The Dunedin City Council has moved to retain direct ownership
of High Performance Sport New Zealand's Dunedin base.
The move would see the council retain ownership of the $5.1
million building at Forsyth Barr Stadium, together with the
land it sat on, worth $1.71 million.
The council transferred the land to Dunedin Venues Ltd last
year, and was to do the same with the building this month.
DVL was then to lease it to Dunedin Venues Management Ltd,
which would, in turn, lease it to HPSNZ.
Councillors at yesterday's finance, strategy and development
committee meeting voted to restore direct responsibility for
both the building and land.
Final approval would be required at the full council meeting
on August 6.
A report by council finance and resources general manager
Athol Stephens said DVML had sought, but been unable to
secure, a guaranteed rental from HPSNZ.
HPSNZ had signed a heads of agreement to use the building,
and had paid $160,000 in rent since January, but had not
signed a lease, the report said.
Yesterday, the Otago Daily Times reported HPSNZ acting
business manager Raylene Bates had lost her job, her
responsibilities transferred to other centres.
HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann said he wanted to ensure
Dunedin remained a "vibrant" hub for HPSNZ, but Cr Paul
Hudson, speaking at yesterday's meeting, worried more changes
"I just wonder if that's where it's going to stop, or what
the intention is."
However, Mr Stephens' report said Mr Baumann had confirmed by
email his willingness to sign a lease with the council, worth
$320,000 a year.
In a complicated transfer, ownership of the land and building
would be moved from DVL to the council, with the land
subdivided off the stadium's title.
That meant the building - and its associated $3.6 million
debt - would remain with the council, having never been
The land and its associated $1.71 million debt would again
become the council's responsibility, but would be
cost-neutral as stadium debt within DVL - a
council-controlled organisation - declined by the same
Councillors would decide on August 6 whether to repay the
land debt by an increase of $160,000 in dividend payments
from Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, which was to have gone to
Alternatively, councillors could use any end-of-year council
surplus for a lump-sum payment, although doubts remained any
would be realised.
The council could also recover $160,000 in rent already paid
to DVML since January.
Councillors voted to proceed.
Cr Teresa Stevenson opposed the motion.