Abhorrent spending on RWC by Dunedin City Council

The council has budgeted $350,000 to pay for tournament planning and events, excluding stadium costs. ODT Online (7 July)

We will assume this sum doesn’t include the aggregated hours spent by Council staff on all planning and events management.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under DVML, Economics, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums

27 responses to “Abhorrent spending on RWC by Dunedin City Council

  1. Russell Garbutt

    I wonder if Cr Staynes was reported correctly in this story?

    The biggest event this city has ever hosted? The most complex logistical challenge in Dunedin’s history? 30,000 fans at the ground and more elsewhere? $350,000 budgeted for planning excluding stadium costs?

    It is way way past time for a stand-back reality check on these claims.

    How many people visited Dunedin for the South Seas Exhibition? How much did this cost in 2011 terms? How many fans have packed out Carisbrook for past rugby tests without the benefit of trains, widespread road closures and the like? The cost to ratepayers is nothing short of appalling.

    This is a small number of rugby matches mostly involving teams that are widely acknowledged as having little chance in going beyond pool matches. There are no public announcements about advance sales from Snedden which indicates that sales are slower than expected. The whole thing smacks of belief in BS and spin by those that should be asking hard questions – reminds me of situation whereby over a million of our dollars was spent on an Auckland company that promised much and delivered nothing for the stadium project.

    As a bit of a further reality check – anybody watch the pool match play for the Silver Ferns in Singapore? Two matches happening in adjoining courts and very empty stands in a population centre of many millions. And netball is a much higher paced game than rugby with clearer rules. Makes you think a bit.

  2. These ‘people’ make me sick. How many were here for Bledisloe Cup against Aussie? Somewhere around 40K from memory, about the last game I went to. A mate’s old man remembers crowds of a lot larger many years before. But they cut stadium sizes since then and as usual conveniently forget what we know for what they want. DCC seem to do this very regularly.

    The Dunedin, no, the New Zealand public have been bent right over again…. Grin and bear it.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    Remember Lindsay McKinney (licensee at the Railway Station Bar) returning nearly all of his super consignment of kegs, ordered in anticipation of all the tourists expected to turn up for the Lions match against Otago a few years ago? They didn’t eventuate. What’s the bet on a repeat?

    • Elizabeth

      Don’t listen to DCC or RWC-pumpers on business matters related to events management is the simple solution. Do your own diligence. Not sure what if any advice Lindsay received.

      • Elizabeth

        It was now known catering equipment for the stadium would be a week or so late.

        ### ODT Online Thu, 14 Jul 2011
        First events to be stadium’s road ‘test’
        By David Loughrey
        Some work at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium may be continuing as the venue holds its first “test” game on August 7, and will be under way on adjoining buildings right up to, and after, the Rugby World Cup. And while the stadium building itself would be finished on time, other building at the site would be going “to the wire”, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) chief executive David Davies said yesterday.
        Read more

  4. Peter

    Yeah, the rugby heads get so turned on by their own hype that they start to believe themselves. They’d be better off playing with themselves instead!

  5. Russell Garbutt

    I see in this morning’s Oddity that Ms Simes is repeating this mantra of this RWC being the biggest thing to ever happen here. What is revealing to me that a good reporter would be following this up with interviews with hotels, motels, restaurants to find out the actualities of what is going on. What we are being told is that there will be a huge injection of foreign, new, money into the local economy. Right, time for the BS and spin to stop and for a few facts to start emerging.

    We know that in Auckland where nearly all of the business end of this RWC nonsense is being concentrated, that hotels, motels, restaurants are flat out gouging, and will be busy enough. All forseeable. What is completely lacking is what is going on in the regions where ratepayers up and down the country have been railroaded into huge expenditure on the basis of the afore-mentioned hype and BS. When do you expect a good quality summary from the mainstream media?

  6. Calvin Oaten

    I see they expect the population of Timaru to come for the RWC. Have they hired the stadium for a South Canterbury Finance creditors meeting? Makes sense, after all, who would know better about bankruptcy proceedings than our stadium management?

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth; not only is the kitchen going to be a week or so late. I see that they won’t even be serving any meatloaf.

  8. hahaha, very good Calvin

  9. pat adamson

    New Stadium has many bookings – CEO
    Russell Garbutt had a letter to the ODT to which it apears only Mr Davies replied.
    Russell Garbutt’s letter had two questions for Mr Davies and Mr Farry. Their reply was only to the first question. Could Mr Malcolm Farry please give a clear answer to the second question that was addressed to him about the Private Funding he was going to get to build the Stadium. It is obvious Private Boxes are not funding to build the Stadium but only usage costs

  10. Russell Garbutt

    Pat, I’m not in Dunedin at the moment, but I gather that my letter didn’t receive an exactly fulsome response.

    My letter was concerned with 2 issues – the utilisation rate for the stadium, and the money we paid via Farry’s CST for the services of a company whose brief was to raise private funding and ensure that the venue was going to achieve a profit through high usage.

    What Mr Davies did in his response was to refer people to the statement of intent of DVL and DVML – this was actually useful in that people can now have access to what these 2 bodies have said that they will do. Most importantly, it shows the financials for these bodies, and I urge those that read this site to examine these very closely. All that is really needed to be understood is that DVML are only partially paying off the actual costs of running the stadium to DVL. The less the profit of running the stadium or the greater loss means that DVL don’t get to pay off the actual debt. The important question to ask is where does DVL get the money to pay off that debt?

    The next question was about these utilisation rates which has again gone unanswered by either Davies or Farry. You see, it makes no sense in counting a conference that was going to be at the Town Hall and is now at the stadium as new money. It is just the same possible money appearing in a different place. The Horwath report to the CST spoke of a 40% utilisation rate, but then The Marketing Bureau Ltd from north of Auckland came into the picture employed by the CST and paid for by you and me. They then said that the Horwath figures were much too conservative and stated that an 80% utilisation rate was achievable and included such mind-blowing suggestions as stock auctions, ice shows and the like. For this utter rubbish we paid a huge amount of money and no-one seems willing to own up to why we paid out for such nonsense. I contend that this contract with this company simply didn’t meet normal standards expected. Just because it was public money doesn’t mean that it can be dismissed or ignored.

    The thing was that this advice formed at least in part, the basis of the recommendations to the past Council to proceed. I am reminded of the old IT adage – rubbish in, rubbish out.

    Nonetheless, the past Council, and one or two people in particular, proceeded to approve a project based on nonsense. Only now, by closely examining the DVL and DVML financials contained in their statement of intent, can it be clearly seen that it all just doesn’t stack up. I’m sure that there will be those that are much more capable than I of being able to clearly show the real situation.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s not just woo-woo accounting to count conferences that would have been at ‘DCC-venue: A’ being held at ‘DCC-venue: Fubar’ as fabbo new profits, there’s also the pseudo-riches flowing into the region when people IN the region spend their disposable money at a Fubar event instead of at another event or business in the region. No, Mr Farry and those starry-eyed supporters, it’s the same money, no more, no less. Not worth incurring such a huge debt for, really. As clever as replacing the kids’ plastic piggy banks with bespoke porcelain ones then having to cut back on the kiddies’ pocket money.

  12. pat adamson

    Thanks Russell. All I wanted was a straight answer from Mr Farry about “His” private funding; the ODT wasn’t interested in asking him so it looks like the same old thing in this City, words that mean nothing and are the stock in trade to get some things done.

  13. Russell Garbutt

    Pat, I assume that the ODT referred my letter to both Farry and Davies, but one chose not to respond and the other responded by ignoring the question. But I urge readers to examine the financials of DVL and DVML that were referred to and come to their own conclusions. You may be very well start asking some very interesting questions.

  14. Elizabeth

    Chris Staynes is out of his tree. The DCC’s marketing department, similarly, although they did contribute to the black phallic sculpture, which had so much to do with rugby? Our Annual Plan process subverted and busted again.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 10 Mar 2012
    DCC budget blowout on RWC
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council’s bill for the Rugby World Cup has more than doubled to $760,000, but deputy mayor Chris Staynes insists the inflated amount is money well spent. Figures released to the Otago Daily Times yesterday confirm the council spent $843,913 while organising, hosting and promoting four tournament matches and associated events in Dunedin.
    Read more

    Related Posts:
    4.10.11 Something hyped in the news
    2.8.11 Wakey wakey #RWC2011
    1.6.11 Local media step up reports on RWC 2011 campaign, leaving real costs out
    26.4.11 RWC 2011, this isn’t looking grand
    16.4.11 Dunedin conniptions over RWC 2011, yawn
    14.4.11 The haunting [must read: excerpts from Ch9 interview with Malcolm Farry, The Great Stadium Debate Sept 28, 2007 – “We won’t allow a blowout”]
    9.4.11 Watching Dunedin spend for RWC 2011…
    10.3.11 Events could shift south #eqnz
    12.2.11 How many additional (unbudgeted) dollars will be needed from DCC to get the stadium ready for RWC 2011?
    22.1.11 No Fanzone at Octagon
    20.1.11 No final RWC party at new stadium
    18.1.11 Bleed out at DCC continues for RWC 2011
    18.1.11 Is the stadium worth it, to private hospitality spending during RWC 2011?
    10.1.11 Trains for RWC 2011?
    1.1.11 In a city spending up large on RWC 2011

    • Elizabeth

      Weak as ditchwater, Staynes is out of council next election. Bidrose has a nerve.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 15 Mar 2012
      City’s RWC spend something to be proud of: Staynes
      By David Loughrey
      The level of Dunedin’s Rugby World Cup expenditure was something to be proud of, deputy mayor Chris Staynes said yesterday, amid claims it could be one of the lowest in New Zealand.

      Staff could have massaged the figures to make them lower, but chief executive Paul Orders had demanded clear and transparent budgets that showed costs in their entirety. -Sue Bidrose

      Read more

  15. Anonymous

    But it’s important. It put Dunedin on the map. Those visitors to RWC 2011 would not have come to Dunedin if the DCC had not spent that money. Don’t you see? The $350K over 3 days to retailers is a huge return on the investment of $760K by the DCC. Can’t you see that? The RWC 2011 was a major event that comes to New Zealand once every 24 years. The stadium will pay its way if we have a major event like that every week. Why is this so hard to understand or justify?

  16. Mike

    ROFL? it’s pure ORFU accounting …. and of course it doesn’t include what the DVML spent

    {Only slightly better than ROFC in the circumstances. -Eds}

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    “Paul Orders had demanded clear and transparent budgets that showed costs in their entirety” – the fact that this was stated shows it’s something new.
    Any other interpretation?

    • Elizabeth

      Hype, I think JimmyJones’ comment goes some way to offer other interpretation. One new question might be, how does Dave Cull stand today in the minds of thinking councillors (there are some, but it doesn’t make them good) that had no input/overview to the negotiations when clearly the mayor did, or at least by apprisal from Paul Orders.

      • Elizabeth

        Fair Play and Forward Passes
        A blog on things sports and economics related in New Zealand and abroad.

        Thursday, 15 March 2012 at 10:20 AM
        The climax to the ORFU saga
        By Sam Richardson
        So a deal has been reached! The Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) has staved off liquidation! Just a few short weeks ago liquidation was a fait accompli, now they live to fight another day, in the finest traditions of the battling underdog overcoming the insurmountable odds that is so synonymous with sport. But the tipping point wasnt’t due to money being coughed up by a benevolent benefactor, rather it was the Forsyth Barr Stadium, the fear of losing a tenant and what it would do to facility revenues.
        Read more

  18. Mike

    Climax? Ha! They’ll be back within a year asking for more money

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