Stadium debt goes to 40-year term

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said he was “vehemently opposed” to repaying the debt over 40 years, because of the interest it would add to the bill, but would support it in the meantime to keep rates down. “But I see it as a short-term fix.”

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Jan 2012
Councillors spar over stadium debt
By Chris Morris
There were emotive arguments as Dunedin city councillors split into camps over the restructuring of Forsyth Barr Stadium debt repayments to a 40-year term yesterday. The move was approved by Dunedin city councillors for inclusion in the 2012-13 pre-draft annual and long-term plan yesterday, alongside a push to restructure repayments in later years to more quickly reduce the debt.
Read more

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It meant the council would be receiving the same rates as it would have from properties previously occupying the stadium site.

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Jan 2012
Backing for lowering stadium rates
By Chris Morris
Dunedin city councillors have given initial backing to a proposal to slash the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s $2 million annual rates bill. Councillors at yesterday’s pre-draft budget meetings voted in favour of resolutions that would cut the rates bill for Dunedin Venues Management Ltd – the company running the stadium – from $2 million a year to a more manageable $134,000 a year. That amounted to a 93% discount on the venue’s city council rates.
Read more

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### ODT Online Thu, 26 Jan 2012
Artificial turf stays in plan by one vote
By David Loughrey
An artificial turf, seen by Dunedin City Council staff as the future of sports fields in Dunedin, stayed in the city’s annual plan by a single vote yesterday.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

65 Comments

Filed under CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Hot air, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

65 responses to “Stadium debt goes to 40-year term

  1. Anonymous

    The 40-year term appears to have been presented as the status quo.
    And what’s this about being able to move between a 40-year term and a 20-year term at will?
    However, since this is in the Draft Annual Plan, we all get an opportunity to submit on it.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ch9.co.nz January 25, 2012 – 6:08pm
      Stadium debt sparks fiery exchanges at the DCC
      Debate was heated at times during the first session of the council’s budget meetings this morning, with stadium debt sparking fiery exchanges. The end result saw Council decide to temporarily double the time to repay debt related to the stadium.
      Video

      • Elizabeth

        Of course, Cr Brown and Athol Stephens have been talking together a good many years now, prior to council meetings that decide stadium finances. The convenient oversight of the elected Council this week doesn’t go away: the chief financial officer had already determined – without the councillors’ minuted vote on a set resolution – that the stadium term of debt should extend to 40 years. Yesterday, councillors, you ‘automatically’ ratified the deal to put it before your constituents through the AP/LTCCP consultation process. Noted. Stadium on the never-never.

        ODT Poll
        Should the stadium debt be paid off over 20 years or 40?
        53% of votes say “As soon as possible”

  2. Peter

    The above mentioned quote by Dave Cull, that introduces this thread, beggars belief. When does the ‘short term fix’ end? After election time next year? Or do we let short term… become medium… and then long term?
    Last election Dave Cull promised clear analytical thinking to deal with the city’s problems. Is this it? What he says is so contradictory. I wondered if he was trying to be funny, but unfortunately I don’t think so.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Is he an under-cover geologist? Geologists have a different view of time. Jurassic, paleolithic. This appears to be the craniolithic era.

  4. Dave M

    I’m tired of hearing claims that the cost of the stadium is comparable (relatively) to the Moana Pool project of the 1960s. Cr Brown today: ‘As Cr MacTavish has been swimming at Moana Pool, she has been doing it at previous generations’ cost’.

    It is not a good comparison. Moana Pool opened in 1964 and cost about £450,000 ($900,000) to build. Adjusted for inflation (Reserve Bank calculator) that’s about $17,000,000 in today’s money. At the time the population of Dunedin was already over 100,000.

  5. Anonymous

    Who is Cr Syd Brown working for? It is not for the best interests of the Dunedin City ratepayer. Not even for his Taieri voters. Cr Brown is chasing his 40 year agenda like nobody’s business. Why? We should wonder what stakeholders gain when the city finances collapse. That is where this is all going. They smell financial ruin and asset sales on the wind. We’ll all just collateral damage to those corrupted by greed.

    • Elizabeth

      Time to picket city hall? Blogs are so ‘secret and invisible’ to the common man, such as Sydney Brown. There’s a surname. I wonder where Stuart McLachlan is sitting with all this DCC business just now, has gone very quiet – the man that gives Dave Cull steer?

  6. Phil

    Moana Pool is also a community asset. Everyone in the city can use it, and directly benefit from the facility. Whether they choose to or not, is immaterial. The fact is that they can. Ditto for the libraries, everyone who walks through the door has the same access as everyone else. Same goes for parks and public sports fields. However, for 9 months out of 12, there are only 33 people who can stand on the playing surface of the stadium. Spot the difference ? I bet that Cr MacTavish can, even if Cr Brown can’t.

  7. Peter

    Jinty MacTavish is no fool. She has a firm bedrock of core, principled beliefs that guide her. She far outshines her other Greater Dunedin colleagues, who, at times, flip flop all over the place and become increasingly directionless as the pressures mount. At the same time she seems to be able to weigh up and reason with the issues without coming across as dogmatic. She got elected, not because she joined the Greater Dunedin ticket, but due to her own decency and integrity shining through. Greater Dunedin need her more than she needs them.

  8. Calvin Oaten

    Boy, am I enjoying this! It is exactly what I and many others have been predicting for years. Watch them all go into a funk when they realise that none of these dodges they are considering will alleviate the situation. It simply can’t be done. 20 years, 40 years or 80 years, it makes no difference to a broke establishment. Nothing solves debt except repayment of default, and they most certainly can’t repay. Face it, they aren’t even dealing with the full facts. Interest rates must vary from the historically low rates pertaining now, at some time over the 40 years. And then they are only talking about the stadium. That is some $140 to $160 million (acknowledged). What about the Town Hall, Otago Settlers, Tahuna Sewage upgrade, Carisbrook, State Highway 88, St Clair Sea Wall, etc. Forget the $140-$160 million, think about the $400 odd million, that’s the real jaw dropper. A good number of present and past councillors and staff should be behind bars.

  9. Phil

    Calvin, I don’t think that anyone seriously believes that all the councillors didn’t know about the terms of the debt repayment. Of course they did. Just because they say they didn’t, doesn’t make it true. Stadium debt has been the focal point of every full council meeting for the past year. But when it finally can’t be hidden from the media any longer, denying knowledge is worth a crack.

  10. Anonymous

    You have to remember that the “fiscal reality” presented to High Court by Dunedin City Council by the former Chief Executive painted a quite different picture. In fact it was instrumental in the judicial decision.

    That High Court decision against Stop the Stadium needs to be revisited. There are two possibilities:
    – the figures were correct and the previous Chief Executive and Council were incompetent
    – the figures were cooked up and the former Chief Executive and previous Council should be indicted

    The kicker for current Council is that they cannot evade their responsibilities. This has to go out to public consultation in the Draft Annual Plan process to extend the term to 40 years. The response should be a resounding NO. Council does not just have the option of 20 years or 40 years. If after consultation, the answer from ratepayers is “not 40 years”, and the “fiscal reality” is “not 20 years”, then Council gets dissolved and a Commissioner appointed to sort out the mess. And then the indictments happen.

  11. Russell Garbutt

    Anonymous, you are of course quite correct. However there is a third option in terms of the last Council and the last CEO. That is they were both incompetent and guilty of cooking the books. All of the evidence so far shows that this is indeed the reality.

    What is particularly galling is that while [Nick] Smith is hightailing it to the Chch CC to sort out their dysfunction, he chooses not to get involved in our mess which is equally as bad – maybe a lot worse.

    With regard to the 40 year term, it is contrary to the evidence presented to the High Court and should not be accepted by the ratepayers.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Why don’t councillors regard it as an important part of their duties to keep up with news and comment? The late Richard Walls joined in, so he could not have been unaware. Did he never mention “outsiders'” opinions and info to his fellow councillors? Did none of them ever read the submissions? A plea of ignorance at this stage won’t work.
    And who was that Cull fellow who spoke so well at the anti-stadium rally in the Town Hall? I thought at the time he appeared to be well-informed.
    I wonder what happened to him.

    • Elizabeth

      Athol’s fiction in the attempt to cover tail.

      ### ODT Online Fri, 27 Jan 2012
      Fiscal reality drove loan term
      By David Loughrey
      The reality of the council’s financial situation, rather than a decision by either the council or council staff, was behind the repayment period for stadium debt extending from 20 to 40 years, council finance and corporate support general manager Athol Stephens says. The issue emerged this week at annual plan hearings and prompted angry arguments between councillors, and surprise from some who were not aware the 40-year term was already in place.

      It was…agreed the draft budget would mention two options for reducing the loan timetable, by adding either $1 million annually in rates-funded debt repayments, or the $1.9 million a year needed to return the loan term to 20 years. That would see the average ratepayer paying another $13 a year for the extra $1 million, or another $26 a year to reinstate the 20-year loan term.

      Read more

  13. Rob Hamlin

    ‘Fiscal reality’ of course is determined by the lens you look through. Late last year I sat through the publicly accessible parts of a Finance and Strategy Committee Meeting in its interminable entirety as one Council officer after another fronted up and told the Council what was being done (had been done) on their behalf. I did this to see just exactly how much ‘governance’ the Council and its committees actually got up to. I was illuminated. The only people who actively participated and tried to ‘govern’ were the trio that you would expect. As for the others, well – we might as well have been represented by a row of cauliflowers.

    The four hours was made more worthwhile by one further specific exchange. The meeting discussed the recently revealed shortfall in DCHL dividends from their forecasted level. One issue that this raised was that the forecasted dividend figures were still to be used as the basis of figures to be presented by the DCC to the auditor – even though formal notice had now been given by DCHL that these dividends could not now be delivered. This clearly meant that these figures were known to be incorrect.

    Cr Vandervis then very clearly and very carefully (and very politely) asked Mr Stephens if he had any issues with forwarding figures to the Auditor that were known to be incorrect. Stephens’ one word answer was ‘No’.

    As I said at the begining ‘reality’, commercial or otherwise, can be seriously distorted by the lens that you are given to look through.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    He’s skipping the pages of adverts for bedding,
    Throws out the supplement Planning Your Wedding.

    Speeding and murders and crashes and bashes,
    Once over lightly political hashes,
    Photos of girls out in groups smiling brightly,
    Local mismanagement fairy-kissed lightly.

    He wants insightful research for the kernel of
    Truth in the spin, winkled out by a journalist
    Not a girl’s blouse but a smart one, a rigorous,
    Passionate truth-teller honest and vigorous.

    Don’t rock the boat is the point of the exercise
    Never upset anyone who might advertise
    “I see,” he cries. “It’s not news, it’s commodity!”
    Christopher Robin is reading the Oddity.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    Rob, isn’t that (“forwarding figures to the Auditor that were known to be incorrect”) fraud or something? If it was legal wouldn’t we all be doing it?!

    • Elizabeth

      The ratepayers of Dunedin are well past needing the services of, say, an investigative journalist to thread together the historic (and present) web of dealings and decisions that implicate and typify the out of control local authority.
      While the members of Greater Dunedin are said to be doing good work to ‘clean up’ a few council domestics, behind scenes, it’s not acceptable to find that mission is running under the radar with its own conflicts of interest on the rise and, on the part of one councillor in particular, with recourse to the clueless art of self-aggrandisement.
      Ratepayers require learned legal representation. Anywhere else this would have been in ‘evidence’, already. Never too late.

  16. amanda kennedy

    Also DaveM, Moana pool is used every single day by hundreds of people. The stadium a ‘community asset? To a fiscally challenged person perhaps – the stadium has a few events that can’t pay for the daily unkeep of, let alone create any profit. Cr Brown is a fiscal nincompoop. He would not know a fiscally sound community asset if it bit him in the proverbial.

  17. Calvin Oaten

    Phil, just because the full council sits and debates and considers matters of moment doesn’t mean that the information penetrates enough to excite some synapses. In most instances it falls abysmally short; result, it all flows gently on and no-one seems even aware until it jumps out at them. As it is doing now. So denial is the body’s natural defence, and we are seeing it now in spades. Interesting study here for a PhD student in human psychology.

  18. Russell Garbutt

    Calvin, there are many of the existing Councillors that wouldn’t recognise information if it rose up and struck them between the eyes. Honestly, would you describe someone like Neil Collins as financially astute? He has an equivalent in Chch called Barry Corbett who is reported as saying that he didn’t even look at or understand the numbers when the Chch CEO’s salary was discussed. Both characters elected because their names are always in the forefront and they both make sure that this is the case. Or how about Bill Acklin? Someone who gives beginner drums lessons. Not the sort of background to make quality governance issues I’d suggest.

    Then the different class – Hudson and Brown. What do you imagine that they are on Council for? Serving the community? Roll on Tui.

    No, this whole thing is a mess, but largely the nincompoops are there because we put them there. Despite the warnings, people seemed to think that this lot could be trusted to be able to govern. Well now it is clear that they weren’t and there aren’t too many there that can do so. Yes, there are some there who, in my assessment at least, are worthy, honourable and decent. But they are few and far between and far outnumbered by fools.

  19. Community board leaders from Saddle Hill, Mosgiel Taieri and Waikouaiti voiced their frustration with the annual planning process in The Star due to projects being deferred. Each group – or the Allied Press paper – overlooking that stadium councillors Syd Brown and Andrew Noone created the situation that contributed to their shared problem. It is time for these wards to wake up and address the root cause of the financial problem – ensuring their constituents do not return these stadium councillors to power once again at the next election.

  20. amanda kennedy

    The media had a lot to do with why they are there. None of the stadium councillors (except Chin, Guest and Walls) reminded voters of their stadium stance, and the media did not bother to either; still isn’t. A lot of people barely follow national politics until a week before election, so locally it often goes under the radar. People have had a hard lesson in Dunedin though, let the politicians run the show called democracy at our peril.

  21. Anonymous

    Have you noticed how much DCC advertising there is in the Allied Press daily, ODT and its other publications? Some of it important notifications but most of it space fillers such as the infamous ‘parking tips’ and ‘chicken’ ads or worse ‘The DCC wishes to thank ‘. We pay for that. I notice too Paul Orders continues to permit these so his claims to saving money are a bit contradictory over what should be a simple to reduce this spending.

    Several ads in every publication throughout the year must be an enormous amount of ratepayer funds given to Allied Press. Would the company be viable without that now? I used to think Julian was a “key stakeholder” around the council table but now I think interests within the DCC have the paper where it is wanted.

  22. Anonymous

    I have tracked down the source of the confusion.
    The ORFU annual plan submission reads:
    “”… It has been argued the Union will not be contributing to the cost of the new stadium. This is false. The Union, subject to satisfactory arrangements with the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, will be transferring ownership of Carisbrook to the trust. This represents a book value of $18,650,095, made up of land $418,000, buildings $13,244,098 and hospitality suites to the value of $4,987,997.”

    It is a mere typo.
    If you read it as “This is false: the Union…” it all makes perfect sense.

    • Elizabeth

      In the past five years, the Otago union has racked up losses totalling just under $4 million. Much of that consists of paper losses, but they still sit on the account books.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 28 Jan 2012
      Sport
      Rugby: ORFU continues to battle financial blues
      By Steve Hepburn
      As the Otago Rugby Football Union continues to struggle to balance its books, rugby writer Steve Hepburn looks at how it got there and finds it is not alone. As soon as it went professional in 1996, rugby was said to be a business. Actually, it was a business long before then, but the new era ushered in players being paid above the table. And what is the first rule of business? Costs must be matched by revenue. What you pay out you must get back in. But in the past 15 years, that is what the Otago Rugby Football Union – like most rugby unions in this country – has not managed to do.
      Read more

      Technically, the union [ORFU] is insolvent, although that has arguably been the case for a decade as loans have been rolled over.

      ORFU – The losses (via ODT)
      • 2006: $1.14 million
      • 2007: $1.5 million
      • 2008: $467,000
      • 2009: $764,000
      • 2010: $56,000
      • 2011: ???

  23. Mike

    A large part of the ORFU’s financial problems can be put down to the discontinuity between their bogus book valuation of Carisbrook and its real worth (less than the $6m the city paid).

  24. Mike

    So long as the bank believed the fiction that Carisbrook was worth what the ORFU’s books claimed was (or at least pretended to) they weren’t really insolvent – unless the bank called the loan and the tower of cards would come down.

    The problem comes when at the ORFU’s urging Farry builds another stadium – suddenly Carisbrook is worth nothing as a venue – the ORFU’s asset that their loans are backed by is worthless – whoever gets to call their loan last loses. You can see why the DCC probably had to do something; if the BNZ called first the DCC might lose their two million.

  25. Mike

    (this is very much a case of sometimes you should be careful, you might get what you wish for – I think that both the DCC and the ORFU didn’t really think through the financial consequences to the OFRU and its debts of building the stadium and were probably surprised when someone figured it out – they would have been far better off upgrading Carisbrook)

  26. Russell Garbutt

    Mike, your posts raise an interesting question with regard to the BNZ.

    Why would the bank continue to advance funds to the ORFU when they could see at a glance that their surety was vanishing before their eyes? Carisbrook was only theoretically worth the “value” that the ORFU placed upon it, if it continued as a rugby venue. As soon as the concept was raised that Carisbrook would not continue as a rugby ground then the total value dropped to bare land value as the DCC had already indicated that it saw the land use as industrial – and they control the zoning.

    Maybe someone in the local BNZ should be getting a little nervous at this point regarding the quality of their decisions to continue to bail out the ORFU when the ORFU is patently unable to realise what it owes.

    Hmmm – if I was a BNZ customer I think I’d be asking some questions of my bank and trying to find out if the people that made those loan decisions had any reasons to act as they did.

  27. Calvin Oaten

    Mike and Russell,
    BNZ probably got embroiled in the ORFU debt fiasco back in the ‘Eighties’ when there was a great deal of economic “hubris”. This was about the time when the ORFU had their big spend-up on Carisbrook. Truth be known, the DCC got involved around the same time. The drivers at the ORFU at the time were John Dowling and Bill Auld (a city councillor). The Otago team was a winning combo with a huge public following. BNZ hit the ropes along with many others in the post 1987 crash and Jim Bolger’s taxpayers bailed out the BNZ and then sold it off for peanuts. The managers who hooked the bank into the ORFU would by then be long gone. Mayor Richard Walls was a rugby stalwart so council would have been enthusiastic for the cause as well. It all goes back to the ‘cosy’ days. As we all know, it would have muddled on off the main radar until some dopey b—–ds decided that rugby should go professional, and it has been all downhill since. Aided and abetted by dopey people like Farry, Chin, Harland and co. Now being perpetuated by the need to somehow get around the huge financial bog without being implicated. In a word, a “DISASTER” which quite simply won’t go away.

  28. Mike

    I think that the BNZ probably felt stuck too, there’s a stupidly large amount of bad publicity in being the bank that called in the receivers on the local rugby union. But at some point they would have been forced to. So long as they could look at the fiction that that their loans were backed by an asset of enough value they could keep telling themselves they were OK.

    Remember after the Carisbrook sale the DCC signed up to back the ORFU’s bridging loan (without Carisbrook to back it the ORFU had a problem). I think that ran out when the lease ended (did it, how can we tell??), which is probably the real reason why the ORFU suddenly has to live within its means, something it’s been able to avoid for the past couple of decades.

  29. Russell Garbutt

    Calvin, your background sets out another compelling reason for a full, forensic, financial investigation into all aspects of DCC and all its associated companies and entitites.

    Until this happens there will always be room for those with a will to wiggle.

    There is no doubt that professional rugby has stuffed the amateur game – which I support by the way – but until the people who currently run the business, who have had many years of running at immovable objects with their heads, can be replaced by people who actually understand a balance sheet and can accept that the wider community has no part in subsidising their ineptitude and folly, then it will remain the same.

    At the root of this is the absolute necessity to get rid of people like Brown, Noone, Acklin, Collins, Bezett and co who have clearly demonstrated either ineptitude, stupidity or connivance.

  30. Anonymous

    It must be awkward in the newsroom of the ODT, expected to pretend this information does not exist on its own forums or in very public places, while wondering how long your sub editors, chief, editor and the owners can afford to do the same.

  31. Calvin Oaten

    The Sunday Star Times article pretty much endorses all of our conjectures. The big question of course, is why are we not reading all this in the ODT? And why has it not been covered continuously over the years instead of now, when frankly it is far too late. If it had been, and our dopey mayors and councillors were able to assimilate the facts (big ask) they might not have suckered the citizens so completely. A monumental mess, totally laid at the feet of just a very few awful people. The sad bit is that they move on, unconcerned and earnestly believing that they are good people.

  32. Peter

    If the NZRFU had any sense they’d let the ORFU sink, wind it up and combine whatever resources they have left with another union. No-one could accuse these boys of being Einsteins. Too many head injuries, I suspect, for the old fellas that run the show from their glory days on the field.

  33. Russell Garbutt

    “If the NZRU had any sense” is not possible. From head to toe this organisation is riddled with the same sort of mental giants present in the ORFU and their sycophantic supporters in the DCC, the ORC and the CTO.

    The NZRU have just put on a fleeting tournament of a minorty sport in world terms and arrived at a $40m loss for doing so. A really good business decision isn’t it?

    However I agree, the ORFU and the Highlanders should be wound up and if push comes to shove, then it is really the big decision on what to do with the stadium. If it makes sense to mothball it, demolish it and keep Carisbrook, then so be it. But we can’t trust or rely on the stadium Councillors to make any wise decisions any time soon can we?

  34. Hype O'Thermia

    They are all ruled by sentiment. Loyalty is good, but has to be in accord with reality, e.g. loyalty to a partner who is abusing your kids is SO wrong. Loyalty to a rugby team ahead of the ratepayers who elected and pay them is wrong, for council. Living in the past and dreaming it will come back “next week/year” if only they keep on doing what they’ve kept on doing, is like the build it and they will come way of thinking. It’s time to drop the sentimental, wishful-thinking patterns and get with the program – don’t spend what you can’t afford, lose the career-beneficiary sense of entitlement to free money, man up – harden up – and make the decisions that intelligent mature people would have been making all along.

  35. Peter

    Their sentiment is selective, of course. The ‘good ol’ ‘Brook’, which generations went to, was sent to the knackers because it was ‘old and tired’ (despite the millions spent on it the previous 10-15 years). I had to laugh when they airlifted, by helicopter, a bit of Carisbrook turf and placed it in the new stadium. Such a corny bit of sentimentality, a pathetic sop to the feelings of others, but totally meaningless as far as symbolism goes. The stadium proponents couldn’t wait to get their hands on the loot. Carisbrook stood in the way.

  36. Mike

    And after paying for that helicopter (who paid? CST?) the turf seems to have been lost.

  37. Peter

    They have probably already forgotten where they interred it!

    • Elizabeth

      The worry is Dunedinites have fairly well sloped off from reacting to the previous weeks’ DCC circus in the ODT print edition as regards the council debt, ORFU’s debt, [ratepayers’ debt], DCHL’s impasse, Farry’s frigging bad job, Paul Hudson continuing in the role of councillor, Cull’s dissembling, add more items… – it’s as if the general (thinking) public has no idea what a crud Dunedin City Council has done / is doing, or how to demand necks of the perpetrators.
      This is a serious failing, in a town with lawyers and chartered accountants to burn. Do the capable ethical professions not campaign anymore except to look after the treatment and research of brain cells. I would have thought DCC was fearsomely ripe for this exact kind of forensic dissection, by a little clubbing together for the public good.
      Can anybody hear? Is a cheque required first? Do they love Anderson Lloyd too much?
      This day has turned rhetorical.

  38. Anonymous

    It’s probably planted in the toilet of the corporate stakeholders club where they wipe their feet on it after pissing in that notorious bucket. They’re not finished gutting Dunedin by a long shot. There are millions still to be scammed from the Dunedin City ratepayer. These evil bastards will be working on stealing the next pile of ratepayer loot: Asset sales. And the devious bastards and snack-eaters still left in council will vote on the changes required to make it happen. The media will look the other way again and write about seagull poop. Today’s villains hide in the grey area and wield a frightening weapon called due process to destroy in the name of greed.

  39. Anonymous

    A still loyal subscriber of the ODT actually fell for that heading “Surprise over stadium debt repayment”. It is taking New Zealanders a while to wake up and smell the lillies. New Zealand is being taken to the cleaners by fat neck corporate bastards standing behind national politicians and local councillors.

  40. Mike

    Yes I think it was that letter that reminded me – it bears repeating because it shows that someone used the ratepayers’ money to hire a helicopter to perform a totally meaningless act

  41. Anonymous

    “The rates have gone up so much we’re flying around in helicopters now… we could have put it in a taxi but we’ve chosen a helicopter.”

    Dunedin – Carisbrook – Final Moments – All Blacks vs Wales

  42. Peter

    Helicopters are very effective for spiriting away despots and criminals, whenever the shit hits the fan. Could come in handy again…… for certain individuals…if you get my drift.

  43. Anonymous

    We should do this. We certainly have a sports team in which any investment would have no value.
    http://www.sportsrageous.com/packers-offer-shares-without-benefits-01-14-2012

  44. pat adamson

    A loyal subscriber to the ODT. Well I get the ODT and I wonder why this last month. There has been plenty going on but much is not Reported. Sunday’s Sunday Star Times had numerous articles well researched and reported, both political and sport items well researched. Even Dunedin’s Rugby worries and mismanagement well covered. But barely a mention in our own paper. Have they all gone on Holiday or been given directions not to cover certain items. A Newspaper is supposed to give both sides of a story but we don’t get it here. Take Dear Mr Farry as an example of that, they censored letters that put the other side without even saying it was a controversial honour. Unfortunately we are a one daily paper city now so there is no competition now.

  45. Peter

    Pat. At least Farry didn’t get a knighthood – something he would have dearly loved. I wonder if the ‘powers that be’ realised that was a step too far, knowing he is a much reviled person in our community. Some sycophant has nominated him and, with the danger of toys being thrown out of the cot, felt they had to give him something like whatever he got (already forgotten). That way he couldn’t complain about not getting the ultimate honour of a knighthood as that would look too crass…. even for him.
    I’m sure there will be embarrassment, further down the track, that he even got any honour.
    The British Honours system is an embarrassment for a supposedly independent country and doesn’t have any credence as far as I’m concerned. Especially with some of the people they have made Knights and Dames.
    By the way, I think it is rather naff to put your CV online.
    I agree, Pat, the ODT needs to really challenge Farry to show their true independence.

  46. Mike

    Yes but at some point there will be an investiture which will be a great place and time to make a point (unless he scuttles off to Wellington)

    • Elizabeth

      Ah Wellington, home of RNZ National and radio journalists that aren’t scared to ask for ‘other views’.

      • Elizabeth

        “The amateur game here is breaking about even and that is something where you always want to throw more money at.” -Jeremy Curragh

        ### ODT Online Tue, 31 Jan 2012
        Troubleshooter looking to make profit at ORFU
        By Steve Hepburn
        Jeremy Curragh says the Otago Rugby Football Union needs to raise revenue and get the professional side of the game to turn a profit. Curragh has been brought in by the New Zealand Rugby Union and the ORFU as a change manager to help the union out of a financial hole, and set a viable path for the future.
        Read more

  47. Hype O'Thermia

    There must be some Dunedin people in Wellington, visiting at the time or currently working there………

  48. Hype O'Thermia

    Life in Big Cities is full of dangers. Either you vanish into anonymity in the uncaring masses or you attract the scrutiny of people who don’t really care who your besties are back in Banjo-ville.

  49. Mike

    ‘big’ is relative we figured the hoons driving up and down George St at the weekend were probably from Milton

  50. Anonymous

    They gave a knighthood to a rugby head? That’s as much a farce as giving one to a man for just being a wealthy businessman. Something this government has been quick to re-establish and reward those who tow the party line. To follow an example set by Gordon Tietjens, the prime minister John Key has clearly overindulged and subsequently him and all of his arrogant ministers should go without “ice-cream after dinner” until the next election.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sevens/8747868/Super-coach-Tietjens-honoured-with-knighthood

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