Response to stadium letter 'encouraging'

Dunedin businessman Ian Taylor is heartened by the ''huge support'' he has gained for his open letter to the Forsyth Barr Stadium's board.

In the open letter, published in Saturday's Otago Daily Times, Mr Taylor said he had on ''numerous occasions'' sought answers from the Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) board about the awarding of the stadium's preferred supplier contract for audio services.

He had since received dozens of supportive messages, and been directly approached by many people, in a ''really, really encouraging response''.

Otago ratepayers had funded the stadium and it was expected ''local companies would be the first to benefit''.

He was concerned the record of a company such as Strawberry Sound had been ignored and the contract awarded to an ''outside company'' that did not exist before July, despite a requirement for Strawberry Sound to show it had operated for at least five years, the letter said.

DVML chief executive Darren Burden said it was ''strange to say the least'' Mr Taylor had complained about a ''deafening'' silence from DVML.

Mr Taylor had had responses on several occasions and Mr Burden had also discussed matters with him ''face to face''.

All requests for information such as queries from the ODT and previous letters to the editor had been responded to within time frames requested.

Mr Taylor had been told the procurement process was ''not a tender, but a 'request for proposal' from interested parties to become the 'preferred' provider''.

Based on information provided in proposals, parties were measured against desired attributes, as well as the proposal itself, and marked accordingly.

Attributes included proximity to Dunedin, financial history, background and expertise of directors, equipment offered to be installed in the stadium and commissions offered.

This arrangement was ''not exclusive and will not preclude other organisations from providing these services''. The promoter of November's rodeo had used an alternative supplier.

DVML had undertaken the ''appropriate legal checks'' not only on DVAV, the company appointed as ''preferred supplier'', but also on the process itself.




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