Carisbrook: Question obfuscating mayor and council #rugby

Carisbrook 3newsImage:

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### DScene 6 Mar 2013
Rant or rave – your say (page 7)
All sport, no balls
DScene (27/2/13) asks: ‘Who will be accountable for ratepayers stumping up $7m to buy Carisbrook when a documented valuation put the historic sports ground’s value at $2.5m?’
The simple answer, according to Mayor Dave Cull, is, ‘no one’.
Dave Cull has no concerns that the later, more upbeat valuation of $7m – designed to eliminate the ORFU’s debt and the burden of owning Carisbrook – was a commercial connivance done, on behalf of the ORFU, by the DCC. Isn’t it the job of the Mayor and his council to protect public money on behalf of all our citizens?
Isn’t it their job not to be cowered by a powerful cabal, protecting its own interests, above those of the whole city? Are we now hostages to threats of causing the financial ruin of Otago rugby, and the stadium, if we don’t provide an open cheque book, ad infinitum?
The council, despite having an observer on the ORFU, and having a continuing role in underwriting the financial future of the ORFU/ stadium, is still not privy to any ‘opening of the books’ by the ORFU, for public scrutiny, under the guise of ‘commercial sensitivity’. We pay up on trust.
It’s about time we all stood up to the council and demanded an end to this ongoing rort. Otherwise we only have ourselves to blame for a deteriorating financial system that ultimately we all pay for through our rates.
I urge Dave Cull and his council to get some testicular fortitude and stand up for us.
Peter Attwooll, City Rise

### DScene 6 Mar 2013
Questions over Carisbrook (page 3)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis has demanded satisfaction regarding what he describes as repeatedly unanswered questions surrounding the sale of Carisbrook. Vandervis remains livid that figures in a Carisbrook property report to the last council meeting had to be rewritten at the eleventh hour because they were deficient. He said he still had questions around the figures and had submitted them to staff and mayor Dave Cull many times. ‘‘And I haven’t got answers to all of them yet.’’ On top of that Vandervis was concerned about statements Cull was making in the media about the sale of Carisbrook. Vandervis disagreed with some of the perceptions Cull was giving. Cull rejected the criticisms. Figures in the Carisbrook report had not been incorrect, rather incomplete, he said.
{continues} #bookmark

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, What stadium

2 responses to “Carisbrook: Question obfuscating mayor and council #rugby

  1. Maurice Prendergast

    Sorry – I must have missed something. Where did this reference to ‘a documented valuation of Carisbrook at $2.5M’ come from? I still have my ‘Councillor copy’ of the Horwath Master Plan and Feasibility report of 19 February 2007 in which the promoted ‘bottom line’ construction cost of $188M was predicated upon a ‘credit line item’ that showed revenue of $3M from the sale of Carisbrook.

    I (amongst a few others) had noted that at p139 Sec 8.5 under the caption OTAGO RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION, the ‘future agreement’ with the Union included (inter alia) the TRANSFER OF CARISBROOK FROM ORFU TO CST. THIS WILL INCLUDE LAND, BUILDINGS AND THE BRAND. But a separate subtle (but now sinister) comment included “addressing of liabilities held by ORFU.

    I guess that I was naive enough not to recognise this as a threat on the grounds …………… ‘well that’s bullshit – there’s no way that Council can get involved in the domestic issues of an unrelated entity’. How wrong I was!!!

    But back to the mystery of ‘a documented valuation of $2.5M’. At the briefing when that report was presented, I clearly recall asking the question, “Is there a registered valuation that we can rely on to support the ‘credit entry’ on this proposal that the ‘gifted’ Carisbrook will indeed be worth $3M?” The dismissive response was that ‘yes – there was such a valuation but they hadn’t thought to include it. When I and a limited number of others tried to press the issue, their ‘demonising of dissenters machine’ kicked in where we were identified by the majority as being vestiguous remnants of a lost generation, and that our obstructive behavior should be ignored.

    So – where did they ‘pluck’ that $3M figure from for the purposes of seducing the masses that a covered stadium could be built for $188M.

    I never ever believed that the $3M valuation that they claimed to exist, did exist. But now the plot thickens – somebody is saying that a documented valuation does exist, but the figure is $2.5M. Where can I find this document?

    FOOTNOTE: Just to give you all a hint of the manic environment that we found ourselves in at that time, did you know that the ‘first print’ production of that document was written in Arabic? The drawings and tables were all in comprehensible language, but the total narrative was in Arabic. And just to give you a hint of their self confidence/arrogance, a copy of that production in Arabic was couriered to every Councillor in a confidentially sealed wrapping. Obviously, they were so blinded by the greatness of their vision, that not a single member of that cabal had attempted to read that garbage. Well I guess they hadn’t coz you’d think they might have noticed. God how I wish that I had kept that ‘first print’ production. It would have been enormous value to my grandchildren as a collectors’ item. The only ‘conditional comment’ that I would make is that I can’t be absolutely sure that it was in Arabic – they were certainly foreign characters – might have been Russian, but given Malcolm’s involvement ………………………………. What say you?

    • Maurice – see this comment re the $2.5m valuation, it cites an article in DScene (27 Feb 2013):

      [Excerpt, my emphasis]
      The confidential document mentioning the $2.5m valuation was produced by consultants Horwath International. Titled ‘‘New Carisbrook Stadium Development: Financial Feasibility Study’’ and ‘‘Economic Impact Assessment’’, it was better known as Appendix 1 of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust’s (CST) Dunedin Masterplan and Feasibility Report, and provided guidance for Dunedin city councillors considering whether to build Forsyth Barr Stadium.

      As reported, Bev Butler notes Appendix 1 was missing from the CST report when tabled at council.

      The full name of the (then confidential) CST report is:
      Carisbrook Opportunity, Dunedin Master Plan and Feasibility Report 19 February 2007

      The Executive Summary (PDF, 1140 KB) is available at the DCC website:

      Click to access Summary.pdf

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