Once upon a time, Rugby louts and owners of industrially-zoned land at Dunedin decided they deserved a new Rugby stadium and some personal spending CASH! (ie ratepayer money)
It wasn’t long before DCC was vigorously lobbied from within and without by slimy fatcats, to build a Hopeless Stadium.
The evil plan was to saddle ratepayers with outlandish debt for decades and decades.
It also transpired that the Chin Council thought only slightly about lines in the sand but agreed ‘it’s perfectly alright to rob the poor to support the well-off’ —the practice continues to this very day, Mayor Cull’s merry band of dimwits subsidise DVML and have recently transferred $30m of Hopeless Stadium debt back onto the DCC books.
Going back a treacle-filled step or two… the spendthrift Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust (CST), headed by Malcolm Farry, became agent to the Council via a Service Level Agreement (SLA), to see in the Hopeless Stadium construction project and associated fundraising.
[Aside, like it didn’t matter: Farry in his construction safety hat and dayglo vest failed miserably at raising public donations for the Hopeless Stadium.]
Long short… regular as well as ‘other’ payments were made by DCC to CST and co-greedy sods without much corroborating paperwork.
Despite non-accountability and lack of transparency, and the odd crucial missing document, there’s a stash of CST files kept “in storage” somewhere – files to drive a bulldozer through, lawfully the property of the Council, paid for by ratepayers.
Turns out two of DCC’s most senior executives, with Malcolm Farry, appear to have no interest whatsoever in surrendering the files for independent forensic audit. They’ll only retrieve file boxes in batches, while pedalling strongly backwards.
The files are not sealed, seized or safe. Where are they? DCC will not say. Farry won’t say. Fairytales are being told.
The files were long ago officially requested through the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) by Dunedin resident Bev Butler. They’re also subject to the Public Records Act.
The Ombudsmen’s Office is involved, due to deliberate lack of co-operation shown by CST and DCC to supply copy of the original files to Ms Butler in a timely manner.
Have the files been thrown into plastic shopping bags, shredded or dumped? We simply don’t know.
CST and DCC are equally culpable, they’re both prepared to lie and defer – What if? can only imagine the files might be as tidy as this.
If it takes a court order…..
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: clipart.org – Filing Cabinet Overload
9 responses to “Ratepayer boxes #saga”
The real question of course is “what are they trying to hide?”
Mike, the answer is more than we know!
Hide, Mike? You mean they think there is a tiny possibility that somewhere in those boxes is evidence that someone – completely by accident I’m sure – did something that might look as if it were not squeaky clean?
Those awful negative naysayers, they put the conscientious folk of DCC and CST to such a lot of unnecessary bother!
Apart from Bev Butler’s sterling efforts to uncover the real truth about CST spending the wider picture is the irresponsible actions of past DCC administrations to commit us to a Stadium debt which leaves little funding for more important projects. Think $60m backlog in pipe renewals and remember the tragic event of South Dunedin flooding on 3 June 2015. Think about the hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been expended on bandaid solutions to the St Clair beachfront and the reluctance to commit a few million dollars to the real long-term solutions as recommended in May 2014 by the costly Opus Report.
Safeguarding the commercial and residential properties on the South Dunedin flat has been severely compromised by lack of funding all because of stadium funding. That is the real tragedy of rugby greed.
Talking about ‘sterling efforts’, how about Terry Davies’ DVML Statement of Intent promulgating a profit of $395,000 for 2015-16? Well you would, once you dispose of $30 million of your debt back to your shareholders and as a consequence their obligations rise (“officially”) to $11.5 million per year as a subsidy sustaining that profit. Worse, when we all know that the real shareholders’ costs are north of $20 million per year. But hey! there are some uncertainties, says Terry. Not least is the current negotiations with the ORFU and Highlanders over new venue hire agreements at the stadium. That of course is the most interesting aspect of all. Face it. It is really only rugby that counts and it is an unknown detail to the public as to what amount those two parties pay. For instance how much of the ticket revenue (if any) per event is passed to the lessor? That would be something I bet Mr Davies would never disclose. Safe to say, none. The lease would be a flat per use fee, and profit would not fit that in any way whatsoever. If Mr Davies had any public conscience at all he would grasp the nettle and demand a deal that promised DVML at least a break even scenario plus a cut of the takings on all crowds in excess of 5,000. Other than that, the whole “Statement of Intent” is no more than ‘smoke and mirrors’ with the smoke mainly from “happy baccy”.
Mr Davies #2 seems unable to understand what a ‘profit’ – if someone subsidises you by millions of dollars and you have $400k left over at the end of the year you have not made a profit.
A good analogy is my son, if I give him $20 to go and buy some milk at the supermarket and he has $17 left over he has not made a profit, instead he owes me $17 change. Mr Davies owes us $400k change.
Calvin. I would say that Mr Davies has got the Highlanders by the balls. It would not look good for the Highlanders if they win the final next week, and don’t have a stadium to play in next season due to the fact that they are too mean to pay the full rate to hire the stadium.
Simon; If past experience is anything to go by, the last thing Terry Davies would touch is anybody’s ‘balls’. He and his predecessors technically have been in the position to put the pressure on ever since the stadium was completed in 2011, so what makes you think anything’s changed now? You say, “it would not look good for the Highlanders if they win next week, and don’t have a stadium to play in next season”. “Exactly!!!” But will that influence negotiations? Not a bloody chance, except to blind our ‘nitwits’ into worshipping at the Highlanders’ feet.
27.5.16 Letter from Ombudsman to Bev Butler