DVML: Burden heads to Christchurch #EntirelyPredictable

Updated 27.11.13
Uh-oh, Mr Burden is flitting the coop EARLY – 24 December. See comment.

“Darren will be with us for up to another six months as he serves out his notice period.

Darren Burden, DVML [odt.co.nz]### ODT Online Mon, 18 Nov 2013
Stadium boss resigns
By Chris Morris
The head of the company running Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium has resigned, and will instead help Christchurch rebuild its suite of venues, it has been confirmed. Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden’s departure was confirmed in a media statement released this afternoon.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

74 responses to “DVML: Burden heads to Christchurch #EntirelyPredictable

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Wouldn’t it be a good idea if appointments like this were based on a tendering system? As with any tender, “the lowest or any tender submitted may not be chosen” as the person’s competence and experience are important factors, but when 2 or more candidates have equivalent strengths the price would be a clincher. This possibility could encourage applicants to be moderate in their demands, trusting that if after a year they prove to be worth more they will have a good chance of being paid more. If worth the initial salary but performing no better than adequately they’d get to stay on that. A strong incentive for constant improvement!

  2. Proves once again that the heart is where the money is. But to give Darren his due, he, like former CEO Davies, knows when the game is up. The trick is to milk it until it has no further value then move on. The real point is that this ‘abomination’ will eat at the heart of Dunedin until such time as the powers that be do an honest assessment of the real situation, bite the bullet and serve notice to all comers that this must pay its way and to break even requires ‘X’ days per year at $XY rental per day. Failure to meet this minimum will result in closure. That would face the DCC with servicing the debt with no income. A very bitter pill to swallow, but the cheapest option nonetheless. That would put the ball squarely in the Rugby business’ court. An interesting prospect. Six months notice of intention would be reasonable. Likely happening? Not in a million years with the present mind set of our Mayor and more than a few others. The power lobby will be too strong for the will around that table.

    • November 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm
      Calvin said – “Proves once again that the heart is where the money is….. Failure to meet this minimum will result in closure. That would face the DCC with servicing the debt with no income. A very bitter pill to swallow, but the cheapest option nonetheless. That would put the ball squarely in the Rugby business’ court. An interesting prospect. Six months notice of intention would be reasonable. Likely happening? Not in a million years with the present mind set of our Mayor and more than a few others. The power lobby will be too strong for the will around that table.”

      Since the beginning of the ‘professional era of rugby the transfer of costs for the venues to stage these events have been gradually transferred from the various unions to local government. In that way the unions could avoid the whole cost of providing the venue and concentrate on producing the ‘actors’ for the spectacle. This made good sense for the unions. It made absolutely no sense for local government. Why? It is because professional rugby is a totally private enterprise activity. As such the costs should be met where they fall.

      At the same time, the bulk of profitability from such spectacles has accrued to television rather than what is the subservient rugby union. In effect the Rugby Unions are simply the providers of the gladiators or actors. Television’s interest lies primarily in the spectacle it provides.

      In that intervening period, there has been a concerted effort by both the rugby union and television to improve the quality of these venues. One should ask why.

      In my view the reason seems to be directed to improve the visual spectacle for television. A match between even provincial teams could be dealt with on any sportsfield in Dunedin. If it drew a crowd then a grandstand might be needed such as at Tahuna Park. But television needs a crowd and an impressive stadium for its visual effect. The irony is that it does not matter to television where the actual match is played. Hong Kong would be fine for a match between say England and the All Blacks. Rent a crowd – rent a stadium – who cares what nationality or location. A crowd is a crowd.

      We in Dunedin are conned into thinking that we needed this stadium; it was television and the Rugby Union that needed this stadium for a venue to attract a crowd (for the TV spectacle) and its advertising revenue. But we will pay. We have a flash stadium which is nice but it will never return any profit. It will however return continuous debt. The profits will go somewhere else.

  3. Russell Garbutt

    I see the nonsense is continuing with the Invercargill City Council about to take over the Rugby stadium in that City. Shadbolt says it is inevitable and that most other cities around the country own their professional rugby stadia. Why? The NZRU must be laughing themselves senseless.

    In this case Burden is off to Chch where the same issue applies as Dunedin has, and Invercargill is about to dive into. He will certainly get more income in Christchurch entirely due to the bigger population, a truly international airport etc. But Chch has also been riddled with total and complete incompetence – witness the shambles where the current CEO is playing golf almost daily, getting well over a thousand a day to do so with NO requirement to show up to work, and then in July he gets another quarter of a million just to bugger off totally.

    It is simply criminal that these guys can drift from one thing to the other, each move getting more and more, for achieving exactly what? It is blindingly obvious – even to the idiots that still can’t see the stupidity of the stadium decision – that the new rugby stadium has attracted close enough to nothing, with exactly that on the horizon. Meanwhile, the likes of Davies and Burden sit there raking it in.

    Time for some really hard decisions, but as Calvin says, the chance of that happening with the current City leadership is zilch. Better to divert attention with another couple of major projects.

    • Further to Russell’s comment.

      ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 18/11/2013
      Stadium takeover is costly for city
      By Neil Ratley and Louise Berwick – Southland Times
      Saving the home of the Southland Stags comes with a hefty price tag for ratepayers. The Invercargill City Council looks set to take over Rugby Park Stadium and ratepayers will be asked to pay $142,000 a year in maintenance costs for the next 25 years. The figure does not include costs to strengthen part of Rugby Park Stadium to earthquake standards or a $750,000 debt owed to the Community Trust of Southland by Rugby Park’s owner, the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust.
      Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said last week the council was in negotiations to take over the $10 million Rugby Park Stadium and conceded it was unlikely the council had any choice.
      Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust chairman Ian Tulloch said the trust traditionally covered all its Rugby Park costs but it was getting harder. The loss of the Highlanders games would add to those difficulties and mounting administration costs through Rugby Southland were forcing the trust’s hand, he said.
      Read more

      • Cloud over future of Rugby Park Stadium
        The Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust is surviving month to month and the Community Trust of Southland may be lumped with Rugby Park and its associated debt if a bailout plan is not found soon. The stadium trust, chaired by Ian Tulloch, called a mystery meeting last week with the Invercargill Licensing Trust, Community Trust of Southland and Invercargill City Council.


        • Oh yeah. Let’s use it for conferences and twentyfirsts.

          Shadbolt and friends lose the plot in leeming fashion. Make it break even… Plonkers.


        • ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014
          Stadium saviour likely to be ICC
          By Louise Berwick – Southland Times
          Rugby Park has been saved and Invercargill ratepayers are the new owners, it can be revealed. Two weeks after a closed-doors meeting at Rugby Park HQ in Tweed Street where community leaders met to thrash out a last-gasp solution for the cash-strapped home of the Southland Stags, the Southland Times can reveal that the council will be handed the keys this year.
          The decision has not been ratified by the major players – the Invercargill City Council, Community Trust of Southland and Invercargill Licensing Trust – and there is still the possibility that this agreement could fall over. But the interim solution that the city’s leaders have taken back to their boards could solve the woes of the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust, the owners of the stadium. The solution will mean the council will be the new owners of the multi-million dollar stadium, and ratepayers will be footing the maintenance bill for years to come.
          Then there’s the $600,000 debt owed to Rugby Southland by the Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust, but the council look likely to pick that up as well. But ratepayers will not be signing a cheque for that debt just yet. Plans are afoot for the council to pay off the debt to Rugby Southland in lieu of the union paying rent to use the facility.
          Read more


          Invercargill Licensing Trust chairman and city councillor Alan Dennis said he believed the ideal model was what had happened in Dunedin with Forsyth Barr Stadium, which had received one-off funding from the regional council to toward the build.

          ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 19/04/2014
          Shadbolt calls for Rugby Park help
          By Louise Berwick – Southland Times
          The Invercargill City Council should not be the only one bailing out a debt-ridden Rugby Park, the city’s mayor says. Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said the regions’ councils should be chipping in to help the home of the Southland Stags. However he was not expecting money any time soon, he said.”It should be either the three councils involved or the regional council involved.”
          Read more

          (no-one has learnt anything in the Deep South, mainly because Stuff/Fairfax News and ODT have not been forthright in their news coverage of the Fubar Drain)

        • Hype O'Thermia

          It’s about faith.
          You know, like those world’s end sects following a prophet/loon who gets the hot news direct from the Flying Spaghetti Monster or God(s) that everyone else is going to be wiped out because of sin but because he/they tipped them the wink they can sell all their worldly belongings and traipse up a mountain, and come back down when it’s over. I don’t know why they aren’t advised to put their worldlies in a lockup, but that’s beside the point. Anyhow up they go, pray-pray, check watches, well how about that, the world didn’t end, race you back down, last one pays for the burgers.
          Are they down heartened? No, calamity was averted postponed, that’s all. Next year or so they or another bunch of True Believers trudge up another mountain….
          Next prophet that comes along with the same story, will the people say “get orf the grass ya ning-nong” or will they sell all their worldlies through the prophet’s brother in law’s doom.com auction site, because the fact that this bullshit has failed so many times all over the world means…

          [spoiler alert]

          it’s a dead cert to be right this time!~

        • Can’t help drunks/addicts until they hit bottom but by then it’s all too late. Brain cells caved and vital organs fried.

          It’s a great Easter hopalong story, Hype. Be in or be square at South-land.
          No pity for those who won’t help themselves.

  4. Russell, it is interesting to watch as it slowly but inexorably unfolds just like so many predicted. But it is equally interesting to see how stupid our civic leaders seem to be/or get to be, once they assume office. As you say, as soon as it is OPM (other people’s money) they are dealing with all fiscal responsibility goes out the window. We have seen it demonstrated in Dunedin for well over a decade now, with our present leader and his GD people probably the worst of the lot. It is the deviant manner in which they proceed while denying any wrongdoing as they go. Can it be that hard to understand the signs of living outside one’s means? We have yet to see if the new members get similarly afflicted. I suspect they will. Now we see Invercargill getting ready to do the same. Christchurch, under the guise of repairing the city post earthquakes, is going to foist another ‘castle in the sky’ for the locals to savour, albeit with huge central government input. It all presents a very fertile field that attracts the ‘hucksters’, the ‘grifters’, the just plain ‘criminal’, and of course a share of idiots. Boy, and have we seen them all?

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Calvin, I suspect that much of what happens comes about with a distancing from reality that some of these people undergo.

    But much of what happens with Local Government is due to, in my view, the distancing from true accountability. It is certainly within my recall when Civic leaders were, like the Police, revered and respected. Things are now different, and while many of Dunedin’s local government leaders were certainly not loathe to line their own pockets in the past, and I’m sure that some Police were not beyond acting inappropriately, it is now a fact that much of what they do is now open to more scrutiny from media that doesn’t form part of the mainstream. More politicians are being exposed – that little creep Len Brown up in Auckland for example, and more and more Police are being revealed as people quite happy to plant evidence, ignore what they don’t want to investigate, indulge in sleazy and criminal practices (the cop that was done for soliciting sex acts from people he pulled over in Chch is an example from today) and the like.

    But I sense that there is something else going on. Many Local Government elected officials are there because they simply can’t do a lot more. It isn’t too hard to think of some of the last Council and try to see what other occupation they could possibly undertake. They are simply not all that qualified to do all that much. With this Council I suspect that things have changed a wee bit. Some can do, and are doing, other things and what they are doing, they are doing well. It will be those that we should be looking at.

  6. Mike

    I believe this link tells you all you need to know about Burden, VBase and DVML’s charman Mr Hansen:


  7. amanda

    Burden’s salary is $250,000 I think. He did really well out of the stadium that he pushed for. Burden has indeed milked it and is now off before his failure to ‘make the stadium work’ is really evident. But then he knows the thing can never work, and he is bunking out now. He is not staying to clean up his mess. Not surpising.

  8. amanda

    What’s that saying about rats slinking off sinking ships first?

  9. amanda

    This one I put in the same category as Swann. The fact that he was able to make $250,000 from his fiscal ineptitude is pathetic. And he will go off to make even more money in Christchurch. Anyone still think this country or city has reason to believe corruption is not alive and strong?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Fair do’s Amanda, Burden unable to make the stadium profitable (or less lossy, even) isn’t fiscal ineptitude. King Midas himself would struggle to make that F.U.B.A.R. produce so much as a bent cent.

      Fact: the stadium is and from the get-go was as likely to pay its way as a Hereford steer is to give birth to a Jersey calf. [translation for townies born and bred: ain’t never gonna happen no-way, totes N-O-T with knobs on]

  10. Like I said, “hucksters’, ‘grifters’, and ‘criminals’. Not a hint of ‘conflict of interest’ on Mr Hansen’s part. Never mind he is a respected former Judge. Makes all the difference.

  11. Phil

    The reason why Councils around the country are owning, or taking ownership of, stadia is very simple. There continues to be a cultural mindset in New Zealand that every town needs a football stadium. For whatever misguided reason. Anyway, once the stadia are built, it becomes immediately clear that they will not only fail to turn a profit, but that the costs of retaining a football stadium are beyond the means of private companies with shareholders to report to. In short, the only places left with deep enough pockets, and with a sufficient level of lack of accountability requirement, are local governments. Tim is wrong if he thinks that councils own stadia because they want to. They are forced into owning them because no-one else will. The alternative is not to have a stadium and, well, that just wouldn’t do in this country.

    • How do we design councils to be rort-free zones ?

    • Phil – Right in a nutshell Yup we woz conned – more fool us. Well if it is any consolation – not the first and not the last.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Tim used to have smart ideas. I wonder why he doesn’t look around at how other cities have leapt into the Monstrous Pit of Poo, and do some of that good ol’ unconventional thinking he used to be so good at.
      How about if Invercargill were to become the stadium-free city? And not only that, put its “Our Heroes” sport focus on some other sport they do well in Southland. Or even more radically, give the same Southland Pride rah-rah support and publicity to something else entirely – music, drama, motorcycling innovation -that’s got a bit of history behind it too eh – becoming NZ’s spelling bee champion city … anything for a change from pro-rugby worship >> stadium debt.

  12. Another ‘heroic day’ at What if? – healthy view numbers, people!! Thanks for all contributions.

  13. Russell Garbutt

    John William Hansen is well worth looking at. He certainly has very strong rugby ties being part of the IRB and NZRU hierarchy and of course is very tied up with cricket. He is also a Director of Dot Kiwi Ltd who issue domain names. But nothing in his background seems to indicate that he has any special talents for organisations like DVML and DVL. Nothing. So why was he chosen to Chair these two important DCC entities as well as having this strong connection with a “rival” Christchurch facility? And why was he surprised at the Burden news? One other little snippet on Wikepedia about Hansen is that he went into a law partnership with John Farry. A very interesting connection I would have thought. Wasn’t the past asleep Mayor Chin also part of that law firm?

    Burden was present at that meeting I held with Farry when I was Chair of Sport Otago – the one that Farry told me that the $2m ORFU debt to the DCC would be “written off”.

    Wheels within wheels, and I must say that nothing that I’ve seen would indicate that the new CEO of the DCC is part of any GOBs or the Tartan Mafia. Quite the reverse indeed.

    • Russell, the new CEO of DCC is host and arbiter of staff-led make-work schemes within council (which Paul Orders went along with, note) – that Dave Cull snaffled for electioneering purposes eg digital office, warehouse precinct, cycle lane network etc etc (all adding up to many millions of dollars later of new spending). And what’s been happening in City Planning (RMA/resource consents) with her on board as general manager is truly interesting and riddled with inconsistencies, let’s call them.

  14. Hype; how about ‘gumboot tossing’ Excellent aerobics, generally non toxic (assuming they are thrown straight) and the whole family can take part. A gold coin entrance and any quiet street will do, Invercargill could be on the map.Tim of course has lost his ‘mojo’, just look at him. It’s called ageing.

    • Anonymous

      This business in Invercargill is another blatant as day chomp at the trough rort by the professional rugby bludgers. The fact that a council would enter into this type of arrangement with professional rugby after all that has gone on in recent times clearly indicates Tim is not fit for the job or their council is as corrupt as ours. While they say it’s just a hundred grand this year and next, for the next 25 or so, that’s utter cow pat. In four years time, it will be $250K. In five years, $500K. In ten years, nearing a million dollars each year. Behind the scenes, this is long term planning by the usual repugnant men who believe other peoples’ money should be their own. This is creating cozy jobs for a few to get $250K salaries for doing f’all. But beyond that, my first impression was just embarrassing that the council would even consider it in the first place.

  15. amanda

    I think anyone who thought that stadium was going to be profitable for anybody but the people who owned the land it is built on is fiscally inept. That includes old Burden. He pushed for the thing, telling us it was fiscally sustainable, along with Farry and crew, a couple of whom are still on council. Burden is a fiscal nimcompoop just as they are.

  16. Bilge material. A stupidly biased, completely unbalanced and uncritical editorial, by ‘the team’ who sponsors a stand at the stadium. The whole thing is losing $20 million a year – this is funded by ratepayers, with no end in sight. Then, the Rat deserts the sinking (unmaintained) ship.

    So far, the stadium has lived up to the expectations of many, with the last financial year most promising.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 22 Nov 2013
    Editorial: Stadium’s hard act to follow
    Making a success of Forsyth Barr Stadium was always going to be difficult, and to all appearances it has become even harder.
    Read more

  17. Anonymous

    Anyone else think the Oddity has put all its eggs in that deep, dark, festering hole of a stadium nest? Was the so-called sponsorship actually payment for that advertising budget that got a little deep itself? Why does it try so hard not to see the news under its nose/before its eyes?

    Makes me wonder how secure all those secretive investors actually believe their money to be. That should have been some mighty news unraveling that mystery but it too got lost in all the cats-stuck-up-trees stories.

  18. amanda

    Silly old ODT has wee spot of alzheimers. Rewriting history. Forgetting that the ODT trumpeted how wonderful the stadium was going to be and did not mention it would a challenge at all to ‘make it work’. We knew it was ‘always’ going to be hard, your publication had no idea. Looked the other way.

  19. amanda

    This re writing of history by the ODT is no doubt preparing us all for the big blame game when the stadium is finally accepted be be a mistake, of course when Farry, Burden and others involved in the mistake are well out of Dunedin. Who will the ODT blame? Not Farry, not Bezett, not Noone; they will blame Dunedin people.

  20. amanda

    If no-one is to blame and the stadium just magically appeared with no-one accountable, then the ODT will hold Dunedin people accountable and expect Dunedin people to meekly let the DCC sell our assets, or raise our rates to pay for their incompetence.

    • Agree, Amanda. ODT has had every chance to interview and investigate, and, as Anonymous says, has deliberately chosen NOT to run significant wide-ranging local white collar crime stories (except for Swann’s which is ‘conveniently’ placed) – has Sir Ed paid his promised ONE MILLION DOLLARS for stadium naming rights yet? has St Farry of St Clair explained the CST accounts and lack of accounts yet? – in favour of defenseless animal stories and wetter weaker plots… like The Rolling Stones don’t stand a cat’s chance in hell of ever playing at FUBAR (oh, they didn’t say that…). Such is the comfortable life that makes ‘daily employment’ at Allied Press such a joy for parochials, under thumb of another Sir and Bro.

  21. Russell Garbutt

    I submitted this to the ODT as an Opinion Piece following their editorial, but I have been told that it has not been selected for publication. Up to you to judge why.

    “The ODT Editorial of Friday, 22nd November, 2013 headed “Stadium’s hard act to follow” is another stage in what has turned out to be a sorry chapter in Dunedin’s history.

    Many residents of Dunedin were dismayed and astonished that the decision to build the new rugby stadium proceeded despite wide-spread protests and well-researched submissions detailing the experiences of other city’s decisions to build stadia which invariably had led to construction cost blow-outs, below budgeted incomes and over budgeted expenditures. As it turns out, these submitters have been proved right time and time again. What is patently obvious to all of those that have read the various reports into this project including the Larsen Report and the PWC report, the project was predicated upon counting future income as private construction costs, and assuming income levels and costs that would have resulted in an actual profit from Year one of operation.

    The reality is a great deal different.

    The DCC, and the ratepayers of the City, have been forced, through a complex set of financial arrangements, to provide substantial financial support by way of a payment of $7.25m per year to enable the debt to be paid off faster, a payment of $750,000 per year for “promotion of the stadium for community events”, a payment of $725,000 for other stadium debt round seats and pitch machinery, another annual $400,000 to subsidise or attract large events, and ongoing additional costs for financial advice and the like. All this on top of the huge costs for construction and the associated debt which is a very large component of the $12,000 debt owed by each and every ratepayer to the DCC.

    And still, as the editorial points out, the final costs of just building the stadium have not been finalised or agreed by all parties. PWC who were given the job to find out by the DCC have come up with $224.4m. This is a far cry from the “not a penny more than $188m” trumpeted by Mr Malcolm Farry who led the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, entrusted by the Chin/Harland led DCC to build the stadium. Many would argue that other costs round the disputed land required for SH88 alignments are yet to be finalised and added to the total costs. It is assumed that all other costs incurred including any costs to the Otago Regional Council have been included in this sum. But it is also known that the maintenance and depreciation factors in the stadium have been deferred or ignored. Those very real costs are yet to be felt, but they will be substantial.

    Many too are angry that other substantial costs include the writing off of debts incurred by the Otago Rugby Football Union to the DCC were deemed “necessary”. It is ironic to say the least that a new stadium is built by the City to replace a privately owned rugby ground owned by the ORFU while the ORFU walked away from their financial responsibilities to the City and its ratepayers.

    But it is the long-term decisions that now are coming home to roost that need examining much more closely.

    The stadium was described as a multi-use stadium by its proponents, and is now described the same way by the editorial. Prior to the build, some claims on the types of events that would be regularly staged were made. The previous Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Sir David Skegg, voiced the view that between 500 and 1000 extra students would be attracted to the University each year because of the number of rock concerts being held on a regular basis, while a consultant employed by the Carisbrook Stadium Trust believed that the World Swimming Championships would be held at the stadium using a portable Olympic drop-in pool amongst other similar “ideas”. As the figures show, the main use of the stadium has been for events that could have been held at other DCC venues including the Town Hall complex, but this venue was unavailable for the period reported on by DVML because of the refurbishments being carried out. Now that this is on stream, it is not at all unlikely that the income from these “non-turf” events at the stadium will fall considerably. This will not be easy to detect as DVML run both venues.

    As has been pointed out, the main use of the stadium itself is for professional rugby events and the income from these is very limited because of the contractual agreement with the NZRU. This arrangement which largely favours the NZRU is not likely to change in the forseeable future. The number of music events has been pitifully small with the last one being staged over seven months ago. Many reasons have been proffered for the lack of concerts, but it is clear, as it always has been, that the population density and demographic spread, problems with the small airport, and perhaps lack of hotel accommodation are seen by promoters as problems easily overcome by putting on concerts elsewhere. The on-going sound issues in the stadium also continue to be unresolved. One just needs to look at the events booked at the Vector Arena on an almost daily basis to contrast what is happening elsewhere to what is not happening in Dunedin.

    This situation is not going to be assisted by the construction of a new covered stadium in Christchurch with Government subsidies, a much more successful professional rugby franchise, at least three times more people resident in the City, an international airport capable of handling the large planes that are used to transport concert rigs, and perhaps being run by a person that intimately knows the problems and issues that beset the Forsyth Barr stadium.

    What the editorial claims is that most people agree that there is no other option but to “forge ahead and make the most of it”. I don’t see any rational research for this claim. Bearing in mind the factors raised above, I don’t see that all possibilities have been canvassed by the City at all. It may be that this is indeed the only real option available, but until there is a comprehensive, dispassionate study undertaken of ALL of the options for the future of the Forsyth Barr stadium, then it seems that we are somehow just accepting what were clearly erroneous claims of “build it and they will come”.

  22. Mike

    powerful people never like children pointing out that they are naked

  23. Russell, an excellent summary! Who will listen? No-one, least of all our blinkered council and administration. The plain fact, as you so aptly demonstrate, is the whole thing was flawed from the outset, but was engineered by a very few (rugby people) crooks who simply sold a (Springfield monorail) to our gullible ‘naked fools’, led by a soundly asleep Mayor, supported by a ‘crooked lawyer’ and a ‘wannabe big noter’ CEO. That it was facilitated and kept alive (against all odds) financially by a conniving, manipulating senior manager, is another part of the complex operation. Now we have the realisation of just how ‘awful’ the whole outcome is, we are blessed with an equally inept council, who can only think of how to ‘make it work’ and simply throw more money at it until it either chokes or expires. Probably the best option would be to close it, deed it to the ORFU for $1 and tell them to get lost. We would then be faced with the debt which at the end of the day would be the easiest exit. Painful? Yes, my word it would be.

    • Painful and a lot better than the stadium haemorrhaging $20 million a year for a very long time.

      [better to say an inanimate object haemorrhages, than to say ‘Ratepayers and Residents bleeding out with no DCC-powered clotting and staunching’]

  24. Rob Hamlin

    I hope that many will attend the public meeting chaired by Cr. Richard Thompson (Chair of Finance and Strategy Committee tomorrow, (Municipal Chambers, 5.30) where he will apparently explain the DCC’s finances to the degree that he is able. Hilary Calvert will also be attending, presumably in her role as his deputy.

    The (official?) financial report for the DCC and related entities for the financial year April 1 2012 to March 31 2013 was apparently only made available to councillors and other potentially interested parties a couple of days ago, after extended and extensive pressure (a reporting delivery gap of some eight months). I will endeavour to get hold of a copy myself before the meeting. However, if it’s anything like last year’s effort, which bore no resemblance to any set of financial reports that I have ever seen before, a day to study it will only provide a one eyed view – but in the Kingdom of the Blind?

  25. Hansen’s got his man for Christchurch all tied up with a pretty bow, for Christmas. Have to love the instant gravy, tasty.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Nov 2013
    Burden granted early release from DVML
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin Venues Management Ltd board chairman Sir John Hansen yesterday confirmed company chief executive Darren Burden would leave on December 24. […] He will follow in the footsteps of DVML commercial manager Guy Hedderwick, who – it emerged this week* – had also left, unannounced, in July. Mr Hedderwick […] had taken a part-time role as an external contractor for DVML, based in Adelaide, Australia.
    Read more

    *Old news…(cough) Otago Daily Times not up with ‘the times’. Link to conversation with Anonymous.

    The boys certainly know how to feather their own nests, living the high life using ratepayer money – they give to this, management speak. Yet, nothing is being managed AT ALL as far as the Fubar goes. Also, wonder how the Town Hall complex is faring financially these days under DVML management. Not a pipsqueak.

    • Mike

      yes Anonymous told us here first …. I guess Guy is probably responsible for the Aussie ABBA impersonators (the only act scheduled for the stadium I know of), I’m sure we’ll see a steady stream of “world class” entertainment from the Adelaide pub scene

  26. Probably the only good thing about this rorting of the DVML purse is that it will hasten the day when the DCC will have to finally face up to the fact that it is being taken to the cleaners, as it has from day one on the Stadium issue.
    When the head chicken is running about looking for better nesting, and the rooster who has interests in two nests says, “there is too much crap in this one, so why don’t you come and get in my other one?” The chicken, being a comely bird, looks over the other nest, recognises a better box and simply flies off to it.

  27. Hey Hey!! It’s official. Right from the ‘Head Honcho’ himself. No less than Sir John Hansen. He said it: “IT’S A DOG”. A big ‘Rat’s Arse’. If the “Forsyth Barr Stadium” (give it it’s full name) is waiting for another Sir Elton John’s should forget about it. If that doesn’t sound like a capitulation then I don’t know what does. “Malcolm, I hope you are getting the message loud and bloody clear.”

  28. ### ODT Online Tue, 24 Dec 2013
    Departing CEO proud of stadium, staff
    By Chris Morris
    Darren Burden says he could one day find himself competing against the stadium he helped to build in Dunedin. However, the man in charge of Forsyth Barr Stadium has defended his decision to accept a new role – and possibly overseeing a new roofed stadium – in Christchurch.
    Read more

    Burden career path: (via ODT)
    Sept 2012 – present: Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive, Dunedin.
    Jan 2010 – Sept 2012: DVML operations director, Dunedin.
    Jan 2007 – Jan 2010: Carisbrook Stadium Trust chief executive and development director, Dunedin.
    Nov 2004 – Jan 2007: Arrow International strategy manager, Christchurch.

    “…Mr Burden said there were no problems within DVML and he was not quitting a sinking ship.”

    Not quite. A few things to be tidied up in his wake – as well as the finances and getting the tosser Hedderwick completely off the books.

    20.12.13 DVML: No harassment policy or complaints procedure, really?

  29. Calvin Oaten

    The ODT let me in again. It truly is Xmas.

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