Report about stadium loss slips under radar

A worse-than-expected $3.2 million loss recorded by the company running Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium did not rate a mention at this week's Dunedin City Council meeting.

It emerged yesterday Dunedin Venues Management Ltd and Dunedin Venues Ltd's annual reports had quietly slipped through Monday's full council meeting without a question or word of debate.

There had been no mention of DVML or DVL on the meeting's public agenda, and it appeared the reports had not been circulated publicly, to media or even some council staff, as required, in the days before the meeting, the Otago Daily Times discovered yesterday.

Instead, it appeared the reports were given only to councillors in advance, but as part of an item on Dunedin City Holdings Ltd's annual results.

DCHL has assumed governance responsibility for DVML and DVL, but the two companies were not yet technically part of the DCHL group.

DCHL results presented to media last week also did not include DVML or DVL's results.

The ODT understands DCHL chief executive Bevan Dodds was responsible for circulating the group's reports ahead of the meeting, but when asked he said he had "no idea" why reports from DVML and DVL did not feature.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday denied there was any attempt to sneak the bad results through the council meeting.

"No, it's a public document."

All council companies had until September 30 to provide reports, and DVML and DVL's had been received by then, he confirmed.

"To that extent it was expected and there was no need to say any more than that," he said.

Mr Cull said there was no need for a media briefing to present the results, as had happened with DVML's six-month results, as the same pressing impact on council budgets did not exist this time.

He referred further questions to DVML, but DVML board member Peter Hutchison said the reports had been delivered to the council on time.

He had expected the reports to go through the normal public process, but had heard nothing more from the council about them and could not explain the apparent omission.

"It's as much a surprise to me as it was to you what happened [on Monday]. You would have to ask the mayor," he said.


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