Malcolm Farry: “Embrace the vision”

### ODT Online Mon, 30 Aug 2010
Opinion: ‘News’ already in the public domain
By Malcolm Farry
A recent front page article in the Otago Daily Times highlighted items not included in the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s main construction contract. Malcolm Farry points out this information was already in the public domain and suggests the article carried unfortunate implications.

Over the past four years, I have become accustomed to being called at home by members of the public wanting a “chat” and to share their contrasting views on the merits of the Forsyth Barr Stadium project. However, these exchanges reached a new level of intensity following the Otago Daily Time’s article on August 12 under the headline “Stadium extras to cost in millions”.
Read more

-Malcolm Farry is chairman of the Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, CST, Design, DVML, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

14 responses to “Malcolm Farry: “Embrace the vision”

  1. Russell Garbutt

    This needs an extensive response, but let us all remember the words of Mr Farry, so enthuastically embraced by Chin, Brown, Walls, Acklin, Weatherall, Bezett, Hudson, Noone, Collins and Guest.

    Not a penny more than $188m – proved to be untrue. Total cost including all the things that Farry and the pro-stadium Councillors wish to be ignored or put in other budgets – about $350m.

    Paid for by the private sector – proved to be untrue. Paid for entirely by the ratepayers with the so-called private contributions really only advance operational income leading to greater operational losses in years to come.

    Multipurpose – so far proved to be untrue. The only body interested so far is professional rugby and they no longer an anchor tenant but an ad-hoc user.

    Seating 31,000 – proved to be untrue. Permanent seating 17,242 with the rest on temporary stands and seats.

    I could go on, but why would anyone believe this lot?

    “Embrace the vision?” No Mr Farry, you mean “Empty your wallets, and those of your children”.

  2. Anonymous

    Lesson from boxing: If you lead with your Chin, you get knocked out.

  3. Marvo

    Russell – I must admit I am late to this debate but can you please explain to me where you get the $350m you always quote?

  4. Calvin Oaten

    Farry 1 Davies 0. A salutary lesson. Don’t mess with the boss. These meddling leek eaters, they cause all sorts of unnecessary bother. It has all been covered before, says Malcolm. He’s right, the caterer will bring his own pie warmer and tea urn. The ticket seller will put up his own chain and hook. But the best bit is the fact that the DCC will pick up the $1m turf reinforcement extra from savings within the GMP. Savings!? Even the reporter who wrote the headlines for the article – and by extension the editor – did a huge disservice to the Otago Daily Times.
    Malcolm is right on at least one point. He can show everyone what HE in Dunedin and Otago can achieve when He puts His mind to it.

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Marvo – I’ll respond more fully as soon as I can, but the most comprehensive tallying up of the costs has been done by MikeStk on The DCC has lost the plot. site. If Mike Stk reads this then they can provide the appropriate link more quickly than I, but I’ll do it later on myself in any case.

    It may also interest you to read Mike Stk’s latest revelations on Cr Guest on the Lost the Plot site as well.

  6. Russell Garbutt


    Just remembered where I last saw this.

    If you go to the ODT site at

    and scroll down to the comments headed up “My Scoreboard” you will find MikeStk’s piece.

  7. Russell Garbutt


    Hope you managed to navigate your way to the site, but in case you didn’t then here is the post on the ODT site from MikeStk:

    “I’ve been maintaining a running total of the cost of the stadium built from public references – this is what the DCC will have to pay out (where the income comes from is a different balance sheet). Here’s my list, with references. Feel free to check them out for yourself – I’ve not yet included any of the money Mr Davies is currently looking for, largely because we have no real idea of how much it will be. It eventually will go on this list as it will be an outgoing expense

    •$165m – maximum fixed price contract cost
    •$35.6m – cost of land purchase (Jim Harland’s affidavit ODT 16/5/9)
    •$15.3m – CST overhead (Jim Harland’s affidavit ODT 16/5/9)
    •$1.1m – DCC administration overhead (Jim Harland’s affidavit ODT 16/5/9)
    •$385k – district plan change (Jim Harland’s affidavit ODT 16/5/9)
    •$200k – temporary road improvement (ODT 23/5/9)
    •$7M cost of Carisbrook (ODT 18/6/9)
    •$109m – interest on DCC loans to fund (ODT 20/6/9)
    •$6.4m – capital maintenance fund (ODT 20/6/9)
    •$2.5m – changing city council offices to exclude angry ratepayers ODT 5/10/9 (*)
    •$67k – recruitment search cost to find Dave Davies ODT 12/15
    •$21k – Dave Davies moving fees ODT 10/11
    •$375k – $250k/year Dave Davies salary ODT 10/11 (only counting time before the stadium opens 1.5 years)
    •$8.64m – SH88 realignment ODT 1/5/10
    •$157k – SH88 investigation (NZTA estimate for DCC) NZTA decision 28/8/9
    •$900k – $600k+$300k startup money for DVML (ODT 16/1/10) (actually the vaue is more since they are also going to transfer some of the CST slush fund)
    •$1.8m – more money for DVML (ODT 3/2/10)
    That’s a total of $354 million dollars – over a third of a billion dollars.

    There are other open issues:

    •Cr Walls indicated in these forums that that the CST is getting about $1.1m/year in walking around money, some of which is probably now transfered to DVML. I’m unsure how to add this in – I expect it to have added something around $2m-3m to the total cost during the construction phase

    (*) this $2.5m number is a matter of controversy, with some people at the DCC claiming that it’s there to “keep angry ratepayers away” (which is why I included it as a cost due to the stadium) while others claiming that’s not true. I’m going to keep it in my list until the DCC can get it together and speak with one voice.”

    So there you are Marvo – take it as you will, but I don’t see too many gaps in that and the major factors are referenced so you can verify what is written.

  8. ro

    See the article MikStk, posting to The DCC has lost the plot., refers to below:

    $507m mystery – where did that number for how much the RWC will make – turns out it was “fanciful”, “caveatted”, “reality would probably be lower” – and the risks are probably very high

    This article also says:
    “In fact, Otago Stadium – as it will be called during the tournament – will not be finished by the time the tournament starts. While organisers have August next year as a scheduled completion date, the internal fit-out will almost certainly not be finished until December next year.”

    I hadn’t realised that the CST was candidly revealing that the stadium would be incomplete for the RWC. Did anyone infer this from Farry’s article above? Is Mr Farry, perhaps, leading to this admission with his:

    “I cannot stress too strongly how important confidence is.

    “I have been made aware that recent articles in the ODT indicating that there were alleged problems with completion date, while totally inaccurate, have dented the confidence of parties, including, importantly, personnel on site, working with great commitment to ensure we have a facility to be proud of.”

    ie. If confident then can complete (A implies B)
    Confidence destroyed by nasty locals (Not A)
    Therefore can’t complete (Not B by modus tollens and it’s not my fault)

  9. Peter

    Why would anyone – after all this time – believe Malcolm Farry’s assertions?

  10. ro

    oops, I see I tripped myself up by being too clever: that’s modus tollens, not ponens. A implies B; not A; therefore not B. Sorry.

    {Correction made to your comment below. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      Ending the ODT Editorial, Local body debt, today…

      “Councils argue they will not be able to continue to deliver the services that meet community expectations if debt is not used as a funding source. The alternatives are unpopular: increases in rates – or a reduction in wants. While most councils try to keep direct ratepayer funding below 60% of annual income, the cost of debt for the remainder is enormous and will continue to increase over time – unless councils, including Queenstown and Dunedin, learn to say no.”

      Wow. That’s a new idea!

  11. Russell Garbutt


    I noted that last paragraph in the editorial as well.

    The fact is that Dunedin ratepayers didn’t “want” a new rugby stadium that is acknowledged in the associated report as being the major factor in Dunedin’s record debt levels.

    Who “wanted” it, were the ORFU and most importantly less than 20 people on the DCC and the ORC.

    The fact is that all believable measurements of public sentiment and feeling showed that the ratepayers were not opposed to the stadium as long as they didn’t have to pay for it – after all, they knew that it was just for professional rugby despite the DCC and CST spin and BS.

    What Chin, Brown, Walls, Bezett, Noone, Guest, Weatherall, Collins, Acklin and Hudson in the DCC voted for, and Cairns, Brown, Butcher, Croot, Neill, Roberston and Woodhead in the ORC voted for, was for a ratepayer funded professional rugby stadium. It was their “wants” not ours, and that is the primary reason that people should be aware of these people’s voting position when it comes to filling in their postal voting forms. It was these people that have put us into debt – not us.

    Just another little thing. Is it co-incidental that everytime there is a mayoral candidate interview in the ODT there is also a picture of Chin, in his robes, doing something entirely forgettable on the same page or facing page? Not so subtle ODT.

    • Elizabeth

      No accident, whatsoever. The ODT placement is Chin propaganda. Was trawling back through The Star, this week and last. More sick tricks. Hello Allied Press – thought you supported Dave Cull. What changed. Anything?

  12. Peter

    The following is a letter to the ODT which was rejected for publication. This was not old news nor was it personal. Just a simple question looking for a simple answer.
    What was that about the ODT’s concern for city debt? Not if it is to do with the stadium, it seems. I gather they don’t want to get the ‘more ratepayer money for the stadium’ out there before the election.

    Dear Editor

    Mayoral candidate, Cr Dave Cull, stated on Channel 9 (September 1, 2010) that he was prepared to spend more ratepayer money on the stadium ‘to make it work.’ Could he please tell the ratepayers what his expenditure limit is in terms of this extra spending?

    Yours sincerely

    Peter Attwooll

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