Stadium boss steps down after decade in role

Dunedin Venues chief executive Terry Davies, seen here in 2019 promoting a Queen concert at...
Dunedin Venues chief executive Terry Davies, seen here in 2019 promoting a Queen concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium, has resigned. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The departing boss of Dunedin’s major stadium says splitting his time between the city and Australia did not compromise his ability to do the job.

Dunedin Venues chief executive Terry Davies said the arrangement had been working fine but he was now looking forward to spending more time with family, who were all in Australia.

Mr Davies, 63, announced yesterday he was stepping down after 10 years in the role.

Dunedin Venues also hosts conferences and manages the Dunedin Centre, which includes the town hall.

The company is owned by the Dunedin City Council.

There has been some angst in recent times about a lack of confirmed international acts for the stadium, as well as an expectation Christchurch will be a strong competitor in the events market when its new stadium is ready.

Mr Davies described his 10 years as a brilliant journey and an adventure.

"When I started here I had a goal of lifting the performance of the stadium and breathing new life into events, creating a venue the community could be proud of, and I think that’s what I’ve managed to do with an exceptional team behind me."

The industry had been different since Covid-19 but was returning to a sense of normality, he said.

"Since opening in 2011, well over 2million people have now been through the stadium, more than 60% of them coming from outside Dunedin, and the total economic impact for our city has been estimated at more than $300 million over 10 years", a DCHL spokesman said.

Difficulties in securing community access to venues was raised as an issue at the council’s annual plan hearing last month and council staff signalled during deliberations the Dunedin Venues operation would be reviewed.

Dunedin city councillor Sophie Barker said it was an opportune time for a review.

She described the town hall and stadium as community assets and said "we need to have a good look at how we run them".

Cr Andrew Whiley said Mr Davies had been a great ambassador for the city.

"We have had a wonderful period with our stadium", he said.

Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich said Mr Davies had delivered "a steady stream of international musical acts, major sporting fixtures and other events".

Dunedin Venues board chairwoman Raewyn Lovett said Mr Davies had been driven by generating pride in the city and bringing it economic benefits.

The timing for his departure has yet to be confirmed and the recruitment process for replacing him is under way.