MP for Dunedin South
MP for Dunedin North
15 March 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Otago rugby solution a huge relief to our region: Labour MPs
Dunedin Labour MPs Clare Curran and David Clark today said all of Otago owes a big thank you to the effort and
commitment of all those who have pulled together to save Otago rugby.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for our region with the prospect of losing our senior team in the ITM Cup, and facing up to
the entrenched financial collapse of the Otago Rugby Football Union, Clare Curran said.
“We are deeply grateful for the efforts of the NZ Rugby Union, key local people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes
to broker a solution and the generosity of the Dunedin City Council in being prepared to write off debt at a time when
it could not afford to do so.”
“It’s times like these when our city works together that real gains can be made. We know that sacrifices have been made
and that it has been a tough time for everyone involved,” she said.
The Labour MPs acknowledged many in Dunedin have concerns about the costs incurred for the city in yet another bailout.
“A fresh board and close observation of its progress will be essential to maintain public confidence in the new regime,”
Dr Clark said.
“The fact that everyone has mostly focussed on the important issue of saving Otago rugby and resisted the urge to engage
in finger pointing has been a testament to Otago spirit, said Dr Clark.
“It is incumbent on all the city’s leaders to now continue to work together to promote the game and to support a new
entity get established”, he said.
We hope that despite a new entity being established that the experience and institutional knowledge of key individuals
will not be lost to Otago rugby.
“We concur with Dunedin mayor Dave Cull that there was no ideal solution and that the city’s ratepayers would ultimately
bear some of the cost of ensuring professional rugby had a future in our region,” he said.
It was apparent to everyone that the importance of a strong rugby union is essential to our city’s economy, whether
through the direct or indirect flow on.
“We applaud the mature way the issues have been worked through and we ask that Otago people boost their support for
rugby in our province and get behind our blue and gold team,” Clare Curran said.