Most Dunedin city councillors are happy with the amount of
use Forsyth Barr Stadium got in the first year of the
council's agreement to pay DVML $750,000 a year to provide
community access to the venue.
However, they would like to see the service level agreement
(SLA) widened, if possible, to allow community groups to use
of other council venues, such as the town hall and Glenroy
Councillors yesterday considered a report, provided by
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd as part of the 2014-15 annual
plan-setting process, detailing what the $750,000 was spent
on in 2013.
The report showed the biggest community use of the stadium
was through the weekly stadium market, which DVML said
nominally cost it about $200,000 to host for the year.
Other activities hosted at the stadium included Relay for
Life, marching championships, football and junior rugby
matches. To Cr Lee Vandervis, who queried how
a market could cost $200,000 a year, DVML chief executive
Terry Davies and council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said
the costs assigned to each use were nominal and based on the
commercial rate for stadium use.
That took in overhead costs such as venue rental, and direct
costs, such as staff and cleaning for each event, they said.
Mr Davies acknowledged stadium community access was not
managed ideally, and a person was to be employed specifically
to refine access criteria, pricing and market for community
Councillors were also concerned to ensure it was not taking
business from other private or council venues, particularly
the Edgar Centre, which had an $800,000 annual SLA for
They were assured by staff there were no problems in that
Cr Vandervis voted against both noting the report and
widening the SLA to cover other venues, saying the expenses
were not credible and the council was not getting value for
''I don't think we should be funding a stadium market to the
tune of $200,000 ... By continuing to do this $750,000 access
grant we are taking ratepayers' money and using it in the
most lavish way possible to subsidise the stadium.''
But Cr Chris Staynes suggested that was a ''red herring'',
and the money enabled the community to use a venue that would
be out of reach if charged the commercial rate. A resolution
from Cr Vandervis to reduce the $750,000 to $100,000 until
accurate costs could be assessed, failed for want of a