Those who contributed to Forsyth Barr Stadium's operating
model have defended their decisions in the wake of an
announcement it will be reviewed.
A review and rebuilding of the stadium's complex operating
and financial model was under way, the result of the stadium
being set to make another loss this year and a bigger one
next year, Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose
said on Thursday.
Peter Chin, who was mayor during the planning and approval of
the stadium, said commenting on decisions made between 2004
and 2010 now did not add any value to the discussion.
''The decisions made by the council, which I chaired, were
made on the information available to them. Things always
People might now say ''I told you so'', but the council did
not have the benefit of hindsight and the stadium and other
council projects helped keep an important workforce in the
city at a time when there was very little other construction
going on, he said.
The council chief executive during that period, Jim Harland,
said councillors voted for the stadium to go ahead.
The operating model, based on best practice at the time and
that of V Base in Christchurch and Westpac Stadium in
Wellington, was peer-reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, he
said. Indicated revenue-source assumptions were at the
''upper end'' of what was likely to be derived, Mr Harland
''I recall writing a report with Athol Stephens [council
chief financial officer at the time the operating model was
designed] identifying the high risk of the revenue
It was one of the reasons stadium management were to report
to the council rather than through a holding company, he
The funding model assumptions had also been tested in the
High Court and the Court of Appeal.
''Like all assumptions, the trading environment comes to pass
Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry was on leave
and did not want to comment until he had been ''briefed'' on
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd board chairman Sir John Hansen
said the review proved its managers' long-held belief the
budgets set for it were ''very, very optimistic''.
Because of the rent set by the stadium's shareholders, it
would always be ''very, very difficult, even in a good year''
to meet those targets, Sir John said.
''We are very, very supportive of the review.''
Two rugby tests being held at the stadium this year would
mean it would come close to meeting its budget, but the
following year ''was frankly very, very difficult''.
That year was Rugby World Cup year so there were no tests at
Staff were seeking events or acts to fill the gap but nothing
had been formally signed at this point, he said.
Mr Stephens could not be contacted for comment.