Michael Bassett has a compelling column on the need to have a 60,000 seat stadium in Auckland for the Rugby World Cup.
With Wellington dithering, even upgrading Eden Park is starting to become a challenge. Experts estimate that a waterfront stadium on Bledisloe Wharf will cost at least $500 million. It would be necessary for workers to build $1 million’s worth of construction for each available working day between the go-ahead and the completion date. But a Cabinet decision keeps being pushed back. And meanwhile the Eden Park Trust Board twiddles its fingers, wondering whether they are on or off. The impact of a rushed waterfront stadium on every other piece of building in Auckland will be so vast that some of the country’s most experienced construction companies are reliably said to have decided not to tender.
When Caligula spoke, minions jumped to attention. In what must rate as one of the silliest TV appearances of recent times, Auckland’s deputy mayor goofily announced his council’s backing for the new stadium, then added that his Labour-dominated council had no idea of the ultimate cost, the extent that ratepayers would be expected to contribute, the parking problems, or the immediate or long-term effects on the port or the region.
It doesn’t look promising.