Monthly Archives: September 2011

[image supplied]

Corner Stuart and Smith Streets, 6 September 2011

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under DCC, Politics

Wellington Towards 2040

Forming the “digital powerhouse”…

Wellington’s biggest assets are its compact form, its harbour setting and the quality of life. It also boasts a highly skilled population with the highest incomes in the country.

### idealog.co.nz 29 Sept 2011 @ 11:13 am
Wellington’s new 30-year vision
By Design Daily Team
Last night Wellington City Council unanimously agreed on a long term vision for the city, one that will have sustainability, digital saviness and innovation at its core. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the strategy, called Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital, would underpin and guide all Council strategies across economic, environmental, social, technology, transport and other key issues.

The four goals identified by the council are:

People-centred city – the aim is to be healthy, vibrant, affordable, resilient, have a strong sense of identity, and strong and healthy communities.

Connected city – this is connectedness in every sense: physical, virtual or social. Strategies like the Digital Strategy fall under this.

Eco-city – this is a response to all the environmental challenges the city faces over the coming decades, and the Council is confident [it] can lead the country by example.

Dynamic central city – this section largely deals with urban design aspects of the central city – making sure it’s still a great place to be where new ideas happen – and maintaining its role as the creative and innovative force to drive the regional economy.

Read more

WCC Report (15 September 2011)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Design, Economics, Geography, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Town planning, Urban design

Russell Garbutt met with Cr Bill Acklin

The following was received from Russell Garbutt this evening, he says:

Bloggers have been asking how the meeting went with Cr Bill Acklin and it is more than time that I responded.

The meeting was non-confrontational in my view and went over a number of issues. Cr Acklin was anxious to set out the process that was followed in relation to the black penis edifice in the Octagon and essentially outlined the process that was revealed a day later in the ODT. Why a committee has been set up that can outvote elected representatives is an unanswered question. I think it fair to say that the impression I have gained outside this meeting is that it’s clear that Ngai Tahu have had more than a significant amount of say into what the DCC contribution [might be] for what they see is a Ngai Tahu presence at the RWC. Ngai Tahu seems to have made it clear that there would be a downside if the DCC didn’t decide to contribute. None of this came from Cr Acklin, but then again this feeling was not able to be refuted. I sense that this is what the ODT were also saying in their piece. Something just doesn’t smell right with this deal.

The main issue I felt was that Cr Acklin believes that the “private funding” for the stadium has all gone to construction. He has said to me that he will check on my position that the money raised by the sale of product etc will be put into revenue and only after a real profit has been met will anything go into construction. Needless to say, I think it extraordinary that anyone involved in this process has not ensured that what has been presented by staff and the CST was not independently checked out. Cr Acklin’s position was in essence, that the DCC in total was in hock to about $700 million but only about $100 million was due to the stadium. Fair to say that there is a wide gap between what I think is the total stadium debt and what Cr Acklin believes it to be.

I think it fair to say that while I saw that there was huge financial risk if the Highlanders franchise was altered then the City would suffer because purchasers of product at the stadium would not choose to pick up instalments in arrears and hence revenue would be affected in a major way, that Cr Acklin didn’t see this as particularly worrying.

I asked if Cr Acklin would support an independent financial enquiry into the DCC along the lines of the Larsen report. I thought it intriguing that Cr Acklin believed that Larsen was working to a brief and that he was opposed to that. I’m not sure from our conversation whether Cr Acklin didn’t believe that the Board of DCHL had been compromised by conflicts or not, or whether he accepted the main findings of the Larsen report. I still don’t know if Cr Acklin would support an independent enquiry into the DCC finances and what is more concerning is why anyone wouldn’t support that initiative.

I think it also fair to say that some of the comments made on blogs were not surprising to either of us. It is accepted that a person that puts their name up for election does not have to meet any requirements of competence in governance and some that are elected are not qualified to meet the requirements of the job. It is also accepted that some Councillors have personal failings.

Overall, I was impressed that Cr Acklin offered to meet and spent 90 minutes in talking over a range of issues. However, I was not convinced at the end of the meeting that the processes followed and the reasoning followed by Cr Acklin in relation to the stadium could bear any stringent examination. It may be that Cr Acklin would have supported the stadium project no matter what the cost would be, and certainly I never gained the impression at any stage that he would have voted against the proposal.

Quite happy to hear from Cr Acklin of any corrections or other impressions from our meeting which I emphasise again was cordial, constructive and non-confrontational.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

30 Comments

Filed under DCC, DCHL, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

“Snippets” for blogs…

The information network is more subtle and more blatant than cafe eavesdropping, sorry.

### ODT Online Tue, 27 Sep 2011
Council staff warned: beware of cafe eavesdroppers
By Chris Morris
Dunedin City Council staff have been warned against spilling the beans while slurping their morning coffees. The latest edition of the council’s Staffzone internal newsletter included a short piece warning staff to be wary of who might be listening to their conversations in central-city cafes. A copy was sent anonymously to the Otago Daily Times.
Read more

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Filed under DCC, Hot air, People, Politics

Donations – the quest for clarification

The following correspondence was received from Bev Butler today.

ODT 28/2/07 front page as follows:

Man offers $1 million donation
By Allison Rudd
One person has offered a $1 million donation towards a multipurpose stadium to replace Carisbrook, the chairman of Carisbrook Stadium Trust, Malcolm Farry, says.
He told a public meeting, attended by about 120 people last night, he had received “very significant news today about one huge donation and two others in the wings” which could help meet the $188 million cost.
After the meeting, he said the $1 million donation was from a man whom he could not yet name.
The man had indicated he had associates who were also prepared to talk to the trust about making similar sized donation.
Mr Farry said he was “very excited” about the level of support being offered for the proposal, particularly yesterday’s development.
“Let’s say it made my day.”

Letter to editor (published 22/02/10 Otago Daily Times). The italicised parts were abridged.

Friday 29th January 2010

Dear Editor

It is now nearly three years since it was reported in the ODT (28/2/07) that Malcolm Farry, Chair of Carisbrook Stadium Trust, told a public meeting he had received “very significant news about one huge donation ($1 million) and two others (similar size) in the wings”. Mr Farry said the $1 million donation was from a man whom he could not name yet. Mr Farry said he was “very excited” and it had “made my day”.
Maybe it is now time for Mr Farry to reveal the identities of these alleged donors and let us know if the money has been banked.
Maybe Mr Farry could also give us an update on all donations received for the stadium.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Macolm Farry’s response in today’s ODT:
“As at February 2010, Carisbrook Stadium Trust has secured private-sector funding in excess of $30 million in memberships and sponsorship. The trust does not publish the names of its members, sponors [sic] or donors without their agreement. Last year, we announced the head naming rights sponsor, Forsyth Barr, and we will announce further sponsors in future when they elect to do so.”

National Business Review (3/03/07) by Mark Peart
“Two individuals had pledged about $1 million each to the project since learning of the release of the trust’s feasibility report and “master plan” on February 19.
Several other potential donors had also expressed interest in making major, but unspecified, contributions to the project, should the trust’s preferred option be accepted, Mr Farry said.”

From: bev butler [mailto:bevkiwi@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, 22 February 2010 11:19 a.m.
To: mfarry@farrygroup.co.nz
Cc: murray kirkness; david loughrey; chris morris; craig page; michelle sutton; Mike Houlahan (DSC); david williams; robert smith; nbreditor; nbrnewseditor; emma lancaster; katrina bennett; pete hodgson; clare curran; john key; rodney hide; bill english; metiria turei; michael woodhouse; mark hotton; darren burden
Subject: Dunedin Stadium alleged donors: Serious Questions left unanswered (Note change in Mr Farry’s email address)
Importance: High

{private address and phone number deleted -Eds}

Monday 22nd February 2010

Dear Mr Farry

Your response, after three weeks, to my ‘letter to the editor’ (copied below) is completely inadequate.
Firstly, you have avoided responding to the reasonable request for an update of donations. It was revealed in October 2008 (Sunday Star Times) that the donations total was $30. That was the last update we received – upon inquiry.

You have also avoided responding to my query as to whether the several $1 million alleged donations have been banked.
Remember we are not talking about ‘products or sponsors’, but ‘donors’. That is what my query was about and that is what you avoided responding to.

I believe the public have a right to know if the donors actually existed to begin with and if so, do their promised donations, which you so excitedly announced in March 2007 (ODT and NBR), still stand? And if so, why haven’t the donors been happy for their names to be made public now that the stadium is being built? Surely their excitement would be as great as yours and they would proudly want their names out there supporting the project and thereby assist the marketing programme for the stadium.

If these alleged donors have withdrawn their promised donations, why have the public not been informed?

I note in the DCC’s recent media release (19/02/10) the Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust’s (CSCT) responsibility is quite clear, namely:
“CSCT will continue to operate as a charitable trust to solicit and receive donations and distribute them in accordance with the purposes of its trust deed.”

Also would you please confirm or deny that these alleged donations were used to help secure the $15 million ‘gift’ from Central Government for the shortfall in private funding?

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler
Former President
Stop The Stadium Inc

From: mfarry@farrygroup.co.nz
To: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Dunedin Stadium alleged donors: Serious Questions left unanswered [Note change in Mr Farry’s email address]
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 16:33:44 +1300

Good Afternoon Ms. Butler,

While you have a series of questions we have not, however, conducted the fundraising in the manner that your enquiries would suggest.

There is no difference between donations, sponsorships, sale of product and funds raised. All have a donations component included. Your wish to distinguish between donors, sponsors and purchasers of product indicates a misunderstanding on your part as to the manner of our fundraising

There are several amounts in excess of $1M. As stated in earlier communications, acknowledgements of the individuals and organisations will be made public on the agreement of the parties to so do.

Parties involved have been very supportive of and excited about the project and to have gathered in excess of $30M under the circumstances and in the time involved is quite remarkable. I am sure this has never been equalled in our region and perhaps not even in New Zealand.

It seems unfortunate that you consider it necessary to continue your onslaught against the project when, surely, it would be in the interests of Dunedin and Otago if you put your energies into ensuring the project is a success.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Farry
Chair,
CST.

NB The report of $30 being received was in error.
The claims that the Stadium would be paid for from private funds is incorrect and mischievous.

From: bev butler [mailto:bevkiwi@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, 5 March 2010 9:56 a.m.
To: malcolm farry
Subject: RE: Dunedin Stadium alleged donors: Serious Questions left unanswered

Friday 5th March 2010

Dear Mr Farry

You have stated in your reply the following:

“There is no difference between donations, sponsorships, sale of product and funds raised. All have a donations component included. Your wish to distinguish between donors, sponsors and purchasers of product indicates a misunderstanding on your part as to the manner of our fundraising.
There are several amounts in excess of $1M.”

I agree with you, Mr Farry, I do not understand the manner of your fundraising as outlined above. Would you please be so kind as to clarify what is the percentage of the donation component which you claim your products and sponsorships contain? A good definition of donation is as follows: A payment is a “donation” if the payer receives no direct benefit in return.

I would also appreciate a direct answer to my original questions as to whether the several amounts of $1m are in fact ‘donations’ and have these ‘donations’ been banked? This shouldn’t be difficult to answer directly. Quite simply: Are the several amounts of $1m actual ‘donations’? Yes or No. Have these donations been banked? Yes or No.

I also note that you have not responded to this question either: “Also would you please confirm or deny that these alleged (ie $1m) donations were used to help secure the $15 million ‘gift’ from Central Government for the shortfall in private funding?”

My continuing interest in the project is purely to keep everything as transparent as possible. Surely you have no objection to this? Surely this could not be perceived as ‘mischievous’ – a word you have used more than once when faced by close questioning by people of the CST/DCC’s affairs.

As for the $30 donation you now say is in error, Mr Hedderwick did confirm to me back in 2008 in an email that the $30 was not a mistake. Mr Hedderwick, Commercial Manager of CST, and Mr Ewan Soper, former CEO of CST, both acknowledged the $30 donation and it was reported in both the Sunday Star Times and then the ODT. The CST have also reported it to the Charities Commission in their Financial Statements.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

From: mfarry@farrygroup.co.nz
To: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Dunedin Stadium alleged donors: Serious Questions left unanswered
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 18:04:28 +1300

Good Afternoon Ms Butler,

I have provided you with the answers to your questions Any further elaboration would be unproductive.

Monies announced publicly are secured by legal contracts and payment protocols are a part of those agreements.

We have publicly documented the quantum of funds. They are in excess of $30 million at this stage These amounts have been verified. I fail to understand how we can be more transparent than that. Attempts to do that in the past have resulted in misunderstandings such as the thirty dollars you mention. I am sure that nobody could possibly believe that we have only raised this amount

For the record and as I have stated previously there are amounts contracted where the quantum is for $1M and greater

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Farry

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: mfarry@farrygroup.co.nz
Subject: RE: Dunedin Stadium alleged donors: Serious Questions left unanswered
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 20:19:54 +1300

Dear Mr Farry

You have not answered my questions about the $1m donations you personally announced, very excitedly, through the media three years ago.
Your persistent avoidance in confirming whether the $1m donations exist is unproductive and can only lead me to one obvious conclusion that the donations do not exist and they probably never did.

Your description of the original $1m ‘donations’ has transformed to ‘amounts’ then to ‘quantums’.
I find this latest description quite apt considering that in Quantum Physics a “quantum is the minimum unit of any physical entity involved in an interaction” (Wikipedia) ie virtually non-existent in the physical world. Note that donations are physical gifts involving the transfer of actual money from one or several sources to another.

Now that you have confirmed that the several $1m donations are not donations, you must realise you are now in a moral quandary.

Your plea below for me to put my “energies into ensuring the project is a success” is curious. You have always asserted that the stadium will be an unqualified success.
I take it that even you now have doubts.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

34 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Construction, CST, Design, Economics, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

Private sector funding (donations) to stadium construction

One thing is certain, Malcolm Farry is confused.

### ODT Online Mon, 26 Sep 2011
$2.75 million donated to stadium: manager
By David Loughrey
The vexed issue of the level of donations the Forsyth Barr Stadium has attracted may have to stay vexed, the matter complicated by various interpretations of the definition of “donation”. The matter has been controversial since early on in the project, when, in 2008, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd commercial manager Guy Hedderwick suggested just $30 had been received. The matter was raised again at a recent Dunedin City Council finance, strategy and development meeting, and he then raised a figure of $330,000. Asked recently to clear up the issue, he said that related to just one donation. Instead, the total of donations stood at $2.75 million.

[Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) chairman Malcolm Farry] noted DVML has taken the total of private sector funding raised through the sale of seating packages and sponsorship towards $50 million.

Mr Hedderwick said donations had already been included in the private sector funding total for the stadium, which stood at $42.8 million in August.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Stadiums

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011

### inhabitat.com 09/24/11
Team New Zealand’s Solar Decathlon House Puts an Innovative Twist on the Basics
By Amanda Coen
This year’s Solar Decathlon home design competition saw many fresh takes on the solar-powered prefab home, but Team New Zealand stood out from the pack with its elegant, light-filled, wood clad home. Built by students from the Victoria University of Wellington, the beach house inspired First Light home has a breezy, open feel with the invigorating smell of freshly cut cedar planks emanating throughout. This seemingly basic but surprisingly innovative house is currently on display at the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Photograph © Jill Fehrenbacher for Inhabitat

Several unique features set the house apart from the rest. Inspired by the traditional New Zealand holiday home, the “Kiwi bach”, socialising and a relationship with nature were of prime importance in the design process. The front and back bi-folding doors allow for plenty of natural light to enter. An overhanging roof provides ample shade on hot days while also adding protection when the doors are open, creating a seamless unification of the interior and exterior environments.
Read more + Slideshow (27 images)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, Project management, Site, Urban design