Butler mute on future actions

Bev Butler
Bev Butler
Stop the Stadium president Bev Butler last night refused to be drawn on what actions the group might take in future, despite a press release yesterday that appeared to concede little could be done to achieve its goals.

A High Court decision by Justice Lester Chisholm last Friday ended the legal challenge to the Dunedin City Council's support for the project.

Ms Butler sent a press release to the Otago Daily Times lamenting what she said were Government and government agencies' decisions that meant Dunedin people had been "abandoned".

"All we can do now is commit ourselves to remembering the identities of those who have driven our city into this debacle," she said, calling for those councillors to be voted out at the next election.

She also took a pot shot at national politicians, including Local Government Minister Rodney Hide, whom stadium opponents initially looked to for help.

The release followed an emailed question from the ODT on Monday night asking Ms Butler if she had plans to appeal the court decision.

Asked whether the press release was a reply, she said it was separate to the question of an appeal.

"Sorry, but I am unable to comment on an appeal."

The release said the court outcome was not a surprise, considering the history of the project.

"From the very beginning this project has been an affront to all standards of democratic fair dealing, in which the people of Dunedin have been sidelined while ever-increasing amounts of their money have been appropriated to build a folly that will weigh upon us for generations.

"Dunedin people, who overwhelmingly reject this stadium, have been abandoned by every stratum of government supposedly in existence to safeguard their rights and interests. The Dunedin City Council and the Otago Regional Council, rather than protecting their ratepayers, have frogmarched them into disaster.

"Our local Members of Parliament, with the honourable exception of Green MP Metiria Turei, have been noteworthy only on account of their complicit silence, while the National Government has aided and abetted the abuse of due process and the swindling of our ratepayers.

"Rodney Hide, after specifically promising to investigate the stadium's finances, made an ignominious retreat.

"And now we have a judge who considers that there is no significant difference between the project as it now exists and what was originally presented to the public - no difference, in other words, between public and private funding.

"A judge, moreover, who is willing to make a hasty and far-reaching decision while claiming that he is unable to follow the argument put before him.

"The final arbiter between right and wrong has proven a broken reed.

"Remember them well, all of those councillors who, in capitulating at every stage in this shabby process, have shown themselves unfit to govern.

"And let us communally ensure, before very long, that these people are removed and their period of ill-governance is put to an end."


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