Wednesday: Meetings of Council and FSD Committee, read DEBT

UPDATED 16.3.12

The week when everything blows. Tens and tens of millions of dollars lost like so many fluttering autumn leaves. Councillors, the worst of times. You are liable for wrath and accountable for so much more.

Comment received.

BlueBottle
Submitted on 2012/03/14 at 12:19 am

Tomorrow (Wednesday) there are meetings of Council and the FSD. The Council meeting is the one that was postponed from Friday because the draft long term plan failed its audit. It is still not good enough and should not be approved.

The meeting starts off with a secret session to decide how generous the ratepayers will be towards the ORFU. The terms “bail-out” and “blood-sucking leeches” definitely won’t be mentioned in the press release.

The new draft long term plan tells us that there is a report to be presented to a committee about the governance arrangements of DVL and DVML (see LTP page 5).

It turns out that negotiations to sign the stadium “venue hire agreements with major event owners” have failed, but we are told the LTP is written as if the agreements are signed.

The Private Sector Funding is now called (p5) Private Sector Debt. It isn’t “private” but it is “debt”, so that’s an improvement. Thanks to Audit NZ for that.

How they voted
After eight hours of deliberation and with no changes to the ORFU bail-out package put before them, Dunedin City councillors voted in this way:

Aye: Cull, Bezett, Collins, Hudson, Staynes, Thomson, Brown, Noone (8)

No: Butcher, MacTavish, Stevenson, Vandervis, Wilson (5)

Apologies: Acklin, Weatherall (both say they would have supported the package)

(via ODT Online 16.3.12)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

157 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DVML, Economics, ORFU, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

157 responses to “Wednesday: Meetings of Council and FSD Committee, read DEBT

  1. Elizabeth

    Finance, Strategy and Development Committee – meeting
    Wednesday 14 March 2012 commencing at 1.00 PM
    Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers

    Agenda – FSD – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 40.3 KB)

    Report – FSD – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 713.8 KB)
    Financial Result – 7 Months to 31 January 2012

    Report – FSD – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 221.8 KB)
    Rugby World Cup 2011

    Report – FSD – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 435.2 KB)
    Waipori Fund Statement of Investment Policies and Objectives

    Report – FSD – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 73.1 KB)
    Investment Alternative for Waipori Fund

    Council – extraordinary meeting
    Wednesday 14 March 2012 commencing at 2.30 PM
    (or at the conclusion of the Finance, Strategy and Development Committee meeting, whichever is later)
    Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers

    Agenda – Council – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 47.1 KB)

    Report – Council – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 4.5 MB)
    Statement of Proposal for Draft Long Term Plan 2012/13 – 2021/22, Incorporating the Draft Annual Plan 2012/13 – Attachment

    Report – Council – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 173.5 KB)
    Statement of Proposal for Draft Long Term Plan 2012/13 – 2021/22, Incorporating the Draft Annual Plan 2012/13

    Report – Council – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 675.9 KB)
    Statement of Proposal for Draft Long Term Plan 2012/13 – 2021/22, Incorporating the Draft Annual Plan 2012/13 – Attachment 2

    Report – Council – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 708.7 KB)
    Statement of Proposal for Draft Long Term Plan 2012/13 – 2021/22, Incorporating the Draft Annual Plan 2012/13 – Attachment 3

    Report – Council – 14/03/2012 (PDF, 73.9 KB)
    Non-Trading Council-Controlled Organisations – Application for Exemption

  2. Anonymous

    “If they listened to us at the start we indicated that the funding from the private sector would come from donations, from purchases of naming rights, and from purchases of seats and memberships,” Mr Farry said. “Some in the community have said that’s not private sector fundraising, that was the sale of product. Well how else were we going to get money? I don’t know what magic trick they thought we had to get this money. I don’t care what you call it, it’s cash, and we needed that cash to build the stadium. You can give it any name you like.” –Malcolm Farry

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    So…. instead of cash, foldies, we got promises. And now we have to open our veins to keep professional rugby alive for the next 3 years to secure “private-sector income from lounge memberships and seating packages” (ODT today http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/201307/dcc-may-write-orfu-debt).
    “Some in the community have said that’s not private sector fundraising, that was the sale of product. Well how else were we going to get money?” Private sector funding then, according to Farry, is the same as what the supermarket, the panelbeater, and your friendly neighbourhood drug dealers and sex workers rely on.
    I’m glad that’s been cleared up.

  4. JimmyJones

    If Mr Farry was being more honest, he would have told us that the so-called private sector fundraising/private sector debt (PSD) was nothing more than new debt paid for by ratepayers. The debt is to be held by DVL, but even without the Private Sector Debt they will depend on a big annual ratepayer subsidy to survive. The effect of the PSD is to create another money-go-round, with the effect that the ratepayer subsidy is increased to pay for the PSD interest and principal and that money is then handed back to Dunedin City Treasury (DCT). The money journey is: local economy >> ratepayer >> DCC >> DVL >> DCT >> Bankers/Bond-holders.

    The gate-takings, pre-sales etc will not be used to pay the PSD because all these revenues, and more, will be consumed in paying the bills to run the thing. Malcolm wants to count it twice, but the accountants won’t let him. The plan is that the increased shortfall created by debt servicing of the PSD will be paid for by the city’s renters and ratepayers.

    I would give Mr Farry some credit if he thought of the idea, but all he did was use our money to pay a public relations firm to create it. The PSD is a scam, a blatant lie, designed to manipulate the perception of the public and our feeble-minded councillors. I believe that Dave Cull and council staff are complicit in continuing this deception.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Jimmy J; you are right about Dave Cull and council staff being complicit in the deception. But why stop there? Take in Harland, Chin, Farry and all CST members, Crs Brown, Acklin, Bezett, Collins, Walls (deceased), Guest (defrocked), Noone, Weatherall, Staynes, Butcher, Wilson, Thomson, in fact all with the exception of Vandervis, Stevenson, and MacTavish. Then of course the ‘Stakeholders’ led by the eminent Judge Hansen. All of the ORFU and Highlanders boards, the directors of DCHL and numerous pseudo supporters of the stadium. All up, a huge bunch of scoundrels.

  6. Russell Garbutt

    I have no doubt that after today there will be a call for a community driven process to get rid of the existing Councillors. Most deserve to be forced to resign, but it won’t happen. Most would be too frightened to ask the community what they think. Most will ignore every word you might say in any submission process. Most have a sense of entitlement that has now been exposed.

    Many deserve to go purely because they don’t have the competency to sit round the Council table. Others have now been exposed for what they have always been – servants of interested sectors and not servants of the ratepayers. There are pockets of integrity and honesty and I hope – probably against hope – that those would remain if the existing cabal were dumped.

    I for one will support wholeheartedly a community driven programme of recruiting candidates of integrity to replace the existing Council. I look forward to the call going out and seeing who is prepared to stand and replace those on Council that caused us to be in this total financial mess we are in today.

    People are needed who know inherently how to deal with sector driven interests. People are needed who know how to read a balance sheet and who can balance community needs and fiscal responsibility. People are needed who can tell Council staff exactly what the policy will be. People are needed that will look after the ratepayers. People are needed who are not afraid to demand a full forensic examination of all the decisions that caused us to be this country’s leader of debt per ratepayer. People are needed who are not afraid to make previous staff or Councillors accountable for their actions.

    Start thinking of people with these qualities. I’m sure that the call will come soon.

  7. MichaelA

    Cull’s poisoned chalice

    In the National Business Review Dave Cull declared that he couldn’t care less whether the ORFU is saved in its present form – his concern is the cost of a near $400,000 debt to ratepayers.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/i-dont-care-about-orfu-mayor-cull-subbed-ja-p-112782

    I think Cull is sincere in the above quote but since becoming mayor he has steadfastly maintained that the stadium needs to work. On these grounds we can assume that he and council will vote to write off the ORFU’s debt in exchange for some sort of commitment to use the stadium. It’s the approach of a moderate who’s trying to make a fist of the rotten hand they’ve been delt. In kinder circumstances he might even have been applauded for it. Cull’s problem is that the city appears to be in the mood for a firebrand. People want the whole rotten core of council and its decision making processes exposed. On this count, thus far, Cull would appear not up to the job.

    • Elizabeth

      I’m not hopeful that Dave Cull’s media release, expected later today, will be anything other than a red flag to a bull. He has failed this far, how much further can he fall by making us pay. There is no way I would ever set foot in the stadium, although… I might after an independent full investigation (forensic audit) of the DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, CST and all related entities has been carried out – to lay a wreath.

      • Elizabeth

        Talks started about 3pm.

        ### ODT Online Wed, 14 Mar 2012
        ORFU: Debt write-off talks still in progress
        By Online ODT
        Dunedin city councillors remain behind closed doors discussing a debt write-off deal to help save the Otago Rugby Football Union. Councillors have been going over the deal with council lawyer Warwick Deuchress, of Anderson Lloyd, and they have been discussing it with Otago Rugby Football Union change manager Jeremy Curragh. They have yet to hear from Dunedin Venues Management Limited chief executive David Davies and chairman Sir John Hansen.
        Read more

        ****

        ### ch9.co.nz March 14, 2012 – 6:19pm
        Will the DCC save the Otago Rugby Football Union
        Talks continue at a closed, but heated, meeting of the Dunedin City Council decision on whether to write off money owed by the Otago Rugby Football Union. Looking through the glass doors members of the city council appeared visibly agitated while discussing the motion on the table.
        Video

        ****

        ### rnz.co.nz
        Checkpoint with Mary Wilson
        17:08 Decision any time on Otago rugby rescue package
        The Dunedin city council is poised to announce whether it’ll back a rescue package for the beleaguered Otago rugby union. (6′01″)
        Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        ****

        ### rnz.co.nz Updated at 3:42 pm today
        Radio New Zealand National
        News
        Dunedin council considers Otago rugby rescue deal
        Dunedin City Council is considering whether to waive hundreds of thousands of dollars owed by the Otago Rugby Union as part of a wider rescue package. […] The proposal involves the council helping the Otago Rugby Union in return for bolstering rugby’s use of the city’s struggling stadium. The deal includes forgiving $400,000 of unpaid rent from the old Carisbrook Stadium in return for a three-year programme of All Blacks’ test matches, a charity match and a long-term agreement with the Highlanders’ franchise. Some sources say these details are not the full package being put to councillors and there is support for trying to salvage something from the union’s failures. Councillor Lee Vandervis, who opposes the deal, says ratepayers cannot continue to bail out rugby.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ch9.co.nz March 13, 2012 – 6:33pm
          Questions asked about the processes surrounding the stadium
          Dunedin City Council processes surrounding the stadium are being questioned, along with the council’s relationship with the ORFU. A concerned Dunedin resident believes ratepayers will end up paying for budget blow-outs, and for the union’s debt to the DCC.
          Video

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    There’s something deeply weird about this from RNZ news:
    “There are persistent reports that the Otago Rugby Union’s main banker, the BNZ, plans to similarly write-off the $1.2 million it is owed in return for a multi-year sponsorship arrangement.”
    Why would a bank want to be associated with an outfit that spent its way down a big shiny spiral into the deepest brownest depths of financial poo? It’s like hiring Bernie Madoff to front TV advertising saying how trustworthy this bank is!

    • Elizabeth

      Is that BNZ ‘business speak’ for make the rugby honkies do some work for us while we claw (the value of) the money back ? Show pony leverage ?

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Well, yeah… but won’t the odour of “highly paid while the bills mount up and then walked away from” stick to them too? Plus the imprudence of a bank, supposedly a good custodian of our savings, giving out rewards for going broke not out of misfortune but out of incredibly bad management? Not confidence-building, exactly. Were I a client of BNZ I’d be thinking, Ahoy there, how come my mortgage rate has to cover the losses by these bozos? How come the interest you pay on savings is so damn measly, is it because you waste money on a few muscular wastrels instead of looking after the unglamorous masses of clients?

  10. Phil

    We said it, Every study around the world said it. Local authorities do not build and finance stadia. The moment they do, they become held to ransom by the sporting team they are trying to retain. The team never needs the stadium, but the stadium always needs the team. Everybody said it. What has happened here will likely used as a classic future case study around the world to prove the point. So at least we’ll be famous for something. This exercise has proved the theory correct in every detail. The last piece of the globally predicted picture is about to be completed with the local authority being forced to pay to keep the team. The model simply doesn’t work, even when doing it the “Southern Way”.

    Who comes out of this laughing ? The stadium designers, and the sporting team. They both got exactly what they wanted.

  11. amanda kennedy

    And the lucky, lucky devils who owned the land the stadium is built on and the company that buit the stadium ( I think it starts with ‘L’). They did alright too.

  12. amanda kennedy

    How I remember workers from that particular building company coming to the South Dunedin meeting a few years ago, most there were against the stadium, not them. That was when Cr Collins told us all we were ‘glass half empty’ people for not supporting the stadium and that he was a ‘glass half full’ kinda guy. His son was going to get work at the stadium too, so he was extra special for it.

  13. amanda kennedy

    Acklins was just too plain cowardly to turn up. He knew he could not defend the indefensible, I guess at least Collins turned up to try and do just that.

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Doesn’t take much to show up Collins.

  15. Phil

    Wouldn’t you be feeling pretty annoyed right now if you were sitting in another region of the country and were watching a local council buy future rugby test matches ? How is the province of Otago going to be viewed in the eyes of the rest of New Zealand ?

    What is the very dangerous precedent that is being set here ? Rather frightening. Sporting fixtures in New Zealand will go to the highest bidder. Is that where we have finally arrived ?

    I’m too shocked to even touch the subject of the proceeds of a “charity match” being bought by a local authority. Even more shocked that some people find this to be acceptable.

  16. amanda kennedy

    Wow. This is stunning. The stadium debt is now not the biggest problem the city. Now we are held hostage to private rugby interests and their blackmail. Now they know they just have to whisper ‘… we are out of here…’ and Cull and Hudson will come running to pay their debts and their salaries. Unbelievable.

  17. amanda kennedy

    Actually not unbelievable. When the stadium debt councillors were re-elected at the last election they learned that Dunedin people do not hold their local politicians accountable for their mistakes and lies. Hudson, Bezett, Brown and co know that they will most likely be re-elected as per usual in next year’s election (and ofcourse councillor for life Collins). We do not scare them.

  18. Lindsay

    The details may surprise some people but the concept as a whole shouldn’t surprise anybody. It was a likely outcome for the last few weeks and makes you think that the whole ‘threat’ of liquidation was probably just a ploy to drum up support in the community before the pending announcement. The DCC didn’t take the bait as the first two deadlines approached – probably expecting the NZRFU to step in, not realising that they were in fact the target all along. Probably took a direct threat to remove the Highlanders from the city to get some action. You would look fairly stupid left holding a stadium with both of the teams you built it for gone, especially if you were daft enough to not sign either of them up to using it.
    I guess if I was on the council, I would vote for it as well. Given the choice of looking like a puppet government in some banana republic or a hick town council who just realised they got swindled out of 200 million dollars, I would go with the former.

    • Elizabeth

      RESULT

      4 minutes ago…

      @AllBlacks #OtagoRugby saved with recovery package agreed upon http://ow.ly/9E1LW
      Retweeted by Hayden Meikle

      • Elizabeth

        http://www.allblacks.com/news/18811/Long-term-plan-for-Otago-Rugby-Union-agreed
        Key elements of the recovery package

        • The ORFU Change Manager has worked with the partners to shape an achievable three year financial plan to ensure ongoing financial viability. This comprises:
        o Reduced operational expenses including ongoing player payments
        o Additional sponsorship pledges
        o Test match management income

        • NZRU provides a $500,000 loan for working capital

        • NZRU confirms All Blacks Tests in Dunedin in 2013 and in 2014 in addition to this year’s Investec Rugby Championship Test against South Africa

        • NZRPA, NZRU and ORFU will continue to work together to reduce the 2012 player contracting spend by $290,000 from the original budget

        • DCC and DVML have agreed to forgive debt of $480,000

        • NZRU agrees to a North v South match in June. DVML receives all revenue and covers all costs. NZRPA to ensure players are keen and available to play with no extra fees charged

        • DVML secures a three year venue hire agreement with ORFU for the ITM Cup team

        • DVML agrees to manage the commercial and sponsorship rights of ORFU

        • Local businesses are being prioritised in a debt repayment plan. Details to be confirmed shortly

        • NZRU will enter into an additional sponsorship commitment with Bank of New Zealand

        • The NZRU loan is subject to the following main conditions
        o ORFU board to resign. The constitution will be modernised to ensure best practice governance
        o NZRU to approve all player contracts
        o Annual budgets and loan information to be provided to NZRU
        o NZRU observer or representative to be at all board meetings

  19. Russell Garbutt

    Got in one. Now look for damage control. Too late though for most round the DCC table. They are gonesville

  20. Russell Garbutt

    So no Highlanders deal?

    • Elizabeth

      Oh hey, that’s tomorrow’s news…..

      Meanwhile, f***wits like Tau Henare tweet things like this:

      5 minutes ago…

      @tauhenare Well done Dunedin Ratepayers. Secure the future of your Rugby team and also Test matches for the next couple of years.

  21. Peter

    We’re going to look even sillier when the Highlanders are either disbanded or merged….as is inevitable given the ongoing financial mismanagement of rugby here and elsewhere. These boys just want to have fun, and will continue to do so, by pissing our money up against the wall. There is absolutely no incentive to manage their finances because they don’t have to. They now know the DCC will bankroll them ad infinitum – they just have to threaten them.
    I would prefer the honesty for what has happened and for the culprits to take full responsibility than the continued bleeding of our treasury.
    I understand the bail out comes ‘with strings attached’ according to TV One News tonight. This means nothing for this council as we saw with conditions/lines in the sand being abandoned when it suited the councillors during the build up to the stadium decision to go ahead.
    If people are still prepared to believe Cull, and his new found mates, with their ‘strings attached’ conditions, you’d have to be a mug.

  22. Russell Garbutt

    A quick question. How come Farry gets away from selling naming rights and packages without a contract to actually supply?

  23. Peter

    Who takes them to court/holds them to account when they welch on one or more of the conditions? No one.

  24. Lindsay

    Now we get to watch Mr Cull, having removed the pine cone he has just been shafted with, tell us what a win this is for ratepayers. Lucky those test matches bring such riches into the city.

  25. Lindsay

    Somebody should let the ODT know.

  26. Calvin Oaten

    Hello Dave,
    Congratulations to both you, Councillors, DVML, NZRU, Staff, Lawyers and all concerned. Collectively, you have just refueled the digger.
    Now we can all stand back and watch the hole get bigger and bigger. The expenses will carry on and grow, and the DCC deficit will continue to
    swell. The only offset will be bums on seats, so you had better be praying strongly for the ‘red necks’ to not let you down.

    Cheers,
    Calvin

  27. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting to know what collateral backs the NZRU’s loan of $500,000 to the ORFU? As Rob Hamlin hints, better watch DVML could be the fall guy. I wonder how long Athol will need now to release DVML’s state of affairs? It looks more and more to me that today’s actions have not cleared the air one bit.

  28. Hype O'Thermia

    Build it and they will
    (A) come
    (B) charge like wounded dentists
    (C) have you by the goolies for at least the next 40 years
    [5 points]

  29. Hype O'Thermia

    To take ratepayers’ minds off the latest uckfay-estfay the Mayor is planning to announce a sister city ah small settlement arrangement with Hanga Roa, capital and only town on Easter Island tomorrow, Thursday. “We have deep bonds with the peoples of Easter Island,” he is expected to say. “Our histories have had many similarities, and a decision to embark on a sisterly relationship while perhaps not likely to lead to great increases in trade or tourism is less stupid than most of our recent and their long-past decisions.”
    After consultation with local iwi it was decided that Councillors Acklin and Collins would be given the responsibility of travelling by waka, after a blessing and farewell at Otakau Marae, for the inaugural sisterly visit, which out of respect for their hosts rather than impose an insensitively Western attitude to time, is likely to last several months.

  30. Russell Garbutt

    Clare Curran’s comments are an indictment on her and the rest of the ineffective Labour Party thinking in Dunedin. Wearing a Highlander jersey in Parliament seems to give her the ticket to ignoring the strife that Dunedin ratepayers are now in. It is not good news at all. If she thought for a moment then she would have been thinking of similar bailouts for Hillside.

    No, all of this is to do with the power of professional rugby.

    Again I say, it is time for all those that are sick of the nonsense that has pervaded City Hall to put their collective efforts into removing the 8 people that voted for this nonsense to be removed asap.

  31. Phil

    I note that the report on the Stuff website refers to a 3 year deal with the Highlanders franchise. Is that a slip of the pen and should read “ITM Cup” ? Or does it include the Highlanders ?

    • Elizabeth

      “Three All Black tests will be played at the new Forsyth Barr Stadium, and the Highlanders Super Rugby franchise will sign a long-term agreement to play at the stadium.” –Stuff

  32. How come nzru seem to feature so strong in this thing? They have f*** all invested in this. Wankers.

  33. In fact the more I think about that one point the bigger the joke gets…..

  34. Phil

    Thanks, Elizabeth. I was a bit confused because that report is the only report so far which mentions the Highlanders. The other reports use the same phrase, but talk only about the ITM cup instead. Given the supposed pulling power of the Highlanders over the ITM Cup team, I would have been surprised if the others had missed that the Highlanders were included. I guess it’ll all come out in the wash.

    • Elizabeth

      Yeah I googled it and no further mentions, we’ve seen bad writing and editing before at Fairfax, we also know having built the High Performance Centre alongside the stadium for rugby training ostensibly… that there’s more rugby business attempting to be tied up by DVML, um for the multipurpose stadium.

  35. Phil

    Good Point. I forgot the whole multi purpose thing. What was I thinking ? We don’t even need rugby. We just need to get Phil Sprey and Max Boy Wonder onto the board. The Dynamic Duo will sort it all out.

    • Elizabeth

      Dave Cull criticised the stadium’s private sector funding arrangements as “imprudent, highly risky and frankly … stupid” and the ORFU’s handling of its affairs. “I think there’s pretty universal agreement that they [ORFU] cocked up, and they cocked up on a chronic basis. Pretty reprehensible, really.”

      ### ODT Online Thu, 15 Mar 2012
      ORFU get another chance
      By Steve Hepburn and Chris Morris
      The Otago Rugby Football Union has been saved, with the Dunedin City Council agreeing to write off a debt of more $400,000 and the national union loaning it $500,000. But the Otago board will have to resign and chairman Wayne Graham said last night he would be moving on. After a marathon seven-hour plus Dunedin City Council meeting yesterday, the council agreed to write off its $400,000 debt. An $80,000 debt to Dunedin Venues Management Ltd was also written off.
      Read more

      ****

      In the public gallery, anti-stadium campaigner Bev Butler waved a newspaper article about the union and pokie trusts, which served as background to an, at times, circus-like finance, strategy and development meeting.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 15 Mar 2012
      Tensions erupt at council meeting
      By David Loughrey
      Voices quivered with suppressed rage, and bitter spats erupted over who said what to whom, as discord reigned at the Dunedin City Council yesterday. Councillors accused each other of “desperation” as a council apparently riven with tensions met, with the prospect of the Otago Rugby Football Union’s financial demise hanging over it.
      Read more

      ****

      ### ODT Online Thu, 15 Mar 2012
      Editorial: Swallowing dead rats
      There is a saying in politics that sometimes you have to swallow a dead rat. This is the predicament the Dunedin City Council found itself in with respect to the latest visit to the public trough by “rugby” and its various associates. That the majority of councillors decided to hold their noses and swallow at last night’s testy meetings is understandable given the dead-end alternatives, but this cannot have made the meal any more palatable. The anger and acrimony among councillors faced with making such an unenviable decision will have left some with a bitter aftertaste.

      In the end, they made the calculation the ratepayers of this city had more to lose in rejecting the deal before them than they had in accepting it. As part of a larger transaction to stave off the demise of the Otago Rugby Football Union, the council was asked to consider writing off round-figure debts of $400,000. In return, the council sought a three-year programme of top-tier All Black test matches at Forsyth Barr stadium, receipts of a North versus South charity rugby match at the stadium in June, and a long-term hire agreement tying the Highlanders to the stadium.

      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Updated report at Stuff
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/6577124/Otago-rugby-saved-after-marathon-meeting

        Cull said it had been discovered that there were no agreements in place for either the Otago ITM Cup team or the Highlanders to play at the stadium. “Whether the ORFU went into liquidation or not, DVML was left with a very risky situation, as there were no contracts in place guaranteeing an income stream from professional rugby in our region. DVML had taken on the running of the stadium under the impression that those contracts were in place, underpinning that revenue stream.”

        • Elizabeth

          In all, if the stadium had never happened I would be a much happier person.
          How many Dunedinites can say that, and mean it.

  36. Mike

    So who voted which way? 8:5 means they only won by two votes we should be targeting those 2 votes (that’s the way STV works)

  37. Anonymous

    It should be apparent who will make up the majority of that eight. This outcome was expected and managed from the start in the Otago Rugby Times.

    There are still too many stadium councillors at the table.

    These councillors – and now Dave Cull – have failed in their duty to act in the best interests of the Dunedin city ratepayer. The mayor has lost my respect of his position.

    They were warned.

  38. Peter

    Clare Curran’s tweet goes to show what an ineffective MP she has been for Dunedin. Her low polling last election, where extraordinarily National got more of the Party Vote in South Dunedin, illustrates this. Curran thinks, by being all gung ho about Otago rugby, she can gain easy votes-hence her stunt in Parliament wearing the Highlanders’ jersey. She hasn’t got the intellectual capacity to view the wider picture and how this farce impacts financially on the very people she wants to represent. That someone of her calibre is in the shadow cabinet illustrates the parlous state of the Labour Party. She makes no impact- like the new leader of the party who comes across as lacking confidence and direction. It seems the Opposition has become led by the Greens and New Zealand First. Where is the Labour Party these days? Like Labour Lite Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland, they have lost their soul.

  39. Russell Garbutt

    So who were the eight that voted for this deal? Who were the two that didn’t attend?

  40. Peter

    Kate Wilson and Colin Weatherall had apologies accepted. (They were there for the FSD meeting just beforehand)
    Got a call that Kathryn Ryan interviewed Syd Brown on Morning Report this morning. Sounds very unlikely, but this caller claimed one of those who voted against the bailout was Syd Brown! If true, what’s he up to? Hudson at times jumps the fence – to be strategic. More of the same from Syd baby?
    I wish the ODT would consistently report who voted for what on major decisions. It’s important so people know where councillors stand.

  41. Mike

    She interviewed Lee

    • Elizabeth

      ### rnz.co.nz Thursday 15 March 2012
      Nine to noon with Kathryn Ryan
      09:25 Dunedin City Council to bail out the Otago Rugby Union
      With Lee Vandervis – Dunedin City Councillor opposed to the bail out of Otago Rugby. (17′27″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  42. Peter

    Pleased the world hasn’t gone crazy, Mike. Surprised the caller didn’t recognise Lee.

    • Elizabeth

      ### rnz.co.nz Thursday 15 March 2012
      Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
      06:38 Dunedin ratepayers, rugby union will bail out Otago rugby
      Dunedin ratepayers and the New Zealand Rugby Union will bail out Otago rugby, saving it from liquidation. (2′04″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

      07:07 Dunedin City Council divided over rugby bail-out
      After talks stretching late into the night, a deal has been done to avoid the liquidation of the Otago Rugby Union. (5′17″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

      07:14 Otago Rugby deal is a ‘fresh start’ says NZRU
      Joining us now is the New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive, Steve Tew. (2′55″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

      08:09 Debt-ridden Otago rugby union gets rescue package
      The debt-ridden Otago Rugby Football Union has been saved from liquidation after last ditch talks that ran late into the night. (5′25″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

      08:15 Otago Rugby deal ‘good for taxpayers’ says Mayor
      Joining us is the Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull. (4′33″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  43. JimmyJones

    Thanks for the links Elizabeth. It is worthwhile listening to Lee and Kathryn Ryan. There were no soft questions, but Lee had the answers. He reveals that councillors weren’t involved in the negotiations and it seems like councillors were discouraged from making any changes to the package (because they didn’t change anything). He says they were asked to be rubber-stampers.

  44. Russell Garbutt

    Great links

    The interview with Wayne Graham is particularly revealing with his obvious non-acceptance of his incompetence. He describes his Board as having the best business brains – he comes across as a typical arrogant idiot that pervades this whole sector.

    I have to say Dave Cull pulled no punches and probably correctly identified some key things, but there is no hint whatsoever that there will be any probe into such vital matters as who allowed these package contracts to go out without any promise of services to be provided.

    The whole stadium is a gigantic fraud and those that have perpetuated this fraud on the community need to be identified and held to account.

  45. Hype O'Thermia

    Russell, it may be true that “Dave Cull pulled no punches” but who did? Who was it that made sure that [JimmyJones reporting what Lee Vandervis said] “councillors weren’t involved in the negotiations and it seems like councillors were discouraged from making any changes to the package”?

  46. Russell Garbutt

    The punches needed to be delivered some years ago. The time was when the first approach was made by Richard Reid and the ORFU when they got Harland, Ellwood and the ORC to go to a meeting and agree on how much money each entity would cough up on a new stadium. If I had been a Chair of the Board (or the Mayor of a Council) and found my CEO toddling off to formulate policy then that CEO would have been seeking a new job. But we had lovely old Peter Chin, falling asleep at the wheel and busy dressing up in wedding dresses. Remember in nature a vacuum needs to be filled. So to with a Council.

    It seems like a number of suggestions may have been made, amendments put, but let’s face it, the majority of people round that table last night were the turkeys that put us into this mess in the first place. Would they really like it if there was an investigation as to how much they had been giving the ORFU over the years? Would they agree to staring out the NZRU?

    • Elizabeth

      The big thing now is to fend off any more rug covering (as you rightly infer Russell, last night’s decision does mean less transparency not more – a whole lot of rugs and hair shirts) by getting that forensic investigation of DCC, DCHL, CST, DVML, DVL and related entities UNDERWAY.

      Reporter Hamish McNeilly at ODT tweeted to me last night that there’s more news to come on the ORFU and TTCF front. Good show.

      Right now I’d like to work out where Athol Stephens is sitting in relation to how much and what sort of DCC financial information is provided to Chief Executive Paul Orders. And in relation to that, how Paul Orders sorts chalk from cheese with what independent financial advice.

  47. Peter

    Wayne Graham and Laurie Mains were lauded in the ODT when they were first elected to the ORFU some 18-24(?) months ago. They were going to get the ORFU back into good financial shape. Report Card. Fail.

    I wonder what fresh faces they’ll elect to the next Board. Malcolm the Visionary? John and Earl the land lubbers? Stuart of Tartan fame? How about Kereyn? She can fly back to her new home up north after a 30 minute meeting because she’s so good. Or Stevie Cairns?
    Maybe they are the business brains Wayne Helicopters was thinking of.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, I revisited the little PR piece provided by ODT
      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/87165/first-woman-highlanders-board

      Awww. The flower, she said (December 2009):
      ‘It was important the Highlanders and the Otago Rugby Football Union performed well as they would be the major tenants of the stadium, but it was also vital the Highlanders was a team with which the community could feel a strong bond.’

      • Elizabeth

        ### rnz.co.nz Thursday 15 March 2012
        Afternoons with Jim Mora
        16:07 The Panel with Chris Trotter and Dita de Boni (Part 1)
        Topics – the Labour Party leader David Shearer has indicated the party will continue to promote a capital gains tax – but its 5-thousand-dollar tax free zone policy will be ditched. Dunedin’s ratepayers association says it fears a rescue deal for the Otago rugby union means its financial problems will soon return. (28′46″)
        Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        ****

        ### rnz.co.nz Thursday 15 March 2012 Updated at 12:35 pm
        RNZ News
        Ratepayers wary of Otago union rescue cost
        The head of a Dunedin ratepayers association says he fears a rescue deal for the Otago rugby union means its financial problems will soon return.
        Read more

        ****

        ### ch9.co.nz March 15, 2012 – 11:25am
        Otago Rugby Football Union saved
        A deal to save the Otago Rugby Football Union has been struck following a seven hour extraordinary city council meeting. The final vote was recorded at 8 in favour and 5 against waiving the union’s $480,000 debt to Dunedin Venues Management Limited.
        Video

  48. Ripped Off Ratepayer

    The ORFU is immoral. The DCC is corrupt. Dave Cull will forever be known as the Stadium Mayor, a tool for the stakeholders and new leader of the Stadium Councillors.

    Dunedin, it’s all rort here!

    • Elizabeth

      Campbell Live will run an Octagon sausage sizzle next Tuesday 20 March from 6pm, as well as set up a line for $3 text donations – more details on the programme tomorrow night. This to raise monies towards paying the ORFU’s smaller creditors. While planned in good faith there are some unholy issues around this.

  49. Diane Yeldon

    I am extremely frustrated by lack of timely information from DCC website to ratepayers and residents about this bailout. Have complained about it to their webmaster. They should at least put press releases there.
    Does anyone yet know how the Resolution was worded and who voted for and who voted against?

    • Elizabeth

      They’re unlikely to publish it until the minutes of meeting are prepared ?
      Not all votes are recorded unless a Cr requests the division ?
      The meeting was non public….. ?

      null
      Image: 3News

  50. Anonymous

    No, but Rodney Bryant was holding the door open for new stadium mayor Dave Cull during the 3 News segment this evening. Maybe he’s just busy engineering the next press release for the Otago Rugby Times or trying to figure out how to make this all sound super good in his next City Talk. They’ve still got a lot of media and public management strategy to work through at this council.

    Meanwhile I’m sure there was nothing sinister about the ORT holding back on a pertinent piece of readership interest like who-voted-for-what in this story of significant local and national interest. No editor worth his weight in New Rugby Dollars would willingly ignore such an important piece of informative reporting.

    {Link to 3News story + video -Eds
    http://www.3news.co.nz/ORFU-bailed-out-in-well-scratch-your-back-deal/tabid/415/articleID/246784/Default.aspx}

  51. Pedant

    Suddenly the $2,000,000 default to the build contract is looking like a bargain.

  52. Calvin Oaten

    Anonymous; ‘old Rodders’ was only holding the door open for the mayor while he was busy working out the quickest route to the chocolate eclairs.
    His main function is hovering near the food. Second comes his public relations duties.

  53. Lindsay

    Defaulting on the construction contract would have make us a laughing stock.
    Oh wait…

    • Elizabeth

      26 minutes ago…

      @rnz_news BNZ writes off over a million owed by Otago rugby http://bit.ly/zvpBwn

      UPDATE

      ### ODT Online on Fri, 16 Mar 2012
      $1.2m debt wiped – BNZ
      By Chris Morris
      The Bank of New Zealand has confirmed it has wiped the $1.2 million debt owed to it by the Otago Rugby Football Union. In return, the bank is to receive a new commercial package from the New Zealand Rugby Union, although details were yet to be finalised.
      Read more

  54. Calvin Oaten

    The problem with a default on the construction contract, it would leave the everlasting recriminations over what might have been. No politician would ever go there.

  55. Lindsay

    That is true. It is like suggesting that the stadium be mothballed – there may be some logic to the argument but it would never be considered.

  56. Anonymous

    None of this connects.
    BNZ writes off $1.2M to ORFU in exchange for sponsorship deal with NZRU.
    DCC writes off $480K to ORFU in exchange for deal that may benefit DVML and secures deal with NZRFU for Tests (which were already agreed) and with Highlanders for 3-year venue hire (Highlanders is neither NZRU nor ORFU).
    The benefits to DVML are dubious. At $20/ticket, a full house of 25,000 will net $400K, minus the operating cost of $100K, minus one-off costs; they might clear $200K. DVML gets only venue hire for 7 Super Rugby games per year, again minus the $100K operating cost per event, plus 8 (?) ITM Cup games (smaller crowd, lower operating cost c. $30K). DVML needs one major event per week to generate the $10M it needs to break even and return $5M to DVL.
    A full house Test match crowd is $3M at the gate, but DVML sees a tiny portion of that, maybe the $150K venue hire fee. Minus the $30K to erect the temporary seating each time.
    This deal in no way secures the financial future of the stadium. It doesn’t secure the financial future of anything.

    • Elizabeth

      And all the time it [the whole sordid deal] is simply compounding ratepayer debt, as well as expecting the general citizenry (renters and ratepayers), in the main Dunedinites, to spend more discretionary money no-one really has for attendance at events.
      The question then has to be who actually gains – who has fingers in the till, does anyone?
      The mystery of Life.

  57. Phil

    I think, from memory, that the venue operator receives $100,000 from the NZRU for a Category A test match (a Bledisloe Cup or Lions test). That is the most the venue operator can receive and the only time it is a flat fee. Downwards from there it’s a percentage of the gate takings with differing percentages depending on the status of the game. For an ITM Cup match, the venue operator receives something in the order of 10% of the total gate revenue as a venue hire fee.

  58. Phil

    If the ORFU is now no longer going to be filing for liquidation, then they continue to be responsible for their debts. Why then do we have the comment made that “It also means the union’s 180 small creditors will get some of their money back.” A trading company does not get to choose to pay SOME of their outstanding debts, they pay ALL of their outstanding debts.

  59. Peter

    You can see with these 180 creditors it will be a case of ‘a cheque in the mail next week’. Then, ‘sorry just another week’, and so on, until the creditors give up and the whole thing recedes into the mists of time. I hope I’m wrong, but I have no illusions about an organisation that rips off poor South Auckland communities, through dodgy pokie distributions, and is busily doing the same to our community by continuing to rip us off. This organisation has no sense of decency.

  60. Anonymous

    My advice to creditors was, and is, file a statutory notice for all undisputed invoices. File it now. The ORFU has 15 days to pay in full, or face a compulsory winding-up order. Defined in Companies Act, no exceptions.

    • Elizabeth

      We don’t have bright flashing headlights here at What if? except for new posts.
      Creditors, take heed of Anonymous’ message. Don’t let the big boys – BNZ, NZFU and DCC – seal your fate of never getting paid by ORFU, they’re only out for themselves.
      Creditors, control your destiny.

  61. Peter

    Elizabeth. More like big, hairy grasping fists than fingers. We just need to learn to be quicker and slam the till shut while they’re at it. Ouch.

  62. But hang on, wasn’t there some guarantee about construction costs? I seem to recall something about that one thing and laughed my arse off when I read it several times.
    I said at the start it would NEVER be done on budget.

  63. Oops, SO…. default on the construction contract. And tell them to piss off. In fact send ’em to my place. I’ll happily tell the lying so and so’s how it is.

    {The default on the GMP contract referred to in comments here is entirely hypothetical – it was an idea floated some time ago as a way to cut ratepayer losses. However, it carried many fish hooks. To default or not default, either way Dunedin ratepayers and residents would get severely stung. -Eds}

  64. Anonymous

    Voting information is available.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/otago/201602/dunedin-city-councillors-how-they-voted

    The new boys had to prop up the Stadium Councillors this time to get the rugby bail out through. A couple of them appear to have had a crisis of faith and avoided voting alongside the usual suspects.

    The ORFU (aka ORU) is full of self-serving multi-millionaire stakeholders who have a flawed sense of entitlement. Its fans believe they have nationwide supporters. It is just a lazy, immoral organisation bludging off the public purse.

    It did not need to be given a bail out and could have easily raised the money itself. Dave Cull should not have rolled over for professional rugby.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Thanks for posting voting info. I’d like to see such stuff come out as a press release put on the DCC website. Anything DCC gives ODT is presumably public information.
      Just how I thought they would vote. Notice that MacTavish and Wilson who came on the Council with Cull are thinking for themselves. I am not disappointed by Stevenson, Vandervis and Butcher. I am more disappointed by Thomson. Not that bright after all, too much focus on business interests and he’s off my list from now on. Political suicide for those who voted in favour because they should have known better than to do business with dishonest people.

  65. Peter

    As an aside, I wonder if one of the creditors – the ODT – gets their money back. I bet they do. Before the other less well off creditors, no doubt.
    I understand the ODT is owed approximately $50k.
    Too much to expect they have waived their debt like the big boys. (Though they are big boys too, of course.) They got $70k for the ‘Big Night In’ stadium concert from the DCC. Put that money back into the ‘community’ that the ORFU is so fond of coming back to for ‘support’.

  66. JimmyJones

    There’s still a news black-out at the DCC – no official word at their website. All we have is promotional type radio interviews from Dave Cull, as well as carefully managed releases through their media partner. Today’s ODT story (how they voted) says “official council records show he left at 4.49pm”. It would be nice if everyone had access to the official council records; the minutes of the meeting aren’t published yet.
    Whenever the ODT gets some back-door info like this, it is reasonable to wonder what the DCC expects in return.

    • Elizabeth

      DCC is clearly very good at doing diligence, not. Build a stadium for what turns into two rugby organisations and not check the state of their finances, what does this seriously say?

      Yesterday, Mr Davies said DVML had been “negotiating hard” for the past six months or so in regard to the Highlanders.

      Mr Davies said more than 95% of the first year’s payments for the seating packages had come in. That money, along with sponsorship, would make up the more than $40 million of “private sector funding” the company was raising to pay for the venue, over 10 years.

      ### ODT Online Fri, 16 Mar 2012
      Highlanders’ stadium deal found to be void last year
      By David Loughrey
      A deal that was understood to have been struck with the Highlanders to use Forsyth Barr Stadium was found to be void last year, just months before the Otago Rugby Football Union went into financial meltdown. The result is two new venue hire agreements – one for each union – but those agreements seem set to give less money to Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), the company running the stadium. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said yesterday the reason was the parlous financial state of both rugby organisations.
      Read more

      ****

      ### ODT Online Fri, 16 Mar 2012
      Ratepayers still exposed to risk if Highlanders move
      By Chris Morris
      Ratepayers remain exposed to financial risk should the Highlanders one day decide to quit Dunedin, Mayor Dave Cull concedes. That is despite two new venue-hire agreements tying the Highlanders and the Otago ITM Cup team to the Forsyth Barr Stadium for the next three years, agreed as part of the bail-out of the Otago Rugby Football Union.
      Read more

      ****

      Three years of rugby does not come close to solving forty years of debt forced on Dunedin ratepayers and residents.

      ### ODT Online Fri, 16 Mar 2012
      City got ‘a good deal’
      By Steve Hepburn
      Wayne Graham says it is now time to look forward and the Otago Rugby Football Union will be talking to small creditors as soon as possible. […] “Have a look at the deal, and understand what the outcome is and how good it will be for the future of the city. In rugby terms, you have secured an Otago team and a Highlanders team in the city for three years. We get three category A tests for three years and how much is that worth to the city?”
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ORFU chairman Wayne Graham says, “We don’t want to dig up old graves. I’ve been chair for two years and we knew there would be trouble coming two years ago. We inherited a lot of this. We wanted to go to the stadium with a clean slate. But we were supplied some inaccurate information and the board has started a job to sort it out and that is what we want to do.”

        Mr Graham had indicated he would not be seeking to continue on the new board.
        http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/201599/city-got-good-deal

        ORFU supplied with some inaccurate information ????

  67. Russell Garbutt

    Does anyone have a list of the small creditors? What is the sum total that they are owed? It seems to be a moving feast somehow.

  68. Diane Yeldon

    It may look as if things can’t get worse for Dunedin. But look at this: http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx
    (girl falls into a collapsed drain near George St/Moray Place)
    The stadium is above the city so you can see it. The water infrastructure is underground so you can’t see it. BOTH are in a state of near collapse.

  69. Russell Garbutt

    The quality of some of the responses from the individual Councillors is predictable. Take a look at Collins for example. Maybe too many DCC lunches? It is hard to believe that some who are experienced in businesss were so utterly blind to what was so obvious to others who don’t have that experience. Oh that we had a Council filled with people like Jinty McTavish.

  70. Diane Yeldon

    And yet I am not sure that Jinty can endure another term.

  71. Diane Yeldon

    {Hearsay. Comment deleted. -Eds}

  72. JimmyJones

    Jinty is mean and ruthless; at least to the extent that she is dedicated to the cause of saving the world. During Wednesday’s meeting she popped out for a few hours to promote global warming paranoia as a panelist at a lecture at the UoO. With an average amount of common sense she has an advantage over most of the other councillors, but she has a single focus and the agendas that she pushes conflict with common sense and the well-being of the average citizen.

  73. Peter

    This is quite unnecessary, JJ, and doesn’t add anything. This is more about your own strong views on climate change and is not relevant to the issue here.

  74. Diane Yeldon

    Where are the site rules? Can’t find them.

  75. JimmyJones

    Peter, the opportunity was there. My mention of global warming was relevant to my broader point about Jinty’s narrow focus.

    Diane, I think the site rule is: “The moderator decides”, which is fine with me.

  76. Lindsay

    There was a letter in the ODT today from Trevor Turner, Captain of the University Rugby Club in which he quite seriously, puts half the blame for the ORFU’s current situation on the previous council. He claims that their foolish decision to build a new stadium destroyed the value of theirs, and that the council then made the ORFU sell Carisbrook for less than they owed creditors, hence they are to blame.
    I note that Mr Turner was an unsuccessful candidate in the last local elections. I suppose we should be grateful for that.
    I thought I had heard it all. I have noticed that certain people seem to be distancing themselves from the stadium as things get worse but this takes the cake. I am expecting Sir Malcolm to tell us any day that he always thought it was a bad idea and only went ahead with it because the ratepayers demanded it.

    • Elizabeth

      And Lindsay, Sir Malcolm will say it safely from the distance of his new QLDC municipality.

      His desire to leave a legacy (self-expressed to a friend of mine) blows the mind.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ch9.co.nz March 15, 2012 – 6:26pm
          Are we divided about the bail out of the Otago Rugby Football Union?
          Last night’s split decision by the Dunedin City Council to bail out the Otago Rugby Football Union has stirred mixed opinion on the city’s streets. The 9 Local News Word on The Street team went to the central city and found Dunedinites are divided.
          Video

          WOOPS – Channel 9 have wrong vid loaded…

          ****

          ### ch9.co.nz March 15, 2012 – 6:40pm
          Dunedin City Council passes its 20 year budget
          It was almost lost in the scrum over the Otago Rugby Football Union last night, but the Dunedin City Council quietly passed its 20 year budget through to public submission stage. The long term plan will be open for public comment from this Saturday until 17 April at 5pm. A summary of the lengthy document will be included in the Council’s City Talk magazine, which is delivered to every Dunedin household from 21 March. Public hearings will be held in early May and the final decision will be made by the Council in June.

  77. Anonymous

    “If you had access to all the figures…”
    Paul Hudson
    Stadium Councillor

    I am not sure whether to laugh at the arrogance of it, cry out in frustration or just pie him. Personally the latter would be a waste of good food under the circumstances, even if it was embellished with a rotting carp.

    The Stadium Councillors, including the newly formed Stadium 8, have a lot to answer for.

  78. Peter

    Well, it’s a legacy of sorts. A bad one and, by the looks of it, for a long time to come.
    I remember Trevor have a bob each way on the stadium during the last election. A budding politician.

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, I should’ve clarified – Malcy meant a legacy for his family, such that he is so public minded and philanthropic, real bricks and mortar of the city fathers’ type. Ahem.

  79. Lindsay

    I suppose it’s too much to hope you meant Queensland not Queenstown.

  80. Diane Yeldon

    I got a reply from Sean Lee, Web Team Leader, Council Communications and Marketing, Dunedin City Council which included a warning that any further use, dissemination, distribution or reproduction by me of the message is prohibited.
    Apparently ratepayers and residents don’t get to see the Minutes of the non-public part of a meeting, including the Resolutions. But in this case, because of the public interest, consideration will be given to making the Minutes public. Wish I could reproduce the offensive tone.

    • Elizabeth

      Sean Lee is one of the good guys. He is not personally in charge of publishing sets of minutes – that is the role of the governance officers on instruction from higher up. You should have contacted DCC governance manager Sandy Graham. I don’t like your inferences.

      “If this message is not intended for you please delete it and notify us immediately; you are warned that any further use, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this material by you is prohibited.” is the standard disclaimer that Sean uses for all his DCC emails. I always find Sean polite, respectful, constructive, thoroughly professional and prompt in reply to queries.

  81. anonymous

    Doesn’t appear to be any leaks on the creditor list yet. Still early days. Curiously the ORFU statement of financial interest at 30 November 2010, dated 16 February 2011, was uploaded to the Sportsfreak site in February.

    http://www.sportsfreak.co.nz/wp/wp-content/forum-file-uploads/mouse/2012/02/RetrieveDocumentServlet.pdf

  82. Peter

    Elizabeth. A future NZ History insert in Wikipedia. ‘Philanthropy’, a now extinct Otago species, that died off sometime around the early 21st century.

  83. Amanda Kennedy

    Lindsay, I am waiting for Hudson and fellow stadium bunnies to start making mutterings about how they were not certain it was a good idea to have a ratefunded stadium. That they, heroically, only bowed down to the demands made by the ruddy faced simple but true folk of Dunedin for a stadium. They never wanted one themselves, see? This will be the new story. If the stadium debt can be sold to us by the local media as just happening somehow (we don’t know how) by no human hand, certainly no politician’s hand) then it has to be the people of Dunedin who are to blame for the stadium debt.

  84. Amanda Kennedy

    Blaming that debt on us all will keep us nice and docile, and docile people do not question what the Great and the Good demand and are happy to pay whatever they are told to pay (like rates increasing to service debt created by venile politicians and self serving ‘stakeholders’).

  85. Amanda Kennedy

    Oopps I mean Venal. But you get my drift. I think they are not nice people.

  86. Phil

    Diane, the comment you are referring to was penned by Rodney Bryant back in 2004/2005. It is the standard automatically generated disclaimer attached to all DCC emails. I too think that it is worded with a too heavy hand. Other companies manage to include a disclaimer without threatening the recipient. Rodney, naturally, knows better.

  87. Can someone please tell me when one of these lying stinking POS is going to tell us what the stadium cost?
    I find it really hard to believe that Orders doesn’t know yet (I will go so far as to say he’s lying if he doesn’t). And if he doesn’t then run him off, incompetence means he should be gone if he says otherwise along with the cull. This is bullshit.

    Would someone please man up around this town. Or should all us ratepayers just assume the position?

    • Elizabeth

      Thank god I’m not a DCC ratepayer then. Not long until PWC tells us what $55,000 of forensic auditing buys with respect to DCC/DVL/DVML/CST/University et al and the stadium. It won’t be the final cost but it will be interesting.

  88. Do you believe orders doesn’t know yet?

  89. Maybe a better question for the auditors would be “when did cull, orders and all the rest know the real cost???????”

  90. Any day before today should mean they go to jail. No go for them.

    • Elizabeth

      I really think they have no idea but could know something of the ‘order’ of magnitude – neither has had access to all the books

  91. So you’re saying the people that in the end had the ya na couldn’t even say what they were spending on or were the money went? Or even worse, didn’t even know. I find that rather hard to believe, I mean hell, if I sign the cheque then I know where the dough is going. Why wouldn’t they? I mean it would be so dumb to do that.

    Oh wait….

    • Elizabeth

      wirehunt, when DCC made the decision to allow CST to take on the stadium project – a private charitable trust – there went swimming all transparency and accountability for the project, no matter what Malcolm Farry says to the contrary.

  92. Anonymous

    This has all been a ruse to enable rubber stamping a whole heap of rediculously trumped up invoices for mates. They’ve been creaming a thousand per day off the ratepayer from the start. The fact it created over $200m of debt plus 40 years interest will be collateral only. It’s all about what they got out of it. It’s not their debt.

    Stakeholders is a filthy word in this town.

    And still no response on how much Forsyth Barr paid for the naming rights. Only Farry hinting it was “dollars”. This is a big question and needs to be answered. They’ve got a shit load of promotion from it although it’s looking more likely to burn them in the long run.

  93. Anonymous

    Thinking of entities that have propped up these stakeholder visions, the Otago Rugby Times sure seems to have put many of its eggs in the rugby basket. You decide after watching their latest rugby loving featuring “Rugby Gal”…

    http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/201491/video-rugby-gal-meets-jamie-mackintosh

    Meanwhile Garrick Tremain’s opinion appears more grounded in reality:

    http://garricktremain.com/gallery/Cartoons/4494-17-Mar-2012

  94. Amanda Kennedy

    The stakeholders and mates on council have not finished with us by a long shot. They still have the cities assets to get their hands on. Like water that simply must be sold to service terrible debt that somehow ( no one knows how) has occured in Dunedin. They will hang around here until they get them then follow their leader to Queenstown and live far away from where angry small and unimportant, non “steakholder’ people live.

  95. Amanda Kennedy

    Now stakeholders, Hudson’s stadium cabal and Cull have sold the city to Rugby they can kill two birds with one stone. Our debt is even worse now, even more reason for them to tell us we must sacrifice some more for the stakeholders (the ‘winners’), to get even more out of this town. Don’t folk get it yet? This is about survival. Pure and simple.

  96. Amanda Kennedy

    And the media? It is not on our side. If you learn nothing else from this con, that is one thing worth learning. My evidence? Not once. Not a single time, has the media reminded voters/readers who on council is responsible for the stadium debt. Not since the last election. Oh they have articles about the debt alright, but never a whisper of who caused it. And needless to say gutless wonders Crs Hudson, Brown, Bezett and co. have not reminded us of their acccountability for the debt they caused.

  97. I didn’t think the media was meant to have a side, just tell us what is really happening. But there you go.

  98. Ripped Off Ratepayer

    Athol Stephens must have caught something from his predecessor Jim Harland. Not sure how it effects mental functions but it certainly seems to produce an excessive amount of fudging and forgetfulness where numbers are concerned. I do wonder if it is virulent. Symptoms are recognisable in a range of individuals associated with this council and appears to have infected new members. It is difficult to trace but a secondary origin is assumed to be executive related. It is possible to trace its effects backwards from the media, to publication relations and onto the upper management or executive. A name is still being considered but many are referring to it as “Stakeholders” or “Key Stakeholder” in acknowledgement of its severity. Unfortunately a cure is unlikely to be discovered until long after further debt is manufactured, water is sold and assets stripped. At least one Facebook page will suggest this is an acceptable result to ensure professional rugby survives.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/201787/council-debt-load-presages-reform#comment-28575

    • Elizabeth

      When was the last time anyone around the council table put Athol Stephens on the spot and asked him if he is prudent and conservative with ratepayer funds. Apparently, this has not been asked of the DCC’s ‘chief financial officer’ for a decade, not in any meaningful way. He’s the man in the middle doing the fudging, assisted by Ms Howard and the team at (corporate) Finance. And how often during that decade has he advised councillors that proposed expenditure on their pet projects is not prudent and does not amount to conservative use of ratepayer funds.

      • Elizabeth

        ### radionz.co.nz Sunday 18 March 2012
        Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
        10:40 Notes from the South with Dougal Stevenson
        Dougal is hoping a charity art auction will lift spirits dampened by the city council’s plan to bail out the Otago Rugby Union. (4′49″)
        Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

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