Received from Rob Hamlin
Fri, 17 Jun 2016 at 9:30 a.m.
ODT article today:
“Until quite recently I was the president of a major Otago sports club that has been operating since the 1870s. The club is located on Dunedin City Council recreational land.
The lease of this land very clearly stated that we were not permitted to hire out the facilities on this site for ANY commercial purposes. A breach led to immediate forfeiture of the lease. This was a condition that both this club, and others like it, adhered to.
It is adhered to because, penalties aside, this condition seems fair enough. The land upon which the club stands is leased for recreational purposes at what were, and are, well below the income that could be raised by the DCC for this publicly owned asset, had the land been zoned and leased for commercial purposes.
If anything the many rugby clubs in this town are even more privileged in terms of their subsidised occupation of public assets, as they have rooms that are on an even grander scale and sit in large and potentially very valuable areas of publicly owned land that are specifically contoured and laid out for rugby, and are maintained for this purpose at considerable public expense.
I am surprised that the DCC recreational leases for their facilities apparently do not contain similar blunt conditions to the one that my committee and I worked with. However, it is rugby, so perhaps I am not so surprised after all. Maybe the leases are rugby ‘specials’ or alternatively, the leases are the same and the apparently regular infringements are just winked at.
For rugby clubs to then maintain that they then have the ‘right’ to routinely operate these recreational facilities, that are largely provided and maintained by the the wider public, for their own commercial benefit, and thereby create a regular nuisance for said wider public within what are largely residential areas, speaks volumes for the ongoing and unreasonable sense of relative entitlement displayed by this small (and shrinking) subset of the community.
For those who become irritated by noise and other nuisances emanating from functions in nearby rugby venues, they may be well advised to acquire a copy of the DCC lease concerned to see if the club concerned are in breach of its terms, and what the penalties/remedies for any such breach are.”
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr