Tag Archives: Naming Rights

Stadium: Accountability, paper trail leads unavoidably to NEWS

Stadium, Dunedin [espnscrum.com]Stadium under construction [photo via espnscrum.com]

Comments received.

Bev Butler
Submitted on 2013/07/30 at 2:25 pm

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8981153/Phone-records-given-to-inquiry
Parliament’s speaker, David Carter:
“I view any actions that may put at risk journalists’ ability to report very seriously.”

Both Sir Eion Edgar and Sir Julian Smith have some explaining to do as to their “actions” in preventing the reporting of the information contained in the press release below which one of the ODT reporters contacted me about on 3 July 2013, asked me questions, then nothing being published in the ODT.

PRESS RELEASE
“Philanthropist” reneges on promised $1m donation
Full independent enquiry sought

The deceptions surrounding the Forsyth Barr Stadium continue to be revealed by official documents released on 11 June 2013.

The public, on many occasions raised doubts that the promises of private funding for construction of the stadium, had been met, but were assured by Mr Malcolm Farry, Chair of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust as reported in NBR and ODT 2007 that in fact several substantial donations had been promised. Indeed he went so far to tell the public that he had promises of three individual donations of $1 million each to be put to the costs of construction. Sir Eion Edgar also confirmed in DScene in 2009 that he would be making a donation of $1m.

That, as has now been revealed officially, was untrue.

It was also untrue as Mr Farry claimed when leading the project, that advance ticket or product sales revenue could be counted as construction capital. This was nothing other, as many ratepayers pointed out, simply advance operational revenue which could not be charged in the future. While Mr Farry denied this, the PricewaterhouseCoopers investigation found that there was little or no capital raised from ‘private funding’ for construction.

The relevance of this should not be lost when the evidence supplied to the High Court in Christchurch by the Carisbrook Stadium Trust through the DCC also stated that substantial private donations had been made for construction. At the time of the Stop The Stadium court case in April 2009, Mr Farry had stated publicly that more than $30m of the required $45m had already been contracted in private funding for construction of the stadium. It appears that evidence in the High Court case was also not truthful.

The role played by Forsyth Barr and its Chair, Sir Eion Edgar also come directly under a brighter spotlight from the release of the documentation. Sir Eion Edgar promised a substantial donation of $1m as reported in DScene 2009, but again this has proven not to be true. But this lack of philanthropy also extended to an obscuring of the facts surrounding the naming rights of the stadium. Despite Sir Eion Edgar claiming in the National Business Review (29/01/09) that a “substantial cheque” had been written for these rights, and The Marketing Bureau commissioned by the CST reporting to council the naming rights were worth $10m, the fact was that instead the stadium was named after his company for a period of two and a half years before any revenue was received. It has already been reported in the media that the naming rights were no more than $5m. An upfront substantial sum in advance reported in PwC peer reviews was somehow altered to a much lesser sum in monthly arrears payments which didn’t begin until late 2011.

Sir Edgar also had a significant role as President in his connections with the Otago Rugby Football Union when a fundraising function for the ORFU in August 2011 at the new Forsyth Barr Stadium defaulted in its payments to the Dunedin City Council leaving ratepayers to pick up the tab for booze, food, hireage and cleaning while the ORFU pocketed the gross income less a substantial organisational fee paid to the wife of the Deputy Chair of the ORFU, Laurie Mains.

While the PwC investigation was not intended to be a forensic audit of all financial matters surrounding the stadium, sufficient grounds now exist for such a full independent investigation to be carried out, and it is difficult to see just why this should be resisted unless some have got matters to try and continue to conceal. Doubts have also been expressed over the laxity of the billing and payment processes whereby blanket monthly CST accounts with no detail were passed for payment by the then CEO of the Dunedin City Council, Jim Harland, and there remains uncertainty over the validity of many of the expenses and other monies claimed for and paid by the ratepayers of the City.

[Response 1]

Elizabeth
Submitted on 2013/07/30 at 2:46 pm

Bev, quite apart from the content of the Press Release, are you saying the ODT journalist who contacted you about the release was lined up to do a story based on the content of the press release? Or that the editorial team did not support the reporter and canned the story as filed? Or for the newspaper’s own reasons there was never a story?! In other words, something of a spying mission took place?

Media can choose whether or not to cite the content of press releases in whole or in part.

Should a newspaper decline to reference a press release in its general news coverage, surely that leaves the writers of the release free to pay for an advertising statement. This is exactly what has been required with The Press in Christchurch over the fight to restore the Christ Church Cathedral – paid advertising by Cathedral advocates tied to education of the Press editor underlining the editorial bias which has run to the benefit of the Bishop and the CPT. We consider The Press’s stance deliberate to force use of paid advertising. The Press has softened since being SPOKEN TO.

****

[Response 2]

Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2013/07/30 at 8:25 pm

Bev’s post needs as wide a circulation as possible and I would urge any readers to pass on the URL of this post to as many of their friends as possible, but it is as sure as God made little green apples, that the ODT will neither investigate nor publish anything that is detrimental to the interests of those that have certain influence and connections. I wonder if Sir Julian would be willing to show his phone records? Particularly those from the Central Otago region?

All of the material that Bev mentions regarding the naming rights is backed up by documentation – in fact so much of what Bev is talking about is now being played out in National politics with the Henry inquiry and Vance’s phone records. The story has to be dragged out before it is grudgingly admitted that a great wrong was done. And even then the perpetrators can’t get their story straight.

This is what I mean by accountability in many ways. Many have claimed that deceit, lies and obfuscation were just part of the normal business around the CST, DCC, ORFU and associated parties and it has also been suggested that this culture of deceit and lies extended to the High Court. Who am I to argue that this was not the case? But the same people’s names turn up time and time again. Reported are Farry, who continues to harangue from the side-lines, Edgar promising much and apparently confused between what is a donation and what is part of a payment for a sweetheart deal with the organisation of which he was part, or Harland, in the middle authorising payments on behalf of the ratepayers to the CST – a private Trust that remains a closed window.

And who is going to push for exposure of all the facts? We should be forever grateful for Bev’s assiduous work in prying out the necessary documentation and proof of what many have alleged for years. I can only hope that Bev Butler is, within the near future, able to ensure that any serious wrong-doing by those connected with the greatest waste of ratepayer funds, is put forward in a high profile way.

And if it can be shown in a separate jurisdiction that the allegations are well-founded – and I’m sure it can by the documentation that exists in private and on public record, then hopefully these people will be made accountable. But I’m not holding my breath.

****

[Response 3]

Bev Butler
Submitted on 2013/07/30 at 10:11 pm

Elizabeth, to now answer your questions – just briefly for now.
“The Edgar Story” was first published on Stuff News on Wednesday 3 July 2013. About an hour later the story was “pulled”.
Rarely does a story get “pulled” – it is generally due to major factual errors or a threat of defamation. As I know the information was correct then I assumed the latter.
I wrote to Fairfax management then emailed Forsyth Barr/Edgar’s lawyers. Two days later the story was published in The Mirror – a Central Otago Fairfax publication.
Interestingly, also on Wednesday 3 July an ODT reporter contacted me, questioning me about the Stuff News item. The reporter wanted to know who else I had sent the press release to. At the time I thought this was unusual – what did that have to do with reporting the news? I suspected that someone was wanting to do damage control behind the scenes. A week later I then heard from a good source that this was the case.
What really concerns me, apart from the serious issues in the press release, is the behind-the-scenes manipulation of ‘freedom of the press’. Dunedin citizens are no longer able to rely on the local media for local news. The damage done by this behind-the-scenes manipulation is dangerous. How this can be allowed to happen in a democratic society should be a concern for all in Dunedin. I don’t blame the reporter as he/she would have been instructed to question me.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
18.7.13 ODT won’t touch Fairfax story
3.7.13 [Pulled!] Call for Dunedin stadium cash
24.12.12 A Christmas Tale
7.6.12 Stadium: Forsyth Barr naming rights
6.7.09 Eion Edgar on ‘stadium haters’

ODT Online:
11.5.12 $100m hotel for Dunedin waterfront [Edgar support]
11.5.12 Harbour hotel proposed for Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

12 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, STS

ODT won’t touch Fairfax story

Supposing Sir E rang Sir J. What did they talk about. Parties?

Queenstown Mirror 10.7.13 (page 1)

Queenstown Mirror 10.7.13 (page 1 detail)Queenstown Mirror 10.7.13 (page 2 detail)

#bookmark page 1
#bookmark page 2

DScene 13.5.09 (page 9) Eion Edgar c3### DScene 13 May 2009
The Insider: Big questions answered
Mr Generous isn’t slowing down
Winter Games NZ chairman Eion Edgar | Interviewed by Ryan Keen
COMMUNITY-MINDED Queenstown-based businessman Eion Edgar, who retired as New Zealand Olympic Committee president last week and left a $1 million donation, on his support for knighthoods, backing Blis and why he’s not slowing down. #bookmark page 9

DScene 13.5.09 (page 9) merge

Related Posts and Comments:
10.7.13 Stadium: Edgar will honour $1M personal pledge to project
3.7.13 [Pulled!] Call for Dunedin stadium cash
24.12.12 A Christmas Tale
7.6.12 Stadium: Forsyth Barr naming rights
6.7.09 Eion Edgar on ‘stadium haters’

ODT Online:
11.5.12 $100m hotel for Dunedin waterfront [Edgar support]
11.5.12 Harbour hotel proposed for Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

14 Comments

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

Stadium: Ombudsman investigation confirms private funding

Register to read DScene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

### DScene 20 Mar 2013
Raw deal alleged on stadium rights (page 5)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin’s flash new stadium gets $7 million every 10 years in private funding, an Ombudsman investigation reveals. Newly released documents show the stadium receives $715,000 annually – $7,150,000 over 10 years.
D Scene has learned from an informed source that $5m of that funding comes from investment advisory firm Forsyth Barr in return for naming rights of the new $200m-plus state-of-the-art arena.
Stadium lobbyist Bev Butler said the new figures showed ratepayers got a raw deal on private funding. ‘‘In December 2007, Brian Meredith of The Marketing Bureau, commissioned by the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, addressed the council stating that the head naming rights were worth more than $10m,’’ Butler said in a statement.
‘‘This has been reported twice in the media. The mayor, councillors and public were left with the perception that Forsyth Barr had signed up for the rights for $10m. This latest revelation shows that this was not the case and that Forsyth Barr ended up paying no more than $5m for the naming rights.’’
Butler, who initiated the latest investigation, said the rest of the annual $715,000 in private funding came from other companies who had a high profile in the stadium.
{continues} #bookmark

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Stadium: Forsyth Barr naming rights

From: Bev Butler
To: Craig Page [ODT]; Murray Kirkness [ODT]
CC: Chris Morris [ODT]
Subject: FW: Press Release: Forsyth Barr naming rights subsidised by Dunedin ratepayers
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 09:00:01 +1200

Press Release:
Forsyth Barr naming rights subsidised by Dunedin ratepayers

Yet another revelation has popped out of the woodwork in the troubled Dunedin rugby stadium saga. This time, the much heralded head naming rights deal has been revealed as another non-event with the ratepayers again footing the bill.

In the original revenue forecasts for the stadium it was assumed that Forsyth Barr would pay the naming rights in full before completion of construction. This then changed to two years upfront in the revised forecasts peer reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) provided the forecast figures and negotiated the naming rights deal with Forsyth Barr. It is now revealed Forsyth Barr signed up to their naming rights deal for annual payments NOT in advance but in arrears. Their contract was recently changed again to monthly payments in arrears. So at the time of voting in February 2009 the city and regional councillors were led to believe that the naming rights contract was for two years upfront. This is the normal commercial practice for naming rights contracts and is called “front end loading”.

The naming rights were [jointly announced] in a statement by Carisbrook Stadium Trust and Forsyth Barr on January 29, 2009; along with an announcement from Sir Eion Edgar that Forsyth Barr had paid “a significant sum”, but “certainly not” as much as the CST would have hoped, but “probably more than what Forsyth Barr would have liked to pay”.

However Bev Butler, stadium critic, was “shocked to discover that Forsyth Barr made absolutely no payments whatsoever until September 1, 2011 and then it was for one month in arrears. Forsyth Barr have had the advantage of over two and a half years of advertising locally, nationally and internationally without digging into their own pockets. Furthermore, the Dunedin ratepayers are guarantors for Forsyth Barr not paying up. The Dunedin ratepayers borrowed money to cover the naming rights and are paying interest on this loan,” she said. The information was revealed in documents received under the provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

The deal struck is against the background of the so-called independent Carisbrook Stadium Trust, chaired by Malcolm Farry. Farry was the chair of the Highlanders at the time they were part of the ORFU. Sir Eion Edgar is president of the ORFU and is also a member of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, being appointed to this position many months before the signing of the Forsyth Barr naming rights deal. Sir Eion Edgar is also of course a Director of Forsyth Barr.

“This shaky, shady, stadium project has been riddled with conflicts of interest right from the start and Forsyth Barr naming rights is no exception,” Bev Butler said. “It is now plain that the much heralded millions of dollars promised upfront in 2009 by Forsyth Barr for the naming rights to the new Dunedin stadium just never happened.”

Bev Butler

Further background:

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were contracted to peer review the stadium forecasts and produced a report on January 30, 2009. This is the same date that the ODT reported the announcement that Forsyth Barr were the naming rights sponsor. Early February 2009 both DCC and ORC councils voted to proceed with the stadium.
I recently again read through the PwC peer review of these forecasts. The relevant extracts are copied below. It appears from the PwC report that the Original Forecasts were based on receiving the naming rights “in full before the beginning of the forecast period” (see page 9 extract below). Then when PwC peer reviewed the Revised Forecasts (30/01/09) it was “assumed that there are two years of pre-payments for the first ten year contract” (see page 6 extract below).
The naming rights were expected to originally be paid in full upfront – this then changed to being two years upfront (during 2009/2010) before the completion of the stadium. This PwC peer review was presented to DCC councillors on February 7, 2009 when they made their final decision and after it was announced on January 30, 2009 that Forsyth Barr were the naming rights sponsor.
The situation now is that Forsyth Barr made their first payment on the September 1, 2011 (information obtained under LGOIMA). I had a phone conversation with Neville Frost (financial officer of DVML and former financial officer of ORFU) on September 16, 2011 where he said that Forsyth Barr had recently changed/amended their contract from annual payments in arrears to monthly payments in arrears – hence the first payment on September 1, 2011 (note the stadium opened 1/8/11). I suspect the change in the contract was because I had requested under LGOIMA whether Forsyth Barr had made any payments.
It appears that this ‘private funding’ naming rights contract has been amended after the final vote occurred. These amendments clearly disadvantage the ratepayers of Dunedin. The councillors and public at large were led to believe by The Marketing Bureau (contracted by CST) that the naming rights were for $10 million.
It is also relevant that Sir Eion Edgar (director of Forsyth Barr Ltd) was chosen and appointed by Malcolm Farry as trustee of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) sometime before the August 13, 2008 – at least five months before the announcement of the naming rights. So Forsyth Barr negotiated with the CST the naming rights contract at the time when Sir Eion Edgar was a trustee. Clearly, a conflict of interest.

From PricewaterhouseCoopers Peer Review of the Proposed New Otago Stadium Forecasts report (dated 30 January 2009):
Link to full document (PDF 7.1 MB)

Relevant extracts:

Page 6 “There are no cash inflows for Lounge Memberships and naming rights in 2019 and 2020 as it is assumed that there are two years of pre-payments for the first ten year contract period ending in 2020 but no pre-payments for the subsequent ten year contract period.”

Page 9 The variance between licence fees/premiums in the Revised Forecasts and the Original Forecasts is primarily a result of changes to:

● Naming Rights – the inclusion of revenues from the sale of the naming rights for the first ten years of operation. Under the Original Forecasts, this was expected to be received in full before the beginning of the forecast period.

Note in the NBR news item below it states that “it hasn’t stopped local broking house Forsyth Barr from writing a “substantial” cheque to secure the naming rights to the new Otago stadium.”
This implies or rather states that Forsyth Barr wrote a cheque back in Jan 2009. Obviously, untrue! Forsyth Barr made their first monthly payment on September 1, 2011.

National Business Review
7:59PM Wednesday 11 April 2012

Forsyth Barr ignores recession to buy Otago stadium naming rights
By Lucy Craymer | Friday January 30, 2009
A global economic downturn might make other corporate sponsors think twice but it hasn’t stopped local broking house Forsyth Barr from writing a “substantial” cheque to secure the naming rights to the new Otago stadium.
The new 30,000-capacity stadium, which is due to be completed in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, will be called Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza.
Forsyth Barr chairman Eion Edgar refused to say how much the naming rights of the stadium had cost the company but did describe it as “substantial”.
“This will raise our profile as we expand around the country. The Stadium adds another dimension to Dunedin and Otago and is something our people will use and be proud of,” he adds.
Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry says: “This is a very significant milestone in the community’s progress towards achieving the private sector funding target set by councils of $27.3 million.”
The naming right deal comes at a time when other large corporate sponsors have pulled out of deals. Philips withdrew as a sponsor from the All Blacks last year while ING have cut back on their Formula 1 spending.
The University of Otago has secured the naming rights to the Stadium Plaza.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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D Scene: fubar, another revelation

“Forsyth Barr have had the advantage of over two-and-a-half years of advertising locally, nationally and internationally without digging into their own pockets.” -Bev Butler

### D Scene 9.5.12
Up in lights – you paid (page 5)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin ratepayers borrowed money to cover naming rights funding while waiting for Forsyth Barr to stump up for Dunedin’s stadium. The revelation comes from stadium critic Bev Butler who said official documented forecasts showed under the original deal with the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, Forsyth Barr’s payments were ‘‘effectively two years overdue’’ by the time of its first single monthly payment towards naming rights in September 1, 2011. Details gleaned under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act showed Forsyth Barr made no payments until September 1, 2011, Butler said. “It is now plain that the much heralded millions of dollars promised upfront in 2009 by Forsyth Barr for the naming rights to the new Dunedin stadium just never happened.”
{continues} #bookmark

****

Losing friends (page 6)
By Mike Houlahan – Editor
As biting the hand that feeds you goes, the lawsuit members of the Otago Rugby Football Union are proposing to take against Mayor Dave Cull takes some beating. The merits of the case are for the court to decide, but there is a different burden of proof in the court of public opinion. With its very existence hanging on the good grace of the Dunedin City Council – which decided, against strong public sentiment, to forgive half a million dollars of ORFU debt ratepayers could ill-afford to write off – the rugby union needed to be apologetic, and forthright in dealing with the circumstances which got it in trouble.
{conmtinues} #bookmark

Register to read D Scene online at
http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

Moneytalks : Business News
Dunedin extends helping hand (page 9)
By Paul Gorman and Mike Houlahan
Dunedin is gearing up to play a major role in the rebuild of Christchurch but is aware of the risks of losing tradespeople and future business further north. The South Island’s second city is positioning itself to supply materials and services to Christchurch while recognising the Canterbury earthquakes have also affected its economy. There is also a proposal to provide special train services to carry workers between the two cities. The Dunedin City Council has calculated that the expected $20 billion to $30b cost of the rebuild is up to 6.6 times Dunedin’s total annual gross domestic product. Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said Dunedin was not eyeing up Christchurch opportunities in any ‘‘predatory manner’’, but having a strong Christchurch was good for the South Island.
{continues} #bookmark

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza

ODT 30 Jan 2009

The $188 million stadium in Dunedin, if it goes ahead, will be named Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza.

Principals of the Dunedin-based sharebroking and investment company yesterday signed a 10-year agreement with the Carisbrook Stadium Trust for the “head naming rights”.

Neither party would say how much the deal was worth.

Forsyth Barr chairman Eion Edgar would say only that it was a “significant sum”, but was “certainly not” what the trust would have liked “and probably more than we would have liked to pay”.

While the suggested value of the naming rights has not previously been divulged publicly, in December 2007 trust marketing adviser Brian Meredith reported to the Dunedin City Council that head naming rights would equate to up to 22% of the $45.5 million required from private sector funding – a sum equivalent to just over $10 million.

After a signing ceremony for the media yesterday, managing director Neil Paviour-Smith, of Wellington, said the move would give the company profile, “putting our name on an asset that will have some prominence, not just in Dunedin, but throughout New Zealand”.

The company was founded in Dunedin in 1936 and the opening of the stadium would coincide with the company’s 75th anniversary, he said.

Full story here…

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