Delays to stadium rebuild bring job losses

KIMBERLEY CRAYTON-BROWN
Last updated 05:00 13/11/2012

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The delays to the rebuild of Stadium Southland have resulted in some staff losing jobs because their wages are no longer covered by insurance.

Stadium Trust chairman Acton Smith confirmed people had lost their jobs. He said the insurance lasted two years from when the stadium collapsed and had run out in September.

He could not answer questions about the number of staff affected or when it happened, as it was part of the management of the stadium and he did not have those details.

"I was aware that this was a possibility that might have to happen," he said.

He believed it was a case of the insurance running out and not having the stadium up and running.

"I would say it is just a financial fundamental, which is sad, but originally we hoped to have the stadium up and running now. Through a combination of things that hasn't happened."

Stadium Trust deputy chairman Alan Dennis said the opening of the new stadium was "obviously some time away" (next winter).

"Which is unfortunate, I might add, because the staff down here are just great, but if it is a case of downsizing it has got to do with rationalising staff," he said.

"Hopefully in the long term that can be picked up when we are back in full swing. Obviously we don't have a stadium and the stadium staff were there originally for the stadium and the velodrome. It doesn't take rocket science to work out some savings have to be made."

Both Mr Smith and Mr Dennis said the job losses were a management decision and the trust, which owned the building, was not involved in the stadium management.

General manager Nigel Skelt or Invercargill Venue and Events Management board chairman Bruce Middleton would be the best people to speak to, they said.

However, when contacted, Mr Skelt said he could not comment. He had spoken to Mr Middleton, who wanted questions submitted in writing, but Mr Middleton did not return calls yesterday.

kimberley.crayton-brown@stl.co.nz

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