ORC backs the stadium at crunch meeting

Otago regional councillors have voted 7-4 to financially back the Awatea St stadium in today's crunch meeting - removing the project's last political hurdle.

The decision commits the Otago Regional Council to a contribution of $37.5 million towards the $188 million project. Councillors now have to discuss the details of the funding.

The decision came at a meeting of the council's finance and corporate committee meeting, when councillors had to decide whether to recommend to the full council to fund the stadium, with conditions, or not at all.

Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry has always said the stadium needed funding commitment from all parties before the $188 million project could go ahead.

ORC chairman Stephen Cairns said before the meeting it was a potential "show stopper".

"The ORC has never before addressed a funding issue of this magnitude and contestability."

The meeting follows public consultation during the draft annual plan and long-term community plan over the council's involvement in funding the stadium, which resulted in 177 of the 234 submissions made on the stadium opposing it.

Only 13 submissions were in favour.Since then, the council had received 200 emails supporting the proposal and 16 against.

Stadium decision

Well done DCC councillors! Its about time a clear signal is sent to the anti brigade. All of us, including those against the project, should recapture the spirit of our NZ heritage by going out and use our energies to make sure the stadium is a success and make it work, for the sake of our City and its present and future population.

 

Stick to the beer budget ORC

Hear, hear yankiwi! It appears there has been an abuse of process and I feel equally uneasy about what has gone on. I wonder if there is an Ombudsman for local government who can look at the whole stadium decision-making and consultation processes used by both the DCC and ORC. The surveys were a joke and the submitters have been ignored.
The ORC seems to be outside its remit on the face of it and I am bitterly disappoined by the way their submitters have been treated. Why does the ORC bother having annual plan hearings if it is then going to undermine the process because it did not like the message it was given? Also inviting the Carisbrook Stadium Trust back to talk to the councillors after the hearings was a bit off as well. They are a lobby group, after all. I cannot see any way this project's costs won't blow out - and we will have to pay when it does because there will be no other solution. They won't stop building once it's been started, that's for sure.

ORC backs the stadium - ODT coverage

Why a slideshow of the stadium? Why not a slideshow of the myriad better and more pressing uses the ORC could put thirty-seven and a-half million dollars to?

ORC backs the stadium

People with wealth in positions of power were inevitably going to push this through.
The meagre attendances to hear Mr Farry speak in Southland demonstrates the lack of interest from the public in this project.
South Otago farmers have demonstrated the unacceptable gross inequity of being rated on capital value as part of the annual funding.
There is a need for one major stadium in the South Island,which should be in Christchurch.
Rugby union is a dying sport with meagre attendances at everything outside a major test match,and is in severe financial difficulty.
As a regular attendee at music events in Australasia, I know that Christchurch is the only viable South Island venue for such events.
The stadium will rise and fall on use by the University, but what is OU contributing financially ?
Without OU, Dunedin would be another Invercargill.
I predict this stadium to be a massive white elephant which will annually utilise funds which are urgently required elsewhere.

Champagne tastes on a beer budget...

Apparently the 177 people who took the time to voice their opinions, in the appropriate manner, according to the ORC submission process, and within the allocated timeline were just wasting their time.
All of the ratepayers who 'could be bothered' to follow correct procedures by writing their ORC submissions, and/or appearing in person to speak out against the funding the proposed stadium have each just been given a very hard slap in the face by the ORC.
The opinions of these ratepayers who 'played by the rules' were apparently shoved aside, when emails from stadium supporters were received. These emails were sent, after the fact, to the ORC, well past the submission deadline, and curiously, only generated after an ORC member publically solicited supporters by asking, "where are you?"
I cannot believe that the ORC has made this decision! They must truly be out of touch with reality. Their main role is to safeguard our natural resources, not to speculate with ratepayer money on a stadium.
This decision goes against the ORC’s own mission statement, and means that Dunedin ratepayers are going to have to pay out of pocket - TWICE - for something the majority of us do not even want in this city. Between the DCC and the ORC - they are double-dipping into our rates to pay for the same project.
Every day we are faced with rising prices of food, fuel, and basic necessities. Everything is getting more expensive and the only thing NOT increasing is our wages. The ORC must think we are made of money, because they appear to have what my father used to describe as ‘champagne taste on a beer budget.’
From a black and white perspective, there is nothing in the ORC mission statement or in its guidelines, that I could find, to indicate the ORC has any business or reason to be investing in a multi-million dollar stadiums.
I strongly believe the ORC has overstepped its bounds. I hope that there is a huge public outcry against this action. From a legal point of view, I hope that someone with knowledge of the law will investigate this. Perhaps there is some legal recourse we, as ratepayers, could initiate?
I have lost all of my confidence in the public hearing process, and in the ability of those who are supposed to be representing the best interests of the majority of the people.
I shake my head in disbelief and disgust, and I feel like crying... I love Dunedin and I never thought I'd say this, but as soon as I complete my studies, I'm considering selling up and moving to Southland or Fiordland.
I am truly disappointed in the decision of those who are supposed to acting in the best interests of the majority of Otago.
For the first time in my life I am ashamed of where I live, and of these people who are supposed to represent me.

Well done

At last some forward thinking from a body I didnt think had it in them.
Ive seen the kind of debate that a stadium like this has caused in Wellington when I lived there (now they wish they had chosen the bigger option) and in London where I live now (where even though Wembley cost a lot more than was initally expected it is now a showpiece for English team sport), and I can safely say that the money spent will have intangible rewards far greater than a number on a balance sheet.
Such a structure brings the community together creating a sense of regional pride - which is hard to say that Carisbrook in its current state provides. It will of course allow benefits from the large events that will occur there, but it is as much an advertisement for the region. Iconic stadia such as Landsdown Road, or Cardiff Arms Park (and now the Millenium Stadium), Twickenham etc are more than just buildings. People want to go to them as much as they want to see a game at them.
I signed up to the Our Stadium supporters group, and as I presently live overseas emails are the only way I can register my support for a project that is close to my heart.
I'm looking forward to a fantastic facility that will benefit not just Dunedin but the greater region.

ORC backing stadium

What a shame, but councillors backing down and admitting it's a bad decision wasn't going to happen. When will they realise Dunedin is too small for these grand plans, and instead look for things that are unique to Dunedin rather than always trying to be part of the bigger crowd and copy everyone else. Let's be original. To build a stadium that will end up having crowds of 7000 is such a waste of money, and for those who think major concerts will come, get real especially with Dunedin's historically poor attendance. I really hope Dunedin Council and all the other supporters finally realise their stupidity before bankrupting Dunedin for years to come.

Stadium decision great news

Great news for the region for so many reasons and I'm glad that the small minority of (mostly elderly) opponents have not been able to influence the ORC's decision. The stadium will be a tremendous asset for those actually likely to be alive in 2011 and beyond.
Also, why can't these people who oppose this project get it into their heads that it’s about more than just rugby? The university will use this facility every day and an indoor stadium will benefit a multitude of other sports and activities.

Dunedin needs stadium

I am pleased that the ORC has confirmed funding for the new stadium. In my view, Dunedin needs this facility and it will be more than just a stadium in the future of this City. It will be something that we should all be able to take some pride in.

A sad day for Dunedin

The entire speech by Michael Deaker at today's meeting should be reported in the ODT. It is a very sad day for the Otago Regional Council, a very sad day for this region, and a very sad day for our children and our children's children who will be saddled with the burden of today's decision. We will not forget those that voted for this funding decision.

Stadium good for city

Great news for Dunedin
I am relieved for Dunedin’s sake that the noisy minority with the “You Can’t Do It Dunedin" attitude did not have their way, otherwise the city might have had to change its promotional logo from “Dunedin: It's All Right Here” to “Dunedin: There’s Not Much Here at All”
Although the decision is by no "means signed and sealed" I would like to thank Mr Farry and the many others who have contributed so much of their own time and energies to the community for no personal gain.
Whether you are for or against the against the stadium, or any other community project for that matter, anyone who gives up their time for the community deserves thanks, but more importantly respect. Sadly that is something which has been lacking from the anti stadium minority who have all too frequently resorted to personal attacks rather than sticking solely to the issues.

Stadium is good news

Well done ORC and well done Dunedin! It's great to see this project go ahead. The new stadium will be something for all of Dunedin to be proud of. "Nothing ventured nothing gained" I say. And as a former Dunedinite, I love going back to Dunedin for big test matches and I'm glad this will continue.

Well done ORC!

Well done ORC! You have today saved Dunedin from becoming a backwater and ensured that the University will remain viable and attractive to future students contemplating coming to our city. Our forefathers left us a city to be proud of and it is up to us to do the same for future generations.

Congratulations to ORC

Congratulations to the ORC for supporting this highly visionary project.
I'm still not sure that people really understand the positive magnitude of an all purpose covered stadium with a direct relationship with the Otago University.
The prospect of this eventuating must be sending chills down the spine of event managers in Hamilton and throughout the rest of New Zealand. This is stealing a march of light years!

ORC backs multipurpose stadium

Congratulations on the ORC for their forward thinking in backing the multipurpose stadium project. Such a facility will be the envy of New Zealand, attracting a wide range of events from which the whole region will benefit.

Bring it on

I am delighted by this decision. Let's just do it, enjoy it, and move on. Stop the bleating.

And on it rolls.......

I guess it is to be expected. This stadium was always going to get built. Common sense and the ratepayers aren't going to get in the way.

A disgraceful day for democracy

A disgraceful day for democracy. What is the annual plan process for then? The majority of submissions by a ratio of 12 to 1 told the ORC loud and clear what they thought, but the chairman wasn't happy with that message. Where are you? he cries to the stadium supporters.
Since when is emailing part of the annual plan process? And after the hearings had been concluded to boot.
I'm appalled. This is a disastrous financial decision for ratepayers and I don't trust my elected representatives, on this issue at least. Lobby groups got the last say in a process that made an absolute mockery of the way the ORC is supposed to consult its community. Shame on you.

Well done ORC!

The decision to support the stadium is a positive move for the future of Dunedin and the South. I only hope now that the naysayers and calamatists will find something better to focus their attention on.

Stadium decision welcome

Congratulations to the ORC for putting the long-term interests of Dunedin and Otago as a priority to our future. This is a vote of confidence in our region for a project that will become a national icon for the many purposes foreshadowed by the CST and DCC. I can now be proud to mix with people from other NZ regions and point to our bold actions by investing in welfare of our area for generations to come. Well done!
Tones,
Waikouaiti

Stadium great news

Great news for young people in Dunedin and for all New Zealanders who will come and visit this great city and be entertained in dry, windless conditions. A test match here every year is a must, we guaranntee a dry track. That has to be worth millions to Dunedin city. Come on you promoters , get some great bands down here, the weather's good.

ORC vote a slap in the face

I was at the meeting. Yes it is very bad envirommental news for Otago. I am not going to bother to step foot in the stadium. Also I call the 7-4 vote for the stadium a massive slap in the face considering these days the cost of food, petrol, power etc. The vote makes me ashamed to to be a citzen of this city. I would not be all the surprised to see rates sky rocket through the roof big time. Which will put this city chapter 11 bankrupt.

Dunedin needs the stadium

I for one are glad that the ORC agreed to fund the stadium. I'm a student and if the stadium doesn't go ahead then I see Dunedin dying. As I know of many students who will leave Dunedin after studying, and I have heard of many who won't come down to study if Dunedin is seen as a backwards hole of a town.
The decision is simple either the city wants to go forward, or it wants to go backward. If it wants to go forward then it needs to spend the money, on the stadium, tourism promotion, and things that make businesses & people want to come & stay in Dunedin.
I'm sick of the vocal minority thinking they are the majority, and trying to limit any development in Dunedin.
Has anyone else noticed it's always the same people doing the complaining, on every issue?

ORC should stick to its knitting

The ORC's decision is a disgrace that will condemn Dunedin to financial disaster for the future. Students will now be facing rent rises. The relatively cheap rents were more likely to attract the out of town students than a stadium whose "multipurpose" spectacles (like marching girls and home and garden shows?) they are unlikely to attend, or be able to afford to attend. The ORC should be sticking to its knitting: what we need is a decent public transport system and feces-free beaches. Another example of socialism for the rich, and the free market for the poor.

Voting on the stadium

I want to know who not to vote for next time around - it will join the list on my fridge for the next city council election.
I'm particularly annoyed by the people who were voted on to the city council at the last election and who hadn't mention their support for the stadium in the published election material - but then after they were elected they claimed that because they had been elected the voters were in favour of the stadium - there's been some definite shading of the truth there
In fact as far as I can tell no one who actually said they were in favour of the stadium was elected last time around, certainly non of the people on my ballot were.
We still haven't had any public hearings - the trust asked us to withhold our judgment until they had all their ducks in a row - but it was a matter of a day between when they released their report and when the city council voted on it - we ought to have had a chance to actually read the report, then the city council should have held public hearings - so as many eyes and brains can look at the proposal before we accepted it.
Mr Farry is surprised that academics who actually study these things are now publicly saying it might cost $400M - apparently he didn't even know there were people at the university who study these things, or bother to consult them - if we'd held hearings he would have had the benefit of all the bright creative people in town - more importantly the city council would understand why Mr Farry's numbers might not be the worst case ones - as it is they only got one side of the story and voted in a vacuum.
It's about time we got some democracy back into the way this city is being run, I'm going to start by making sure the people who aren't being open and listening to the citizens are voted out next time.

ORC backs the stadium

Very bad news for Dunedin. A financial and an environmental catastrophe.

ORC stadium decision

It was predictable, wasn't it. Stephens Cairns for one has publicly been looking for ways not to face the facts and lack of mandate, by calling on supporters to come forward. Bizarre to say the least. How can vested interest be trusted to lead a democratic process? It can't. In terms of the Otago Daily Times reporting, it amazes me that the number of emails received by the Otago Regional Council for and against the stadium funding has now been mentioned twice. The democratic process is that ratepayers address issues through the annual plan. Will the Otago Daily Times now also begin to report how many telephone calls councillors or the ORC have received and how many people have stopped councillors on the street giving their opinion?

ORC backs the stadium

Well, that comes as no surprise at all!

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