Daily Archives: August 3, 2011

D Scene broke the news

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### D Scene 3-8-11
Lights, camera… (page 1)
The spotlight has been turned on the Forsyth Barr Stadium. The new venue is under scrutiny not just because it is being officially opened on Friday, but because a major row has erupted over servicing Dunedin City Council’s debts – including money intended to fund the stadium project.
See pages 3, 5 and 21. #bookmark

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Grand stadium opens (page 3)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin is invited to the opening of Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday. At an early morning ceremony, the facility will receive a formal Maori blessing and Prime Minister John Key will do the official opening honours. Media and dignitaries are expected to attend the hour-long 7am event, which will unveil the facility, the only multi-purpose arena in the world with a fixed roof and a natural grass turf.
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What the stadium means to me now – Bev Butler (page 3)
For me, the physical reality of the stadium is a constant reminder of a divided community…It has never added up, financially, as a prudent project for the council to spend money on. The consultants’ reports told us so. Even David Davies, Dunedin Venues Management manager, has admitted that the stadium’s “bread and butter” will be “conferences and meetings”.
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What the stadium means to me now – Malcolm Farry (page 3)
While controversy may continue to cause debate over the coming year or two, there is no doubt that history will show this achievement to be a milestone in the development of Dunedin and the region…The benefits in economic impact, quality and vibrancy of life will be seen to be a major step forward.
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Solutions would be tabled along with the two reviews at the next full council meeting set for Wednesday, August 10.

Council living beyond means (page 5)
By Mike Houlahan ad Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin City Council (DCC) is in damage control this week in the wake of revelations last Friday it was facing a financial crisis. In an early evening press release, mayor Dave Cull announced an $8 million funding annual revenue shortfall, revealed in two internal reviews tabled at the previous day’s Finance, Strategy and Development Committee meeting. The reviews, one by the council’s Council-owned Companies (CCO) liaison group, the other by consultant Warren Larsen, found Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DHCL) would not be able to continue paying $5 million annual dividends anticipated by council.
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Personality debate ignores real issues (page 20)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is defending his 11th hour announcement last Friday night that the city is in financial trouble…Cull is adamant council has been trying to pin down Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) on what dividends it could sustain, in the wake of concerns during the past year on its ability to pay out…Cull said he was among those who voiced concerns about hiking demands on council company dividends, as far back as 2008.
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Sources close to council say the Larsen report is scathing of DCHL.

Cr refuting claims of board neglect (page 20)
Dunedin City Holdings Ltd (DCHL) Chairman, Cr Paul Hudson, is refutung claims his board neglected to clarify its ability to meet dividends expected by Dunedin City Council (DCC). Hudson said the facts had been misrepresented in a press release announcing a city financial crisis on Friday, after Thursday’s Finance, Strategy and Development Committee meeting tabled the findings of two reviews…Councillors voted it was not appropriate for him to remain in the meeting, given his DCHL role…Hudson said he spent the weekend digging out documents to back up the DCHL stance on the matter.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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