Stadium support emerges over weekend

Support for Dunedin's new stadium seems to be emerging, as the Dunedin City Council prepares to sign a contract today with Hawkins Construction to begin the building phase.

Last Friday's High Court decision in Christchurch removed the final obstacle to the project, and has brought some previously silent supporters out of the woodwork.

Opponents have dominated the Otago Daily Times website feedback section, but the tide appeared to turn late last week as opposing city councillors pledged their support to making the stadium work, and called on opponents to do the same.

Concerns about the project continued to be expressed, though, with the effects of the recession, the stadium's sustainability and the lost opportunities for other projects noted.

Mayor Peter Chin said last night public support for the project had been made clear to him over the weekend, with people he did not know ... telling him to "go for it".

He said the venue hire and licence agreement subcommittee, which has final approval on hire agreements for the stadium, and on the sale of Carisbrook, would meet in private this morning to continue its work.

An extraordinary meeting of the council at 3pm would get an update on Friday's hearing, and consider stage two of the Tahuna sewerage works.

On Friday, Justice Lester Chisholm threw out Stop the Stadium's injunction application, saying the group's arguments had failed to get past first base.

The first five responses to Friday's story about the High Court decision showed there were readers backing the project.

"Awesome, finally common sense prevails," read the first, from "Lauren242".

Another from a University of Otago graduate living in the United States called it a "great decision, and a great outcome".

"Now that this is being built, I will certainly keep the possibility of returning in mind.

"Well done Dunedin, you've made the right choice here."

"Mellow" disagreed.

"This decision couldn't have come at a worse time for many Dunedin families.

"Many families are already being hit with redundancy, rising food and electricity prices and now a huge increase in DCC rates."

 

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