Response to stadium letter 'encouraging'

Dunedin businessman Ian Taylor is heartened by the ''huge support'' he has gained for his open letter to the Forsyth Barr Stadium's board.

In the open letter, published in Saturday's Otago Daily Times, Mr Taylor said he had on ''numerous occasions'' sought answers from the Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) board about the awarding of the stadium's preferred supplier contract for audio services.

He had since received dozens of supportive messages, and been directly approached by many people, in a ''really, really encouraging response''.

Otago ratepayers had funded the stadium and it was expected ''local companies would be the first to benefit''.

He was concerned the record of a company such as Strawberry Sound had been ignored and the contract awarded to an ''outside company'' that did not exist before July, despite a requirement for Strawberry Sound to show it had operated for at least five years, the letter said.

DVML chief executive Darren Burden said it was ''strange to say the least'' Mr Taylor had complained about a ''deafening'' silence from DVML.

Mr Taylor had had responses on several occasions and Mr Burden had also discussed matters with him ''face to face''.

All requests for information such as queries from the ODT and previous letters to the editor had been responded to within time frames requested.

Mr Taylor had been told the procurement process was ''not a tender, but a 'request for proposal' from interested parties to become the 'preferred' provider''.

Based on information provided in proposals, parties were measured against desired attributes, as well as the proposal itself, and marked accordingly.

Attributes included proximity to Dunedin, financial history, background and expertise of directors, equipment offered to be installed in the stadium and commissions offered.

This arrangement was ''not exclusive and will not preclude other organisations from providing these services''. The promoter of November's rodeo had used an alternative supplier.

DVML had undertaken the ''appropriate legal checks'' not only on DVAV, the company appointed as ''preferred supplier'', but also on the process itself.




More expensive?

"Strawberry Sound had been contracted at a higher cost...." says Max Power.  But we have no idea of what their cost would have been.  That's the real problem. 
"Transparency", said Dave Cull & Greater Dunedin before the election. Yes indeed, transparency like bathroom window glass - you can see that the light has been turned on but not who's in there or what they're doing.

Local suppliers

If Strawberry Sound had been contracted at a higher cost then the budget blow out for the stadium would have been higher. That would have given people more to complain about. You can't have it both ways - you either want the best price or you want it kept locally. 

Preferred supplier

This is a prime example of why Dunedin is not growing and the local economy is shrinking. You should be encouraging new businesses and better pricing rather than giving the job to the guy that always does it. [Abridged]


Ian Taylor's letter

Ian Taylor has a valid and legitimate point in his open letter concerning the doubtful procedures followed by DVML in their appointment of "preferred suppliers" to the rugby stadium.  While he has received a great deal of support for the sentiments expressed in it, if he expects any change in the attitude of DVML and DVL then I think he has another think coming.  The strategy by these companies has always been to simply ignore any criticism or contrary opinion and I'm sure that this policy, successfully followed by both governance and management in the past, will be followed in this case.  Just another little storm in a teacup which will settle down if ignored.  After all Ian, look at the composition of the Board - mainly people who don't even live in Dunedin!

Many others in this City have had similar experience with what are probably far more serious issues and until there are significant changes in the structure of these businesses with accountability to ratepayers being considered a priority then nothing really will change.

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