New Zealand Academy of Sport, South Island

### ODT Online Tue, 14 Dec 2010
Sports academy discussion to be in public
By David Loughrey
The future of the New Zealand Academy of Sport, South Island, may become clear this week, in an outcome Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday described as “an opportunity for both the academy and the city”. Discussion on the issue was adjourned yesterday, after debate on a report in grey papers, or the non-public part of a Dunedin City Council meeting. That debate would begin again on Friday, but this time in public, Mr Cull, who campaigned at the election this year on a more transparent council, said last night.

The city agreed to provide the academy with a headquarters when Dunedin was picked as its South Island home. The academy’s move from its home at the former art gallery at Logan Park has been on the agenda since 2005, under the council’s $15.7 million redevelopment plan.

Read more

Related Posts:
3.3.10 Yep, Kereyn Smith thinks like ‘stadium boys’
29.7.10 Perceived conflicts of interest, what’s new?

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


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

54 responses to “New Zealand Academy of Sport, South Island

  1. Elizabeth

    The subtitle to the post might be “Capture of Dunedin City Council by (the same) powerful lobbies”.

  2. peter

    Yes, Elizabeth, the CST ‘council’, the real council that runs this town.
    Cr John Bezett in today’s ODT reveals he doesn’t like hard questions because they are not ‘constructive’ and, God forbid, people might hear them being asked. Mind you he had support from the usual lapdogs.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, noting John Bezett has been extremely uncomfortable in council meetings since the elections – Ch9 footage is illuminating (should be more TV coverage for us to dissect). Normally takes a lot to get him upset, maybe a lot’s happening behind the scenes with the new ‘governance set’ ?

      ### ODTOnline Tue, 14 Dec 2010
      Friction at council meeting
      By David Loughrey
      A review of the committee structure and delegations manual, a matter that would usually take up little debating time, became the focus of an evident clash of personalities at the local authority, when Cr John Bezett called for an amendment to the make-up of the working party to consider the matter.
      Read more

  3. Russell Garbutt

    Looks to me like the OB’s network trying hard to resist change. Look at those that supported the status quo. Says it all really.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    Well, it will be interesting to see what happens at tomorrow’s open Council meeting on the Academy.

    Things to look out for is a disclosure on why the Academy wants their building to be finished before the RWC,

    Why the DCC is funding the shift of the Academy,

    Confirmation that any DCC expenditure will be coming out of the Logan Park Development budget – it stops more being added to the stadium budget which causes embarassment to the pro-rugby Councillors and St Malcolm,

    Clarfication on how many people the Academy employ here vs in Christchurch,

    Clarification on all the “other” entities such as the Centre of Excellence in Amateur Sport, and the Rugby Academy and what part they play in the bigger picture,

    And why the Academy needs to go to the new rugby stadium when the old Art Gallery is not being demolished in any case.

    I’ll read the results with interest….

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 18 Dec 2010
      ‘Exciting’ extra for stadium
      By David Loughrey
      Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium is to get a $4.8 million addition to house the New Zealand Academy of Sport’s South Island performance centre.

      Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry said the decision to proceed with the project – approved almost unanimously by the council at a meeting yesterday – was “almost as exciting as getting the stadium on its way”.

      Mr Farry said academy users would have access to a running track to be created under the stadium’s roof, which could be used all year round.

      Read more

  5. peter

    In between floors 2 and floors 3 at the stadium is a room called the secret room 2a. I wonder what it is for?

  6. Stu

    “Mr Farry said academy users would have access to a running track to be created under the stadium’s roof, which could be used all year round.”

    Now, that would be innovative – a 400m running track suspended under the steelwork. Would be interesting health and safety issues.

    More likely it will be a 100-120m indoor track in front of either stand, probably the North. I was thinking the other day that there was enough room for 4 lanes on each side.

    Of course, there’s room in the middle for a proper indoor running track or even a portable velodrome, so we can host indoor World Athletics and Cycling championships if need be.

  7. Another $3.8 million onto the Stadium bill.
    I can’t find this report on the Council web-site. Am I missing something, or is it just the usual practice of making Stadium information difficult to uncover?
    What I would like to know is:
    Is the $3.8 million debt being transferred to Dunedin Venues Ltd along with ownership of the new building?
    How much revenue is expected from the Academy of Sport, Otago Rugby, and the Highlanders for use of these facilities?

  8. The Academy Report is finally on the Council web-site:

    Click to access ma_council_r_Academy-of-Sport-2010_12_17.pdf

    The first thing that stands out is that Dunedin Venues Ltd will own the new building at the Stadium, but the debt and debt servicing costs will remain with ratepayers:
    “The Logan Park operational budget has the costs of servicing both loans and depreciation costs. These budgets will be used to funded service level payments which in turn will provide the lease funding for use of this building.”
    This is a significant increase in ratepayer funding for the Stadium.

  9. peter

    What happened to the commitment to reduce debt? Why is the stadium, which this building is part of, exempt from the clipping shears? Old habits don’t die. I get the early feeling this council is going to be no different to the last one.

  10. Phil

    Stu. An indoor public exercise track, beit just one or 2 lanes wide, was proposed on this forum way back before they ever broke wind on site. As a way that the average resident in the city could directly benefit from the building, and as a way for the building to conform in some way to the ideal of a Community Asset. Hopefully that will be been taken on board by Mr Davies who seems to have a bit more of an interest (and experience) in boosting public support for the venue. Malcolm continues to be as fixated as ever on building for the select few. It will actually be quite refreshing when the project is complete and he can quietly fade away.

  11. Richard

    Phil: excellent recall re the track. So, while we are on that wavelength, let us also recall that (1) the original plan for the redevelopment of Logan Park provided for the former Art Gallery to be demolished (2) the Academy was to be re-housed in a new building with Unipol or, if that did not work out, in another building that would be ‘attached’ to the Caledonian grandstand. Then came the stadium and the eastern corner sites offered other options, one of which has now been taken up. That makes sense for several reasons, in particular, shared facilities and related use of stadium spaces including the turf and proposed running track.

    Only two of the galleries in the former Art Gallery are being retained in the redevelopment . Everything else including the ‘tacked on’ entrance and the extensions made in the 60’s are going. The building will thus have a new use, probably for a range of functions related to the surrounding sporting complex now developing, as well as general community/university use.

    • Elizabeth

      Richard, I’m referencing the building plans, existing and proposed (dated 31/3/10), prepared by the architects Jackie Gillies + Associates, presented in application for Resource Consent. The proposed plans have been adopted for the consent, and are subject to develop design. The adaptive reuse is a little more thoroughgoing than the retention of just two of the galleries. A number of spaces are retained including the octagonally-shaped main space (A) off the present foyer. To the left of this, 5 former gallery spaces (labelled spaces G, H, I , J and N) are retained, albeit with the introduction of a possible kitchen area and new toilet facilities to space J. The gallery spaces retain their historical interconnections and a new arched opening has been added between spaces H and N for flexibility of use.

  12. Richard

    Thanks, Elizabeth. As I do not have the plans etc you refer to at hand, I did put a line in my original post saying you would be able to confirm exactly what was being retained but I deleted the paragraph and forgot to reinstate it. What is being retained and restored would certainly not be suitable for use by The Academy!

    • Elizabeth

      Certainly agree with you, Richard, about the redevelopment not being suitable for The Academy! The old building will be a very popular community venue as well as a support building to Logan Park facilities. Liking where Jackie and her staff are going with this project, given the design constraints – we had an update from her at a recent ‘Getting Started Workshop’ for heritage building owners on 18 November.

      [The one-day workshop was initiated and coordinated by Glen Hazelton, DCC Policy Planner (Heritage) – supported by DCC, Jackie Gillies + Associates, Hadley Robinson, Octa, Stevenson Brown, and NZHPT. A range of expert practitioners discussed the issues, opportunities and best practice of restoring, reusing and rejuvenating heritage buildings. Topics covered included Building Act requirements, such as earthquake strengthening and fire safety; the role of heritage architects; principles of conservation repair; and statutory and planning requirements.]

  13. Phil

    It certainly makes sense to place a narrow training/exercise track in the artificial turf area surrounding the playing surface. And an absolute winner to make it available for public use. It need only be in the evenings while the High Performance Athletes are out renewing their monthly tresspass notices from the Octagon bars. Minimal cost, year round weather protection, and a level of personal security that is currently unavailable elsewhere (including the Caledonian, before that comes up). You might even get me to start thinking of the stadium as benefiting the community.

    I used to exercise on an indoor running track all the time. In the evenings after work, in the middle of winter. It was also the local indoor athletics track, used by regional, national, and international athletes. And by regular bums like me the rest of the time. The income they generated from us normals probably meant that the elites could train for free. But I was getting someting out of it, so what did I care. And, because I was familiar with the venue on a weekly basis, I often went to watch orgainsed events also. If you get people going to a place for one reason, you’ll get them going to the same place for other reasons.

    The venue was heavily subsidised by local and central government due to the direct savings in healthcare costs as a result of people being fitter and healthier. I think that DCC would be a bit more proactive with such ideas if they were responsible for dispensing the regional healthcare budget on behalf of central government. As is the case in many countries. But, even so, as the largest employer in the region, DCC can surely see the financial benefits in promoting personal (as opposed to TEAM) health and wellbeing as much as possible. A country leadership opportunity to be had here.

  14. Naivety goes a wee bit far when it’s attached to voting, wake up

    To be fair, the fact that Cr Vandervis voted in favour, rather than decrying this to anyone that would listen, suggests this was a train that was (apparently) not able to be stopped.

  15. Richard

    Why would one ‘stop the train’ when it is on the right track? Whatever one’s view on the stadium, the land alongside it was available. Integrating it with the South Stand and the facilities eg lifts etc makes good sense (and as the report makes clear, costs substantially less than the originally proposed new building on Logan Park) and, also importantly, there is one building less on Logan Park itself.

    • Elizabeth

      And the Council continues to support Rugby with ratepayer monies, why? This is in the order of a moving feast. Oh sorry, elite sport.

  16. Richard

    Rugby? That seems to reflect a total misunderstanding of what the Academy (and Hi-Performance Centre) is all about? Let’s start a list with two current names: Allison Shanks and Adam Hall.

    • Elizabeth

      “Oh sorry, elite sport.”

      • Elizabeth

        Richard, I have a fairly good understanding of the Academy and what drives it. It’s hardly fair to bring two individual sportspeople’s names into it. Rather I’m talking about jam for breakfast and the gutless decisions of the past Council, I rather think. However, not to spoil a good day, I’ll reserve any further comments I have until this evening’s leisure hours. Fire away.

  17. peter

    The point is this $3.8m extra spend is something we cannot afford when the election was fought on concern about council debt, and once again, the council has folded and put the onus on the ratepayers to come up with the money instead of elite sporting interests, including the ORFU, to fundraise for this ‘academy’. ( the very wording suggests elitism) I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this council is not serious about spending money wisely – as was the last one. The impression comes across that the council is not master, but a servant, of those who push the council around by continually talking of ‘going/moving forward’ – as mentioned in another ODT report this morning. Watch for the LTCCP next year. We’ll soon see if the council is indeed directionless.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Dec 2010
      Cull keen to stop ‘going forward’
      By David Loughrey
      Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has moved to control the use of certain phrases at the Dunedin City Council table.
      Read more

  18. Richard

    I did say “Let’s start a list”. It will (is) quite a long one. As for ‘elitism’, well sorry, your comment surprises me. (Peter’s does not though). I do not believe you do understand what the Academy is about. It is about more than elitism and I for one amongst many, think it is great that we have something based here that assists sportspeople to develop their potential.

    • Elizabeth

      Richard, I have been toured the whole set up and had fulsome explanation of what it does. Excuse me. “Elite sport” is the term I used. Not “elitism”. Your projection.


      Oh well, I guess the last elected council (DCC) bought a Rugby team. Great use of ratepayer funds there, and such amazing brilliance in assessing council spending priorities for the community. A great ‘track record’, indeed.

      As it turns out, the home-side rugby fraternity is not quite playing in the manner of an elite sport, presently. A grinding presence on the paddock.

      Dunedin residents be assured, by pumping the Academy and cohort entities DCC will turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. And the transformation will be fast. Thank god, care of the wizardry of animation and editing suites – and Delta – any visible game losses will be sprinkled with DCC fairy dust to create winning form – it’s twentyfirst century magic. Just the way we like it.

  19. peter

    At this point, Richard would want to ‘go forward’.

  20. Richard

    EJ: “a tour” of the facility, come on. The Academy is much more than that. And its focus is hardly rugby! I remain surprised!

    Peter: I guess the only gear you know is “reverse”.

    • Elizabeth

      Richard, you’re experiencing further projection problems.
      I said: “I have been toured the whole set up and had fulsome explanation of what it does.” That’s not the same as your ‘ “a tour” of the facility’. The internet would appear to be misbehaving today. Lost in translation.


      I was amongst officials visiting in a formal capacity (the hats I wear!! er, that you have no knowledge of), this included – gosh – a tiny deputation from Wellington. Haha. You may feel the need to defend or promote the last elected Council’s poor decision making processes and lack of transparency – when being lobbied by a small fraternity for millions of dollars in support of a closed shop, using ratepayer funds and in effect the personal guarantees of ratepayers… a gamble of huge proportion, with xmas sprigs on.

      {Elizabeth, “have been toured the whole set up” ??? Argh, grammar… -Eds}

  21. Richard

    Oh yes. I went to Kereyn’s farewell last Friday and those attended came from a wide cross section of the Otago and Southland sporting and general community. Among them two (maybe three) associated with rugby coaching, far outnumbered by other codes and interests.

  22. peter

    Oooh, that sounds defensive, Richard.
    Nothing wrong with reverse gear when you are going in the wrong direction, Richard. Only fools adopt the philosophy, ‘crash through or crash’.

  23. Richard

    The NZ Academy of Sport was up and running long before the FB Stadium was ever thought of. I was certainly very supportive of the move to establish it here, something applauded at the time. And guess who was on (I think) the first board, none other than Russell G. Whatever it has been a huge success whatever way one looks at it.

    All the rest of your post is irrelevant to the topic which is the NZ Academy of Sport. You are – as Editor or Moderator – regrettably losing the plot by tying everything back to your opposition to the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Please try being a wee bit more even-handed.

    • Elizabeth

      I don’t care what you think Richard, it’s that simple. I am commenting as Elizabeth. What’s your problem. Even I get edited.

  24. Richard

    Lack of readers? Well, I am not going to help. I don’t care what you think either!

    • Elizabeth

      Views have been remarkably consistent at What if? from week 41 of the calendar year, and on a steady rise in the latest band from week 46.

      We’re more than happy with the way the views are going in the post-election period up to Christmas. Overall, weekly views are higher than before the local body elections. The New Year heralds the rise in council business including lead-in to the councillors’ Annual Plan debate and associated public consultation processes, amongst other things.

      Paul and I are prepared to be surprised by the 2011 counts. :D

  25. Russell Garbutt

    Richard Walls is right in that I was indeed appointed to the inaugural Board of the Academy of Sport (South). At the time I was also the Chair of Sport Otago and so I believe I was in a unique position to assess the effect of both organisation’s effects on the communities in which they were based.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Sport Otago does a magnificent job for the community – and I include South, North and Central Otago as well as the metropolitan Dunedin area. It has been staffed for many years by a small group of people who are dedicated to the premise of increasing community health through exercise and recreation. It targets groups at all edges of the community from the very young to the very old and its programmes have proved to be superb. It is a great shame that so much time was spent in raising money from all sorts of charitable trusts and coming to local authorities every year to ask for what were quite small sums of money in order to effectively use community facilities.

    When the Academy was first touted, I was also part of a group that put together a community proposal to present to SPARC to attract the Academy to Dunedin. That proposal was largely based on the fact that many of the facilities that the Academy needed to support elite athletes were already here. Gyms, pools, running tracks and the like were all here and all those running those facilities were supportive of any incoming athletes using the facilities. There was an assurance given that the Academy, if based in Dunedin, would not approach any of those funding agencies who supported the much wider community work that Sport Otago relied upon.

    Suffice to say that there were a number of issues and situations that arose while getting the Academy up and running that caused me great concern. Most are not relevant to this discussion, but what caused me huge concern was the immediate setting up of separate gyms for the Academy. Most, if not all, of the community resources that were seen as essential to being based in Dunedin, were simply not used and local funding was certainly sourced to set these up.

    At the back of all this however was a much greater concern of the philosophical beliefs attached to elite sport. I believe absolutely in supporting those that wish to aspire to become the very best – the PC concept of applauding mediocrity is pure rubbish in my view. But based upon what I have seen in a very wide range of sports, elite performers are at the top of a triangle. Duncan Laing always used to say that in order to produce a top performer at a national championships, he needed 100 other swimmers in his squad.

    Most elite sports in this country now have adopted a very different approach to this “rise to the top” model. The creation of academies in each sport to identify possible elite athlets from school groups is now used and the effect of this policy is to remove these promising athletes from the groups they were in and turn them into semi-professionals as soon as possible. The effect of this on most sports can be imagined.

    While some sports have achieved success on the world stage – rowing being one – the effect on the club rowing scene has been very damaging. Clubs that used to be filled with rowers aspiring to be national champs winners are now filled with school pupils or masters. All the high performers now are in academies – all needing large amounts of community cash to be kept operational. I could give other examples in other sports.

    As the number of academies increase and more and more blurring occurs as to what each academy or centre for excellence actually is, so more and more money goes on this sector and less and less goes on the much larger community recreational and sporting areas.

    The Academy of Sport serves a very small number of people compared to the rest of the community that could be encouraged to stay healthy through activity and in my belief it is more than time to stand back and decide whether this is what our community wants.

  26. Russell, an altogether excellent summation. You outline exactly the infatuation with elite sport that abounds among the ‘wannabes’. The whole world seems besotted with throwing money at an ever diminishing participatory bunch of sports. One can’t help feeling that it is being pushed by the entertainment industry in order to make money. The masses aren’t required to participate, other than as paying spectators, be it at venues or viewing TV. Unfortunately, most – if not all – sports need venues in which to perform. The industry is smart enough to know it can’t supply these venues and still make money. Hence the strategy of cultivating a few advocates to lobby and convince the people of the benefits of having these facilities in their territory. Sucker councillors and bureaucracies, even governments get pulled in and ‘Bingo’ the public fund the venues. Huge infrastructures develop with salaries and expenses out of this world, all financed one way or the other by the long suffering public. Neat eh? But the big losers are the local youngsters who are turned away in droves from participating unless they can reach the elite standards. Sad really.

  27. Phil

    Some good comments in there, worthy of further exploration by the powers that be. I don’t think it’s sufficient just to have an “Academy of Sport”. Every city in the country has one of those. The modern trend for successful sporting institutes is to be a specialist hub for a particular sport. By specialising, they can secure the best resources. Instead of having 5 second rate coaches in 5 sports. For example, all swimming centres in NZ are now just feeder centres for the North Shore. The best football players are going to want to be in Wellington, the best league players in Auckland. Southland probably has cycling locked in, due to their smarts in building the velodrome before anyone else could. It’s a global trend. The top 50 Norwegian skiers all live within one hour of each other, utilising one facility. So we need to find a major sport, currently not catered for, to focus on, and drive that. Obviously something that would benefit from having a rainproof 100m x 50m grass field. Having a generic centre is really attractive to no-one.

  28. Richard

    Phil: Dunedin was ahead of Southland in building a modern velodrome and – for a nanosecond – we had the best. Unfortunately we did not put a roof on it (don’t ask me why, it would probably start another historical argument) and Southland did. Lesson learnt. Simple as that.

  29. Richard

    I agree Phil, food for thought in what Russell has said but I wonder whether the social changes in society are really the main factors in the changes he talks about in regard to rowing. Work hours have changed, the weekend as we knew it has gone, there are a whole host of individual pursuits that complement team ones. All sporting codes have seen changes, just look at bowls.

    RG mentioned rowing. Fred [Strachan] was a great coach, I doubt he was paid for coaching but his employer – the late Monty Butterfield – a pretty good rower himself I am told – made it possible for him to coach.interested. Run it through rugby at club, provincial and national levels. Changes there are and coaching for coaches is of growing importance.

    In any discussion, one must not overlook the regional sporting organisations like Sport Otago and what they are doing across the general community at all levels and ages. Anyone who wants “to have-a-go” is encouraged to do so . . . and supported. Quite different to my day.

    And, as far as I can judge, the work of Sport Otago is very complementary to that of the Academy. And the growing importance of the link between the Academy and the University should not be underestimated.

    {Richard, the intended wording of your second paragraph? We’ve corrected Fred’s surname and other typos in your comments this evening. -Eds}

  30. Richard

    As most – if not all – who post at ‘What if’ are digitally minded, I think you will enjoy this. It has nothing to do with the topic, with the stadium or anything else but Christmas. Have a good one, folks!

  31. Stu

    The Mosgiel track was great when it was built. I raced on it a few times when I could still do that.

    I understood the lack of roof was due to resource consent issues, not necessarily cost. Same for the restrictions on lighting to a certain number of meetings per year.

    The other advantage that the Southland track has is that it is wooden, which is generally the fastest surface for a velodrome. Concrete is a good surface, but it is prone to cracking and is worse to crash on…

  32. Phil

    While the Academy is clearly going ahead and hopefully will give some return on its public investment, I agree entirely with the comment about the continuing administrative focus being on an elite minority rather than the health of the community. This grossly outdated attitude frustrates me when I see how other societies are able to incorporate the two without sacrificing the needs of either. It can be done, but unfortunately not with the current adminstration. I’m talking about central government as much as local government. They fail to notice that the taller they build the monuments, the more they distance the community. The days of living our lives through 15 pie eating, beer drinking, farmers’ sons have long since gone. The competition for leisure time continues to grow. Most of us now don’t have the time to waste watching others do the things that we might want to do but aren’t offered the opportunity. If the stadium had been built will a dual goal to promote community involvement, there wouldn’t have been half the outcry that there has been. The crowning mistake has been in grossly overestimating the level at which the public hold our elite sporting minority.

  33. Phil

    Sorry, Richard. You are right with regard to the dates. Stu clarified the point I was thinking of with regard to the velodrome. We should have built a timber track, and not a concrete track. It should have been weatherproof, and suitable 24 hours a day. Putting the Mosgiel track in a residential area was a mistake, which I think the designers will accept. I know there must have been cost issues surrounding the track type and location, but then maybe we might have been better placed to wait until we had sufficient funding and a suitable location. It’s better than the Caledonian, to be fair. I remember during my days of track running, picking my way through the forests on the cycling track.

  34. Richard

    Yes you are right about the timber construction. I was not on council in 1995-98 when it all happened but it followed the decision to quit the old Caledonian and utilised (some of) the proceeds from the sale. My understanding is that the decision to build it where it is was done in full consultation etc and to the requirements of the cycling people. I do not know whether a roofed velodrome and wooden track were in the mix or not and what was built was was probably the thinking etc of what was needed at the time.

  35. Russell Garbutt

    While why things happen can be quite complex when talking about support for clubs who cater for amateur sport, and academies who cater for elite sport, the rate of change is a clear indicator of what causes what. Social change tends to happen at a slower rate than those changes bought about by organisational change.

    Rowing, and many other sports, reacted to SPARC policy that dictated that codes that didn’t perform on a world stage would not receive funding. From the sport’s point of view, the quick way of achieving results is not to wait until the cream rises to the top from the schools and clubs, but to identify individuals – even to the point of standing in the street and looking out for long, lean individuals of the right body type – and then putting them into high pressure academies to get them to perform.

    Club championships then largely became pointless as academy crews invariably took out all the major races. The also-rans had nowhere to go and so the incentive to achieve apart from personal goals was removed.

    It doesn’t take much research to find out what has happened at clubs in the codes that professional academies have appeared. Players disappear and more importantly the club infrastructure of coaches and management also disappears. The fact that brilliant inspirational people like Fred Strachan are still coaching school crews in their late 80’s is an indicator that not too many replacements are around. It is common for schools who want to achieve at the Maadi Cup to employ professional coaches and the cost of participating in rowing at those schools runs to thousands of dollars per pupil per year.

    So, there needs to be community debate on whether this type of funding from SPARC is really what we want – at the moment this debate seems to be only being held by people within the professional elite community. That debate needs to be informed by quality research by people without vested interests in the results.

    Locally the debate needs to be about what the Academy is actually achieving for our community, and therefore what sort of investment it should attract. The oft-given rationale about the close links with the University has, to my knowledge, never really been quantified, and the only point of difference seems to be short programmes like those connected with rally driving. Indeed, I’m not even sure that the majority of people employed by the Academy are in Dunedin.

    I can’t honestly think of a major code that doesn’t have an already established home elsewhere in the country. Might be some like orienteering, but as has been said, the major high-profile codes are already established elsewhere. New Zealand is simply too small for multiple centres for serious training – if indeed that is what the community actually wants.

  36. Phil

    Two big opportunities I can see are basketball and ice hockey. Both pull great audiences, and both offer a real opportunity for NZ to excel in true globally recognised sports. We already have a foot in the door with ice hockey, but we need to really ram the advantage home before another city comes along and steal it out from under us. Many people underestimate the potential global exposure that NZ could gain from a rise in the world ice hockey ranks. Far greater than rugby could ever do. Neither sports really benefit from the stadium, but the academy could become the national hub for those sports. Going some way to earning its keep.

    Equestrian is one that could benefit nationally and internationally from the stadium. But the requirements for the surface would never make it feasible on a long term basis as a national training centre.

  37. Russell Garbutt

    Ice hockey could be a sport based in Dunedin with the rink being an excellent facility. Curling ditto, but neither require an Academy of Sport to be based here. Basketball I know very little about and I’m not sure that the crowds that any of these sports attract could assist in financially supporting their activities. However, I would support all of these codes being actively encouraged in schools with the only negative being the huge costs of ice hockey gear. I was amazed to see the costs of protective gear….hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

  38. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 27 May 2011
    Opinion: Your Say
    New Highlanders head office – at your cost
    By Rob Hamlin
    It was announced last year that this city was paying a sum of around four million dollars to rehouse the Institute of Sport in a new building attached to the FB Stadium. The justification given for this was that the city had undertaken to house this ‘charitable’ operation on an ongoing basis when it was first set up in this city. However, documents recently forcibly extracted from the DCC under the LGOIMA give further details of the Logan Park area development. They now describe the proposed structure as an ‘Institute of Sport Highlanders Partnership’. So, the city appears to be building a new Highlanders HQ in addition to a $200m+ rugby stadium. One can only presume that it will be ‘plush’. I do not recall this city ever signing any service level agreement that committed the community to building a new office block for this fully commercial (albeit loss making) entity.
    Read more

  39. Russell Garbutt

    Rob Hamlin’s piece is timely and accurate, and the questions he asks of the DCC deserve a full answer. I fear however, that a response won’t be forthcoming as the answers would prove to be a further embarrasment to the DCC.

    There is no doubt however that there has been a long tie-up between the Academy and the professional rugby entitites. This is, I believe, a cynical departure from the intended role of the Academy of Sport and has resulted in vast amounts of money being concentrated on providing facilities for the professional rugby businesses.

    I await with some interest to see if Rob Hamlin’s piece gets a response, but as I say, the shadowy figures that have interesting connections with the stadium supporters and one or two other bodies just seem to be intent on creaming some more money out of the community.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s