Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: All stadium, all the time

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  • Russell Brown,

    I predict they will try to push the Government into making the IRB or NZRFU dig deep to come up with an 80 million dollar resolution of the 12,000-odd seat shortage for the final.

    I would actually prefer the quick-n-dirty fix for Eden Park than pouring $400m into a dead venue, if that were possible. If by "resolution" you mean "agree to it", then that's probably not too difficult. If you mean "come up with the money", there's no chance. The NZRFU will probably lose money on the World Cup, and the IRB traditionally grasps every cent it can get. The trust board will squeal about spending that much on a temporary improvement, but could possibly have its collective arm forced up its back.

    They'll propose that we do something splendid on the Tank Farm in due course, without suspending the RMA and democratic process and call it a National Stadium. This stadium would be funded by the government rather then the people of Auckland. That's the way they do it with 'National' buildings in Wellington.

    Hmmm. In one way, yes, it's still a CBD stadium, and not Eden Park or NH Stadium, so that would be good. I guess the additional distance between the site and the CBD transport facilities would only be a little longer than that from the Wellington CBD to their stadium.

    But "in due course" means 10-20 years for the land uses to change, and longer for cleaning up. There would be a lot of work in picking up enough space on the Western Reclamation, and even more residential building there by the time you do it.

    I'm assuming the future stadium would go on the reclamation and not out on Wynyard Pt, the tank farm proper. If ever there was anywhere for a mixed-use public park opening to the harbour, it's out there on the point. If somebody plonks a stadium there (and there wouldn't be room for much else) I'm going round to Tessa Duder's to drink gin and cry.

    PS: Oh, yeah, the money. The ACC has already indicated that the ratepayers' contribution would be capped at $50m, and by the time the cost blows out, I think central government would be picking a lot more than the 50% it's currently offering - it wouldn't have much choice. It would take an unprecedented degree of unanimity for Auckland to convince a future government to open its wallet to the same degree, but achieving such common purpose would possibly be therapeutic in itself ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    They'll propose that we do something splendid on the Tank Farm in due course, without suspending the RMA and democratic process and call it a National Stadium. This stadium would be funded by the government rather then the people of Auckland. That's the way they do it with 'National' buildings in Wellington.

    Well, we know you are on weak ground when you feel the need to slag off Wellington, all that was missing was a referrence to Helengrad :-)

    I presume you are still aware the the proposed upgrade to Eden Park requires "a suspension of the democratic process and RMA" as well. Oh, and that the Eden Park bill has already gone from $50million to $380million.

    By the way, you get a chance to reassert the democratic process in 2 years time so don't fret too much on that account, will you.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    What's the chance they call it the Mallard Stadium? I mean, since we lost the hallowed Mallard Stand some time ago (are they related?)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    I presume you are still aware the the proposed upgrade to Eden Park requires "a suspension of the democratic process and RMA" as well.

    Hang on, havent eden park been working through the standard process till now, with the assumption that they would end up with having to go to the environment court in their time lines,

    according to the ACC the application was lodged on August 9
    resource consent application

    hearing were due to start last week, but have been delayed while this all goes on, So I am not sure it is true to say they will need an RMA suspension,

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So I am not sure it is true to say they will need an RMA suspension

    That's what the ACC site says will be necessary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    What's the chance they call it the Mallard Stadium? I mean, since we lost the hallowed Mallard Stand some time ago (are they related?)

    Assuming you're not being ironic, that was the Millard Stand at Athletic Park.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Yeah - I just wondered idly if the Mallard that was named for is an ancestor of our current, beloved Trev.

    And no, I don't think they should name anything (except maybe the ablution block) after him.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    If by "resolution" you mean "agree to it", then that's probably not too difficult. If you mean "come up with the money", there's no chance. The NZRFU will probably lose money on the World Cup, and the IRB traditionally grasps every cent it can get. The trust board will squeal about spending that much on a temporary improvement, but could possibly have its collective arm forced up its back.

    Ambiguity is the price I pay for writing in haste. What I meant was that I see them tossing it largely back to the promoters, who in the absence of civic largesse might reaquaint themselves with the temporary seating option. I take your point about IRB stinginess and their determination to replicate the profit of - from memory - US$150 million from the last tournament. But I just wonder, if the cost should be 30 to 80 million for temporary seating, (source: Rudman and Cayford respectively) whether the Trust, Union and Government might not find the dough with or without help from the IRB.

    But "in due course" means 10-20 years for the land uses to change, and longer for cleaning up. There would be a lot of work in picking up enough space on the Western Reclamation, and even more residential building there by the time you do it.

    That's exactly what I think you'll get, and what Cayford seems to foresee, and arguably what best serves the democratic process.

    I'm going round to Tessa Duder's to drink gin and cry.

    Interestingly, there were only a couple of speakers at last night's meeting adopting her line.

    Don, no snide sneer at Wellington intended. what I was getting at was that in this case it's being called a National Stadium, which implies it will be treated, funding-wise, in the way places like Te Papa have been, where central govt largely picks up the tab. As various speakers explained, that will not be the case for the waterfront stadium.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Don, no snide sneer at Wellington intended. what I was getting at was that in this case it's being called a National Stadium, which implies it will be treated, funding-wise

    Ok, not sure that the CakeTin or Jade received the same largesse. Just ask Karori Sanctury how they benefitted from their Capital location in funding allocation.

    However, if it will help the cause and for the record, this tax payer is happy for central Government to use it's money to finance the project. I suspect the Government will be carrying most of the liability for cost overruns anyway.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ambiguity is the price I pay for writing in haste. What I meant was that I see them tossing it largely back to the promoters, who in the absence of civic largesse might reaquaint themselves with the temporary seating option.

    The trust board is currently holding out its hand for $255m in public funding, which I really object to them getting, so I'd hope so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    That's what the ACC site says will be necessary.

    hmm, I stand corrected, oh well I guess we will see on Friday what the final outcome of this all is,

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Gin-sodden and lachrymose Devonportonians cry out: "won't someone think of the children?" and put an end to Auckland's rugga stadium plans.

    Oddly enough, this dolorousness doesn't occur when it's time to make money out of sub-dividing sections that create infill ugliness right there in their own backyards. Instead of looking across the harbour from Mt Vic or North Head, maybe Duder and Co should fix their collective gaze a little closer to home and shed a few tears over what they see there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    However, if it will help the cause and for the record, this tax payer is happy for central Government to use it's money to finance the project. I suspect the Government will be carrying most of the liability for cost overruns anyway.

    This is one of the ironies of this bizarre situation. Up here, it's Aucklander vs. Aucklander. Everywhere else, I think the majority of the population actually seems quite happy about the idea.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I think the majority of the population actually seems quite happy about the idea.

    Isn't it a case of "no stadium, no cup"? I think maybe that the rest of the population is not unhappy about it, rather than say, jubilant.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I guess the additional distance between the site and the CBD transport facilities would only be a little longer than that from the Wellington CBD to their stadium

    Just to quickly clarify something. Wellington's transport hub isn't technically in the CBD, it's roughly 400m from the stadium (for trains, a little bit further for buses).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    The situation reminds me of the hounds tearing into a fox that has been tossed their way.

    Surely Aucklanders have spent too much time stalled on their motorways and being grumpy for any clarity of thought....or mebbe it is the spring sap rising......

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    50% Government, 25% Auckland City, 25% ARC

    So I make that, based on a mid-point $750mln and assuming 2/3 of the population are taxpayers:

    - $146 for each non-Auckland taxpayer
    - $383 for each Auckland regional taxpayer
    - $1,053 for each Auckland City taxpayer

    That's rather a lot of money, don't you think? And Auckland City taxpayers are being rather leached off (compared to North Shore people who are getting an easy ride).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    I've updated the post with a few more items from last night's discussion, plus one suggestion for an honest-to-God Volcadium. City of Cones!

    Rich, just to be clear, that ratio was for the over-run.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Chambers,

    I would actually prefer the quick-n-dirty fix for Eden Park than pouring $400m into a dead venue, if that were possible.

    I agree with that. Why has no debate and investigation gone into the minimal cost for Eden Park? Over and above that any option with merit should be able to attract investors. If it can't you have to question why.

    The accountability of the governments support of the NZRFU application has not been questioned. Helen stood up and did her bit for the final pitch the government were fully involved. Now the cost of 12,000 extra seats is to be $400M - $33k per seat. Clearly the Eden Park Trust are trying to take advantage. How did they get the idea that they could talk the government into putting that much in?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Fistonich,

    Peter , don't worry ,we're convinced buiding a stadium downtown will help our traffic worries.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Vaughn Davis,

    Re the "Volcadium" rant - nice to see someone channeling the leftover energy from a P binge to do something other than vacuum the house nine times or stick a traffic cone up a tree. Manic! Lovely! Terrifying!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Yup, that's the best thing about being hooked on P - only 2 sleeps til xmas!

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    Did I hear correctly on the radio this morning that Marian Street thinks 2 weeks is heaps of time to decide on such an issue, and that we are all sick of it now, (and that 6 months consultation would be unbearable)

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    Argument against the economics of either stadium (but particularly against the waterfront option)...
    Rod Oram interview on National Radio (18'52")
    stadium economics don't work - public transport does

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Talk of the iconic status of the stadium that will really "...put Auckland on the world map..." - can anybody else name an iconic sports stadium that has done this? Art gallery...yes (assorted Guggenhiems). Office building...yes (Empire State, Chrysler, Sears Tower, etc...). Sports stadum...mmm...not really. Munich (perhaps...and perhaps for all the wrong reasons). does anyone know what the Olympic Stadium in Sydney actually looks like?

    Of course, there's always a first time but it would have to be such and architectural masterpiece which, I have to say, the current design is not.

    I am reminded of an encounter I had with a group charged with promoting Taumaranui . Their solution was to build a giant flat white cup, as the milk from Taumaranui was supposed to produce the best froth. The vision was that people would come from all over the country to see it.

    **praying**Please God, do not let the rationale for the building of this stadium come down to the supposition that it will encourage tourists to visit Auckland.

    PS: Chris...

    I agree with that. Why has no debate and investigation gone into the minimal cost for Eden Park?

    ... $400 million is hardly minimal.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

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