Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Because I am weak

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  • Don Christie,

    "but I'm not going to stick it to councillors who are doing their job by looking out for their city."

    Really? Maybe you should. It was a councillor who, on your behalf demanded a 50 year plan rather than a stadium. All well and good, but as I intimated above the timing sucks.

    If she had said "here is our 50 year plan and this is how a stadium does/does not fit in" I might have been a bit more impressed.

    But right now, your councillors are not only screwing things up for your city they are screwing things up for NZ. You may not like hearing that perspective but that it is there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report

  • John Morrison,

    Go for it Compie!
    This waterfront stadium idea is bigger than finding a venue for the RWC 2011. NZ needs a national stadium, something all of us can be proud of, and putting it on the waterfront gives all of NZ exactly that. Eden Park will always be seen as a provincial Auck ground - it is time that the knockers lift their eyes a bit more.
    I take on board the concerns about design. But I think that heaven & earth will be shifted to make sure it is buit in time for 2011

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Andy C,

    I don't know whether this is an inherent thing in Aucklanders, New Zealanders or maybe just people in general (particularly those descended from the English) but it seems to me that the fault is with the system for demanding public opinion for any major project - there will almost always be a largely negative response from the public for any major project like this.

    Granted, there is nothing wring with a little public consultation, but large projects such as this should never be halted just because a vocal group of people complain about it. The fact is that nobody wanted the Sydney Opera House, or the Sky Tower, or probably the Manukau Wastewater treatment plant, but we have got them nonetheless and there would not be many people around who would not appreciate their value to their respective cities.

    The problem is that a large number of people have a serious lack of vision for their cities, and are only concerned at how things will affect them. The waterfront stadium is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Auckland, and I would be very disappointed if the opportunity to build something iconic in this city (for a change) were to be wasted. Don't forget that lots of people moaned about the Britomart Transport Centre, and the original concept was watered down to something that is now proving to be too small - in the last year passenger numbers on trains in Auckland jumped by 32% to over 5 million trips. As Mike Lee says, build it and they will come.

    Let's just build the thing and argue about it later - I would put money on it that people like it once it's there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report

  • Andy C,

    By the way, if Ports of Auckland bought all of public shares in Ports of Tauranga, they would be able to transfer much of the container load to Tauranga and still maintain their revenue stream, whilst also achieving the same end that the much talked about merger between the two ports would achieve...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    I'd love it if Aucklanders could grow up and lose the enourmous chip on their shoulders about Wellington; given the way it's infected Russell of late, I guess neither of us will be getting what we want.

    I was thinking of a particular Dom Post column last week whining about the potential cost and casting aspersions on Auckland. It seemed a bit rich.

    I'll echo the comment that it would perhaps be best located in Christchurch, if we have to have a "National Stadium" at all; as a previous poster noted, Aucklanders seem almost singularly uninsterest in showing up to sporting events in their fair city when compared to other centres, and Christchurch certainly doesn't suffer from that problem.

    Well, actually, Canterbury wasn't getting big crowds for Ranfurly Shield games this season, and wasn't there a test match that didn't sell out out at Jade? Auckland does seem to be the only city that can reliably fill a 60k ground for test matches.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Manakura,

    I am noticing that is mostly people from out of Auckland that are getting a bit shirty about the notion of having a healthy debate about a major public project. Compie, and the rest: after decades of having greedy developers and vain politicians ruin our urban environment you cant blame concerned citizens of Auckland wanting to ensure it doesn't happen yet again. I think the ranting about Auckland vs the rest of the country, and that we sceptical Jafas are "prophets of doom" is a bit melodramatic mate.

    Sure call us snippy and whatever you like, but people are all fairly similar everywhere - remember the mad debate about that bridge in ChCh? Everyone just wants to make sure 'they'/we/everyone doesn't fuck it up. The precise point of so many people being sceptical is that we know all too well the costs of allowing mediocrity to become the norm in urban design.

    Also, I have a love of interesting architecture, Frank Gehry is one of my favourites, along with Gaudi, and I am sure both would look at the images being floated about and agree, it looks like a goddam haemorrhoid cushion, and its boring. If I thought we could do that site on the waterfront justice, I would be all for it. BUT, as previous posters have noted, there is something fishy about the way this is being rushed through without any public debate.

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Don said:

    Really? Maybe you should. It was a councillor who, on your behalf demanded a 50 year plan rather than a stadium.

    Quite. That was a monumentally weird thing to say in the circumstances. Did she want to look completely daft?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Tom Beard,

    it looks like a goddam haemorrhoid cushion

    Sigh. It seems to me that any proper stadium (as opposed to the random collections of stands that make up most of our sports grounds) is going to be roughly toroidal. Thus, it'll be pretty easy for any detractor to liken it to a caketin, or bedpan, or haemorrhoid cushion. Not being particularly familiar with any of the above, it looks to me a bit like a ... stadium.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report

  • Clarke,

    Scene opens: Two people are standing outside the local dairy - UNCLE TREVOR, a bespectacled middle-aged man with a big roll of unmarked $20 bills in his sweaty hand, and AUCKLAND, a six year old child wearing a stained t-shirt with the words "It's All About Me!" printed on it.

    UNCLE TREVOR: "So, Auckland, how about we go get a special little treat. Would you like an Eden Park iceblock, or one of those fancy new Waterfront icecreams shaped like a haemoroid cushion?"
    AUCKLAND: "Don't know" (twists foot backwards and forwards)
    UNCLE TREVOR: "C'mon, your choice. You can have either one, and I'm paying!" (looks around furtively in case he is overheard by a lurking taxpayer)
    AUCKLAND: "Don't know. What would Granny Herald want me to do?"
    UNCLE TREVOR: (Rolls eyes) "Who cares? Either way you're getting a lovely free treat, and you don't have to pay for it! Won't that be nice?"
    AUCKLAND: "Spose so. Waterfront icecream, I guess."
    UNCLE TREVOR: "Don't sound so happy about it. Let's go get one, then."
    AUCKLAND: "No, wait ... Eden Park iceblock. 75% of me doesn't want a Waterfront icecream after all ..."
    UNCLE TREVOR: "Make up your mind - if you can't decide, I'll have to give the treat to that red-headed step-child, Christchurch."
    AUCKLAND: "Noooo! Christurch is cold and horrible and up herself! I want a Waterfront icecream!!"
    UNCLE TREVOR: "I thought you wanted an Eden Park iceblock ..."
    AUCKLAND: "Noooooo! You never listen or consult with me! I want a Waterfront Eden Park ice-block-cream!!"
    UNCLE TREVOR: (bemused look on face) "?"
    AUCKLAND: "See, you're not listening!! If Granny Herald or Second Cousin Dick Hubbard were here they'd know what I really want!"
    UNCLE TREVOR: "Look, Auckland, it's a really simple choice ... do you want the Eden Park iceblock or the Waterfront icecream? We don't have all day - the shop closes in 2011."
    AUCKLAND: "I want ... I want ... Carlaw Park lollies!!"
    UNCLE TREVOR: "Carlaw Park lollies? But the Carlaw Park confectionary company went out of business years ago when Roger Douglas stopped its subsidies ..."
    AUCKLAND: "Doesn't matter! I want Carlaw Park lollies! Now!
    UNCLE TREVOR: (with patient look on face) "But the dairy doesn't sell Carlaw Park lollies any more. You have to have the iceblock or the ice cream ..."
    AUCKLAND: "Noooooooooo! Lollies!!!!!!!"

    AUCKLAND bursts into tears, runs off down the road crying "you never consult with me!"

    UNCLE TREVOR looks folornly at his roll of $20 notes. "Bugger it. Better give that slapper Christchurch a call ... and Auckland can get stuffed if he thinks he's getting a light rail train-set or a second harbour bridge for Christmas."

    SCENE FADES to the sound of Fletcher Construction executives saying "Shit, that was close" from offstage ...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • rodgerd,

    I was thinking of a particular Dom Post column last week whining about the potential cost and casting aspersions on Auckland. It seemed a bit rich.

    Ah, so a national stadium funded by the whole nation shouldn't be commented upon by those south of the Bombays?

    And the cost is huge. Three quarters of a billion dollars. I'm not going to drag out the "how many hip operations?" canard, but it doesn't take too much to imagine how many national or even Auckland issues (power grid, rail transport, what have you) could do with that injection of money.

    I know you think we down south have a "massive entitlement complex", but really.

    I am noticing that is mostly people from out of Auckland that are getting a bit shirty about the notion of having a healthy debate about a major public project.

    I can understand your frustration bout the poor planning of Auckland, and wanting to see debate to ensure this isn't another episode, but equally, I think you'll find those people outside Auckland who are bewildered by the infighting are:

    a) looking askance at people squabling over a three-quarter billion dollar windfall,

    b) astonished that the ARC and councils can't get get it together, and

    c) (for some) concerned that it'll end in another 2003 style hosting debacle, where we lose the cup because a bunch of pollies in Auckland can't get it together.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah, so a national stadium funded by the whole nation shouldn't be commented upon by those south of the Bombays?

    No, it just seemed unduly bitchy given the taxpayer money ploughed into national assets in Wellington over the years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Mark Walker,

    Buzz thepeople have a poll and a chance to tell Trevor Mallard and Dick Hubbard what you think TellTrevor.co.nz

    Mangawhai • Since Nov 2006 • 7 posts Report

  • Manakura,

    O for fucks sake can we not make this about some petty Auckland vs the rest shouting match. (Altho Clarke is pretty funny. heheh.) We all have a right to join the debate about what this new stadium should be as we are all paying for it (we meaning Aotearoans) and it is apparently being constructed in our name. This whole parochial bullshit is soo old and it is detracting from the real issue, which is building a decent stadium in the right place. How about any time a wanker makes any hint at some imaginary conflict between any major NZ cities we just ignore them, wherever they are from, hmm?

    Now back to the issue at hand: Tom Beard is right, the inherent nature of a sports stadium is that designing one that is interesting and challenging is well nigh impossible - although I always thought 'Caketin' was a compliment, I love cake so let them have it! -which is one more reason why I don't want any stadium on the waterfront. There are so many better things we can do down there.

    Also, since it will be taxpayers money going into this, isn't a robust debate in everyones favour? Imagine the stink that gets kicked up if we just let all those monkeys from ACC and parliament build their pipedreams and it doesn't get finished in time or costs billions. Just because there is disagreement it doesn't mean there is 'infighting', like I said earlier, no matter what city/town/bush shack you live in people are always going to want to have a say in how their environment is shaped.

    Frankly, I would rather the RWC final went to Jade Stadium than having some monstrosity plonked on Bledisloe or Cook wharves. And considering the design, engineering, and time issues, the waterfront is the most likely site for a monstrosity to occur, despite best intentions.

    Whatever happens, whether it is Eden Park, Carlaw Park, the waterfront or Jade Stadium that gets the nod, we all need to make sure that we keep the idiots we elect on their toes to ensure that we get something at least half decent.

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report

  • Tony Kennedy,

    I note a quote from Minister Cullen in to-days DOM “It’s a cake tin on a cake tin” by way of an explanation as to difficulties of upgrading the “stadium” capacity to 65k. I have emailed my mum for her layer cake recipe.
    Lets for a moment assume that the Auckland waterfront stadium never happens, what will the waterfront site look like in twenty years time? My lazy $5 is on a carpark for used car imports

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 225 posts Report

  • WH,

    Graham Henry is at least as good as Rod McQueen, the coach of the last team to dominate world rugby. There's a rugby genius behind that wry grin and laconic manner I say - mad props, propitious circumstances, et cetera. The only thing that can stop us now is an untimely intercept try.

    After some initial doubts, I am coming around to the waterfront proposal, mainly because of the superior public transport options and the implications for the CBD. Maybe we can persuade Trev to fix the rest of the public transport network while he's here.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report

  • James Green,

    A naïve question perhaps, and a little out of left field: What dollar figure would make the IRB forget about the capacity issue?

    Limerick, Ireland • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen,

    Ok just a couple of comments and thoughts

    Why spend 500 mill to 1 bill on a stadium? Here is a good clue. This will be 10 years on and with a lot more tourists. My guess is even if we (the country) spend a billion on the stadia upgrades we will make on the deal just from the world cup on it's own. But I'm not an economist so my guess is just that.

    Several people have commented on the fear that it will turn out ugly. I agree it might turn out ugly - So we should try really really hard to make sure our input makes it turn out, if not beautiful, than at least iconic. As I said before that's my worry, that we won't take the time to make it look cool.

    Many comments about the stadium not being open to the public - er well no - but really I don't want to go play on the field inside the stadium. What I want to do is make sure that around the stadium (beside the water) there are things like walkways and beach volleyball courts and random patches of grass to play on and seating so you can look at David's house in Devonport and watch him training for the next Auckland marathon. That's the public space and that's the key to making this thing "fit into the city" and not "on top of the city".

    As for the majority saying no - well I'm sorry but the majority of whingers who could be bothered writing to the Herald said no as did the majority of whingers on talkback. Since when is that the majority of Aucklanders or New Zealanders. And even if the majority say no - who cares - the majority of people in Germany thought Hitler would make a good politician - the majority of people who voted in the US thought Bush was bright enough to be in charge, heck here in NZ we voted for Muldoon! - the point being "the majority" of people often don't know squat. What is more important to me is if we get a panel of thoughtful knowledgable urban designers together and they have a good think about this and they then say no - then I think we ought to step back from it.

    Meanwhile, behind that fence at the bottom of Quay Street- beyond the cheap crappy import cars - beyond the pile of containers that spoil the sightlines - beyond the stinking great container ships ---- is a city of sails harbour! I personally do not believe that land will ever be developed into a public space without the excuse of a world cup stadium.

    Go for it - just make it cool.


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • davesparks,

    And the Lions tour didn't have the international TV audience that a RWC does!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Lets for a moment assume that the Auckland waterfront stadium never happens, what will the waterfront site look like in twenty years time? My lazy $5 is on a carpark for used car imports.

    I tend to think the same thing. I've yet to see any movement on "opening up the waterfront", for all that it's been talked about, and I wonder if the only thing that's going to move Ports of Auckland from the precious territory is a firm shove.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Yamis,

    500 million bucks.

    Lets crunch some numbers for people wondering if it's worth it.

    60,000 people paying on average 100 dollars for a tri Nations test or WC test or Lions test or whatever at least once a year equals 6 million dollars.

    That's right. 6 million dollars for one game. Twenty years of AB tests and there's been a turnover of 120 million and that is only looking at the price people paid for one game each year. Sure there are running costs for the venue but how about throwing in money spent of food and drink in teh stadium and the surrounding shops, restaurants, public transport, hotel rooms etc and we are looking at HUGE dollar returns to those investing, whether they be stadium owners, teams using it, councils, rate payers and whoever else.

    You would probably be looking at a ticket price turnover in all reality of 20+ million each and every year. In WC year if it was up and running and it sells out 4 times thats in the region of 25 million from 4 saturday nights.

    We aren't even looking at naming rights, corporate packages or anything.

    Anybody out there able to adjust my figures? I;m no expert but they seem feasible??? No?

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report

  • Manakura,

    I am inviking Godwin's Law to declare this thread closed, or at least redundant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law

    Well done Bert, a comparison to Nazi Germany and Hitler before the 100th post.

    Next please!

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report

  • Yamis,

    Doing a few more assumptions re 2 AB tests, 6 Super 14 games, 6 ANZNPC games, a Kiwi test, 2 ODIs, 2 rock concerts you might be looking at something in the region of 30 million dollars in ticket turnover in one year.

    A good year with Blues making the semi and final at home and likewise the NPC team and more along to watch each of them, plus more rock concerts and other events and you could be lloking at 40-50 million in ticket sales.

    Throw in all the associated money people spend and the figure could be anything from 50-100 million a year in money floating around due to the waterfront stadium.

    But does anybody get the feeling this is done and dusted and Eden Park will get its absolutely absurd upgrade in its absolutely absurd location and in a couple of decades we will be having the same discussion once again witht he only difference being the pricetags being quadrupled??!!

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    I suggest a test. Tell 70,000 people to make their way to Auckland's waterfront by a certain time. Once they are all there tell them to go home again. Sit back and watch the fun. Take careful note of all the people not from Auckland or from the Shore for whom Britomart is pretty but useless.

    Uh, yeah, welcome to Eden Park - tried getting there from any motorway? On the other hand, I imagine that you could close off Quay Street and make it a pedestrian boulevard any time you liked, with minimal disruption. There are already empty parking buildings at night, and Quay Street is wide enough for a dedicated bus and taxi lane on match days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Yamis,

    Further to that, people seemed to have forgotten that the vast majority of big ticket events would be kicking off at 7:30pm on friday and saturday nights which is when it is fairly well deserted down round the proposed site.

    As you say Russell, plenty of empty parking buildings and a bus depot and railway station basically over the road.

    Could it get any easier to get in and out??!!!!!!!!!

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report

  • Brett Larsen,

    I couldn't think of a worst area to be walking or driving at half past seven on a Friday night (talking that water front blues).

    Manurewa • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report

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