quentin.

The home page now resembles an invitation to the Queen’s garden party.

Gone is the photographic banner showing protest…in its place a statement:



Our worst fears have been realised. STS has stupidly inflated its brief within the thrust of one line – that is, gone beyond the unequivocal brief enshrined in its deed of constitution.

STS is now intent on SAVING DUNEDIN.

We would’ve thought preparations for the Court of Appeal hearing would keep things amply in perspective. But no. We’re about to be saved.


Item 3 of the STS constitution says:

The objects of the Society are:

* To ensure through effective action that the construction of a publicly funded stadium at Awatea Street is prevented from happening.

* To ensure that the views of the members of the Society are communicated effectively through all means at the Society’s disposal to the wider community.

* To provide an asset base for associated research and communication in line with the Society’s aims.


We think it’s nearly time for the STS Annual General Meeting. To explore progress, governance and finances.

** {Re deletion and substitution above, a follower says by email: “public dissing of that sort is what alienated the exec from its membership and the general public”. Hell, Charles could be right about the ‘Tamaki’ phenomenon. So ah, keep it tight, people, keep it tight.}


Filed under Adventure sport, Economics, Politics, Stadiums, STS

31 responses to “QUALMS over STS website

  1. Charles

    The lord saviour has arrived. Blessed be the many. We are about to be saved from our many sins. Praise be to the new messiah.

    Seriously through, Bev has put her foot in her mouth that many times trying to stop the stadium that she has actually done more bad than good. Now she wants to save Dunedin.

    Next thing you know she will be turning into another Brian Tamaki and trying to save the world from eternal damnation.

  2. KGB

    What an absolute twit Charlie is

  3. Charles

    and I can only assume that KGB is a big fan of Bev Butler. Your response does sound like the sort of response Bev’s husband Peter would respond with… {End of comment deleted. Charles, keep it seemly.}

  4. Elizabeth

    UglyBob at SkycraperCity blog…
    Thread: Dunedin | Stadium and Sports Infrastructure #2

    BTW STS has revamped its website after shifting to a new server. Apart from a more ‘refined’ page theme, they now have a self-imposed mission of ‘Saving Dunedin from uncontrolled spending’. Spot the 2010 local body ambitions coming increasingly to the fore. The old ‘Open Democracy’ grouping has pretty much morphed into STS to all intents and purposes. I hope they get slaughtered at the polls (and no Bev that does not constitute a death threat).

  5. Elizabeth,
    Excuse me for saying this, but your comments re STS being a morphed version of the old “Open Democracy” is disingenuous to say the least.

    STS -of which you were an original member- was, as you well know set up for the purposes of opposing the council’s intention to build a stadium. Just as simple as that.

    To make the claim you have, and to say you “hope they get slaughtered at the polls” has all the hallmarks of an embittered old harridan. It ill becomes you. Shame on you, an apology would be in order.

  6. David

    Calvin – I think that was a quote from someone else.

  7. Elizabeth,
    My apologies. I should have been more careful. My comments therefore transfer to Ugly Bob.
    Again Elizabeth, please accept my apology.

  8. KGB

    It doesn’t matter who gets slaughtered at the polls next year because this old stadium issue is still going to be there. Unless the rates increase is a double figure each year not much else is going to be done around the place.
    What tourist wants to visit a city that has a reputation for having dirty water and dirty beaches even if it does have a fine roofed stadium?
    Get real.
    There are stadiums in every city of the world.
    Most of them weren’t built on ratepayers blood sweat and tears like this monstrosity at Awatea Street will be.
    And when it all turns to custard financially,where will all the has-been councillors and mayor be?
    As far away from Dunedin as possible I would think

  9. KGB you have a scratched record and it’s singing the 2007 song.

    Last time I looked the water upgrades were well under way if not completed by now, the sewage issue at St Clair is completely over, hell you can even stick the world’s smallest violin in the water at Tomahawk, for the first time in decades.

    So to answer your failed and flawed rhetoric, any tourist with half a brain will come to this city. Listening to Radio Sport on the way home from Football training tonight, they were talking about the stadium, and people from all over the country were saying they’ll be making their first ever trip to Dunedin to see the All Blacks play if there is a roofed stadium.

    Sorry to correct you once again but most of the stadiums around the world WERE built with the blood sweat and tears of ratepayers. Heck in the US cities are threatened with teams relocated if they don’t give up their bloody sweaty, tearful rates for stadium.

    Thanks for coming along as always, I needed a bloody good laugh today.

  10. As for the site, what a bloody joke and a mess. Where are all the previous posts? I hoped they backed up the xml file, then it would be easy to import all the old stuff.

    But “SAVING DUNEDIN FROM UNCONTROLLED SPENDING” who do they think they are. Oh that’s right undemocratic, un-elected busy bodies, without a mandate, out numbered in its protest by toga clad scarfies, and they are out to save us. Heaven help us.

    The last thing this city needs is the likes Bev Butler anywhere near the seat of power when construction of a several hundred million dollar project is dependent on strong leadership, not some idiotic ranting about terrorists and fantasy figures.

    Of the hundreds of free templates available (I should know this is my job), they choose the menu from some tired 70s restaurant and neglect all of the previous content. I don’t agree with anything they had to say, but it was up there for the world to see (and ridicule).

  11. David

    Wow – a roof. They don’t have rooves anywhere else in the country, or the world.

    I can see it now. People, from all over the world will come to look at our roof.

    They’ll go “amazing – it’s called EFTE – what an awesome name for clear plastic. We’ll have to tell our friends to come and look at this clear plastic roof. This is better than Sydney Opera House”.

    All the people that were previously flocking to Melbourne to look at the Etihad Stadium roof, will now be converging on Dunedin to look at our clear plastic.

    All the people who used to go to the Cake Tin to look at their roof will be disappointed cause like most stadiums, their roof only covers the spectators. Our roof covers the players as well as the spectators. They’ll flock to Dunedin for the chance of seeing dry rugby players.

    As a side trip they’ll be able to go to the historic Carisbrook Ground, and then they’ll realise that Dunedin was ahead of its time.

    Even the old Carisbrook has a roof over its main stand – they’ll marvel at that. Then they’ll see another roof over the railway stand – amazing. And it doesn’t end there – other stands have rooves as well. And every single corporate box also has a roof – unbelievable.

    The Council will then change our city’s tourist marketing mantra to cash in on this phenomenon.

    “Dunedin – We Have A Roof”

  12. Anne Elliot

    David, you should be a comedy writer. I loved your posting! So true… (Perhaps the city could then save on the $1 mill that currently goes to Tourism Dunedin, a trust – in case you didn’t know).

  13. I was always under the impression that sarcasm had to be even mildly amusing to be even the slightest bit funny.

    Or shall I assume that this mocking is the last gasps of those devoid of argument. You can mock all you like (and have the groupies to boot), but the simple fact of the matter is this will be the most innovative stadium in the southern hemisphere, and time unfortunately for you will prove the shallow mocking false.

    The simple fact of the matter is that a redeveloped Carisbrook of say $20-$40-$60m (whatever the figure was) would be throwing good money at an antiquated stadium, in the wrong place, incapable of the right functions, in the wrong climate.

    I would have been gutted if they were going to give tens of millions of dollars to a stadium that would have left its patrons exposed to the extremities of the southern climate (yes even in Summer Dunedinites have been know to light a fire), in a suburban setting (how many current car parks does Carisbrook have 10 or so?) with the multi-functionality akin to that of a Guinea Pig hutch.

    Anne I take that last comment as a dig at $1m going to Dunedin Tourism? {Yet more disapproving glares from those ‘saving Dunedin from unnecessary spending’?}

  14. David

    Glad to see you’re keeping up with the comedy Paul – “most innovative stadium in the Southern Hemisphere” – that’s funny, and sad.

    Funny – because there are far more innovative roofed stadia in the southern hemisphere (some of them even have retractable rooves so the grass will grow, whereas the turf experts have said the grass won’t grow because of our roof – oh well – we can invent rugby played on dirt).

    Sad – because our parred down basic stadium is not even large enough to hold A Grade tests – hardly innovative. We can’t have multipurpose events for most of the year – hardly innovative. There’s not even enough money for a large screen (required by NZRFU for tests), or catering fit-outs, or even turnstiles. Innovative? No.

    It’s not going to be the envy of the whole country – All their stands have rooves anyway, besides, if you work it out, it only rains during a Carisbrook rugby match on average between 0 and 1 times per year. That works out at an annual cost of around $20,000 per raindrop.

    People I talk to in the north think it’s funny that Dunedin is bankrupting itself in desperate attempt to try to be relevant – when all we’re really doing is spending nearly $400m on a phallic monument to vanity and ego.

  15. David

    Anne, unfortunately it is easy to take the p out of any unneccessary vanity project, be it a glass house on the side of the historic town hall, or demolishing all the new stands and terraces and corporate boxes at Carisbrook (which were recently built at a cost of tens of millions), and build the same facility at a cost of nearly $400, with the addition of a roof so 15 tough rugby players don’t get seriously injured by a few raindrops once a year.

  16. David not wanting to be rude, but repeating this line over and over again is, well quite frankly, unbecoming. This continuing disingenuous line that it’s a rugby only stadium places you right in the middle of Chicken Little the Pantomime. You can prance around this site claiming all sorts of figures (have you settled on one yet, or is the cost lucky dip still open?) and basically spurting any sort of rubbish, but this doesn’t mean what you say has any grasp on reality. Indeed the continual smug superiority of tone suggests a chest beating that those with hollow argument tend to partake in.

    Could you please tell me which stadium in NZ is more innovative?

    It is a multi-purpose stadium in which concerts and other events WILL take place (yes even without your say-so), and as for Rugby Union rules, well we’ve seen them bent so much recently, I’d be surprised if we don’t see ‘A’ grade test here in the future. See despite your greatest fears this will be a resounding success over a wide range of codes, and the success will breed success.

    Turnstiles? Jade stadium doesn’t have them (in a brand spanking new stadium – shock horror, but David tells us we need them, oh woe is me what will Jade Stadium ever do?). How will people ever get into the stadium. Do you know for a fact that they don’t have a big screen now, and funny sans big screen they have already secured All Black tests and RWC games. And the ‘A’ grade myth/hype is pretty much a misnomer anyway, if the stadium is sold out, it is irrelevant if it is sold our for a grade ‘A’ test or not.

    {BTW – just picked up on the sarcasm of the misspelling from me before, a little hint, don’t make fun of other people’s handicaps, it’s called dyslexia, and if the spell checker doesn’t underline the word, I have bugger all way of knowing or even recognising that I have misspelt the world – thank god I had my wife and supervisor to proof my Masters Thesis}.

  17. David

    Paul “Could you please tell me which stadium in NZ is more innovative?”

    Now NZ ? – that’s a lot smaller than the whole southern hemisphere.

    I thought visitors were going to come and look at its roof. Now they’re going to come and marvel at its innovation? I can hear them “oooh, I’ve never seen such an innovative stadium. Let’s get our friends to come here and look at all the innovations – there’s lots of them.”

    Yet again we’ll have to change our city logo “Dunedin – come and see all the innovations in our stadium – there’s lots of them”.

    Frankly I see seats, and a pitch where grass might, or might not grow. It’s a bit like, um….er…. a stadium. You know, like they have all over the country, and in South Dunedin. They play ball games there.

    Paul “I’d be surprised if we don’t see ‘A’ grade test here in the future.”

    Get ready to be surprised. When the NZRFU was asked about this, specifically for the new stadium, they said they had no plans to change their rules for Dunedin.

    What are you talking about spelling mistakes? I don’t get it.

    Known costs so far for the stadium – stand at $217m, + $101m interest and $56m depreciation in the first 20 years – $374m (If interest rates go up a couple of percent, add $33m)

    If cost over runs are $20m, triple that and add $60m (it will be paid in capital, and interest and depreciation – ALL additional cost risks are on ratepayers).

    So $400m is a pretty good initial ballpark figure of actual known costs from the DCC as they currently stand.

    Oh, and nobody is conned by the “multipurpose” tag.

    What were the turf experts asked to test for? Rugby, plus ONE concert and ONE soccer match annually.

    CST forecasts which were analysed as overly optimistic, showed three quarters of visitors were for rugby, almost all revenue will be from rugby – and virtually nothing from other events.

    What events there are, will not be able to afford market rental rates (i.e. CST predictions of no more than 1,000 spectators at soccer games).

    With a dozen rugby games per year, and perhaps a handful of other events, and annual ratepayers costs of $13m at least, we’re talking about a ratepayer subsidy of between $500,000 and $1,000,000 for every large event at the stadium.

  18. David

    What is it with rugby nuts that brings out all the paranoia and concern about what people elsewhere in the country thinks about Dunedin?

    I’ll give you a heads up. The rest of the country doesn’t care.

    We can built a stadium with a roof over the pitch. They don’t care.

    We could gold-plate Baldwin Street. They wouldn’t care.

    We could build a tower bigger than the Skytower. They wouldn’t care.

    We can argue that we’re fourth biggest, or fifth biggest city in the country – they laugh.

    It doesn’t matter what we have – we’ll still just be a minor city at the far end of the other island. And that’s fine.

    Being so concerned about how we look, and what our pecking order is, just looks insecure, paranoid, needy and pathetic.

  19. A whole lot smaller than the southern hemisphere, yes it is David, I just wanted to narrow the terms of reference to see if I could help you define your argument (as like Panto, it’s all over the bloody place).

    Look all of this Monty Pythonesque ranting ‘help help I’m being repressed’ song and dance is just a little strange to say the least.

    Yes it does have a bloody roof. That in any marketing term is what you would call a point of difference. It is also an innovation, or any number of things. See things can be more than one thing at once. Sorry to harp on about basic Actor theory of Sociology (but it seems a lesson is needed here). You may be a person, but you could also be a father, a son, and a professional, all of which you can also be at the same time. Hence the roof on the stadium in Dunedin is innovative and a point of difference. I doubt very much if people will come and look at the roof, but the very fact that there is a roof on the building, and that it will be operated as a multi-purpose event centre (again despite the weird claims to the contrary by yourself). To be a half decent multi-purpose stadium in a location such as Dunedin, a decent roof on the building is essential (even in summer).

    Back to NZRFU rules, what did they do with player Sabaticals and ‘no players outside of NZ to play for All Blacks’, rules of this kind are not those of physics and can be changed – just as they have time and time again. But again to my point, if we sell out the games that will be played here, it’s a moot point if it’s an A grade test or not. It could be the world twiddly winks competition, if it sells out, I don’t care.

    I like the figures, here’s a hint, don’t follow the Donald Rumsfeld logic of the ‘known and the un-known’ it’s very unbecoming of your accountancy degree.

    Look are you bloody stupid or just playing take the piss. They tested the turf over and over and over, to the point of putting down more scrums on the same piece of turf than what would be played over a whole field in a normal test match. Now I don’t know about you, but considering that there are quite possibly 2 test matches in a row (doesn’t happen in reality), and that concerts are most likely to happen in the summer (you know away from the rugby season), and that after each big sporting event on the ground there isn’t the possibility of 1) frost inhibiting growth, 2) torrential rain inhibiting growth, 3) snow inhibiting growth, and that the growth of the grass can be carefully controlled, then STOP with the trash talk of the turf. It will grow. Then again, if there are issues (and none have been identified yet as to cease construction) then unlike laws of physics, there are remedies.

    The CST forecasts were correctly conservative; since they were done there has been indications form NZ Football and the like that they will be using the stadium, with the likes of Wgtn Phoenix and of course the NZRL with the Auckland Warriors. Hell man, you talk this and that as if the stones of the commandments were the physics that constrained the development.

    I’m a little disappointed in you though, not once tonight have you reminded the good people of Dunedin that it will take 1000 years to repay. I bet you came up with that figure just so you could stick your pinky finger in the side of your mouth and pretend you are Dr Evil “1000 years mmmmwwwaaaahhhhaaaaa!!”

  20. David, it also isn’t a good look to stereotype people. I am assuming you are referring to me as the ‘rugby nut’.

    Sorry to disappoint, Football, the beautiful game is my first love, rugby comes in a distant 6 or 7th.

    Best keep that head down, some people in the rest of the country do care. One sports broadcaster who just received a Queens honour cares a lot and will be bleating on about it till the cows come home the day it opens to the public. Funny, the callers on NewTalkZB tonight, hmmm from all over the country, also cared. I think the quote form an Aucklander was along the lines of “I’ll be making my first ever trip to Dunedin when the new stadium opens”.

    But you are also right, in that people don’t care. But that doesn’t stop them from wanting to see it built or come to Dunedin in a guaranteed dry warm setting to see a RWC match. I can suggest the ‘don’t care’ part of your rant actually refers to the Political bullshit and rants that surrounds this debate. That they don’t care, for a dry warm, modern stadium is all they want to see.

  21. David

    I don’t know why you get you knickers in a knot about the turf. I’m only the messenger.

    It’s the very turf experts that you lauded that said the grass won’t grow or recover in winter. Go and argue with them.

    And now you are arguing about the DCC’s own figures for the stadium.

    And you argue with what the NZRFU has plainly stated.

    Paul – 1000 years. Clearly you just don’t comprehend this. You say you have a qualification, but that’s dubious if you still don’t comprehend something my nine year old can clearly grasp .

    IF the profit from the stadium was used to pay for it (forecast at just $200,000 per year), then it would take 1000 years to pay back the $200m capital. The return from the stadium is pathetic – just 1/1000 of the cost.

    Any business would use this equation to work out if they are viable or not. However for the stadium, we simply shaft the ratepayers for a few hundred million to pay for it. That way it can be paid for in just two decades.

    Wow – seven callers to newstalkzb have confirmed they want to come to Dunedin to see low tier world cup games, when they could stay at home and see much better games.

    That’s just a water tight guarantee that it will be successful. Maybe it will earn $200,000 per year. It will only need to earn 6500% more than that to make the annual break even figure of $13m.

    We may as well call off this discussion now – now that we’re so confident that seven talkback callers will save us from financial oblivion.

    So Murray Deaker will bleat on about it till the cows come home….? So what. You just well and truly confirmed my last point about being overly concerned about what everybody else thinks of us.

  22. David

    Otago Highlanders, That’s our name
    Otago Highlanders, We don’t like rain.
    Otago Highlanders, Screwing ratepayers is our game.
    Welcome to fi-nan-cial pain

    From Waitaki to the Bluff, and up to central too
    For the loyal Scarfies – we’ll take all your rates too
    For we take with passion – we’re on the game
    Welcome to fi-nan-cial pain

    Otago Highlanders, That’s our name
    Otago Highlanders, Financially insane.
    Otago Highlanders, We won’t play in rain.
    Every million you lose, we gain.

  23. KGB

    What’s to become of this fine roof when the seagulls start shitting on it Paul?Their shit takes the paint work off cars.What’s it going to do to plastic? Have you sorted this problem out too by volunteering to scrub it down each week?

  24. No, the roof is self cleaning, that is the interaction between the material and the chemical and mechanical processes of the environment clean it. Don’t ask me how it’s done, but I’m sure you have the answers.

    The material is capable of withstanding the fouling affects of bird poo. But thanks for pointing that out, I don’t have the after hours number of the architect, so I’ll just have to pray that they are keeping an eye on this blog so as to be alerted to this. I mean it would never have occurred to them to have thought of it. Thanks.

    or on the other hand

    “Compared to glass, ETFE film is 1% the weight, transmits more light and costs 24% to 70% less to install. It’s also resilient (able to bear 400 times its own weight, self-cleaning (due to its nonstick surface) and recyclable”


    “An example of its use is as pneumatic panels to cover the outside of the football stadium Allianz Arena or the Beijing National Aquatics Centre (a.k.a. the Water Cube of the 2008 Olympics) – the world’s largest structure made of ETFE film (laminate). The panels of the Eden Project are also made of ETFE and the Tropical Islands have a 20.000 m² window made of this translucent material.”

    But thanks so much for beautifully illustrating the astounding arrogance of the public in ‘knowing more’ than the professionals charged with designing the structure. Are you questioning the structural integrity of the construction of the new psychology building – what, no, we trust those architects to have it right? So why don’t we trust HOK Sport over this particular project. I mean they’ve only constructed over $1Trillion USD worth of sports and entertainment venues over the last decade, what the hell would they know over the ‘scared silly’ public.

    A 10 second wiki search revealed the reality. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETFE

  25. “It’s the very turf experts that you lauded that said the grass won’t grow or recover in winter. ”

    Sorry sunshine, I don’t have any knickers in any twist. You on the other hand might want to consider laying off the sauce or whatever it is that inspires the stupidity and song. The turf experts did NOT say the grass won’t grow in winter, and nowhere in their report did they say DON’T go ahead.

    The rest of the rant: put down the mouse and stay away from the computer. No I am not concerned or even excited about what the rest of the country thinks, you are the one bringing it up time and time again, but while you are at it, it’s called civic or regional pride. Without it there is no need to strive for any improvements in the city. KGB raised the small bow to the tiny violin and played the ‘what a load of bollocks’ tune about drinking water and poo on the beaches, even though they aren’t an issue (just like the bird poo on the ETFE roof material).

    You can have your head in the sand all you like, but with the 20-40,000 visitors to the city filling every last café, bar and restaurant, I couldn’t care if it’s Lithuania vs Bolivia, I doubt very much if the business association would care either. But then again it isn’t Lithuania or Bolivia is it, it’s 3 of the 4 wealthiest fan home nations based here for several weeks. But that’s fine, you can deny that success all you like, the rest of the city might just actually like it. Because you denigrate it, doesn’t mean it’s worthless.

    I wonder what’s your opinion of NZ hosting the U20 men’s and women’s Football world cups? Actually don’t answer that, we can all ready guess – it’s not good and it won’t happen. But despite that, the U2o men’s football world cup is the world’s 4th largest sporting event, and FIFA have indicated (well told) NZ Football to put an application in to host it in 2015, they were that impressed with NZ’s hosting of the previous 2 age group world cups we have here. They were impressed that by then we will have 4 modern state of the art stadiums hosting the lion’s share of World Cup Football matches. But then the bloody audacity of it, playing the beautiful game in the ‘rugby only’ stadium. How dare they.

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