Tag Archives: Rates Revolt

Stadium: DCC caught in headlights

Blindsided?

The Otago Daily Times (1.11.12) states:
“Dunedin city councillors are pointing fingers after some were blindsided by a $3.2 million loss by the company running Forsyth Barr Stadium. Some councillors spoken to by the Otago Daily Times yesterday admitted they were unaware they had accepted reports detailing the loss at Monday’s council meeting. Other councillors were aware of the reports, but were still yet to read them properly.” ODT Link

Blissfully unaware, or deliberately avoiding and shielding knowledge of the fact, thereby keeping the public and media at arm’s length from the true state of council finances relating to the stadium project?

That is a question for all elected representatives at Dunedin City Council, the council’s chief executive, the executive management team (EMT), and the governance manager.

Sadly, the annual reports don’t tell the full story of the ‘stadium effect’ – that is, the figures that Dunedin renters and ratepayers will be facing, and unable to pay, when the whole system is called to ‘correct’.

Fire away, Dunedin public.

It’s as if the newspaper editor has suffered a blunt contusion. Sees the problem then runs away to John Wilson Ocean Drive (closed from August 2006), and ends weakly, out of steam, with the hope that those in power “will turn their full attention to making our new stadium a profitable investment of which the city can be proud”, and would they please read the annual report[s].

### ODT Online Sat, 3 Nov 2012
Editorial: Council must keep eye on the ball
Just as it seemed the Dunedin City Council was determined to focus on a different attitude towards debt, revelations that a worse-than-expected $3.2 million loss by the company running the Forsyth Barr Stadium was not even discussed at this week’s full council meeting have put it back in the firing line and raised questions about its priorities. The loss – nearly $1 million greater than forecast – was recorded in Dunedin Venues Management Ltd’s (DVML) 2011-12 annual report, which was released a day later to this newspaper. But it had flown under the radar at the council meeting, with no mention of the reports on DVML or Dunedin Venues Ltd (DVL), which owns the stadium, on the meeting’s public agenda, and no indication those reports had been circulated publicly and to media – as required under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act – ahead of the meeting. The reasons for that are unclear and convoluted.
Read more

From our Northland cuzzies, some clues for rabbit hunting…

Image: NZ Herald

### New Zealand Herald 5:30 AM Saturday Nov 3, 2012
Inside Kaipara’s ratepayers revolt
By Andrew Laxon
Many residents of a small coastal town are refusing to pay for a $58 million debt that has crippled their local council and left them with the bill.
The Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association chairman Bruce Rogan has at least 500 local residents refusing to pay an estimated $1 million in rates this year because the Kaipara District Council secretly ran up an unsustainable $58 million debt building a sewerage treatment scheme for about 2000 people who own homes here.
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Dare we say, Dunedin, the amount currently owed by each city ratepayer well exceeds that owed by the good ratepayers of Mangawhai, on the Kaipara.
So, what now?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

D Scene – ORC, no pressure

### D Scene 25-11-09

Rates rebels (page 1)
Otago Regional Council is brooking no nonsense from people abstaining from paying the portion of their rates designated for the construction of the Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza, and has threatened to call in the debt collectors. See page 2.

Ratepayers may face collectors (page 2)
By Michelle Sutton
ORC finance manager Stuart Lanham said, in a letter to some ratepayers, that their debt would be pursued by debt collection agencies “without further notice”. Meanwhile, ORC corporate services director Wayne Scott said ratepayers who withheld payment because of Dunedin’s stadium would be specifically targeted, unlike ratepayers who failed to pay because they were struggling financially.
{continues}

Rebellion gaining impetus (page 2)
By Michelle Sutton
A rates revolt led by former Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner against the city’s stadium appears to be gaining legs.
{continues}

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

Stadium boss quiet on plan (page 10)
By Michelle Sutton
Stadium boss David Davies has a master plan for the first three months of his job, but he refuses to talk about it. This is also part of the Welshman’s plan, as he settles in as chief executive of Carisbrook Stadium Trust and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd; say nothing.
{continues}

PM books seat at the stadium (page 10)
By Michelle Sutton
Prime Minister John Key says he is not an “Indian-giver”, and he may have booked his $15 million seat at Dunedin’s stadium.
{continues}

****

Talk: Dunedin on Dunedin (page 14)
Your say: Letters to the Editor
Paying debts to council
Letters by Brian Miller, Mosgiel* and David Brownlie, Brockville

*The content of Mr Miller’s letter could very well unite prostadia and antistadia, on one matter anyway.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Construction, CST, Economics, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

STS rates revolt

### ODT Mon, 10 Aug 2009 (page 24)
Dunedin rates arrears on the rise
By David Loughrey

Overdue rates owed by Dunedin ratepayers have increased as the recession drags on, and the city council has urged people falling behind with their payments to get in contact, and obtain help to sort out the situation.
Cr Fliss Butcher said it was hard to quantify how many people were withholding rates for the stadium, but a “very small” number had communicated that motive to the council.
{continues}

Read more in the print and digital editions of the Otago Daily Times.

****

In May it was reported that 104 ratepayers had delayed payment as a stadium protest. ODT Link

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Rates revolt: 104 out of 49,000

Yep figures are climbing fast…

### ODT Online Tue, 26 May 2009
104 ratepayers delay payment as stadium protest
By David Loughrey

The number of Dunedin ratepayers that have heeded the call to delay their rates payments in a protest against the Forsyth Barr Stadium project has risen to 104.
Read more

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Rates revolt: slow news day

### ODT Online Wed, 22 Apr 2009
More people withhold rates in protest
By David Loughrey
The number of Dunedin ratepayers who have heeded the call for a rates revolt to protest the Awatea St stadium project has risen to 88.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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StS April newsletter

From: sts@taniwha.com
Date: 5 April 2009 12:28:11 PM
To: [Recipient]
Subject: April newsletter: Rates Protest and other urgent action you can take

Dear Members

Thank you all for the marvellous turnout at the Town Hall Meeting. It was a record-breaker, according to former Mayor Sukhi Turner, who observed that no local issue in her nine years as Mayor had ever galvanised so many people.

The speakers were superb, each treating the stadium issue from their own unique perspective, and no rational person, by the end of the meeting, could have remained in doubt that the Awatea Street Turkey is indeed the most monumental folly ever to surface in Dunedin (if not the whole Southern hemisphere).

The Master of Ceremonies, Dougal Stevenson, set the tone for the evening; his magisterial and eloquent demeanour impressively linking the contributions of the speakers. The stadium project was dissected as never before in public, with a wealth of information – much of it hitherto inaccessible. The project’s ramshackle financial underpinnings were graphically revealed, and the Carisbrook Stadium Trust’s complete failure to meet its stipulated targets was left in no doubt.

One of the most significant features to emerge was the fact that the stadium proposition, as it now stands, is very different from what was originally promised. It is now a lower-quality building, constructed of inferior materials, with skeletal fixtures and amenities. Seating has been progressively reduced, and any former multi-use pretensions sabotaged by the building’s minimalist specifications. Far from being a “state of the art” edifice, it has degenerated into a cut-price facsimile of every other loss-making plastic barn that has been foisted upon a duped community.

The financial aspects are just as shoddy. As several speakers confirmed, the private funding (100%, as originally promised by Mr Farry) has disappeared. Private enterprise, not surprisingly, has shunned this obvious lemon, and there will now be NO private capital committed to its construction. ALL the risks involved in the project have been shifted to us, the ordinary public, via our rates and taxes. A more complete con would be hard to envisage.

We shall not attempt to summarise all that was said at the meeting. Suffice to say that it was a huge success, and has radically changed the political climate surrounding the stadium debacle. The Minister for Local Government, Rodney Hide, has undertaken to come to Dunedin to examine whether or not the DCC and the ORC have acted prudently and responsibly. The Minister has also expressed concern about proper consultation, and will consider this issue as well. The “done deal” mentality of recent days has evaporated, and brighter possibilities beckon.

What next?

Most members will already know about the rates protest, announced by Sukhi Turner. This is a simple, practical action available to every ratepayer. There is no risk at all, and the cost, over a full year, will only be a few dollars. (There was some confusion about this, caused by an inaccurate statement in the ODT, but we can confirm that the protest – based on advice provided by Prof. Henaghan – is genuinely no-risk and will incur only a minimal financial penalty). Members who are not up-to-date on this strategy should look at the attached rates-protest flyer for full details. Mrs Turner has said she will participate, and I urge you to do likewise.

The next significant action concerns the Dunedin Community Plan (the LTCCP).

This plan, which includes the building of the stadium, is now up for public submission. The details may be found in a recent postal communication from the DCC, or on the DCC website (Google Dunedin City Council, go to Home Page, and click on Community Plan. It is very easy to make an electronic submission from this site). Submissions may be as brief or as detailed as you wish – the important thing is to do one, and send it to the Council. To assist you we have attached a basic submission, already filled in with the project’s major shortcomings. There is space to add further comments, should you want. Simply download it, fill in your personal details, sign it, and post it to the DCC. Submissions are a vital part of the democratic process, and the more people who oppose the stadium in this way, the more pressure there will be on the Council. Persuade your family and friends to participate as well.

You should also express your concern personally to your representatives on the City Council. Phone, or email, or write to the Mayor, together with the pro-stadium Councillors. Express your opposition to the stadium and your disgust with the Council’s arrogant behaviour – and remind them that they are all heading for defeat at the next election. The relevant email addresses are:

    Paul Hudson – paul.hudson@dcc.govt.nz
    Richard Walls – rfwalls@xtra.co.nz
    Andrew Noone – anoone@dcc.govt.nz
    Colin Weatherall – cweather@dcc.govt.nz
    Bill Acklin – bill.acklin@xtra.conz
    John Bezett – john.bezett@dcc.govt.nz
    Peter Chin – pchin@dcc.govt.nz
    Neill Collins – ncollins@dcc.govt.nz
    Sydney Brown – sydney.brown@dcc.govt.nz
    Michael Guest – michaelguest@xtra.co.nz

Send your message to all of the above.

Bev Butler. President. (and STS Committee).

___

Reminders

To participate in the Rates Protest you will need to cancel your direct debit with the DCC and pay your rates – minus $16:50 per quarter – by whichever alternative means you prefer.

Keep sending letters to the ODT, D Scene, etc.

On Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 5:00 pm there will be a meeting in the Port Chalmers Town Hall to voice the concerns of our community with regard to the proposed stadium. Our City Councillor, Andrew Noone, has agreed to attend the meeting and address these concerns.

We would like to encourage all people in the Waikouiti Coast – Chalmers Ward, which runs from Ravensbourne to Waikouiti, to attend this meeting. Cr Noone needs to know how we feel about this important issue He is under the impression that his ward is overwhelmingly in favour of the Stadium. A strong turnout will tell him otherwise.

People from other areas are welcome to attend with the hope that this meeting will inspire them to do the same in their own ward.

If you cannot make the meeting, please contact Cr Noone and let him know where you stand.

Cr Andrew Noone
03 465 7157 or 027 430 1727
anoone@dcc.govt.nz

A DVD of the whole town hall meeting is available from Channel 9.
(Ph. 4774774).

Our website continues to be a demanding task, and some assistance would be welcome. If you have any skills in this area – or know anyone who does – please get in touch with Bev. Ph. 4776861.

Finally, and most importantly, email, write, or phone Rodney Hide, who seems to be wriggling a little on his promise to come to Dunedin. Remind him that he unequivocally undertook to come here and investigate the whole stadium issue. Tell him what you will think of him should he try to back out now. Rodney Hide’s email address is:rodney.hide@parliament.govt.nz His phone is 04-8176823, and postal address: Rodney Hide, Minister for Local Government, Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Please do this – it is vital.

___

StS template for submission:

Submission on Draft Community Plan. (T0 DCC, Box 5045, moray Pl. Dunedin).

My name is ……………….

I live at …………………

My telephone number is …………….

Email (optional) ………………….

My submission is that the DCC remove the proposed Awatea Street Stadium from the provisional plan.

The stadium, in my opinion, constitutes an unacceptable risk to the future of Dunedin. The so-called guaranteed maximum price does not provide any meaningful protections against cost escalations – especially in the matter of the building’s foundations.

There is no convincing evidence for multi-use, meaning that the stadium is essentially for rugby. We already have a rugby stadium.

There is no convincing evidence the stadium can make a profit – and considerable evidence that it can not.

The Council has repeatedly ignored its own stipulated requirements for the stadium’s progress (so-called “lines in the sand”). This is an abuse of process, and engenders no confidence in future decisions.

Economic conditions have deteriorated seriously since the project was mooted, further threatening the project’s viability.

The private funding has not been forthcoming, leaving almost all capital costs (together with blowouts, shortfalls, and every kind of risk) to fall on the ratepayers alone.

The current project is not what was originally proposed. Almost every aspect has changed, including seat numbers, specification of materials, installed amenities, conference requisites, etc. The funding, as noted above, has altered completely – shifted from the private sector to the public. Together these changes mean that the original consultation is no longer relevant. Before any further decisions are made there must therefore be a fresh round of consultation.

Other comments………………..

I wish/do not wish (cross one out) to speak to my submission when hearings are held.

Signed.

Date.

____

UPDATED StS Rates Revolt poster:

poster-5-4-09-gif

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Town Hall speeches published by StS

UPDATED 3/4/09 11.30pm
STS has published the speech by Michael Stedman, see link below.

STOP THE STADIUM has uploaded to its website speeches made by the following speakers at the public meeting held in the Dunedin Town Hall on Sunday 29 March 2009:

Alistair Broad, Dunedin businessman Link

Gerry Eckhoff, Otago Regional councillor Link

Michael Stedman, CEO Natural History NZ Link

Sukhi Turner, former Mayor of Dunedin Link

Dave Cull, Dunedin City councillor Link

The speech by Rob Hamlin, Otago University Marketing Department is not available.

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