Chin's writing team and the dull thuds

Today in the Otago Daily Times, Mayor Peter Chin emoted a response to two letters to the editor that, I suggest, includes part-texts that others at DCC have dished up as the party line.

The letters and the reply address DCC’s purchase of Carisbrook. But where ORFU truly sits in the council’s financial plans, heaven knows. Don’t depend on the mayor to tell us. Perhaps Cr Guest will leak it, inadvertently.

The mayor’s response appears to have some reliance on the DCC letter sent to all Annual Plan/LTCCP submitters on the stadium – a most unfortunate communication that has won little public reaction; no doubt people have seen it for what it is.

I’ll lead in here with Garrick Tremain’s latest offering as we reflect on DCC’s movements of late – and briefly cite the ODT correspondence.

All this is accompanied by the sound of stadium pile driving tonight (18:38pm). The dull repetitive thuds of DCC’s errant business planning!

Cartoonist’s view – Tremain

### ODT Monday, July 13, 2009 (page 8)
Letters to the editor
Carisbrook price an added cost for stadium

Letter by Calvin Oaten, Pine Hill
Dunedin City Council chief executive Jim Harland, in his reply to my questions (ODT, 12.6.09), leaves me even more troubled than before. When asked why the DCC bought Carisbrook, his reply was: “to assist the ORFU as anchor tenant in the new stadium and to secure a piece of industrial land for the future of the city”.

Letter by Philip Temple, Dunedin
The CEO of the Dunedin Cit Council, Jim Harland, in reply to a correspondent (12.6.09) stated that the DCC was buying Carisbrook “to assist the ORFU as anchor tenant in the new stadium” and that the purchase price (still unknown) was not budgeted into the stadium cost because “the council’s concern is to ensure the ORFU is in a viable financial position looking into the future”.

Mayor Peter Chin replies: “Whether the ORFU is described as ‘an anchor tenant’ or ‘major hirer’ or ‘key stakeholder’ is only a matter of semantics. The fact is that a successful ORFU is important to the success of the stadium.”

The full letters and the reply are available in print and digital editions of the ODT.


Filed under Architecture, Economics, Hot air, Media, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums

16 responses to “Chin's writing team and the dull thuds

  1. Phil

    I would have thought the differences were quite simple, but also quite important to define which of the two are relevant to the current project. A tenant has a lease and agrees to pay a set amount at specified regular intervals for a set period of time. Whether they choose to use the facilities or not. A hirer agrees to pay a set amount whenever they wish to use the facilities. With no obligation to use the facilities. That’s a reasonably significant difference, and I wouldn’t be brushing them off as semantics. It suggests that maybe someone doesn’t understand that the two are not the same.

    A stakeholder can be either of the above, and is simply someone who is required for the success of a project. Not related to the issue of tenant or hirer. I don’t know why that’s been thrown into the mix.

    Surely they are not still using Rodney to write their press releases. I thought he had retired long ago.

  2. Elizabeth

    The thuds were back in action again before 7am this morning, they continue apace as I type – not drowned out by the mechanical digger working next door in Pitt Street as a building site is prepared.* Amazing how Dunedin acoustics work on a still day. Personally, I would hate to live or work any closer to the stadium thuds.

    *See nasty cheap-build flats going up in the Pitt Street Heritage Precinct of substantial character residences. Thanks Dunedin City Council for NO consultation, NO hearing and ensuring NO registered architect informs the (infill) design. Oh, and initially, DCC didn’t even realise the building site was in the Heritage Precinct, it was processed non notified. BRILLIANT.

  3. Anon

    Tremain should have fun with the fact that we now own the old Post Office too, deal signed two days ago.

  4. Richard

    Elizabeth, I have followed up on your comment regarding “the nasty, cheapbuild flats going up in Pitt Street”.

    Acting Consents Manager, Doug Spittle advises
    that a resource consent has been issued for development 11 Pitt Street, Dunedin. A Registered Architect was engaged by the Council to review the proposal. The Otago Branch of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust was also consulted as part of the consent process. Substantial changes to the building design were undertaken by the applicant through this resource consent process. The final plans approved are considered to adequately address the precinctual values ascribed by the District Plan.

    In general, construction of a new building in a Heritage Precinct is a Controlled activity under the Dunedin City District Plan. The Resource Management Act provides no opportunity to decline an application for this status of activity and further the District Plan provides no opportunity to publicly notify or require consultation with owners/occupiers of neighbouring properties.

    Enquiries to the Council are welcome should anyone wish to discuss the detail of the resource consent referred to and the process of architectural review undertaken.”

  5. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Saturday 18 July 2009 (page 33)
    Letters to the editor
    Carisbrook purchase
    By Ian Pillans, Dunedin

    Peter Chin’s response to Philip Temple’s letter (13.7.09) makes one wonder whether Mr Chin has any basic comprehension of finance, when he describes the Carisbrook purchase as “neutral” to the ratepayer. The Dunedin City Council has paid considerably over the odds for this property, with the sole purpose of making solvent its rugby union tenant in the new stadium.

    Mr Pillans goes on to do some maths…worth reading.

    The full letter is available in print and digital editions of the ODT.

  6. Richard

    It’s a ‘funny world’. The announcement that Carisbrook had been separated out from the stadium project itself and that council would buy Carisbrook was carried in the ODT back on 6 February and discussed at the Special Council on 9 February. There was hardly any reaction!

    As I posted a few weeks back (18 June), the ODT erred when it referred to it as a ‘budget entry of $5 million to BUY the ground’ when it was the anticipated as surplus from the intended sale of the ground being written back into the overall cost of the stadium.

    Whatever, ODT had the story and why they subsequently got into a funk a few weeks later when ‘D-Scene’ thought they had a scoop, rather beats me!

    As can be expected, settling the details has been rather drawn out and the report back of the sub-committee handling them is still awaited. I am looking forward with interest to the reaction of those who have been making all sorts of wild assumptions, especially the anti-rugby lot! Indeed, I confidently predict a retreat in deafening silence!

  7. Richard; you are dead right, it is a “funny world.” That there was hardly any reaction to the 9th Feb. announcement that council would buy Carisbrook was because there was no mention of price. It was assumed by the public at that time that council would be taking over Carisbrook in return for not much more than releasing the ORFU of its debt.

    That in itself was a very generous gesture on behalf of the rate payers. But we now know that the figure is in the order of some $7m. which would effectively clear the ORFU of all its debt and leave it with a surplus of perhaps a million dollars. It was also believed that the on sale of Carisbrook proceeds would go towards the new stadium.

    When I asked Jim Harland had he factored into the stadium costs the purchase of Carisbrook he said no. He said the purpose of purchasing Carisbrook was to ensure the viability of the ORFU and to secure them as an anchor tenant for the new stadium, as well as to secure some industrial land for the city. All of those claims are manifestly untrue. Because in February Malcolm Farry told the ORC that the ORFU would not be taking a tenancy in the stadium nor relocating its offices to it. It, the ORFU would only rent the stadium on an event by event basis.

    It was also stated, and reiterated by mayor Peter Chin that there was no plan yet for the redeployment of Carisbrook, either recreational, residential or industrial.

    And that Richard is why a lot of people got into a “funk.” Further, I think it is very much wishful thinking on your part to confidently predict a retreat in deafening silence. To term any and all opponents to the stadium as “the anti rugby lot” is a demonstration of red necked intolerance typical of you. I doubt whether many of the opponents of the stadium have any strong feelings about rugby one way or the other. They are just incensed over the whole project and the way in which it has been foisted onto the public.

    You Richard, epitomise all that is wrong about this whole stadium saga. A naked belief that it must, and will happen, regardless of whether it makes any rational or economic sense for a city and district of less than 200,000 souls. In a word, just plain selfish, self indulgence by an elitist group of sad people.

  8. Richard

    Calvin, , I am not going to debate “your facts” or “your assumptions” or anyone else’s for that matter.

    End of exchange.

  9. Richard:
    About as expected. Honest debate is not in your lexicon. Shame really, as with your experience, you could certainly expose some serious information to the public. But populism rules the day as always.

  10. Richard

    The agreement has not yet been reported to council.

  11. David

    Richard – are you saying council actually knew they were going to pay millions for Carisbrook months ago back in February – but have kept that secret from the ratepayers as well?

  12. Richard

    David: It was not kept “secret”. That the DCC rather than the CST would purchase Carisbrook was reported in the ODT on 6 February and discussed at Council the following Monday 9 February.

    While the ‘heads of agreement’ was signed, the details needed to be hammered out as there are several properties involved etc. The sub-committee has yet to report the final agreement to council.

    I have previously noted all the above on this site along with my long held view that the ownership of Carisbrook and its future should have been dealt with by council from the start as a separate transaction. In my view – and that of many others -it is the key to unlocking the overall redevelopment of South Dunedin. That is for another topic on which I have again previously posted here.

    On thing that has also escaped any attention at all despite the fact that it has been pointed out by council staff to both D-Scene and the ODT is the inclusion of $7million in the finalised Community Plan for the purchase of Carisbrook.

    Hardly secret! Hardly a conspiracy!

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