DScene: Carisbrook $7 million

### DScene 17-6-09 (page 1)
The price: $7m
Exclusive: Welcome to the House of Drain – financial drain, that is. D Scene can reveal Dunedin City Council has agreed to buy iconic sports ground Carisbrook for $7 million. The deal will bail out the debt-ridden Otago Rugby Football Union: p4-5

### DScene 17-6-09 (page 3)
Name your price
By Ryan Keen, editor
It’s fair to say the controversial new Awatea Street stadium just got $7 million dearer…[sparking] debate about whether the size of the rugby union’s debts – about $6 million – had anything to do with the price and if it’s a fair one.

Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

Otago Rugby Union boss is happy with Test night crowd and the $7 million deal done with council to sell the historic sports ground

Saving her best for last (page 4)
By Ryan Keen
It might [be] old, tired and on the way out but Carisbrook can still host a top night of Test rugby.

What methodology was used to arrive at a $7 million purchase price…
Carisbrook price covers debts (page 5)
By Ryan Keen
D Scene, via official sources, can reveal the $7 million price tag for the iconic ground, its large nearby carparking areas on Neville St and associated Properties. The deal was signed off in February…but the price was always confidential. The deal is conditional on the $198 million Otago stadium going ahead.

Where to now? (page 5)
By Ryan Keen and Michelle Sutton
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust is waiting to discuss Carisbrook’s future with Dunedin mayor Peter Chin.

Otago Stadium: Government grant conditions pinned down
The $15m question (page 8)
By Michelle Sutton
Conditions attached to the Government’s $15million pledge to the controversial Otago Stadium will be pinned down this week…the final conditions are two weeks away.
Meanwhile, Otago Regional Co8uncil is seeking $12,000 to $12,500 from Basil Walker, of Queenstown, after his failed High Court bid.

On the ball: Carisbrook pain starting to mount up
House of Horrors (page 22)
In recent years Carisbrook has been called “the House of Pain” because it is apparently such a difficult venue for opposing rugby teams.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium

77 responses to “DScene: Carisbrook $7 million

  1. Elizabeth

    Hmmm. Tomorrow, ODT gets to the bottom of whether Dunedin City Council actually has purchased Carisbrook for $7 million… What’s up?

  2. “Dunedin City Council has agreed to buy iconic sports ground Carisbrook for $7 million” What an absolute bargain the city has bought.

    Cleared the debt of the ORFU, bought a great block of land which could be used for so many things, and I would assume is worth a hell of a lot more than $7million. Better still, we own it, not some developer from say Singapore with no intention to do anything with it useful.

    Bravo DCC!

  3. David

    Pauls says “What an absolute bargain the city has bought.”

    I agree – now the city owns our very own stadium, much of it only ten years old, we don’t need to spend $200m to build another one.

  4. David, I’ve been told my Box Brownie is a very good camera, capable of taking stunning photos. I agree it can. But I want to take my photography to the next level, encourage some clients to come on board with my digital stuff, but for some reason there isn’t a USB computer connection in my Box Brownie.

    So confusing, it’s a good camera, but just won’t meet modern needs, what am I to do – dam good thing I have a new Nikon with those fandangled USB cables.

  5. David

    Paul, Box Brownies can take up to a 4x6cm negative, which if scanned at 4000dpi (the standard I use) will give a 61 megapixel picture.

    You’ll need to spend over $30,000 to get a similar sized file from a digital camera.

    However your camera analogy might be quite accurate. A $200 digital will give quite good images, but if you spend $2000 you’ll get pictures that are 10% better, and if you spend $20,000 you’ll get another 10% gain.

    The city has Carisbrook and benefits from Super 14, NPC and the occasional test match. If we spend a further $200,000,000 we might get a 10% increase in that benefit.

  6. But David, I need to continue to source increasingly outdated negative plates (at increasing prices). Also if I was to invest in a scanner that would do those plates justice, I’m throwing more new money at old technology.

    And that exactly is what Carisbrook is. If you continue to think that all we need from Carisbrook is a Rugby venue, then fine, we’ll stick with the box brownie.

    But since then, for the relatively little outlay, I’ve managed to buy modern digital equipment which will also shoot film, encode Geodata, talk wirelessly to my computer and basically meet the modern needs I have for camera equipment.

    So let’s take the following sentence and finish it as any sane person would.

    “The city has Carisbrook and benefits from Super 14, NPC and test matches, concerts, trade shows, football matches…”

  7. David

    Paul – you screwed up your whole analogy when you started with for “relatively little outlay”.

  8. Jack

    Elizabeth you may well note that the city does not meet the requirements for so called A category test matches, which include things like number of beds, an airport with a certain number of flights, etc etc.
    The new stadium has a higher capacity than Carisbrook so should be just fine. If it is good enough for RWC then it should be good enough for NZRU

  9. David

    Jack, the NZRFU has said they will NOT make an exception to their rules of a minimum of 35,000 spectators for A grade tests for the new Dunedin stadium. In other words, forget seeing Australia vs All Blacks in Dunedin ever again.

    The new stadium can only fit a maximum of 30,000. Carisbrook had just 28,000 last weekend, but can hold much more than that, and has actually had up to 42,000 spectators in the past.

  10. David

    So at 30,000sq m, we’d get 50 x 600m sections out of Carisbrook at around $60,000 each.

    That’s $3m. Which is quite similar to the land valuation on its rates $2.7m.

    But today in the ODT we have the council’s property manager saying he’s paid $7m, and he reckons he’ll be able to break the land up and sell it at a profit – but he HASN’T actually done any work on that yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Astonishing admission that this has been rushed through without really working out what it is worth.

    And let’s not forget – before Carisbrook can be sold off tens of millions of dollars of new buildings will have to be demolished and removed – that won’t be cheap.

    And there’ll be a million dollars of interest in just the next two years.

    But the time Carisbrook is demolished, the city may have spent MORE in interest and demolition than the land is worth (in addition to the $7m purchase price).

    What a stuff up.

  11. Richard

    Excuse me folks! Who said that anything at Carisbrook is going to be demolished?

    No discussions – NONE – have even been held at the Council table as to what the future use of the ground might be.

    Some interesting ideas have been ‘tossed around’ by OU Geography students, and it is certainly within the thinking of e.g. Community Development etc but only on an informal basis. That is all.

    Which is as it should be.

    As Elizabeth and others are well aware, my long held personal view is that the future use of Carisbrook and the potential options it unleashes are the key to the long-term redevelopment of “the flat” including South Dunedin.

    In short, it has to be looked at in the broad oicture of “what if” and not just “what’s there now”.

    I remind you that I tried starting some discussion on that right here a few weeks ago. Elizabeth “cut me off” and said is is for a different thread.

    That’s fine but please do not start now inventing more conspiracy theories and the like!

  12. David

    Richard – I’ve got a fantastic idea for the future use of Carisbrook. It’s ideally set up to be a ………er……rugby stadium.

    What do you think of that idea?

  13. Beyond understanding

    Submitted by Calvin Oaten on Fri, 19/06/2009 – 3:03pm.
    There is no doubt but that Mayor Chin and CEO Harland are leading the council in a very audacious, some would say foolhardy programme, to have a new stadium in Dunedin. The constant financial juggling is pure wizardry in it’s daring.
    This latest conspiracy, to in one move relieve the ORFU of its indebtedness, while at the same time driving it into forced use of the new facility, is an exercise in mendacity worthy of Machiavelli himself.
    To use the citizen’s treasure in order to achieve this is wanton recklessness way beyond acceptable behaviour expected from any civic servants. Just how they can have the bare faced effrontery to do this, and at the same time expect the citizens to carry the burden of debt for decades in order to satisfy and enrich a very few is beyond understanding.

  14. Richard


    I know sleight-of-hand when I see it and you are pretty good. But when you believe that you deceive yourself!

    The acquisition of Carisbrook has been part and parcel of the entire exercise for – what is it – seven years or so?

    Stop kidding yourself!

  15. Richard:
    It doesn’t matter what I believe. It is what the people believe.

    Sleight-of-hand? Yes, on the part of the cartel involved in this great deception.

    Richard, this will go down as the greatest boondoggle that has ever been foisted on an innocent population. It could almost be called a crime. You know it, as do many other thinking folk, and the time will come for the great realisation and calling to account. There could well be some serious legal actions if the people are incensed enough.

    I don’t know where the elected members’ obligations lie in these matters, but if I were one I would be concerned, very concerned.

  16. meg55

    hehehe …. good one David. Reminds me of the person from the ORC who said if wasn’t feasible for the ORC to use the old Post Office as its premises because the post office wasn’t configured to be office space.

  17. Richard

    “This latest conspiracy, to in one move relieve the ORFU of its indebtedness, while at the same time driving it into forced use of the new facility, is an exercise in mendacity worthy of Machiavelli himself” says Calvin.

    It does not seem to occur to you that the ORFU could have said “NO”.

  18. Bravo! Elizabeth. Exactly, why would a drowning man refuse a lifeboat, especially if it was full of provisions and a motor to take him to shore?

  19. Richard

    So, it hasn’t OCCURRED to you! Calvin, I can understand. Elizabeth, well I cannot.

  20. David

    The ORFU are not going to say no to the DCC, when they made the decision that the DCC should make them an offer.

  21. Richard

    Excuse me ‘laughing’ and I am not ‘laughing at you both’ but just remember where this all started.

    My words in 2004 on the need for a major community-owned outdoor sportsground are on record. Which makes it easy for me.

    “The ORFU is now responsible for running professional and amateur codes. The job of running and further developing a major sporting facility has obviously got beyond their ability to cope. The two don’t just mix. The question of who should own and run Carisbrook therefore needs to be resolved quickly. The owner could, for example, be a trust or a company incorporating various sporting and community interests. Once that is done, the city and wider regional community can consider what sort of facility we need to have and how it will be financed.”

    Just go to the front page reports in the ODT of 9.12.04 “Rates bill of $50m for rugby” and that of 14.12.04 (which followed the council meeting the previous day) “$50m plan for ‘Brook gets DCC backing”.

    And then remember who “torpedoed that”.

  22. Excuse me for “laughing” now.

    14.12.04 “$50m plan for ‘Brook’ gets DCC backing.” This most certainly got “torpedoed,” and why shouldn’t it? What on earth does it have to do with the general public that the ORFU has gotten itself into financial trouble? It was, and is a management problem surrounding the flawed professional version of the game of rugby. Because it is unsustainable is no reason to dump the financial risks onto the public.

    And, indeed how did the DCC allow the $50m suggested to morph into a $200m plus exercise involving a whole new stadium?

    Richard, you might well ponder on that point for a moment or two.

  23. David

    With interest on the ratepayers loan for Carisbrook reaching nearly half a million per year, we’ll need to recover at least that much from the ORFU + whatever the running costs are, just to get to a point where ratepayers don’t lose money.

    Is the DCC recovering all our Carisbrook costs off the ORFU, or is this another in the long list of ways money is taken off ratepayers to be given effectively as a massive cash gift to rugby?

  24. Richard


    Don’t try “the red herring stuff”.

    You had as much a hand as anyone in stirring things up in 2005 with your anti-rugby (anti-sport?), anti-ORFU, anti-Carisbrook, anti – etc etc etc rant.

    You and your ‘mates’ stirred things up so much, council looked for an independent person to “sort things out”.

    I have no problem with your opinions. But please do not “duck for cover” now.

    Your anti-anti-anti stance never addressed the question of whether the city and region needed a major outdoor sporting stadium.

    And why the ORFU should have to continue to own and provide that stadium in a changing scenario – the only union to do so in any major city and town in New Zealand.

    You never took “rugby and rates” out of the equation.

    And that is what led us to where we are now – the new stadium!

  25. David

    Ah… Richard – you are after what’s best for the ORFU rather than the ratepayers.

    It seems that you DO moonlight for the ORFU.

    What ‘s next? Malcolm Farry on the Highlanders Board?

  26. Richard;
    I have difficulty in understanding just what it is you are saying. I am not sure what I had a hand in.
    Despite your thinking I am not “anti-rugby, anti-sport, anti-Carisbrook, anti- ORFU, anti- etc etc etc rant.”

    Let’s cut to the chase and look at the position. The ORFU, as you know has from time immemorial, occupied Carisbrook, firstly as a tenant of the Presbyterian Church. It was a leasehold arrangement paying a modest lease and the lessee putting in place and owning the improvements.

    A good number of years ago the church decided to offer the freehold to the ORFU for an undisclosed sum. The ORFU in it’s wisdom thereupon purchased the freehold and subsequently set about developing new stands etc. This was not a problem seemingly, until the advent of the professional era.

    This brought with it a new operation. Instead of the operation being run with largely voluntary workers and office bearers with minimum overheads such as management staff etc. A small accounting cost, maintenance and a groundsman was about it.

    The revenue producing stock (provincial players) cost no more than travelling expenses, with voluntary managers, coaches etc. Capitation fees from registered clubs levying members and some subsidy from the NZRFU provided a base income. It seemed to work OK, and as far as I am aware there were no major financial problems.

    Along came the professional model and we suddenly had to fund an entourage of players at seemingly outlandish salaries, coaches, trainers, medical advisers, managers, travel expenses all over the globe etc. Plus Chief executive officer, marketing manager, a fully professional office structure, motor cars and all the other accoutrements of a “yuppy” organisation.
    Then there is the board of directors and their expenses. All enough to make Charlie Saxton, Bill Auld and other old timers turn in their graves.

    All this on the backs of the patrons, club members and the NZRFU (who have sold their soul to the highest bidders), plus the long suffering public.

    Obviously it didn’t work, and as a consequence, the ORFU found itself running out of capital. Using its property as collateral it then borrowed ( or cadged) money from the DCC (why it got involved is a mystery) and the commercial banks. It did not of course solve the underlying problem which was that the model was flawed and could not sustain the operating costs. Somehow, for some reason, no-one could, or would recognise the reality of the situation.

    It all came to a head when the NZRFU put the hard word on the ORFU saying that Carisbrook no longer met their criteria for A category tests. This started the move for change. First, there was the MWH report which only served to confirm the fact that the ORFU was technically insolvent and was not in a position to do anything.

    Then the “Tartan Mafia” kicked in and the next we knew was that the DCC formed a working party to investigate the position. First mistake. Next a so-called independent body, the CST was set up with Malcolm Farry fronting. It quickly decided that Carisbrook was not worth salvaging and a new stand alone stadium should be built. It was to cost “not a penny over $188m and yes, it would have a roof.”

    We all know Richard, where it has gone from there. So please don’t plead the injured, as you have been a party to all progress from then until we end up in the pickle we are.

    And no, I don’t agree with the DCC spending $50m on Carisbrook. It is, as I say rugby’s problem. The fact is that they have to first, put their house in order, then manage their way out of it. What this council has done is nothing short of scandalous.

  27. Richard


    The first part is a pretty accurate summation.

    It goes astray from paragraph six when you start to mix the running of the game AND the ownership of the property together.

    Certainly there is a relationship.

    The fact is – as Wellington also found – that owning a facility and running “the game” in the modern era is just too much.

    The two “do not mix” – as indeed – I said back in 2004.

    Things have changed in many fields over the last two decades. Rugby is not the only sport that has been affected, professional or amateur.

    I don’t like some of the changes. I hate night rugby.

    Back to Carisbrook.

    The ORFU could, if it had wished to do, said “NO” from the time the original Working Party reported at the end of 2004 and at any time since.

    That thought – as I observed last evening – does not seem to have occurred to you or Elizabeth.

    It could just have walked away from The ‘Brook.

    And what would have happened then?

    Essentially, that was the reason for the establishment of the Working Party.

    To look at the options.

    As for the alleged involvement of the so-called ‘Tartan Mafia’ in establishing the original Working Party, that is pure fiction.

    The furore that resulted when the Working Party reported – and of which you were very much a part – led Council to look for an independent body to further consider and report on the options.

    Malcolm Farry took that on. Many told him “he was mad to do so”. Nevertheless he did so. It was Malcolm who formed the Trust, not council.

    I have kept all the papers over the years. One day the story will be told.

    In the meantime I must remember to put your name – and those of the other antis – up for an invitation to the opening of the new stadium.

    Maybe even for a commemorative plate on the Leith Sidewalk. I can think of 50 or so people deserving of that recognition.

    Whatever you say, YOU all led us to where we are at today.

    The new stadium at Awatea (or closer to the harbour as the ODT suggested at the time) would never have got off the ground but for you guys who “torpedoed” the acquisition of The Brook as a community-owned ground etc.

    A tombstone at Carisbrook would be unjust!

  28. David

    Richard – “Whatever you say, YOU all led us to where we are at today.”

    You are blaming Calvin for spending $200m on the new stadium – that’s truly absurd.

    Do you realise how stunningly ridiculous your accusation sounds Richard?????

    I shake my head in disbelief.

    And to make it funnier – then you go and shoot yourself in the foot.

    You say the stadium would not have got off the ground if we owned Carisbrook.

    Well, now we do.

    Yay – we can save ratepayers $218,000,000.

  29. Richard:
    You say that owning a ground and running the modern game just do not mix. You are absolutely right, except the ground has nothing to do with it. It is the “modern game” which is the fault. It is quite simply unsustainable.

    If and When this monstrosity of a stadium is completed, and the rugby begins to be played there do you think that will answer all their prayers? No, the game will continue to bleed to death. Then we, the citizens will be left with a stadium of no use.

    Mark my words Richard, you and I will both see this professional game slowly regress. Watch it shrink first to just Christchurch in the South Island, Wellington and Auckland in the North and television. Then just Auckland plus a couple of sites in each of Australia and South Africa and television.

    By then if it is to survive at all it will amalgamate with the Northern Hemisphere. It is all to do with audience, which in turn is all to do with population. 100,000 odd people at the bottom of the planet just won’t hack it. Is that really so difficult to deduce?

    Don’t believe me? Just look at the tracking of the game so far. Crowds shrinking, Costs escalating, the NZRU desperately trying to rejig the game to wring a few more dollars out of it. Too much rugby is the cry, but no, we will have more. Meanwhile the cream of the playing talent is migrating to the Northern Hemisphere where the real money is.

    The grassroots are being bypassed, young talent spotted and taken away to feed the need for professional stock. Clubs left with the remainder, they lose heart, and why wouldn’t they? Just ask any of the clubs’ old guard, they’ll tell you.

    Sorry Richard, but, as they say, “You don’t have to like it but that is the way it is.”

    So wake up and please! stop this nonsense. As the senior councillor you could even now inject some common sense and reason into the debate. Dave Cull and others can see it, why don’t you marshall the facts and stop this nonsense right now. Grass roots rugby will thank you for it.

  30. Richard

    Calvin: Thank you for confirming your ‘confusion’. You still do not “get it”.

    That’s It. I might not like “night” rugby but I am sure going to watch what is on tonight.

    I suggest you do the same!


  31. Richard

    David: and why do you still see “Orange”? Think about it!

  32. David

    Richard – I’ve just seen orange.

    It was a giant burning ember stuck on my daughter’s back from the fireworks in the Octagon.

    There were large embers and egg sized pieces of glowing fireworks raining down on the people.

    I blame the council and the new stadium.

  33. Richard

    Pleased you enjoyed the Mid-Winter Festival Fun with your family, David.

    Last time I saw “Orange” it turned “Green”. At the next intersection, it turned …. “Red”.

    T’was ever thus!

  34. Richard;
    Just before the rugby last night I had posted comments on the problems of owning a ground and running the modern game. You say that they do not mix.

    I then put forward what I thought was a reasoned hypothesis of the “modern game” and why it was in the predicament it is. This in turn impacts on the viability of the grounds. Which again highlights the reasons why the proposal for the citizens to debt fund the stadium is so bad.

    From this I would have expected from you a reasoned response. You would either have accepted my arguments or you would have rebutted with equally sound reasons in order to either convince me and others as to why it is a good thing for the city to fund the facility to enable the “modern game” to continue on its fateful financial journey.

    What do I get?
    “Thank you for confirming your confusion.” You still do not “get it.”

    You are damn right, I do not “get it.” What I do get is exactly what we always get from you Richard, a total avoidance of the subject coupled with trite remarks which only serve to demonstrate just how shallow your respect for the seriousness of the matter really is.

    It is this seemingly disdainful attitude towards any person or group which dares to put up any sort of opposition to what, in your opinion is the only view which disturbs so many citizens. None more so than the issue of the stadium.

    It is the fact that you and most of your fellow councillors are so intent on refusing to debate with sound arguments on the issue, but rather resort to throw away distracting comments which mostly have no connection with the subject in point.
    Hence, “YOU DON’T GET IT”

  35. David

    Calvin – your earlier post brings us a few more questions about the DCC – ORFU relationship..

    Do the DCC loan money to anyone, or just the ORFU?

    What is the legal position of a local council using ratepayers money to act as a bank?

    What interest rate is being paid by the ORFU on our money?

    Do the ORFU pay rates on Carisbrook? If not, why not?

    What advantage is it for the shareholders (i.e. ratepayers) of council owned company Delta to pay for a corporate box at Carisbrook?

    How much are the ORFU paying to hire Carisbrook from the council for the next two years?

    Will this cover the interest on $7m, running costs etc? (or are ratepayers making a loss at Carisbrook – essentially putting more of their money ionto the pocket of the ORFU).

    What is the total amount (to the nearest $100m) that Dunedin ratepayers are gifting to rugby?

  36. David

    Elizabeth – it’s an analogy of the stadium.

    Richard saw orange – get ready to stop.

    Then he says it changed to green for go.

    However that was delusional – he was wrong – orange never turns to green.

    Everyone knows red comes after orange.

    Richard says “T’was ever thus!”

    But he missed out the “n”

  37. David;
    All good questions that you may well ask Richard, except of course, he will never answer.

    He will of course, avoid them all by simply dismissing you as “not getting it.” Just exactly what “it” is he will never explain.

  38. Richard

    Now, now, Elizabeth. I did not go ‘overtime.’ Just like in rugby, the hooter sounded…. oh well.

    In case you guys do not realise it, none of you have a sense of humour!

    I always felt that YOU did Elizabeth.


  39. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 02/07/2009 – 12:30pm.
    Comment by farsighted on ORFU submission

    The following is an extract of the submission made by the ORFU to the DCC in support of the new stadium. “… It has been argued the Union will not be contributing to the cost of the new stadium. This is false. The Union, subject to satisfactory arrangements with the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, will be transferring ownership of Carisbrook to the trust. This represents a book value of $18,650,095, made up of land $418,000, buildings $13,244,098 and hospitality suites to the value of $4,987,997.” Never has there been a clearer delineation of the difference in meaning between the words “will” and “shall”. In the US, this is called “bait and switch”.

  40. I have come to the distinct conclusion that David is obsessed with the ORFU and the DCC.

    and considering it’s built on a very shambolic view of the stadium development, it’s a very unhealthy conspiracy theory driven obsession.

  41. David

    The DCC wanted to give someone a few million dollars to investigate the city’s need for an upgrade or a new stadium.

    They could choose someone who would be independent, or they could pick a Highlanders board member.

    That’s a bit like paying your employee a fortune to work out how much they would like to get paid – with no limits, and no need to justify value for money.

    And how come they are loaning out ratepayers money to rugby mates as a personal loan. Who else can apply for those?

    Or paying millions over valuation for their rugby mates’ property, that the city doesn’t even have a use for, and certainly doesn’t need at this point in time.

    Buying it two years before the new stadium is finished means another $1m of ratepayers money goes down the drain in interest on the additional $7m loaned.

    And you can guarantee that the ORFU are not paying market rental on a $7m property. More ratepayer subsidy to their mates.

    And to top it off council decides to put the city into debt for a generation for a new home whose primary users are their mates – the same ones that have plummeting supporters and were technically bankrupt. A wise horse to back with $200m?

    And they did this without considering any other option of what $200m could do for the city –

    Are we expected to believe this is merely ineptitude and negligence?

  42. what was I saying.

    how does it go, a riddle wrapped up in a conspiracy theory – or something like that not attributed to Winston Churchill.

  43. “And they did this without considering any other option of what $200m could do for the city –”

    David, you’re killing me, stop! I haven’t laughed so much in ages. Thank goodness, I was starting to think you believed this stuff.

    Thanks have a great night.

  44. David

    Paul – it’s a bit like a family putting themselves into debt for 20 years to buy a convertable gold plated Rolls Royce that they use a handful of times per year.

    It might be something you’d like.

    But no sane person would buy it without considering what else they could do with such a large sum of money – holidays, pay off the mortgage, investments, house alteraton etc.

    But what other options did our councillors consider for $200m?

    Were there far better options for the city? Were there bigger paybacks in the offering? Were there projects that ratepayers really wanted?

    We’ll never know. Council didn’t even bother to give other options the sort of consideration that every family does when going into debt for 20 years.

    Is that negligent, or were they simply doing what the Highlanders board member wanted them to do?

  45. David

    Elizabeth – I submitted some ideas for the annual plan, and they had an ideas competition just a few years ago that resulted in some very imaginative fantasy ideas, some pretty good practical ones, and everything in between.

    I find it stunningly stupid and negligent that they could spend so much public money without considering as many options as possible.

    It would be hard to find any other project that
    1/ cost so much
    2/ returned so little
    3/ was empty so much
    4/ that appealed to such a small minority
    5/ put us into debt for so long
    6/ split the community so much
    7/ brought such ridicule onto the council
    8/ sent so much money out of the city ($100m to foreign bank interest, Auckland construction company, Christchurch pile contractor etc).
    9/ Had so many add on expenses (extra $10m for land, $7m for Carisbrook, road and bridge realignments. Ratepayers portion has already gone from “not a dollar over $92m” to $108m +$7m for Carisbrook, and the first piles have only just gone in. That’s a 25% cost over run already.

  46. David

    Elizabeth “Were they even talking with or listening to their constituents.”

    By DCC constituents, do you mean the ORFU board, or the Highlander board?

  47. LG

    If I remember the “I am Dunedin” launch for staff correctly, a lot of the images were rugby-related. Students dressed up for a game push starting a car down a hill to get to the ‘Brook. And that was back during Murray Douglas’ rein.

  48. Richard

    Wrong, LG.

  49. Phil

    I recall the whole “I am” days. It must have been about the tail end of big Murray’s days, or the very start of Jim’s. But I’m pretty sure it was Murray. I rather liked Murray. No diplomat, bit of an idiot at times, but at least you always knew where he stood. Or what he was standing in.

    Highlight of that campaign launch has to be the classic hanging of the flags from every lamppost on the one way street system. All facing the wrong way ! “Am I ” ?

  50. Phil

    the fog has slowly lifted, the campaign was launched during Jim’s time.

  51. Phil

    Do we still use “It’s alright here” (sp) ? Hard to top Hamilton’s “More than you’d expect”, or the crowd favourite “Stop and taste Te Puke”

  52. Richard

    There will only be one ‘stadium’ but – as I have said previously (sorry to repeat it) there are now several good reasons why Carisbrook should remain a sports venue/ground.

    Some of these reasons are recent (e.g. the questionable future of some much-used playing fields at Middle Beach and the need to find replacements) but there are others of much longer standing including Don Anderson’s imaginative proposal involving not only The ‘Brook but Bathgate Park which together could be the real ‘springboard’ for the imaginative long-term redevelopment of South Dunedin/Caversham and “the flat” generally.

    PS: To LG: Sorry, I was so “short” in regard to your comments on “I Am” but I remembered you liked brutal, short answers. On reflection, I should have said “you have it wrong” or something like that. Whatever, well beyond Murray D’s time. He always regretted the decision that led to the huge momentum of the ‘Dunedin, it’s ALL right here” campaign being diluted. Something that Wellington never did with ‘APW’.

    “I AM Dunedin” is, of course, differently targeted, i.e. it is not all encompassing e.g. in tourism, as “ALL right” was. Nevertheless, surveys show “I AM” has been very successful in more than delivering on its objectives.


  53. Phil

    I think it was me who welcomed the clear crisp answers, Richard. Always good to see exactly where people stand. Don’t stop those.

  54. LG

    Hi Richard. You are indeed correct. I was cleaning out a box, and it was the launch of “The Spirit of Dunedin” campaign. Clearly not a resounding re-branding, given that none of us seem to remember it.

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