Tag Archives: Phoenix

Stadium: Fairfax business editor pokes DCC’s Fubar

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 05/03/2014
Business
Empty seats, empty pockets
By Chalkie
[…] Chalkie is concerned by a $48 million scheme to build a stadium in Petone for the benefit of the Phoenix A-League football team and its fans. From what we know of the proposal, the Hutt City Council – which means ratepayers – will be asked to contribute $25m towards building a “boutique” 10,000 to 12,000 seat arena at the southern end of the Petone Recreation Ground. […] The good burghers of the Hutt will be best placed to judge the practicalities of the scheme when further details are available, but the financial side has worrying similarities to the set-up of Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Arm’s length charitable trust controlling the budget? Check. Private sector funding promised? Check. Troubled sports franchise as anchor tenant? Check.

[…] In Dunedin, those involved in developing the city’s shiny new covered stadium are far from universally popular after ratepayers ended up with huge debts and an ongoing headache from running the thing. The original idea, itself controversial, was for ratepayers to contribute $129m – split between $91.4m from the city council and $37.5m from the regional council – towards the $188m cost of the stadium, with private sector funding contributing $45.5m. The balance was coming from local trusts and a government grant. In the end, the stadium cost $224m and the ratepayers were hit up for $200m of that. The private sector funding was virtually zero.

You could write a book on the series of failures that left a relatively small number of people – Dunedin has a population of about 126,000 – exposed to such high costs. But even in the short version written by PricewaterhouseCoopers it seems councillors were not well informed about the project and financial controls were inadequate. The controversy still simmers. Local campaigner Bev Butler, a determined and resourceful opponent of the stadium scheme, continues to unearth aspects of the process that do not reflect well on its management. One of the latest involves the relationship between Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust, which runs the project, and the council.

The problem in this instance is the lack of transparency around public spending, even when there was obviously concern at the outset to keep a firm grip on it. More than that, Dunedin got in over its head and allowed itself to be the schmuck landed with everyone’s bill at the end.

Money from the council was supposed to be transferred to the trust only to pay for third-party invoices billed to the trust. An exception to this rule provided for the trust’s administration costs to be covered by a general monthly payment from the council. These “trust costs” invoices were for between $40,000 and $90,000 a month, running from July 2007 to January 2010. According to Butler’s information, which tallies with the council schedule, the payments totalled $2.2m over the period. An Official Information Act response from the council to Butler said the money was paid “to cover staff and administration costs” of the trust “to facilitate ease of administration”.

Chalkie can see that it would be easier to pay for the trust’s incidentals in this way. However, it opened a big hole in accountability for spending because the staff and administration costs detailed in the trust’s annual reports for the period total $1,068,796, more than $1m less than the sums invoiced. It is not clear from the accounts how the other $1.1m was spent because no combination of other costs – marketing, PR, fundraising or project administration – seems to come close to the right figure. Chairman of trustees Malcolm Farry told Chalkie he could provide documents to clarify the details last week, but unfortunately they were not yet available as we went to press.

There are several lessons for the Hutt City Council, including to beware of using a charitable trust as the development vehicle, to ensure private sector money is paid up front with a buffer for contingencies, and to ensure there is no ambiguity about costs.
Read full article

● Chalkie is written by Fairfax business bureau’s Tim Hunter.

Related Posts and Comments:
24.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: ‘Facts about the new Stadium’ (31.5.08)
22.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust costs

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

25 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, CST, DCC, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORC, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, STS

Boy-yah!

I note with somewhat sadness that Elizabeth managed to put such a negative spin in the story in the ODT today.

How can two of the biggest other sporting codes in NZ showing interest (and not just lip service) in playing games in Dunedin be anything but a good thing? I note that they currently don’t play here now, nor have they said that they will play at the decrepit Carisbrook.

Full Story Here

It of course is only a start too. Yes Elizabeth build it and they will come, and yes it will cost us. It costs every other stadium to host these guys, why should Dunedin be a ‘special’ case and expect to get it free? They have laid out how much it will cost and what numbers are expected to break even, they have indicated that they wish to come to town, the rest is up to the company that will run the stadium.

And yes they bloody well will come. The Mad Butcher and Radio Sport will talk about Dunedin stadium all week, there will be people coming from all over the country. My mother who is a mad mad Warriors fan was so excited this morning she rang to see if the stadium was being built for sure. She can’t get to Auckland to see The Warriors, but she sure as heck will make her way down here for the game.

Funny though, like the poo on the beach (yes that again Elizabeth), the water treatment upgrade projects, and almost countless other concerns posed by those opposing the stadium, the question has been asked who and what will be in the stadium, and like we have been saying all along, look what could go in there if you ask and seek.

“The two teams were among a list of clubs and organisations to respond to a letter from the trust seeking expressions of interest for the stadium”

Oh and BTW seems that it wasn’t just the Phoenix and Warriors expressing interest.

9 Comments

Filed under Stadiums

Build it, we'll come: gonna cost you

### ODT Online Tue, 7 Apr 2009
Warriors, Phoenix express interest in using stadium

By Chris Morris

The New Zealand Warriors and the Wellington Phoenix have sent signed expressions of interest to the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, confirming their keenness to stage matches at the $198 million Otago stadium, if it goes ahead.

Read More Online Here…


Read more

****

The lengths he’ll go to…

OTAGO FARMERS MARKET

In the same news item, Mr Farry said there were also plans for a regular farmers market to be held at the stadium, although it was not known if the city’s existing Saturday morning farmers market would relocate from the Dunedin Railway Station.

“I have had some receptive talks with them. That’s all I can say at this stage,” he said.

****

I can’t speak for the current OFM Trust but…

Submitted by ej kerr at ODT Online Sat, 04/04/2009 – 12:12am.
Otago Farmers Market at Railway Station

I’ll stick my oar in as one of the originators and founding trustees of the Otago Farmers Market.
If mikenette thinks the proposed stadium is an appropriate place for re-siting the market he/she is meddling amateurishly and unhelpfully with the aims of the highly successful private business governed by a private charitable trust, the revenues of the participating vendors, and what I would credit as the ethical and moral beliefs of many of the loyal shoppers.
I doubt if Mikenette has much inkling of how the business model works peculiar to the current site, the customer base and the general catchment.
The market – at the present location, relying on return customers who shop there for “essentials” – has been recognised as one of New Zealand’s best by leading chefs, food writers, photographers and tourism specialists, amongst others, and by a swathe of international visitors.
We collectively worked very hard to research this business and to implement its set up and continuance. The vendors have been phenomenal in their support and development since.
Why is it people from the pro stadium lobby, and some pushing the harbourside vision of “caféville”, see the Otago Farmers Market as their own and transportable. The market is not the fall guy to bring “life and vitality” to their forlorn, poorly explained projects.
Elizabeth Kerr

****

UPDATE See post Otago Farmers Market organisers respond and news item at ODT Online.

5 Comments

Filed under CST, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Site, Stadiums