Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: The One Minute Stadium

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh come on, like G&S's Mikado, don't you find Dick Hubbard a source of innocent merriment. My eyes almost popped out when I saw him intone in the Herald, "I come from the business community where to get things done sometimes circumstances dictate a reasonable amount of speed. Sometimes instead of ready, aim, fire, it's ready, fire, aim."

    This is a serious question: Does anyone think Dick Hubbard quite has his head around the notion that the Auckland City Council isn't a closely-held private company? Like the 'one city' concept a few months back - which I was also open to be convinced by - the more Hubbard speaks, the more I want to run screaming from the room and dash my head against the nearest brick wall.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    We don't need a new stadium. New Zealand is full of places to play rugby. Auckland alone has enough of them. If the International Rugby Board is not content with Eden Park or the Jade Stadium they should hold their tournament somewhere else like Canada or Italy. We should not spend public money to ensure they have enough corporate boxes and advertising revenue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Comparing the size of the economies, the $500mln for the stadium is the equivalent of $3bln for the Aussies, or $12bln for the UK.

    I don't believe the UK government would stump up that sort of money to get the rugby world cup (Twickenham was actually rebuilt using debentures raised by the RFU).

    The IRB needs to pull it's neck in. Ideally, the corruption prone "bidding" process should go. Why not just have the Americas Cup / Eurovision rule - the winner of each cup gets to stage the next one, using whatever facilities they have.

    Or just rotate amongst all the rugby nations in alphabetical order.

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

  • Richard Aston,

    Stadium smadium who cares... Large amounts of money being spent on another sports venue it seems an appalling waste of public money.
    I smell another Britomart ie large public building project set up for dubious reasons when all we needed was trains running on time.
    Rugby should be played on a big paddock somewhere

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • John Francis Logan,

    Aside from the question: 'is another rugby pitch really necessary' and the fanatical rugby-mad Mallard's bullying, the thought that the Waitemata harbour, acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the world, should be blighted by a rugger pitch resembling a flat tyre is appalling. Even the crass Aussie's, despite screams of protest from the philistine rump, managed in the end to build their spectacular opera house. Is a rugby ground the best we can come up with? The waterfront should be designed for ALL of us, not just the sports fraternity.

    Katikati • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Even the crass Aussie's, despite screams of protest from the philistine rump, managed in the end to build their spectacular opera house.

    And that was considered a scandal for years ...

    They've also managed Darling Harbour, which is shopping and hospitality; and Melbourne's brilliant sports precinct by the Yarra, home to three stadia (they actually turned a road in a riverside promenade for that!), and even Brisbane's museum/gallery quadrant. They build lots of big, public spaces in Australia. I admire them for it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    We don't need a new stadium. New Zealand is full of places to play rugby. Auckland alone has enough of them. If the International Rugby Board is not content with Eden Park or the Jade Stadium they should hold their tournament somewhere else like Canada or Italy. We should not spend public money to ensure they have enough corporate boxes and advertising revenue.

    Exactly. If I am asked I will tick the box marked "The Cheapest One".

    Yeah Russell, they do build lots of big public spaces in Australia, but they are just that - public spaces. Not enclosed sports stadiums. And they have 5 times as many people to stump up the readies with AND big corporates and philanthropists ready to shuffle in a bit, like the Sidney Meyer Music Bowl. T'aint the same here.

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I'm not buying the argument that the stadium is a bad thing because it looks like a haemorrhoid cushion, flat tyre or a donut.

    The Sky Tower is considered by some to resemble a hypodermic needle, and yet it hasn't made Auckland or New Zealand the laughing stock of anywhere. (Unlike the Big Donger observation tower in Newcastle, NSW?)

    That one in Wellington is called the Cake Tin, and yet no one is refusing to play there on the grounds that cake tins should stay in the kitchen along with the women.

    Even the glorious Sydney Opera House has been described as "nuns in a scrum."

    Can we just accept that no matter what the stadium's design is, it will resemble something else, probably with comedic undertones?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    This fable, originally published over 2 months ago, is starting to look more likely by the minute.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Marx once said "The government is simply the executive committee of the bourgeoisie" (or words pretty darn close).

    Who really profits here? Taxpayers fork out, and the construction firms, the IRB, the NZRFU, and al their assorted lackeys and parasites, get the goodies. And we in Auckland get a stadium that will hardly ever be full to capacity.

    Castells, a sociologist, commented on the way Capital hates having to pay for and provide the infrastructure it so deseperately needs (roads, railways etc) as they are so hard to turn a profit on, but Capital can't survive without them, so it gets the government to force everyone else to pay for it.

    Another example coming our way soon I think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yes, Russell, I'm very fond of Melbourne too - but mostly because they didn't manage to FUBAR all their splendid Victorian and Edwardian architecture, despite the heroic efforts of cowboy developers and state and local government quite happy to bend planning regulations into quite ingenious shapes. I don't usually agree with Brian Rudman on much but he has a fair point when he writes,

    For years I have stuck my neck out in defence of RMA procedures, backing this Government's argument that the act's safeguards protect both the citizenry and the environment from the worst excesses of rampant and unbridled development. In the past, when the cowboys have railed against the barriers erected to keep them in check, I have defended the processes, arguing, as the Government did, that the RMA was the community's shark net against the barbarians.

    I still believe that and I feel betrayed that the Government, and my mayor, seem to believe that when they want to play the shark, they have some special licence to raise and lower the net as they see fit.

    At least they could have been upfront about it and invoked the draconian Public Works Act. But that would have involved trying to argue they were seizing the land for essential public works, and that could have been a tad embarrassing, even where a rugby stadium was concerned.

    So instead, they've decided to drive a hole through the RMA. How weak the Government will sound in future when their opponents demand amendments to the act to help their developer buddies.

    Sorry, but I think Rudman's right and it's just not good enough to have Hubbard, Mallard et. al. pretend it just doesn't matter. If they don't actually believe in their own policies and rules, that's fine. But could they just stop feeding us bulls**t and pretending it's chocolate?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    Getting back to the proposed "design" for a moment, I googled "waterfront stadium" and the first thing that pops up is a proposed soccer ground for Vancouver BC, granted it is smaller, 15 to be possibly scaled to 30,000 later , its essentially a 2 sided ground with a low end side glassed to the ocean, to be built over the railway tracks,
    Cost $65 Million CAD, similar to the new "Arena"

    It quoted a vision of

    The proposed stadium would be built above the existing railway tracks, which would offer fans breathtaking views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains.

    whitecaps stadium

    Wouldn't it be nice to have time to debate things like this properly :)
    rather than having no choice in design for such an iconic area,

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    wow, the first photo of whitecaps stadium looks almost identical to "our" waterfront stadium.

    aerial photograph 1

    if it comes down to spending money on doing up an old stadium in the 'burbs, or putting a new one in next to a train/ferry/bus station and the motorway, i think i know which one i'd go for. but i wish we'd thought of this about 5 years ago

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • peter mclennan,

    I am sick and tired of the media turning the waterfront Vs Eden park story into some sort of conflict, rather than doing some solid work on this issue - especially the string of worthless, highly unscientific polls. The media spend money on gauging the nation's political pulse, yet they can't do the same for the future of our biggest city's waterfront?

    Give me some real research, not these popularity contests... its not nz idol, its our future we're talking about here!

    Like Mr Slack said, we've bypassed sustained debate for Ready Fire, Aim.

    AK Central • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Leech,

    I'm waiting to see all of the tabled proposals in one place, with costings and statistics in such a form that will allow a proper, balanced comparison.

    There so much impassioned rhetoric flying about at the moment that its hard to see the facts through the spittle. Deep breaths and cool-headed analysis is what is required right now.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Beer,

    Is it paranoid to suggest that the waterfront stadium proposal is really just a decoy?

    A few months ago there was outrage at spending $300m to upgrade Eden Park. Now that we are faced with paying a $700m bill for a ridiculously impractical harbourside monolith, the Eden Park option suddenly sounds far more reasonable...

    If only it were as easy to secure funds for affordable housing for ordinary Aucklanders, as it would seem for the NZRFU to secure a handout to provide an entertainment venue for corporate New Zealand.

    Since Nov 2006 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Melbourne's sport precinct is possibly the best in Australia because it is both accessible by public transport and close to the city.

    Olympic Park in Sydney on the other hand struggles to make ends meet outside of major sporting and cultural events. It's too damn far away for one event - public transport is good when it's a sell out event but when it's a smaller event, Sydney Tennis Open for instance, it's actually not so great (trains don't go direct).

    In Melbourne, it is fantastic to be able to walk from Telstra Superdome along the Yarra to the Rod Laver and MCG - it's a hike, maybe 45 mins walk but there's options along the way (which ever way you walk) if you want to stop and imbibe etc. Telstra Superdome also has the advantages of being immediately surrounded by bars, cafes etc that cater to the before and after crowd.

    I love the idea of the waterfront stadium, because it could be possible to replicate (improve even) on the Melbourne centre but I wonder if Carlaw Park isn't a better option if Eden Park is so out of favour (as much as I like Eden Park, I can't see how anything like an entertainment precinct could ever be developed in such a prime residential area).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Dods,

    All this because of a 12,500 seat shortage at Eden Park?

    Surely the NZRFU can run its business in our brave new free-market world without having to hold its hand out to the public.

    I can't see the profits being shared back to the 'investors'.

    Get on with some sound business management NZRFU. You all looked very proud and cocky when you won the rights to the World Cup.
    Was it all based on flim-flam? What was your plan then, and why has it changed?

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    One thing no-one seems to have speculated upon yet - Imagine the fun and games that would be going on right now if John Banks was still Mayor of Auckland... Fire, Aim, Ready perhaps?

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

  • David Slack,

    Imagine the fun and games that would be going on right now if John Banks was still Mayor of Auckland... Fire, Aim, Ready perhaps?

    I see him as more of a Fire, Fire, Fire kind of guy.

    All this because of a 12,500 seat shortage at Eden Park?

    Indeed. And it is worth bearing in mind the excellent point Brian Rudman made about this last Friday:

    Worldwide, there's a growing appreciation that one-off extravaganzas are sometimes best in temporary surrounds.

    Here in Auckland, the America's Cup Village was a good example.

    It's hardly a new concept. Circuses have been carrying their own tents around for centuries.

    Getting back to the rugby, it's not as though we even have to create a whole new temporary stadium.

    Eden Park has already said it has a $45 million solution based on the existing ground. Across the harbour at Albany, North Harbour Stadium would undoubtedly be interested in counter-bidding.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Rhys Lewis,

    There are some very important questions about process and opportunity here. The waterfront is one of Auckland City's prime assets, and it is incredible that we are being forced into rubber stamping either a hastily thought out stadium, or sinking more money into Eden Park.

    If we're finally allowed to get rid of the container port from the CBD (and please, please say that we are!), surely this is a once in a lifetime chance to reclaim the space for the public.

    Lets take this chance to combine the tank farm and whatever wharves we can into a public space that provides a natural environment (eg. trees, grass, gentle hills, water access) to compliment the business district as it meets the water. Think Battery Park, Botanical Gardens, Mt Victoria etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Nicholas,

    Where ever the new stadium is it will look a little silly (and half empty) if the All Blacks don't make the 2011 Final...

    Since Nov 2006 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Christie,

    This is so depressing. I can just see this oppurtunity to create something truly great for Auckland city, being ruined once again by wowsers and petty politicking.

    Whether or not you like the All Blacks or rugby, the All Blacks are a global brand recognised around the world for their pursuit and achievement of excellence. A national stadium woul be a temple to that pursuit. A symbol of a country with vision, courage, and a desire to be great.

    Every great city around the world has a stadium which is part of the very fabric of their society . Eden Park would just be a symbol of our suburban greyness, never anything on, gates always locked, dull dull dull.

    Those who say the money would be better spent on public transport fail to see that a stadium would give people a reason to come back into the CBD in the first place, and an improved transport system would be a natural progression.

    I also believe it's time in this cynical age we showed a little faith in our elected government. Trevor Mallard does not want to see this stadium fail. If he says it can be done lets get on with it and DO IT!!!!

    Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The Auckland City Council's comparisons page is interesting:

    I'm not sure if I believe the waterfront costings, but this part is especially interesting:

    "Special legislation to bypass Resource Management Act needed for both options."

    Can't recall reading that in the paper ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Ready for another option?

    Via Peter Cresswell, check out the Waka Stadium

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

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