Dishonourable mention

Enough said. Of charlatans and rogues, a figurehead.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under People, Politics, Stadiums

51 responses to “Dishonourable mention

  1. Russell Garbutt

    Just loved the quote – “and last, but not least, the ratepayers of Dunedin”.

    Of course the ratepayers have, through the DCC, DCHL, the ORC, the CTO and continued rate increases, made this stadium possible. It seems that as long as you can continue to steal the common from the goose, you will continue to be rewarded.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    So many rorted ratepayers, so much nausea. This beats dodgy chicken salad any day.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    Russell, “and last, but not least, the ratepayers of Dunedin.” In Malcolm’s ‘double speak’ it really means “as fall guys for the missing Private Funding”. A medal for the ‘greatest confidence trick ever perpetrated on the citizens of Dunedin.’ He would be miffed all the same, that it wasn’t a knighthood.

  4. Mike

    It’s OK – none of us would have been calling him “Sir” anyway, there are so many more appropriate adjectives

  5. Calvin Oaten

    It seems timely to revisit Rob Hamlin’s excellent exposure of the ‘tricksters’ plotting to clasp the rugby institution to the bosom of the DCC.

    Online Edition | Saturday, 31 December 2011 | 10:55:03
    Home » Opinion » Your Say
    Highlanders – the devil in the detail
    By Rob Hamlin on Sat, 3 Dec 2011
    I think that we can take it as a given that this particular rugby piglet is about to attach itself to the DVML ‘tit’ alongside its ORFU sister.
    • To read the story Rob Hamlin is referring to click here
    Earlier in my career I spent several years as manager of the pig research unit at the University of Oxford. This clearly showed me that the welfare of the piglets was very much dependent upon how you fed the sow. So, the devil of this arrangement depends entirely upon the ongoing dietary requirements of the DVML ‘sow’ and how these are going to be satisfied by the ratepayer. For let there be no doubt about it, there is not and never will be any net income coming from this company as it is currently constituted. Thus any additional losses incurred by the parasitic requirements of the Highlanders and ORFU will one way or another be funded by the ratepayers of this City.
    Read more

    {Moderated. What if? is prevented from publishing an ODT opinion piece of this length in full – see link supplied, or refer to the earlier thread. -Eds}

  6. Mike

    Oh dear – apparently too many people wanted to have their say about Malcom …. the ODT has disabled comments … you can still have your say about Ralph or Ian or …… funny that, must have touched a nerve

  7. Mike

    I wonder when the investiture ceremony will be – maybe we can arrange for a number of small children to show up and comment on the nakedness of the emperor …

  8. Rob Hamlin

    I was looking forward to this year’s honours list, to see what baubles the various associated bods got, now that the community cash related to this particular edifice has irrecoverably gone to destinations various and well heeled around the country. As a result of repeated frustrations, many of us who actively opposed the stadium project eventually came to the conclusion that, even though it was 95% powered by local govenment money, it received both support and active protection right from the very top of central government, both directly, and via its various agencies throughout the process.

    Whether this assistance was given on Central Government’s own intiative or as a result of effective ‘networking’ by local interests remains unknown, but this year’s list, conferring a national honour upon the figurehead of a local and supposedly ‘commercial’ building project, which also does not even seem to be performing remotely to the commercial specifications upon which it was ‘sold’ by said figurehead does lend support to the earlier conclusions drawn about the role of Central Government in the Stadium’s creation.

    I personally like the reference to all the other charitable stuff. All this other stuff stopped in 2008. If these other good things were the major reason, why not confer the bauble then? Note the accompanying mugshot photo – the background looks like Lake Wakatipu – which area appears to be the real seat of Dunedin’s government these days.

    I think we can also assume that whichever group gets to sort out the fiscal mess that the Stadium and its ‘humble’ acolyte have left behind it will remain a firmly bauble free zone. Unless of course it involves privatising the City’s water supply – in which case knighthoods all round I would think, whether or not the fiscal mess gets sorted out in the process. This appears to be the way the World works these days – watch this space.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Mike…. children waving condoms and singing
    “The prick is in the altogether, the altogether, the altogether,
    He’s still a little tit-sucker like he was when he was born
    He’s altogether, yes altogether, undoubtedly he’s altogether
    The suckiest prick whose gross deceits have mortgaged kids unborn.”

  10. pat adamson

    What a shambles this Honours list is, a mixture of people who deserve it and some who drag the whole system down. It is now time to abandon it. If they can’t vet the people properly it should go. Fancy giving an honour so called to a person who intimated it would cost the ratepayer very little and now many people already struggling are getting large rate increases at a time when the cost of living is going up as well. What they told us isn’t true and the City is nearly bankrupt with the debt involved. An Honour ! a pitchfork would be better.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    This comes from the Occupy Dunedin Facebook page To me it indicates a feeling that Humble Malc has a disproportionate amount of “say” in Dunedin.

    Occupy Dunedin: Some of our visitors distinctly said to us “Mr Farry wont let you stay here for long” lol.

    • Elizabeth

      It’s not often that daily views at a thread exceed views received at the Home page. Congratulations to everyone commenting here!

  12. Peter

    I’m not surprised the ODT Online editor has disabled comments on Malcolm as it was not hard for him to for see the bile that would eventuate and make even an online editor blush. I couldn’t possibly make truthful and impassioned comments of my own about the gentleman as there are just some things that are best not written down, especially on a public blog site.
    It always makes me laugh with the usual cliches – even acknowledged by Malcolm – about being ‘humbled’ to receive an honour such as a knighthood – or some lesser honour in his case. Also how accepting the honour is ‘for others’ and a recognition of the contribution of work done by others. Even more hilarious is the likes of Graham Henry, and many others, when they insist they are still the ‘same old person’ and just call me Ted, or whatever. Bull. They are stoked and love the status.
    You can bet Malcolm, if it had happened, would have loved looking at himself in the bathroom mirror, mouthing SIR Malcolm Farry, as he splashed on the aftershave.
    I think a knighthood for Malcolm was just a step too far for the powers that be. (Even though they are sometimes granted to the most questionable candidates.) They know he is a polarising figure – though, anecdotally, I understand there is a commonality of feeling about him from many sides in this town.

  13. Anonymous

    It is quite telling that he didn’t get a knighthood. For all they like the profile, the Old Boys are decidedly small fry. Also nothing for Chin (“three terms makes a gong”).

    • Elizabeth


      1.56 Any person may make a nomination for an honour by completing the appropriate nomination form or by writing to either the Prime Minister or the Honours Secretariat. A Cabinet committee chaired by the Prime Minister considers all nominations for the regular honours lists, based on a consolidated list of nominations prepared by the Honours Secretariat.

      1.57 Nominations for a Queen’s Birthday honours list should reach the Honours Secretariat no later than 1 February and, for a New Year honours list, no later than 1 August.

      1.58 Further information about the process for nominating someone for an award can be found on the Honours Secretariat’s website,

      Nominations may be made by any person or persons by completing a nomination form (introduced in 1996) or by writing to the Prime Minister. Nomination forms and information on the honours system are available from the Honours Unit, Members of Parliament and Electorate Offices. (A separate form is available for bravery awards).

      Selection of Nominations
      Twice a year the Prime Minister, with the assistance of a Cabinet Committee of Ministers studies all nominations received and from which a selection or shortlist is made for submission to The Queen. The number of nominations received always exceeds the number of honours available and it is inevitable that recognition will not immediately be given to all nominees for honours.

      With the exception of New Zealand Defence Force personnel, all nominees on the shortlist are asked by the Official Secretary to the Governor-General, whether the proposal to include their name in an honours list is acceptable before The Queen formally approves an honour.

      By long-standing convention, the source of nominations received by the Prime Minister is not disclosed.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    Shouldn’t there be nominations for Bev Butler and Lee Vandervis, among others, for services towards valiantly trying to stop Dunedin going bankrupt?

  15. Mike

    Hype: what a brilliant end run around the ODT’s censorship!

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    One does one’s best :)

  17. pat adamson

    Well the ODT has truly showed it’s BIAS ! No letters to the Editor against the award to Mr Farry are published. Now one in favour after all this time, are they now going to publish the others? No of course not, many of us have questioned at times the impartiality of the ODT but it is as clear as day now. A sad day for the reputation of our Press.

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    Pat, you did note that no responses AT ALL were permitted in the online Comments, didn’t you? They can’t have had faith that ~any~ in favour would be sent in!

  19. Mike

    They were originally turned on, I carefully listed a number of reasons why honouring him was inappropriate and suggested that he get around to following through with his promised private fundraising, especially since he’d now been honoured for it. I doubt I was the only one who commented.

  20. Hype O'Thermia

    Astonishing! MikeStk today: “…readers are encouraged to look at similar threads where public expression has been banned.” See Is there a bit of internal conflict going on in that office at the corner of Stuart and Cumberland Streets regarding ethics and favouritism in the media?

    • Elizabeth

      Quite frankly, I doubt Ian Taylor merits an honour either. I don’t believe in the public honours system. Any bias which ODT displays is simply a continuation of the bad politics that surround such a system. Everybody knows Farry has been a very poor and disingenious communicator for the stadium project, nothing can take away his lies, deceptions and arrogant disregard for the general public and ratepayers of Dunedin and Otago. He had the audacity to accept the honour. He is less than credible and certainly not humble.

  21. Mike

    Different people different sensibilities – I’ve long assumed that more than one person handles the website postings (they do publish 6 days a week after all) – on the other hand I often have things I write held on a slush pile for a couple of days before they see the light of day – I’ve always assumed in that case they wete punted to a higher authority.

    Mind, we’re a bit like the blind men and the elephant who knows what really goes on.

  22. Hype O'Thermia

    Ian Taylor – in fact almost anyone – deserves an honour while the honour system exists. I favour it because there is something unbalanced about a society in which its (caught) villains are punished and their reputations (mostly, esp if not sportsmen) deservedly publicly blackened, but those who do good are not given equivalent public acclaim. The grounds for choosing those to honour are dodgy but in principle I think it’s a Good Thing.

    By commenting on Mr Taylor I was able to point out to anyone who could pick up the hint, the block on comments on Mr Farry’s inclusion in the New Year honours list. I was somewhat surprised that my comment wasn’t abridged, and even more surprised to see MikeStk’s nudge to other readers get through.

    • Elizabeth

      Through other reporting, news and features across all media, we do get to see who is leading their field with excellence and or doing outstanding work for their community, organisation or charity. Or we are so much a part of our communities that we know them well, and applaud and support their efforts in other meaningful ways — such that their outstanding good works could never ever be confused with what amounts to theft from the ratepayers, residents and charitable funding entities, by corporate deceit and manipulation. Capital F.

      • Elizabeth

        I’ve written to the Editor of the Otago Daily Times noting “this is a controversial bestowal of a public honour”. I’ve also stated it is “disappointing that a public honour is not able to be debated openly where it may be seen to be questionable or unjust, in the pages of the Otago Daily Times”.

        My next letter will be to the Prime Minister’s office, with rather more detail – where no doubt it will be binned. Nevertheless it will go on the record, at this end.

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    When you write to the PM, Elizabeth, you will of course cc it to leaders of all the other parties won’t you, one of whom may decide that it’s a handy stick with which to beat or stir.

    • Elizabeth

      The one letter to the editor praising M. Farry (ODT 2.1.12, page 12) — “Reading about Mr Farry’s commitment to many organisations in Dunedin it is a richly deserved honour. People of his calibre and dedication are seldom recognised…” The letter writer, Suzanne M.J. Kallil, Brighton, has a verve not unlike that of the rapacious ORFU, or indeed over half of the Dunedin City councillors. Thank heavens not all citizens are this screwy. There’s really no excuse for pig ignorance at this stage of the game.

      {Corrected. Mispelling due to no reading glasses, a cataract, and posting by mobile with predictive text, haha. Your choice. So sue me now.}

  24. Peter

    The spelling of the surname is actually Kallil. Not Kahill. An understandable mistake for unusual surnames. Try spelling my surname without checking the spelling beforehand!
    The surname is, I understand, Lebanese in origin. A very loyal letter.

  25. Hype O'Thermia

    The name is Kallil, another of Dunedin’s old-established Lebanese names. Google came up with this:
    1. The Lebanese – Middle Eastern peoples – Te Ara Encyclopedia of …
    The mountain village where many of Dunedin’s Lebanese originated is Bsharri (Bcharré). … Arriving in New Zealand, the Lebanese quickly found opportunities to hawk … In Otago and Southland the name of Farry, which became associated with … For many years Halim Kallil would sate the Dunedin community’s thirst. …

  26. Peter

    Hawking – whether it is a bit of old crud or a stadium concept – is much the same skill set in my book.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    Not really. Sure, they have to be able to do a good sales pitch, but these old-timers were here to stay. They had to earn a reputation to overcome the prejudice that existed towards them : “Sky-poos” (Jews) for some reason. I don’t think there was distinction drawn between different peoples from the Middle East, Jews or Christians e.g. Maronites (Catholic), Antiochian (Eastern Orthodox) and Melkites (Greek Catholics), they were all the same to the predominantly Scots and English settlers and being obviously foreign were obviously inferior. As Flanders and Swan put it satirically much later – “The English, the English, the English are best, so up with the English and down with the rest.”

    • Elizabeth

      This is not a blog against ethnicities. Anyone who can write a letter to the editor and have it published is able to read the other news that indicates the funding issues tied to the stadium project and which DCC is unlikely to recover from anytime soon.

  28. Peter

    Not so much ‘against ethnicities’, but a recognition of a common loyalty that may explain the tenor of the letter as reported by you, Elizabeth.

  29. Hype O'Thermia

    Shouldn’t, after all it’s in the same category as saying “s/he is on the same tennis club committee” i.e. can be expected to be supported out of loyalty, without necessarily being as alert to the facts as another person might be.

  30. Hype O'Thermia

    SupportIVE, not supportED.

  31. Mike

    yeah, I’m all thumbs – and sometimes the bottom line of what I type is lost not visible when I type on this website

  32. Hype O'Thermia

    In my case it was plain old-fashioned carelessness :)

  33. Russell Garbutt

    In light of the actions of the ODT in not allowing any critical comment of the recent New Year’s Honours list, I submitted the following letter for publication 3 days ago which I think is fairly self-explanatory. I received an email today saying that my comments have been noted but the letter has not been selected for publication. So the ODT policy remains a mystery.

    “The Editor
    Otago Daily Times

    Dear Sir

    Could the Editor explain the ODT policy on either letters to the printed edition or comments on the on-line edition of the Otago Daily Times in respect of the recent New Year Honours? It seems that while even Mr Malcolm Farry acknowledges the continued heavy criticism by a significant number of ratepayers of the way in which the Awatea Street rugby stadium project came about and is financed, the ODT chooses to publish only lauditory comments accompanied by photographic reference to Mr Farry while critical comments remain unpublished. I’m sure that readers would be appreciative of knowing exactly what the ODT policy is.

    Russell Garbutt”

  34. Hype O'Thermia

    Some people might contemplate re-phrasing it and submitting it as a letter to DScene……..

  35. Peter

    I suspect, Russell, they wanted to save themselves the hassle of Malcolm berating them for allowing comments that are ‘personal’. He can dish such comments out himself but it is another thing for anyone to disparage the Messiah. We know he is really sensitive to criticism and feels we are just all so ungrateful for not worshipping him and all his good works – to the point where he stated in the ODT stadium article recently that he wondered if he wanted to stay in Dunedin. Thankfully he got over this hurt feeling and has decided to stay.

  36. Russell Garbutt

    If you would like to feel really ill, I suggest that you have a listen to the vomit-inducing, fawning, sycophantic interview between Peter Montgomery on Newstalk ZB at about 8.20 this morning with St Malcolm of St Clair. Apparently all those that opposed the stadium and still oppose it are “bitter and twisted” amongst other things. St Malcolm was being interviewed as the main person that could save the rain-affected tennis tournaments etc etc. It all got too much for me so I didn’t bother to wait for the boot-licking conclusion. If only we had decent reporters who get under the hype and BS and bother to find out what the actual facts are. And if only we had a Council willing to cooperate in a full financial investigation.

    {Awaiting the link to Newstalk ZB On Demand (audio). -Eds}

  37. Anonymous

    There is quite a bit of fawning for the stadium on several radio stations. This seems to have started around August. I suspect it is paid, suggestive marketing although like most corporate campaigns today is still obvious and empty. No doubt more tens or hundreds of thousands are dropped into the black hole of DCHL, CST, DVML, DVL… {insert other organisations as required to hide and confuse the truth} marketing campaigns. It should be criminal how easy this council spends other people’s money.

  38. Anonymous

    Elizabeth and Russell, have you received a response from the ODT editor Murray Kirkness or the Prime Minister’s office? As for disabling posts on the story, it is still regarded as an unusual decision by the ODT which is known for its moderation style appearing to favour certain individuals (who can forget the Mikey years?) It is still suggestive of how severe the reaction must have been.

    • Elizabeth

      Nothing from ODT to me. Unfortunately, letter to PM & Co was curtailed by hospital events I was caught up in :( Never too late though – thanks for the reminder, Anonymous, I will get a letter out this week.

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