Davies gave it a shot, next…

### ODT Online Thu, 3 May 2012
Stadium boss in shock resignation
By Chris Morris
The man tasked with making a success of Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium is resigning and will return to England. David Davies, the chief executive of Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, yesterday confirmed he had given notice of his intention to resign, citing family reasons. He plans to continue in his DVML role until March next year, when he will follow his family back to England. The shock decision was confirmed in a written statement issued by DVML board chairman Sir John Hansen late yesterday, prompted by Otago Daily Times questions earlier in the day.
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### ODT Online Thu, 3 May 2012
Emotional Davies explains stadium exit
By Chris Morris
An emotional David Davies says he is returning to England to keep his family together. Mr Davies, the chief executive of Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, was speaking at a hastily-arranged press conference at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin this morning. […] He paid tribute to his DVML staff and acknowledged the role did not come without challenges, but insisted his “conscience was clear” when it came to his performance and that of the stadium.
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[More tomorrow]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DVML, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

37 responses to “Davies gave it a shot, next…

  1. ormk

    I thought he was Welsh.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    That’s nothing, I know 2 Welsh people whose home is in Dunedin!

  3. Peter

    If the available international ‘talent’ for the kind of job that David Davies was appointed to is sparse, how much sparser is it going to be when possible candidates for his position actually go to the trouble of doing their homework, before they accept the job, and discover that this dead horse has already been flogged so hard it is left with just a skeleton? No wonder they have to seduce prospects for these jobs with a high salary to get them interested. Mind you, as David Davies has experienced, you can go from one ‘misfortune’ (Queens Park Rangers) to another. (Our Little Stadium)
    What a soulless, empty and ungratifying way of making a living and enjoying life at the same time. Maybe he has thought about what is important in his life and will now smell the roses.

    • Elizabeth

      David Davies was brave to take it on. He got here, to discover the true worth of CST / DCC / Other nightmares in all their splendour. No amount of pay would soften that for any sane person. He is that.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    The way I see it, he leaves here with his reputation undamaged, because there cannot be anyone looking at how things were here, who would not say, “He did his very best in insane circumstances created by nitwits.” He has not failed.

  5. Russell Garbutt

    The attractions of having a family together I would say would far outweigh the attractions of a 1/4 million dollar salary. He was supposed to ensure that we could have things like the World Swimming Champs, Dalai Lama visits, Royal Tours which were, according to the idiots (read consultants) entirely possible. I can think of another eminent person that rang me at work one day to tell me that there would be regular rock concerts and that these would assist in bringing up to a 1000 extra students per year to the University. Hardly achievable goals.

    He was on a hiding to nothing, but I’m not sure that the deals that he must have been party to have really benefitted the ratepayers. Maybe he has been subject to the bullying so obviously prevalent amongst some of the Tartan Mafia? I suspect that we won’t really know the full answers for some time in exactly the same way as only now by persistent hard work from all sorts of people the truth is gradually coming out about the dear old ORFU.

    • Elizabeth

      Russell, you say “I’m not sure that the deals that he must have been party to have really benefitted the ratepayers”. Exactly right there. Counting down to DVML’s six monthly report… oh gosh, that was due for release on 26 April. To be followed by the “final cost” of the stadium on 14 May.

      Hello Paul Orders, ditto Dave Cull, clock ticking.

      *Both dates were stated at the public meeting held by Dunedin Ratepayers and Householders Association on 12 April.

  6. Peter

    They will eventually find someone who believes it will be he/she who can make a difference and they will succeed, where others have not, to make the stadium a success. They will experience a honeymoon period where people wait and give that person a go. There will be excitement…much like that which greeted Graham and Mains such a short time ago when they were appointed to the ORFU.
    Then. The inevitable happens. Pixie dust can’t be made to work. Things turn sour even more. The new CEO goes….much like David Davies.
    That is why the turnover, alluded to by Paul Orders, is high in this stadium/venue market. Too few venue management people trying to run too many venues that can’t turn a buck.

  7. Anonymous

    I think Mr Davies has likely done the job expected of him. His experience ensured he was the best candidate to continue the stakeholders’ vision through to their Mission Accomplished party.

  8. Calvin Oaten

    Oh yea of little faith. The talent to run the stadium effectively and profitably is right here in Dunedin – or close to it. Who I hear you all ask? Why, Malcolm Farry of course! Just ask him, he will jump at the opportunity to put into place all the dreams he had as he so earnestly promoted. The fact that he got it built “on time and on budget” should convince anyone that he is the ‘maestro’ of magnificent things and I just bet he is waiting to be asked. I think he would gladly do it for a pittance as long as a ‘knighthood’ is assured. I, like he, am/is just wondering why it is that he has not been called. He is relatively free now as the stadium is up and running, F&P have left the country and the Orokonui Sanctuary has been guided to fruition by his tender hand. I think he has completed the St Josephs’ remodel so he will be itching for the challenge. Go on, someone ask him.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, dentists are a tolerant species (plus they have cool chairs and toys), but I’m just not sure one dentist’s passion and lack of height can walk on water.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    As many of us pointed out in dozens of different ways trying to find some way of getting the message heard and understood, stadia all over the world, including in cities much much larger than Dunedin, don’t make a profit, don’t break even. But no, OUR Fubar would be profitable (unlike others). It would have concerts, all the big names – even though time after time concerts announced for the Regent were cancelled due to lack of bookings. This that and the other activity would use our stadium, despite their having built and paid for their own clubrooms with their own efforts.
    Superman himself could not make it work though. Facts were against it from the get-go.

  10. Anonymous

    Thinking of stitchups, it was very kind of the ODT to give the Starters Bar such extensive promotion on the front of its paper, inside and online. Does the Highlanders franchise owe money to Allied Press as well or is this just a case of one or two enthusiastic fans in the subbing department?

  11. Peter

    Calvin. I just knew you would eventually find enlightenment in ‘The Southern Way’ that our visionary leader has so eloquently spoken of. Now all you have to do to show repentance is to wave the little Draft Annual Plan book and chant ‘We Want Intergenerational Debt’.

  12. Calvin Oaten

    Peter; I had a vision (about 2.30am), it was Richard, he was saying, “give the ‘effin’ stadium to Malcolm, he deserves it. And please, forget about ‘Intergenerational debt’, I’ve just been lectured up/down (not sure) here of the evils of visiting one’s sins upon the little children.” So there we are, it comes from up/down there that Malcolm’s the anointed one.

  13. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth; some of the really cool ones have pictures of traditional fairy tales on the ceilings too.

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Interesting to note that the Oddity printed a letter from Richard Thomson in this morning’s edition which was very openly critical of the ORFU. Methinks that once a few more choice details of how the ORFU look after their own before the small creditors and the City while at the same time holding out their greedy rapacious dirty paws for yet more ratepayer money, the rapidly dwindling support for this bunch of crocks will vanish completely.

  15. Peter

    Oddly, the editor makes a comment in reply to Richard Thomson’s comment that the defamation will cost ratepayers ‘tens of thousands’. The editor points out that the council only has to pay $50,000 of the total likely bill to defend the action taken against the mayor. Excuse me, but isn’t $50,000….’tens’ of thousands.

  16. Anonymous

    It is very unlikely that the defamation will cost “tens of thousands”. Nobody is mentioned specifically by name, nor are the alleged comments specific as to a character fault or deficiency. The action by Mains and Graham seems typical of rugby bullies. These things generally go away without costing much. It’s the Southern Way to try it on though.

  17. ormk

    Not long to wait before those financial reports come out. No doubt these will confirm the stadium as a sunk cost. One good thing about this departure is that the city can easily save a really big salary and use that to pay back the debt.

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    The Cult of Managerialism brought in the new truth that if someone’s good at managing one company s/he’s good at managing another i.e. they don’t have to know a damn thing about widget production or turkey raising, they just have to be managers. With salary packages including bonuses for keeping on breathing, and an MBA. Why are stadium managers so specific? Telco and airline managers aren’t. For a busy business like Telecom the salary is (in my opinion unreasonably, but leaving that aside) extremely high. For a stadium that has been a failure waiting to happen from the first snake-oil promotion campaign, a stadium that with a highly paid, highly motivated, experienced manager earned a big fat zero with FAIL in neon lights over it, why not see how cheap managers come these days? What difference can it make? I mean, apart from the good difference that it will be a little less gouged out of your and my wallets via the rates account.

  19. ormk

    It’d be a really good project for a newly graduated commerce student. Good experience on the CV of the top scoring graduate of the year. Pay them $25k pa – make it a PhD on winding down Stadia! That’s about $300k pa that our grandchildren will be glad was used to pay for debt.

  20. Calvin Oaten

    Hype; Night watch men don’t command six figure salaries I am sure. One salary plus the debt servicing costs are the minimum we can expect. Turn it into a giant aviary, fill it with endangered New Zealand birds, lease it to the University Botany Department to manage, give the Kakapo pride of place, run paid tours for the city’s visitors and it will be right up there with the Orokonui Sanctuary, the Albatross Colony and the Penguin tours. Dunedin could become the “Eco Tour Capital of the South”. Nuts? Probably. Rugby Stadium? Now that’s Nuts!

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    Something that would appeal to many cruise ship visitors as well as locals would be a car restoration workshop and showroom. It’s fascinating just how many men turn out to be quietly restoring a vintage or performance car in their home garage. It is also a small-scale nice earner, just as fitting out luxury yachts is. D Scene has a regular car feature on an individual and his – occasionally hers but usually his – car. The work some of those people put in is incredible.
    Actually there are many things that the stadium could be used for, if only the city could face up to losing the picture of it as a sports and “events” arena. It’s a big space. Big spaces such as warehouses can be used for many purposes, most of them more appealing more often and less lossy than its present uses.

  22. Anonymous

    I like the idea Hype.
    Two individuals who spring to mind who had extensive collections of interesting vehicles were Mike Swann and Jim Harland.

  23. Robert Hamlin

    Calvin, be careful what you wish for. The Stadium lunacy is only relative. In the CST’s overall vision for the stadium area contained within their intial fat report, the Stadium was going to have a cruise liner terminal on one side of it (for the cruise liners that can’t get past Goat Island) – and – wait for it – Big Malc. and his mates were going to roof over the quarry and keep penguins in it as part of Antartic environment – We have actually got away quite lightly.

  24. Peter

    There’s just something there about blokes who collect a fleet of cars. An expression of wanting to prove something. A compensation for some other inadequacy.
    Much like ‘The Big Dreams’ you outline above, Rob.

  25. Phil

    I suspect that the release of the report will be delayed until the end of the current Super Rugby competition. That way they can point to increased spectator levels as a sign of better times to come and that the current disaster was fully accepted for a first year. All smoke and mirrors of course, but that’s the way I can see it happening. They need to find SOME good news to try and divert attention away from the bad news as much as possible.

  26. jeff dickie

    I was having a look at “City Talk” magazine date April 2008. In this edition Malcolm’s CST estimates the economic impact of the New Stadium to be $24M per annum ongoing. For once I might be able to agree. The only difference is it would be a deficit, thus making Malcolm’s economic forecast about $50M per annum out.
    City Talk has “had its day”. It has in recent years served as a vehicle for dishonest hype and propaganda. We’ve called it Pravda for years.

  27. Phil

    Don’t let flakey Rodders hear you say that. You Naysayer, you.

  28. Calvin Oaten

    ‘Old Rodders’ is only there for the tea and cream buns. And boy, does it show.

  29. john

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I refer to your request for a copy of the half yearly report from DVML. This report will be considered by the Council on 14 May 2012 and will be available on the Council website, and copies will also be available in the Customer Services Agency and Libraries at that time.

    However, if you would like to receive a copy I am happy to arrange for one to be posted out to you when it has become publicly available.

    Jennifer Lapham
    Governance Support Officer
    Dunedin City Council

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