Tag Archives: Capital investments

The complicity of mudtanks and stormwater drains personified

Garrick Tremain – 27 Apr 2016
Garrick Tremain 27 Apr 2016 [screenshot]

Election Year : This post is offered in the public interest. -Eds

The Otago Daily Times has undergone a momentary and unsubtle change this fortnight. The newspaper is allowing near ‘ruthless’ honesty in Letters and Online Comments, including rightful naming and shaming (carefully expressed, within context) of individuals and politicians that should no longer be residing at the local authority. Rush in while the door’s Open —we know it is, for the cartoonist deftly flies his drone again! At our city council. (Was GT threatened from on high prior to Election Year, with blanket censorship too ?).

This sudden rush of print-blood happens belatedly, as debate ensues over the council’s (stadium-ripper) lack of investment and professional engagement with core infrastructure services, city-wide.

Not insignificantly, projects led by “pets” continue under the radar via budget lines in the council’s Long-term Plan (LTP) and associated Annual Plans. Of course, the “pets” feel safe from scrutiny since they’ve built up “such amazing” community rapport and goodwill (a cultural following!). Nope, own castles, own keeps, feathering own nests (*not yours!) —spending money that’s not theirs with weak justification, benefitting minor consortiums of private business (*not the wider swathe of our suburban and rural populations!). Supported handsomely (wink wink) by the odd motley politician who wants “back in”, riding the “pets” like a bar saddle to the next paid trimester. Although…. that gratuitously camp ballet scene at Tuesday’s Infrastructure Services Committee meeting : where the doorstepper was conveniently exposed doing rehearsed Q&A with a scapegoat in a hotseat, was an undoing. The video is coming! Equally, someone else nutted on about the girth of pipes in a soliloquy that will endure many viewings.

While ODT meets the temperature of its audience – at the same time, the council offers little that’s honest, immediate or genuine for the people it has ill-advisedly brought flood, damage and distress to. Surely, the worst-affected should see financial re-dress from this (highly indebted) can’t-pay council. Wethinks fixing, maintaining and upgrading council-owned infrastructure is Not Quite Enough to assuage the greater collective conscience…. There could be, however, real satisfaction seeing the council get the deep cut and tuck, a razor slash. Bringing an ungainly end to bully girls’ vanity and sly defective green-tinged parlour acts that buck off without trimming a balance sheet.

Honing to essentials, the art of cartoon mayhem.

ODT 27.4.16 (page 12)

ODT 27.4.16  Letters to editor Menzies Mathieson Greensmith-West Wallace p12 (1)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

[alternative title for post: ‘that’s not mud, it’s dogshit’]

27 Comments

Filed under Baloney, Business, Climate change, Democracy, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, Ombudsman, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Stadiums, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty

NZRU ‘hustles’ towns and cities to build stadiums

What happens to our cathedrals, the large stadiums found in every major centre, if we lose faith?

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 14/06/2014
Sport
What about the state of New Zealand stadiums?
By Matt Nippert
[Excerpts from a longer article…] The covered 31,000-seat Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, constructed in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, may be the newest major sporting facility in the country but has already proved the most controversial. The bulk of its $224 million construction cost came from Dunedin City Council, but ongoing costs to ratepayers have caused considerable angst. Ratepayers were forced into a $2.3m bailout in May, and are mulling whether a permanent annual subsidy will be required to keep it running.

Getting to grips with exactly how much stadiums cost is a tricky exercise. Construction has often been piecemeal, with grandstands redeveloped or rebuilt over time, blurring total capital expenditure. And determining operational costs – whether stadiums require ongoing contributions by ratepayers – is further complicated by many facilities being run from within city councils or by council-controlled organisations. This makes the extraction of a discrete set of accounts, most notably in Dunedin and Waikato, an impossibility.

Analysis of accounts for Wellington and Auckland, run by dedicated trusts and two of the most transparent stadiums, shows that break-even is realistically the best case.

At New Zealand Rugby headquarters, chief executive Steve Tew broadly agrees that the glory days [of attendance at games] are over. Viewers watching broadcasts of a game have supplanted punters going through stadium turnstiles.

But there is one niche where the faith of the rugby faithful remains strong: All Blacks tests. Hosting the national team is often the only time stadiums up and down the country reach capacity.

While great for New Zealand Rugby coffers, Massey University’s Sam Richardson says the All Blacks have warped stadium construction priorities. “It’s an absolutely huge detriment. If you’re building a stadium where the financial viability year to year relies on an All Blacks test, there’s no question New Zealand Rugby plays a massive part in whether these facilities are going to be used to their potential,” he says.

Canterbury University economist Eric Crampton says building capacity for a solitary annual All Black test is akin to “buying a six-bedroom house just in case both sets of grandparents come to visit at the same time”. Crampton says the proliferation of large loss-making stadiums, both in New Zealand and worldwide, has been mainly because of the economic equivalent of hustling. “Sporting teams have been able to convince councils all over the place – and have been able to play them off against each other by threatening to move – to build excessive stadiums.
Read more

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“Fifa, like the International Olympic Committee, is widely regarded as corrupt. In that, it reflects our flawed species; while capable of fabulous feats, a dark side lurks.”

### ODT Online Sat, 14 Jun 2014
Editorial: Revelling in sport
OPINION As Dunedin and the South gear up for the excitement of tonight’s rugby test in the city, a sporting event in another league entirely kicked off yesterday.
Read more

Garrick Tremain – 14 June 2015

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

87 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design