Dunedin City Council company sponsors Highlanders

RUGBY is core business for Dunedin City Council

The Council, via Delta, says “up you” if citizens don’t like it.

### ODT Online Thu, 29 Mar 2012
Delta partners Highlanders for 2012
By David Loughrey
Dunedin City Council-owned infrastructure specialist Delta Utility Services has expanded its rugby sponsorship, taking on the Highlanders rugby team for 2012. The company will be “executive partner” of the Highlanders, with the sponsorship including the Delta logo on the back of the team playing shorts, where it has been from the start of the season.

Delta has a corporate suite at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, has had jersey sponsorship of the Otago rugby team, and has sponsored Otago junior rugby. A spokesman said the company was in discussions with the ORFU for the future of that sponsorship, following the union’s near liquidation.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVML, Economics, Events, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums

60 responses to “Dunedin City Council company sponsors Highlanders

  1. Elizabeth

    Thu, 29/03/2012 – 11:05am Rob Hamlin Ratepayers’ multi-choice question

  2. Russell Garbutt

    Just what the …. is it about our community being fed up to the back teeth with its paying for professional rugby that our Councillors, Council staff, and Council entity staff don’t understand?


    There we go, it is shouted so you can all hear. This money does not belong to Delta – it belongs in the end to us. The arrogant boofheads running round pretending to be business moguls in the Delta offices need taking out and placing firmly in stocks in the Octagon while messages and missiles are delivered to them by ratepayers.

    Send a message to Delta today!

  3. Russell Garbutt

    I have sent the followinig to the feedback page at Delta

    This is a message that I would like delivered to the following people:

    R S Polson
    M O Coburn
    G D Douglas
    N G Evans
    P R Hudson
    R D Liddell
    S J McLauchlan
    J F Walsh

    Just what is it that you people don’t understand about the community that owns you being thoroughly sickened by your current and intended increase in financial support for professional rugby in this town?

    I would remind you that the ORFU is, as far as I can see, insolvent and has proven itself to be nothing other than a leech on what are, in the end, our funds.

    I believe that you all collectively have acted, are acting, and intend to act in a manner that is entirely against the wishes of this community and require you to cancel all sponsorship or the provision of any other services to professional rugby. I expect an acknowledgement of this message to the above email address and a substantive response indicating when you will be cancelling all sponsorship, or more likely a full and comprehensive rationale why you will ignore this, or similar messages.

  4. Calvin Oaten

    Russell, all those guys have gone down the “turler”, suggest you switch to today’s ‘dipsticks’. Won’t get anywhere of course. They all live in the age of entitlement and are oblivious to any criticism.

  5. amanda Kennedy

    Oh lordy, the muppet who tried to tell us all that asset sales is a grand idea, Stuart McLaucchlan, is on the Delta Board? Good grief. And I see Head Stadium Councillor on the board of course, Cr Hudson; no surprises Hudson wants more ratefunds to go to his fiscal mistake so that we pay for it and not him, but don’t expect him to remind anyone that he was all for the stadium spend. That might mean accountability for him at election time. And we can’t have that can we?

    • Elizabeth

      Unfortunately Cr Hudson is indisposed at the moment. And, should we fear not that the restructuring of DCHL and subsidiaries will likely change the membership of the Delta Board? (not much longer until announcements on the boards)

  6. Anonymous

    Another toned down, vacuous story from the Otago Rugby Times. Reads more like a press release with a couple of edits to suggest the reporter may have picked up a phone or sent an email. No challenges, no questions of accountability, no reminder of who is behind this mess. No surprises really.

    It seems appropriate the Rugby Gal ad appears beside the story.

  7. Peter

    Ummmmm….didn’t DCHL, of which Delta is a part, state it couldn’t pay its $8m dividend to the DCC? Looks like they have found some ‘petty’ cash for rugby. Questions need to be asked, but not from Dave Cull. Has he given up the ghost?

    • Elizabeth

      ### D Scene 28.3.12
      Secrecy getting out of hand (page 7)
      By Mike Houlahan – Editor
      …Open government is the cornerstone of representative democracy, and it is being flouted – not just by the DCC, but by many councils. Local bodies are too willing to invoke rights given them under the Local Government Act to exclude the public from their deliberations. Commercial sensitivity and privacy are the two most common grounds for not allowing the people to see what the stewards of their city – and their ratepayer’s funds – are doing. Sometimes there may be reasonable grounds for confidentiality – although it is worth noting Parliament long ago abandoned secret sittings. Last year, the DCC considered more council reports in private than it did in public…
      {continues} #bookmark

  8. amanda Kennedy

    Is that right ORT? Really? Sorry, you don’t get to tell me about democracy. With the tiny little fact that the ORT does not seem to be interested in holding any council politicians to account for the massive debt they have sunk this city in. Isn’t there something about the third estate holding politicians to account? In any article mentioning the city’s obscene debt you do not once dare to mention Crs Hudson, Noone, Acklin, and mates’ responsibility for the debt. Not once. Keep your crocodile tears please.

  9. amanda Kennedy

    Not the ORT afterall(!). The other media in town. D Scene do have a bit more gutsiness than the ORT; but a similar deal for them. If they are not prepared to hold the councillors who have brought this city to its knees to account? Who will be?

  10. Ripped Off Ratepayer

    This council is corrupt and that corruption is systemic in its companies.

    • Elizabeth

      But… The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) thinks – or has been told to think – DCC is squeaky clean, that the council’s projected debt is affordable. Clearly, OAG has no idea how ‘loss-making’ DVML truly is.

      Council thinking may mean the LTP is (deliberately?) consulted on BEFORE the public is able to know the extent of DVML’s loss-making activity. Now that is DIRTY politics.

      What WILL the PWC forensic audit reveal?

      • Elizabeth

        So we at DCC can afford to pick and choose. Got it, won’t release it.

        Athol Stephens said he was “seeking political advice on the most suitable time and forum” for the document to be tabled.

        ### ODT Online Fri, 30 Mar 2012
        Stadium report release date deferred again
        By David Loughrey
        A report on the financial position of the Dunedin company running Forsyth Barr Stadium is being held for another month, with little explanation yesterday of why. It means the public will have to wait longer for possible insight about whether the stadium will pay for itself, or end up an annual drain on city finances. The six-month report from Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), the Dunedin City Council-owned company set up to run the stadium and other venues, did not appear with reports from other council companies earlier this month.
        Read more

  11. Rob Hamlin

    My word, you are all cross. Would an announcement that Delta have ‘bought’ Carisbrook off the DCC for an undisclosed purpose and a commercially sensitive sum make you even crosser?

  12. Russell Garbutt

    What seems very strange indeed is that a few days ago on National Radio Mayor Cull and others were very pessimistic about a Carisbrook sale with the impression being created that it would languish unsold for some time costing the ratepayer hundreds of thousands a year in borrowed money.

    Then we get Stephen Cairns – him of the real estate type person who happened to be selling properties for the stadium while at the same time voting for the ORC involvement in the project – telling us that at least 4 buyers were snapping to buy the whole deal and that the Council would at least recoup our money.

    Now we learn that the Council have recouped $700k of the million they spent on buying these ORFU houses which really belonged to a mysterious trust with, on the surface, little hope of recouping the full amount.

    Then we find that Delta are propping up professional rugby even more than they did before.

    And in the same issue of the Oddity we learn that the DVML accounts are not going to be ready for another month and Athol Stephens is finally admitting to a debt level per ratepayer of over $10k but he fails to tell us that the latest figures indicate that debt level to be over $16k and then sort of tells us that this doesn’t include capital repayment or depreciation.

    All we need now is for Delta to purchase Carisbrook!

  13. Anonymous

    Didn’t I mention a money-go-round last week? Purchaser of Carisbrook will make a profit on the demolition and sell the dismantled stand back. This would only count as “getting your money back on the sale” if it was new, external money, not from a subsidiary.

    • Elizabeth

      I well remember your comment, Anonymous. I dare say sums for demo and dismantling have been done by prospectives. Some days it’s safer for own mental health… to not read the news, join the legion of Dunedinites (Duddites) who ignore all Council-related storms, by disconnection a calm life is had. Until…

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    Well…. if it were established that a vendor is desperate, facing a future of ongoing very high costs to keep an unwanted property…..

    Wouldn’t everyone be over the moon to see it sold? Relief from those high outgoings, hurrah!

    Wouldn’t it be awfully petty for the same people who were grouching about the ongoing costs to grumble about the sale price, when a genius salesperson managed to find not one but, say, between 3 and 5 eager prospective buyers? How much of a sourpuss would you have to be to object to the final price paid, when it is clear that “the market” – competitive too, not just one fire-sale opportunist – demonstrated that the property was currently worth only….

    Oh hush my mouth! Commercial sensitivity: nobody but a forensic auditor can be told this, and then only when the thumbscrews have been pulled out of the briefcase.

  15. Calvin Oaten

    The prospects of Delta purchasing Carisbrook is something I pondered on several months ago when I saw the premises presently occupied by Delta as being offered for sale. It crossed my mind that Carisbrook would be a good fit for them. Use is industrial. The ‘corporate’ boxes would make very adequate offices. The demolition would be a hidden cost, and “presto” problem solved. The price paid need never be disclosed, the ratepayers could hardly grizzle. Win Win all round. Watch this space, Rob may be onto something.

    • Elizabeth

      The Carisbrook site is generally well disposed to light industrial use (industrial park etc). I’m pleased no-one, including Ryman Heathcare, seems keen to develop it for older person’s housing.

  16. Mike

    One would hope for cheaper space for new businesses, if we can’t keep making new businesses our economy will continue to slowly implode

    • Elizabeth

      I agree entirely Mike, ‘new business’ – I go further, ‘new export business’, sadly this is something DCC can’t get its head around to foster, not even with the vast resources of Otago Southland on the doorstep requiring the best (smart) IT, engineering and robotic advances. Yours, from the doldrums.

  17. I understand that Carisbrook is zoned “industrial” anyway. The reason for Delta to buy it would be to disguise the Council’s loss by paying more than true market value. i.e. kick the can down the road again, and leave the City with even more debt. And Delta would try to jack-up land prices and rents to get some of their money back.
    It would be best to let the market work and for someone else to develop Carisbrook as industrial land, at a price businesses are willing and able to pay.

  18. Calvin Oaten

    Alistair; the ‘willing and able’ bit is the crunch number.

  19. Anonymous

    How to line stakeholder pockets with public money:

    1) Vote to support building a new stadium.
    2) Sell the old stadium.
    3) Sell it again.
    4) Throw a public-funded party at the new stadium.

    Dear Stakeholder
    You are cordially invited to a dress-up party to celebrate the resale of Carisbrook. We recommend coming as a ratepayer or a council reporter. High yield bonds will be rewarded to the gentlemen who are best able to parody these hapless creatures. As a special treat our mayor Dave Cull will be serving drinks.

  20. Anonymous

    Regarding the softly, softly council reporting in the Otago Rugby Times – you just know who Digger is talking about in this post: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/203503/new-life-newspapers-internet#comment-28902.

  21. Phil

    So is the picture being painted that of Delta buying Carisbrook and moving their operation to that site, followed by City Property (who own the current Delta site) redeveloping the current Delta site into paid car parking and then transferring the operation (ie revenue) of the site over to DVML ?

    • Elizabeth

      When you put it like that Phil, it’s like maybe that was an idea all along – pity Mr Cairns gets to clip a ticket in the middle there somewhere. Hmmm.

  22. Anonymous

    Given that the current Delta site is within walking distance of FBS, it would not at all be surprising to see it done that way. If only something could be done about that pesky truck yard on Anzac Ave.

  23. Delta is a joke. And we keep paying. Sheltered garden. Wake up Dunners.

  24. anon

    Where the ODT is concerned on the matter of reporting about their stadium, it is often difficult to determine who is fooling who. It is the jester playing to a stakeholders’ court and ratepayers the butt of all council jokes. Many days the council news has felt like April Fools.

  25. Anonymous

    The Highlanders must be bloody desperate for “our fans”. Corporate rugby has no place in the school, but since Eion’s Stadium and their Rugby World Crap they’ve embraced abusing them in the name of professional rugby. The latest scam is for primary schools to ask teachers to offer Highlanders paraphernalia to their pupils. As you could imagine the children get excited, go to the school’s office and pick up glossy cardboard rubbish of “our fans, our team” and an over-sized flag to wave about. No doubt paid for directly or indirectly by the Dunedin City Ratepayers. Even Cadbury’s doesn’t go that far with its promotional sickness. From the start of this stadium, the professional rugby bludgers have never shied from using our children to promote their white collar interests, even suggesting they “heckle” parents to buy tickets for their RWC games.

    The Highlanders might think this tactic is funny but I think it’s as despicable as their approach to spend other peoples’ money.

    Go on. F. O.

  26. Anon

    The Highlanders can win – one day. After 10 straight lossers all they need to do is start up their “We Believe” campaign again on TV and in the ODT. “We Believe. We Believe. We Believe.” Come on boys. Believe in yourselves. You can do it. You don’t need any rugby skills to win. Just BELIEVE.

  27. Mike

    no no no. … you just need to believe enough to pay them money, rugby is incidental. … sort of the scientoogy of sports

  28. Anon

    So, Mike, is the “We Believe” campaign aimed at the fans? The fans need to believe the Highlanders can win so then the fans pay them money.

  29. hypeothermia

    All you need is love, love. love.
    Naturally, when you love you share.
    Tithing, that’s the way forward.

  30. Mike

    Anon: I think the Highlanders realise that if they don’t win occasionally the fans wont show up and they wont make any money – but if they can’t win a bit of pseudo-religious fervour might get a few more dollars through the gates – of course I look forward to the dawn of truthful advertising: “Our Team sucks” signs all over town.

    Really they should understand their business better – professional wrestling understands how to manage this sort of thing properly …. provided the fans are dumb enough not to catch on. US football takes a different approach, offering the worst teams first pick of the best of the new players joining the league each year (aka “the draft”)

  31. Anonymous

    Nearly 12,000 followers paid to sit in Eion’s entertainment centre and watch a group of professional rugby players perform for Sky viewers. It’s been a bit sombre from the supporters’ camp today. Even the ODT has struggled with its usual rugby juicing.

    When are they vacating to Calder Stewart Carisbrook? Do you think the Stakeholders will set this in motion before or after this year’s election? Do they still need Dave Cull?

    They all get to walk away from scamming the city of millions of dollars. Or keep doing it. Might be a hotel to build or a few assets to strip before the banks figured out what’s going on.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 13 Apr 2013
    Rugby: Seventh hell for Landers
    By Steve Hepburn

  32. Anonymous

    ### Stuff Online, Last updated 21:33 12/04/2013
    Highlanders condemned to seventh defeat
    By Nathan Burdon in Dunedin

    The rot has well and truly set in. The Highlanders slumped to their seventh loss to start the season last night at Forsyth Barr Stadium, losing 30-19 to the Brumbies. With that loss, they have notched up the worst run of defeats in a season in the franchise’s history. In a game which never reached any heights, the Highlanders showed little accuracy on attack and, once again, did not value the ball enough. At this point of the season, it is hard to see where a win is going to come from.

    The ageless George Smith inspired the table-topping Brumbies to a 30-19 win over the Highlanders in Dunedin tonight. The former Wallabies flanker, who returned to Canberra earlier this season, was into everything for 70 minutes at Forsyth Barr Stadium in front of a commendable crowd of just under 12,000. Charge downs, breakdowns, general play – the 32-year-old was a class act throughout, including scoring a try after half an hour which helped the visitors to a 17-9 lead. The Brumbies looked clinical and are a fantastic defensive unit, pretty much what you’d expect from a team at the other end of the table from the Highlanders who were slow to get to the breakdown early and paid the price, down 10-nil after just six minutes.

  33. Peter

    Gee, the green strip was supposed to make all the difference. Fresh branding, and so forth, until they freaked out about their great ‘tradition’ of wearing the blue and gold. Doesn’t even a brand new stadium, built just for them,give inspiration any more?
    Pass me the tissues.

  34. Anonymous

    For a bit of cringe-worthy rugby loving check out the fan posts under this Highlander dog. Can they get out of their rugby funk? Forget day to day issues in the real world, this stuff really stresses them out…

    ### Stuff Online, Last updated 10:23 15/04/2013
    Super Rugby: The worst season ever
    By Luke Robson

  35. At least the stadium seats won’t be wearing out. That’s a big tick for maintenance.

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    Sustainable seating – they’ll still be there for the next generation (along with the debt).

  37. Anonymous

    Dunedin’s corrupt city council has plenty of ways to shuffle the money into the pockets of its stakeholders, particularly if it’s giving the lion’s share of its massive marketing budget to Allied Press or continuing to prop up Highlanders professional rugby. Several years ago it cost over $1200 to produce and place an advertisement on the rear of a bus and it cost around $375 plus GST per week per bus to rent that space. Today I counted five separate CitiBus buses sporting the “it’s our…” campaign messages. It’s our team, it’s our colours, he’s our coach – complete and utter crap. Nothing at all about It’s Our Bloody Money! But guess what… that’s $6,000 up front and $2,000 per week at 2008’s cost. Add in the various Allied Press publications, radio ads and boards around town and that’s a pretty penny you and me are paying for professional rugby.

    To Sir, with love. Your friend, the DCC. Kiss, kiss.

  38. Anon; you know the saying: “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette”. It could be “Eggs Benedict” next, before getting down to a good old “Fry Up”.

  39. Hype O'Thermia

    Anonymous, what an opportunity for someone with their own truck or large van to put It’s Our Bloody Money! on it, to make up the full set.

    • The council ‘companies’ have a few trucks, then there’s DCC Fleet (vehicles)… which might still be going home at night with various council staff, not sure if Phil’s diligence on this (via website) has sorted it yet with Mr Orders.

  40. amanda

    Good point Anon. How many DCC funds flow in never ending streams to Sir Smith’s accounts? Sounds like a nice little deal going on there; another reason to pay attention to who the ODT supports on the run up to the election and who gets no mention or the ODT ‘they are divisive and challenge the status quo!’ form of condemnation.

  41. amanda

    The Highlanders and the ODT are one and the same; more like the Otago Rugby Times.

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