ODT preamble on Davies story


Released via Twitter.

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Sep 2012
Stadium boss fires some parting shots
David Davies is a happy yet frustrated man. The former Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive has ended nearly three years as the public face of the Forsyth Barr Stadium, but not before firing some parting shots in an exclusive interview with Otago Daily Times reporter Chris Morris. He has precious memories of his time in Dunedin, insisting the city would – in time – be convinced one of the most controversial projects in its history was worth it. But Mr Davies admitted to “mixed feelings” about the results of his time at DVML, and urged the city to do more to work together if its citizens wanted to make the most of the stadium.

For the full story, buy today’s Otago Daily Times.
ODT Link


Former Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies is winging his way back to England after firing some parting shots in the Forsyth Barr Stadium debate. He gave his final interview to reporter Chris Morris.

### ODT Online Sun, 30 Sep 2012
Promises, politics and the stadium
By Chris Morris
David Davies is flying home a happy yet frustrated man. The former Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive last night boarded a plane for England, ending nearly three years as the public face of the Forsyth Barr Stadium.[…]Since arriving, Mr Davies said, he had confronted unrealistic promises and expectations about the venue, a flawed funding model and, in some cases, a lack of political will to do what was needed. “I came here to do a job I have never been able to do, for various political reasons. I go back happy with my time here, but disappointed that I wasn’t allowed to do the job that I was recruited to do.”[…]The details of any settlement package with Mr Davies were not yet known, and he was coy when asked about his future.
Read more

### ODT Online Sun, 30 Sep 2012
Chin: no regrets; Cull: need lure
By Chris Morris
Former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin rejects claims Forsyth Barr Stadium was oversold and says he has no regrets over the decision to build it. However, the man who replaced him as mayor, Dave Cull, has reiterated his belief the stadium model was designed “to convince people to build it”, and says changes are needed. That could include a new events fund to pay incentives to lure promoters to Dunedin, which would be considered as part of the review of the stadium and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

33 responses to “ODT preamble on Davies story

  1. Lots of interest in today’s paper. Much of it is an admission that the City was conned into the Stadium. But it is time to “move on”, and now spend millions more (in addition to the current losses) on an Events fund to attract promoters and make the Stadium work. I can see another battle coming.
    And the questions asked: Is Davies getting a golden handshake? If he is leaving voluntarily, why is this being considered?

  2. Anonymous

    David Davies is just ensuring the Great Jobs for Best Mates Program continues and the Stakeholders are not disturbed by a City stuck with washing their dirty laundry.

    Sort of ironic you have to buy the paper to read this one. There is no way I’m going to pick it up now just to read them crooning about all things stadium. This is the equivalent of Allied Press throwing its well-used undies (*) at him as a going away present.

    They can write long-winded articles about sports and ‘cats/students up trees’ but when it comes to investigating or questioning nefarious activity in this city, the paper regularly falls flat like New Our Stadium Mayor.

    * Often used to wipe down and polish Dave Cull. Never washed.

    • Elizabeth

      The story will be available online subsequently. No rush. Davies still won’t have done a full safety audit at the stadium to prevent falls and crowd crush, why should he care. It’s not like he made the stadium viable; money like his salary is no insurance; KPI in his contract are likely nonexistent, this is DCC we’re talking about… Alistair has provided the scenarios…

      • Elizabeth

        Excerpts from Chris Morris’ interview with David Davies (ODT 29.9.12):

        Mr Davies said (as we know)… ‘any contingency had been whittled down to make the overall cost of the stadium more palatable to councillors’.

        Asked who was to blame for that, Mr Davies said there was “only one shareholder” – referring to the Dunedin City Council. “They made the decision to build it. People’s feet were always going to get held to the fire. If someone came out of the woodwork there was nowhere to go.”

        “I think the days of Malcolm [Farry, former Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman] sitting in front of council saying it’s all things to all people are gone. It’s a grass pitch and a stadium…it’s not got the degree of flexibility that was presented to the city seven years ago.”

        Read this interview in its entirety and see Davies descend to poppycock. His public exit interview does no favours.

        The witless DCC are now primed by Burden and he to defraud the People of countless more dollars, without public sanction or scrutiny. Barbaric practices, of the local rogue trade, the suits.

        David, your position has been at the centre of Council corruption and misuse of rates funds. Don’t expect a valedictory.

        From project start, what did the good residents and ratepayers with buckets of common sense know that Farry and Friends didn’t. Who should be Fried now.

        Oh, that’s right. Peter (I-know-nothing Dormouse) Chin and Jim (Heartland) Harland can’t be reached by phone. Although that never stopped a subpoena.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Somebody’s bound to scan it and put it on their blog/facebook. so a link may turn up here. The world wide web wasn’t made for provincial limitations.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    I thought it intriguing that slung-out Mayor Chin “couldn’t remember” anything. Not a wonder when you are asleep most of the time. But he did remember that the vote to proceed was 10-4 which it actually wasn’t. That was a procedural vote, but hey, don’t let the truth get in the way of rewriting history. St Farry of St Clair doesn’t come out too clean in this little exit interview either. What a surprise.

    There is no way that this stadium is ever going to make money and everyone knows that – having an incentive fund (let’s call it by its real name a ratepayer funded subsidy) is just as bad as Burden believing that a multimillion dollar loss can be turned into a profit by not having to pay debt, debt interest and rent. These coots are not of the real world.

    One thing that should be put up here is the link to Jim Mora’s show of yesterday where a discussion took place about pro rugby’s reliance on pokie funds. I believe that $1.6m every month is going to rugby from pokie machines!!!!!! And our dear little ORFU and all their front organisations are right up there folks.

    • Elizabeth

      Russell and Alistair, the ratepayer subsidy (incentive fund) is another of those EXPENSIVE beasties that doesn’t go through that thar Annual Plan process cleanly for public consultation. Oh gee, neither did the whoooole stadium project, or the CST/DVML/DVL/Davies/ORFU/ChiefCourtiers’ wants…
      This incredible list of beneficent, charitable gifting by DCC to professional rugby tycoons should be summed for public delight, it will make even the Delta thieves look good. Cull leads this most ‘golden era’, Calvin. May he stay affixed on the throne for the magnificence of his be-heading, with no “non publics” about it. The crowd deserves the sight of dark blood, with the demise of Sydney shortly to follow. Chin will be glad he got out alive.

      This is what it’s like, Amanda, when you’re forced to live inside the DCC fairytale.

      PS. Hype O’Thermia could have written this better.

    • Elizabeth

      Russell – here are the links to yesterday’s Jim Mora show:

      ### radionz.co.nz Friday 28 September 2012
      Afternoons with Jim Mora

      16:07 The Panel with Jane Clifton and Matt Lawry (Part 1)
      The Ministry of Education has published the national standards results of nearly 2000 schools. The head of the New Zealand Rugby Union says proposed gambling reforms will strip community sports of vital funding. (22′25″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    Wilful Oblivion Wall of Shame

    “Can’t remember” – Chin, Banks. “Haven’t read” and “signed without reading” – Chin, Banks, Key.
    Feel free to add names, these are only the ones that jumped out of this week’s news.

  6. amanda

    Most important thing to note is that the councillors responsible are NOT mentioned in the article even when discussing how useless the stadium is. We are supposed to think the stadium just magically appeared out of thin air by no human hand. Crs Hudson and co hide behind ‘the council’; typical of bullies, to hide behind the innnocent. Also interesting how in the article they blame the mean citizens for not bowing and scraping on the ground at the brilliance of Farry and stadium councillors for delivering massive debt to the city. lol.

  7. amanda

    Oh god. “Events incentives.” It just gets more and more insulting! Really, who do they think they are kidding? Anything to make it appear the thing ‘is working”. Anything to ensure stakeholders do not get egg on their faces for their fiscal uselessness. Genius businessmen? Please. Ain’t nobody buyin’ it.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Bribes? Subsidies? What for?
    I understand subsidies e.g. to keep Hillside Workshops open so we (NZ) could retain plant and skills and money (wages) in NZ instead of locking ourselves into dependence on overseas suppliers. Cheaper in the short term if you don’t factor in quality, as it’s turned out. But when we lose the ability to make stuff for ourselves we have not only lost plant, skills and employment of NZers, we’ve also lost bargaining power because we do not have the opportunity of saying “Hmmph, if that’s your price we’ll build it ourselves thanks.”

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting that the ODT website opens no discussion on the Cull case. Only one on the Davies interview, and that was from a ‘bear’. Must have just come out of hibernation. The question is, when is a ‘peoples’ site’ a peoples’ site? Answer; when it suits the moderator. This is censorship, a scary sort of information control.

    • Elizabeth

      I always maintain that the old guard at ODT have never understood social networking services – unlike the country’s major dailies and weekend papers, and their global equivalents. Not sure why ODT’s so uptight, it’s almost virginal with trepidation – other than it so greatly fears the small pool of advertisers might desert, should rough trade in public comments ensue? Imagine the ‘mail’ they’ve received this weekend on Cull, Mains, Graham, ORFU, Chin and Davies, I bet it’s healthy and inflammatory, just as it should be. And there will be the fans. God help us. I’d buy more papers as well as take an online subscription to read the lot. Imagine knowing what Otago really thought… would we recognise ourselves? But hey it’s a hard game (social networking and rugby…), the rule is to shake hands afterwards, like real men. Just like John Ward told Malcolm Farry at Nova cafe one evening, and that was over stadium money too.

  10. Anonymous

    It’s so got it wrong, hasn’t it? That paper has forgot how to be a newspaper and is too busy appeasing the interests of the few, a small group of wealthy self-serving Stakeholders, and believing that will be enough to carry on. But like an increasing number of desperate businesses paying for flawed advice, they are ignoring their founding strategies and goals and dismissing the majority who actually maintain that foundation. Their staff. In this newspaper’s case, its readers. I bet their subscriber numbers paint a depressing picture or the managers add gloss to it as it goes up the ladder, assuming the reality actually reaches Julian’s desk nowadays.

  11. amanda

    The stadium consters are bullies who are now crying that Dunedin people refuse to recognise their brilliance and continue to challenge their right to rule and siphon ratefunds to prop up their fiscal debacle. My evidence? Cowardly custards Hudson, Brown, Acklin, Weatherall, Bezett, Noone and ‘councillor forever’ Collins dare not tell voters that they are the councillors responsible for the massive debt, they hide behind the ‘council’ and hope we all forget that the rest of the councillors either voted against the stadium going ahead or were not even on council at the time(!).

  12. Peter

    Interesting titbits gathered from this interview.
    Not hard to see the antipathy towards Farry from David Davies with his comment about him basically bullshitting the councillors with his promises all these years. (Not hard). Confirms what some of us have heard and he is not the only DVML member to see him that way.
    DD basically dumps on the stadium after the initial obligatory ‘great to be here’ comment. He’s not even sure whether it was the right decision to build it. Great, but too late for this kind of honesty now. He correctly dispels the multiuse claim which we, of course, have known for yonks. A stadium with a grass pitch. Quite. The stadium has always been a rugby stadium despite Farry’s false claims that it is multiuse.
    It’s not hard to see that DD will have a lot to tell his contacts in the UK and around the globe about the Forsyth Barr Stadium and his sorry experience there. Surely, this won’t help to get all those international acts which he says will not be coming!
    DD believes he was sold a pup and so do we.

  13. Calvin Oaten

    The interesting bit Peter, is how the spin ‘maestros’ counter the undoubted damage that interview has done for the stadium image. There will have to be some serious ‘damage control’, because this ripples outwards, making a lot of positions untenable, not least Mayor Dave Cull’s performance of the $29,000 grovel on his knees to Mains and Graham of the ORFU. Coupled with the fact that Cull firmly hung his, and council’s reputation on retaining both the ‘Highlanders’ and the ORFU as tenant supporters of the now ‘Davies rubbished’ stadium. Poetic justice actually, corruption writ large by a whole host of miscreants, caught out with their pants down in full public view, outed by one of their own, who has just departed blowing their cherished deceptions on his way out. Malcolm Farry must be livid. Everyone of the participants, including the new DVML CEO has been left to try and apply the ‘lipstick’ onto the biggest ‘pig’ in this city. If all this weekend’s news doesn’t act as a huge wake-up call to the citizens then I guess nothing will.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    My God! some-one really should take the shovel off Dave Cull, lest the hole he is digging falls in on him. I have just read his latest comments posted today, probably will turn up tomorrow’s ODT.

    So watch the the money box get another rattle.

    {Link posted on this thread earlier today. The story was printed in Saturday’s paper (page 5); the post at the top of this thread has been updated. -Eds}

  15. Peter

    Cull and Co need to explain exactly how a new slush fund, to beg potential users of the stadium to come here, is going to make the stadium a ‘viable’ concern.
    Now we not only have to pay off the stadium capital and interest and try to run the damn thing on a day-to-day basis, but we also might have to pay for this slush fund if it goes ahead. Then. What are they going to do if/when the private funding evaporates? Is there a Plan B or C?
    The way things are going Dave Cull might think of following DD and escaping to England – anywhere for that matter – sooner rather than later.
    This stadium is going to kill the careers of a fair number of individuals.

  16. amanda

    “If the stadium is going to provide the economic benefit to the city that it could, we have to find ways to incentivise events into the city.” What tosh dear Mayor Cull. The fund is to hide the incompetence of half of your council and Very Important Stakeholders’ reputations. This is not about being fiscally prudent at all, it is about damage control and protecting a greedy few, not the innocent majority. The stadium is a fiscal con, you must come clean on that and then the city can move on once the incompetent councillors and stakeholders have been held to account and removed from positions of influence where they continue their reign of incompetence.

  17. amanda

    The fund proves that the stadium is ‘fiscally negligent’, those who foisted this negligent fiscal mess on the city on council must be held to account.

  18. amanda

    And the really really scary thing ? These fiscal nincompoop councillors, Brown, Hudson et al, are still making important decisions about our city’s future. They are the ones trying to tell us to ‘trust them’, Big Oil is the way to go! Maybe it is, but with them at the forefront it makes me look at what they think is ‘smart’ and run screaming the other way. They have proven they are incompetent.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, amanda. They’re not very bright and they’re terrible with numbers. They’re thieves who would make beggars of the rest of us, and have done. The stadium project is far from finished fleecing generations of the Dunedin Community, all for their sick egos.

  19. Elizabeth

    David Davies left the country too soon…

    ### ODT Online Tue, 2 Oct 2012
    Success of cup coup for student
    By Vaughan Elder
    The winner of this year’s Audacious Business challenge for Otago University and Otago Polytechnic students hopes his winning product will change people’s mindsets about reducing waste. University of Otago law student Ryan Everton (20) picked up $8000 for developing the Globelet, a reusable plastic cup. Mr Everton already has a commission with Forsyth Barr Stadium and a client in Australia.
    Read more

    Related Comments:

  20. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 3 Oct 2012
    DVML recruitment drive costs $51,307.45
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin Venues Management Ltd spent $51,307.45 on an international search to replace former chief executive David Davies that eventually led back to one of the company’s own, it has been confirmed.[…]Figures released to the Otago Daily Times this week – following an official information request – showed DVML spent $51,307.45 on the search, involving 109 candidates including 90 from outside New Zealand. That included the cost of using Select Recruitment, of Dunedin, to conduct the recruitment drive, although DVML chairman Sir John Hansen would not release a breakdown of DVML’s bill.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Comment received.

      “Attached is the breakdown of the recruitment costs for David Davies released after I made a complaint to Ombudsman.
      In today’s ODT, Sir John Hansen, Chair of DVML, has refused to release the breakdown details of the recruitment costs for the new CEO of DVML.
      Sir John Hansen has no grounds for refusing to release this information.
      I would expect a higher standard of transparency from a retired judge.”

      Bev Butler


      From: sgraham@dcc.govt.nz
      To: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
      CC: John.Haynes@ombudsmen.parliament.nz
      Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 13:17:20 +1300
      Subject: DVML recruitment costs breakdown

      Dear Bev

      Please find attached a letter which provides the breakdown of costs for the appointment of the CEO of DVML.
      I have sent the original copy via post which you should receive tomorrow.

      Feel free to contact me directly if you have any further enquiries.

      Sandy Graham
      Manager, Governance
      Dunedin City Council

      Butler-DVML full release (PDF, 53 KB)

  21. These guys never die.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 2 Jun 2013
    Thorny issues for Davies
    By Chris Morris
    The former boss of Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium has swapped one thorny stadium debate for another. David Davies (54) has been named the new managing director of Edinburgh Rugby, based in the Scottish capital, ending a spell on the sidelines after quitting Dunedin unexpectedly last year. However, Mr Davies has found himself in the thick of a fresh stadium debate, as his new club mulls a possible move away from its 67,000-seat home at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby. The club was struggling to attract crowds to the cavernous venue, prompting complaints about a lack of atmosphere and suggestions it could move to a smaller facility.
    Read more

  22. Calvin Oaten

    Hey! if we play our cards right we might get him to employ Mr Burden. That would be a win win.

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