Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo by ODT.
New financial figures have pumped up the price of
Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium to as high as $266 million.
The Dunedin City Council hopes the disclosure will help draw
a line under the project and put an end to years of acrimony
The list released yesterday detailed $42 million in spending
on projects considered fully or partially stadium-related,
from the State Highway 88 realignment to the bail-out of the
Otago Rugby Football Union.
However, council chief executive Paul Orders told the
Otago Daily Times the public would have to decide what
was fair to include in the final stadium bill.
He would not give his own preferred figure, but Mayor Dave
Cull put his at $234 million.
That was based on including some costs as part of the stadium
spend, such as the setup of Dunedin Venues Management Ltd and
the ORFU bail-out, while excluding the cost of SH88.
Most of the information was already in the public domain, but
it was the first time the costs had been collated and
presented in one list.
Mr Cull hoped - but did not expect - it could draw a line
under the lingering bitterness surrounding the stadium.
''You live in hope. It does provide an objective basis for
people to no longer speculate or make accusations based on
rumour. These are the figures.''
The list was the idea of council strategy and development
general manager Sue Bidrose and its release was signalled
earlier this year by Mr Orders.
Council financial planner Carolyn Howard spent three months,
between other projects, collating the material.
The list included the $2.1 million cost of external advice
and feasibility studies before the stadium's construction,
and the $3.4 million cost of setting up Dunedin Venues
The council's $3.4 million loss from the sale of Carisbrook
also featured, as did a $700,000 ''nominal'' interest bill
from a $2 million loan to the Otago Rugby Football Union.
The $27.2 million cost of the SH88 realignment also made the
list, despite two-thirds of the money coming from the New
Zealand Transport Agency.
Another $1.7 million in surplus land costs was also added, as
was the loss of several roads - considered assets worth $3.5
million to the council - when they became part of the stadium
Dr Bidrose told the ODT the result was $42 million in
extra costs, although some were more directly connected to
the stadium than others.
The SH88 realignment, for example, had been planned anyway,
but was brought forward - at additional cost - to complete
it, together with the stadium, in time for the Rugby World
Cup, she said.
The council's share of the realignment was $10 million, but
staff could not say how much that might have changed if not
for the stadium, she said.
The council considered any project with a possible connection
to the stadium - and even consulted some of its most
vociferous critics - before deciding what to include on the
There were other costs still to be faced, including those
arising from the council's ongoing legal tussle with Dunedin
businessman Doug Hall over SH88.
The council also faced $9.125 million in additional annual
stadium-related costs, ranging from accelerated debt
repayments, to extra DVML funding and a $400,000 events
Yesterday's release came after a PricewaterhouseCoopers
review last year lifted the stadium's construction cost from
$198 million to $224.4 million.
The early promised cost was no more than $188 million.
Mr Cull said yesterday that ''was clearly wrong'', while Mr
Orders said the promise had been too simplistic.
''I have never bought the argument that you can just
simplistically describe stadium costs with those sort of
''This is a complex project with both capital costs and
ongoing operational costs.''
Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry said the
trust could not predict the cost escalations that came after
the budget of $188 million was settled.
The escalations were the result of decisions made by the
council and other parties, not the trust, he insisted.
''Things happened that were imposed upon us by the DCC. Had
we been aware of those at the time, we would have included
those in the figure.''
The trust was also not responsible for extra projects listed
by the council yesterday, and the extra spending - paid for
by the council and other parties, including private funds -
was not part of the trust's expenditure, he said.
DVML setup costs
ORFU loan (nominal cost) $700,000
Local roads (lost assets) $3.5m
If all extras
*NZTA ⅔ subsidy