Russell Garbutt: DCC, stadium failings

Comment received.

Russell Garbutt
Submitted on November 26, 2013 at 9:31 am

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.
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“On the eastern coast of New Zealand lies a world-first architectural icon – where 30,000 excited fans are drawn together to watch the action, be entertained, and celebrate. Welcome to Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza: New Zealand’s newest, largest and most versatile indoor events arena.”
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Facebook 22 July 2011 at 17:06

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORC, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

5 responses to “Russell Garbutt: DCC, stadium failings

  1. Interesting thing. Listening to The Rock as I do and it seems there is a massive influx of concerts this year, and they are big acts to boot.
    Haven’t heard Dunners and the stadium mentioned once though.

  2. I was sifting through old comments… a refresher, people.
    One of the few occasions M. Guest turned up here.

    Councillor Mike Guest
    Submitted on 2009/01/27 at 9:03 pm

    I have stated the true figures above. The large majority of ratepayers in Dunedin will pay much, much less than $2 per week. A completed Stadium of this calibre will complete a beautiful crescent of new City projects from the Chinese Garden, through the much enhanced Settlers’ Museum, along a gentrified Anzac Avenue, past a multi purpose Stadium to a completely re-vamped Logan Park Development including an expanded First Class cricket ground. Completion of Stage 1 of the Harbourside redevelopment around the Harbour Basin will just add to the re-development of this whole area. It will enhance the whole City providing first class facilities over a whole range of activities. It will revitalise the City for young and old and the improvements will still be around in 100 years. This is the time to rejoice if it all goes ahead. To be sure, they are large projects but they are affordable if citizens are prepared to do their bit like generations gone by. I never paid for Moana Pool, but my parents did. I never paid for major roading projects and recreational facilities, but my grandparents did. I never planted and nurtured the Town Belt and the Gardens, but my great grandparents did. Even on our current 10 year Plan, the rate increases proposed for the last 4 years are an average of 2.5% per annum. Hardly doom and gloom.

  3. God! Talk about ‘rogues of the past’, this man is renowned (in fact was kicked out of his profession) for helping himself to other people’s monies. He, of all idiots was one of the main causes of the predicament the city now finds itself in. He is genetically predisposed to live in a parallel universe where everything was fair game for the taking. Even his siblings are contaminated. Average rate increases 2.5% per annum. Huh! And yeah, the Stadium will be still be around in 100 years. Jeez, it might even be paid for by then.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Picture if you will a fine house, old but in excellent condition. Prompt repairs are more important than replacing the wallpaper in the hall to be trendy. Sadly it ends up in the feckless care of property managers who couldn’t adequately manage a garden shed.
    Storm damaged tiles result in leaks into every room but the managers are too busy choosing cool new colours for the kitchen. Result rotting carpets, then floors, then joists, rot spreads and while the managers devote themselves to choosing replacement carpet, the floors collapse. The house cannot be tenanted or sold now, the maintenance account is empty. And they still haven’t had anyone around to fix the roof.
    Their priorities would have been fulsomely praised by the Michael Guest who gushed about “a beautiful crescent of new City projects from the Chinese Garden, through the much enhanced Settlers’ Museum, along a gentrified Anzac Avenue, past a multi purpose Stadium to a completely re-vamped Logan Park Development including an expanded First Class cricket ground.”

    What a wally.

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