Secrecy Abounds

4 Mar

So the South Alive sculpture is a secret.  That usually means few people were involved in the decision.  Not all decisions are good decisions.  Take this Auckland sculpture as an example.


It’s a cloud…

Feed Them To The Lions!

26 Feb

I liked today’s editorial.  Throwing a few yes-men councillors to the lions sounds like the perfect use of Rugby Park, and we would even pay again for the honour of watching.

Unfortunately it was not until Friday arvo/evening when my epiphany hit of what I believe is a simple but achievable solution.  Now it is too late and SOST have made no real attempts to help themselves so they aren’t going to now that they have had a lifeline thrown to them.  I don’t think they would have anyway…but if it was their only option things would have been different.  I don’t see the other councils (or submitters to annual plans of Gore and SDC) offering to help fund it.  The stadium has been saved!!!!  All hail ICC (and let them pay).

I am ignoring the moral aspects of the situation because I believe that RS have caused this therefore they should be wound up.  Not my problem.  Let those who caused it and benefit sort it.  Fundraising, donations etc like every other club has to.  SOST was created to bail out RS.  Now we are saving them..I digress.

The issue is that SOST do not have enough income to fund the maintenance and operation of Rugby Park and service the loan payments.  They are effectively insolvent.   They currently have an income of $172K p.a.  $166K is from corporate boxes so we hope that would remain, it seems to have been reasonably constant in the past.  So how to increase the income on a regular basis?  My answer is the get the SOST to apply to the three councils to implement a Rugby Park Rate.  This is no different than how the Bluff Town Hall was done (except I would need it to be on agendas, in Annual Plans etc – openly and transparently).

SOST speak to each council in public and prior to annual plans going out (NOW!!!) and ask that the councils include a rate in their annual plans on ALL rateable properties in Southland.  I have checked, Gore has approx 6,500, SDC has 20,800, and ICC has 25,000 (a total of 52,300).  A set figure of $9.56 per rateable property will generate $500,000 (collected by councils and passed on to SOST).  They now have corporate box income and rating income.  We will call it $650,000 total (without putting any effort into sponsorship).  ICC should not have done anything (even consult) until SOST (not ICC) had tried this.

The outgoings of SOST are

expThe ‘administration’ cost includes the management contract they have with RS.

rsTo ensure the SOST are the true owners (and operators) of Rugby Park and they cut the ties between them and RS I feel they should not have RS manage the facility.  I think the Southland population would agree and have more confidence in the rate being effective and that there is no chance a bailout is needed in the future and that the facility is safe.  RS is not my concern in this.  They will lose $99K income by not managing the park but they will under this plan be able to be repaid by SOST.  If the current trustees don’t want the job then they can change the constitution to allow for trustees to be nominated or voted at public meetings or part of the Local Government elections (this is a way councils can help).

I am, of course, a layman but I don’t know why the facility would need anymore than a manager and a groundsman.  I wouldn’t think they would even need to be 40 hour a week jobs.  My layman’s thought is that the money usually spent on the management contract go toward employing their own staff.  Russell Thomas can still have a job but with a different employer.  I realise this doesn’t save any money but it cuts the ties between the two groups.

I am going to ignore ‘depreciation’ as such because unless the money is being put aside (in an account) for future maintenance it is not an actual expense.  A cheque is not written out to anyone.

For the purposes of doing the math, I will use the ICC lauded $290K p.a. figure to ‘run the stadium’.  Tracy Hicks lauded a similar figure.  My plan has the ‘administration cost’ which includes the wages as the same remember ($129k) meaning the following would apply

Corporate boxes               $150,000
Ratepayer contrib            $500,000

Total income                      $650,000

Admin                               $129,000
‘Running Costs’                $290,000

Expenditure                    $419,000

Debt repayment and a maintenance fund will have $231,000 to share.  Everyone can be paid back including RS.  No deals for free office rental will apply.  RS will have to pay for offices BUT they don’t have to employ a groundskeeper because SOST will care for the grounds.  I am told that RS have a lease in place with ICC for Oreti Park (Sandy Point Domain rugby grounds) and the RS groundskeeper also looks after them.  I would have no problem with ICC mowing it and maintaining it for amateur rugby.  ICC mow Bluff Rugby Grounds don’t they?

Not factored in is the hirage fees they can generate.  With their future secure without hireage costs they can offer differing rates for the use of the facilities, i.e, not-for-profit groups rate, fundraising rate (e.g. free for Relay For Life type events) and another rate for professional events.

With public confidence returned to the operation and future of the facility I would hope more sponsorship opportunities are taken up by businesses also.

As a true community facility I would also hope that catering contracts and the like be equitably awarded.

Now I need a devil’s advocate or two.  I hope the councillors also consider this as a viable option because IT IS NOT TOO LATE!!!

…And Your Chicks For Free

25 Feb

The Events committee agenda has reminded me to share these Public Excluded minutes.  They include the Urgent Application from Duco Events.  Strange how ‘the contract needs to be signed by Friday’.  Were they rushed that quickly?  Or did they choose not to put it on the agenda?  By not having on the agenda and deeming it urgent they are claiming that the ‘application’ was notified to them and expected the be signed in less than a week.  $50K funding (to a company) in less than a week, and decided by only two people.  Mayor Tim had apologies in and has again for the upcoming meeting.

I see that Bluff Promotions has a funding application in and a grant ‘to be paid’.  I wonder if it is two grants on just one that they have already approved prior to the meeting.  I’m a cynic.

Maybe it is for the badly promoted Bluff Heritage Day.  It is on the ICC website but not their own with only three weeks to go and ‘a Bluff Promotions Booth at the Old Town Wharf’.

It Seems Intelligence Is Not A Requirement Of Elected Members

25 Feb

I am told that a vote of 5 – 4 agreed to Option 2 (with amendments) to put the responsibility of Rugby Southland’s debts (and mis-management) on to the already down-trodden ratepayers of Invercargill

Breaking News!!!

23 Feb

Proof that time is not of the essence and that CTOS have no immediate plans to call on the debt. 

My plan is looking like the most viable way to resolve this.  I’ll try to put it on the blog in detail as it needs a Devil’s Advocate or two to give it the once (and twice) over.


Those Submissions

22 Feb

I started to go through the Rugby Park submissions but to be honest they have the same situation as the wind farm ones.  The carte blanche ‘Save Rugby Park’ which is akin to the wind farm ‘Wind Power is good’ argument.  Looking at the submissions you can see they have been added in clumps after being alphabetised.  The initial 38, which obviously dribbled in (up until the morning of 12 February), have no pattern but from number 39 you see the clumping begins.  Number 39 -44, 45 – 64, 65 – 115, 116 – 149, 150 – 153.  It tends to be assorted to a degree from there.  I’m not sure why they would bother alphabetising and not then merging them but it does show that the glut of ‘no content on submission’ all came in in the same glut along with the ‘Save Rugby Park’ submitters.  I don’t want to trivialise their submissions but without some more information we don’t know who should save the park and how.

Credit to Melissa Short for noting which submitters are from outside of Invercargill.  I know anyone can submit but remember those elected members are there at the behest of the residents of Invercargill.  The residents elected them and will be the ones who decide whether to re-elect them so they should be mindful of that.

It is interesting that the submitters supporting Option 1 (I do declare I am one) are more committed to their submissions.  The majority of the Option 2 submissions have little comment other than to say they support # 2.  Most of those submitting for an alternative are stating that all councils should be involved.  To me that is a lot fairer than just Invercargill City Council ratepayers.  ICC will claim that other councils wouldn’t agree when it was initially proposed but that was toward a Regional Facilities Rate (museum upgrade in disguise).  King and Mayor Tim went cap in hand to ES for A2B why not approach the other councils on this (not Regional Facilities or the Museum, just Rugby Park).  As Rodney Tribe mentioned in his submission, time is NOT a factor.  Repayments to CTOS are not due until 2018.  No matter what the decision is on Tuesday, maybe they could still approach all the councils to include a rate for Rugby Park in their annual plans.

Something SOST may also like to look into is how the Bluff Town Hall rate was implemented and functions. Any one can approach a council to rate on their behalf.  If the council put it in the annual plan they can do it and pass on the money collected to the relevant group.  Most of the town halls and community centres, not owned by council, function like this.  Why not Rugby Park?

While I personally do not support what I am suggesting I think that ICC need to ‘think outside of the box’ (and their fiefdom).  Oh dear, I have just come up with a plan!  Knowing my brain it will take over my every waking moment….bugger.

1 1/4

17 Feb

Anyone know what the $1,250,000 Capital Expenditure in the Finance and Policy Agenda is?

Sorry, can't be bothered editing it down...etc.... CLICK TO ENLARGE

Sorry, can’t be bothered editing it down…etc….



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