The little horrors 2

“We’re aware that there’s been a lot of controversy over the stadium, but it’s built now so let’s get it to work and minimise the impact on our ratepayers, by helping make it a viable concern. It’s about playing our part as a good corporate citizen.”

### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2011
‘ODT’ sponsors stand at stadium
By Nigel Benson
The Otago Daily Times has taken a stand for the Forsyth Barr Stadium. The East Stand at the stadium was yesterday renamed the Otago Daily Times Stand, in a sponsorship deal between New Zealand’s oldest daily newspaper and newest entertainment arena. Allied Press managing director Julian Smith said the sponsorship reflected the importance of making the stadium an asset to the region.
Read more

Dave, question:
Didn’t Allied Press Ltd sponsor at least one Greater Dunedin election campaign.

Related Post:
30.7.11 LGOIMA request – stadium event

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

115 Comments

Filed under Architecture, DCC, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums

115 responses to “The little horrors 2

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2011
    ‘Big Night In’: It’s here!
    By Nigel Benson
    We [ODT] may be 150, but you are never too old for a party. As part of our 150th anniversary celebrations, the Otago Daily Times is hosting Otago’s largest community concert and everyone is invited to join in the fun. More than 50 singers and dancers – including the cream of Otago’s young performers – take the stage in the “Big Night In” at Forsyth Barr Stadium today. The Dunedin City Council has supported the event as the first community concert at the new stadium.
    Read more

    From the article:
    “It’s going to be a fantastic concert and I’m really looking forward to it,” Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said yesterday. “It’s a real community celebration.” It could become an annual Dunedin concert, similar to community events in other cities, Mr Cull said. “We haven’t made a decision on that yet, but we’ll certainly be looking at the possibilities.”

    So Dave, keep that divide going between Dunedin’s rich and poor at the ratepayers’ expense, why not. Free community concerts, backed by ratepayer funds. Brilliant.
    There is no depression in Dunedin…

  2. Peter

    The hypocrisy of ‘minimising the impact of the stadium on rate payers’ is beyond belief. If Julian truly believed this, he wouldn’t have bothered the DCC – ie ratepayers – for the $70k ‘to help offset costs’ and he would have paid Big Night In ‘Charities’ Ltd directors – himself – instead of a company being set up where the directors are the beneficiaries of 40% of the gold coin donations to also offset costs. BNICL is not a charity. It is a private company. I have no problem with all the good work the directors are doing to prepare for the concert, but it is the deal of how to pay them that sticks in my throat.
    How in the hell is the stadium going to be ‘viable’ when no-one wants to pay for using it? Shame on the ODT for its false claims about a free concert.
    Who will be counting the gold coin donations is now an interesting question? Will it be done under police auspices – like in drawings of raffles? This is important given the lack of financial transparency with this concert’s funding and now with the ODT’s sponsorship of the East Stand.
    Maybe the sponsorship deal is $70,000 – to be given back to the DCC! Creative accounting?!

    • Elizabeth

      I’m not clear if the directors of BNICL are expecting any payment for their time and services. I’m also not clear on what the 40% of gold coin donations received by BNICL will be accounted as or used for. A bit of detective work required, or BNICL may choose to publish on these matters at the conclusion of the first ‘free’ community concert.

      Either way, it’s time for Dave Cull to stand well back from proceedings. At the moment he has perceived conflicts of interest to explain, I suggest.

  3. Peter

    I would expect the directors of BNICL to be paid given all the time they are putting in to put on the show. Why should they do it for free? As I say, the question is how they should be remunerated – and by whom? The whom is the Smith Bros who own the ODT and are throwing the party for their business.
    If I throw a big birthday party, and hire a music group for the evening, I pay for the group and not my guests, by gold coin donation. What a cheapskate I would be called if I asked for donations to run my party. What next? Get the guests to pay for the balloons and streamers?

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, I can’t make any assumptions about the gold coin donations covering directors fees because I don’t have any information that points to that. Donations received are usually separated out in financial statements.

    • Elizabeth

      I’ve been to a lot of parties where we all kick in for the food, drink and entertainment. Big time. However, I’m not defending ODT, BNICL or DCC – I simply lack a lot of information that helps me work out what’s going down.

  4. Peter

    Hi Elizabeth. You might remember the ODT blog on the breakdown of gold donations? 40% goes to BNICL ‘to offset costs’.
    Yep, I’ve been to BYO parties – food and booze – but I wouldn’t claim, with such parties, that the party is a shout for l’il ol’ me and others.
    Aside from that, public money is involved. Using public money to celebrate a private company’s birthday is cheap…. well…at best. Others would have less charitable words for it.

    • Elizabeth

      As you’ve correctly noted before, Peter, Allied Press Ltd tends to make charitable splashes with commercial imperatives behind them. Probably wise for the company’s bottom line and long-term sustainability. Up to a point.

      However, in connection with the stadium, CST, DVL, DVML, DCHL and DCC’s continual avoidance of financial transparency and scrutiny of committee decision making processes means the existing depth of public suspicion, cynicism and scorn towards these entities can only but extend towards ODT / Allied Press Ltd’s current level of stadium involvement.

      Especially when we know the bullish tendencies of the individual male players, who keep popping up in the ‘equations’.

      The Mayor will probably skid on a banana skin one day soon. His song and dance routine can’t hide forever the history of corporate mismanagement at DCC, or the adverse nature of convenient connections and shady partnerships between DCC and external entities.

  5. Peter

    Yes, Elizabeth, they can’t hide the financial shortfalls forever and so you’d think – now that they have got their stadium – the easiest thing to do would be to relax and let it all hang out and come clean. Far easier than to try and hide and justify the incompetent decision making of the main proponents that have led us to this financial mess.
    Always best in these circumstances to publicly search for the obvious scapegoat(s), pin it on him(them), and make public statements that ‘we’ were unaware of all that was happening and that – shock, horror – we were lied to. (All bullshit, of course. They knew the lies all along, but the public don’t need to know that.)
    It’s been done before. DCHL – just a couple of weeks ago.
    Instead we have Allied Press/ODT allying itself, in a very public way, to the incompetence of others. We always knew they were blindly behind the stadium, but to dig themselves a deeper hole in terms of maintaining longer term public esteem? Short term thinking all for the love of rugby.

    • Elizabeth

      I wonder if the general election will result in a Minister of Local Government who knows what to do about Dunedin City Council. Hopeless mulling…………..

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Nov 2011
        Stadium packed for Big Night In
        The ODT’s Big Night In has been declared an overwhelming success after Dunedin’s indoor stadium was packed for Otago’s biggest community concert tonight.
        Read more

        No doubt we’ll get the full blast from ODT about the BNI either Sunday or Monday.

  6. Anonymous

    The total on the cheque paid to charities from the gold coin donation tonight was $12,000

  7. Peter

    The ODT was saying earlier that 20,000 people were expected. If that is the case and, if indeed, only $12,000 was collected,the concert goers were either not of that number or a large proportion did not give a donation.

  8. Phil

    The ODT sponsorship bailout is very sad for the city. For a number of reasons. While it was always a longshot, we can now officially wave goodbye to the idea of neutral based, or any general investigative journalism, reporting of civic affairs. Any published report will always contain a clear conflict of interest, and will be rated as such. Very sad.

    I think that the owners of the ODT have over estimated the size of their wallets. Not even their pockets are going to be deep enough to get this one out of trouble.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    The Minister of Local Government has ventured as far as Hamilton quite recently. Within the next several terms we can confidently expect that attention will reach the South Island.

  10. Calvin Oaten

    Phil; it is classic ‘bread and circus’ stuff. As you say, the great propaganda machine has kicked in. No dissent will be seen from this day on in the ODT. Goebbels will be looking down – or should it be up? – and give the big tick of approval. I wasn’t there, but the thought of Malcolm prancing around on stage conjures up serious thoughts of puking.
    Where to now? Are the financial implications simply going to be ignored and swept under the carpet for as long as possible? If so, the inevitable is going to be much bigger than ‘Big Julie’s’ ‘big night in’.

  11. Peter

    There is nothing much sadder seeing men of pensionable age trying to act ‘cool’. Where is the dignity?

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    You can tell a man of quality
    By the mates he joins for jollity,
    And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

    • Elizabeth

      Hype, a noble verse. It lightens ED duty somewhat this afternoon. Nothing for it but to give all business to Fairfax and independents from here on out. It’s not like we have no deplorable angles to sell newspapers and related media. The fun, has truly begun.

  13. Peter

    A source tells me that a serious musician friend, and his fellow party goer, believed the acoustics were terrible at the BNI. A lot of noise from people wandering around, apparently. Also they were at the far end and had difficulty seeing what was going on up stage. You need binoculars, it seems.
    If this is true, it doesn’t bode well for Elton John.
    One person’s view, to be sure, but an interesting counterbalancing comment, nevertheless, to the predictable news in tomorrow’s ODT.

  14. In a rational world a “good corporate citizen” would not have supported a non-essential project that committed the public to hundreds of millions in debt. Unfortunately in the world you and me live this is another trend New Zealand has embraced, a concept parodied in Simpsons as far back as 2008:

    “Welcome to the American dream. A billionaire using public funds to construct a private playground for the rich and powerful.”

    It troubles me the ‘independent voice’ of media in this city is partying alongside our Mayor. It troubles me further we expect and pay for this media to report on what this council is up to. It troubles me greatly that Cr Syd Brown felt it acceptable to give $70k of public funds to brothers worth $75m. The amount may be small but it’s the morality I struggle to comprehend.

    I no longer expect to get unfiltered news in this town, hence why public discussion and outside media resources have become a necessitnJy to stay informed in Dunedin.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/171129/nine-otago-multimillionaires-nbr-rich-list
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/171212/rich-list-shows-rich-getting-richer

  15. Pedant

    There are many comments on-line from people unhappy with the quality of the sound.

  16. Anonymous

    The sound and camerawork were dreadful. Performers on the stage were next to impossible to see from West stand. Being a free event in Dunedin, there were large numbers of unattended children running around on the pitch and the usual number of aspiring hookers in the concourses.

    • Elizabeth

      A rugby stadium after all….. we have some excellent technicians but maybe not at BNI….. as is, the stadium is completely NOT designed for amplified sound…..

  17. Anne Elliot

    Talked to a resident from the outer reaches of the DCC, who had gone down with another older person especially to hear certain entertainers, incl Tina Cross. They had thought they would be all cosy ringside but had to clamber high up very steep steps. The din was unbelievable and distressing. They couldn’t hear a thing (except the noise) and left hugely disappointed after Tina Cross. They thought the whole thing a farce, a completely unsuitable venue whether because of the acoustics or the speaker system.

  18. Phil

    The acoustics issue was apparent when listening to the first RWC match at the stadium. From a television point of view during the first match it was portrayed as being a “great atmosphere”, but the practical problems of operating in those conditions were immediately obvious. By the time the second match was being played, [there] were commentators’ comments about players not being able to hear. Come, the third match, there [was] no mention at all (good or bad) about the noise in the stadium, so clearly someone was given their orders to drop the subject.

    If this is a continuing problem [then] I think we’ll find that any visiting sports teams and entertainment companies will quickly tire of the uncontrollable din which will make their ability to present of a quality product almost impossible. They have reputations to consider which extend beyond their trips to Dunedin.

  19. Phil

    I apologise for the above grammar/spelling etc. It all sounded perfectly fine in my head.

    {Guestimated the fix. -Eds}

  20. Peter

    I’d imagine if you were seated in either the north or south stands, and looking at the stage at the east end, it would be a right pain in the neck.
    It would get on my wick after two hours.

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    During the period of RWC after-match discussions Chris Laidlaw said on national radio what a wonderful atmosphere there was in the Fubar and favourably mentioned the great amount of crowd noise that contributed to said outstandingly fab atmosphere. At the time I thought this might be an advantage for some. In my mind it signalled BUT…!!! regarding the “pleasure” of attending anything in that venue.

  22. Alistair

    Some knowledgeable comment here:
    http://mikecrowlsscribblepad.blogspot.com/2011/11/odt-big-night-in.html
    (Mike is one of Dunedin’s must long-serving and regular bloggers)
    My opinion:
    The stadium-rock covers (Queen, U2) were passable, but the acoustics and/or sound-system wasn’t up to anything else.
    The radio-jock MC’s regular “Isn’t the ODT/Stadium/Council awesome” comments were irritating.
    The Farry, Smiths, Davies, Cull boy-band singing “We are the Champions” was truly cringe-worthy.

    • Elizabeth

      What a mean-spirited bunch you are, hey if ODT reports it was fantastic we should believe them, right.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 14 Nov 2011
      ‘Absolutely fantastic night’
      By Nigel Benson
      The crowd goes wild at Otago Daily Times’ “Big Night In” community concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday. Photos by Stephen Jaquiery.
      Well, that was a bit of fun! About 20,000 people flocked to the “Big Night In” at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday to celebrate the Otago Daily Times’ 150th anniversary and the first community event at the new stadium.
      Read more

      Photos: ODT’s ‘Big Night In’

      —-

      But people can’t be fooled all of the time, if at all on the basis of a bad experience…

      ### ODT Online Mon, 14 Nov 2011
      Stadium sound quality concerns
      By Nigel Benson
      Concerns have been raised about “Big Night In” sound quality for some areas of Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday. Denise Powell, of Dunedin, in a letter to the editor, said while she wished to congratulate the ODT for providing the Dunedin community with a free concert with a stunning lineup of entertainers, she was eager to get a feel for what the Elton John concert was going to be like. “Unfortunately, the acoustics are terrible. What makes the stadium fantastic as a sports venue, namely the roar of the crowd being contained, is precisely what is wrong with the stadium as a concert venue. And the fact that the stage is at one end and most of the seating is at a 90-degree angle to that. Great for sports, not so great for shows.” Several other readers contacted the ODT with similar points.
      Read more

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    “I think the sound quality in most areas of the stadium was exceptional,” said Doug Kamo. Could be a typo. Surely he meant exceptionable, don’t you think?

  24. Peter

    Was the Radio (rugby) jock, Damian Newell? He would be well suited to the role.

  25. Ahmad

    Is someone going to have the ODT up on the fact that this was not a free concert? I would write to the paper but have personal reasons for retaining some anonymity. I’ll try and have a go at them directly but I feel someone needs to write a letter asking for answers even if only to prove that they won’t address the matter.

    “Big Night In Charities Ltd” is a registered charity which is part of the KidsCan group. So essentially 4/9th of the (compulsory) “charitible donation” we paid on Saturday went towards the cost of a “FREE” concert which had big name sponsors and which netted the ODT HUGE publicity and goodwill.

    I’m not complaining about $1-$2 here but the fact is the ODT promoted this as a FREE concert and as such the costs should have been covered by themselves and their corporate sponsors. The DCC funding is a different matter altogether – this is about the ODT conning people into thinking they were making a charitible donation when in fact 40% of it went towards putting on the “free” concert they were attending.

    The ODT needs to be asked for explanations for the sake of transparency.

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    Was the “donation” compulsory? I hadn’t realised that.

    The “donation” seems as opaque as all the Fubar Stadium dealings. Donation or compulsory? To offset cost or to donate to named charity? The gold-coin fund at the end of the night in the custody of ____ , counted by ______? I can’t believe a reasonable person would object to paying a sum towards the costs of staging a big variety concert. Nor would many people be too tight to make a small donation to a genuine worthy charity as a gesture of thankfulness for the night’s entertainment. It’s the muddying of funding and the questions of who is paying for what and did they realise they had entered into such a contract, that annoys me.

  27. Ahmad

    Definitely compulsory. Yes you could have pushed your way past the collectors and their buckets without making a contribution but you’d have to have had no shame. It was made clear from the outset that a gold coin donation would be required upon entry and I had one prepared.

    This is not about $1-$2. It’s about transparency. As you said most people wouldn’t mind contributing such a small amount but the concert was promoted as being Free (and as such the ODT and other sponsors would have a lot of goodwill generated from this).

    It’s not unlike saying there will be a free BBQ – bring your own sausages.

    A further (separate) concern I have is why an Aucklander was flown down to receive the $12,000 cheque. Given how many local charities SPONSORED the event (Southern Trust, Otago Community Trust, Bendigo Valley Foundation), it’s a little concerning that donations would be funnelled all the way to Auckland (the Lions 10% not withstanding).

  28. Alistair

    This show was not done on the cheap : it had very good musical arrangement, choreography, lighting etc. I have no doubt that this has cost the Smith brothers a considerable sum of money. It was let down by poor sound quality. The big question is whether this can be fixed with a better sound system, or whether we have to live with the fact that the Stadium has bad acoustics.
    As for Big Night In Charities Ltd, I understand that this is an ongoing charity for the promotion of local talent. I am sure that a large number of singers, musicians and dancers got great experience from being involved in this show.

  29. Ahmad

    @Alistair, in the ODT’s own words and published by themselves, the 40% to BNI Charities Ltd was to “offset concert costs” not to promote local talent. Sure, staging the concert does in a way promote local talent but recall that the BNI concert was pushed as a FREE birthday bash c/o the ODT.

  30. Curious

    It is curious that there is a company set up for it rather than an incorporated society or charitable trust. Makes me even more curious as the shareholding appears to be held in trust, I wonder whether it has been structured as a LTC, the new form of LAQC, which would effectively allow whoever the beneficiary of the shareholding is to apply the loss, which an event of this nature will no doubt incur against their taxable income for the year. So in effect between the sponsorship, council support and possible tax structuring it may not have cost the ODT anything at all

  31. Lindsay

    No problem with the sound which can’t be fixed with a million dollar sound system apparently.

  32. Peter

    Alistair. In regard to the stadium’s suitability for future concerts.

    If the stadium proves to be a fizzer for concerts because of poor acoustics the reliance on conferences and meetings becomes more urgent to keep the stadium afloat.

    However, David Davies has already said in the ODT that the stadium’s ‘bread and butter’ are conferences and meetings. Not rugby. Not concerts.

    There we have it at this early stage of the stadium’s life. A realisation that concerts, even now, are going to be far and few between to help the stadium financially.

    Many would question the conferences part of this income stream given the competition from other venues. Theoretically, DVML could bleed the other venues and put pressure on the stadium being used as the ‘favourite’ venue, but where does that leave the renewed Town Hall, Edgar Centre, etc for such events? Also the stadium has to be practical for future conferences (doubts here already) and a desire by future conference goers to be stuck in an ugly sports stadium on the edge of the CBD away from retail and restaurants/cafes. Away from…..Life.. as we know it.

  33. Phil

    Going back to the acoustics again, there were concerns raised by spectators on the FSB stadium Facebook website during the RWC matches about the poor sound quality at the ground. The official line that got trundled out by Buffy (complete with cheesy smile) was that it was a RWC Limited problem, not a stadium problem. This time it is an ODT problem. Next time will it be a Capital City C problem ? I’m starting to get worried that it’s going to end up being my problem one day.

    • Ahmad

      Re: Acoustics – for the sake of balance, bad acoustics may put off concert promoters but how would they lead to fewer sports teams coming? I’ve been to a range of sports games at the new stadium. It’s awesome.

  34. Phil

    Speaking of that Facebook website, I was VERY disappointed to see Guy Hedderwick (commercial director of DVML) handing out rewards (presumably stadium passes) to contributors who posted personally derogatory comments about the participants of the Occupy Dunedin site in the Octagon. November 7th, 8:34am, for anyone interested. Mr Hedderwick is a representative of a DCC owned company. I hope that some of the Council followers of this site will give him a timely clip around the ears and remind him to keep his opinions to himself when acting in a professional capacity. It cast a very low class shadow over the inner workings of DVML.

  35. Peter

    Guy Hedderwick is infamous for the embarrassing email a few years ago – meant for former CEO of CST, Ewan Soper – but accidentally sent to Bev – when he says, ‘At what point do I tell her (Bev) to piss off.’
    Always a danger for an organisation to have someone who is so unprofessional and creates major embarrassment for them, more than once. Eventually they do something fatal to the said organisation’s reputation and they have to go.

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    Jeez, not ANOTHER golden handshake ratepayers are going to have to pay for.

  37. Anonymous

    So that’s a representative of a Dunedin professional services firm who believes it okay to headbutt another person. And now a representative of the Dunedin City Council who believes it’s okay to incite hate. The first reaction surprised me – who really wants to crush someone’s skull or break someone’s spine jumping on a tent over this disagreement? – but the latter does not. There is a lot of incorrect thinking employed at this council and the new Chief Executive Officer has much to do cleaning up Dodge.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 15 Nov 2011
      Stadium acoustics assurance
      By David Loughrey
      The company that runs the Forsyth Barr Stadium says there is no reason to be concerned about sound quality at the facility, views backed up by a Dunedin city councillor with experience in stadium sound systems.
      Read more

  38. Phil

    Not only to incite it, but to directly instruct his staff in public to reward it. That social media site really needs to be brought under control. It’s an absolute circus. Someone needs reminding that it is an official site for a venue of which DCC is a stakeholder.

  39. Hype O'Thermia

    If they are not sold the total audience for the concert will be __________ people?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ch9.co.nz November 18, 2011 – 6:16pm
      Remaining Elton John tickets discounted
      Over 34,000 tickets have been sold for the Elton John concert in Dunedin next week. However, the remaining tickets were discounted today in an effort to achieve a total sell-out before the performance – causing complaints from locals.
      Video

      • Elizabeth

        Mr Sprey also said he had amended his sound system design since attending the Otago Daily Times “Big Night In” community concert last week.

        ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Nov 2011
        Elton tickets snapped up
        By Nigel Benson
        Elton John’s Dunedin concert next Friday will be a sell-out, with the last tickets sold for a reduced price yesterday. The final premium seats were advertised in the Otago Daily Times yesterday for a flat rate of $120. “The seats that we’re offering are all in the $300-$400 category.
        Read more

        Sounds like an excuse formulating for a new Viewing Triangle Hotel to be located near the Otago Yacht Club…

        Dunedin was struggling to accommodate visitors for big stadium events, [Capital C: Concerts managing director] Phil Sprey said. “Accommodation is the problem. Dunedin has reached saturation point.”

        Dunedin Accommodation (via ODT)
        • [Dunedin] i-Site manager Louise van de Vlierd said there were still plenty of beds available in Dunedin. “There’s still heaps of accommodation left. We’ve got 100-plus beds available at halls of residences and there are bed and breakfasts available within 15 minutes of town. Even in the two big Rugby World Cup games here, nobody went without a bed.”
        • Tourism Dunedin figures show Dunedin has about 2100 rooms, including hotel, motel, dormitories, farmstays, homestays, and private rooms, such as B&Bs, available, which can accommodate up to 6325 people.

        • Elizabeth

          Is David Davies a smart operator or a dumb one?

          ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Nov 2011
          Deal ties up taxi access to stadium
          By Chris Morris
          A Dunedin taxi operator is crying foul after being ordered to stay off the Forsyth Barr Stadium grounds by a rival company. It was confirmed yesterday Dunedin Venues Management Ltd – which runs the stadium – had signed a sponsorship deal making Dunedin Taxis its preferred taxi provider for the venue. That meant only Dunedin Taxis would be allowed to use a taxi rank beside the corporate entrance at the stadium’s eastern end, with other companies excluded and forced to pick-up and drop-off elsewhere.
          Read more

  40. Ahmad

    I am not a business major so don’t know the financial cost/benefits of these deals but it certainly pisses me off as a patron to be honest. Similar thing happened at Eden Park I think and I thought it was a cheek.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Nov 2011
      School to benefit from Big Night In
      The generosity of Otago Daily Times Big Night In concert-goers will provide some Calton Hill Primary School pupils with food, shoes and raincoats next year. Concert producer and Big Night In Charities Ltd director Doug Kamo said $31,074.30 was donated at the event, with $15,537.15 going to KidsCan Charitable Trust, and $3107.43 going to the Dunedin North and Toroa Lions Clubs. The remainder went to Big Night In Charities Ltd to help to pay for the concert.
      Read more

      • That’s $12,429.72 of your charitable donations to private company The Big Night In Charities Limited (BNICL), to help pay for the ‘free’ community concert. BNICL has recently applied to the Charities Commission, seeking charitable status (processing).

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 4 Jan 2012
        Fitter engineered a life on the stage
        By Nigel Benson
        Life has been a stage for Dunedin entertainer and producer Doug Kamo. “My father once said to me: ‘Life is a ticket to the greatest show on Earth.’ “He was so right,” Kamo, who turns 41 next month, muses over a coffee in the Octagon.

        “We absolutely want to do [Big Night In] again. There was far too much work involved to only do it once. It was new for the DCC and for the stadium, but we understand the beast now. The template is there.”

        Read more

  41. Peter

    Favouring one taxi company over all the others is pretty dumb, if you ask me. Why create yet more antagonism in the community, from yet another sector, against the stadium? Taxi drivers are mobile and meet a lot of people – whom they will talk to – naturally – and they will bad mouth the stadium and its promoters. Correct information and misinformation about the stadium will no doubt be rife as the taxi companies retaliate.
    This, together with cheap Elton John tickets for, largely, prime areas will piss those off who bought early, in less premium areas, in good faith. Who could blame them? Sorry, people, you have been conned – again – and treated like suckers. The moral of the story for Dunedin people is to hold back and wait for the ticket prices to drop for any future concerts. (No others on the horizon, I understand.)
    Did I mention the stadium component of the rates rises still, with time, to kick in? Soon the RWC and EJ concert will be lost in the fog of time and we’re left with the dud stadium. To pay off.

  42. Anonymous

    Those who bought premium tickets early on the basis of Malcolm’s comments about it being a sell-out may have a claim against the promoter.

  43. Peter

    I think his let-out, from memory, is that it was a case of more seats becoming available after the ‘sell out’. Yet it is the premium seats that are now going, so it was never a sell out. This is typical of what has happened all along. At each step of the stadium process, claim a new ‘success’, so it wins support, only to find the claim, later on, was bullshit. They work on the philosophy that people have short memories so they don’t remember the earlier lie.
    Of course the ‘Independent Voice of the South’ doesn’t pick up on this and challenge the lie.

  44. Phil

    I saw the joke about horses coming to the stadium the other day. Several points to make which won’t make it onto The Sun. The main equestrian events are held in the central North Island. Why ? Because that’s where the top horses are. Moving expensive horses to the other end of the country for a one-off event is logistically and economically horrendous. You don’t just hire out Business Class for your team the night before. What happens when they arrive in Dunedin ? There are no stable facilities at the stadium, and nothing of suitable quality within the city urban boundaries. Where exactly are horses going to stand between jumps or events ? Equestrian events last the entire day, not just 90 minutes. The equestrian community in Dunedin already have an indoor riding arena, out on Dukes Road. Complete with stables and warm up facilities, and right in the heart of horse riding owners’ territory. It costs a couple of hundred dollars for a full day’s venue hire. The local equestrian leaders have already said no to the stadium. Here’s why. Look at the photo shown in The Sun. The rather fat pony is shying away from the roof shadow lines on the pitch. The only way to remove those lines is to run the internal lighting at full strength for the entire duration of the event. It costs $100,000 to operate the stadium for a 90 minute rugby match. What will the stadium hire cost be for an 8-hour horse competition ? Well beyond the means of the riding community, who already own a stadium. Or will this be another discounted offer ? I don’t think that we have one single full fee paying event scheduled. Horses rely almost entirely on their hearing. A horse event will not attract 20,000 spectators. This isn’t Calgary. Maybe 4,000 people might be interested, depending on the price. That’s what they get for the World Cup events in Europe. Even so, the already well documented stadium acoustic problems are likely to create havoc and panic amongst the horses. Not even Phil Sprey’s million dollar miracle sound system will stop the noise of spectators from bouncing off the concrete surfaces. Phil has forgotten to factor in that this was a large contributor to the acoustic problems inside the stadium at the concert the other week.

    This is up there with the World Swimming Championships joke. But a good photo op on a slow news day just the same.

    • Elizabeth

      I thought it was another of the newspaper’s April Fools jokes.

      ### ODT Online Fri, 18 Nov 2011
      Horse test for stadium turf
      By David Loughrey
      Fresh from a pounding by World Cup rugby boots tearing up the field, then the trampling of thousands of feet at last Saturday’s “Big Night In” concert, the Forsyth Barr Stadium turf must now prove its mettle against much heftier animal hooves.
      Read more

  45. Russell Garbutt

    Remember the hugely expensive waste of time that The Marketing Bureau Ltd was? And the twerps that employed that waste of time that paid out well over half a million of our money are still running things.

    One of their recommendations for the use of the stadium was major stock auctions.

    I can see it now – the Oddity running a picture of a 1 tonne bull meandering round the hallowed turf closely followed by St Farry of St Clair with a clip-board and an auctioneer’s hammer.

    No, dear victims of Farry’s folly, running a few “events” in rooms overlooking the empty stadium will prove to be no better to what was previously offered by the ORFU in their stadium at Carisbrook. They went broke doing that sort of stuff causing them to run to their backing bankers (aka the DCC) and bail them out. Trouble is that the ratepayers are the folk of last resort.

    Others have worked out the number of times that the stadium needs to be hired out to meet the financial commitments to the ratepayers which includes depreciation, interest, repayment of capital and lost opportunity costs, and one thing is for sure that the best efforts of everyone is not even shaking a burned stick at those costs.

    So to all those so desperate for Farry’s Folly, what is the answer? I bet that there isn’t one genuine workable response.

  46. Peter

    Russell. I actually think the stadium filled with huge bull/cow pats and blowflies is a beautiful, poetic metaphor for Malcolm’s vision!

  47. Hype O'Thermia

    Dog trials!
    What a wonderful effort from Jip. Bring down all 4 well-fleeced ratepayers from the upper reaches of the North Stand in the best time this afternoon. An outstanding effort from a consistent performer but it’s still too early to call, there is one more contestant to go. Will Stewey McLauchlan’s Jip manage to outdo “Eddo” Edgar’s Rawt to take away the F.U b’Arry medal?

  48. Calvin Oaten

    Even the ‘flurry’ of conferences (small meetings actually) in the Stadium are only there because the Town Hall is closed for alterations ($50 million plus) to create an ‘International Conference Centre’. What happens when that is complete, a price war? Beaut for all reasons, David Davies will be on the tight rope like Blondell over Niagara Falls. The search will then be really on for suckers who can still afford to indulge in ‘conferences’ in these economically stressed times.

  49. Anonymous

    Town Hall will come under Dunedin Venues (does Edgar Centre as well?) so there is a kind of model for attracting events to fit all venues. It does mean that the pie has to be made bigger though…

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, Edgar Centre will come under the DVML umbrella. And Regent? Well, it was rumoured it might, two years ago. At which point I gave up any hope for each venue’s future if impacted by the others – it seemed all too cumulative and loss-making to my tiny brain, especially given the limited (projecting forward) discretionary spending power of the Dunedin natives.
      I sincerely hope my doom merchandising comes to a quick end with the discovery of oil (but to be shipped away from Dunedin rather than to??) if that’s what we’re ‘banking’ on for recovery.

  50. Anonymous

    It is easier to cover losses by cross-subsidising one venue with another and also to gain efficiency through a shared services model. From what I have experienced, Dunedin Venues largely do a good job of running the stadium venue. It remains to be seen whether they can secure the necessary string of events needed to minimise losses. Elton John will be a real test case for the concert revenue; if the “million-dollar sound system” turns out to be “lipstick on a pig”, no promoter will touch it.

  51. Calvin Oaten

    With DVML needing to generate a minimum of $15.4 million per annum just to meet the interest on the debt of the stadium and Town Hall/Conference Centre there will need to be a bit more than cross-subsidising costs of one venue to another. Elizabeth; your brain is not ‘tiny’, it is just that the numbers are so huge. Anonymous; the “million-dollar sound system” is the promoter’s.

  52. Anonymous

    Precisely. And if the situation is that you need that per concert, it’s not going to be too popular or feasible.

    35,000 tickets at $400 apiece is $14m revenue. The average ticket price was somewhat less than that. Promotion, fees, rigging, sound system…it all adds up.

  53. Anonymous

    Malcolm Farry: it’s sold out
    Malcolm Farry: it’s sold out
    ODT: more tickets were released, but it’s sold out now
    Promoter: still some tickets left
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/187467/rocket-man-blast-early

  54. Russell Garbutt

    Trying to get the truth out of St Farry of St Clair, or the inner workings of the DCC, or a promoter desperate to turn a buck on the one chance of doing so, is way harder than trying to insert warm butter up the rear orifice of a hedgehog with a red-hot needle.

  55. Peter

    RWC – no hireage fee for stadium.
    ODT 150th birthday – no hireage fee for stadium.
    Elton John Concert – no hireage fee for stadium. The deal with the Elton John concert was the ‘first’ concert would be free of a hireage fee and then the ‘second’ (non-existent) concert would be charged a hireage fee.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Mon, 21 Nov 2011
      Exclusive taxi access to stadium defended
      By Matthew Haggart
      A sponsorship agreement between Forsyth Barr Stadium and Dunedin Taxis will not compromise access for any elderly or disabled passengers choosing to use alternative cab services, the venue’s commercial manager [Guy Hedderwick] says.

      Mr Hedderwick said he had approached Dunedin Taxis, “as I did with lots of other potential sponsors” with the proposal for the commercial agreement.

      Read more

  56. Ahmad

    If this is the reason you won’t use Dunedin Taxis then make sure you call them and let them know. You could also say you’ll tell 10 friends and do that too.

    And is it really true that Stadium got nothing for hireage for RWC, Big Have In, and Elton John?? Is that public?

    • Elizabeth

      Yes I will be telling Dunedin Taxis by letter.

      • Elizabeth

        Today, two taxi drivers from independent companies (not Dunedin Taxis) said they haven’t been formally warned away from Fubar Stadium’s ‘exclusive taxi drop-off point’.
        Thus, whatever this means… they say things will get interesting on the eve of Elton’s concert, that is IF anybody in a vehicle can get near the stadium.
        The two drivers don’t have much faith in DCC’s traffic management plans, based on the frustrations experienced during RWC.

  57. Hype O'Thermia

    Letter to the ODT too, to spread the idea – please :)

  58. Peter

    Ahmad, Yes it is true that no hireage fee was paid for RWC, ODT 150th and Elton John concert.
    Will it be made public? ODT is one of the stadium sponsors. The same ‘sponsor’ which is given a $70,000 handout for their 150th party. If only we had an independent voice in the south.

  59. Ahmad

    Peter these claims if true seem appalling at face value.

    For the record I’m not “anti-stadium”.

    {Anti-stadium is an unfortunate catch-all – you will remember that Stop The Stadium Inc (STS) was clearly against the extent of public funding to the stadium. -Eds}

  60. Calvin Oaten

    “University makes $2m plaza payment.” It was reported in the ODT an interim payment of $2 million from the University of Otago has been made to the Dunedin City Council as the two parties continue negotiating shared costs for Forsyth Barr Stadium and University Plaza developments.

    Why the negotiations? It was quite clear in the original budgets (grossly exceeded) presented by Malcolm Farry that the University’s contribution was to be $10 million. Is this $2m now extra to this, or is it another case of false claims being made at the outset in order to fool Council into proceeding?

    About time Mayor Cull did what he promised and open the books. Too much to hope for, I suspect.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 22 Nov 2011
      University makes $2m plaza payment
      By Matthew Haggart
      An interim payment of $2 million from the University of Otago has been made to the Dunedin City Council as the two parties continue negotiating shared costs for Forsyth Barr Stadium and University Plaza developments.
      The plaza building was $4.486 million under budget for the year to date. The variance is due to contractors overestimating their cashflow requirements and achieving lower production rates than originally anticipated.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        University Plaza

        http://www.harrows.co.nz/civic___commercial/projects?id=452
        Tastefully designed by a leading New Zealand architects, the Plaza Cafe is the showpiece of Building One at University Plaza, Dunedin.

        http://www.grahamwarman.co.nz/featured_projects/university_plaza
        Warren and Mahoney Architects have created this spectacular piece of architecture for the University of Otago.

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 29 Nov 2013
          ‘Tense’ talks with contractor over delays
          By Vaughan Elder
          The University of Otago has been having “tense” conversations with contractors over the length of time it has taken to fix problems at its $40 million building at Forsyth Barr Stadium. The problems, which include sound leaking from the gym to office spaces, are yet to be resolved despite the building being handed over to the university in December 2011 and fully occupied by February last year.
          Read more

          ****

          UniversityPlaza [warrenandmahoney.com]University Plaza [warrenandmahoney.com]

          [historical]

          University of Otago Media Release (8.5.13): Otago Connection
          Focus also on families at new Plaza Café
          The recently opened University building at the Forsyth Barr Stadium site is more than just a superb new facility for students and University staff. It also contains Dunedin’s newest café which can be used and enjoyed by the public and visitors, says University of Otago Chief Operating Officer John Patrick. “The Plaza Café opens on to University Plaza and is purposely designed to be welcoming and accessible to the public. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays so families with young children can experience this fantastic new facility,” he says.
          Read more

          Related Posts:
          10.11.10 University stadium building (Phase 1)
          26.8.10 University phase 1 building

          ### ODT Online Wed, 9 Jun 2010
          $20 million set aside for varsity’s stadium building
          By Allison Rudd
          The University of Otago’s stadium building is a step closer, with almost $20 million being added to this year’s budget for its construction.
          Read more

          ### ODT Online Sat, 19 Dec 2009
          University unveils stadium building design
          By Allison Rudd
          The University of Otago’s building next to the Forsyth Barr Stadium will be “one of the most exciting developments on campus for decades”, vice-chancellor Prof Sir David Skegg says.
          Read more

          University of Otago Media Release (18.12.09)
          Plans for University Stadium Building announced
          The University of Otago Council has approved plans for the first of its buildings adjacent to the Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza. The flagship building has been designed by the well known architectural firm, Warren and Mahoney, to provide facilities for the University’s Foundation Studies programme and for the Unipol Gymnasium. The building will provide the west wall of the stadium, and will open on to the University Plaza. In addition to teaching and learning facilities and the gymnasium and recreation space, there will be a physiotherapy clinic and a café open to the public as well as students. Construction is planned to begin in May 2010, with completion by August 2011.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Sat, 30 Nov 2013
          Delay fixing leak ‘unfortunate’
          By Vaughan Elder
          [Naylor Love] The contractor for the University of Otago’s $40 million building at Forsyth Barr Stadium has acknowledged difficulties finding the cause of a leaking roof.
          Read more

  61. Jody

    Peter – just wondering where you got your information that no hireage fee was paid for the EJ concert, since Max Burns specifically stated in the ODT that Capital C are paying a ‘handsome %’ for hiring the stadium (how much is commercially confidential – of course !!) (ref comments in ODT, 20 Jan 2011 Ratepayers to get first shot at Sir Elton tickets.

    {Copy and paste the url to provide a link in your comment. -Eds}

  62. Phil

    You are right, Jody. Capital C Concerts are paying a sum towards the hire of the venue, although they freely admit that it is heavily discounted and is far below the rate needed to cover the costs for operating the venue for the event (which is around $100,000). This is not a one-off occasion in order to showcase the stadium, their justification is that they never pay full rate for any venue they hire. Didn’t sound like a particularly good reason to me. Unless you’re the person hiring the venue. So whatever the “commercially sensitive” agreed hire sum is, that will now become the standard maximum hire price for a concert. Meaning that the stadium operating losses will continue to increase every time it is booked.

  63. Mike

    Well let’s stop booking it – it’s obviously cheaper to keep it closed than open.

    I think that closing it might concentrate some minds into a financial plan that would be more real-world than the current “let’s shovel some more money down that hole” – good money after bad is never a bright idea.

  64. Peter

    Jody. As I said, it has been reported in the media that only the second concert – which of course has not happened – will have to pay a hiring fee for the stadium. David Davies refuses to be transparent about the financial deals done for using the stadium under the guise of commercial sensitivity. If we the ratepayers were getting a good deal we would hear about it. What better way to silence the critics.
    Maybe Max Burns was referring to the second nonexistent concert?

  65. Anonymous

    I am concerned once stadium finances reach critical mass and council and stakeholders can no longer flog ‘commercial sensitivity’ to hide the true nature of their ruinous behaviour, then desperation may tempt David Davies to fall back on previous management habits. There tend to be a number of unfavourable comments in the UK, especially during his time at Queens Park Rangers (QPR) [http://qprissues.blogspot.com].

    The numbers do not stack up regarding public debt in Dunedin and it must be tettering on the edge of financial ruin. Catastrophic failure if there is an essential infrastructure collapse. But we should not rush towards short term solutions such as ledger manipulations to make loans look better in the short term but cost more interest over the longer term, sale of assets, or forming companies to manage essential infrastructure services.

    These only benefit a small group of individuals or the entities they hide behind. The stakeholders are still circulating the public trough and they are not finished with Dunedin yet.

  66. Phil

    There’s the problem, Mike. David Davies told us that it cost $100,000 to open and operate the stadium for the duration of a rugby match. That’s break even. Somewhere on this site there was a thread (maybe a couple of years back now) which detailed the sums which the NZRFU have said they will pay the ORFU to hire the stadium for their various events. It’s a standard demand applied to all stadiums around the country. From memory it was something around the $20,000 mark for a Super match and $10,000 for a national championship match. I think there was a payable fee of $100,000 for a Bledisloe Cup match or for a Lions match. But those were the only two occasions. So between March and October every year, the stadium has an operating loss of around $40,000 per week, presuming one match per fortnight. Which leaves 6 months of the year to try and recover those losses. The only way to do that is to hire the venue out. Can’t do that with concerts, as they are also being hired out below the operational threshold point. That’s already established. So sometime during the summer, someone else is going to have to pay $1.1 million to hire the stadium for a 2 hour period, just to offset the operating losses from the winter rugby matches for that year. Who is going to do that, the local pony club ? Have to sell a lot of cheese rolls first.

  67. Ahmad

    Phil are you sure of this $100,000 figure for a rugby match?

    Otago United are playing home games at the stadium now and charging $13 including fees for an adult. Or $55 for a season ticket. There were no more than 1000 at the first game apparently. These games tend to draw no more than 500 at absolute best. I think there were a lot of freebies for the opening game.

    Anyhow the point is, assuming a crowd of 1000, and assuming each paid the full $13 and forget the ticketing fees for a moment – that’s only $13,000 as an absolute unrealistic best case scenario.

    Thoughts??

  68. Phil

    Ahmed, that $100,000 figure came straight from David Davies. I’ll take him at his word that he knows what the cost is to open up his stadium for the afternoon. That $13 ticket figure presumably also includes a portion which goes to the team and to the sport’s governing body. So no, I don’t imagine that the venue will receive 100% of the ticket value.

  69. Ahmad

    Hi Phil. That’s what I mean. Even with an impossibly generous calculation that’s $13,000 which you say is at least a $87,000 shortfall.

    If what you claim is correct (I’m not lassing any judgement here) then I don’t know how things work.

  70. Phil

    You and me both, Ahmad. The justifying argument is that the mere presence of the stadium will inject untold wealth into the local economy (read Octagon pubs). Which supposedly will offset the upfront operating losses, which will be covered by the ratepayers. The reality, however, is that 90% of all venue attendees will be the very same ratepayers, which mean that the only money being injected is money that was already here.

  71. Phil

    Following up with cost recovery and discounted venue hires, I note that the stadium staff are now GIVING AWAY concert tickets to people. Not just one or two, but in groups of 10. So much for the sell out back in February. This is a very strange partnership regarding the stadium staff and events. They seem to be able to do things like give away tickets, but any questions, concerns or complaints, about tickets, or even arrangements for the event itself seem to being referred back to either Ticketek, DCC, or to the concert promoters. Or anyone else, really. The most bizarre I saw was a simple question with regard to disabled access at the stadium where the author was told by the official stadium spokesperson to contact Disability Services for a response. Not exactly sure who is driving the bus down there at the moment.

  72. Ahmad

    Glad you posted that Phil. For various reasons I don’t want to be too critical* but I did like your note that FBS was giving away 1 ticket to EJ in a competition but then decided (suddenly) to give away 10 instead.

    To be fair and balanced though I believe these were single tickets so probably hard to sell. And I’m sure FBS won’t be paying for them. But it’s unusual all the same.

    *I like many aspects of the Stadium.

  73. Hype O'Thermia

    Ahmad, a few people asked and asked and asked for months, what’s the basic open-the-doors cost of the stadium. At last David Davies – he hadn’t been here long, probably hadn’t been told it was a state secret – revealed the figure of $100,000. It’s true.
    Until then the answers had been vague, to evasive, to stubborn silence. Apparently NOBODY knew, which was strange because every other venue for hire for weddings, bar mitzvahs and conferences can give you a quote with variations according to how long you want it, do you want them to supply catering, security etc. Perhaps they knew nobody ever was going to pay the break-even amount, wow, that’s wild speculation isn’t it?

    • Elizabeth

      Hype, I can’t find David Davies’ “$100,000” statement in our archives, anywhere – just the allusion to it from several commentators. Not finding it at ODT either, although not helped by an outage of their website this last while.

      If anyone has a conflict of interest in relation to paid work they’ve got out of Fubar et al and they’re pointing the finger at Fubar as well as ODT, you’d think they’d think twice or be outed here. Only a matter of time.

  74. Phil

    I think you’ll find that most of us here don’t especially dislike the stadium as a structure, Ahmad. Apart from the odd design quirk or 2. That’s where the anti “anti stadium” people have gotten it all wrong. It’s not the building that is of concern, but the way it is funded. It’s that simple.

    I bet David got a swift smack around the ears when he disclosed the event operating costs. He won’t be doing that again.

  75. Ahmad

    Cheers Phil. I just had to be clear on my position in case I’m accused of being hypocritical.

    I have had a relationship with Stadium staff in the past (as a consumer) which has been amicable and I hope that continues into the future. I don’t want any comments to be misconstrued as being against those staff – they are not the target of my enquiries about Stadium costs.

  76. Peter

    Phil. I think you’ll find plenty of people don’t particularly find the outside structure of the stadium appealing and, at the same time, are concerned with the way it’s funded. The funding of the stadium is what has got most anti stadium people upset. If it was just another ugly building, there wouldn’t have been that much sustained opposition. We could all live with an ugly building.

    From what I can see from the road outside (I haven’t been inside) the appeal may be more from within, but certainly not from outside.

  77. Mike

    I think it’s out of scale in the place it’s in – would have been better plonked down on top of Carisbrook. I am still waiting for them to paint the toastracks a less obvious gray as they show in the architectural drawings.

  78. Peter

    People have described the toast rack look, which is ‘seeable’, but I reckon it looks a bit like an aircraft hangar. I agree, Mike, its dominance is out of place, but the stadium proponents of course like that…..to dominate. They sure have made a ‘statement’.
    Thank God, I can barely see the eyesore from our house. If I could, I think I’d consider moving as the building is such an affront.

    • Elizabeth

      Mr Sprey last night said the concert had officially sold out, with the last 75 to 100 seats to go to local charities.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 24 Nov 2011
      Elton concert: $1.5m sound system in place
      By Chris Morris
      Elton John fans swarming to Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night have been warned – prepare to be impressed. That was the message from Capital C: Concerts managing director and concert promoter Phil Sprey yesterday, as workers hoisted a $1.5 million sound system into place.
      Read more

  79. Hype O'Thermia

    Sold out, as in “someone had already bought and paid for 100 seats more than he needed” and after giving up to 25 to his extended family has now decided to give the remainder to charities. Yessssssss.
    Sold out. As flexible a term as pre-election promises, transparency for instance.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 25 Nov 2011
      You can feel the love tonight
      By Nigel Benson
      Sir Elton John jets into Dunedin today for the southern-most concert of his long career. The 64-year-old performer arrives in Dunedin by private plane late this afternoon with an entourage of 38 aboard.
      Read more

      ****

      ### ch9.co.nz November 24, 2011 – 6:18pm
      What will economic impact of the Elton John concert be?
      The Elton John concert will be the first time Dunedin experiences a music concert on such an unprecedented scale, with tourists arriving here in vast numbers. A local expert has looked at the potential economic impact the concert will have, as well as the changing visitor landscape leading in to the future.
      Video

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Fri, 25 Nov 2011
        Pop superstar gives a sell-out performance
        Pop superstar Elton John entertained a sold-out crowd at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium this evening.
        ODT Link

        • Full story in Saturday’s Otago Daily Times

        Unbelievable. Mad Max has another groupie.

        Charity tickets
        Submitted by e.rosalind on Fri, 25/11/2011 – 7:01pm.
        I work in the ticket office at Forsyth Barr stadium and I can confirm that every single ticket has been sold and none have been given to charity. [ODT Online Link]

  80. Anonymous

    On the Oddity’s Facebook page it is displaying a film from Warehouse security of a man stealing a tele. Part of that footage shows a woman leaving the store, having no part of the event except for leaving at the same time he entered. No attempt has been made to protect her identity by ODT or NZ Police. Is it appropriate for the corporate, Police and or Warehouse to use her in such a public manner without permission?

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