Oh - I forgot to add - as I said the ORFU is in the hole to the city for a couple of million - they've pointedly NOT committed to sign a contract, or to even play at the new stadium.
Recently however it turned out that they are counting on being able to to sell Carisbrook for a tidy sum (millions) - of course if we build a new stadium the old spot's not going to be a going concern, it's just a piece of industrial land covered in some expensive scrap metal (without the afternoon sun and sandwiched between the motorway and the Hillside Workshops it's not going to get housing)
There's a lot of people counting on feeding at this particular public trough
As I've said, I stopped following the issue in detail when I moved up to ChCh about 11 months ago, but have they actually made any guaruntees as to how it will be funded, and how much the public is expected to stump up for it?
the City has committed to a big chunk, so has the regional council (yes we in Dunedin will be double taxed for it) - both are conditional on the other parties coming up with their part by Feb - the private committee coming up with a chunk of private cash from selling corporate boxes, naming rights etc and the regional trust - both have indicated that this may not happen - which would allow them to cancel the thing with appropriate poliitical face saving
well they've been pushing it as a "multi-purpose" stadium - but apart from rugby haven't really found someone else who will use it (it wont work for cricket) - they've suggested papal visits, big concerts (but national promoters, when asked, pointed out they couldn't fill it and wouldn't even think of booking acts that size for Dunedin).
Let's fact it planning on 30,000 people attending anything in a city of ~100,000 is, well, a bit silly - sure you might fill it once every few years but, let's assume you can fill it 10 times a year - that's 300,000 bums on seats a year - assuming you get a 20 year mortgage (pushes the $188M cost to $400M at a good rate) - that's 20M/year or we're subsidising $66/bum/seat - you can see why it's not going to be economically viable if the people who attend are asked to pay for it
I'm sure there's an angsty dark NZ film about the past scheduled for 2030 that uses that deeply symbolically ....
The Dunedin stadium's been an interesting political issue - it's been pushed by the "tartan mafia" - the usual cartel of downtown good-old-boy business men - it was largely developed in secret and the detailed proposal presented to the city council and voted on in the space of 2 days - no time for research, no public hearings, just rammed through. The city council had done a public opinion survey (only sent to, largely male, heads of households, not at all good stats) - it came out slightly against or roughly even depending on the question.
The opponents didn't get their act together early enough - at the local body election they put up 2 competing slates of candidates (who split the anti vote) - it didn't help that the loudest anti-voices were far on the rightish side of the spectrum - most people who were against the stadium couldn't bring them selves to vote there
In that same election there was only 1 guy who actually came out in favour of it, the rest claimed to be on the fence or were against (at least according to their candidate statements and when interviewed in the paper) - in particular the incumbent good-old-boys got re-elected - and promptly claimed a mandate for a stadium.
It wasn't quite a while until after the election, when the whole stitch up seemed a done deal that the anti-stadium people got their act together - held a packed out public meeting and started providing some real opposition - recently they commissioned an independent survey (actually done scientifically so its demographics could be validated) which was 70% against (73% if you corrected for the demographics). Then they went after the stadium in the zoning hearings - which is where we are now.
(disclaimer: I'm a member of Stop the Stadium and made a submission to the recent hearings)
The real problem isn't IMHO that Dunedin needs a $2-400M stadium - we have a perfectly good ground in Carisbrook, we just spent a lot of money on it - the real problem is in the economics of rugby - no one wants to go now that they play the games at night rather than in the afternoon, especially when you can watch it on your big screen TV at home with the fire on. Besides the days of supporting the provincial team because it was full of people you went to school with are long gone - that personal connection is gone - now it's just a bunch of guys playing in your name
At the moment the local Rugby Union is in the hole to a couple of million to the city - they don't have the money and can't pay it - the solution to this shouldn't be to build them a big stadium - it doesn't really reward sensible fiscal behaviour.
I can think of a simple solution to this - what they do in the US - black out local games unless they sell out (Sky could easily do it if they wanted). Even better, play local games in the afternoons like they used to - time shift them for the Aussies.
As others have pointed out if you want to spend $400M ($188M+financing/opportunity cost over 20 years) to fix local rugby - then you'd actually be better off just giving $50 to everyone who goes to a Carisbrook game - it would actually be cheaper
You know the best thing any teacher taught me was one day in 3rd form when our english teacher sat down, pulled out his check book and explained how it worked, how to balance it and why that was important
Dunedin in the 70s - we wagged - well I didn't, but in retrospect I wish I had - the bullying was so horrendous I have no idea how I ever got up the nerve to go back there day after day - 35 years later the place still gives me the willies, I've actively worked to make sure my kids never do
of course some will never reach the average - half the kids are always going to be below average - that's the nature of the beast.
As someone pointed out the averages are moving (up) which is a good thing - I think at a very basic level we need to target two things: firstly making sure everyone who leaves school can function in society (bsic literacy, numeracy) and secondly pushing those averages up (this is a case where a rising tide does lift all boats)
I was talking to a bunch of my son's friend's tonight - one had been fired (he said) because he'd asked his boss to pay him minimum wage (apparently you have to pay a kid under 18 minimum wage after 90 days and he'd worked there that long) - when I explained about what National were doing the penny dropped - "but they can fire us every 90 days and never pay us minimum wage"
Smart kids - that's what unions are for and why politics are important
Ah but there's the big problem, a real dilemma: a yellow mini showing up in the 1800 would just wrong - but equally it would be really really symbolic - you can see how a director would be torn - I think you take the wheels off and have it carried by a bunch of orcs instead