Finishing touches put to plan over Thai
Like a game, the sides were strategising.
A secret meeting in Invercargill City Council chief executive Richard King's first-floor office, involving King, mayor Tim Shadbolt and Invercargill Licensing Trust chairman Alan Dennis, took place over Thai takeaways on Monday night - minutes before they stepped inside the confines of Rugby Park into what was expected to be a heated meeting.
King said the dinner was "a team meeting" being held in his Esk St headquarters while chowing down on Asian takeaways.
City council representatives gathered to be brought "up to speed" on the state of play ahead of formal discussions about the future of Rugby Park, home of the Southland Stags.
Deputy mayor Darren Ludlow, who attended the meeting at Rugby Park, was surprised to hear of the secret meeting and said he was not invited to the dinner meeting in the executive's office beforehand.
Councillor Neil Boniface confirmed he attended the meeting before heading to Rugby Park, though he only "had a bit of Thai".
"You don't go in divided."
Dennis, who is also a city councillor, confirmed he was at the dinner rendezvous but said licensing trust chief executive Greg Mulvey "could not make it".
However, his team had a plan and it was about "sticking to it" in the Rugby Park meeting held soon after, he said.
But it appeared they were not the only team preparing their moves ahead of the Monday night encounter.
He could also see the Community Trust of Southland representatives in cahoots outside Rugby Park just minutes before moving in for the meeting.
"I can see community trust members sorting out their moves too."
The Southland Times