Monthly Archives: July 2013

Stadium: Accountability, paper trail leads unavoidably to NEWS

Stadium, Dunedin [espnscrum.com]Stadium under construction [photo via espnscrum.com]

Comments received.

Bev Butler
Submitted on 2013/07/30 at 2:25 pm

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8981153/Phone-records-given-to-inquiry
Parliament’s speaker, David Carter:
“I view any actions that may put at risk journalists’ ability to report very seriously.”

Both Sir Eion Edgar and Sir Julian Smith have some explaining to do as to their “actions” in preventing the reporting of the information contained in the press release below which one of the ODT reporters contacted me about on 3 July 2013, asked me questions, then nothing being published in the ODT.

PRESS RELEASE
“Philanthropist” reneges on promised $1m donation
Full independent enquiry sought

The deceptions surrounding the Forsyth Barr Stadium continue to be revealed by official documents released on 11 June 2013.

The public, on many occasions raised doubts that the promises of private funding for construction of the stadium, had been met, but were assured by Mr Malcolm Farry, Chair of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust as reported in NBR and ODT 2007 that in fact several substantial donations had been promised. Indeed he went so far to tell the public that he had promises of three individual donations of $1 million each to be put to the costs of construction. Sir Eion Edgar also confirmed in DScene in 2009 that he would be making a donation of $1m.

That, as has now been revealed officially, was untrue.

It was also untrue as Mr Farry claimed when leading the project, that advance ticket or product sales revenue could be counted as construction capital. This was nothing other, as many ratepayers pointed out, simply advance operational revenue which could not be charged in the future. While Mr Farry denied this, the PricewaterhouseCoopers investigation found that there was little or no capital raised from ‘private funding’ for construction.

The relevance of this should not be lost when the evidence supplied to the High Court in Christchurch by the Carisbrook Stadium Trust through the DCC also stated that substantial private donations had been made for construction. At the time of the Stop The Stadium court case in April 2009, Mr Farry had stated publicly that more than $30m of the required $45m had already been contracted in private funding for construction of the stadium. It appears that evidence in the High Court case was also not truthful.

The role played by Forsyth Barr and its Chair, Sir Eion Edgar also come directly under a brighter spotlight from the release of the documentation. Sir Eion Edgar promised a substantial donation of $1m as reported in DScene 2009, but again this has proven not to be true. But this lack of philanthropy also extended to an obscuring of the facts surrounding the naming rights of the stadium. Despite Sir Eion Edgar claiming in the National Business Review (29/01/09) that a “substantial cheque” had been written for these rights, and The Marketing Bureau commissioned by the CST reporting to council the naming rights were worth $10m, the fact was that instead the stadium was named after his company for a period of two and a half years before any revenue was received. It has already been reported in the media that the naming rights were no more than $5m. An upfront substantial sum in advance reported in PwC peer reviews was somehow altered to a much lesser sum in monthly arrears payments which didn’t begin until late 2011.

Sir Edgar also had a significant role as President in his connections with the Otago Rugby Football Union when a fundraising function for the ORFU in August 2011 at the new Forsyth Barr Stadium defaulted in its payments to the Dunedin City Council leaving ratepayers to pick up the tab for booze, food, hireage and cleaning while the ORFU pocketed the gross income less a substantial organisational fee paid to the wife of the Deputy Chair of the ORFU, Laurie Mains.

While the PwC investigation was not intended to be a forensic audit of all financial matters surrounding the stadium, sufficient grounds now exist for such a full independent investigation to be carried out, and it is difficult to see just why this should be resisted unless some have got matters to try and continue to conceal. Doubts have also been expressed over the laxity of the billing and payment processes whereby blanket monthly CST accounts with no detail were passed for payment by the then CEO of the Dunedin City Council, Jim Harland, and there remains uncertainty over the validity of many of the expenses and other monies claimed for and paid by the ratepayers of the City.

[Response 1]

Elizabeth
Submitted on 2013/07/30 at 2:46 pm

Bev, quite apart from the content of the Press Release, are you saying the ODT journalist who contacted you about the release was lined up to do a story based on the content of the press release? Or that the editorial team did not support the reporter and canned the story as filed? Or for the newspaper’s own reasons there was never a story?! In other words, something of a spying mission took place?

Media can choose whether or not to cite the content of press releases in whole or in part.

Should a newspaper decline to reference a press release in its general news coverage, surely that leaves the writers of the release free to pay for an advertising statement. This is exactly what has been required with The Press in Christchurch over the fight to restore the Christ Church Cathedral – paid advertising by Cathedral advocates tied to education of the Press editor underlining the editorial bias which has run to the benefit of the Bishop and the CPT. We consider The Press’s stance deliberate to force use of paid advertising. The Press has softened since being SPOKEN TO.

****

[Response 2]

Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2013/07/30 at 8:25 pm

Bev’s post needs as wide a circulation as possible and I would urge any readers to pass on the URL of this post to as many of their friends as possible, but it is as sure as God made little green apples, that the ODT will neither investigate nor publish anything that is detrimental to the interests of those that have certain influence and connections. I wonder if Sir Julian would be willing to show his phone records? Particularly those from the Central Otago region?

All of the material that Bev mentions regarding the naming rights is backed up by documentation – in fact so much of what Bev is talking about is now being played out in National politics with the Henry inquiry and Vance’s phone records. The story has to be dragged out before it is grudgingly admitted that a great wrong was done. And even then the perpetrators can’t get their story straight.

This is what I mean by accountability in many ways. Many have claimed that deceit, lies and obfuscation were just part of the normal business around the CST, DCC, ORFU and associated parties and it has also been suggested that this culture of deceit and lies extended to the High Court. Who am I to argue that this was not the case? But the same people’s names turn up time and time again. Reported are Farry, who continues to harangue from the side-lines, Edgar promising much and apparently confused between what is a donation and what is part of a payment for a sweetheart deal with the organisation of which he was part, or Harland, in the middle authorising payments on behalf of the ratepayers to the CST – a private Trust that remains a closed window.

And who is going to push for exposure of all the facts? We should be forever grateful for Bev’s assiduous work in prying out the necessary documentation and proof of what many have alleged for years. I can only hope that Bev Butler is, within the near future, able to ensure that any serious wrong-doing by those connected with the greatest waste of ratepayer funds, is put forward in a high profile way.

And if it can be shown in a separate jurisdiction that the allegations are well-founded – and I’m sure it can by the documentation that exists in private and on public record, then hopefully these people will be made accountable. But I’m not holding my breath.

****

[Response 3]

Bev Butler
Submitted on 2013/07/30 at 10:11 pm

Elizabeth, to now answer your questions – just briefly for now.
“The Edgar Story” was first published on Stuff News on Wednesday 3 July 2013. About an hour later the story was “pulled”.
Rarely does a story get “pulled” – it is generally due to major factual errors or a threat of defamation. As I know the information was correct then I assumed the latter.
I wrote to Fairfax management then emailed Forsyth Barr/Edgar’s lawyers. Two days later the story was published in The Mirror – a Central Otago Fairfax publication.
Interestingly, also on Wednesday 3 July an ODT reporter contacted me, questioning me about the Stuff News item. The reporter wanted to know who else I had sent the press release to. At the time I thought this was unusual – what did that have to do with reporting the news? I suspected that someone was wanting to do damage control behind the scenes. A week later I then heard from a good source that this was the case.
What really concerns me, apart from the serious issues in the press release, is the behind-the-scenes manipulation of ‘freedom of the press’. Dunedin citizens are no longer able to rely on the local media for local news. The damage done by this behind-the-scenes manipulation is dangerous. How this can be allowed to happen in a democratic society should be a concern for all in Dunedin. I don’t blame the reporter as he/she would have been instructed to question me.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
18.7.13 ODT won’t touch Fairfax story
3.7.13 [Pulled!] Call for Dunedin stadium cash
24.12.12 A Christmas Tale
7.6.12 Stadium: Forsyth Barr naming rights
6.7.09 Eion Edgar on ‘stadium haters’

ODT Online:
11.5.12 $100m hotel for Dunedin waterfront [Edgar support]
11.5.12 Harbour hotel proposed for Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, STS

GCSB: National Party websites hacked

Anon NZ | Published on 28 Jul 2013

Websites down:
johnkey.co.nz | billenglish.co.nz | gerrybrownlee.com | michaelwoodhouse.co.nz | bluegreens.co.nz | judithcollins.co.nz | bluelibs.org.nz | nikkikaye.co.nz | bluegreens.org.nz | simonbridges.co.nz | maggiebarry.co.nz | national.org.nz | davidcarter.co.nz | nickywagner.co.nz
and many more

****

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 10:31 30/07/2013:
Dotcom tells hackers of National sites to stop
“It has come to our attention that the thousands that have marched against this bill has still not been enough to send John Key and Peter Dunne a message.” –Anon NZ

****

### ODT Online Tue, 30 Jul 2013 APNZ
Doctom tells National Party hackers to back off
Hackers claimed to have taken down more than a dozen National Party websites overnight – but their actions have drawn the ire of internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom. The group calling itself Anonymous New Zealand said in a video it had taken “direct action” against the GCSB spy bill.
The video said the websites would remain down until their servers were patched or the bill was withdrawn and Prime Minister John Key has apologised to all New Zealanders and internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.
The video was posted to YouTube on Sunday, the same day thousands of protesters marched against the GCSB bill. Among the sites that remained down this morning were Mr Key’s site, johnkey.co.nz, and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English’s site, billenglish.co.nz as well as a handful of sites belonging to other Cabinet ministers. However, the National Party website, which the group claims to have taken down, was live this morning at national.org.nz. APNZ
Read more

Anonymous 1

The global Anonymous group is best known for takedowns of US government and corporation websites, with its members recognised for wearing Guy Fawkes masks.

### nzherald.co.nz 09:09 Tue Jul 30 2013
National trying to restore websites
IT experts are trying to restore National Party websites after an attack by activist group Anonymous over the controversial Government Communications Security Bureau Bill.
In a video message posted online, Anonymous NZ calls the legislation – which will make it legal for the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of other agencies – “despicable”.
The group has taken more than a dozen National websites offline, including those of Prime Minister John Key and Speaker David Carter, and a number of other MPs, but the main National Party website “survived” the attack.
Anonymous says the sites will stay offline until National patches its servers, or apologises to internet piracy accused Kim Dotcom – who was illegally spied on by the GCSB – and all New Zealanders. AAP
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
7.6.13 Peter Dunne, undone

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Stadium: Leonard Cohen not coming

Leonard Cohen [AP]
Leonard Cohen plans to visit New Zealand in December. Photo / AP

### nzherald.co.nz 6:45 AM Tuesday Jul 30, 2013
Tour news: Leonard Cohen to play three NZ shows
Leonard Cohen has announced a full New Zealand tour in December, taking in the country’s three major cities. Cohen – who last played here in October, 2010 to packed venues – will perform in Christchurch on December 14, Wellington on December 17, and Auckland on December 21. Cohen will be performing with his nine-piece band that includes Sharon Robinson, the Webb Sisters and musical director Roscoe Beck.
Read more

ODT 30.7.13 Leonard Cohen announces NZ dates

NZH 28.1.12 Leonard Cohen: In his own good time
NZH 21.8.10 Essence of Leonard Cohen

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin Cable Car Trust – Public Meetings SUNDAY 28 July

Mornington cable train, High St 1

The trust will hold two public meetings to provide information on the High Street Cable Car project, including details on how people can help, and a question and answer session.

WHERE Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum
WHEN Sunday 28 July
SESSIONS 1pm – 3pm or 3pm – 5pm

Entry by gold coin donation

ALL WELCOME

Website: http://dunedincablecars.co.nz/

Related Post and Comments:
14.2.13 Phil Cole on the High Street Cable Car [most recent comments]
15.1.13 Return of High Street cable car
23.12.11 High Street cable car update
27.8.10 Invitation to ALL #High St Cable Car
25.11.09 High Street cable car
23.11.09 High Street Cable Car a possibility
19.10.09 Cable Car Meeting @Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Heritage: Old BNZ, Dunedin —restored

Work on the historic bank included strengthening the structure from 67% of building code requirements to 100% and installing a full fire sprinkler system.

Old BNZ c.1888 [FA Coxhead] re-imaged 1205 Princes St – Old BNZ c.1888 (photo by FA Coxhead re-imaged)

With Silver Fern [Farms] also moving into the old chief post office, it will give the Exchange momentum. The shops will do better and it will give the whole area more impetus. –Michael van Aart

### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jul 2013
Refurbished bank building ready for law firm
By Nigel Benson
Dunedin’s former commercial heart – the Exchange – will pulsate with new life next week. With scaffolding removed and tradesmen gone, the 130-year-old Bank of New Zealand building in Princes St will become the new home to commercial law firm Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers on Wednesday. The occupation of the building, which is considered architect William Barnett Armson’s (1834-1883) masterpiece, follows an 18-month restoration project.
“We’re really looking forward to moving in,” firm director Michael van Aart said yesterday. “The building is dramatic and one of a kind. We have to celebrate the unique features we have here in Dunedin and heritage is certainly one of them. The Exchange was the heart of New Zealand’s economy when it was built.”
The building had been untenanted for the past 13 years. Van Aart Sycamore Lawyers had been based in Radio House for the past six years and the move would be good for the Exchange, Mr van Aart believed.
Read more

Old BNZ, Armson drawing no. 10 (Princes St facade) 2Armson drawing no. 10, Princes St facade with secondary doorway

Readings:
New Zealand Historic Places Trust – Category 1 Historic Place
(No. 7299) Registration Report – the history and significance

[wikipedia] Princes Street, Dunedin
[wikipedia] Bank of New Zealand

Book: John Barsby, The BNZ Building, Princes Street Dunedin (Southern Heritage Trust, 2011)

Related Post and Comments:
26.2.13 Bank of New Zealand Building, 205 Princes St (cnr Rattray)
[more images]

Banking desk from former BNZ Bank, Otago Settlers Museum [nzmuseums.co.nz]The banking desk designed by architect Robert A Lawson is held by Otago Settlers Museum; and an original ornamental fire surround from the bank is installed at Antrim House (NZHPT National Office) in Wellington (photographs in Barsby). It is thought one more fire surround went to another Wellington residence.

Drawing for write-up desk, Old BNZ (RA Lawson)RA Lawson, Drawing for write-up desk, Old BNZ

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Art in public places: The Fourth Plinth

Rooster-AAP 1‘Hahn/Cock’ surveys London’s Trafalgar Square [AAP]

### 3news.co.nz Fri, 26 Jul 2013 2:53p.m.
Giant blue rooster ruffles London feathers
By Jill Lawless
This might ruffle a few feathers. A giant blue rooster has been unveiled next to the sombre military monuments in London’s Trafalgar Square. German artist Katharina Fritsch’s 4.7 metre ultramarine bird, titled ‘Hahn/Cock’, is intended as a playful counterpoint to the statues of martial heroes in the square. Both ultramarine blue and the rooster are symbols of France, whose defeat by Britain at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 gave the square its name.
“It’s a nice humorous side-effect to have something French in a place that celebrates victory over Napoleon,” Fritsch told The Guardian newspaper. Fritsch also said she hoped the double meaning in the work’s name would appeal to the British sense of humour. “I know they like to play games with language,” she said.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said it would be a “talking point for Londoners and tourists alike.” It is the latest in a series of artworks to adorn the square’s vacant “Fourth Plinth”.
One of London’s main tourist attractions, the square was named for Horatio Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish fleets. A statue of the one-armed admiral stands atop Nelson’s Column at the centre of the square, and statues of other 19th-century military leaders are nearby.
The fourth plinth was erected in 1841 for an equestrian statue that was never completed. It remained empty for a century and a half, and since 1999 has been occupied by artworks erected for 18 months at a time. Previous works have included a giant ship in a bottle and 2,400 members of the public who stood atop the plinth for an hour at a time. AP
3News Link

Related Post and Comments:
15.7.13 Art in public places: Dunedin worms and wyrms #snakesinthegrass
3.1.12 Art in public places #Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Tauranga: Office leases to cover potential losses from hotel

OH WOW, another $100M baby!!!!!!

Tauranga - carpark on Durham St [bayofplentytimes.co.nz] 1This council carpark on Durham St could be home to a long-awaited $100 million hotel and commercial building development.

### ODT Online Wed, 24 Jul 2013
$100m hotel plan for city
By John Cousins – Bay of Plenty Times
A massive $100 million building is proposed for council-owned land in Tauranga’s downtown after plans for an international hotel escalated into a combined hotel and commercial office development.
Mayor Stuart Crosby announced that negotiations between the council and Tainui Holdings, the Waikato iwi’s investment arm, had seen a substantial high-end office development added to the original plans for a $40 million hotel. The council’s ambitions for the block of land on Durham St are now only a week away from a firm direction being given on whether the project went ahead.
Tainui Holdings and its hotel operator partner, Accor group, had until July 17 to carry out due diligence and had kept the council abreast of progress.
Mr Crosby said the much larger project had been driven by the opportunity that the income from office leases would cover potential losses from the hotel: “Hotels are notorious for not making profits in their early years.” APNZ
Read more

Tauranga downtown’s emerging skyline

Recent Additions
$30m ANZ Building on the corner of Cameron Rd & Elizabeth St
$14m Sharpe Tudhope Building on the corner of Devonport Rd & 1st Ave
$21m police station, Monmouth St

Planned Additions
$1m-plus 3-storey retail & office building on The Strand’s Grumpy Mole site
$10m office building on the corner of Willow St & Harington St
$30m TrustPower head office
$67m tertiary and research campus
$100m international hotel and office development

PS. Dunedin is SO not Tauranga. The Bay is poised to boom as the fruit bowl of Asia. Meanwhile on the Taieri, Dunedin City Council lets a councillor and friends build speculative housing and a plant nursery turn into a gravelled ‘destination hub’ (without a legal water connection?) on high class soils, with impunity.

Recent Post and Comments:
25.6.13 Hotel/Apartment Tower decision to be appealed

For information on the proposed $100M ‘Dunedin Hotel’, enter *hotel* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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