Survey shows big swing against stadium

An artist's impression of the stadium.
An artist's impression of the stadium.
Early results of a survey gauging support for public funding of the Otago Stadium indicate a major shift in public sentiment away from the project.

Of almost 1400 returns so far, preliminary analysis indicates 73.3% of respondents do not support public funding.

That is a major increase in opposition since a Dunedin City Council telephone survey of 2200 residents early last year showed 62.2% thought it should be built and 51.9% thought the council should help fund it.

That survey, and larger city and regional council mail-out surveys at the time that indicated closer to 40% were prepared to pay for the project, were heavily criticised by stadium opponents, who claimed they gave a skewed result.

The latest survey was sent to 5000 randomly-selected Dunedin homes earlier this month, after Otago University School of Business lecturer Dr John Williams and marketing department lecturer Dr Ben Wooliscroft heeded a call from Stop the Stadium president Bev Butler for a survey.

The pair put together a question they said would be based on "neutral" research, despite the parties involved being unable to agree on facts and figures to be included. The $7000 cost of the survey was raised by donations after both councils refused to fund it.

Asked by the Otago Daily Times for an update yesterday, Dr Williams said raw data showed 70% opposed the stadium. After the data was adjusted to deal with demographic irregularities, adjustments based on information in the last census, that figure increased to 73.3%.

Dr Williams emphasised the results were preliminary, but he would be "very, very surprised" if they changed by more than 1% or 2%.

The results of this survey and the councils' mail-out surveys were comparable and he had no problems with their methodology.

73.3% oppose stadium

Now that the silent majority's opinion is known to coincide with the vocal minority, it is time the council cancelled all spending related to planning the stadium.


One of the many problems with the DCC is that there are far too many councillors with the "Muldoon " attitude, i.e think big and forget about the effects on the general population.


Knee jerk reaction...

Or perhaps the current economic crisis has reminded people that it is dangerous to commit the city's economic resources on one non-essential project - the annual plan indicated the cost of the stadium will increase the city's debt level to a point where it may be difficult for the city to service the debt or to cope with other financial 'crises'.


Stadium survey

'Too simplistic.'
'Flawed methodology.'
'Poor timing.' It's all said by your correspondents, to which I will add; "Headline grabbing," "Last desperate attempt to derail."
Doesn't deserve the attention I am giving it.
It cost peanuts and 'peanuts' are what they got!



Even if 99% of people are against the stadium, it could still go ahead.
It's not democracy it's a dictatorship.

Poor survey methodology

I'm surprised they would use a mail-out survey. They have the lowest response rate of any survey method, with the 30% response rate about what would be expected.
Further, research shows that mail surveys are answered by people with a particular interest in the subject. So much for this survey telling us what the silent majority think - they are still silent!
And another thing. While most students pay rates indirectly through rent to their landlords, a survey over summer is missing a large portion of Dunedin's population.

Reply to MikeStk

I agree that better research was probably needed in the intial stages - but it does not alter the validity of this study.
An unqualified assumption that "most people in Dunedin are aware" is, I'm afraid, not exactly compelling evidence that they are aware. It is just a silly omission by the researchers, but I'm afraid it could easily have had a major impact on the result of the survey. Would you purchase an item in a shop if the only indicator of price was that you were paying 75% of the total? I'd be asking for my $7000 back if I had funded the research.

Stadium survey

Well the both the city council and the stadium committee were invited to contribute to the survey. I think they probably declined because they hoped that if they didn't it wouldn't happen - and they were probably a bit afraid of the answer - it's simpler to claim that the silent majority are for it. Now we know they're not.
I think most people in Dunedin are aware that the stadium is going to cost $188M, not including financing, and we can do simple math to calculate 75% of that - the question is pretty simple and gets to the question of "do you want to pay for it?" which I think is the central one.
At least this survey didn't just go to the first person on the rates bill and includes enough demographic information so that the people doing the survey can tell whether they have reasonable representation of the actual city demographics.

Stadium survey too simplistic

I am more against than for the stadium ... but I am also against simplistic surveys that claim to answer complex questions.
The information provided by the researchers to respondents gives no indication of overall cost (the amount people are objecting to spending may vary across respondents), nor does it suggest the total proportion that will come from the rates bill ("mainly from rates gathered ..."). Thus when people respond to the question "Do you support the proposal to finance the Otago Stadium using public money?" they have no idea of the commitment involved or the implications for themselves (or the rates). Basically, the statement thus reads “Would you commit an unspecified quantity of public money (whatever it takes) to the building of the Otago Stadium?” The way the survey is worded is thus heavily biased towards a negative response (presumably the desired response of the funders of the $7000).
If we are going to have a survey on this issue, can we at least have an investigative one that deals in detail with the issues people are actually concerned about? This one would appear to be more about marketing than research.

Bad timing

This is a case of a survey showing knee jerk reactions, APEC have indicated the economies will bounce back in 18 months. We elected our council to be able to plan for our future and make the hard calls, make long term decisions not solely based on an individuals' daily concerns which can fluctuate one day to the next.
Do the survey in 12 months time and the figures will reflect earlier surveys no doubt.

Stadium reality check

Mr Chin says we need more information before we can decide whether we want the stadium or not. No, Mr Chin, we know enough already. Nearly three-quarters of us think it's wrong for Dunedin: it is the wrong project, in the wrong place and at the wrong time.

Reality check ...

Yes that's the way democracy is supposed to work. Let's hope that our elected representatives will listen to those who elected them and put an end to this - it will only take a couple of them to wise up and see sense.


The swing against the stadium

The swing against the stadium tells me that the ordinary person is much more intelligent than those who are meant to be the leaders of our communities.
Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast recently had this to say. “Cutting $3 million off the council's spending every year for the next decade is the goal to keep rates in line with inflation, she says. That means no more absolutely positively spending, only absolutely necessary spending. 'We can't keep doing everything we have been doing.
Interestingly, the US government has decided that every family with more than 38% of out goings devoted to a mortgage is in serious trouble and must be helped.
A figure quoted to me is that in NZ the average is 84%. I don’t know if this is correct, but even at 38% is serious enough. If we think that this can be resolved in a few years, think of decades and maybe two generations. In other words our great grandchildren will remember the stupidity of the current generation.
Profligate spending to satisfy the egos of a few human beings at the expense of the majority must stop. Forget about the stadium, we are, in my opinion, at the beginning of a depression, which could turn out to be the greatest of all depressions.

Stadium survey: The mayor needs a reality check

How predictable the mayor's statement is. "We don't have all the information." Well, how much more do we need? It is clear that many people, who may previously been for the stadium, are a little more aware of the issues from all the publicity created by a constant stream of letters to the editor and actions of a group such as Stop the Stadium. The mayor needs a reality check.

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