The next stage of multimillion-dollar spending on the
Awatea St stadium project - payment for the purchase of land at
the site - has begun.
The Dunedin City Council announced yesterday it had approved
deposits on the leases and land for the project.
Five purchases had occurred on July 31, with the rest of the
settlements to be on October 31 this year, and October 31
The gross cost of the purchase of freehold land, buying out
leases, severing tenancies and relocating businesses was
That is above the original $20 million budget for the land,
but Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry said the
sale of surplus land bought should make up or better the
The trust would also make money from materials when it
demolished buildings on the site.
"Depending on how much surplus land we're selling, we're
expecting to get below the figure we budgeted for."
Mr Farry confirmed the purchases meant the council was
providing more money, on top of the $11.5 million the trust
had already been granted.
Council chief executive Jim Harland said in January almost
$44 million would be spent this financial year, if the
project went ahead.
Mayor Peter Chin said about two-thirds of the land would be
used directly for the stadium, while the other third would be
for the University of Otago's building on the site, plaza
space and realignment of State Highway 88.
While some purchases had already been made, "it's just taken
us till this time to tell you all about it", he said.
Asked whether the final settlements on some of the land meant
the project could not be built in time for the Rugby World
Cup, he said the project was still on track for the event,
though there were other conditions that needed to be
satisfied before building began.
Stop the Stadium president Bev Butler said the news was
"nothing to celebrate".
Ms Butler said it was more money being wasted, as she did not
believe the stadium could be built for $188 million, and the
project would not go ahead.
Mr Farry said if the stadium did not go ahead, the land would
provide the council with "a huge opportunity", as having such
a large site owned by one organisation would increase its
"If it doesn't go ahead, it's a great business deal."
Mr Farry said most of the work to organise the relocation of
businesses in Awatea St had been completed.
Sites had been found for businesses across the city, rather
than all in one area.
Depending on where they were on the site, some businesses
could stay until April or May next year.
His personal view was some of the land should be kept for
One suggestion had been an athletes' pool next to the
"If we don't have that land, people can't come to us with
those thoughts and enhance things for the city."
sector fund-raising for the stadium was still about 30% of
million total, and there would be "intense work" in the next
months, though he did not want to say what sort of work until
sure it would go ahead.
The funding - promised, but not yet money in the bank - came
from corporate boxes, seating packages, and sponsorship.
Mr Farry said sponsorship negotiations were continuing.