The Dunedin Stadium

April 1st, 2009 at 10:41 am by David Farrar

Douglas to Dancing covers a meeting about the Stadium, where an estimated 1,800 opponents turned up.

I was there when the meeting was held, and not surprised they got 1,800. Almost every shop in town carried posters advertising it. Now normally it is the commercial sector that most favours stuff like stadiums as they get the tourism benefits. The fact so many local businesses think it costs way too much, let alone the residents, suggests it is seriously lacking in support.

The meeting called for Rodney Hide as Local Government Minister t scrutinise the decision making process around the stadium. It will be interesting to see what Rodney does.

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25 Responses to “The Dunedin Stadium”

  1. Dougal (11 comments) says:

    Dunedin shold look south to Invercargill to see what can be done with a bit of foresight. Look at the success of the Velodrome, a new swimming pool, new rugby stadium, etc.

    Most of the people I have spoken to from Dunedin support the concept.

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  2. Crampton (213 comments) says:

    iPredict still says about an 80% chance of the Stadium’s going ahead; prices seem not to have moved with the “stop the stadium” event. I’m 200 long but only after having taken some losses on shorting prior to National deciding to ignore the consensus of the economic literature and committing to fund the thing. You?

    [DPF: I've avoided this one so far as I don't know enough. If anything I would look to sell at 80c as it may be delayed beyond 2009]

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  3. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    I doubt all of those posters were put up with the permission of the business owner, as it is a common tactic of the Stop the Stadium trust (STS) to just put there posters/graffiti up where ever they please.

    There are so many holes and out right blatant lies in the propaganda put out by the STS, that a lot of people just believe, that I’m not surprised that they got 1800 people. But I’d hardly call the 1800 a validation of the claims of it lacking support, as not everyone at the meeting would of been there because they were against the stadium, some would of gone to hear the speakers views and form a better opinion on the stadium. At the anti-stadium marches they have had, the most number of people they have had at what I’d call a generous estimate by the ODT (they counted people on the sides of George Street who may of been shopping) was 1000 people.
    And the mouth pieces of those who are most vocal in their opposition to the stadium, are the same ones who complain about just about all of the spending the council does. Even the water upgrades were seen as too expensive by them.

    It is a case of the vocal minority trying to get there way.

    And they see it as only for students and the rich. I support the stadium being built, I think it will keep a lot of people in Dunedin who otherwise might leave, and think that it will be used as a multi-purpose venue, if it is given a chance.

    Those against the stadium are withholding part of their rates in protest ( in some cases all of their rates), because they don’t agree with it. This is a little bit school girlish in my opinion, as there are a lot of people who never use the library network in Dunedin, and don’t agree with it, should they withhold their rates for that too? Where does the line get drawn?

    Also DPF fails to mention that the last election was a referendum of sorts on the stadium, with those against the stadium voted out, or failing dramatically in their election bids. Those explicitly for or showing some support/ an open mind were voted in or kept in office.

    In the words of Michael Cullen, We won, you lost, eat that

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  4. baxter (893 comments) says:

    ROLLA:::::::::::::::::”Also DPF fails to mention that the last election was a referendum of sorts on the stadium, with those against the stadium voted out, or failing dramatically in their election bids. Those explicitly for or showing some support/ an open mind were voted in or kept in office.

    I’ve no interest in the issue except instead of a referendum of sorts why didn’t they have a ratepayer referendum. No argument then.

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  5. Colonel Masters (420 comments) says:

    I was hoping that the Otago Daily Times would take the opportunity of today’s date to run a stadium prank, e.g. “residents to pay a one off poll tax of $1,500 each to kick-start the stadium”, or a “permanent surchage on flat whites in Dunedin cafes to help meet costs”.

    Hmmm… actually, neither of those is unbelievable…

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  6. Tintin (4 comments) says:

    Agree totally with Rolla….. you have read this issue totally wrong and are buying into the tree huggers spin….

    Perhaps instead of just being “that guy” in the Alley @ Mou I should have sat you down and explained it all !

    cheers

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  7. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Rodney will issue a press release saying he and his staff are investigating it, but it appears to be a gross abuse of power by jumped-up, empire building council bureaucrats; and a symptom of the excessive red tape that plagues the nation; and frankly the rate payers of Dunedin deserve better.

    You watch!

    (He was, after all, quick to [quite incorrectly] distort leaky building syndrome’s origins to make it fit with his party line on excessive red tape in an interview on TVNZ Close-Up last year, so I expect only more of the same…)

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  8. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    I am totally against this white elephant of a stadium.

    Carisbrook is never, ever booked out for anything. That’s not because of the quality of carisbrook, it’s because nobody is interested!

    My GF’s father is a case in point. I asked him why he never goes to the rugby anymore and he said, “Why would I, when I can just watch it on SKY?”

    But regardless of whether I think it will be used or not, the fact is that it will be an enormous loss-making venture. Stadiums all over the world are sitting unused because of big stadium projects in the 70s and 80s just like this one. There is no demand for stadiums like this!

    Let me ask you this: do you think that if you went around local businesses and said, “How much economic benefit will YOU get from the stadium?”, the total answer you would get would be nowhere near the total cost of the stadium. In fact, I’d bet it would be less than one tenth.

    Even if you support the use of public money for the stadium on the grounds that it will benefit the local economy, this blatant Kaldor-Hicks inefficiency should stop you.

    After all is said and done, this stadium is being built by people using other people’s money.

    If this were a good economic idea, a private investor would have leaped at the opportunity years ago.

    Nobody wants this white elephant paid for by public money.

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  9. David in Chch (503 comments) says:

    I assume, Christopher, that when Dunedin is then told that they will no longer be hosting any international sporting tests, you will be pleased, because you can watch it on Sky.

    There have been a number of news items over the years talking about the poor state of Carisbrook, and that if it wasn’t upgraded then it would no longer be put into the touring schedules.

    I agree with Dougal about Invercargill.

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  10. Ross Miller (1,624 comments) says:

    Think positive … Dunedin’s loss will be someone else’s gain. Test matches at Napier perhaps.

    Labour voting Dunedin left whinging in the wake. Oh dear, how sad, never mind, move on.

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  11. Paul Matthews (18 comments) says:

    These are generally the same people who complained when Moana Pool was upgraded to be world standard, marched against bringing the railway station up to standard, and probably would have spoken out against Carisbrook in the first place.

    Fact is, if Dunedin wants to be a significant city in New Zealand it needs amenities. If it wants international events it needs international-quality facilities. If it wants to continue to attract students, it needs these sorts of things to ensure it remains a great town for students – for more than just couch burning.

    Those that prefer Dunedin to turn into a sleepy ghost town should move to Gore and let Dunedin become the city it once was and has the potential to be again. Sure, it’ll cost money – but as with everything, sometimes you need to spend a little money to make money, and the economic spinoff from this stadium, world-class and located in North Dunedin, is essential if Dunedin is to arrest the decline in both population and economic environment.

    Good on the Council for showing leadership on this and not being pushed out of it by a small group of vocal killjoys.

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  12. william (47 comments) says:

    1800 people is 1.6% of the population of Dunedin, hardly an overwhelming number!

    As pointed out, the mandate on this was the last election and the anti-stadium wing lost big.

    also, the auditor general has already looked at this and found that the process has been good.
    also, the government has looked at this and decided to give it $15 million to make it happen.

    The debate has been had, the consultation has been exhaustive …. it’s time to for this rabble of protestors to realise that sour grapes will produce nothing but unpalatable liquid….. no matter how hard they squeeze them in private or in public.

    Construction will begin, probably in June, and I don’t know who is scheduled to turn the first sod…. but the other 1,799 of them also need to be turned.

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  13. GPT1 (2,043 comments) says:

    My recollection is the last election was a more or less fought over this issue. The pro stadium lobby won and there is a clear mandate. Just start building.

    The stadium appears to be an outstanding idea and should be encouraged.

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  14. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    If it wants international events it needs international-quality facilities.

    This is the fundamental fallacy of the stadium.

    International events do not avoid Dunedin because of the state of carisbrook.

    International events avoid Dunedin because it is too far to go for the size of its population.

    I’m not being funny here. A friend of a friend is a major events organiser who mostly brings UK acts to Australasia, and she said that generally they wouldn’t even consider going to the South Island due to its distance and population, but events in Christchurch attract enough people from all over the South to make it worth it.

    If an international event comes here, pretty much anyone in Dunedin who’s interested will go up the coast for it. By bringing an event to Dunedin you are essentially putting the same number of bums on seats for more than twice the cost.

    It has nothing to do with the quality of the venue.

    Even if that weren’t the case, let me ask again: If the stadium is such a good idea, why does it need public money to get it off the ground?

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  15. Neil (528 comments) says:

    DPF has completely misread the situation in Dunedin. The silent majority would carry the day.
    Some of the opponents speaking like Sukhi Turner and Stedman are noted alternative lifestylers while Gerry Eckhoff would be better off sticking to Roxburgh.
    The 2007 DCC elections gave clear choices on the stadium with Bev Butler, leader of the anti-stadium crew, getting heavily crushed. Some of the councillors opposing the stadium like Theresa Stevenson have little influence and do not represent a total view.Mayor Chin has led from the front and good on him !!
    I look at the stadium from a TLA point of view, a fact that democracy will give us the best result if you allow the process to unfold. The anti-stadium group are a pack of malcontents and tossers.

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  16. Southern Raider (1,376 comments) says:

    Christopher sounds like the same people who live in Adelaide who did nothing and then complained when Melbourne “stole” all their events.

    Big ups for Invercargill who have just secured a major international hockey championship because they invested in infrastructure.

    Keep it up Christopher. I’m looking forward to Invercargill picking up all Dunedins RWC2011 games.

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  17. Neil (528 comments) says:

    Interesting comment that Paul Matgthews made about Gore, and that if you want a ghost town go to Gore.
    Paul have you ever been to Gore ?
    I am really proud of my town with a new swimming pool,five years old, a new skating rink, six years old, a new indoor sports stadium, about to be opened, a new skateboard park, an art gallery that would challenge most in the nation, a renovated theatre with a $2m fly tower allowing for multi-use as a theatre and stage presentations and a multi-media museum portraying the Moonshiners whisky legend.Some ghost town !
    Also our gardens and general presentation would leave many other towns in the lurch.
    Our rate increase this year is 4% and over the next ten years is planned to be about 5% per year. Compare that to Inv ercargill,Dunedin and Christchurch.
    Remember, we are a district of 13 000 and most of the money has been raised in that community.
    I do wish when people seize on a town to rubbish, they first of all experience that town. Not believe what somebody said on a “Chinese Whisper” five years ago.

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  18. Chris G (106 comments) says:

    Okay let me first point out I am rugby mad. I am also part of the rugby fraternity as a rugby referee.
    In saying that I am absolutely opposed to the Stadium. Now Tintin can fire away and idiotically label me as a ‘treehugger’ but all those who support the stadium and Tintin can take a good hard look at the Facts:

    I would like to point out that at Otago NPC games (eg. last 2 seasons) the attendance would have been at most 2,000 per match. Some games I went to I would be EMBARASSED by the crowd as it would scarcely look over 1000.

    Students on the terraces at Carisbrook? Fuck all. A few locals and a token body painted scarfie. Being a student myself I could scarcely convince fellow Wellingtonian students to come along to Carisbrook and watch the mighty Wellington Lions thrash Otago. This lack of interest is widespread throughout the students.

    Now, realistically, building a big stadium nearer the students is going to do – Fuck All. The crowd WILL NEVER go above 10,000 MARK MY WORDS – bar an all black match. The real reason no one is going is simply because the Highlanders and the NPC team haven’t performed in the last 5 years+! – A Stadium will not make them win, nor will it Magically draw crowds.

    Not to mention the inevitable rates increase that will have to be felt to pay for this gluttony of concrete. Guess who will feel that, students will via rent increases.

    What a waste of time and money. Oh, well except for the fat contract Fletcher (I assume) would get… or perhaps the originated in Dunedin – Naylor Love (Only if the council were feeling patriotic) – Doubt it.

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  19. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    I agree with the comments of Christopher and Chris G

    Like them I am sports mad, I used to be a fan of rugby but I will admit to going off the game a bit in the last few years however that is not really relevant to the points I want to make.

    Once again we see the only sport in NZ that is cash rich (rugby) asking for a free ride from the tax payer, once again we see the NZRU saying “build it and we will come”, nowhere are they (the NZRU) even mentioning that they will be the major beneficiaries of any new stadium nor do we see them offering to chip in.

    Rugby wants and gets a free ride from both the people of this nation and the bloody government, the NZRU wanted the rugby world cup and we the poor tax and rate payers are the ones who have to cough up for the bloody thing.

    And please, those of you who wank on about the amount of money it brings in are kidding yourself, any financial benefit that does occur from the RWC (or the America’s cup for that matter) will be enjoyed by a very select few and for a very short time, meanwhile we the tax and rate payer are left paying for a RWC and assorted stadia around the nations for years and years.

    I have no issue with local government providing facilities that can and will be used by a large number of its rate payers, I have no issue with that same local government charging a small cost for the use of these facilitates as they will obviously need maintenance and staffing over the years but I would have one bloody massive problem with paying for a flash new stadium that rugby will get the benefit off and then being charged a fortune to go and see games in the stadium that I BLOODY paid for.

    We often hear that idiot Steve Tew talk about the game of Rugby being professional and that things have to change (perhaps that is why so many of us are turning off the game), well the NZRU would not know the meaning of the word professional as long as their arses point to the ground, to the NZRU the word “professional” means “somebody else pays”.

    Real professional organisations build their own stadiums and charge people a lot of money to go and watch the entertainment that they provide, they do not ask for handouts from the govt and they do not demand that the fans pay for the stadium and then tell them that sadly you will not be able to get a seat at the stadium you paid for because we have to provide seats for out sponsors.

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  20. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    The stadium has been huge for Wellington and a great assett. A million times better than Athletic Park. I think Dunedin people need to be a bit more far sighted and consider what a difference a great stadium can make to the city.

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  21. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Big bruv – thanks. I completely agree with you.

    The stadium has been huge for Wellington and a great assett. A million times better than Athletic Park. I think Dunedin people need to be a bit more far sighted and consider what a difference a great stadium can make to the city.

    Dude, seriously. Think about it! Dunedin doesn’t even have half the population of wellington!

    The problem isn’t the stadium, it’s that nobody will bloody go there!

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  22. Chris G (106 comments) says:

    Im glad this is a topic that isnt about where your political lines are drawn, because ordinarily I would disagree with most things you have to say big bruv. In light of that I must say you hit the nail square on the fucking head with this gem:

    “And please, those of you who wank on about the amount of money it brings in are kidding yourself, any financial benefit that does occur from the RWC (or the America‚Äôs cup for that matter) will be enjoyed by a very select few and for a very short time, meanwhile we the tax and rate payer are left paying for a RWC and assorted stadia around the nations for years and years”

    Thats if it brings in – any money at all – what was it… I remember them saying they Might be able to host a RWC quarter final? Fuck, that’ll roll in the dough! Although now I hear it wont be complete by the RWC – What a farce!

    And dont use Wellington as an example Scott… Wellington is firstly a much bigger city, secondly it has Always recorded high attendance at games. From the die hards who braved the southerly on the shakey Millard Stand now to those who trek the ~2km along the walkway in horizontal rain.

    They dont go there because the stadium is “A million times better than Athletic Park” … It looks like a fuckin cake tin!! They go there because They Win Rugby.

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  23. Tintin (4 comments) says:

    Stand by the remarks Chris G as evidently you are not really following what it is happening… lets take the contrustion.. the builder has been named, contract signed with guaranteed price…Hawkins… and they are buying into the project by having a set price including covering guaranteed the foundation costs…another global warming scare mongering reclaimed land issue raised by the SST…

    There also needs to be some realisation that this is not about Rugby alone…. meeting, conference and yes sporting facilities will only add to what is Dunedins major industry…education and the University of Otago…

    You much quoted crowd figures are also well off the mark and do not take into account hospitality attendance… my understanding is that from Corp boxes, corp seating packages and ground memberships they already have over 2000 heading to the game…committed before the Stadium even had the go ahead !

    Finally going by the rabble that marched down the street a couple of weeks back…. the greatest collection of cardigan wearers the city has seen in a long time…I respectfully withdraw my treehugger quote and amend it to a bunch of knitters….

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  24. Chris G (106 comments) says:

    I’m a little confused: Have you ever been to an NPC or super 14 match in the last few years at Carisbrook.

    Are you aware that the Highlanders franchise just recently announced they might need to be bailed out by the NZRU because they are in a bad spot?

    Oh but, a stadium will fix that.

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  25. Tintin (4 comments) says:

    Yes Chirs i can see you are a little confused… and yes have been to Carisbrook for NPC and Super 14 games… and at the risk of being labeled “one of those”.. have actually been a member of a box syndicate for the last 15 years…I have also been a financial supporter of otago and dunedin Club Rugby. But before you use that to dismiss me as just another rugby head I have also financially supported club Basketball and the Nuggets….untold school drama and sport teams, the Dunedin Sinfonia,Orokonui Wildlife santuary , and Gilbert and Sullivan society plus innumerable other ventures in the city.

    ie I consider myself a good contributing citizen of the city

    So after that rant yes I feel as though I can comment (without being confused) on the issue

    Having now got to the nub of the matter… your latest post solely on rugby probably shows clearly a large part of the SST is an anti rugby thought process

    As to the second part… yes I am aware of that also….Are you aware that there are two other franchises in difficulty (one of them the Crusaders) but they simply have not had the same spotlight shone on them by the media up north … the Highlanders are an easier kicking boy… Are you aware the issue has more to do with the Funding model that operates for Super 14 and the NZRFU retention of all TV rights … supposedly for the benefit of all rugby ….and yet we do not have equalisation of match revenue (an argument the NZRFU fights for internationally but not domestically)

    Have you read yesterdays ODT ? and the strong experience based opinion that the site is suitable for building and that the foundation costs are on a fixed price contract as I mentioned before… another SST lie…

    Are you aware of teh amount of work that will flow into Local contractors..(no I am not one) and are you aware that the Stadium is city infrastructure not rugby infrastructure…

    I could go on and on but if you are already confused it will obviously only worsen the situation

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