ODT won’t touch Fairfax story

Supposing Sir E rang Sir J. What did they talk about. Parties?

Queenstown Mirror 10.7.13 (page 1)

Queenstown Mirror 10.7.13 (page 1 detail)Queenstown Mirror 10.7.13 (page 2 detail)

#bookmark page 1
#bookmark page 2

DScene 13.5.09 (page 9) Eion Edgar c3### DScene 13 May 2009
The Insider: Big questions answered
Mr Generous isn’t slowing down
Winter Games NZ chairman Eion Edgar | Interviewed by Ryan Keen
COMMUNITY-MINDED Queenstown-based businessman Eion Edgar, who retired as New Zealand Olympic Committee president last week and left a $1 million donation, on his support for knighthoods, backing Blis and why he’s not slowing down. #bookmark page 9

DScene 13.5.09 (page 9) merge

Related Posts and Comments:
10.7.13 Stadium: Edgar will honour $1M personal pledge to project
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


Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Fun, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Urban design, What stadium

14 responses to “ODT won’t touch Fairfax story

  1. Dear god.
    This went unpublished at http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/257993/mayoral-contest-heats

    Submitted by ej kerr on Wed, 17/07/2013 – 9:34pm.
    Back in May Queenstown businessman and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar confirmed he was pushing to “resurrect a Citizens Association-style group that could support candidates in October’s local body elections”. In the meantime, confirmed in the news, Sir Eion has agreed to honour the pledge he made in the late 2000s, being a $1M donation to the construction cost of the new stadium. This is exciting for our city council – here is a gentleman with Dunedin’s interests at heart. We eagerly await news of the candidates.

  2. Voice

    Wonder why ODT didn’t approve your comment, Elizabeth.

  3. Maybe “Sir Eion” has begged for a bit of low profile. “Sir Julian” would gladly co-operate. Queenstown’s Mirror has shone enough light into his closet for now.

  4. Sir Galahad has slipped in the rankings, still a few bucks left to honour his $1M pledge to stadium construction.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 26 Jul 2013
    South’s rich mostly better off
    Southerners on the annual rich list of the National Business Review are largely unchanged, the majority having improved their respective fortunes, though some have slid down the rankings.
    Jeweller Sir Michael Hill, 41st last year and topping the Otago list at $250 million, did so again this year. His wealth was estimated at $300 million, putting him 31st overall.
    The fortune of Queenstown’s Sir Eion Edgar, last year estimated at $95 million to claim equal 98th place, remains the same, but his ranking slips to 114th.
    Read more


    See http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/266128/new-zealands-rich-now-richer

    • English newspapers freed themselves from licensing and political control many centuries ago. The digital age allows that freedom to be extended to all media. There is no more need than there ever was to surrender a heritage of independence.

      ### nzherald.co.nz 5:29 AM Thursday May 3, 2012
      Editorial: Centuries of press freedom under threat
      The United Nations’ World Press Freedom Day usually passes without note in places where a free press is taken for granted. Not so today. In New Zealand and similar countries, newspapers are facing a threat to the independence they have preserved for centuries.
      The Governments of Britain, Australia and New Zealand are receiving the results of inquiries they have commissioned into the regulation, or lack of it, of news media. These exercises began as a response to concerns about internet transmissions that defy ordinary law enforcement but the solutions now being suggested would make all media answerable to a statutory authority for their ethics and professional standards.
      The Law Commission, which is conducting the New Zealand Government’s review of media regulation, has proposed a body to hear public complaints that would be appointed at arm’s length from politicians. […] Except for its legislated existence and some public funding, it might differ little from the Press Council maintained by New Zealand newspapers for the past 40 years. It might give broadcasters somewhat more independence than they have had with a politically appointed complaints authority, and it might entice internet bloggers to submit to the rulings of a regulator in return for some respectability and official recognition as news reporters. At least, that is the Law Commission’s hope.
      Read more

  5. Bev Butler

    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.

    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.

    • 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 in part or in full the content of press releases.

      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’ stance deliberate to force use of paid advertising. The Press has softened since being SPOKEN TO.

  6. Bev Butler

    Elizabeth, all good questions which I will reply to later tonight when I have finished my tutoring.

  7. Russell Garbutt

    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 in public record, then hopefully these people will be made accountable. But I’m not holding my breath.

  8. Bev Butler

    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.

  9. amanda

    For me the most useful and important lesson out of the stadium con is that I no longer trust the local press, I have been taught to view it as a platform for the corrupt and useless to ensure re-election. As usual, Crs Hudson, Acklin, Noone and co will have to get down on bended knee to thank the local press for re-election in October.

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