20 Apr 2009

Council approves Dunedin stadium contract

9:05 pm on 20 April 2009

The Dunedin City Council has approved a construction contract for a new enclosed stadium, pending the outcome of a court hearing on Thursday.

Councillors voted 10 to 4 in favour of approving the guaranteed maximum price contract offered by Hawkins Construction. The contract is set at about $165million.

However, the approval is contingent on a High Court hearing to be held in Christchurch on Thursday. A decision from Justice Chisholm is then expected to be made public on Friday.

The lobby group Stop the Stadium is seeking an injunction to

stop the council signing the contract, or render any contract void, until after public consultation on the Annual Plan is completed in June.

Stop the Stadium says the project has changed significantly since the last round of public consultation.

Among its concerns are that a bridging loan requirement has more than doubled from $19million to $42million.

Dunedin's mayor, Peter Chin, admits that if the injunction is granted, it will put the project in jeopardy. But he says if it is unsuccessful, the way is clear for the stadium to be built.

He acknowledges the stadium has polarised the community, but believes more people support it than oppose it.