State of the City —DCC or Dunedin?

Carisbrook sold, down by Christmas
Calder Stewart has been confirmed as the new owner of Carisbrook, with a condition of the sale being its demolition by Christmas. Council Chief Executive Paul Orders today confirmed the purchase had been finalised, saying: “It is pleasing the due diligence process has been completed and that the sale has been confirmed.”
In a variation to the original agreement, the historic brick turnstiles, plus 400m2, have been given back to the DCC at no cost, apart from minimal shared surveying costs. This recognises the New Zealand Historic Places Trust classification of the turnstiles and creates the potential for a ‘pocket park’ to be formed.
Calder Stewart will pay $3.5 million for Carisbrook, with $200,000 to be refunded by the DCC as long as all the buildings, apart from the hospitality complex, are demolished within six months.
Read more

DCC Media Release
Now that the transaction has been completed, a large number of documents relating to both the original purchase and subsequent sale of Carisbrook, will be released publicly later next week on the DCC website.

Dunedin Jan-03 [] 1

### June 27, 2013 – 6:40pm
Residents to give view on state of city
Dunedin residents are about to be called on to give their views on the state of the city. Video

### June 27, 2013 – 6:33pm
First stage of public process begins
The first stage of a public process to develop an Energy Plan for the city began last night. Video

Dunedin []

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (top) Dunedin Jan-03 (bottom)


Filed under #eqnz, Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Heritage, Hot air, Hotel, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

90 responses to “State of the City —DCC or Dunedin?

  1. ### ODT Online Fri, 28 Jun 2013
    Carisbrook sold; future unclear
    By Chris Morris
    The sale of Carisbrook to construction company Calder Stewart has been confirmed, but details of its future remain unclear. The Dunedin City Council yesterday confirmed its agreement with the company to buy the old sports ground – first announced in February – went unconditional yesterday. That meant the company, not the council, now owned the ground.
    Read more

    • Dunedin City Council – Media Release

      The DCC Residents’ Opinion Survey 2013

      This item was published on 27 Jun 2013.

      Letters have been sent out this week to 4,500 Dunedin residents, inviting them to take part in the DCC’s annual Residents’ Opinion Survey (ROS).

      DCC General Manager Strategy and Development Dr Sue Bidrose says, “The ROS helps us gauge the views of Dunedin’s silent majority – it gives us a way to check in with some of those who are less likely to engage with the DCC through other avenues such as the Annual Plan process.”

      This year, the residents randomly selected from the electoral roll will be invited to complete the ROS online using a unique code, rather than receiving a hard copy of the questionnaire. A hard copy can be made available on request. The survey is also open to all residents online at and, for the first time, will be sent to all members of the Dunedin Peoples’ Panel. To ensure the statistical validity of the Survey results, the responses from the people who were selected are used as the official results. The Survey is open until 17 July.

      A reminder letter and hard copy of the questionnaire will be sent to those who haven’t responded about two weeks after the initial letter, a practice that has proved successful in increasing the response rate. The results are expected to be publicly available in late August. Responses from residents who independently chose to complete the Survey online are analysed separately but still provide the DCC with valuable feedback about how it can improve its services. Dr Bidrose says, “The move to encourage greater online response has been made to ensure that the DCC can deliver the Survey at the lowest cost to ratepayers and the environment – the higher the online response, the greater the cost savings.”

      In another change to last year, all respondents will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a prize. Each prize is worth $150 and three winners will be drawn who will be able to choose either a book voucher, a donation to a charity of your choice, a petrol voucher, a voucher for use at Dunedin Public Art Gallery or a voucher and tour for use at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum.

      In 2012 the Survey cost approximately $38,500 to deliver. The exact cost varies every year depending on the level, timing and method of response as this determines printing, postage and data transcription costs. Costs are lower if randomly selected residents complete the Survey earlier and online so the DCC expects the cost to be lower this year. Dr Bidrose adds, “We have been using this Survey for nearly 20 years now and it has become a valuable tool for guiding our decision-making process and prioritising expenditure. It focuses on service delivery and effectiveness, and asks questions about people’s perceptions of our performance and we use some of the results as official measures of the performance of the DCC and its departments.”

      This year, the Survey will be undertaken by independent research company Key Research which successfully tendered for the contract in 2013.

      Contact General Manager, Strategy and Development on 03 477 4000.

      DCC Link

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Calder Stewart are constructing big slab-constructed warehouses “all over Christchurch” according to a builder friend today.

  3. Rob Hamlin

    I drove past Carisbrook today. The grass is still pristine – cut, combed and with the posts in. But now, surely, there can be no further reason for it to stay that way. McPravda informed us today that it has been sold unconditionally and will be down by Christmas if CS want their extra 200 grand back.

    It apparently has an uncertain industrial future in front of it – Few industrial installations require a large lawn, so hopefully CS will shortly put a bulldozer across the turf that we have been unnecessarily paying megabucks to keep pristine and pro-rugby ready for the last two plus years. Personally I’ll believe it when I see it, but will be delighted to be proved wrong.

    If CS choose to spend money to keep this dedicated pro-rugby pitch pristine from now on, then there could surely be only one reason why this shrewd commercial outfit would choose to do so. If it happens, then be very afraid – pro rugger is a comin’ to a second stadium near you for sure.

    Just because the DCC no longer owns the ground doesn’t mean that you as a ratepayer won’t end up paying the considerable bills to make it so for the slap-up-free (Oops – I mean self-funded by a charitable trust intended to support amateur rugby) black tie dinner brigade. You can even put an absolute minimum figure on what it will cost you – 200 grand.

    There was a very interesting but terrifying article about lying in British politics in the Guardian this week>

    Of course that kind of thing doesn’t happen with our political chaps down here, or the relevant local media would tell us about it right away – Wouldn’t they?

  4. Rob Hamlin

    From McPravda today:

    Goalposts, seats and turf, now it’s all up for sale

    Now if this is real, then it’s the best news all year. The listings are on Trademe as reported. Oddly, the turf is described as ‘in goal grass’ – not off the pitch proper.

    • Woe is us? The lament of Liability Cull. Poor Dave…

      Mr Cull yesterday told the Otago Daily Times there was no doubt the new venue would compete with Dunedin’s covered venue, although the true cost of building it was likely to be more like $500 million.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 29 Jun 2013
      Government is ignoring us: Cull
      By Chris Morris
      Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has criticised the Government for ”pouring” money into Auckland and Christchurch – including for a new covered stadium – at the expense of the regions. And he has hinted he believes the spend-up in those cities is because the Government already has an eye on next year’s general election.
      Read more


      Otago’s economy was hugely reliant on the rural economy doing well, and that was something most people watched. –John Christie, Otago Chamber of Commerce

      ### ODT ONLine Sat, 29 Jun 2013
      Government ‘has deserted Dunedin’
      By Dene Mackenzie
      With further Dunedin job losses announced yesterday, many are starting to believe the Government is showing its disdain for the city. The expected job losses announced yesterday by Taieri Print, at Fairfield, is another blow to Dunedin’s morale following the announcement on Wednesday the city’s New Zealand Post mail centre will close next year.
      Taieri Print, part of the Kalamazoo Group, may make up to 10 people redundant as it moves to a more digital operation.
      The closure of the mail centre costs the city 73 jobs, some of them part-time, and an as yet unspecified number of jobs to go in places such as Queenstown and Wanaka.
      Read more


      ### ODT Online Sat, 29 Jun 2013
      Wickliffe operations to merge on one site
      By Simon Hartley
      More Dunedin job losses are on the horizon as commercial printer Wickliffe is about to restructure and merge its Fairfield plant operations into an expanded Kaikorai Valley site. As with New Zealand Post cutting more than 70 staff this week in Dunedin because of declining mail volumes, digital printing technology is similarly slashing the volumes of printed material required by banks and government departments, southern regional sales manager for Wickliffe Solutions, Paul Johnson said.
      Read more

    • ### ODT ONline Sat, 29 Jun 2013
      Carisbrook complex may be spared
      By Chris Morris
      Calder Stewart will have six months to progress the development of Carisbrook, or lose a $200,000 bond, but may yet spare the terrace hospitality complex, Mayor Dave Cull says. The suggestion came after it was confirmed on Thursday the Dunedin City Council’s deal to sell the old sports ground to Calder Stewart had gone unconditional. Mr Cull, in a statement announcing the sale’s confirmation, said the company had agreed to pay $3.5 million – not the $3.3 million earlier announced. However, the statement also said the company would receive $200,000 back if the stadium’s grandstands – but not the terrace hospitality complex – were demolished within six months. That appeared to contradict building consents issued to Calder Stewart earlier this year, which together allowed the demolition of everything at the ground, except the category-one listed Neville St turnstile building.
      Read more

  5. Is this going to be the tenor of his campaign? “I have battled on against the odds of central government’s disdain for our fair city of Dunedin. I, and my fellow councillors have fought valiantly to preserve the future of Dunedin and see it as an ongoing challenge to maintain the balance going forward.”

    “Despite all the negativism of the ‘naysayers’ I am determined to bankrupt, er… drive this city forward on a sustainable basis. We will bring the stadium into profit thanks to the sterling efforts of our Mr Burden.”

    “There will be as many as 36 major conferences per year held in our beautifully rejuvenated Town Hall complex. Even now I have overseen the production of the latest Annual Plan which shows for the first time, that we will actually be reducing the city’s debt. That it had ballooned out to some $650m – and counting – is no fault of mine, but rather I and my fellow councillors have fought long and hard to bring down profligate spending.”

    “There are the naysayers who say that the odd $19 million contribution to that plan by DCHL may not eventuate. But I have every confidence that those monies will be forthcoming, plus the odd $7 million subvention payment to DVL from Aurora. I acknowledge that this total of around $27 million required to make the Plan work is a substantial sum, but I have been reassured by the DCHL directors that they will deliver.”

    “So in closing, I implore you all to not deviate from your given duty to re-elect me and my fellow Greater Dunedin people to a further term, in order to allow me err… us to continue the challenge to the task of making this fair city of Dunedin a bigger and happier, cycle safe place.”


    PS there is no substance to the rumour that I have been appointed as Mayor Cull’s speech writer.

  6. BillyBob

    A question for Mr Hamlin. In order to perpetuate and justify your silly assertions, do you intend to padlock yourself to the Rose Stand, in order to stop the bulldozers rolling in to raze the joint?

  7. amanda

    Gormless Cull finally admits the fiscal con costs us $500 million. Hudson’s crew on council need to remind us of their hand in this debt. They could try and spin it as all worth it. Yeah right. We will not hear a word of Hudson and mates’ hand in the stadium on the run up to the election.The ODT is not bothered by their incompetence.

  8. amanda

    And Hudson and mates will be the first to tell us all we must sell our assets, take on this pathetic Hotel, all to pay for their debt. We can expect more like Song. Dunedin has proven itself a soft touch to consters. Cull continues this reputation with his prostrations toward any who appear to offer funds. He will lead us to more debt.

    • Another of Cull’s election planks… “I saved Dunedin ratepayers from protracted legal costs in appeal by buying – for private operators Song-Cao in cahoots with local suits – independent planning advice, with ratepayer dollars.”

      So every private developer (NZ or overseas) wanting to rip off Dunedin can now expect the same beneficence from DCC, the consenting authority!

      Well, that didn’t go through the Annual Plan process.

      No thanks, Dave and your fellow con councillors, we don’t like your red carpet – since, which particular council staff and councillors (names!) allowed the resource consent application to be notified, with insufficient information and assessment received in the pre application stage?

  9. Bev Butler

    The Carisbrook sale has gone unconditional but when is Calder Stewart going to pay the money? It sounds from the ODT news report that the $3.5m has been handed over to the DCC and that Calder Stewart would receive $200,000 back if the stadium’s grandstands were demolished within six months. But has Calder Stewart paid the $3.5m to the DCC?

      • ### ODT Online Tue, 2 Jul 2013
        Scrummage at Carisbrook as auction proceeds
        By Nigel Benson
        Carisbrook continues to pull the crowds. Sports fans have been scrummaging for a piece of history since a sale of memorabilia and fittings from the old ground was announced in the Otago Daily Times on Saturday. ”We’ve been struggling to keep up with the interest. We’ve been getting inquiries from all over New Zealand,” Carisbrook Rotary Project chairman Brendon Bearman said yesterday. ”We’ve had lots of individuals and quite a few sports clubs inquiring about the seats. People want the wooden seats for the back of the garden – a nice rustic bit of Carisbrook for home.”
        The auction is a combined fundraising project by the nine Rotary clubs in Dunedin, Mosgiel and Milton with the goal of making $1 million.
        Read more

        • ### ODT Online Wed, 3 Jul 2013
          DCC confirms $2.3m Carisbrook loss
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council has confirmed a $2.3 million loss from the sale of Carisbrook, and revealed a complicated financial arrangement with the new owner. Mayor Dave Cull, at a media conference this afternoon, confirmed the council would recoup $4.7 million of the $7 million it paid for the historic sports stadium in 2009. However, Calder Stewart, the company that bought the ground off the council, had only been prepared to pay $3 million up front, Mr Cull confirmed. Instead, a deal had been struck that meant the company would pay at least $3.3 million, but deferred for up to three years, with payments made as the ground was subdivided and sold by Calder Stewart, he said. The sum paid would rise to $3.5 million if demolition was not completed within six months, meaning the council would keep a $200,000 bond paid by the company, Mr Cull said. The deal would also see the company make up any difference at the end of three years, meaning the council was guaranteed its money, he said.
          Read more

          Full report in the ODT tomorrow

        • ### July 8, 2013 – 7:39pm
          Rotary clubs make the most of Carisbrook’s demise
          Carisbrook continues to be taken apart piece by piece as local Rotary clubs make the most of the stadium’s demise.

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 9 Jul 2013
          Carisbrook sales reach $200,000
          By Robert van Royen
          About $200,000 of Carisbrook memorabilia has been sold so far as sports fans across the country claim their piece of Otago sports history. Carisbrook Rotary Project committee member Lindsay Thorburn said the goalposts sold for about $5000 to a buyer in Ashburton and seats have been selling quickly.
          About 5000 seats have been sold out of 13,000 and Mr Thorburn did not think it would take long for the rest to sell. They can be bought individually or in groups.
          The auction was a combined fundraising project by the nine Rotary clubs in Dunedin, Mosgiel and Milton and has the goal of making between $250,000 and $1 million.
          Carisbrook Rotary Project chairman Brendon Bearman did not yet know what would be done with the money raised from the sale, but it was planned to leave something in the community as a legacy to Carisbrook.
          Read more

          *Visit Trade Me

        • 3rd Degree on TV3 tonight at 8:35pm features (our former Stadium Cr) Michael Guest in the role of defence lawyer for David Bain. Since then, of course, Guest was defrocked.

        • ### July 10, 2013 – 7:24pm
          Your word on the sale of Carisbrook
          Last week, the Dunedin City Council confirmed the sale of historic sports ground Carisbrook to Calder Stewart would recoup just over half of the $7m it spent on buying it. Mayor Dave Cull defended the council’s decision, insisting it had no choice but to cut its losses. This week’s Word on the Street team went out to ask if you think the DCC could have managed a better deal over the sale.

        • Received.
          Thursday, 11 July 2013 1:51 p.m.

          —— Forwarded Message
          From: Lee Vandervis
          Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2013 20:47:57 +1200
          To: Dave Cannan
          Conversation: Carisbrook Scrummage
          Subject: Re: Carisbrook Scrummage

          Thank you very much Dave.

          Just think of the multiplier effect we could have had with the Stadium-funding lottery idea harnessing nation-wide rugby passion and Carisbrook memorabilia as prizes, given the direct sale possible $1 million now being suggested!
          Mayor Cull’s attempt to justify doing nothing with Carisbrook memorabilia makes me squirm.

          Might the above pass as a To the point?

          Best regards from beautiful 30 degree Hong Kong currently.
          Looking forward to being home soon.
          Kind of.
          Cr Lee Vandervis


          On 10/07/13 10:01 AM, Dave Cannan wrote:
          Hi Lee – your letter was published on July 4. Cheers Dave C


          On 09/07/2013 7:32 PM, Lee Vandervis wrote:
          Re: Carisbrook Scrummage Hi Murray

          Difficult to tell from Berlin whether the letter below has been seen as good enough to print.
          Given the “Carisbrook sales reach $200,000” headline and editorial today, it would help highlight the urgent need to overhaul our local government.



          On 2/07/13 8:57 PM, Lee Vandervis wrote:
          Letter to the [ODT] Editor
          Dear Murray

          The reported scrummage for memorabilia and fittings from Carisbrook by people from all over New Zealand highlights the potential we once had for a Stadium-funding Nationwide Lottery with bits of Carisbrook as prizes. It is a shame I could not get sufficient support for this external funding idea.
          We have bought the new Stadium but have no way of paying for it, given the illusory returns from our Council companies that were budgeted to contribute $23.5 million every year. A businesslike re-think of local government and DCC debt is long overdue.

          Cr Lee Vandervis

          —— End of Forwarded Message

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 30 Jul 2013
          Carisbrook cleared out
          By Robert van Royen
          Rotarians have finished stripping Carisbrook of its former glory, but the sale is not over yet. Carisbrook Rotary Project committee member Lindsay Thorburn said they had finished work in the stadium but there was still some memorabilia in storage for sale. About 7000 seats, eight turnstiles, two 40-foot containers of rimu timber and a ”few” signs remained, he said. ”We think over the next four-five months everything will go. If that’s the case, we will exceed our expectations.”
          The Carisbrook Rotary Project had from June 28 until yesterday to strip and sell stadium fittings for a combined fundraising project by the nine Rotary clubs in Dunedin, Mosgiel and Milton, before demolition begins at the ground. Memorabilia had been snapped up by sports fans across the country keen to claim a piece of Otago sporting history.
          Read more

        • Anonymous, boxes not for re-use (having been designed for that). Bloody hell.

          ### ODT Online Tue, 20 Aug 2013
          Cantabrian dealing to Carisbrook
          It has been a home away from home for generations of Otago and All Blacks rugby fans, couch-burning scarfies and Mexican waves, but the one-time beating heart of Carisbrook is no more. The old ground’s famed – and sometimes infamous – terrace is being demolished, and the Cantabrian in charge of the diggers says he intends to do a proper job. Alan Edge, owner of Christchurch-based Southern Demolition, has confirmed his workers would leave behind almost no trace of Carisbrook, including the terrace and the hospitality complex above it. All the ground’s grandstands – including the four-storey terrace hospitality complex – would be demolished over the next few months, he confirmed.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 17 Sep 2013
          ‘Brook seats get the chop
          By Shawn McAvinue
          A limited-release rimu chopping board from the ruins of Carisbrook will push a Rotary project beyond its fundraising goal. Carisbrook Rotary Project committee member Lindsay Thorburn said the remaining rimu bench seats salvaged from the Rose Stand would be made into cheese boards and platters.
          Southern Demolition and Salvage digger operator Chris Wilson said about 3500 tonnes of concrete had been ”pulverised” at Carisbrook. The concrete was ”munched” so the cable steel reinforcement could be removed.
          When the labourers, who were working for the company in Christchurch, were available, they would start ”stripping out” the corporate boxes, Mr Wilson said.
          Read more

        • ### September 17, 2013 – 7:20pm
          Nightly interview: Lindsay Thorburn
          A project by nine Rotary clubs in Otago is using the demolition of Carisbrook to raise money. The sale of stadium seats and other unwanted bits and pieces has already raised plenty of money. Now organisers have found a new way to squeeze funds out of the old ground.

        • A move to spare the NZHPT-classified category 1 turnstile building…

          ### ODT Online Tue, 5 Nov 2013
          ‘Brook consent formalises turnstile protection zone
          By Chris Morris
          A consent to subdivide part of Carisbrook – separating the historic Neville St Stand turnstile building from the rest of the property – has been approved by the Dunedin City Council.
          Read more

        • ### December 17, 2013 – 6:55pm
          The old ‘Brook disappearing into dust
          Construction and deconstruction are in full swing in the city, as one development project emerges from the dust, and another is rapidly disappearing into dust.

        • “Carisbrook’s demise was the end of an era for Otago. Shawn McAvinue tracks down those lucky enough to secure a memento of the stadium before it was demolished.” –ODT

          ### ODT Online Mon, 30 Dec 2013
          If these seats could talk, the stories they might tell
          A couple of ”naughty boys” punished with community service painted the Balclutha Bowling Club sheds and toilet block blue and gold, club secretary Graham Dale says.
          Read more


          ### ODT Online Tue, 31 Dec 2013
          Seats contribute to colosseum feel
          The cut-price Carisbrook seats will harbour sports fans again and help spark an ”electric” feeling at an Albany stadium.
          Read more

        • ### October 23, 2013 – 7:22pm
          House of pain almost gone
          The house of pain is almost gone, with demolition of the historic stadium progressing.

  10. Whippet

    Will the valuation ever be made public???? and if so how can it be that the valuations between buying and selling are so different? They would have used the same valuer wouldn’t they?

    • Not necessarily. There are valuers you choose for buying, and valuers for selling.
      Generally you choose the ones who tend to value low when you want to buy, and the ones who value high when you want to sell.
      Picking the wrong ones, well, it’s an easy mistake to make when you’re new to the property ownership business… like the DCC. Right?

  11. There is now a link to the documents on the ODT site.
    The Council has lost money based on what seems to be a grossly inflated valuation. Why isn’t the Council attempting to recover some of its losses by taking legal action against the valuer?

    • Thanks Alistair, note the obfuscatory flavour even so!
      70 documents, a spree of masked incompetence, fraud and corruption.
      [DCC Spooks having a field day, see mud and footy boots]

      Which documents are staying hidden ???

      Dunedin City Council – Media Release

      Carisbrook documents released

      This item was published on 03 Jul 2013.

      A large number of documents relating to the purchase and subsequent sale of Carisbrook have been released publicly today.

      These can be found at

      The DCC bought the sportsground, surrounding houses and some vacant land from the Otago Rugby Football Union for $7 million in 2009. With the sale of Carisbrook confirmed last week, all the properties have been sold.

      Contact DCC on 477 4000.

      DCC Link

      • ### July 3, 2013 – 6:35pm
        Carisbrook sale costs city $2.3 million
        The Dunedin City Council’s purchase, then sale of Carisbrook, has cost the city $2.3 million. But that figure, confirmed at a media conference today, is not the only drain on ratepayers. And while the release of costs ends a controversial era for the city, the vagaries of commerce, rather than the decisions of politicians, were blamed in the wash-up.

        • ### Wed, 03 Jul 2013 6:11p.m.
          Ratepayers question Carisbrook sale
          By Brooke Gardiner
          Dunedin’s Carisbrook Stadium has been sold for $3.3 million, which is less than half what the Dunedin City Council paid when it bought the place three years ago. Construction company Calder Stewart bought the former sports ground for almost $4 million less than the council forked out to the Otago Rugby Football Union in 2009. And it could be three years before the council sees any money. The deal went unconditional last month, but the council’s only just released the finer details of the agreement.

          “They have three and a half years to pay for it. We’re leaving the finance in and they’re paying us 5.5 percent on that money.”

          Ruing the loss of ratepayer funds, Mayor Dave Cull says they should never have bought the stadium. “I opposed it at the time. I don’t think we should have bought it. I think we were buying it for the wrong reasons, but the choice over whether to buy it or not was not this council’s,” says Mr Cull.
          Read more + Video

        • Yeah Dave, but you’re completely comfortable to prop up DVML, your frigging loser-cycleways, tweaks to Harbour Cone, you name it – bet your Facebook page ramps up in dastardly grief with this Carisbrook news.

          Hmmm, nothing yet!

  12. Mike

    wow the original ORFU/CST contract is in there DVML gets 7.5% of the gross for NZRFU events

  13. Whippet

    It now becomes clear why the chair of finance bailed out of the next election. No more sand in the sand pit to draw lines in.

  14. Mike

    So another piece of interesting data here is that, as we discovered the money from the sale of the houses went to the mysterious “Property Holdings Charitable Trust” (which is not actually a registered charitable trust on the Charities Commission website).

    Elsewhere in the documents we see that the rent from those properties was going directly to the ORFU, not back to the trust to pay interest on a mortgage.

    That means that the million dollars was not used to pay off a mortgage as some have suggested, and that when the ORFU came to the city crying poor, and had us write off their debts because they claimed to be close to bankruptcy, they really had $1m squirrelled away in their secret, not really charitable, trust.

  15. Mike

    Further to the above ….

    I had an epiphany in the shower this morning: maybe it’s a tax dodge

    Suppose I’m a wealthy ORFU supporter who wants to create a way to funnel some money their way – at the same time we want to stop the people across the street from Carisbrook from complaining and to allow space for a planned expansion. So I buy the houses across the street and put them into a trust – I call it “Property Holdings Charitable Trust” because it looks like an official Charitable trust if the IRD starts poking around and the Charities Commission’s website explicitly won’t let you search for any of those 4 words because they are so common in the names of charitable trusts. By putting the properties in a trust and setting things up so that I divert the income from them directly from the properties’ renters to the ORFU without passing through my (or my trust’s) hands it means I pay no tax – the ORFU loses money every year so it pays no tax either.

    One can speculate as to who such a person might be, there must be someone somewhere who could potentially donate that $1m to the stadium.

  16. Mike

    This document is interesting – it includes discussion in 2007 about stadium funding ….

    Click to access 2007_09_06-Confidential-Memo-to-Stadium-Funding-Working-Party.pdf

    I’m unsure about the language in section 9:

    “Two possibilities for land sales that would have had the effect of realising Carisbrook at a price in excess of $3 million have been investigated without success”

    What does it mean? – had they intended to take some public land and make a new Carisbrook on it (remember this is 2007) or are they somehow talking about the existing Carisbrook site.

  17. Russell Garbutt

    Mike, this mysterious Trust needs competent and total investigation. All of the houses were eventually purchased by one person – a cobblestone layer in Portobello from memory. Remember when Wayne Graham was asked about this mysterious trust? He said he didn’t know anything about it. But we are dealing with the activities of the ORFU here and some of their friends. Do we expect to see evidence of clarity, openess, transparency?

    • DCC’s ‘vision for growth’ was in a class of its own – in planning the stadium the council was prepared to completely ignore economic rationality and the fact of New Zealand population-based funding. The councillors who support/ed the stadium project and who support/ed professional rugby with ratepayer dollars should be prosecuted. When does the official inquiry begin.

      ### ODT Online Fri, 5 Jul 2013
      Editorial: Bribes for big cities
      To those who have, it shall be given. That appears to be the way with taxpayer funding after last week’s multibillion-dollar packages for Auckland and Christchurch. We are all going to pay for central business district ”anchor” projects in Christchurch and for huge transport projects in Auckland. Particularly galling is the promise from the Government to fund Christchurch’s conference centre completely, and to throw in $37 million for a ”roofed” stadium. Somehow, all by itself, Dunedin is supposed to compete. Already at a disadvantage because of its smaller size and inferior air links, it will be all the more difficult to attract conferences to Dunedin. And the city will say goodbye to almost all A-grade rugby tests and big concerts. Why come to Dunedin when all the facilities are there in Christchurch, including a 35,000-seat covered stadium?
      Read more

      • The Otago Chamber of Commerce, trade unions and Dunedin Labour MPs had accused the Government of ignoring facilities and services that would be available for expansion in Dunedin rather than closing everything down and shifting it north.

        ### ODT Online Sat, 6 Jul 2013
        Shearer says region hit by lack of policy
        By Dene Mackenzie
        Regions like Otago were being hollowed out by the Government’s lack of a regional strategy, Labour Party leader David Shearer said yesterday. Mr Shearer contacted the Otago Daily Times to express his concern about the ongoing job losses being experienced in the region.
        Read more

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    Not only has Christchurch gained big boosts of money, and services relocated to Chch. Even more galling in my opinion is the attention its mismanagement(s)/inefficiencies/conflicts of interest have attracted, and the inquiries into what’s going on followed by action to take power away from those who have messed up. Dunedin – we get the 3 monkeys treatment, see no evil, hear no evil and maintain strict silence – must be commercially sensitive eh.

  19. Putting it in context, Dunedin could well be dubbed the ‘Portugal’ of the south. The comparisons are positively eerie. Central govt is the EU and Dunedin is Portugal. Check it out.

  20. Geoffrey Pennifold

    July 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Mike: It looks as thought they intended to dispose of some reserve land owned by the Crown but vested in the Dunedin City Council for administration. Any disposal would mean that the proceeds would revert to the Crown.


  21. Mike

    So maybe they originally wanted to put it on Logan Park or the Oval.

  22. Geoff

    Just sell any reserve land – but to get their hands on the money it needed to be fee simple land and owned by the council. It seems that they were looking at Reserve Land (ultimately owned by the Crown). So no bikkies for them.

  23. Lance

    Mr Shearer has a short memory. Labour has had a stranglehold over Dunedin. With carpetbagger Labour MPs coming down here to take the safe labour seats from local aspiring politicians, and they have done nothing in return for Dunedin when in government. In fact it was Labour that started the school closures under rubber duckie Mallard, when many of the Taieri schools were closed. Shearer would do well to look back at his party’s preformance in this region, especially the 450 jobs that were lost at F&P on the Taieri under Helen’s reign, and everything was kept hush hush with standover union pressure that stopped the workers speaking out.

  24. Ditto for National Michael Woodhouse. A sycophant if ever there was one. Result, Dunedin is right off the central government’s radar. Always has been if you think of it. A safe haven for Labour so they took us for granted. A lost cause for National, so they simply stood ‘dipsticks’. Even arch ‘dipstick’ Woodhouse is just a non voted list MP. Now he is minister of something and advocate for nothing. Where was he on Hillside? Where is he now with Postal Regional sorting depot? Indeed where is he now that we can’t see him ‘fawning’ behind Key in the house. His voice is deafening by its absence.

    • Mr Woodhouse is now busy concentrating on immigration, and exploitation of migrant labour by taking employers to task. This is laudatory. It’s also how to get noticed with universal approbation and fast track a political career to senior cabinet ranks as well as international diplomacy. Former Mercy Hospital chief executive Mr Woodhouse is no fool, national politics was always his mission – not the local lunatic fringe occupied by the likes of Curran and Clark for Labour. He’s from rugby, he’s someone that looks for openings and, sage-like, makes them work. He may not have the electorate vote, but he knows that would be an albatross around his personal future. In the end, I admire his lack of small-mindedness and his ability to get ahead – I’ve only come to this way of thinking in the last month when I’ve dug into, yes, where he’s at. He’s nakedly ambitious, plays a better game than many, and I’ll never vote for him.

  25. Mike

    I’ve had a couple of email correspondences with Mr Woodhouse, I’ve found him ignorant of the topics in question, or possibly unaware of his ignorance and but happily willing to opine based upon that – to find him now in charge of immigration something he likely knows nothing about does not exactly fill me with confidence.

    • Government whip and immigration minister Michael Woodhouse has been on the news repeatedly in the last couple of months explaining how the government intends to sort migrant worker exploitation. One of the better clips is from TV1’s Q & A (interview by Jessica Mutch). In short, here’s the TVNZ press release including the transcript:

      He needs to stop using “well” each time he opens his mouth to speak in front of a camera. That aside, having watched the interview when it aired he came across fairly forthrightly, he’s learning.

  26. Mike

    I guess my issue with him is that he happily bullshited onwards spouting the party line without stopping to read what someone has written and considering what someone else is saying – in my case I’m pretty sure he was out of his depth (it was a highly technical issue in the area that I do business in) and didn’t really understand what he was saying, and honestly it came across to me that he really wasn’t self aware enough about his own ignorance of the topic I was trying to educate him about that I don’t think he understood just how off-base he was – I don’t think he was bullshitting me per-se, more spouting the party line because he was quite out of his depth. He certainly didn’t seem to want to go to bat for local business that might have been adversely effected by his party’s legislative plans.

    On the other hand I also wrote him a letter about gay marriage given that he was the only local MP who hadn’t come out in favour of it, I got a wishy-washy response – frankly he should have come clean and honest and explained that he was Catholic and was going to vote against it rather than trying to have a bob each way.

    He won’t be getting my vote next year, sadly he’s making his way up the National list so the only way to really oppose him is to oppose his party.

    • Personalising that as I reflect, whenever someone tries to ‘educate’ me I immediately turn off, it usually has an arrogance I won’t be part of… in protecting my own arrogance.

  27. Mike

    well I didn’t really couch it that way – just tried to explain what effect his party’s plans would have on real businesses in the real world – I don’t expect any politician to be up on every issue, but I do expect them to be smart enough to try and understand and address issues they vote on “I was out of parliament that day and couldn’t be bothered” is not really an appropriate response ever – even if you pass your proxy vote to someone else you should understand the issue before you do so, if you don’t understand what you are voting for you should not be voting

    • Always curious to think casting a vote is something pure or that human nature is not contrary and conflicted most of the time; there’s always the weight of the fly to consider besides wind, water, breaking strain, type of bait, where the fish are, fools throwing using stones or explosives, slits in your waders, and other more precarious matters such as the bank crumbling under your feet in making a move on the prize, especially since you never liked to gut, scale or eat fish anyway. Then there’s the cows. And the pretty thing not a hundred feet away on the picnic rug.

  28. Hype O'Thermia

    I think it’s a mistake to turn off when people try to educate, i.e. inform. Depends of course whether they are people with knowledge in an area that I don’t have many clues about – yet – or if they’re raving green-inkers, but it doesn’t take long to pick the difference. Peculiar claims based on cherry-picked, dodgy and misunderstood statistics are a give-away, as are extreme claims about DOOM.
    And aliens.
    I’ve learned heaps about all sorts of things from people who tried to explain them to me. Not enough to be a halfway expert, but enough to ask sensible questions next time the topic comes up.

  29. Mike

    yeah I know, and they are politicians after all

    But really the essence of representative democracy is casting votes in parliament, of all the things we elect them to do that’s the main one. In essence we pay them to read and understand the fine print laws that are passed so we don’t have to. It’s supposed to protect us from the Sir Humphreys of the world

    Sadly in practice often some party whip tells them how to vote and they do it. In the end the “powers that be” in their party decide – it’s how we end up with know nothings like the Collins and Acklins and their ilk deciding stuff for us.

    So how do we get to choose smarter politicians – what sort of electoral process would expose Acklin et al? I kind of think that sadly it comes down to local media – all the candidates need to get lots of media time, get asked the really hard questions, an get real answers, and we need to actually watch it, and talk about it amongst ourselves – it’s way too easy for someone to cruise into power with just a vague public impression in place

    Maybe it’s time to organise some hard questions for public meetings coming up to the next election, and to actually publicise the meetings themselves – I missed most last time around because I simply didn’t know they were on

    • Talk here and there about town last week was tending to lament of the dreariness of local candidates standing this year (so far), old and new. Many saw the need for Hudson to step down, disgracefully! – and Acklin to potter off.
      It’s largely a thankless task being a local body politician, and so it is for voters – no lotto prizes.

  30. Oh dear, as if it is not enough to campaign, get elected, take the oath of office, now I am faced with some-one so unreasonable as to expect me to read all the “stuff”, act intelligent about the subject (as though I know anything about it at all) and vote. And they wonder why I drink a lot, well…err… a little. This business of being a politician is not all it’s cracked up to be, if it wasn’t for the easy money and fringe benefits you would have to wonder why any-one would do it.

  31. Russell Garbutt

    What is to stop anyone calling a public meeting, invite all local media, and those candidates or current Councillors you would like some answers to, and deciding upon the format. Nothing as far as I can see.

    A good starting point would be to setup a meeting in South Dunedin and invite Acklin to it as the guest of honour. Him vs a questioning panel and also open to questions from the floor. I’m sure that he would be happy to attend….and if he didn’t attend, then an empty chair would be something that would be visually appealing to the media.

  32. Why stop at Acklin? It is Dunedin Ward so all candidates should be invited. Have a chair for each. It could be like ‘turkey shoot’.

  33. Russell Garbutt

    I was thinking of a series of such meetings

  34. Whippet

    It all happened in the town hall last time russell. Still didn’t stop everything changing after being elected. No need for a repeat performance.

    • Whippet – I think there’s mileage (and usefully troublesome reportage) to be gained from Russell’s South Dunedin suggestion, it stands a good chance of ousting that councillor.
      Public meetings are chancy but generally, along with Mike, I think they’re worth doing to watch how candidates conduct themselves spontaneously once past the gloss of their prepared opening statements, and given everything we know of the two preceding terms of this council and who did what. Plus, let’s see if any of Edgar’s non-existent tribe turn up – can only send him the invite to put his team forward !!!??? :)

  35. Mike

    I’d like to see a bunch of meetings all around the Dunedin Ward, maybe 2 a week for the month before the election, maybe starting 2 weeks before ballots go out – sure the Town Hall, but also a couple in NEV/Pine Hill/Opoho, the student quarter, a couple in South Dunedin, the peninsular, Mornington, Maori Hill, Brockville, Carlton Hill/Corstophine, Halfway Bush/Waikari – a hall in every neighbourhood – make them work for their sinecure

  36. amanda

    Was funny when I attended a meeting with Acklin and Thomson during the run up to the last election, I let Acklin know that I thought his stadium stance was fiscally inept. But the interesting thing was who spoke up passionately in his defence? Cr Thomson. It was so touching how Thomson got quite clearly annoyed at my timerity to dare to intimate Acklin was an inept councillor.

  37. amanda

    The meeting was a public meeting with other wannabe councillors on the election trail.

  38. amanda

    Thomson was already looking around and seeing who held the power on council and had decided he sure was not going to challenge these ‘old boys’, no, indeed he was going to ingratiate himself to them. But that’s politicking and par for the course. You won’t see Greater Raters Dunedin attack the Old boys, so who will they attack?

  39. amanda

    That pretty much told me he was a man who took his stances on how they would affect him politically, and so I didn’t vote for him last time, though unfortunately I voted for his gormless compatriots. More fool me.

  40. Peter

    I think it would be more useful at candidates’ meetings to just have question and answer sessions instead of the usual kind of format such as: You have three minutes to outline your ‘vision’ for Dunedin. Such a format, even for the best candidates, invites generalised responses and usually a repetition of key buzz words that become annoying.
    I do hope we have more decent candidates standing this time and not too many clueless ones. (Though I recognise it is anyone’s democratic right to stand. I was not impressed, last time, when I heard of one person with Green credentials criticising another for splitting his vote.)

  41. Today’s SST business section: “Directors required to help manage our city’s investments” Dunedin City Holdings Ltd. Applications invited for the position as a director of DCHL. The company has been engaged in implementing the governance recommendations for the DCHL group arising from the governance review obtained by DCC in 2011.
    The company now wishes to appoint two directors to the Board.
    Applications to; the CEO at DCHL PO Box 5045 Dunedin.
    So there we are. Have two existing gophers got the DCM or will there be two extra at the trough? The rorts go on.

    • Thanks Calvin, I’ll post that image.
      Interesting how DCHL recommendations for change to the companies appear to be being enacted without councillor briefing. DCHL’s report is currently awaited by councillors! Where are Cull and Brown in all this?

      • ### ODT Online Mon, 8 Jul 2013
        Nothing Too Serious
        Getting paid to put something back
        By Jim Sullivan
        OPINION I’ve just had a funny phone call. At first I thought it was one of those clowns trying to sell something.
        ”Are you prepared to put something back into the community?”
        ”Well, if it’s a matter of a raffle ticket or …”
        ”No. No. We want you to make a real difference to Dunedin’s future. We’ve had our eye on you for some time and the committee think you’re just the man. How does ‘Councillor’ sound to you?
        ”Well, it has a certain ring about it, but I’m not sure . . .”
        ”Not sure you can do it? Don’t be an idiot. It’s easy. Look at the present lot.”
        ”Well, that’s hardly fair. There are some very … ”
        ”Let’s not worry about ‘fair’ – it’s city council we’re talking now. You’ll need to be tough, dedicated, afraid of no-one. It’s a battleground out there.”
        Read more

  42. ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Jul 2013
    Hoyts to close Octagon cinema
    By Vaughan Elder
    After 20 years of popcorn and blockbusters, Dunedin’s Hoyts cinema is to close next month, with the loss of 20 jobs. Hoyts’ closure, however, does not signal the end of the Octagon site’s more than 100-year history as a cinema. Reading Entertainment is to take over and refurbish the building after Hoyts’ lease runs out. Reading hoped to have its cinema open by the beginning of next year.
    Read more

  43. ### ODT Online Mon, 22 Jul 2013
    Doubt councils’ pre-election reports useful
    By Rebecca Fox
    Just how useful pre-election reports by councils will be at ”stimulating debate” before October’s local body elections is questionable, Andy Asquith of Massey University, says.
    In 2010, then Local Government Minister Rodney Hide introduced the requirement as part of amendments to the Local Government Act aimed at improving the ”transparency, accountability and financial management” of local government. ”All councils must now produce a pre-election report outlining financial performance over the last three years, as well as financial plans and projects across the next three years. This will have the effect of stimulating debate at local elections,” he said then.
    The amendments were approved last month in time for this year’s elections and councils are required to publish a pre-election report by August 9.

    Dr Asquith, a senior lecturer at Massey University’s school of management, said the reports were another example of the Government piling obligations and obvious costs on to local government without thinking of the implications of what they were doing. ”There is a far better way of doing it than this … having an obligation for councillors to go out there and be visible would be a great start.”

    The reports are to be authored by councils’ chief executives and be free of any political comment.
    Read more

  44. ### ODT Online Wed, 24 Jul 2013
    Govt may review regional stance
    Prime Minister John Key and the Government appear to be rethinking their views on regional development. During the Local Government New Zealand conference in Hamilton yesterday, Mr Key said there was validity in encouraging economic activity and building infrastructure in the regions, because there was ”pronounced economic development” in Auckland which was creating enormous pressure on the city’s infrastructure. Under-used infrastructure around the rest of the country was not in New Zealand’s best long-term interests, and the Government had been investigating how to encourage regional economic activity, he said. How that could be done was not yet clear.
    Read more

  45. Anonymous

    I assume that DCC will be collecting the late fees, since the demolition was not completed within the specified timeframe? Or does the DCC think that the current state of the property meets the requirements?

    • Handsome idea for an LGOIMA request to DCC’s new chief executive.

    • Not a terribly good answer to Anonymous’ question above, which was: “I assume that DCC will be collecting the late fees, since the demolition was not completed within the specified timeframe?”

      ### ODT Online Wed, 8 Jan 2014
      Carisbrook corporate boxes last to go
      By Chris Morris
      The demolition of Carisbrook is entering its final stage as contractors turn their attention to the old ground’s corporate box complex. However, the site’s new owner, Calder Stewart, has already secured the return of the $200,000 bond it paid to the Dunedin City Council as part of its purchase agreement.
      Read more

      Were the corporate boxes ever really built to be dismantled for use at other sites? Or was that an urban myth…

      • Comment at ODT Online:

        The most disgusting bit of wastage
        Submitted by pukeko on Thu, 09/01/2014 – 11:29pm.

        $13 million odd to build, 13 odd years old, probably only been full 100 times, and it’s being demolished, the sort of thing you might say expect in a place like Las Vegas, it is unreal to think it’s happening here.
        Read more

        It’s not the stadium’s fault (the stadium is an inanimate object).
        It’s the ORFU and DCC’s underhand corporate dealings that have brought this aggregate ‘criminal’ cost to ratepayers’ pockets.

  46. ### ODT Online Tue, 21 Jan 2014
    Final stage of demolition begins
    By Nigel Benson
    The final stage of demolition started last week on the four-storey, concrete hospitality complex. Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of March.
    Read more

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