Stadium costs ballpark at $21.337 million pa, Butler & Oaten

Received from Bev Butler
Monday, 2 June 2014 4:10 p.m.

Message: During the presentation of my submission on the draft annual plan I was asked by Council to produce the figures to back up my claim that the stadium was costing approximately $20 million per annum. David Benson-Pope made a general statement questioning whether the claims in my submission were correct – though he didn’t elaborate when I asked him. I have followed up the Council’s request and the final figure is $21.337 million.

Please note there is a huge disparity between what the DCC has published in the Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 and what can be shown by the DCC’s own figures that are very difficult to find and interpret. The ratepayers should not continue to be kept in the dark – the real costs are more than double what is being published.

This has now been sent to the Mayor and Councillors.

Regards
Bev

————————————

From: Bev Butler
To: Sue Bidrose; Sandy Graham; Kate Wilson; Richard Thomson; Chris Staynes; John Bezett; Lee Vandervis; Hilary Calvert; Doug Hall; Andrew Whiley; Mike Lord; David Benson-Pope; Neville Peat; Andrew Noone; Jinty MacTavish; Dave Cull; Aaron Hawkins
Cc: Calvin Oaten
Subject: Stadium Cost $21.337 million per annum
Date: Fri, 30 May 2014 22:49:43 +1200

Friday 30 May 2014

Dear Mayor Cull and Councillors

Attached is a Word document prepared by Calvin Oaten outlining the annual stadium costs. The final figure of $21.337 million is based on figures sourced from and cross-referenced with DCC/DVML/DVL/DCHL documents.
Also attached is a spreadsheet, containing four spreadsheets, prepared by Bev Butler, showing the treatment of the $146.6 million portion of the stadium debt.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Explanatory Note for Calvin Oaten’s Word document:
I have expressly not mentioned nor quantified costs of what I would term ‘collateral’ effects of the Stadium Project. These of course are very real additional financial burdens to the citizens. These are: the realignment of SH88, the forgiving of considerable debt owed the city by the Otago Rugby Football Union, the costs of the purchase and sale of Carisbrook including the holding of same in the interim period. And of course, the ongoing operational losses of DVML’s operations. These particularly are proving to be a continual drag on the financial conscience of the ratepayer. It seems that if council cannot, or will not bite the bullet and raise the “pay to use” level to at least a break even figure then professional rugby is destined to have the last laugh at our expense. It is simply not fair.
I remain, without prejudice
Calvin Oaten

Explanatory Notes for Bev Butler’s spreadsheets:
1. Sheets 1 & 2 titled “$117.541m” and “$29.059m” respectively outline the calculations for the two tranches of stadium debt outlined in the DVL six-monthly report, dated 31 December 2013. This report states that the $146.6m stadium debt has been divided into two tranches of $117.541m and $29.059m. The $117.541m is for a term of 17 years and the $29.059m is for a term of ten years with a weighted average of 6.05%pa. In the calculations I have assumed monthly compounding periods and assumed the first payment(s) were made between 30 June 2013 and 31 December 2013. If the compounding period is shorter then there would be a small reduction in the payments.
Note that in the DVL six-monthly report it states that a mortgage has been issued to pay for the two tranches. This is the first time this has been mentioned in the DVL reports so it is assumed that the mortgage was issued sometime between the last DVL Annual Report (YE 30 June 2013) and the DVL six-monthly report (31 December 2013). There is also mention of a GSA having been signed. I assume this is a General Security Agreement to secure the payment of the debt in the event of the stadium folding or the rental payments not being met. I acknowledge that I am unsure about this as I have no further information. Perhaps the Council staff could clarify this aspect.

2. Sheets 3 & 4 titled “$146.6m monthly” and “$146.6m weekly” respectively outline the calculations for the stadium debt had [regular repayments been made] from the time the stadium opened. It appears from the calculations and the DVL Annual Reports that this was not happening. If it was then the debt would have reduced to approximately $134 million. The DVL long term debt as of 31 December 2013 stands at $141.090m. So up until the mortgage was secured, it appears the debt repayments were for interest only on the bonds (and an average annual capital injection of $2m) which were issued to pay for the stadium land and other stadium debt.

[ends]

Downloads:
Stadium Costs $21.337 million per annum (DOC, 30.2 KB)
Stadium debt calculations FINAL (XLS, 59.3 KB)

Related Posts and Comments:
9.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 Submission by Bev Butler
23.5.14 Stadium | DCC DAP 2014/15 ● Benson-Pope asserts himself

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

56 Comments

Filed under Business, Carisbrook, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

56 responses to “Stadium costs ballpark at $21.337 million pa, Butler & Oaten

  1. So the Stadium that we were told would be a great thing for the city and for the region is costing us ratepayers $410,326.00 a week? Something wrong with the running of the finances as well as the original vision.

  2. The post at top of thread has been slightly trumped by the news about DCC’s investigation into CitiPark/CitiFleet – and while that might possibly involve a cumulatively large amount… it quickly pales in significance compared to forced ratepayer spend (with impact on all renters) on the stadium at an estimated $21.337 million per annum. This is the EXCESSIVE harm that DCC deliberately imposes on our city’s most vulnerable citizens – because of the past and current crops of Councillors and their spendthrift arrogance, lack of ethics and fiduciary responsibility, sheer incompetence – and worse.

    Note: The Council has assigned CFO Grant McKenzie to reply to Bev and Calvin’s figures.

  3. Stadium. In a letter to the ODT editor today, Peter Attwooll (Dunedin Central) says “I see the language used to describe ongoing stadium financial woes has changed. The mayor, and many of his fellow councillors, used to talk about “making the stadium work “. Not now. We are told, last week, the stadium will probably never break even, but “isn’t it a wonderful asset when the stadium is full and the city buzzes”. The trouble is this happens so infrequently – and staging big events also costs ratepayers money. The stadium continues to burn a large hole in ratepayers’ pockets. Every annual plan is skewed by financial financial demands to shore it up. Other groups, asking for comparatively little for more positive city projects, miss out. The council refuses to carry out an independent cost/benefit analysis on the stadium to get a clearer picture of where we stand. This is negligent. We still have to pay our debts on this thing, but we need to know if we should soldier on – without accruing further unnecessary costs – or mothball the “asset”. In the private sector, a failing business has to face realities and shape up or ship out. So do we with the stadium.”

    [Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull replies: “It is clear there are financial challenges for the Forsyth Barr Stadium and the Dunedin City Council has made some interim funding decisions while a thorough review of the stadium — operational, funding and governance – is being carried out. The aim is to identify the most efficient and economical models in each of these areas and then put them in place. Additionally, the economic impact for the city of stadium events is being assessed.”]

    Under Cull’s leadership watch for the intention if not the fact of an incredible council coverup, decorated with COC-related mushroom accounting and bluster multipliers for events, such that only chairman Ali Copeman can embellish to suit her recent crazy radio take (RNZ’s The Panel) on the benefits of the stadium to DUDDERS. Rise up, The Lightweight.

    Peter, we are way past needing a cost/benefit analysis which would be extremely expensive to effect, without an ‘audit to end all audits’.

    We have always called for a full independent forensic audit. And the real outcomes that delivers for prosecution. Nothing else will suffice to end the farce and fraudulence the fubar stadium is built on and operates with.

  4. Peter

    Yes, Elizabeth, I could have added the need for a forensic audit. The stadium has more than an odorous whiff. It pongs. There is now no going back to pretending that eventually everything will come right, with a good tweak here, another good tweak there, and we finally have the ideal model for running the stadium. It won’t happen.
    Why can’t people face facts?

  5. Elizabeth

    Hell of a lot cheaper if the facts are faced. Council’s audit and risk committee need to think about that – and know that risk isn’t managed while the stadium doors are open for no events and DVML’s in skimming mode. The committee also needs to rein in Cull’s greenie spend and Benson-Pope’s public relations (I’m really a nice man, an ex-Labour government minister, with a colourful past) exercises in urban design. Etc etc. Don’t get me started.

    • Elizabeth

      Did anyone tell the Mayor the stadium isn’t green, isn’t sustainable, does not enhance Dunedin’s resilience. It doesn’t have fit with any of it. It makes him a hypocrite.

      • Peter

        Good point. The stadium bears no resemblance to the ethos of the council towards achieving sustainability.
        If so, why drain precious resources into it? Bad investments are just that and we have to find the best way of ditching such a bad ‘investment’ as the stadium. It’s called ‘cutting our losses’, isn’t it?

        • Elizabeth

          Mayor Cull and the majority of Councillors are prepared to put sound principles of ‘investment’ under that red carpet of political pretention.

          But that’s completely OK if you’re taking your council stipend with ‘bonus’ add-ons to keep the home fires burning bright.

  6. Phil

    The sad thing is that the stadium was actually designed by the architects to be energy efficient (green), with low physical operating costs. Those energy efficient designs were, however, deleted by CST in order to save construction costs. Even the simple alternatives of building in the capacity for installing energy efficient infrastructure in the future, as recommended by the architect, were rejected by CST. As a result of unqualified decision makers, it was already outdated before it was built. While it will never be economically sustainable, it could have been environmentally sustainable. Nothing would have been better than something, but something would have at least have been better than what we’ve been stuck with.

  7. jeff dickie

    If we ever wondered why commerce is languishing in Otago, one only has to look at the various leaders. I was astonished to hear Otago Chamber of Commerce head Ali Copeman claim on National Radio [13 May] that her DCC rates contribution “to the Library was considerably more than my Stadium amount”! Clearly she believes what is written on her rates demand. It is obvious ratepayers haven’t spent more on the Library than the massive $266M Stadium spendup. Simply, the DCC rates accounts are very misleading and ratepayers should expect an organization like the Otago Chamber of Commerce to be leading the charge for transparency in local government. Historically their performance has been woeful.

  8. Elizabeth

    Today, various replies from the City Council have been received by Calvin and Bev as numbers are crunched and clarified(?) between they and Richard Thomson, chair of the Finance Committee; and chief financial officer Grant McKenzie.

    The argument has been forthright and robust. In the face of astounding ongoing financial losses (per annum) for DVML and DVL, and indeed DCC and DCHL – a huge impost on ratepayers and residents. The council appears clung to the view that it is “managing finance” responsibly for the community. Patently, it is not. This is corporate theft, nothing less. There was no proven majority of ratepayers and residents that backed council funding of the stadium build and its future operation. A nasty fact to shove at the Local Government Act, in the manner after Kaipara.

  9. Peter

    Basically the stadium was born as a bastard child. Nothing….financially…..can makes it legitimate.

  10. Elizabeth

    Where in town is overit situated ?? A friend of Terry Davies IF they know this ??:

    [excerpt] MikeStk: You will be pleased to know that DVML are restructuring their Dunedin Centre operation i.e. sacking the workers and getting them to reapply for their jobs at a lower pay rate while promoting CST and Carisbrook staff who reside at the stadium.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/304114/dunedin-falls-end-perrys-list#comment-57759

  11. Russell Garbutt

    I’m not sure whether this is a good place to put this comment, but the Fairfax initiative on Local Bodies is an excellent one.

    It can be found at

    http://www.ratepayersreport.co.nz/

    It seems that this whole thing has stemmed from Larry Mitchell’s excellent work in trying to educate Local Bodies as to some financial nous, and also to alert ratepayers to what circumstances their local body has put them in.

    I know from experience over many years of trying, that my recommendations to local Councillors to contact Larry Mitchell and learn from his experience as an independent consultant on Local Government fell on totally deaf ears. They seemed to know better. Yeah, right.

    Now it is out there in a form that is very readable and comparisons can be easily seen.

    What is totally amazing is the views of the DCC in this. Yes, the second highest debt per ratepayer, but the DCC says that it has the second highest value of assets. Crap. This is just rubbish and it can’t sell those assets. Every Council has water, roading etc which it must provide and can’t sell, but in the case of the DCC it has the stadium. Not an asset as we all know but a fearful liability, but it appears in the books as an asset. Well, sell the bloody thing. It isn’t needed.

    I know that this story won’t be picked up by the ODT as it is a Fairfax story, but the other point in here of course is that the ability of Aucklanders (who have the highest debt levels) to pay. Dunedin doesn’t. Its population is well below that of Auckland when it comes to average income per household.

    The other thing that the ODT won’t cover is the local comparisons. While the DCC has a debt level of $15,093 per ratepayer, the Central Otago District Council has only $327 per ratepayer.with virtually the same equity value per ratepayer. What’s the difference? As the CODC says of the area “A World of Difference”. I know which Council I admire the most.

    • Elizabeth

      Russell, this will appear as a post later today. Adding the story here is absolutely fine.

    • Cars

      The CODC offered me a refund on an unused building consent. A rational decision. The DCC and the ORC don’t offer refunds they charge a beneficiary $215 to get back her (dead) dog! The difference is the CODC has a modest staff level, the DCC has to feed over 700 staff with over $50 million dollars annually. No other problem is greater for Dunedin ratepayers.

  12. Russell, that Fairfax report is worse than it seems. it gives Dunedin’s population at 127,500 when in fact the official 2013 census records it at 120,246. a difference of 7,254. The total population of the Otago region is 202,467. Looked at another way, it requires just on 25% of Dunedin’s population (man woman and child) to fill our stadium. How many ‘gigs’ would do that?

    • Russell Garbutt

      The Katy Perry stats I worked out the other day found that she is aiming at getting 3% of Melbourne’s population attending her 8 concerts.

      What DVML and the ODT in their joint effort were aiming at is not known of course.

  13. Elizabeth

    As for Terry Davies saying he has bigger fish to fry with DVML than to be interested in Wellington’s Westpac Stadium getting a roof…. Shouldn’t he wake up to the Audience of 4 million ??!!!

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/305453/davies-not-worried-about-wgtns-roof

    The guy is not breathing that fat air called reality.

  14. The Observer

    I get a sense here of Terry Davies putting on a brave face. The ‘bigger fish to fry’ comment sounds a wee bit like wanting to give the impression of having a firm hand on the tiller.
    At the same time, he acknowledges how things haven’t been good with DVML. Good, if process is improved, but I think the next few days/ week or two will prove whether he has the mettle to move someone, like Neville Frost, on. Now. Each day Frost is still there, as finance manager for God’s sake, he is a liability that DVML and the city cannot afford.
    In the end, the stadium needs more patronage. Also the honouring of real financial support by the stadium backers, irrespective of better processes achieved, is badly needed. This seems unlikely because they know the council will rescue them and put the burden back on the ratepayers.
    I think Terry Davies, by his comments, is now realising that his mission is probably already dead in the water. The honeymoon is now over, he has been given time to settle in, and now the pro stadium whingers will be getting restless for some real action. Stuff like horsey shows and replica bands like Abba won’t lift their spirits.
    If I was him I’d be looking at getting out and forget about finding a home to buy in Dunedin. (I wonder if he has started looking?)

  15. Russell Garbutt

    Anyone see the performance on TV3 News tonight? Ra ra, but all to no point. Frost is a liability and the best thing that could happen is that if the stadium could be hit by a huge bolt of lightning. I assume the thing is insured?

  16. Elizabeth

    Another reason private sector philanthropists from whichever walk of life won’t touch the stadium with donations is the length of time elapsed since RWC 2011 – which amply demonstrates losses stacked on losses in the millions. Any donation isn’t going to turn things around. Anyone bestowing gifts generally want these to enhance the lives and interests of as many people as possible – not to feed an open sore stadium that incurs harsh gripping debt on vulnerable residents, over which they have no control while mayor and councillors continue to push cash windfalls to the swollen pockets of professional rugby. Robbing the poor to give to the rich ad infinitum. Pretty much hits a keen ethical investor philanthropist with full detest.

  17. Elizabeth

    Russell picked up on the 3News story tonight – Fat Controller Brownlee supports a roofed stadium for Christchurch.

    Can’t understand why that pork pie-eyed lump of lard hasn’t been taken out way before now.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Brownlee-supports-putting-roof-on-Chch-stadium/tabid/415/articleID/348155/Default.aspx

    • Russell Garbutt

      Looks like the Nats are tossing a few mill into the Chch investigation into putting a roofed stadium into Chch. In front of the real need to fixing people’s homes. But that is the policy of this government proven time and time again. Bang in some idiotic loss-making things like new rugby stadiums ahead of fixing the myriad of problems in East Christchurch. Brownlee should be forced to live in some of these homes that have not received insurance or EQC payouts. See what his priorities would be after having another winter in a place that is wet underneath, floors that are so uneven that it is difficult to walk steadily on, and cracked walls letting in the elements. But Brownlee would never do that. His priorities are new stadia built for professional rugby.

      • Elizabeth

        Our hearts go out to the forsaken people of Christchurch whose lives stricken by the quakes three years ago, remain so. The scale of injustice that the National-led government serves to those souls and their families… Honestly, I can’t even begin to comprehend any of it as a system of politics. Callous brutalism.

        On 22 February 2011, at 12:51 pm, Christchurch was struck by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. The quake was centred 10km south-east of the city at a depth of 5km. In the ten minutes after it hit, there were 10 aftershocks of magnitude 4 or more. 185 people died, 164 people were seriously injured and there was major, widespread damage.

  18. $500 million with a roof!!! Brownlee must be mad. Our stadium cost under half that, and it bleeds over $20 million per year. So, his government would willingly bequeath a $40 million dollar a year millstone around the Christchurch citizens’ necks. On top of the earthquakes and their aftermath, the man needs certifying. It’s a never ending mystery how these people get to be able to pull the levers of the public purse. Surely, they just need to look about 300km south to Dunedin to see how a bunch of ‘nitwits’ and ‘nincompoops’ led by a failed ‘dentist’, aided and abetted by a corrupt council and administration, committed an enormous fraud on the citizens of Dunedin. All in the name of rugby.

  19. Cars

    Until there is a disconnect between the empire builders and councils’ rights to spend ratepayers’ money with NO controls on their accountability, these stupid and profligate decisions will be made. We must force this national election to be run on the accountability of local government. They MUST be allowed to default. Or else we will have total socialism.

    • Russell Garbutt

      I think it was Helen Clark and her deep-seated peculiar brand of socialism that started this mess with the reforms to the Local Government Act leading to “powers of general competence”. Just why in God’s name, anyone would think that the people that end up in Local Government in some places have any form of competence beggars belief. I mean just look at the profiles of the stadium Council in Dunedin. Would anyone seriously believe that people like Neil Collins, Bill Acklin and the rest of that Council had the wisdom and skills to run a City? But the reality is that when the choices are limited to those that often have no other alternative employment, then where is the real choice?

      But it is the Nats that have continued this charade of Local Government reform. It’s BS. The Nats, through their $15m donation to the CST and the DCC could be considered as one of the final causes of the build of the wretched stadium. And they are about to do the same in Chch because their real mates would benefit. I’m pleased to see that the Lower Hutt Council have unanimously thrown out the idea of a new stadium in Petone. We need that Council to breed quickly.

      It is a world-wide phenomenon to have the public build monuments to stupidity, and in the process are miles of opportunity for fraud and theft and corruption. Until there is wide-spread revolt along the lines of what happened in Kaipara, little will change because people believe that they can’t make a difference. They can – they only need to say “enough” and start building gibbets in the Octagon. I will gladly take up knitting if this happens.

    • 30,000 sell out!! Watch for the ODT salivating over the perceived “economic benefit” flowing into Dunedin. Well, with that crowd it would have to. Wouldn’t it? Assuming that 80% of the attendees are local folk, and that the NZRFU take control of the ticket revenue. Dole out a match KPI, plus a rental to DVML (peanuts), a sling to help cover the extra staff. Stow the rest in a bag and cart it off to Wellington. That leaves Dunedin seriously out of pocket for the event. All they have had is the pleasure of seeing the match for their price of admission, a couple of beers, and that is that. Watch for the flocks of pink pigs flying overhead on the night.

    • Mike

      Don’t forget that this is the last of the 3 games organised as part of the ORFU bailout deal – if we’re lucky the money they make will make up for the horrible loss from the North-South game.

      In the future big games like this will be fewer and further between.

      • Mike, those three games were only ever a ‘sop to the plebs’, a feel good factor, it was never about any money flowing into the stadium’s coffers. The NZRU is quite ruthless when it comes to gathering the money to finance their professional circus. Only recently they announced that they were sitting on reserves of $65m. Would they consider drifting a few $million towards the suppliers of the venues that make the whole business not only viable, but possible? Not on your ‘nellie’! No, as long as we are blessed with “suckers” running our civic affairs we will continue to be robbed. The solution is really quite simple. Simply charge the users the true break-even costs of operation of the venue and everybody will/should be happy. Not difficult to understand is it? It only takes a dose of realism on all parties part. If the NZRU couldn’t handle that then it is proof positive that the venture is flawed as a business proposition. End of story.

      • Mike

        Calvin, I completely agree – mostly I was trying to remind people, ahead of the upcoming stadium-rah-rah of two points:

        – we’re not going to get lots of these games that actually fill the stadium, the ones we’ve had since the stadium were built was part of a special deal which has now run out

        – even this one is part of a package that was foisted on us, one part of which has already been a financial disaster.

  20. Peter

    I understand Brownlee was a woodwork teacher. I wonder if he hit his head with a hammer too many times? Or did the students clock him?

  21. Rob Hamlin

    I cannot understand why you keep on branding the Stadium a failure and those who brought it to us nincompoops. One can identify three possible objectives for this structure:

    1) To create an economic asset for the wider community.
    2) To create a social asset for the wider community.
    3) To make a narrow community of already rich people even richer at the expense of the wider community.

    These three objectives are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but neither are the outcomes necessarily linked in either direction. The outcomes for each one of them with regard to any specific proposal can usually be predicted with competent and adequately funded business and economic/social analysis.

    Individuals can really only be branded as certifiable, incompetent or nincompoops if the projects that they are associated with fail to achieve at least one of these specific objectives. Unless you can be absolutely sure that the Stadium has failed to achieve any of the above objectives, you cannot describe the architects of the project and those who acted on their behalf in such pejorative terms, and must assume that they actually were competent and functionally aware of what they were doing at the time and were also broadly aware of what the consequences of their actions would be with regard to all of these three objectives.

    The same goes for Brownlee in Christchurch.

    • WHAT!!!!???? Rob, have another drink and then pull my other leg. I love it when you so acerbically analyse a situation. Mr Brownlee is an exception to the rule. In fact he is an exception, period.

  22. Peter

    Lack of community support didn’t stop Farry and Co.

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    It did though, Peter – not stop it but justify it according to a special way of evaluating “community support”. They decided that all the people who didn’t make submissions, all the people who weren’t at rallies and marches, were fair game to be counted as For it.

  24. Peter

    How can we forget these stadium cretins when they made the claim that because the marches/town hall meeting did not constitute the entire town, they had the commmunity’s endorsement. It doesn’t work that way.

    They conveniently forget that the neurosurgery campaign did not have a complete turnout ‘of the community’ either. (Also the neurosurgery sponsorship by the ODT was as much a PR exercise, for them, to redeem the bad faith they had put themselves in with their support of the stadium rort. Never did find out how much the ODT and its owners gave FINANCIALLY to the campaign, did we? Beyond their marketing budget.)

    The Spring Revolution in Arab countries, which overthrew dictatorial regimes, didn’t get everyone out on the streets either. Does that mean they weren’t popular? I don’t think so.

  25. Phil

    It is ridiculous to spend half a billion dollars on a football stadium. No getting away from that. They are doing it a LITTLE better mind than Dunedin in a number of areas. For starters, they have $140 million in insurance startup capital. I don’t know how their legislation works but maybe there is a requirement that the insurance money be used for a similar type project. Secondly, they have chosen a reasonably sensible location to be attractive to potential business tenants. As opposed to ours being strategically located in the middle of “stray cat central”. Building in commercial offices gives regular weekday income, something we lack. Not a lot of businesses work on Friday or Saturday evenings, so I don’t see business interuption as a major issue. They may well even value the option for inbuilt “corporate boxes”. The proposed location will be well served by public transport which is rule 1.01 when building a sporting complex. Mind you, we do have the Sober Drivers Facebook black cab scheme which seems to be working well.

    Dumb idea spending that much money but, if you’re going to do it then that’s probably how you should do it.

  26. Phil

    If they want to be clever then they could build, or rebuild, their stadium without a roof and then fit the roof later. A lot of stadia around the world have retrofitted a roof by building a freestanding structure independent of the main stadium structure. A tent, effectively. Among the advantages is that the stadium itself can be very lightweight as it only has to support itself, saving costs. An Italian stadium built an entire new seating level (increasing capacity by more than 20k), complete with roof, which is completely detached from the original stadium structure. No strengthening of the original structure was required. Sounds very much like what Wellington is proposing and, dare I say it, could have been achieved with Carisbrook.

  27. Rob Hamlin

    Perhaps we need a bit of perspective on idiocy arrogance and egomania driven community harm, and the level at which we are actually playing at here compared to what’s possible – Get a load of this:
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/11/crazy-dangerous-creation-deadly-airborne-flu-virus

  28. Elizabeth

    Tonight, in-club do for rugger lads at Town Hall. Winners like Laurie Mains attending….

    Meanwhile at Ch39, fubar ‘has some competition’….
    [video] http://www.dunedintv.co.nz/content/forsyth-barr-stadium-has-some-competition

    • Peter

      Oh. Another black tie dinner? Who’s paying this time? Or is this just another good old- fashion piss up? (Still….who’s paying?)

      • Elizabeth

        Taxi driver told me about it – he and his pals have been ferrying rugger stars all over town today – he was reciting names like he had a photographic memory, unfortunately I don’t.

        • Peter

          Elizabeth. You must have felt like Cinderella not being invited to the ball. Poor dear.

        • Elizabeth

          Peter, I can’t really deal with the thought of too many thick thighs and ex-concussed brains in one entertainment venue.

  29. Hype O'Thermia

    Poor Elizabeth, don’t blame yourself. What womanly personage would not indeed be in a vapourish tizzwaz at such a ‘whelming vision of thickness and Town Hall bursting thighfulness?

  30. Hype O'Thermia

    I feel a song coming on…. “Hitler, he’s only got one ball, tra-la de dum-de before a fall”, no that’s not right.

  31. The article in ‘Stuff’ on the country’s fetish over stadiums is enlightening. It is obvious that the sporting organisations have, via the various local news medias created this religious fervour for major sports as the opiate of the masses. None more so than rugby. Up and down the country the public have been coerced into providing the ‘cathedrals’ of worship to these demi-gods. It is financial madness, akin to a ‘Papacy’ dictating that “thou shalt build these places of worship”, even if it is only for ‘Good Friday’. But like all religions, eventually the masses see through it and these magnificent edifices fall into disuse and leave a legacy of debt and disgrace. The perpetrators of course are never to blame. If only the people would have faith then these ventures would be successful. Never a question of: “Should we structure our activities on the basis of standing on an economic base of ‘self-sustainability’ (something our mayor Dave Cull and his Cr MacTavish ardently espouse) and be self-sustaining on our own merits.” The mere knowledge of the futility of this being ridiculous would be enough to dissuade intelligent folk from fraudulently robbing the people. But then intelligence was never a forte of these heretics. They would sooner lie and connive until their ends are achieved and beggar the people. So let’s all bow our heads in prayer in the faith that our All Black gladiators vanquish the ‘Satanic foes’ and faith is restored in the value of our Forsyth Barr Cathedral.

    {Link added. -Eds}

  32. Whew!! You would have to be a ‘Jihadist’ to maintain your faith in the ‘Grand Poobah’ Rugby after last night’s close shave with ‘Satan’. Shook the Cathedral to the core with disbelief. Yeah! the Gods have spoken: “Ye that bow down and worship idols will be plagued by debt for many generations. Go forth and spend forty days and forty nights (or a tad longer) in the wilderness and repent.” That should do it.
    But seriously, when one considers the city’s debt in comparison with Auckland’s, there is no place for complacency. Debt is no bad thing if it brings about investment which in turn creates growth in real wealth. Auckland is doing it in spades, with road and rail infrastructure, extension of essential services to land development to meet an ever increasing demand for housing land to in turn meet the increasing population. Dunedin does none of these things, or very little, as the demand is simply not there. No, Dunedin trebles its debt per decade by building edifices for which there is little or no demand, and run at huge losses. The stadium, the Town Hall Conference Centre and the Otago Settlers Museum constitute around $240m of non performing debt, out of a total core debt of $368m. To this we can add DCHL’s $255m for a consolidated debt of $623m.
    The powers that be claim: “but we have assets exceeding our liabilities!” As non performing, loss making ventures, those three venues are not assets, they are liabilities. Why? Because none of them meet the criteria of being infrastructure, cover their operating costs, or contribute in any way to the economic growth of the city either financially or population wise. In a word they are redundant.
    Dunedin is sunk in a molasses-like pit of debt, and all the leaders can think of is to keep throwing more good money after bad in the hope all will turn round. Myopic dopey fools, without a shred of common, or any other kind of sense.

  33. Hype O'Thermia

    My bouncyball mind flicked to those Angel loans – investments actually because at least one of the plans I read about charged “sustainable” interest – when I read this in Calvin’s comment: “Debt is no bad thing if it brings about investment which in turn creates growth in real wealth.” Examples given were enough to buy a goat or a sewing machine and a small amount of cloth,. The goat’s milk was sold, the goat’s kid was raised to provide more milk if female, or meat if male. Next year more milk, 2 goats, the start of a profitable little business then jobs for other family members and villagers. Likewise sewing machines, sew stuff, sell at market, buy more fabric, repeat until there’s a small business employing several other women. They found women were more reliable, had more realistic plans and paid back loans diligently which gave them a credit reputation for banks that initially wouldn’t make tiny loans to unimportant people.
    Next bounce of the ball happened at this: ” “but we have assets exceeding our liabilities!” “. Some assets are meaningful. Bullion. Stamps, art, antiques depending on the ups and down of the market. Heart, kidney – not so much. House – may be able to downscale from mansion into council flat if there are any available.
    Re the latter, have you noticed how bespoke-suiteds convicted types get home detention in luxury homes, Weeping Doug Graham got a special dispendation to go for walks off-site for the good of his health (!) and so on, no matter how much their defalcations have lost the savings of people who were in more modest circumstances even before their nest-eggs were “disappeared” by people they trusted?
    Assets-shmassets. Bullshit. But that’s OK, that’s trickle-down economics, the big beasts’ droppings are picked through by lowly worms and little birds so we all benefit. Don’t we?

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