Weak boys, Cull and Burden on rugby stadium

One year on from the All Blacks winning the World Cup at Eden Park, what is the state of rugby at the so-called “Stadium of Four Million”? APNZ reporters Patrick McKendry, Daniel Richardson and Matthew Backhouse investigate.

### nzherald.co.nz 4:16 PM Friday Oct 19, 2012
Sport
Rugby: What is the state of our game?
By Matthew Backhouse, Patrick McKendry, Daniel Richardson
Andrew Maddock will be at EcoLight Stadium in Pukekohe early today for Counties-Manukau’s biggest game of the season, an ITM Cup semifinal against Southland. The Counties Rugby Union chief executive will be at work about 8am for a game which kicks off at 2.05pm and which he expects will attract only 4000-5000 spectators. “It’s a little bit hard to know as it’s Labour Weekend,” he says. “That for us is a reasonable crowd because we’re a pretty small community.” When that match kicks off the All Blacks will be preparing for tonight’s Bledisloe Cup match against the Wallabies in Brisbane which will attract a full house of more than 50,000 to Suncorp Stadium and a worldwide audience of millions. Such is the divide in New Zealand rugby, a ravine growing by the year despite, or perhaps because of, the All Blacks’ success in the World Cup, which on Tuesday will be exactly 12 months ago.

Mr Cull says there was a great atmosphere during the tournament, but whether that justified the expenditure was another matter.

One year on from the Rugby World Cup, the tournament’s costly and sometimes controversial stadium projects have left a legacy of ongoing debt and questions over their future.[…]For NZRU chief executive Steve Tew, the World Cup’s legacy is a positive one, despite doubts remaining over Eden Park which had a massive overhaul before the tournament and now mostly sits empty apart from when the All Blacks play there.

“We’ve got a sound platform to build on going forward. Of course there are significant challenges ahead financially, but when I look to the future events that we’ve got coming up, the events calender is looking pretty robust.” -Darren Burden, DVML

Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium is struggling to attract the big events it needs to remain financially viable, while Auckland’s revamped Eden Park has been dragged into a review of the city’s stadiums as it looks to shake off $55 million in debt. Critics say the tournament failed to deliver on its promised financial returns and are questioning the long-terms gains of the $555m spent nationally on upgrading stadiums. – APNZ
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

34 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, DCC, DVML, Economics, Events, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

34 responses to “Weak boys, Cull and Burden on rugby stadium

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ch9.co.nz October 19, 2012 – 7:09pm
    Otago Women’s rugby team to play at the Stadium for the first time
    The Otago Women’s rugby team will get to play under cover this weekend, when they take on Auckland for the final round of the Provincial Championship. It’s the first time they will have played at the Stadium and the captain says it marks the end of a very successful campaign.
    Video

  2. Peter

    Darren Burden’s comment defies logic. He acknowledges the financial challenges ahead, yet bullshits ‘the events calendar is looking pretty robust’. Duh.
    There is absolutely no hope when you get this kind of crap…. whether it’s desperate delusional talk or said to mislead.
    In the meantime, it is signalled there will be more money spent ‘to make the stadium work’. When will it end? Do we have to bankrupt the city with this bloodsucker before commonsense prevails?

  3. Peter

    More of that jolly good fun at the stadium under ‘The Right Man For The Job’, Darren Burden. Amazing lack of loyalty to the locals, but these guys should have known long ago the type of people they were dealing with.
    Ian Taylor felt he couldn’t keep quiet ‘on this one’, which makes you wonder what he HAS kept quiet on!
    The stadium has created so much discord in the community, to the point where even the pros hate each other. Yeah. Let’s make it work, Dave.

  4. Russell Garbutt

    No doubt that Strawberry and Southern Lights are good local companies. Totally professional in my experience. Can the same be said for DVML and the rest of the DCC companies? Not a bit. What Ian Taylor has to do with this particular story is slightly harder to fathom except for his ongoing interest in trying to find out some use for the stadium – I seem to remember him saying that he was going to be working with the Uni and the stadium in making this the world’s best video analysis venue for all types of sport. It was never a goer.

    However, putting the stadium into shonky partnerships or arrangements with even shonkier companies is not a new thing at all. Just more of the same.

  5. Peter

    ‘Shonky’ should be the name for a new set up company and they can have the naming rights when Forsyth Barr get rid of the bad look stadium with their name on it.

  6. ormk

    You’d be hard pressed to find a better example of a sunk cost than the stadium. Not even considering this they are throwing money at it but worse still throwing money out of town! Following the flagrant corruption surrounding this project one can’t be too surprised.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    Hey! for a bit of light relief go to the ‘funnies’ page. Just ‘Google’ Farry Riddell Consultants. Say no more.

  8. Russell Garbutt

    Noticed the big ad in the Oddity the other day for this – apparently dear old St Farry of St Clair has, because of some company restructuring or some other meaningless drivel like that, has some vacancies for clients. I would imagine that if you wanted some lessons in how to convince people like Neil Collins and Bill Acklin that spending advance income on capital and pretending it was something else then he would be the man. I do notice that he specialises in Local Government stuff. Good grief.

  9. Peter

    Someone has pointed out to us that Strawberry Sound provided the sound system for the disastrous ODT concert where the sound quality was apparently so appalling. Not entirely their fault – probably because of poor stadium design – but it makes you realise the desperation of some folk to soldier on…. and want to go there again. You’d think Strawberry Sound would want to protect their name – and future.
    I guess DVML wouldn’t want to go there, by being openly critical of Strawberry Sound, and at the same time bringing up, again, the natural acoustics problems for our dear old stadium.
    What a bloody farce. Any business touches the stadium at their own peril.

  10. Anonymous

    Ian Taylor is conflicted on the stadium and has no credibility on any comments that he makes in that regard.

  11. Peter

    He maintains he is independent in thought, but ultimately falls in line with the good old boys. They know it too and therefore can ignore his occasional quibbles as some kind of personality quirk. I always get the impression Ian only speaks out when something might affect him/his business. Like a lot of such men he is unable to separate out his love for something, in this case, rugby, from wider issues of greater importance or concern to the community. It’s this mindset that ‘what is good for rugby is good for the community’. Clearly wrong, but these fellas won’t be told. Imagine their poor wives who have to live with them.

  12. Jacko

    Serves them right. They snuggled up too, and supported the stadium while it was being built, ’cause they thought the ratepayers were going to subsidize their businesses, by building the stadium for their pecuniary advantage.

  13. Peter

    I guess so, Jacko, but I do have some sympathy for them. Hanging out in the corporate boxes, while hubby ‘talks business’ and gets pissed (not much use later on), must be a bore. I guess they can still team up with the girls and talk about interior design, clothes, and other bitches, if rugby bores them witless morning, noon and night. What a life. And then there’s the tedium of the nice house in Wanaka, with not a thing to do, coz you have a gardener or a cleaner to do it all for you.
    Enough to want to hit the sherry bottle and/or go for a settlement.

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Love the accompanying photo of St Farry. Probably about 20 years old. Again a favourite ploy of other old people like Neil Collins. Publicity shots from ages ago. The reality is a lot lot worse. Sort of misrepresentation on one level that is repeated at others. Imagine the shock of suddenly meeting him for the first time – you’d think you had come into an old people’s home for the bewildered….

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks for the alert to this advert, Russell. I had to pull it from the rubbish for recycling.
      At the Farry Riddell website not one photo of Malcolm is current; although, we have on file television clips for the extraction of something closer to the grim reality.

  15. Calvin Oaten

    Bewildered? Bothered more like. I particularly like his CV and the fact he was chair of the DCC Economic Development Committee. That was when he tossed vast amounts of citizens’ monies around to such as Fisher & Paykel, Tamahine, Wickliffe Press, Cottonsoft Products, Cadbury, Mainland Cheese Products, and all and sundry property developers. Millions of dollars of largesse, all down the gurgler. Consultant? Of course the highlight of his career would have to be the fronting of the Stadium development. Ask yourself why does he have space for a limited number of new clients? Could it be that he has none? What sort of business would one have which would be enhanced by any input he might put in? A worm farm is the only one which readily comes to mind.

  16. Peter

    OMG! What a hoot! Just about wet myself with this one. I guess he’s done his dash with the council, so needs to set up a ‘consultancy’.
    The spinning world globe – going so fast it almost flies off its axis and into space – says it all.
    The photo is really funny. He looks about late 40s in it when in real life he must be hitting near 70. (Maybe I should dye my remaining hair black and get a toupee.)

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    Peter – “He [Ian Taylor] maintains he is independent in thought, but ultimately falls in line with the good old boys.”
    I am independent in thought. I believed right from the first meeting where Mr Farry spruiked the deal, that it was bad on every conceivable level. I didn’t “fall in line” with Bev or Dave Witherow or anyone else, I wasn’t co-opted or converted or bribed or seeking favour from people I admire, it just happened that we believed the same thing. I don’t like it when other people like Ian Taylor who is not a fully badged & patched member of the shadowy string-pullers’ coven are not shown the courtesy of at least giving them the benefit of the doubt. And, Jacko and Peter – there are a good many wives as well as unmarried women who are right into rugby. I so don’t get it myself, but that’s life, I don’t get lots of people’s passions, bridge being another. The reason I know about women who are right into rugby is that some of their other hobbies and passions are ones we share, that’s how I got to know them.

  18. Robert Hamlin

    Carisbrook is still immaculate and rugger ready. AB’s have been gone for over a month, pro rugby supposedly gone for nearly 18 – maybe….. Wonder what the excuse is for keeping it so these days? Perhaps they’re keeping it ready for the next AB’s practice run – When’s that scheduled? FB pitch is covered in bald patches, divots & straggly bits (detailed photos taken).

    Presumably desperate first aid will be applied over the summer – which will make ‘community use’ of anything except the hardstanding at the East End where the permanent stand was supposed to be but eventually wasn’t, pretty much it for the plebs.

    Maybe they’ll take a leaf out of Prince Charles’ book and play Mozart (loudly) to the grass over the el cheapo PA system to make it grow better! Other possible tracks: ‘Please release me, let me go…’ (back to Carisbrook), ‘Listen to the rhythm of the pouring rain’, ‘The Boxer’ – especially the long ‘lie lie lie lalal lie’ bit – remember? ‘The green, green grass of home’ (aka Carisbrook)’ – Any other suggestions.

    • Elizabeth

      Jeepers Rob, that’s a bit ambitious. Look, DVML thinks we just need a dose of Hollies and Horses for summer. It’s painful to include the link. Forgive me for thinking music has transgressed the straight-bodice of the 1960s. What’s Hot now might well fry middle-aged Darren and Guy’s little minds. This was never meant to be a retro stadium, not according to Malcolm – even standards of ‘grass’ maintenance have moved with the times.

      http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/231506/hollies-join-hot-summer-stadium-line

  19. Peter

    Talking about turf, what are they proposing to ‘protect’ the turf with a whole of horses thundering up and down it for a few hours? Does anybody have an idea or heard something?
    First we had Elton John and now The Hollies. I’m not sure whether the city’s younger people will be impressed.
    Also have they sorted the sound system, given its patchy reputation during both the ODT and EJ Concerts, where some parts of the stadium were dreadful, sound- wise while other places there were fine? If not,will ticket prices have to be set according to where in the stadium you choose to sit and the likely sound quality to be expected in your chosen position?

  20. Anonymous

    Drove past Carisbrook the other day. Lots of seats missing from the main stand.
    Also we the ratepayers seem to be providing free parking at the new stadium Anzac Ave car park. Total chaos there, no security guard (cost cutting?).

  21. Rob Hamlin

    Seats can be bolted back in a few hours – but it does look good if you take a few out & hide them round the back. Pitches let go take a lot longer to bring back – As do buildings let go to even a moderate extent, but Carisbrook’s buildings and pitch both look pretty squeaky clean to me.

    The lights are gone, but they were last decade’s model anyway, Christchurch is welcome to them I’m sure. The money received for them (wherever that went) could no doubt be regurgitated and described as a ‘private sector contribution’ to the cost of a new set if the purchase of a new set becomes desirable at some point in the future.

    Obviously, actual sale and conversion/demolition completely stuffs it as a rugger stadium, but fat chance of that if getting our money back is a DCC precondition of sale. Even factoring out the rumpty trust-owned houses across the road (bought at the same time for no good reason), $6m was paid for this structure. The experienced commentators say that either residential or commercial development options leave little more than $2 million for the site ‘as is’.

    Thus Carisbrook is safely ‘mothballed’ and protected by its own overvaluation until other ‘good uses’ can be found for it. Like other similar structures in this town that have been expensively delivered to this community for ‘commercial reasons’ it may well be undergoing metamorphosis into a ‘community asset’ right at this minute. A ‘community asset’ for those not fully up with the play around here is a portal through which large sums of public money pass into private hands.

    Immaculate turf, expensive though it is, matters little to a real developer, who’s first move is more than likely to be to drive a caterpillar tractor across it in order to install a row of portacabin offices on the 22 line. The last of a series of pathetic ‘explanations’ for this ongoing state of affairs that we received from the DCC via a ‘PR burp’ article referring to the All Blacks in McPravda, is now over a month out of date, and we are well overdue for a new/upgraded one as the St Richie event fades into history.

    Perhaps as McPravda seems to check this blog regularly, they would be good enough to provide one to us in the next few days. “Carisbrook has recently been designated as an an emergency on-call space alien delegation landing and civic welcoming area. Funds for its indefinite upkeep for this role were approved by a vote of 11-3 at a public excluded extraordinary Council meeting yesterday.”, for example, would be as believable as most of the others that have been fed to us.

  22. Anonymous

    The sale/purchase agreement is taking some time to complete. I wonder why…?

  23. Peter

    Not sure if this is the right place, but the ‘weak boys’ title suggests so. I notice ‘Dr’ Dave Currie from the University of Otago has just received some bad national press on TV and in the SST with comments by Valerie Adams in her just released autobiography concerning a 2am haka which he organised. She and other athletes were disturbed by this commotion on the very morning for key Olympic events in Beijing that involved her and other athletes. Apparently, he is keen on doing hakas, at the drop of a hat, and she states she was embarrassed for NZ by the frequent propensity to do hakas to draw attention to the NZ contingent. (Small country syndrome?) I couldn’t agree more with her on this inane practice. I get sick of it myself. Where it once drew goose pimples, it now draws contempt.
    Currie has been a very strong stadium supporter at our university. Another error of judgement from a so-called intelligent academic who doubles as an Olympic chef de mission.
    I’ll be interested if the ODT reports on this, or ignores it, as the news embarrasses a stadium mate. Currie didn’t return calls to TV1. Here’s your opportunity, ODT.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/7873357/Val-Adams-fires-shot-over-haka-at-Games

  24. Hype O'Thermia

    Haka schmaka enough already.
    Exception being, it’s pretty special when it’s performed by chaps with sizable man-boobs. And trackies.
    Come on, that’s got to work for you too. No?

  25. Anonymous

    Peter, there are a variety of popular pass-times based on the Oddity. For example, “Who, What, When, Why, How? Who’s Needs Them!”, “Find The Important Information At The End” and of course this one, “Where’s The Story?” (*) You can ponder on it after the crossword or involve the whole family for a wonderful evening of laughter.

    You’ll notice all the off-the-wire trivia is getting loaded into ODT Online but not the one about a Stadium Supporter. Funny to think someone is sitting in there clicking yes/no or a filter has been set up to bounce any story with a keyword in their Stadium of Love filter list.

    * Development is being considered for online games including Syd’s Café, Whac-A-Stadium-Councillor and Rampage: Glass Hotel Edition.

  26. Peter

    What I find interesting about the haka is that it has become a white boy thing too. I’m surprised more Maori haven’t objected that their culture is being ‘colonised’ – the ‘McDonaldsisation’ of Maori culture? OK, I know I’m Australian and it is neither here nor there to me. Just an observation. I guess they see it as an honour to them too that their culture is being recognised? Or has the haka just become something peculiar to New Zealand now. Not Maori in particular.
    Anonymous. The ODT is indeed a strange beast!

    • Elizabeth

      [Aside: Peter, “white boy thing”? From age 16 when I first started playing A grade hockey, ours and all the women’s teams at tournaments had to perform a haka. It was a soft and collegial Kiwi-traditional thing to do before(!) we pulped each other on the field.]

  27. Peter

    That’s interesting Elizabeth. I’ve never seen or heard of girls/women perform the haka myself. Kinky!

  28. Jacko

    Kinky ? Women’s team doing the haka with hockey sticks. What a sight

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