The fundamental review of Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium
operation will consider claims of unauthorised spending on im
provements by the company running the troubled venue, it has
The assurance came as councillors considered Dunedin Venues
Management Ltd's six-month financial results, and its draft
statement of intent, at yesterday's Dunedin City Council
The documents showed DVML was now expecting losses totalling
$3.8 million over the next three years, beginning with a $1.4
million loss in 2014-15, $1 million in 2015-16 and $1.4
million in 2016-17.
Councillor Lee Vandervis, addressing yesterday's meeting,
said he remained concerned about the company's record of
spending on improvements, followed by pleas of poverty to the
That included DVML's earlier decision to spend $1.2 million
on temporary seating, despite only being authorised to invest
up to $1 million without first seeking council approval, he
told the meeting.
The company had also invested in ''grow lights'' to help
maintain the playing surface, despite a previous council
decision not to fund the equipment, based on reassurances it
would not be needed, he told the meeting.
And, last year, DVML spent $166,000 adding more toilets and a
lift stop inside the stadium's south stand, which Cr
Vandervis yesterday described as a ''fairly substantial''
upgrade of the venue.
He told yesterday's meeting he wanted to know how such a
cash-strapped company could spend ''significant'' sums on
improvements without council approval and then come to the
council with a budget shortfall.
The spending ''just seems to be part of a pattern'', he told
''I'm wondering if there's anything we, as a council, can do
to rein in what is a massive hole in the ratepayers'
[budget],'' he said.
Dunedin City Holdings Ltd chairman Graham Crombie said he was
not familiar with the details of each example raised by Cr
Vandervis, including how they were approved.
However, he suggested DVML's board would have considered its
budget, and the business case for each, before deciding
whether to invest in improvements.
Despite that, he noted Cr Vandervis' concerns about the
''historic'' spending and said DVML's capital budget was
among items that would be reassessed as part of the stadium
review already under way.
Cr Vandervis also urged the review team to consider
Carisbrook's management as it searched for cost-saving
initiatives, saying earlier promises Forsyth Barr Stadium
would be cheaper to operate had proven to be incorrect.
Councillors voted to accept the documents, with Cr Vandervis
voting against both.