DCC promises answers on stadium submissions

A reply to residents who presented submissions to the council opposing the Awatea St stadium has become "half the size of The Forsyte Saga", as the council tries to clear up what Mayor Peter Chin says are factual errors and wrong assumptions.

There were 538 submissions opposing the stadium, and 10 in support.

Chief executive Jim Harland had been working on a standard "but very detailed" response, including the history of the project, that councillors would be able to debate before it was sent, he said.

Cr Richard Walls said there was a problem explaining the fixed cost of $66 a year for the average value property, and he had seem some "extra- ordinary" calculations of costs in stadium blogs.

The response needed to be comprehensive, Cr John Bezett said.

"We shouldn't worry how long it is."

But Cr Dave Cull said there was a danger of repeating what had already been said, and people did not accept the argument about funding for the stadium coming from council companies rather than rates "any more than I do".

"It's their [ratepayers] money", Cr Cull said, and if it was not spent on the stadium, it could be spent on other things.

Mr Harland outlined the areas the draft response would cover, including arguments Carisbrook should be upgraded: there were too many risks inherent in the project; stadiums were not profitable; there was no major tenant; and the Rugby World Cup was booked for Carisbrook, not the new stadium.

Each suggestion would get a response.

A major issue confusing people was changes to the funding model, Mr Harland said.

"Whether we succeed in de-confusing it I don't know, but we're going to try."

The committee will consider the response this morning.

Mr Harland told the committee council solicitors were "confident of the outcome" of the appeal against a High Court decision that allowed the council to sign a contract to build the stadium.

The council received notice of the appeal late on Friday, after it was lodged by Stop the Stadium.

Mr Harland said there was no more information to update the committee, but he expected it would take months before it was heard by the Court of Appeal.

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