Stadium: DCC runs amok with $750K annual subsidy to DVML

Updated Post 12.12.12 2:30am

Dunedin City Council has voted for ratepayers to substantially subsidise the multimillion dollar loss-making stadium operation!

The local body elections take place in October 2013 !!!

### ODT Online Tue, 11 Dec 2012
$750,000 a year for community use of stadium
By Chris Morris
Details of a deal under which the Dunedin City Council will spend $750,000 a year to subsidise greater community use of the Forsyth Barr Stadium have been confirmed. Councillors at yesterday’s full council meeting voted to accept a new service level agreement between the council and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, the company running the city’s loss-making roofed venue.

Council chief executive Paul Orders said the agreement would be ”a holding position” until the outcome of the wider review was known. Despite opposition from Crs Thomson, Vandervis and Teresa Stevenson, councillors voted 11-3 to approve the agreement.

The agreement confirmed the council would pay $750,000 a year to DVML in return for enhanced access to the venue – at reduced or no cost – for community groups. The extra funding was first agreed by councillors in May, but the service level agreement – detailing the requirements of each party as part of the deal – was only ready to be endorsed by councillors yesterday.
Read more

Report – Council – 10/12/2012 (PDF, 141.1 KB)
Service Level Agreement between the Dunedin City Council and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

131 Comments

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

131 responses to “Stadium: DCC runs amok with $750K annual subsidy to DVML

  1. Ray McKendry

    This is just a disgrace and I feel abused as a ratepayer!

  2. Alistair

    This is such bad news on many levels.
    It helps to disguise Stadium losses.
    As Cr Thomson says, it helps to “lock in a high cost mode of operation” for the Stadium.
    For other venues in the city, such as the Edgar Centre and Moana Pool, everyone pays.
    But selected groups will get to use the Stadium for free. But they will have to compete with each other to suck up to the Council and DVML for the privilege.
    Paul Orders says that it is “a holding position” till the wider review. Yeah, right.

  3. Elizabeth

    This item of city council expenditure has not been approved through the annual plan process and has had no public consultation.

    I suggest people write to the Mayor directly, with copy to all Councillors and chief executive Paul Orders – if you’re staunch also copy in Murray Kirkness, editor of the Otago Daily Times editor@odt.co.nz

    Others to copy may include the editor of National Business Review (Nevil Gibson), the editor of DScene (Mike Houlahan), there’s also Fairfax Business Bureau (Tim Hunter), New Zealand Herald (David Fisher, Brian Rudman), Sunday Star-Times (Steve Kilgallon), Radio New Zealand National’s Checkpoint, Morning Report, and Afternoons. Try the television news networks, as well as Channel 9, if you have contacts there – otherwise it may prove fruitless to do so.

  4. Calvin Oaten

    $750K plus $1 million added earlier this year (to reduce the debt repayment period) plus the ORFU accommodation. All ‘post PwC report’. It started as a ‘grand deception’, moved quickly to ‘farce’ and is now a ‘disaster’. And as it is now a ‘holding position’ watch this space.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    I’ve spotted the fatal flaw in the PwC report. It wasn’t presented in comic-book form. All those words and numbers, pages and pages of them.
    No wonder it’s being ignored. Too hard, much too hard.

  6. Alistair

    As far as the Pwc report goes, I wonder how Paul Orders is going in holding to account the staff member responsible for the $3 million of unauthorised spending.

  7. Rob Hamlin

    $750,000 means that my own annual share is around $20. Around a third of the $66 all up annual cost per ratepayer – Remember that?

    I wonder what a ‘community event’ is and how one qualifies for subsidised use: Here’s an example of this conundrum using the function rooms:

    1) A public meeting to discuss an issue of local importance.
    2) A councillor/stakeholder’s slap up reception for their daughter’s wedding.

    If the budget only stretches to one of these at DVML’s discretion – Which one do you think would qualify in the eyes of DVML for subsidy as a ‘community event’?

    Don’t Y’all go wonderin’ too long now!

  8. amanda

    Any amount of money will be spent to ensure that the stadium pushers can tell the story that their stadium ‘works’. We have a local election next year and Crs Hudson, Noone and co are all desperate to spin the narrative of the stadium from one of failure to one of success as a ‘community asset’ where the accountability for the stadium’s fiscal ineptitude can be pushed onto the community, and Farry and stadium councillors Brown, Bezett and Weatherall end up with no egg on their faces. They want to be the velcro men of debt; what debt? who created it? Noone knows, it just fell out of the sky. These stadium muppets hope to pull the wool over the eyes of voters and present as fiscal geniuses to get another three years on council. Our city cannot afford to have Hudson’s cabal returned to council, dispite the determined effort of the local media to ignore their hand in the city’s debt.

  9. amanda

    Alistair, you are right it does disguise stadium losses, and more to the point it disguises who are responsible for the city’s losses and debt, as Elizabeth reminds us; its election time next year. Since the local media won’t remind us we must take note of how these councillors voted, and hold them to account.

    • Elizabeth

      There’s a little voice that says there are a lot of nice places, large and small, I will want to retire to in the next twenty years. Dunedin won’t be on that map.

      Sorry DCC, I have no plans to have my rates wasted, misspent, misdirected or rorted.

  10. Anonymous

    Palmerston is nice.
    The concern in DCC seems to be with avoiding holes in budgets, not with avoiding losing money.

  11. Anonymous

    We still have the money-go-round.
    We still have the “if it’s in the budget it must be spent” mentality.

    Only way to make the stadium work:
    – claw back the tens of millions in shonky land deals
    – claw back the tens of millions in shonky business consultancy and marketing
    – go after the personal assets of Councillors who voted for it

    That will get you about $60 million. That would tip the balance.

    • Elizabeth

      Anonymous – the continuing money-go-round should face some sort of injunction, where’s a pro bono QC when you need one. Honesty has fled the equation at DCC. And yes, as the other Anonymous says, Paul Orders needs help and support, big time.

  12. Peter

    Cutting $750k, decided on in May by the council, would have left a rather nice hole I would have thought.
    Meanwhile, I will encourage the local Macrame or Bird Fanciers’ group to abandon hiring the local hall and get a freebee at the stadium with everything laid on and nothing to pay.Damn those other struggling little venues, ‘out in the community’, that want to stay open for the locals. Imagine a community, like North East Valley, with its various halls closed down.
    A stadium is not a community drop in centre.

  13. amanda

    “Go after the personal assets of councillors who voted for it”…Music to my ears. A much better idea than re-electing corrupt individuals and once again giving them power to make decisions on the future of the city. Let’s see if any potential councillors are prepared to campaign for election next year on the slogan that they will fight to get Hudson and mates to fork out from their bank accounts for their fiscal decrepitude.

  14. Anonymous

    A holding pattern is a response to a tragedy unfolding or terrorists having taken control. It is possible Paul Orders is sending a coded message for help…

    We all know how the money will be spent will have already been agreed upon behind closed doors, with a reserve for those other public events that the Spooks can crawl all over. But the majority will be misappropriated and directed towards “high performance” and some such buggery along with the “administrative” costs. Yes, there will be “multi-purpose” events and they will be judged awesome news by the Otago Daily Times.

    …so I suggest ratepayers immediately storm council and move the Stadium Councillors and Lesser Dunedin to a windowless bunker deep underground to protect the city against further harm.

  15. amanda

    The election is less than a year away. October next year. I think it is time to start thinking about an agenda of resistance to the corrupt and negligent councillors returning to council. Not much time to prepare. Last time we got rid of three of them, methinks, oh Off the top of my head, seven more need to go…

  16. Anonymous

    So we are paying people to use the stadium now? Weren’t we already doing that for the professional rugby bludgers? Where does another $750k come from? Flick. Flick. Abracadabra. Rugby Stadiums. Sydney Browneys… hmm, nope. Nothing. No seven hundred and fifty thousand magically appeared.

    Somehow I doubt the lenders believe in magic (not anymore anyway).

  17. Peter

    I bet much of this $750k ends up being siphoned off to…..yes, you guesed it…..rugby. As in through the back door from a ‘community junior rugby club’ and into the ORFU’s pockets. Like another pokie rort all over again.
    Who is managing the finances for this little fund? DVML, I presume.

  18. Rob Hamlin

    Carisbrook’s still in perfect nick and immaculately groomed as of today. Forward with the communityisation of the Foobar I say. Any time now we should have confirmation of the mystery Carisbrook buyer that the last McPravda ‘Go Away’ PR burp promised us a few weeks back. Don’t hold your breath too long waiting though. It’ll make you go purple.

    Also, has anybody heard any more about the ‘investor’ that was going to snap up the Highlanders? Perhaps we will have to wait for the arrival of the water company sale ‘windfall’ profits before that mystery personality steps forward with their chequebook to secure the community economic benefits of the loyal boys in blue/green/purple with pink spots/whatever you damn well like if you continue to fork out the dosh.

  19. Anonymous

    Why has the sale and purchase agreement for Carisbrook not been completed yet?

  20. Peter

    Elizabeth. Pro bono QC? Dunedin doesn’t do that. Too busy counting their own dollars to worry about the dollars lost by Mr and Mrs Joe Public.
    They don’t even want to do anything about blatant perjury.Shame on them. What hope can we have in the justice system?

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    How the DCC manages its property assets:
    The DCC could have proceeded to lease the northern end of the Railway Station (ex tacky restaurant) to the person who wanted it, agreed to their price, and asked them to state what kinds of business they would NOT permit in it – knowing the DCC’s clipboardy initiative-prevention squad he figured it was quicker to get them to set the terms than argue one by one, whatever he decided to diversify into whether goods sold, services provided or hours of opening.
    That’s the way I heard it, may be a bit off on the precise details but the overall picture is correct.
    So anyway he asked, and he asked, and he asked. No answer given. Result, no lease.
    Result, no income – the premises are still vacant. Nice one, DCC. Keep on going, Greece is still ahead of us by a nose.

    • Elizabeth

      So who is DCC reserving the ground floor space (ex Valentines) for ? The i-Site after all ? That commercial kitchen (with an upgrade) is worth a good tenant.
      Oh wait, I hope Cr Hudson doesn’t have another chef daughter.

  22. Anonymous

    Yes but if they had done that, it would not be an option to move the i-site from Moray Place. Just in case you wanted to do that. After the staff member has written the reports. Again.

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    I’m not sure if it included a kitchen, I was only told it was the large space at the northern end of the building. Same area as the special whisky place??

    • Elizabeth

      The commercial kitchen and associated chillers are at the very north end of the main lettable space (with access to railway platform). The former Otago Farmers Market office was part of the kitchen’s storage outrooms.

  24. ormk

    Operations have shown the stadium to have no viability. The ill conceived and undemocratic process leading to its construction has been shown to be a mistake. The figures leave no doubt about this.

    It is criminal that the DCC is pumping this huge sum of money into the stadium. As Elizabeth points out – such a sum requires consultation and should be in the annual plan. Pumping this money into the stadium shows a complete lack of diligence. Where is the business plan? How is it going to make the stadium profitable? There is a head in the sand attitude towards what is very clearly a sunk cost.

    I think this is a face saving exercise – paint the stadium as a successful community resource at any cost without regard for any damage caused elsewhere in the community. I’m not sure what we can do about it – it is good elections are coming and let us put energy into getting the right outcome there.

  25. amanda

    Well, as long as we have seven councillors sitting around council responsible for the fiscally inept stadium ‘business plan’ we will continue to have money thrown at the thing just so they can come out smelling of roses, just so long as they can convince voters that the stadium was never meant to make a profit….because, you know it is a ‘community asset’ and so profit is unimportant to all us minceholders (it is only important if you are a stakeholder, if you are a minceholder just smile and pay the money). Those cowardly bullies are Noone, Brown, Bezett, Acklin, Hudson, Collins and Weatherall. All seven cowardly custards want to be returned to council next October to continue on the fun and games of taking from us to give to a few.

  26. amanda

    You are correct ormk, it is a facesaving tactic, whose faces? That is what we need to remind voters of. The secret seven must be outed for the fiscal numbskulls they are.

  27. chirpbird

    I questioned whether this $750,000 had been budgeted for in the Annual Plan, addressing the three councillors who voted against it. Two of them told me that it has been budgeted for in the Annual Plan. My guess is that it is part of a pool of ‘stadium purposes’ allocated money and that this resolution was about how to spent part of it.
    I still have misgivings as subsidising community use of the stadium seems to me to be significantly different from other measures the DCC has taken. So I wonder under what general heading was used for this pool of ‘stadium purposes money and whether that could reasonably be considered to include community group subsidies.
    The other thing that bothers me is the ‘cherry-picking’ of the Community Outcomes which DCC staff have used in the Service Agreement document to support the resolution as being ‘justified’. Shouldn’t proposals in general be measured against ALL the Community Outcomes, not just the apparently favourable ones? The ‘wealthy city’ Community Outcome (if it is intended to apply to all Dunedinites, not just some of them) often seemed to get left out of the judgement.

  28. Peter

    It amazes me that the council, with this $750k propping up fund, still doesn’t see that its very instigation surely tells us that the stadium, at this early stage of its opening, is already on the ropes and the signs are very, very bad for its future. Paul Orders’ use of the language – holding pattern – signifies the utter desperation they feel. It’s like the little Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dyke to prevent a deluge.
    Once they put the onus on the stadium proponents (the rugby boys) to come up with solutions, and cease this constant rescuing, they will be relieved. It’s called washing your hands of the problem and putting the responsibilities on others. ‘Sorry guys. We have no money. It’s up to you now.’
    We still have to pay the damn thing off, but we don’t add yet more debt. We say to them, ‘You make it work or it has to close’.

  29. Calvin Oaten

    Peter; there seems now that there is very little doubt but that the stadium ‘fiasco’ has entered the ‘end game.’ I guess it will be on life support now, over and above its debt servicing requirements for as long as this weak pathetic council can sustain it. Finally, it will be game over and they will accept it as a sunk cost, close it and blame anything and anybody but themselves for the disaster it was always going to be. Then watch the OSM and the Town/Hall conference Centre go through the same motions. The Chinese Garden was the classic learning curve that they all missed out on so abysmally. As the saying goes,”there are none so blind as those who will not see.”

  30. Peter

    Yes, Calvin, we sometimes forget the loaded debt from the other projects that have to be paid off, along with the stadium which is the biggest mumma of the them all. What a financial headache…or migraine, more like it.
    Added to that, Darren Burden recently mentioned upcoming maintenance requirements for the eighteen month old stadium in the near future. It will be interesting to see what bits are already showing signs of falling off.Given the speed of the build for the RWC, it is inevitable short cuts were made and shoddy work was done. Will the stadium, in time, become Dunedin’s rough equivalent of Christchurch’s CTV building in terms of a building code controversy?
    If I was the council I would instigate an independent, out of town building inspection of the stadium before doling out more cash for maintenance (like an updated health and safety check for the building). I certainly wouldn’t leave this job to DVML which would be more intent on hiding what’s potentially wrong there and crossing their fingers that nothing goes wrong. In this way, the council could avoid potential future liability. Due diligence is required.

  31. amanda

    The DCC and the stadium supporters on council want to shift the coming blame for the masssive debt blowout onto the community; if they can make enough voters forget who pushed the thing on the city, then they will start to aportion blame to the city. The new narrative will be about how the city so wanted the stadium, demanded it in fact, and how the noble Hudson, Noone, and mates, reluctantly gave into the demands of the people; they never wanted the stadium, see? Not their fault at all. If not theirs, then that means they will make it ours. So when Hudson or Brown or Noone tells us ‘…we must sell off the city’s assets to pay for the debt all you silly people created, ain’t it a shame!…’ voters will think that, well, golly, we must sell the assets. No insight into the fact that assets being sold was all part of the deal for Hudson and pals in their stadium push.

  32. amanda

    This is why the complicit local media is so unfortunate for little old Dunedin; in not holding negligent councillors to account they doom the city to continue voting in inept, foolish and downright fiscally dangerous councillors.

  33. BillyBob

    Got anything new for us Amanda?

  34. Mike

    “Let’s eliminate sports welfare”

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/40595178/

    it’s a world wide problem

  35. amanda

    Billybob? Old son, still reading and keeping up. Good to see that.

  36. Anonymous

    Mike, great find.

  37. amanda

    Yes, excellent article, about sports welfare “…Consider stadium subsidies. When Kubla Khan built his stately pleasure dome above a sunless sea, he did not strong-arm the Xanadu County Board of Directors into funding the project by threatening to move to Los Angeles. His mistake…” Sound familiar? Didn’t the rugby union threaten to leave the city if we did not build them a nice shiny new stadium?

  38. amanda

    Though the writer is dreaming if he thinks that the republicans will be happy with cutting sports welfare in place of social spending cuts.

  39. chirpbird

    How did the supposed consultation in the Annual Plan take place? Like this:
    According to staff member responding to a councillor’s query: The $750k pa service level payment to DVML is budgeted in the Parks and Reserves budget. It doesn’t show as an individual line in the LTP. It’s rolled up in the total parks and reserves operational expenditure along with all other similar service level agreements to organisations.
    There is a note about the Council decision to fund the $750k pa on page xxi of the LTP. (ends)
    From the Introduction to the Long Term Plan:
    Other Changes
    The above changes were made as a result of consultation on the Draft Long Term Plan 2012/13 -20121/22. In addition to these, updated information and changed circumstances have resulted in other revisions to the draft plan and these are identified below:
    (among other items)
    Dunedin Venues Management Limited (DVML)
    The council has resolved that:
    • The Council provide, from the 2012/13 year onwards, $750,000 per annum to fund an annual service level agreement with DVML in return for a range of services that will be provided by DVML.
    • Council staff, in conjunction with DVML, will prepare a draft service level agreement, outlining the range of services to be provided, for consideration and approval by the Finance, Strategy and Development Committee.
    http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/271455/Final-Long-Term-Plan-2012-13.pdf
    page xxi Introduction.

    No one submitted on this either for or against.

    Questions:
    1) Did anyone understand what it meant?
    2) Is the stadium a ‘reserve’?
    3) Is it a reserve which belongs to the DCC?
    4) Can it be managed within the terms of the Council Reserves Management Plan General Policies (see: http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/132778/CARS-Reserves-Management-Plan-General-Policies-Adopted-2005.pdf ) which is what appears to be happening here.
    5) Does such a lack of clear and full information constitute consultation?

    • Elizabeth

      Good work, chirpbird ~!!!
      That is the problem, very few of us have time to ‘audit’ in our own minds what these coots are up to. And well they know it :(

  40. Calvin Oaten

    Chirpbird; That fits very much with the strategy of obfuscation long adopted by council administration to hoodwink the dopey councillors. It worked admirably throughout the stadium development, to the extent it fooled a judge of the court as well.
    Remember the additional $10 million odd for the ‘High Performance Sports’ building, and that we were told the debt would be serviced by the HPS Academy at some $850,000 pa. Then we found that admin had proposed and council had agreed to an annual grant of $850,000 pa to the HPS Academy.
    Find that in the Annual Plan and a gold watch is yours.

  41. chirpbird

    Thank you for feedback, Elizabeth and Calvin. I feel obliged to go to the next Council Public Forum ( 2013) and challenge the present council’s claim to transparency, citing this as an example of indirect expenditure on the stadium which has not been made clear to the public, indeed arguably deliberately disguised.. The present elected Council should know what they have voted to be spent on the stadium during their own term of office (since 2010 elections) so I plan on asking them for a complete list (both direct and indirect expenditure) for the sake of transparency and to help voters make up their mind in the 2013 elections.

    I would much appreciate help from contributors to this site in making a tentative list of stadium expenditure since Oct 2010. I need to be well-informed enough that when I ask the DCC questions I don’t end up with egg on my face – much better on theirs! Especially before the next local body elections.

    All I need is suitable questions eg “What is the financial relationship between the DCC and the High Performance Sport Academy, including any financial relationships via Council Controlled organisations? Is it true that the DCC has made a considerable annual grant to HPS Academy? What budget did this grant come from?.” and so on.

    Also I don’t think ‘interest swap rates’ are very transparent because no-one much knows what they are and no-one CAN know what they signify – being a gamble on future. financial conditions, So that is intrinsically not transparent re council’s financial position. (Thank you for info, Rob.)

    Am also concerned that subvention payments (for tax purposes) have been made from profit-making council companies to offset stadium losses AS WELL AS dividend payments being made. I assume subvention payments reduce the taxable profit of the other companies but I don’t understand the full implication.. Can anyone enlighten me on this? (I am wondering whether taxable profit is reduced then as a result dividend pay outs are also reduced – but does this make any difference in the long run?) Can the dividend payouts from council companies be considered a ‘stadium expense’? Or are they in a separate category as part of the ‘building costs.”

    Here is a tentative list of stadium expenditure:
    one off:
    subvention payment
    carbon credit,
    purchase of ORFU land
    small left over grant fund,

    on going:
    annual rates residential
    annual rates commercial
    annual rates commercial targeted
    annual rent grant to high performance
    annual rent grant for community access.

  42. Calvin Oaten

    chirpbird; regarding ‘subvention’ payments. In discussions some time ago with Athol Stephens I asked him to clarify for me, ‘subvention’ payments. His explanation to me was that it was an old form of ‘money go round’ in order to minimise tax obligations. Long since cancelled in a commercial sense, but still recognised by IRD in municipal/local body activities. In essence as I understood it, DCHL are liable for the commercial tax rate on all EBITDIV revenues. The DCC on the other hand are subject to a lower tax rate on their revenue. So DCHL/Aurora are permitted to write out a cheque to DCC/DVL for a sum and treat that as expenditure. The DCC/DVL receive that as revenue and if it is surplus is taxed at the lower rate, or, more likely treated as operating revenue expense/revenue. The remainder is then repaid to DCHL/Aurora as payment for services and it is banked. At worst, the lower tax is paid, at best, no tax is paid. When I asked how that benefited the initial recipient other than the difference in tax rates, I was left sort of wondering. Obviously I am missing something here which, not being an accountant is not surprising. However, Rob might be able to enlighten us on these points. It is obvious that a great deal swings on these ‘subvention payments’ as opposed to dividends as they come from after tax payments, and are taxable in the recipient’s hands. At least that is how I understand it. But I guess I am way out on this one.

  43. Hype O'Thermia

    My brain hurts.

  44. Robert Hamlin

    chirpbird, if you are going to get into forensic accounting, which is what you seem to be proposing, the best policy is to keep your inquiries narrow, but deep. So I would concentrate on the Stadium only. We have no way of assessing what the swap situation is without access to the original contracts and related products that define the product that have been (mis?) sold to the DCC in the three years or so since they stopped issuing bonds and notes. These documents are very unlikely to ever be released short of a complete financial collapse of the DCC and even then, don’t bet on it.

    It was essential to investigations of this nature to have immediate powers of discovery. This meant that if an investigator says ‘show’ or ‘give’, they are shown or given right there and then without any quibbling. This allows them to freeze a situation for long enough to see where the money is and how much of it there is. Rarely in my experience does the actual situation match the audited documentation once this was done.

    In the situation that we face here with routine concealment of information secret meetings, and public accounts that appear late, reluctantly and that seem to struggle to achieve even an auditor’s approval, then you may have to adjust your expectations accordingly. You may never find out what is actually going on, but you may be able to identify specific ‘hard to explain’ anomalies.

    That reminds me. Have the auditors signed off on the DCC accounts yet, and have they done so unconditionally? Does anybody know?

  45. Mr Insider

    A reliable source has claimed that Crs Chris Staynes and Syd Brown have recently gone to Wellington to meet Finance Minister, Bill English, to seek financial help to bail out the stadium. He has, quite rightly, rejected their pleas. No doubt his decision was influenced by earlier lies told to the Government with their $15m grant to help build the stadium.
    It is a measure of how desperate the financial situation is with the stadium. The $750k annual subsidy…referred to as a ‘holding pattern’…is obviously not the only attempt to shore things up.
    We are now paying the price for this disaster in a big way.

  46. Anonymous

    Interesting such an important begging would be undertaken, not by the Rugby Mayor himself (*), but his 2IC and that other guy. The only thing more ridiculous is Dave continues to believe that guy still carries weight. His political career is toast. It’s just him and his racehorse voters yet to accept it.

    * This Mayor actually understands it would be political suicide.

  47. Peter

    With the present revelations, concerning Forsyth Barr’s scandalous involvement with the Credit Sails financial con, it doesn’t help the image of the Forsyth Barr Stadium – nor its promoters on council or out in the community.
    With all the deceit that has gone on with the stadium, the name ‘Forsyth Barr Stadium’ is entirely appropriate. I bet the banks, approached for naming rights, are celebrating their collective wisdom in not wanting their names associated with the stadium.

    • Register to read DScene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

      More on Forsyth Barr’s “misleading and deceptive” investment advice (Credit SaILS)…

      ### DScene 27 Mar 2013
      Investors lose faith in firm
      Others stay philosophical
      (page 2)
      By Wilma McCorkindale
      Some out-of-pocket Dunedin investors bitten by Forsyth Barr led Credit SaILS investment, say a settlement negotiated by the Commerce Commission is better than nothing.
      Sold in 2006 with the prospect of raising 8.5 per cent interest income and capital protection, Credit SaILS raised $91.5 million through New Zealand investors, but failed in 2008.
      An investigation by the Commerce Commission found investment advice on Credit SaILS debt securities was ‘‘misleading and deceptive’’. Credit SaILS were ‘‘highly complex and unsuitable for the average investor’’, something the companies should have known.
      The companies promoting Credit SaILS disagreed with the commission’s views and said any claim for breach of the Fair Trading Act would be strenuously defended. The commission decided a better outcome for investors would be a voluntary scheme to compensate investors. That settlement scheme establishes a $60m fund from which eligible investors will be substantially reimbursed.
      Eligible investors will receive around $850 for every $1000 they lost, with payments ranging from $132 to $2.5 million.

      While some Dunedin investors are philosophical about the loss, others said they would not deal with Forsyth Barr again.

      One retired man, who didn’t want to be named, said investments were supposed to go into a conservative discretionary portfolio. In other words, Forsyth Barr chose the investments, providing they were low risk. But the firm placed $20,000 of his money in the high-risk Credit SaILS. The investor found out about the loss via a letter from Forsyth Barr, telling him the value of the investment had plummeted to zero.
      {continues} #bookmark

  48. Anonymous

    There is a big fish. Let’s call him Mike. Mike is happily swimming in the ocean. A fisherman comes along with a net. The net surrounds Mike. Mike starts to swish his tail along the bottom, trying to stir up mud to cover his tracks. The net closes in, relentlessly.

    Tune in again soon. Will Mike escape the fisherman’s net? Will the fisherman be told to stop trawling in this area?

  49. Peter

    Will Mike, The Big Fish, start to really pong and the other Big Fish make him a sacrificial lamb? (sorry, fish) In order to escape the drag of the net.
    Never thought I’d come to support drift net fishing.

  50. Anonymous

    Not doing the Census in 2011 has cost taxpayers $65M. Contributing to a rugby stadium, hosting a professional rugby competition, building a plastic boat and not doing something has cost the country hundreds of millions. This government and its arrogant ministers are happy to shovel public cash into these schemes. But award a contract to its own State Owned Enterprise? Maintain important infrastructure? Maintain jobs for those same taxpayers? Nope. Not interested.

    Oddly enough my first thought on reading this story is it reminds me how Dunedin’s corrupt councils keep busy at doing nothing, hatching schemes to line pockets of the Good Old Boys and keeping the Oddity in line with its advertising budget.

  51. Anonymous

    ### Stuff.co.nz – Last updated 08:12 02/01/2013
    Lack of fresh data still costing
    By Ben Heather
    The 2011 census was the most expensive survey New Zealand never had, costing $65 million. It was meant to occur on March 8, 2011, but was cancelled after the Canterbury earthquake in February that year. Figures from Statistics New Zealand show that, despite almost no data being collected, the cancelled countrywide stocktake still cost $65m.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8135691/Lack-of-fresh-data-still-costing

  52. Phil

    Here’s another PR disaster on the horizon. When questioned about the continuing sound quality issues at the stadium, the promoter (yet another self appointed stadium expert) of the upcoming equestrian show announced: “We are bringing some of the best sound engineers from Auckland down to Dunedin to make sure we get the sound right for the entire event. Our engineers have worked with some of musics biggest names in Australasia’s biggest venues.”

    Right. As opposed to all the other “specialist” sound engineers who have been flown in for all the previous events ?

  53. Phil

    I could not help but wonder why DCC is listed as an official sponsor for this event at the stadium. Is not a free (or as good as) venue hire sponsorship enough without giving money directly as well ? Or is “sponsorship” going to be the new word for “giving the venue away for free” ?

  54. Anonymous

    Dunedin Venues, commercial director, Guy Hedderwick comments. “This is a fantastic event for the Stadium which really showcases the versatility of the venue in one evening. The equestrian event will take place on the pitch followed by the Hollies performing in the ODT Stand.”

    Apparently Guy Hedderwick commented. Funny. But it’s sweet of them to work in that little something extra for good mates (I believe you call them a Creditor) over at Allied Press.

    Dave Cull works in a delightful pun at the end. His own? Jo’s suggestion? Or the Spooks?

    Phil, all the players are there for the sort of ‘discussion’ that would illicit inappropriate spending of public funds. Only thing missing is Syd “Here-Have-As-Much-Money-As-You-Like” Brown’s name.

  55. Phil

    Given that they are putting horses on an unprotected football pitch 3 weeks before the first rugby match, I think we can safely say that they have already decided to replace the natural turf and are now no longer concerned about extending its useable life.

  56. Anonymous

    Just another million dollars to the stadium’s show ponies.

  57. Calvin Oaten

    What the “Forsyth Barr Stadium” needs is a strong theme song. One that rouses the crowd like Twickenham’s ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ and of course Cardiff’s ‘Land of my Fathers’. Might I suggest “Red Sails in the Sunset” as a crowd rouser and tribute to Forsyth Barr. That would get the blood running through the veins. Might frighten the horses though.

  58. Phil

    You would think that someone with a knighthood would ask his reporters to check a story instead of simply posting a copy of the promoter’s advertising flyer and calling it journalism. Like the infamous rodeo, this is another overhyped event. There is only one legitimate show jumper on the start list, and she has sold the horse that gave her a name. Riding a new young horse is like expecting a Formula One driver to show his top skills while driving a Ford Escort. Riding is all about combinations. All top riders will be in Europe in February, at the height of the competition season, where their top horses are permanently based. The other so called “Olympians” date back almost 20 years and were Eventers. Expecting them to give a quality specialist display is like expecting a top Triathlete to win the Tour De France. These promoters are going to want to charge top dollar for tickets. The very least they could do is to be upfront about the product. Probably a bit much to ask. They have managed to shoot themselves in the foot a bit, however. So there is some justice. The date of the event is the same date as the national Dressage riding championships in Christchurch. A bit of a lesson in researching your target audience before trying to screw them.

  59. Phil

    I read somewhere that the “highlight” is an attempt on the NZ high jumping record for horses. I’ve seen these events many time around the world and they can be incredibly dangerous for the horses. The height and force they land from/with puts tremendous stresses on their frames. Because of this, any attempt competition is always made on a specially prepared surface. They do not, repeat NOT, come down from 2+ metres onto a heavily compacted football pitch with all the forgiving qualities of a concrete slab. The riders are only ever specialist jumpers on horses trained specifically for this one event. Allowing this cowboy production to perform in our town puts a cloud over us all. Leave the rest in, drop the prices to match the product and get rid of the ridiculous jump. Show the animals some respect.

    • Elizabeth

      Phil, I’d ask you to inform ODT readers and the editorial team but they’re unlikely to print it, I guess. Not sure when DScene (now combining Taieri Herald) starts up again. Might have to make your comment a post in the meantime. I presume SPCA are involved with the event in some capacity, as with the former rodeo; although whether they’ve vetted the venue conditions in light of the jumping attempt – using experts – is unknown.
      I fully agree with your comment with regards to animal safety, and tailoring back of the advertised event programme. I’ll give SPCA a call today.

  60. Phil

    Going on previous performances, posting here has a greater effect than ending up with an “abridged” watered down version. It tends to prompt the local rag into some form of damage control action, as they can’t control who views or what is viewed. They either try and shout us down here (with varying degrees of failure) or they try to publicly distance themselves from any controversy. Not sure where I’ll put my money this time.

    The problem that the SPCA faces is that they are bound by inadequate laws. Even the US has stricter animal control laws. If you note the SPCA response to the rodeo they were very careful in their wording, saying that no laws had been broken. That read as a message of frustration and certainly not a message of endorsement.

    • Elizabeth

      I read the SPCA’s comments at the time, and realise our laws are indeed inadequate. Having discussion with them never hurts – if say it might in the end contribute to strong DCC/DVML venue policy on animal safety and welfare! We can change things in our city, it maybe that I will write an Annual Plan submission to support that policy being researched, written and enacted (bylaw or other). Worth a shot.

      Heading back to the office to follow up on this.

  61. Hype O'Thermia

    Alternatively, find an article on [event, decision, problem] in another publication and post to their online comments or print letters-to-the-ed.
    There are other discussion groups with different readership with different degrees of “noise”. http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/ for example.

    • Elizabeth

      Others are very welcome to advocate at Trade Me and other sites. Hope they do.

      I don’t like the corporate avarice of Trade Me, and the lack of tax take occurring – I like smallness…. I’d like IRD to get in there and sit on it properly.

  62. Hype O'Thermia

    If a tool is a good tool for a necessary job I’ll use it.

    • Elizabeth

      Fair enough, Hype.
      I rarely blog elsewhere, too lazy. Tweething suits my impatience better ;)

      At the beach, and my smart phone has developed a lisp. For “Happy New Year” it’s suggesting the words “Hawaii pop”. It’s trying to befriend me, but I’m so not buying it.

  63. chirpbird

    Here’s a follow-up to this issue, despite the Council timing of the resolution just before the Christmas holidays. I’m booked to speak on it at the next Public Forum on Monday, 11 February 2012 at 1.00pm and the staff already have the written copy of my submission – pasted below. I would dearly love someone else to speak on this issue as well as me.

    Submission to the Dunedin City Council at the Public Forum held at 1.00 pm, on 11 February 2013, in the Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers, the Octagon, Dunedin

    These are comments on a lack of transparency in a process which the council just followed and suggestions for improvements.

    At its last meeting on 10 December 2012, the Council passed a resolution to the effect that it would spend $750,000 a year to buy a range of services from Dunedin Venues Management Ltd.
    It is not clear what this means. A similar resolution had been made earlier on 18 May 2012 at the end of the Council meeting which confirmed the Annual Plan and the Long Term Council Community Plan for 2012/13.
    Also, there were a couple of references to this matter in the AP and LTCCP 2012/13 document, but I was unable to find the amount in any budget. I later heard via council staff that the amount allocated was not itemised separately but had been included in the total Parks and Reserves budget.
    A report in the Otago Daily Times said that the money was to make community access to the stadium more affordable for local, qualifying groups. In other words, it was a hire subsidy.
    The resolution was also mentioned on page 6 in that year’s Annual Plan, under the headings: Major Issues, Stadium Update, and Risks. Under Risks, it was noted as follows: In particular there is a risk that DVML will not generate enough cash to meet its rental obligations.
    No explanation was given as to why the resolution was placed under this heading.
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    The processes surrounding the passing of this resolution have been insufficiently transparent for the following reasons.

    1) The resolution is too vaguely worded for people to understand the Council’s intentions.

    2) People would not look for expenditure on the stadium in the Parks and Reserves budget. Even if they had, in this instance, they would not have found it, as it was not separately itemised. I think the amount is great enough to warrant itemisation, especially since the resolution involves a change to the Long Term Plan.

    3) It is not at all clear why this resolution should be noted in the Annual Plan under Stadium Risks, unless its underlying purpose is to mitigate the risk of DMVL being unable to pay rent to DVL because of low earnings. In other words, it was intended as a rent subsidy to guard against DMVL’s bankruptcy.

    4) Also, it is hard to understand why the council, when under considerable financial pressure to restrict spending, intends to spend such a large and ongoing amount for a relatively low-priority project, like community access to the stadium.

    5) No-one submitted on this issue and I wonder whether they, in fact, had the opportunity to do so. The resolution passed on 10 December 2012 was made within twenty minutes of the end of the seven days of Annual Plan Hearings so I wonder whether it was a late addition to the Plan and not actually made clear in the Draft Plan or in the Long Term Community Plan.

    I have further concerns that this example of placing stadium expenditure in a different budget may not be an isolated case, confusing the issue of how much is actually being spent on stadium operational costs.

    If there are good administrative or accounting reasons to disperse expenditure on a particular project, like the stadium, over a number of different budgets, then it would significantly increase transparency if the Council were to collate supplementary lists.
    Perhaps the Council could start by creating and making public a list of all spending, direct and indirect, on the stadium over the last three years.

    {DCC Public Forums – details for 2013: http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/events/council_activities/upcoming-forums -Eds}

  64. ### ch9.co.nz February 14, 2013 – 7:02pm
    Nightly interview: Carl Scott
    Dunedin’s rodeo events have attracted criticism recently, from animal rights group Safe. This week, the group’s Dunedin volunteer coordinator called on the city council to follow the Auckland City Council’s lead and ban rodeos outright on council land. Carl Scott from SAFE joins us to explain.
    Video

  65. DVML is ‘on track’ ?….

    Downplayed—‘any suggestion the city had too many conference venues, as the railway station offered a point of difference’

    ### ODT Online Wed, 20 Feb 2013
    Railway Station space joining DVML hirerooms
    By Hamish McNeilly
    It’s all aboard for the city’s latest conference venue, after confirmation space at the Dunedin Railway Station will become available for hire. The station’s Porters’ Lounge becomes the 41st room for hire to be managed by Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), which will lease the venue from the Dunedin City Council for two years. Previously used as a restaurant, the lounge is being refurbished before it becomes available as a private function, meeting and conference space, from March 1.
    Read more

  66. Whippet

    Wedding functions at the Dunedin Railway Station? As most weddings are held on a Saturday, both morning and afternoons. Where will the guests park if the farmers market takes up the main parking area on Saturdays including the afternoon. Have DVML thought about that?

  67. Calvin Oaten

    Yeah!!! Eat your heart out Auckland Sky City. The conference game has been stolen right out from under your noses by ‘little old Dunedin’. Forty rooms, plus the Museum, the University, and of course, The Otago Settlers Museum. Man! is it going to be a hive of conference activity or what? The city will be absolutely ‘thrumming’. Probably pay for the locals to stay at home because the restaurants, bars will be ‘chokka’ and there will be next to no stock in the shops. I am just waiting for our Mayor Dave Cull to give it all the ‘big thumbs up’.

  68. Hype O'Thermia

    Be fair Elizabeth, Mr Burden’s job description doesn’t include “be logical” does it? They’d never have been able to hire anyone with that as a requirement of the position.

  69. Anonymous

    Bar the Spooks’ department, only the Bubblehead Squad of managers has grown in a manner not seen since that empire builder Jim Harland.

  70. Phil

    I don’t know the names for everything down at the venue, but is this Railway Station lounge the former Valentines and then Whisky Bar ? City Property paid a fortune to remodel that restaurant for the Whisky Bar guy, only for him to promptly do a runner with unpaid rent. Is this the new trend, to turn unrentable space into “conference centres” in order to avoid embarassment ?

    Going back a few days with the announcement of new staff as a result of DVML taking on the Town Hall etc, those venues already had management and operational staff. They are existing venues, not new venues. So I am presuming that what they were TRYING to say is that those existing staff will now sit on DVML’s payroll.

    • Yes, Phil, it’s the former Valentines area then Whisky Bar. Nobody seems to have made it work properly. Good commercial kitchen and cool stores in it.

      Best check DVML’s website “Dunedin Venues” for their team list of ‘managers’, updated from the last time we glimpsed it?

  71. Calvin Oaten

    Phil, DVML is in a growth phase (about the only enterprise in Dunedin that is) so when a space, room or portaloo, becomes vacant, they immediately call a conference (in the aforementioned space), and determine that it would be an excellent conference space. So, add it to the portfolio, employ a manager and ‘bingo’! Darren Burden has another feather in his cap. The city’s GDP takes a leap, John Christie of the Chamber of Commerce gives it the ‘green tick’, the ODT does a front page runner and all the ‘plebs’ just applaud in wonder.

  72. Mike

    so that’s $1.5-2m in salaries alone?

  73. Peter

    Twenty people employed for how many events, conferences and meetings a year? All full time?
    I notice PA (Personal Assistant) is now EA (presumably Executive Assistant). Mmmm…..nice ring to it.

  74. Mike

    ah $1.959m last year – Burden scores a cool $250k

  75. Mike

    (continues reading annual reports) oh this is interesting the Chairman of the board of DVL/DVML is also the chairman of CST …. not that CST – the Christchurch Stadium Trust – I guess he’s busy trying to build a covered stadium to compete with DVL’s

  76. Anonymous

    It’s not about the job or even the work sometimes – it’s the title. The trouble with this new title is it seems those who have acquired it are more inclined to delegate work because it is below their new position, even though nothing has changed. So soon you will see new PAs to the EAs to the EXs.

  77. Peter

    Good point, Sir Anonymous!

  78. What are the financial arrangements for the DCC venues which DVML is managing? Is DVML paying rent to the DCC?

  79. Mike

    A great question

    The obvious deal would be that DVML pays DVL who uses the income to balance the interest on the stadium debt – that avoids the tax that the DCC would otherwise pay on the income …. but it also avoids the income itself (meaning more rates required to fund the DCC) – it would be another quiet back door subsidy of the stadium.

  80. Calvin Oaten

    Alistair; in the case of the new Town Hall/Glenroy Conference Centre, it is allocated from rates revenue the sum of $1.050 million. Its sole income. This is then passed on ‘in toto’ to DVML in return for its management services. The first thing DVML did was to appoint two new staff to handle the new development. You can see how these things escalate and how devious the DCC is in feeding additional funds to the ‘beast’.

  81. Mike

    How many staff did the DCC lay off who previously managed the space?

    • Mike, not sure how many staff the DCC laid off at the Town Hall. They let go the manager, after bringing him across the world to build the Town Hall business – it was very shoddy treatment in a very short time.

  82. Peter

    Calvin. Why should DVML worry about spending more public money with its aggrandisement programme? It’s not their money. Silly boy.

  83. So all the income from all Town Hall/Glenroy Conference Centre activities goes to the Council, and DVML gets the $1.05 million fee?

  84. Calvin Oaten

    Alistair; 2013/14Draft Budgets (January Council Meetings). Read section 2 – pages 19 thru 23 and you will see it all. DVML is supposed to come up with a SOI regarding performance measures for the new complex, for inclusion in the Draft Annual Plan. That in itself will be an exercise in creative ‘blue sky’ visionary dreaming. As an aside, I have been led to believe that none of the councillors nor many staff were even aware of the info in the drafts. Not surprising though.

  85. DVML at Dunedin Railway Station, joy

    Leasing the space not just managing it as a venue, how does DVML pay for that ? Rather, how are we paying for that ? Will DVML lease the redeveloped Town Hall and Glenroy ? The Regent Theatre ? The Edgar Centre ?
    How exciting, the monopoly. “Commercially sensitive”

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/247544/dvml-lease-means-station-fully-tenanted

  86. Tony

    How does DVML pay for it. $750,000 events grant of course.

  87. Mike

    Ro makes a great point in the ODT today – if a rugby game supposedly brings $1 into the economy that can be multiplied 40 fold or some such by some mystical magic economic impact indicator – then $1 removed from the economy to pay for the stadium will have a similar negative effect.

    If we are to beleive the boosters then the half billion dollars the stadium will take out of the economy will remove $20B of mythical magical multiplier dollars from our economy over the next 20 years.

  88. Anonymous

    So ratepayers give money to council. Then council gives money to DVML. Then DVML gives money to council. Then the ratepayer gives more money to council… hang on….. WTF! It’s like bloody GST – the poor bugger at the end pays. And that bugger being buggered is you and me.

    As already questioned above too – why is it ‘commercially sensitive’? Why? And you too bloody ODT: Why? Why won’t you write with an edge? Refer new article Stupefied and bought Kiwis (the dirt).

    • No idea why ODT Online would abridge this comment today, reproduced here in full as a matter of public interest.

      DVL forecasts
      Submitted by JimmyJones on Thu, 28/02/2013 – 1:43pm.

      MikeStk: Darren Burden has, just last week issued the new financial forecasts for DVL for the next three years. These are contained in the Statement Of Intent (SOI) which are released every year for all of the DCC owned companies.

      DVL forecasts that it will make a loss for this year and the next three years. Last year DVL made a $12 million loss, with a further loss of $8½ million from interest rate swaps. I suggest that the interest rate swaps loss should not be counted. This year, the forecasts for the net losses are withheld and only the losses after the ratepayer subsidy are given. After the large ratepayer subsidy, about another $5 million per year will need to be paid from rates and by increasing DCHL debt.

      Probably DVL’s losses will continue to be about $12 million per year.
      This $12 million for DVL doesn’t include DVML losses and some some very significant other costs to the DCC. The total ratepayer impact has not been disclosed by the DCC. [Abridged]

  89. Hype O'Thermia

    Overit has a comment today that ends “I for one am not prepared to believe anything Dave Cull or the pro stadium cohort of councillors ‘forecast’ re rates.” Note use of personal “I .. [will] not believe” instead of saying anyone tells lies, likewise “forecast” in quotes instead of “stated” or “promises” – excellent use of clear language to get the message across in a way that appears neutral. I’m pointing this out because it’s good to get one’s message out in a way that doesn’t cause legal or “relationship” angst >> abridgement/dumping. I think generally we can relying on readers to interpret it, which has the side-benefit that they have to spend a fraction more mental energy engaging with it whether they agree or not.
    I know this does not explain all abridgements and non-publishings of contributions, but it may give a hint at how the game is played.

  90. Robert Hamlin

    I think that the key question with the Aerosmith concert is: Who has underwritten it and to what amount? An underwrite is a guarantee. The beauty of guarantees is that they do not have to be admitted to in any accounts, and only appear once the deed has been done and the beneficiaries are over the hills and far away (with the proceeds – both financial and electoral). Another advantage is that they can come in a variety of forms, which means that the more obvious questions can be denied if a more esoteric way of making the guarantee is in place.

    A good example of this type of indirect and deniable guarantee is the correspondence I had with Rowing New Zealand (RNZ) a couple of years ago over their World Championship regatta at Karapiro.

    RNZ had set up a company (Karipiro 2010 Ltd) to run this event, with paid in capital of $100 and no visible assets of any significance. More than a year prior to the event this company was employing a significant staff, and presumably was set to incur significant costs before any revenue was realised.

    An invitation to the club’s offering the ‘opportunity’ to purchase ‘bargain’ tickets for the four days of eh regatta at circa $400 and an announcement that 20,000 were expected to attend it alerted me to the scale of the event and to the possibility that a multi-million dollar liability could be building up within Karapiro 2010 Ltd – and that somebody, somewhere, must be guaranteeing the commercial borrowing that was going on to fund its operations. My concern was that that somebody was RNZ, and that this might expose the member clubs, including my own, to a significant liability.

    The written responses to my inquiries from RNZ and Karapiro 2010 were both evasive and cheeky, although it was eventually denied that RNZ had issued a guarantee. I did not believe them, but had no means to pursue the matter further at that time.

    Fast forward about a year, and some may remember that a loss of circa $2.5 million for the Rowing World Championships was announced and (surprise, surprise!) Rowing New Zealand was fully liable/responsible for repaying this amount (largely owing to BNZ I seem to recall). How had this debt been sheeted home to RNZ? Well, my correspondents were correct in stating that no guarantee had been issued, but apparently buried within the constitution of Karapiro 2010 Ltd was a clause that required that all the company’s bank balances revert to RNZ when Karapiro 2010 Ltd was wound up – as it was after the event that this company was solely created to administer was complete. This clause, I regret to say, I did not find before its relevance to my club was revealed.

    Unsurprisingly, these bank balances included very large negative number of dollars that RNZ then become responsible for – Clever Eh?

    So we now return to Aerosmith. We have been told that 40,000 will attend and a price of ‘from $129’ a seat (from ‘Eventfinda’) has been mentioned. If this represents ‘success’ then it may be reasonable to presume that it also represents the threshold of liability under any guarantee that has been issued with regard to this concert. This gives us a ballpark figure of $5,000,000 for the ‘underwite’ for this event.

    Given that the other three Aerosmith tour destinations are Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, I would think that it is very unlikely that the tour promoters would have agreed to divert this tour to a city of less than 100,000, that is nearly 1,000 kilometres and a stretch of water away from the nearest single city of equivalent size to these other three, without some form of cast iron underwrite of this sort of scale being in place. Cargo 747 landings and long road rail trans-shipments of fragile goods and support staff don’t come cheap, and neither do the performers themselves – Whatever their daughters may say.

    Who would have issued this underwrite? Well, DVML are the obvious source, but like Karapiro 2010, they don’t have any money or assets of their own. Any guarantee that DVML issue will have to in its turn be backed up by a guarantee from an organisation that either has money or has access to it. The only obvious candidate with both the resource and the recklessness is the DCC.

    DVML is an interesting organisation. It is a CCTO, a council controlled trading organisation. It is also a limited company, so it comes under the aegis of the Companies Act. However, the Companies Act clearly states that it is an offence for directors to knowingly operate a company that they know to be insolvent. As DVML has no significant assets, is making a loss (once fudges are stripped out) of around $10 million a year, and has no short or long term prospects of modifying this state of affairs, it can be confidently described as insolvent. This situation is public knowledge, so one can reasonably presume that this intelligence has percolated through to the DVML boardroom at some point too.

    So the directors are either risking being in breach of the Act (unlikely), or they are aware of an arrangement (that we are not privy to) that significantly modifies this state of insolvency. The only thing that could be capable of this is some form of cast iron and presumably open ended financial guarantee from an organisation that has access to the necessary funds that will cover both the outcomes of the current situation that DVML finds itself in, and any foreseeable outcomes of their current trading activities.

    Such an arrangement could take many forms, the company constitutional clause described in the example above could fit the bill perfectly – but there are likely to be many other ‘clever’ ways of engineering the same outcome. If Aerosmith fail to attract the necessary crowds, and this is quite possible given the utterly different nature of Dunedin versus the other venues, then the ratepayer we will be counting the cost of the show in due course- But not until after the election methinks.

  91. Mike

    I see that there’s an extra $7 “facility charge” for Aerosmith tickets – I think that goes directly to DVML – that should tell us something (what?) about the deal that DVML did

    But to analyse ~$280k for 40k attendees – the DCC claimed it cost about $1M to put on 4 RWC games – so $280k probably covers the cost of opening the stadium for that many people, installing the extra seats, etc etc plus a $30k profit – it leaves them open to losses if they don’t get a full house.

  92. JimmyJones

    Hype O’Thermia, I think that there is a random factor in how much is expunged from our ODT Online comments. I think there is a change of shift at 2pm – perhaps that makes a difference. It is easy to blame the Online staff, but my impression is that anything that has taken a long time to appear, has been sent upstairs for special treatment by the sub-editors or such like. I think that sometimes the delay is designed to push a comment down the list to where it is not noticed. For parts of a comment that you know might not suit their agenda, I suggest that you make that part modular/detachable – so that that part can be expunged and the rest of the comment can remain semantically viable. This makes it easier to chop bits out, but you might prefer that either the whole thing is printed or else nothing (all-or-nothing). It is very worthwhile resubmitting the very same comment the next day. The disappearances, delays and abridgements get frustrating, but it is their newspaper, their decision, their policy.

  93. JimmyJones

    Elizabeth, the ODT comment you show on this page was named by me as Financial Basketcase Stadium and the bit removed was referring to DVL’s Statement Of Intent (SOI) which was released at Monday’s council meeting. I am informed that there was no discussion of the SOI and its financial forecasts; also the ODT hasn’t mentioned it.
    You might remember that last year councillors were completely unaware that they were being asked to approve the annual reports of DVL and DVML because of the cunning wording of the meeting agenda. A similar trick was used on Monday, but this time the actual name was printed, but apparently not noticed by any councillor. The abridgement was this:
    With DVL, there is often some trickery or distraction so that few people get to know about the new releases. The trick this year was to hide it at the end of a large document (works every time) and also it was wrongly described in Monday’s DCC meeting agenda as being one of the DCHL subsidiary companies (a relatively new trick).

    • Thanks for pointing this out, JimmyJones – disgusting DCC/DVL/DCHL behaviour.
      Yawn, DCC IS CORRUPT. The councillors are MORONS —some are fraudulent, most are COMPLETELY THICK.

      We won’t forget.

  94. JimmyJones

    For the “No borrowing to pay dividend” ODT story, commenter ro has another good comment – it is quite clear. My new comment, “Debt For dividends” survived the ODT censors and remains relatively unscathed: the abridgement is not significant.

  95. amanda

    Looking forward to learning more about the Forsyth Barr negligence in the ODT. The ODT is happy to have the mongrel mob deception on the front page news, so no doubt anytime soon these local white collar ‘indiscretions’ will be front page on the ODT.

  96. Rob Hamlin

    Sent to me by an international well-wisher who shares our problems. There comes a point when councillor stupidity simply is no longer a plausible theory. Read it. I have nothing to add…..

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Simons+Waiting+Dough+Banking+iffy+dollars+build+arena+absurd/8224852/story.html

  97. Peter

    Moral of the story re Forsyth Barr? Don’t touch them with the proverbial barge pole. I have known people who have left the organisation because their ethics do not stack up.

  98. Peter

    Rob. A clear case of deja vu. Another city. Another stadium. Another rort.

    As an aside, dig the council chambers in Edmonton. The high-backed seats on some raised podium, while looking down on the underlings, would be enough to give any councillor’s head a power surge and a belief that they can do anything with borrowed money. ‘Comforting’ to know that local government madness is not just contained in Dunedin.

  99. Interesting how as soon as people don the ‘toga’ their brains go into ‘fuzzy logic’ mode. The Edmonton fiasco is building just like ours did here. Same cast, same plot, only the names have been changed to protect the ignorant.

  100. It will be a matter of some irony if the ‘sails’ set in the sunset for Forsyth Barr. The stadium naming rights will be a fitting epitaph for the city and its fine body of men and women who staked their reputations on it being the financial bonanza the city needed. “Hail to Sir Malcolm!”

  101. Robert Hamlin

    Balloon’s up

    There appears to be a small yelow blimp floating above the site of the proposed hotel right now – Don’t know if it’s at the right height or not.

  102. Rob, probably just an exhaling of air from some excited advocate. Not sure which end it would be from.

  103. DVML took out two and a half pages of the ODT today (pages 13-15), an advertorial featuring supporting businesses for the redeveloped hire venue Dunedin Town Hall and Dunedin Centre…. both of which they want us to call the “Dunedin Centre”. Nah.

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