Stadium plan required for cup

July 2010 is shaping as an important milestone in construction of the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, as the city's new venue is negotiated along the road to the Rugby World Cup 2011.

Organisers of the international rugby event in New Zealand intend to seek a detailed plan from Carisbrook Stadium Trust officials, outlining the path to complete the stadium, about the middle of next year.

Rugby New Zealand 2011 officials had already indicated the new stadium was a "venue of choice".

However, the detailed plan, including a list of risks to the project and key construction milestones, would need to be approved before tournament organisers signed a venue agreement to host matches at the stadium, trust development director Darren Burden said yesterday.

If approved, a venue agreement was expected to follow "around the same time", Mr Burden said.

Any irretrievable problems with the project could see the city's tournament fixtures shifted to Carisbrook.

Dunedin has been allocated three matches involving northern hemisphere teams England, Scotland, Ireland and Italy, as well as two European teams yet to be confirmed.

Details of tournament organisers' requirements were included in a stadium progress report, prepared by trust officials, to be presented to the Dunedin City Council at a full meeting on Monday.

The report, signed by Mr Burden and the trust's commercial manager, Guy Hedderwick, painted a largely positive picture of progress on the stadium, since construction began in May.

It detailed two small hiccups experienced to date, including complications when requesting information for steelwork orders as part of the procurement process, and "mechanical issues" which delayed the use of a piling rig at the site by a few days.

Trust officials were yet to determine if a delay would result from problems with the steelwork information, while delays using the piling rig could be made up, the report said.

Trust officials remained confident of meeting the August 1, 2011, completion date.

To date, about $22.3 million had been spent, while the total cost committed through procurements was just under $61 million.

Three Dunedin companies - Fulton Hogan, Fletcher Reinforcing and Hall Brothers - were among nine companies so far confirmed to work at the site.

Hall Brothers had secured the contract for demolition, Fletcher Reinforcing the contract for reinforcement supply and fix work, and Fulton Hogan contracts for both excavation and pre-cast flooring work.

Contracts for piling and crane work (Daniel Smith Industries, of Christchurch), structural steelwork (Graysons Engineering, of Auckland), ETFE roofing (Vector Foiltec, of the United Kingdom) and pre-cast bleachers (Concretec, of Auckland) had gone to companies outside Dunedin.

In total, 250 people had been put through the site's health and safety induction programme, with between 50 and 100 expected on site on a daily basis.

The report also noted private fundraising was continuing, with $25.93 million confirmed and another $5.93 million from "seriously interested" potential buyers.

The total of $31.86 million was $13.64 million below the trust's $45.5 million target, but "tracking ahead of expectations" when compared to Westpac Stadium's efforts during its construction phase, the report said.

In addition to a head naming right sponsorship deal with Forsyth Barr, the trust had signed sponsorship deals - yet to be announced - for the stadium's east stand and foyer, a meat supplier and general sponsor group, and was close to deals for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and vehicle sponsors.

Another five companies were tendering for the stadium's catering contract, which was expected to be announced next month.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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