Letter: Time to end bailouts
I read with interest Mayor Tracy Hicks' opinion piece. There has been a sense of inevitability that somewhere along the line local funding organisations will continue to bail out Rugby Park as they have continually bailed out other sports-related facilities such as the indoor stadium.
I feel Mayor Hicks hasn't looked back far enough with respect to Rugby Park as was it not once owned by Rugby Southland? And then the Stadium Outdoor Trust was created to own it which quite frankly appeared as a mechanism to shift the responsibility of maintenance off Rugby Southland. Oh, and to allow the Outdoor Trust as a separate entity to apply for funding separate from Rugby Southland . . . but perhaps I am being cynical.
It seems endless funding has flowed Rugby Southland's way or to its proxy (Outdoor Trust) and, as is the case with this bailout option, it is to the detriment of other sports, the arts and community organisations.
However, it does finally seem that it might be coming right. I think the ICC are a better choice of owner, as long as other organisations get decent access, and I am comfortable to assist with subsidising operating costs via my rates as we need these facilities, even if I personally don't use it now I did in the past. But let it end there; Rugby Southland needs to continue to operate with financial acumen and for the Outdoor Stadium we don't need a ''hero'' option. Too much is going to too few and it has to stop.
People need to start being accountable!
The Southland Times