18 Apr 2009

Injunction could delay construction of new stadium

5:11 pm on 18 April 2009

Dunedin City Council will decide on Monday whether to go ahead with awarding a construction contract for the city's proposed stadium despite an application being lodged for an injunction to stop it.

The move has been challenged by a group that opposes the project, Stop the Stadium, which filed the application for a judicial review of the council's processes at the High Court late on Friday.

But the Stop the Stadium group has asked the court to rule that decision invalid and grant an injunction, because it says, the council has not adequately consulted the public.

Council chief executive, Jim Harland, says the council may still go ahead with awarding the contract as planned.

He says councillors will, on Monday, essentially have the choice of signing the contracts and dealing with the legal proceedings later, or delaying the signing.

The city council says if an injunction is granted, it would delay construction, meaning the $198 million stadium may not be ready for the World Cup.

Dunedin is to host three round-robin matches in the 2011 tournament featuring Scotland and England, against qualifiers, and the Ireland vs Italy game.

They will be held at Carisbrook but will be moved if a new stadium is ready in time.

Stop The Stadium's solicitor Hilary Calvert says the council is still able to go ahead with Monday's meeting, but any decisions may be ruled invalid if an injunction is granted.

Stop the Stadium president Bev Butler says the community has a legal right to be consulted before the contract is voted on.

She says costs have blown out to $198 million and the structure of private funding has changed significantly.