Farry dismissive of injunction bid

Malcolm Farry
Malcolm Farry
Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry has dismissed Stop the Stadium's injunction efforts as without merit, as attention turns to planning for the $198 million Otago stadium's launch.

Speaking shortly after yesterday's High Court decision to dismiss the injunction application, Mr Farry told the Otago Daily Times the entire stadium project - and those involved - had already "run the gauntlet" from the outset.

The project had been scrutinised by the Auditor-general, Office of the Ombudsmen, councillors and council staff, stakeholders, members of the public, and regularly "torn apart" and re-examined by Carisbrook Stadium Trust officials themselves, he said.

"All of these people can't be wrong and just Stop the Stadium right. It just doesn't make any sense," he said.

"I have been involved in a number of things in my lifetime . . . I have never seen a project that's been tested the way this project has been tested. Never."

Asked about Stop the Stadium's injunction, Mr Farry said he had been confident the application would be dismissed as it lacked "any merit".

"There's never been a project that's run the gauntlet this has. Maybe people are starting to realise that people who sit around the board table at the Carisbrook Stadium Trust put the time and effort into making things successful. Maybe that message is starting to get through.

"People shouldn't be surprised that we do what we say we are going to do."

Next week's sign-ing ceremony would be "an important milestone for the city, the region and the project", after which attention would turn to the next phase of the trust's operation, he said.

That included a new focus on making bookings and sales for the stadium, and managing the construction phase, as fundraising and marketing activities continued, he said.

It was likely there would be a series of "open days" during construction, allowing the public to examine progress, but attention was also turning to planning an opening week to introduce the stadium, once completed, in 2011.

That included plans for "a top international performer" to launch the stadium's opening week, he said.

A list of possible candidates was being drawn up. Mr Farry was confident the venue would be "very attractive to the leading promoters we are talking to".

"We will have somebody that all age groups will want to go to. That's our objective and we expect our catchment area to be all of New Zealand," he said.

- chris.morris@odt.co.nz


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