Plans for the controversial Otago
Stadium moved forward today, despite an injunction hearing on
Thursday that could derail the project.
The Dunedin City Council tonight voted to accept a construction
contract from Hawkins Construction Ltd to complete the proposed
stadium for $165.4 million.
After deliberating for more than eight hours today, the council
voted 10 to four in favour of approving the contract.
The council also announced a $15 million funding shortfall would
be met by the Government and that Mayor Peter Chin would meet Rugby
World Cup Minister Murray McCully on Wednesday to discuss the
details of the arrangement.
However, the plans for the stadium could be thrown into disarray
on Thursday when the council will fight an interim injunction
application brought by protest group Stop the Stadium.
The group filed an injunction notice in the High Court last week
in a bid to stop the council from entering into a contract to build
the proposed $198 million stadium.
It said the council should consult further with ratepayers, and
that the stadium represented in the long-term plan draft was not
substantially the same as that in the current annual plan.
Mayor Peter Chin said the council had agreed to defend the
proceedings and instructed its chief executive to work with the
council's legal advisers and, if appropriate, to instruct Queen's
Counsel to represent them, the Otago Daily Times reported.
The High Court hearing will be held in Christchurch on Thursday.