Stadium donations?

Comment by Elizabeth Kerr on the What If? Dunedin… forum:

September 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm
Dunedin City Councillors must put a specific question to Malcolm Farry, chair of the Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust, on the existence or not of private donations ASAP. No better day for it than 5 September 2011, at the meeting of the Finance, Strategy and Development Committee.

My response in an email to Elizabeth:

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Sunday, 4 September 2011
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Stadium donations?

Hi Elizabeth,

Re the question of Stadium donations, I have asked this question every few months in all the time I have been on Council.

As I see it, claimed donations amount to nothing or at best negligible Stadium funding.

What little that has not been paid for by the Dunedin ratepayer has been paid for by the tax payer [us in all cases], with the promised private funding a mirage of purchased products paid for [in forty years time hopefully] by us. My 2007 estimate of a $500,000,000 real Stadium cost is beginning to look conservative.

In 2007 the figure of just $30 of donations was printed by the ODT, but many months later denied as untrue by Malcolm Farry who claimed that donations had been much larger but that he could not identify Donators or quantify donation amounts. At one point Malcolm Farry responded to one of my donations questions by saying that many businesses had made their ‘donations’ by purchasing expensive suites and boxes at the Stadium, and that they made this kind of ‘donation’ for tax purposes. Bev has made a good job of skewering Farry’s demented definitions of donation.

I have consistently maintained that sales of Stadium seats or suites can not be considered as donations or considered as private funding, as this ‘private funding’ is simply the sale of seats and products that have been already been paid for [or more accurately borrowed for] by Dunedin ratepayers.

Malcolm Farry has again this year refused to quantify Stadium donations, but in an FS&D meeting several months ago [I could probably track down the date if necessary as I kept notes] David Davies was more forthcoming with a donations figure of $330,000. Pathetic however you look at it, and still not clear if this donation amount was unencumbered, namely as an inducement for receipt of some Stadium contract or related good. An early [2006?] $1million Stadium donation offer much crowed about by Malcolm Farry turned out to be a $1 million offer conditional upon getting a substantial demolition/cartage contract in return, and although its existence was much heralded By Malcolm Farry, it obviously never came to anything as evidenced by much later donation total amount confirmed by David Davies above. 

I can ask again tomorrow, if there has been any advance on the $330,000 last offered by David Davies, but the point has been well hammered by me already, even if it has been largely ignored in the media. [I note that DScene are seldom able to attend Council meetings for want of reporting staff]

I hope the above answers your donation questions, but look forward to providing further details if required.

Kind regards,


About Lee Vandervis

My name is Lee Vandervis and I was born in Balclutha 60 years ago to Dutch immigrant parents who ran a successful building contractor business. I have been passing Dad nails since I can remember and I learned to swing a hammer usefully early in life. My parents always pushed the values of thrift and a broad education. At Otago University I gained a BA in Philosophy before going to London for 5 years overseas experience, working in electronics manufacturing and rising to Production Manager of Midas Audio UK, building mixing consoles for musicians like Stevie Wonder, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. I returned to Dunedin in 1981 to have a family and set up Vandervision Lighting Audio and Video, making it Dunedin’s largest lighting hire business, and restoring heritage buildings like Dundas st Church and 401 Moray Place along the way. I sold most of my business interests when first elected to the DCC in 2004. Dunedin City Councillor profile:
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