New name and focus for Stop the Stadium

Stop the Stadium president Dave Witherow addresses about 80 people in the Pioneer Women's Hall in...
Stop the Stadium president Dave Witherow addresses about 80 people in the Pioneer Women's Hall in Moray Place, Dunedin, yesterday afternoon, proposing the organisation change its name to Sort the System and alter its objectives. STS secretary Carol Sawyer looks on. Photo by Jane Dawber.
A special meeting of Stop the Stadium group yesterday, attended by about 80 people, voted to change its name and its purpose, but not without some opposition.

The vote to change the objective of the incorporated society was 71 to eight (with three abstentions), but some of those who had spoken against the move and sought instead the winding up of the organisation walked out after the vote was taken.

Under the STS rules, at least two thirds of those present at the meeting in the Pioneer Women's Hall in Moray Pl, Dunedin, had to agree before any change could occur.

The meeting went on to vote overwhelmingly to change the name to Sort the System.

Voting figures were not taken.

The meeting, after almost an hour's discussion, had agreed the new objective should be to ensure adverse impacts of the Forsyth Barr stadium being built in Awatea St "are contained as far as possible".

It also agreed "to promote due democratic process in Dunedin city and Otago".

One of those who walked out, former STS treasurer John Harris, said if the organisation was disbanded and a new organisation begun, that new organisation would not be hampered by the $10,000 court costs debt from Stop the Stadium's actions against the Dunedin City Council.

Emily Flynn, who also left the meeting after the vote, said there was no dishonour in telling the council to look for this money elsewhere.

If the organisation continued, but under a new name, it would have to pay its debt to the council before it paid for anything else.

She also took issue with STS president Dave Witherow describing "rogue councillors" on the DCC and Otago Regional Council, whom he said were "not responsible to their communities", as parasites.

Such language could drive away people who might otherwise join the organisation.

She said she did not consider councillors were parasites.

"I think they are simply wrong."

Mr Witherow said he and the committee did not accept the organisation should walk away from the $10,000 debt.

Secretary Carol Sawyer said after the meeting the membership had remained stable about 1550.

Prime Minister John Key will visit the construction site of the Forsyth Barr Stadium at Awatea St on Friday morning.


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