8 Aug 2011

Former mayor says stadium worth every penny

11:10 pm on 8 August 2011

A former mayor of Dunedin has defended the city's new stadium, saying it is worth its big pricetag.

Dunedin ratepayers are facing even higher rates to pay for the $200 million Forsyth Barr Stadium due to a looming budget shortfall.


Dunedin City Councillor Lee Van der Vis told Radio New Zealand's Afternoons programme on Monday the city is now stuck with a stadium it can ill-afford and ratepayers will be paying it off for decades.

"The stadium is symptomatic of a much deeper malaise at the dcc, where essentially staff keep putting chocolate-coated capital projects in front of the councillors and the councillors keep ticking them off."

But Mr Chin told the programme the stadium's costs were planned for and well worth it.

"When the decision was made to build the stadium, we were aware that the total debt of council for the next few years was going to climb before it came down.

"And so we're in that cycle - which was predicted and talked about - and debated at the time the decision was made about the stadium."

Mr Chin says the stadium is a great success.