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.
{continues} #bookmark

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”.
{continues} #bookmark

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.
{continues} #bookmark

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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.
{continues} #bookmark

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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.
{continues} #bookmark

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.
{continues} #bookmark

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

13 Comments

Filed under CST, DVL, DVML, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums

13 responses to “D Scene broke the news

  1. Russell Garbutt

    I see Malcolm Farry is repeating his mantra of on time and on budget as well as this business about private funding.

    Any householder knows that “budget” contains detail of what the project was thought to have cost, and what it actually cost. In the case of the stadium are we to assume the $188 million and not a cent more, or another figure in the forecast cost? In terms of actual cost, it appears that Farry should know exactly the total cost – and that includes all the extras and money spent in other budgets. What Farry seems to be saying is that we should trust him – a little like we are all being asked to trust Cr Paul Hudson.

    The last factor of course is this private funding. The money cannot appear twice and can’t be counted twice. From looking at the projected financial statements of DVL and DVML it appears to be sitting in the revenue for operation and so therefore cannot be counted as private money for construction. Farry’s continued assertions in this regard cannot change reality.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Malcolm says, “…history will show this achievement to be a milestone… “.
    History schmistory, milestone millstone – is this the time to be pedantic?
    Uh – YES! Critical faculties have been comatose too long in certain circles.

  3. Anonymous

    ODT Online abridged out the comment I made that included their original 2006 article on the stadium:

    Otago Daily Times 2006/08/10

    The University of Otago has agreed to be a major financial partner in a multipurpose stadium project, costing between $150 million – $180 million, planned to replace Carisbrook in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The site, on harbour-side land opposite Logan Park, is likely also to become the new home for the university’s School of Physical Education and could host other university departments.

    “I don’t want this to be a burden on ratepayers” -Malcolm Farry

    The Carisbrook Stadium Trust announced at a function last night it had all but abandoned the option to upgrade Carisbrook in favour of replacing the 130-year-old stadium with a multipurpose venue.
    [Abridged]

    {What if? Dunedin… has abridged this comment which cannot be published in full here. -Eds}

    Alternative links (full text):

    SkyscraperCity 09:25 PM Wednesday Aug 9, 2006
    Dunedin | Stadium and Sports Infrastructure
    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=382911 (via NZ Herald and ODT)

    NZ Herald 12:03 PM Thursday Aug 10, 2006
    $180m stadium to replace Carisbrook
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10395411 (via ODT)

  4. Peter

    “I’m not prepared to put that burden on ratepayers.” Whatever happened to that promise, Malcolm?

    Mr Farry conceded the decision would ultimately hinge on the availability of funding. You never had a probably with that one, eh Malcy?

  5. Anonymous

    By their words and their deeds you shall know them.

  6. Russell Garbutt

    The comments about Councillors’ competence in the Larsen report simply underlines the litany of incompetence, deception, apathy and much worse that litters this project. “It is not about rugby” was another one of those sound bites from Farry – another along the lines of “its more about the University”.

    It was always about building a monument to fulfil the egos of less than 20 key players in this City. Some of those key people have benefitted enormously from the project but all have directly caused this financial crisis that we are now facing.

    A day or so ago in the ODT there was one of those stories from the pages of the past and it was noted with pride that the Town Hall was opened “free of debt”. Compare that to the dumped Cr Walls arguments about “intergenerational debt” when applied to the mausoleum down in Parry Street.

    The various cabals centred round Council business are now leaking like sieves and one can only hope that the necessary enquiry into the state revealed by Larsen will have no hesitation in publicly identifying those who have both caused this, and benefitted from it.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Russell, in that article it also said that the Town Hall was first aired in 1876, finally constructed debt free some fifty years later. Sure, it was because of the profitability of the tramways operations during the 1920s’ exhibition which produced the council’s surplus which financed the Town Hall construction. But it goes to show the more conservative, responsible approach of councils of those days. Today’s councils would have built the Town Hall in 1876 fully debt funded. Where would we all be today if that culture was alive then? Doesn’t bear thinking about.

  8. Calvin Oaten

    Uh-Oh! Otago Boys versus Southland Boys rugby encounter on Tahuna Park. They wanted to play in FB Stadium but it is unavailable due to turf repairs. What? Turf repairs? How can that be? It has hardly been used. Oh dear.

  9. Peter

    I’ve heard about that too, Calvin. The turf must be – how could we call it – ‘delicate’. Let’s see how long it takes to be fully replaced. But of course it will be promoted as a ‘success’.

  10. Russell Garbutt

    The photo published in the ODT of the recent provincial game clearly showed an unusual clump of turf in mid-air. A number of people commented on it at the time.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/galleries/gallery/sport/172476/west-coast-v-north-otago-stadium
    One person remarked that it looked more like green string than turf that had been pulled out.

  11. Amanda kennedy

    The problem is that those who have benefitted enormously in real terms (financially) from the stadium, the ‘stakeholders’, will have no problem if those on council decide to sell off our assets to pay for the debt they created; guess who will be first in line to buy our assets?

  12. Peter

    Someone has pointed out the closeness of the RWC matches. How this impacts on the turf will be interesting. Will the turf survive the RWC?

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