Future of Carisbrook: Not on advice of one planning consultant

1. Time to check what an individual’s business agenda might be.
2. In the interests of balance, ODT shouldn’t have privileged the views of one planning professional in the story.

### ODT Online Tue, 29 Jun 2010
Carisbrook for sport and build on Bathgate Park, meeting told
By Chris Morris
Carisbrook would be retained as the home for sports fields in South Dunedin and Bathgate Park developed for new affordable social housing under a proposal floated at a meeting in Dunedin last night.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Where’s the FULL background information pack that would normally prompt consultative practice – the Mayor can’t skip the requirement on Dunedin City Council to provide this.

Bathgate Park isn’t owned by the Dunedin City Council. The Park isn’t in the equation for Carisbrook’s future.

Have your say on Carisbrook’s future at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/public-consultation/consultations/future-of-carisbrook/_nocache

55 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Inspiration, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

55 responses to “Future of Carisbrook: Not on advice of one planning consultant

  1. Elizabeth

    Selection of tweets from the Carisbrook meeting:

    @lee0007 No running commentary from me on the “Future of Carisbrook” this evening unless there’s @twitter shortcode for @2degreesmobile nz

    @lee0007 Twtr shortcode does not exist yet but still liking @2degreesmobile more than @vodafone

    @lee0007 Future of Carisbrook: Once Otago Rugby Union vacates the premises DCC will shoulder the holding costs $440K

    @lee0007 Historic Places Trust: Category 1registered historic place for pitch & turnstile & ground affords no protection to future use

    @lee0007 Janet Stevenson presents vision of students from Otago University: Masters of Planning 2008

    *Stephenson

    @lee0007 Project Plans to incorporate: residential, employment, sustainable transport, energy efficient reduced carbon footprint & heritage

    @lee0007 Laura Black CEO Methodist Mission: Social & cultural, economic & environment: A vibrant diverse rich & generous Dunedin where all benefit

    @lee0007 Laura Black CEO Methodist Mission: Integration of holistic imaginative ways to tie development together

    @lee0007 Laura Black CEO Methodist Mission: Development SWOT Analysis – Situation Wherewithal Objectives Tactics

    @lee0007 Laura Black CEO Methodist Mission: Encouraging aggressive engagement with our people.

    @lee0007 Laura Black CEO Methodist Mission: Challenging Council to be ambitious dangerous dreamers

    @lee0007 John Whitaker: Farra Engineering & Engineering cluster: Industrial area being maintained converted into light industrial park for job growth

    @lee0007 Anne Turvey: Former City Councilor & Deputy Mayor of St Kilda Borough – site A & B sold with proceeds to establish trust fund for community

    @lee0007 Irene Todd: Rugby Supporters Club – How long will we have a space at Carisbrook to support Youth Rugby development?

    @lee0007 What provision is there at the new stadium for sports clubs?

    @lee0007 I said it: augment reality gaming #ar

    @lee0007 Don Anderson: Patterson Pitts Resource Management: Residential + Recycle facilities & extend turf

    @lee0007 Don Anderson:: Retain Carisbrook as a centre for outdoor recreation for Dunedin in a way that supports surrounding residents

    @lee0007 Don Anderson:Sustainable housing not @ Carisbrook but down the road@ Bathgate Park morph 2 million value into 38 million with +500 bedspaces

    @lee0007 “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”

    @lee0007 Don Anderson: Establish a working party

    @lee0007 Lyndon Weggery: Retain it as a rec ground – this is the feedback from members of the Dunedin home owners association

    @lee0007 Lyndon Weggery: Are we rushing too quickly to present to the outgoing council at the Finance & Strategy Committee 13 September

    @lee0007 Lyndon Weggery: Bring back Soccer, Cricket other Rugby Clubs. To preserve this place as the iconic landmark that it is

    @lee0007 Historic Places Trust: Are pro light industrial development, if some of the historic elements are retained vs commercial retail development

    @lee0007 Historic Places Trust: Public vs Private ownership

    @lee0007 Cr Fliss Butcher to Don Anderson: South Dunedin Working Party what would you like to see?

  2. JimmyJones

    The Companies Office tells us: “This is to certify that DUNEDIN VENUES LIMITED was incorporated on the 24th day of June 2010”.

    Dunedin Venues Ltd will own the DCC Stadium and be responsible for most of the ongoing total operating losses. The other contributors to the operating loss are DVML and the DCC (interest and services provided to DVL and DVML). The DCC spin doctors won’t want us to realise that there are 3 separate entities contributing to their financial black hole.

    The sizeable annual losses mean that the longer we keep it the more of Dunedin’s prosperity will be destroyed. To minimize the harm, construction should be abandoned straight away and the glorious Carisbrook retained.

    (By “Operating loss” I mean the NZ International Financial Reporting Standard method of measuring Net Profit/Loss; the same as all NZ companies must use.)

  3. Russell Garbutt

    Lets start off at the beginning.

    The DCC bought Carisbrook and paid a price for it based on a valuation that was obtained to justify the purchase price. So, what was going through the minds of those that agreed with the purchase apart from the financial well-being of the ORFU? Answer – quite clearly, not a thing. There have been tons of opportunities to explain the initial purchase, but not one attempt at providing some sort of vision.

    Solution – try and place the problem back in the hands of those that paid for it – albeit with no input into the decision to purchase.

    The concept of replacing many playing grounds with one, equipped with grandstands and the like has to taken with a truckload of salt, but I come back to what should have happened and it’s about time that Richard and his mates come up with some plausible reason why it didn’t.

    What was the justification – apart from the DTZ valuation which some have described as less than believable – that convinced the DCC Councillors to go ahead with the purchase in the first place?

  4. Where is the information for making an informed decision?
    How much would it cost to demolish the existing structures? How much would the land sell for as bare industrial land? Surely it would be best to sell the land for industry which would provide jobs for South Dunedin, and pay back the loan raised to buy it.
    But it would be very embarrassing for the Council if the sale returned less than the $7 million paid.

  5. Anonymous

    Someone should tell Don Anderson that the much-vaunted “slit drain” system that earned Carisbrook its reputation was largely destroyed in the early 2000s. It’s hardly a unique feature of sportsgrounds or turf management either.

    Building on Bathgate Park? You are kidding me. In the face of a “managed retreat” approach to sea-level rise?

    But interesting to note that a retirement village creates 19x return on investment as opposed to the 0.001% for the stadium. Like Soylent Green, Dunedin is (old) people.

    • Elizabeth

      There’s the (small?) matter of Carisbrook as a memorial space. Funereal urns have been buried in the ground and ashes have been scattered there. How do we handle this culturally, our wahi tapu.

  6. Phil

    Just as every organised public event HAS to be held in the most unsuitable public venue in the city (ie, the Octagon), so it seems a public “outdoor recreation” venue HAS to mean a rugby field with grandstands. God forbid that there may be healthier recreational activities other than rugby. Obviously not. Once again, catering for a minority. This continued stagnant blinker obsession that playing team sports (“it was good enough for me in my day”) is in some way improving community health really does my head in at times. As a nation we continue to miss the worldwide changing concept of community health. We have a chance here in Dunedin to drag ourselves out of the 1950s, and not just build another shrine to the same.

    Unfortunately, the recommendation from Dunedin’s only tertiary qualified planner immediately hits a snag, as the “retained” corporate boxes at Carisbrook are to be sold off as offices as part of the DCC purchase of the complex. It was the future sale of those corporate boxes that determined the purchase price for the property by DCC. I’m surprised that he missed that.

    Apart from that, all good news.

  7. Johnson

    I have to step in here Phil. Don Anderson is tertiary qualified, he has, I believe a PGDip in Town or Resource Planning. But to suggest he is the ONLY, tertiary qualified planner is absolute rubbish. EVERY Planner I know and have worked with is at the very least University trained, i.e. undergraduate and post graduate degree qualified. If you don’t believe me the information is a phone call away. In my dealings with him he has been at best “difficult” and at times impossibly intransigent in his views regardless of any evidence to the contrary brought before him. I’ve always found him a pleasant enough chap, but professionally he is not the most innovative thinker I’ve come across.

    {Don Anderson also has a tertiary architectural qualification. Check out his current status with the NZ Registered Architects Board at http://www.nzrab.org.nz/NonCMS/Archi.Details2.aspx?RegNo=1568 -Eds}

  8. Richard

    FYI: The location of the two urns is known.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 30 Jun 2010
      Housing on Bathgate Park opposed
      By Chris Morris
      More ideas for the future of Carisbrook are rolling in, but the Southern Rugby Football Club hopes housing on Bathgate Park is not an option.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 2 Jul 2010
      Uni Oval new home for Sutcliffe ashes?
      By Chris Morris
      The ashes of cricketing great Bert Sutcliffe might be shifted to the new home of Otago cricket, a move prompted by the demise of Carisbrook. Otago Cricket Association chief executive Ross Dykes yesterday confirmed that the Sutcliffe family had given their blessing to relocating the ashes of the legendary left-handed batsman from their place at Carisbrook to the University Oval.
      Read more

  9. Phil

    Sorry, that my sarcastic comment about the “only” planner in town wasn’t a bit more obvious, Johnson. It was an endorsement of an earlier posting noting that there were alternative qualified opinions other than the one selected by the media. I’m well aware of the skill base in the city at present. From memory there are 3 planners currently within the council’s own planning department who hold a Masters in Town Planning. Which ranks a post grad diploma. Mind you, there are also a few in the same department who hold no recognised planning qualification. But that’s a story for another day. I think the CEO holds the same Masters qualification.

  10. Phil

    I’d personally like to see Carisbrook fitted out as a genuine community fitness park. With walking paths, and places for outdoor group fitness activities. A safe place with security fencing, flood lighting, and security cameras. Dog-free, there’s enough places for dogs and this is a place for people. I like the little cycle training circuit that they have in Alexandra, near the outdoor skating area. With fake intersections and crossings to teach kids in a safe environment. And I love the idea of an adult exercise station. I’ve seen these set up around the world and they are incredibly popular. Here is an example of how they are fitted out:

    http://www.fresh-airfitness.co.uk

    I can see something like that being an absolute winner. It’s a fun place, immediate health benefits for all, suitable for everyone, and accessible to the most densley populated area of the city.

    Whichever candidate champions for that goes to the top of my voting list. Who says I can’t be bought.

  11. Phil

    Now I’m just getting excited. Here’s a great set up aimed at the general population:

    http://www.fitnesstrails.com/trails.htm

    And one aimed primarily for the youth. Which would seem to fit the population of the area:

    http://www.tgogc.com/street-gym.html

    Let’s take the opportunity to really give something tangible back to the community.

  12. Richard

    Phil: an interesting idea with some similarities to what the geography students have put up.

    Tto ensure it is considered rather than waiting on ‘someone to champion it’, I encourage and invite you to take a few minutes and put it ‘into the mix’ via the council website.

    You can post on-line at the link posted above.

    Cheers!

  13. Anonymous

    There is already a cycle training park like that in Dunedin.

  14. Phil

    There is? Where? Shows how well publicised it is. The one in Alex is great to teach kids. Little traffic lights, the works. I think it may have been built by Fulton Hogan?

    Richard, thanks for the advice. I’ll do exactly that. There’s still a vote to be bought, though.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 1 Jul 2010
      Softballers speak up for Bathgate Park
      By David Loughrey
      Another sporting body has voiced opposition to a plan to develop Bathgate Park, in South Dunedin. Softball Otago says there are few options to cater for about 3000 people it attracts every weekend for T-ball.
      Read more

  15. Anonymous

    It’s down by Kettle Park. There was a feature on it last year for Sport Otago using it for cycle instruction.

  16. Richard, the Council’s Carisbrook-Information-Pack, that you gave a link for, is 2 Mb but it is almost all photos, there is very little information or analysis.
    What is the likely market price for Carisbrook as it is now?
    How much would it cost to demolish the grandstands?
    How much would the site sell for if it was bare land?
    It is hard to escape the conclusion that there is no analysis of these issues because it would show that the $7 million that the Council paid is far too much.
    Did the Council get a registered valuation to ensure that the deal was at a fair market price?

    • Elizabeth

      That is NO information pack – I got it with my meeting invite through the post, and despaired.

      A DCC GM knows the value of demolition of the whole, not sure if he knows figures for part demolition – or for reuse of demo materials, er onsite… given the crush factor for concrete etc etc.

      Phil, any guess-timates?

    • Elizabeth

      Talked to quite a few people working in the industrial area of South Dunedin today, by chance. Most were property owners, by chance. NONE can understand why DCC paid $7 million for Carisbrook, or why this city is building a new stadium at heedless cost to the citizens and ratepayers. A totally interesting afternoon, I tell ya. A small sample but TELLING.

  17. Richard

    Alistair
    The answer to your last question – which applies across the others – is Yes and Yes.

  18. Peter

    Yes, it was Colliers International headed in Dunedin by ORC Chairman Stephen Cairns which did the valuation of Carisbrook.

  19. Thanks, Richard.
    This is the first time that I am aware of, that it has been confirmed that the Council had a registered valuation. Previously terms such as “valuation advice” have been used.

  20. Anonymous

    That’s good as there are legal protections if the foundation for a registered valuation is found to be, shall we say, less than solid.

  21. Russell Garbutt

    Elizabeth

    In your chance discussions with property owners in South Dunedin where “NONE can understand why DCC paid $7 million for Carisbrook”, the answer is very simple.

    Ignoring for a moment the slight discrepancy of the $1m between what the DCC paid to the ORFU and what the ORFU report as being received, the answer is that $7m (or $6m) was the amount of cash that the ORFU needed to wipe off its debts to the DCC and the BNZ.

    It might be pertinent to read again what Mayor Chin had to say at the time of the purchase.

    “”Mayor Peter Chin has responded enthusiastically to the acquisition of Carisbrook. “This is good news for the ratepayers and for the ORFU. It represents a sound investment based on a rigorous independent valuation of the current and future values across a range of land uses, all of which makes this a canny investment.”

    The details of the purchase price will remain confidential for reasons of on-going commercial sensitivity.”

    While Chin was certainly telling the truth about the sale being good news for the ORFU, it seems a great deal harder for him to explain why the purchase was a good deal for the ratepayers and a “canny investment”. It has become totally clear that the Council had no idea what they were going to do with the purchase other than relieve the ORFU of their debts.

    I further note that Mayor Chin didn’t say that the valuation was a registered one, but that it was “rigorous and independent.” Apart from the valuation being based upon the retention of the Corporate suites being used as “offices”, there doesn’t appear to be too much information in the public domain on the basis for the valuation. There is now no commercial sensitivity, so I’m sure that Richard will be now anxious to tell us all the details of the valuation.

  22. Peter

    ‘Rigorous’ and ‘independent’, says Mayor Chin. If this is so why not spill the beans and give all the details pertaining to the valuation, thereby dispelling any speculation.

  23. Richard

    Peter: “Yes, it was Colliers International headed in Dunedin by ORC Chairman Stephen Cairns which did the valuation of Carisbrook.” etc etc.

    What the Mayor’s media statement referred to actually said was this: “The Council was guided in its deliberations by the advice of John Dunckley, from DTZ New Zealand Ltd, whose professional assessment was a figure of between $7.1 and $7.5 million for the three property packages – Carisbrook, the adjacent car park and a block of rental housing in Burns Street”.

  24. Calvin Oaten

    In all the discussions regarding the DCC’s purchase of Carisbrook, together with ponderings over the whys, the whats and the ifs, I was prompted to revisit a letter I had published in the ODT 12-6-09, wherein I posed some questions to Jim Harland.

    Q: Why did the DCC buy Carisbrook?
    A: 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.

    Q: What price did the DCC pay?
    A: This information is confidential until negotiations have been concluded.

    Q: Was the purchase price factored in as part of the budgeted $198ml cost of the Awatea St stadium?
    A: No. The council’s concern is to ensure the ORFU is in a viable financial position looking into the future.

    Q:What use does the DCC see for the purchase and what costs are budgeted for in order to demolish existing improvements, thus making way for reuse or sale of the site?
    A: No decisions have been made on the future use of Carisbrook. The modelling prior to purchase took into account likely demolition costs.

    Q: Did the purchase include the ORFU’s other properties on Burns St and perking areas on Neville St?
    A: Yes.

    So there we are. So why is the public now being asked for suggestions of use, when Jim Harland said the purchase was to secure industrial land for the future of the city? Why, indeed, is the ORFU not now signing on as a tenant of the new stadium? As the purchase price included the three groups: stadium, houses and parking area; why is there confusion over whether it $7ml or $6ml was paid over to the ORFU?

    Perhaps chairman of finance and strategy Richard can comment. If he is of a mind to.

  25. Peter

    Richard. Yes, DTZ was taken over by Colliers International with Stephen Cairns, ORC Chairman, as its local manager. As you know real estate agencies are constantly reinventing themselves with new brand names, same old personnel.

  26. Russell Garbutt

    Is there consistency in these statements?

    1 Posted by Richard – “What the Mayor’s media statement referred to actually said was this: “The Council was guided in its deliberations by the advice of John Dunckley, from DTZ New Zealand Ltd, whose professional assessment was a figure of between $7.1 and $7.5 million for the three property packages – Carisbrook, the adjacent car park and a block of rental housing in Burns Street”.”

    2 Posted by Alastair – “Did the Council get a registered valuation to ensure that the deal was at a fair market price? Response from Richard – “The answer to your last question – which applies across the others – is Yes and Yes.”

    3 Content of Mayor Chin’s media release – “It represents a sound investment based on a rigorous independent valuation of the current and future values across a range of land uses, all of which makes this a canny investment.”

    The first talks about advice, the second states categorically that there was a registered valuation, and the third is ambivalent.

    If there was a valuation registered prior to the sale being concluded, what date was that registration made? Can it be produced? Wouldn’t it be nice if the DCC business with the ORFU was a lot more transparent?

  27. “valuation of the current and future values across a range of land uses”
    i.e. it might be worth this much some time in the future if the land was re-zoned.

  28. Calvin Oaten

    Richard: Reference my posting of questions and answers with Jim Harland on matters pertaining to the purchase of Carisbrook. You seem reluctant to comment. Any particular reason?

  29. Russell Garbutt

    Calvin

    There is an old axiom which says that in the light of inconsistencies appearing (or words to that effect), that it is best to remain silent for fear of self-recrimination.

    I think, for that reason alone, we will not see Richard responding.

  30. Anonymous

    There is a similar level of silence in response to the questions on “ring-fencing” of the parking revenue.

    • Elizabeth

      As I suspected. It’s no accident Don Anderson brought a particular vision to the Carisbrook meeting.

      For me it has such remarkable “alignment” with Richard’s earlier comments at What if? and elsewhere concerning Carisbrook’s continuance as a sports ground, that the vision appeared to be somewhat “unremarkable”. The ducks were lining up. Meaning, see the cunning plan.

      At the Carisbrook meeting, I hear, Richard was supportive of the Anderson option.

      Funny, wasn’t Richard reported a while back campaigning for Carisbrook at a “public occasion” where he might’ve upstaged the Mayor, probably not inadvertently but in good humour.

      I stand to be corrected, Richard. But hey, it’s no bad thing. Cultural heritage values and historic heritage values would stand a better deal under this “cunning plan” than if Carisbrook was converted to a light industrial park.

      Of course, NZHPT and Farra’s boss John Whitaker may be working >> another cunning plan << to help Farra expand on the harbourside (services to oil exploration) in a way that allows retention of more heritage values there – move the lighter industry out to Carisbrook. Hmmm.

      We see the 'larger' players at work here, even if their sketches are indistinct and the players are lightly nodding.

      "Richard's" plan contains cunning to do with Bathgate Park being a national reserve. For that status to change, Ngai Tahu has first option. DCC would do some fancy footwork…

      Oh, why not transfer Bathgate Park's national reserve status to Carisbrook.

      ****

      Don Anderson initiated an email to me on Wednesday saying, amongst other things, "The reserve status on Bathgate Park can be uplifted by the Minister of Conservation and most of it would then have to be offered to Ngai Tahu if it is to be sold by the Crown. This is standard procedure and nothing out of the ordinary."

      Watch this space, if not Bathgate Park's, if not Carisbrook's.

      What is the need for government-funded social housing in Dunedin (at Bathgate Park), given Housing NZ has no intention of building outside the major population centres?

      Would we dare confuse the (how convenient) charitable purpose of converting one of Dunedin's most popular and accommodating sportsfield areas (Bathgate) to housing, with the under-the-carpet $7m paid for the purchase of Carisbrook. Lots of question marks – and NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

      How many times do we have to pay DCC to have a "brainstorm" that ever more significantly, has no viable business case.

      • Elizabeth

        ODT reports we have people-slash-VALUERS (that very TIGHT group* of Dunedin old boys) saying Dunedin has industrial land in short supply.

        Really?

        Weren’t we loudly/strongly told by DCC and expert witnesses, in evidence for the harbourside and stadium plan changes recently, there is no shortage of industrial land in Dunedin – owing to the re-zoned land on the Taieri and the future conversion of Carisbrook for industrial development. Reports were written, damn it.

        Those were the heady days. DCC and POL were dreaming stimuli / rich rewards from new housing, mixed use zoning and a hotel/retail Viaduct Basin harbour edge – all close to the university. As would be the stadium. Everything in close proximity… Citizens could anticipate no great effect on the total land area available for industrial use if these plan changes went ahead.

        Sorry folks. Holy mackeral, there is now a shortage of industrial land.

        Did anything change. No.

        The same greedy manipulators of the local property market are the same greedy manipulators of the local property market.

        *There are just a couple of independent valuers in Dunedin whom I won’t tar with the same-club brush.

        ****

        ### ODT Online Sat, 3 Jul 2010
        Rent rises concern for many businesses
        By Simon Hartley
        Ground lease land rental charges around Dunedin have escalated by as much as 300% in recent years, at a time when some industrial land sales have ranged from $250 per sq metre to an eye-watering $800 per sq m. Simon Hartley investigates what is incensing many building owners around the city.
        Read more

  31. Russell Garbutt

    Elizabeth

    Re industrial land and Carisbrook. Note Harland’s response to Calvin’s first question:

    “Q: Why did the DCC buy Carisbrook?
    A: 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.”

    It comes down to a question of believability as to whose story you accept.

    Do people believe the current crop of Councillors? Do they believe Harland? Do they believe that there is transparency within the DCC/ORC Club?

    Richard’s lack of responses to tough questions is not surprising, but at least he does sporadically appear when it suits him – which is a lot more than other Councillors whose performance in the area of community engagement and discourse is zero. Just think for a moment the last time you heard someone like Brown, Collins, Acklin, Bezett, Guest, Chin, Weatherall or the like actually having a dialogue over the really big issues facing Dunedin. They don’t do it. I don’t think they could do it.

  32. Calvin Oaten

    Russell:
    You will notice Richard has declined to comment on my last posting. Why? Because he knows (or should) that the Carisbrook purchase was wrong, and for the wrong reasons.

    In the early stages of the new stadium calculations under the Land Aquisition costs the purchase agreements total of $31.185 million was to be offset by a number of factors, including $5 million to be realised from Carisbrook. The net total was to be $20 million. This was subsequently revised to purchase agreements totalling $35.786 million with offsets reducing to a net total of $28.631 million. One of the reasons for the higher net figure was the removal of the $5 million from Carisbrook realisations.

    These figures can be seen on page 9 in the Stakeholders report to the DCC and ORC on 2 February 2009.

    This was because when it was realised that by selling Carisbrook for the expected realisable figure of $5 million that this would leave the ORFU in an insolvent position owing the DCC $2 million and the bank some $3.5 million, a total of over $5.5 million.

    Now as Mr Harland said in his reply to my question that it was essential to secure the ORFU as an anchor tenant for the new stadium plus to secure industrial land for the city, as being the reasons for the DCC purchasing Carisbrook. It also meant that in order to ensure that the ORFU would be in a stable financial position to enter into an anchor tenant arrangement, it would have to realise considerably more than just $5 million, even without the proceeds going towards the stadium finances. It had to be in a position to discharge its debts to the DCC and the BNZ.

    It also had to have some working capital to continue to operate with. It was obvious that the sale had to realise at least $7 million. It was equally obvious that this was never going to happen in the open market place.

    Enter the DCC with an agreement to purchase the assets at a figure of $7 million, supported by a fortuitous valuation totally unrelated to the market situation.

    Result, the ORFU is now temporarily debt free and able to move its operation to the new stadium. The problem now is that the ORFU is not taking up an anchor tenancy, but rather is just to hire the venue on an event by event basis only. Richard and his companions know this and are now trying desparately to disguise the whole sorry setup by inviting the public to come forward with ideas for uses for the complex. It is just a PR exercise to lull the people into believing they are included in the decision making. The fact is it is one very expensive lemon which should never have been purchased by the city.

    When the ORFU vacates at the end of 2011 the holding costs of some $450,000 per annum in interest cost alone will revert to the ratepayers. It will never in the current economic climate realise $7 million at sale, nor is there any viable commercial options which could lease it at the sort of figure required. It will be a financial running sore for many a day. Just another piece of collateral damage attached to the stadium, although they will all vehemently deny this.

    And that, folks, is why Richard won’t step forward to defend their position.

  33. Russell Garbutt

    What I can’t understand is how Richard and his mates didn’t comprehend the financial position of the ORFU before embarking on these series of projects.

    The financials of the ORFU have made sorry reading for some years and I would have thought that these alone would have raised more than a few alarm bells and resulted in caution in dealing with the ORFU.

    The ORFU have been receiving substantial funding via Delta for some years – although of course no-one wants to tell anyone what that financial support amounts to even though this is effectively a ratepayer subsidy, they have also been receiving a very substantial level of funding from pokie funds which is a dodgy and risky long-term answer to funding shortfalls. It is also fair to say that the financial return to the ORFU for Carisbrook seems to be way way over what would be expected for the sale of ground to be used for industrial purposes which is the reason for the purchase given by Harland. Incidentally, this latter issue seems to be generating considerable discussion and disquiet amongst those in the business.

    Of course the lack of transparency with the electorate is the basic cause of most of these on-going issues and it is clear that we now have reached a point where the level of trust of our elected representatives has reached an all-time low.

  34. Russell Garbutt

    Good lord – has everyone read the blurb in “The Star” from Cr Syd Brown?

    What a pathetic response to Dave Witherow’s observation that the DCC purchased Carisbrook with no idea why apart from relieving the ORFU of their debts.

    Instead of addressing the issue, Syd Brown resorts to a typical personal attack. It would be interesting to learn what Syd Brown thinks he has contributed to the welfare of this City. Many would be of the view that he used his position and this has been pointed out quite graphically in the past by Mr Witherow. Co-incidence?

    Time for Syd Brown to leave the running of the City to some that are more qualified.

  35. Phil

    He did sell a very nice subdivision. As luck would have it, a brand new road went right past the front door.

    • Elizabeth

      The Star, July 8, 2010 – page 33

      The reply to Dave Witherow’s letter to the editor from Cr-slash-Deputy Mayor Syd Brown starts: “Dave Witherow’s no-to-everything attitude, together with his unrelenting and thoughtless criticism of the council, is easily seen by Dunedin’s fair-minded and progressive-thinking residents for what it is: a thinly veiled smokescreen for his own political aspirations.”

      On the strength of it I don’t think there’s any need to vote ‘Syd Brown for Mayor’ even if he wasn’t standing. ;D

      • Elizabeth

        Is there any currency to the gossip Syd will stand for ORC, to take over Stephen’s role? Nah, surely not. That would mean DCC gets an ally in ORC.
        The world might end.

        {Is this the way powerbrokers work in Dunedin, espionage! -Eds}

  36. Russell Garbutt

    I see by the story in this morning’s ODT, that the charade of “consultation” over Carisbrook continues with the inevitable clashing of ideas – Bathgate Park should be housing, no it shouldn’t, Carisbrook should be a sports ground, no it shouldn’t – sort of thing.

    What we have been officially told is that the DCC purchased Carisbrook for industrial use – so says Harland. He also said that it was to ensure the ORFU was financially able to act as an anchor tenant for the new rugby stadium that the City’s ratepayers are building them.

    Harland surely wouldn’t be speaking on matters of policy without Council support.

    Now we are told that it is up to us to come up with the solution to make something out of the decision to purchase. Get off the grass!!

    What was the basis of that very fortuitous valuation? Oh, yes, commercially sensitive.

  37. Peter

    Yes, I have read Dave Witherow’s article on Syd Brown’s property developments out at Mosgiel. Brown got wrapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General from memory. The article was published in the ODT, I believe, in Dave’s ‘Open Season’ column. This gives some perspective to Brown’s very personal attack.

    I haven’t heard that rumour about Brown standing for the ORC, but it makes sense. Stephen Cairns and Syd Brown have ‘a synergy of mutual interest in property development’.

  38. Phil

    We were also told by Council, at the time of purchase, that the purchase price of Carisbrook was based on the selling of the corporate boxes. (They must have apparently been worth a couple of million. News to me). Something that none of the latest public recommending experts seem to have remembered.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 9 Jul 2010
      Carisbrook promoted as multi-use sports centre and library
      By David Loughrey
      The future of Carisbrook is inextricably linked with the future of South Dunedin, and the whole area needs to be considered when the role of the historic ground is decided, a meeting on the issue heard yesterday.
      Read more

  39. Calvin Oaten

    Richard, where are you? your city needs you now more than ever to put to rest all the questions over the Carisbrook purchase. Please tell us where we are wrong, and why.

  40. Peter

    Calvin, he is only playing hide and seek. You seek and Richard hides.

  41. Elizabeth

    Dishing Carisbrook’s future is a creative exercise. Some will want to play the game because they’re drawn to large projects and envisioning, have a business interest, love South Dunedin and Carisbrook, have a sporting interest, have a political interest, enjoy being constructive members of the Dunedin community, and so on.

    Is it fair to say the troubling history of the (new) stadium project means there’s no real incentive for local people to particpate in the discussion about Carisbrook. Is good faith out the window, or kicked well over the stands of discontent at Carisbrook.

    How many times bitten is how many times shy.

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