Just last week Phil Goff was whinging about having no cash for his trains and needing to raise rates by 16% to pay for infrastructure.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has ordered the council to look into alternative sites for a stadium to replace Eden Park.
“We know that in about 15 years there’ll need to be major work done on the Mt Eden stadium if it’s to be retained,” he told Newshub.
“And yet it has significant problems – it can’t run concerts or night events for more than 21 nights a year. It’s underutilised and it’s not meeting the cost of depreciation.”
Eden Park is surrounded by residential properties in the suburb of Sandringham.
“We need to scope out what’s going to happen in 15 years’ time, when either there’ll be a quarter of a billion dollars spent on Eden Park to replace the north stand, or we would have to look at alternatives. And one of the alternatives often talked about it a CBD stadium.”
He’s asked Regional Facilities Auckland to scope out options for an alternative stadium site. One potential location is behind the old downtown railway station near Vector Arena.
A year ago, then-Prime Minister John Key ruled out any taxpayer funding for a new Auckland stadium.
Mr Key said the Government had “no appetite” for it, after spending nearly $200 million to upgrade Eden Park before the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
“Obviously the cost of building a new stadium would be considerable,” Mr Goff says.
“It’s not a priority for Auckland at this time – we’re looking at transport infrastructure, we’re looking at infrastructure to allow more housing to be built.
“But it’s better to plan ahead, and look at what the options are now than leaving it to the last minute, and finding that those options no longer exist.
“At least we’ll know what the option might be, and what the potential cost might be to that alternative site.”
The problem with that stupid idea is that council officers get a rush of shit to the brains and then the project gets a life of its own. If you don’t believe me then look at the debacle at the Hawkes Bay Regional Council. That project not only developed a life of its own but the council officers and some councillors went off running pouring millions of ratepayers cash into a dopey proposal that had no financial or environmental benefits.
The waterfront stadium idea is the same. The Ports of Auckland currently uses that area, there is no proposal yet to move the port so that is moot right now. The billions needed to fund a port move is more important than the billions for a stadium that will never make money, become a burden on the ratepayers and will likely be an eyesore.
Politicians need to take deep breaths and resist the urge to splurge money that isn’t theirs on boondoggle projects of no real benefit to ratepayers.
They should focus on delivering quality services that we need….like a working water reticulation system so we don’t have a dopey council demanding water restrictions in the middle of floods and down-pours.