Tag Archives: Quantity Surveyors

Stadium: Who is being protected?

Received from Russell Garbutt
15 July 2014 at 4:30 PM

What is an advertisement, and what content of an advertisement needs to be able to be verified?

Readers of the Otago Daily Times, and followers of the on-going stadium debate which shows no signs of lessening in its intensity may be intrigued to know just where the sensitivities of the ODT lie.

Let us look at some simple facts which cannot be in dispute.

The Carisbrook Stadium Trust which was acting as an agent of the Dunedin City Council, decided to publish a full page advertisement in the 31 May 2008 issue of the ODT. The advertisement was headed up “The Facts about the New Stadium”.

In this advertisement it was claimed that “The funding target establishes a debt free stadium. On this basis the business plan for the stadium shows that it makes a profit. Unlike nearly all other Council owned facilities it will not need annual funding support. This assessment has been confirmed by two of New Zealand’s leading accountancy firms”.

This is published and accessible and the wording of the advertisement cannot be interpreted in any other way as the heading refers to all that followed as “facts”.

The advertisement also claimed that the Trustees of the CST were “committed to delivering this stadium, under budget, on time and to achieve its financial, social and economic goals”.

Now of course some advertisements for wrinkle cream use all sorts of phrases like “clinical tests prove etc etc”. Many people are ready to pounce on claims that are unable to be substantiated, or are untruthful, or are misleading, or cannot be proven. In other words, the makers of the wrinkle cream need to be able to show that there were indeed “clinical tests”. The fact that the clinic may have been part of the company making the cream is sometimes understood, and in any case, the makers of the cream hardly ever claim that “totally independent clinical trials using double blind processes found what we are claiming is true”.

But this is not some pot of wrinkle cream.

The CST claimed a number of facts in their advertisement that they said were verified by two of New Zealand’s leading accountancy firms.

So, I submitted a very brief letter to the Editor of the ODT that simply asked this:

Dear Sir

In light of the continuing operating losses of the Awatea Street Rugby Stadium, and the on-going debt costs from its construction, it would be interesting to be informed of just who the two leading NZ accountancy firms were that confirmed the Carisbrook Stadium Trust’s claims published in the ODT in 2008 that the stadium would be built debt free and would return an annual operating profit. Maybe these two companies could now tell us how the reality differs so much from the published claims.

Yours sincerely

The ODT has informed me that my letter was noted but not selected for publication. This is newspaper speak for it’s been binned.

Why should this be?

Should the ODT not be interested in ensuring that an advertisement of a major size on a subject that had divided the City was not at all misleading in the same way that claims were made that may not be able to be substantiated, or could be shown to be unfactual?

Is the ODT particularly sensitive to the views of those that decided to publish this advertisement?

Had the ODT entered into any understanding or arrangement that the paper would support the stadium project which may have led to less than stringent standards of advertising being followed in this case?

But perhaps more telling is that to my knowledge, the ODT has not followed up on the obvious story of just who these two leading NZ accounting firms were that supported the claims of a debt free stadium and an annual operating profit. My point is that time and distance show us that these claims were so at odds with the claims made and published, that serious questions remain unanswered on just how the CST and these two companies got it so wrong.

Maybe another newspaper sees the story that the ODT doesn’t?

[ends]

CST advert ODT 31.5.08 detail

odt may 31 2008-1 (pdf cleaned)

█ Legible copy: CST Advertisement, ODT 31 May 2008 (PDF, 200 KB)

Related Posts and Comments:
9.7.14 John Ward, no mention of stadium or CST trusteeship
23.5.14 Stadium | DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 ● Benson-Pope…
9.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 Submission by Bev Butler
12.3.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: Financial statements year ended 30.6.13
8.3.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust subject to LGOIMA
24.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: ‘Facts about the new Stadium’ (31.5.08)
22.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust costs
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass… [stadium review]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Construction, CST, Democracy, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design

Bringing DCC councillors, staff, related entities and individuals to account, let’s get honest

The Dunedin City Council is dragging its heels, for reasons that should be made public immediately, on declaring the wayward spend that has brought the new stadium about, including the realignment of SH88 — all of which has taken the project beyond the councillors’ role required by the Local Government Act, to act prudently and conservatively with ratepayers’ money.

The councillors’ fiduciary responsibility to this community has been abandoned by thorough incompetence and deception that borders on the criminally fraudulent. This will require direct action by the Minister of Local Government, Nick Smith. There is no getting around this.

The independent review of stadium costs by PricewaterhouseCoopers is of necessity limited by its price tag of $55,000 and the instructions of the commissioning client, Dunedin City Council. Meanwhile, the ‘independent’ Otago Daily Times is prepared to sit back as a moderate, to cover tail.

In terms of “who”, he said if something “untoward” was found, “there will be accountability issues”. -Cull

### ODY Online Mon, 27 Feb 2012
Extra cost on stadium not massive blowout: Cull
By David Loughrey
Dunedin may not being facing a huge blowout in the cost of the Forsyth Barr Stadium, but it is possible people or organisations may be “brought to account” following an investigation. It emerged on Friday questions remained about the final cost of the stadium – six months after the facility was built.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, ORC, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

‘The final cost of the stadium is … unknown.’

UPDATED

### ODT Online Fri, 24 Feb 2012
Multimillion dollar uncertainty over final stadium cost
By David Loughrey
Six months after the project finished, the Dunedin City Council today admitted it still had questions about the figure, and would fund a $55,000 independent review of the issue. Mayor Dave Cull said the amount in question was ”in the millions” but ”not in the tens of millions”. He would not speculate on what the final cost may be. A team from the Auckland office of PricewaterhouseCoopers would arrive in the city next week to undertake the review, which the DCC says will be funded “from existing DCC budgets”.
Read more + Video

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Carisbrook Stadium Trust chair Malcolm Farry declared it had been completed on time and within budget. Mr Cull says that statement is now in doubt.

### radionz.co.nz Fri, 24 Feb 2012 Updated at 12:27 pm today
Irregularities found in stadium accounts
Dunedin City Council has appointed accountants to review the costs of the city’s new stadium because of irregularities in the project’s final accounts. Mayor Dave Cull and the council’s chief executive made the announcement on Friday morning. They say the council has identified money spent that it cannot account for so it has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to independently review the whole project. Mr Cull said he did not know how much the overrun was, but indicated it was likely to be millions of dollars.
Read more

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### stuff.co.nz Last updated 12:12 24/02/2012
Probe into Dunedin stadium costs
By Wilma McCorkindale
The Dunedin City Council (DCC) had called in independent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) investigators after a report tabled Monday from new council chief executive Paul Orders on the likely final cost of the stadium, Cull said. The mayor was refusing to elaborate on what aspect of Orders’ report has initiated the Council action, saying all involved with the project are under scrutiny.
Read more

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Dunedin City Council media release

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### ODT Online Sat, 25 Feb 2012
DCC in stadium cost bid
By David Loughrey

A “whole gamut” of parties would be interviewed. -Paul Orders

A team of independent reviewers from PricewaterhouseCoopers will arrive in Dunedin next week seeking answers to multimillion-dollar questions concerning the final cost of the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday announced a $55,000 review of the stadium’s final cost, amid concerns about “questions that remain unanswered”, six months after the facility was built. The review team would arrive in Dunedin from Auckland on Wednesday, and spend three weeks studying documents and interviewing “relevant parties”, including the project delivery team, the University of Otago, Hawkins Construction, Dunedin Venues Ltd and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, quantity surveyors and others.
Read more + Video

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### ODT Online Sat, 25 Feb 2012
Farry defends costs; Butler hails review
By Chris Morris

“We are in no doubt whatsoever that the [trust’s] agreed budget has been complied with, and there is no question about that.” -Farry

Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry – the man who promised the Forsyth Barr Stadium would be built “on time and on budget” – insists he has delivered. That was despite Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull announcing an independent review of the stadium’s final cost yesterday, amid concerns the budget may have been blown by millions of dollars. Confirmation of the review by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was greeted as “wonderful news” by former Stop the Stadium president Bev Butler yesterday, although she hoped the examination would eventually go further.
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### ODT Online Sat, 25 Feb 2012
Editorial: Big question still to be answered
While it most surely cannot be the intention, the latest delay in revealing the final costs of building Forsyth Barr Stadium can only lead to further speculation, innuendo and adverse publicity for the venue and the Dunedin City Council. For while it is imperative to “get it right”, from the beginning the most oft-asked questions about the project were how much it was going to cost – and who would pay. Definitive answers to these questions have been slow in forthcoming and this latest postponement will only fuel responses likely to range from resignation to frustration. This, after all, is a matter pertaining to the ratepayers and their pockets. It does not help matters that, having fended off inquiries as to these very matters over some months, at a meeting supposed called finally to reveal the figures, the council yesterday yet again demurred.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, ORC, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums