Stop the Stadium's injunction dismissed

The Dunedin City Council will sign off on a contract to build the city's new stadium on Monday, after a high court injunction bid by Stop the Stadium to halt the project was thrown out this morning.

Justice Lester Chisholm, who made made his ruling in the high court at Christchurch, said the case came down to whether changes to the stadium's finances in the council's annual plan were significant.

Although he was provided with plenty of submissions from Stop the Stadium's counsel Len Andersen on the stadium's finances, Justice Chisholm said he was unable to make a decision based on those figures as there was no analysis with them and he had a limited time frame.

The Stop the Stadium group maintained the council's stadium proposal had changed significantly since it went through the consultation process and the provisions of the Local Government Act meant the consultation had to be repeated.

But Justice Chisholm said today that an increase of $10 million in the cost of the project and the reduction of $3 million in the Community Trust contribution did not amount to significant change so that further consultation was not required.

He also did not accept the group's allegations of revenue changes affecting the project.

The council said there had been no change in revenue terms. It said that throughout the planning process, there had been a figure of $66 in rating impact for the average Dunedin section.

The council also reported it now had the benefit of more favourable interest rates for the project.

Justice Chisolm dismissed the Stop the Stadium application and reserved the question of costs.

He said he was aware that any delay on the project would jeopardise the chances of the stadium being open in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

After the hearing, Stop the Stadium president Bev Butler said she was extremely disappointed but would not give up the fight. She expected the community to keep helping with costs, which were reserved.

Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin said he was pleased and planned to sign the contract with Hawkins Construction on Monday. - with NZPA.





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