Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: I'll cry if I want to

21 Responses

  • merc,

    Please explain to me why we must pay for the Eden Park deckchairs? And is it just me or is 180 million dollars actually ahell of a lot of money, not the cheap option, I repeat, ahelluvalot of money.
    In fact combine that with the 80 million dollars that went on Vector and selfishly, I could have my train. Or phillanthropically, less sewerage going into the harbour.
    But I think givung Trev his rugby game is a much better idea, priorites see?
    Postscript
    IRB guy: Hey Mallard, that time you told me to put a heineken bottle where the sun don't shine, that's going to cost your people a stadium!

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Yeah, I'm really pretty angry about this.

    The Rugby Union has made $20 million + surpluses the last couple of years. It is a profitable franchise. There is absolutely no reason why it could not raise the funds from issuing bonds or other borrowing techniques, and paying it off, just like the rest of us.

    Why the fuck am I paying a for-profit entertainment business huge sums from my taxes when urgent, universally-needed infrastructure goes begging?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    Auckland deserves a world class stadium, and a half-assed stadium is what it will get.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Nat...what Auckland deserves and what Aucklanders (according to the Herald and Mr. Slack) want are not the same thing.

    Did you miss the harbour proposal last year, being the new kid and all?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Sob, no one ever answers my questions...why are we paying for it again? Why do we want the Council to put on events at all? Wah, wah, wah...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Why the fuck am I paying a for-profit entertainment business huge sums from my taxes when urgent, universally-needed infrastructure goes begging?

    What infrastructure is going begging? Everytime I visit Auckland there is a new motorway or railway station being built. New hospital going up here in Welly along with a soon to be completed bypass to Mt. Vic tunnel (don't ask).

    And if this and other tournaments raises more for the country as a whole is that not a worthwhile investment? More money for infrastructure available? And why is entertainment capacity not valid infrastructure? And since when did sport become such a bad thing?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Why do we want the Council to put on events at all?

    Are you serious? If so, how about - so that rate payers, you know businesses like bars, hotels and cafes, can make more bucks.

    I could think up a few more platonic reasons but you don't seem interested in quality of life arguments, just hard cash.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The Rugby Union has made $20 million + surpluses the last couple of years. It is a profitable franchise. There is absolutely no reason why it could not raise the funds from issuing bonds or other borrowing techniques, and paying it off, just like the rest of us.

    The NZRU doesn't own Eden Park - or any of the other stadia around the country. Is there a particular reason it should plough 10 years' earnings into Eden Park rather than, say Carisbrook?

    If there's a bad guy here, it's the Eden Park Trust Board, which pitched a $30m upgrade and then, when it was probably too late to consider other options, came to the government wanting more than 10 times that much.

    David's complaining because Mallard might open the public purse. Brian Rudman's complaining because he might not. Murray McCully opposed the waterfront stadium, and is now complaining about Eden Park. Poor old Duck Hubbard gets blamed for everything. It just makes my head hurt.

    Frankly, the limitations of Eden Park are such that I thought the $385m plan was money down the drain. I can live with the half-price plan, but it's insane to expect Auckland City ratepayers to pick up the bill. I think it's reasonable for Mallard to demand that the trust board fronts up with some more finance of its own.

    Why the fuck am I paying a for-profit entertainment business huge sums from my taxes when urgent, universally-needed infrastructure goes begging?

    There will actually be significant infrastructure improvements tied to the Rugby World Cup. Most of that will come out of my rates. Ditto Vector Arena and (thank goodness it's a regional asset) the upkeep and improvement of Mt Smart Stadium.

    Large venues are also a form of infrastructure - I'd just rather spend the money on a stadium we actually own. But that idea got shot down.

    And, finally, while not everyone enjoys it, rugby union is the national game, one which forms part of our identity and one at which we truly excel. The RWC will bring in a lot of foreign exchange in 2011 - whether it's enough to return the public investment via tax is another matter. But we've made the commitment and we really need to get on with it.

    PS: Don, ask the people who went to the Roger Waters show at North Harbour and spent forever driving home what they think about staging games with more than twice the crowd there. It's a ground that can't even attract 10,000 people to an NPC match - bulking it up to 60,000 would be creating a massive white elephant miles out of town.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    No, Aucklanders deserve what they get. Beyond rising property values and endless Sky TV repeats, there's not much more Joe and Joelene Aucklander desires. Well, dawn lawn-mowing, I suppose.

    It's still not too late to stop the stadium nonsense and spend far less money on televising the RWC from Australia for free to everyone. On temporary big screens in Aotea Square if needed to. Wouldn't cost anywhere near as much and the stadium would be SEP.

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Don, if you're relying on the Council (ratepayers) to prop up your business you're madder than I am.
    Sure rugby is the nat game, I love it, so why did we sell The All Blacks?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    My point, and I do have one, is that the expenditure is a one-off and the main beneficiary is a private concern. I have nothing against funding sport, or "entertainment infrastructure", but I have a big problem with letting individual organisations at the public tit for private gain.

    Don: yes there is some visible construction in Auckland and Wellington, but I think there is a great deal more to be done, whether you are private car or a public transport person.

    If this and other tournaments raises more for the country as a whole is that not a worthwhile investment?

    Whether it will is very much an open question. And if the answer is yes, one must still consider whether those funds might not be employed in an even better investment. You're a businessman - this is a capital allocation decision.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I read in the Herald that RWC is going to make a 30 million loss. And where does it say in the Deckchair Do-up that they must improve the roads, trains parking or otherwise around the venue to cope with all those people?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    My point, and I do have one, is that the expenditure is a one-off and the main beneficiary is a private concern. I have nothing against funding sport, or "entertainment infrastructure", but I have a big problem with letting individual organisations at the public tit for private gain.

    Another element in the poker game currently underway is exactly how much control the trust board will cough up for the money. There will have to government-appointed seats on the board now. Not that I'm saying that won't get messy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    This is information by drip-feed in action...
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10424869

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    The Rugby Union has made $20 million + surpluses the last couple of years. It is a profitable franchise

    forgive me if i'm wring, but i'm lead to understand the NZRFU to be a non-profit organisation. in fact, i'm pretty certain that's it's tax-exempt (barring GST).

    consequently, there is no 'profit' per se.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Don, if you're relying on the Council (ratepayers) to prop up your business you're madder than I am.

    Am I? Well, let me tell you that Wellington CBD being totally cabled by 1997 was an important factor in our business survival. The city council had a part to play in that.

    Less directly, having pavements, streets, lighting, and closed sewer systems helps some as well (check out Ng's last post from India). Being a vibrant, eventful place makes Wellington quite attractive to people I would like to work here too. As well as great kiwis we attract great people from all over the world.

    Quite frankly merc, if you don't have similar expectations and you are in business, I think the madness pointer should be reversed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Boy you told me there Don. Cabled with what, copper? And I like the way you consider stadia right there alongside sewers.
    As for Weli, it exists on the taxpayers largesse. And I'm guessing you wouldn't want me type of people working there, eh?
    So, let me follow the logic, without the rate payers fronting up for the events, the city and ergo it's businesses would die?
    What businesses would those be Don?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Che, the NZRFU is an incorporated society - a not-for-profit organisation. However, if you read the 2005 annual report you will see a line item "profit", which is a legitimate way to refer to the surplus of income over expenditure (23 mill for 2005).

    However this brings up an interesting point, namely that there is a already a substantial benefit in operating tax-free. Large sums accrue to related parties (the players, management, broadcasters, ...) of the activities organised through that incorporated society.

    I'm not complaining about that. It's very proper. But the point is that the NZRFU is a very successful organisation financially. It may not be a business but increasingly few people play the game, and increasingly more games are out of reach of the punter, whether by ticket price or network restriction. Much of the fervour of supporters is the result of intense marketing by corporate sponsors. How much more help does this not-for-profit need?

    Consider that the NZRFU has no long term liabilities as of its last report. It could issue "rubgy bonds" to pay for a permanent home for NZ rugby. A financial organisation could underwrite and market them. They could mature over a long term and be something that supporters could really be proud of investing in. And that would be a more transparent and fair way of funding them than tax/ratepayer largesse.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Stephen, I presume that all could happen. But no national sporting body owns any infrastructure assets like this - stadia etc. If the NZRFU was to put 50 million into a stadium in Auckland, which is essentially a regional stadium, then why shouldn't they put 50 million into Carisbrook, which is also a regional stadium. And the cake tin etc etc etc.

    The NZRFU doesn't own stadia. They really should be owed and operated at a local level, even if national funding goes into them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Hickling,

    and in direct parallel, here in relatively socialist Barbados where the CWC final is going to be held, the beautiful Kensington Oval has been upgraded to the tune of well over a hundred million dollars - and all footed by the taxpayer. The place looks great, but it will only host a small handful of games and will have its capacity reduced agan by 30% after the curtain comes down. Thousands of people have been put out by the massive construction effort that has gone on here over the past year, but very few have complained about the massive spending, probably because the country needed its infrastructure upgrading seriously. The difference here is that the Bajan govt just can't really afford to fund all this infrastructure, whereas the NZ govt has been running nice surpluses. Barbados is still in some ways like NZ was 30 years ago; a sporting monoculture, highly protectionist, heavily unionised and reliant on only one major industry (in this case tourism). Still, I have my ticket to the final which will be the Black Caps against the Windies! Cheers

    Barbados • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    yes, the Eden Park Trust Board are the real snarky bastards in all this and they've been playing the public like a fiddle. it's run like a feifdom full of bad haircuts and even worse suits. let them part with the cash for the shortfall.

    but you know, corporate advertising platforms, often referred to in this country as Sport, really is the new opiate of the masses.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

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