MPs Declare Victory Over Waterfront Stadium

Published: Fri 24 Nov 2006 03:00 PM
MPs Declare Victory Over Waterfront Stadium
Rodney Hide
Friday, 24 November 2006
Press Releases - Local Government
Rodney Hide and Keith Locke are claiming victory over the waterfront stadium, following the Auckland Regional Council's unanimous vote in favour of redeveloping Eden Park.
"I'm pleased the ARC has voted to preserve a piece of New Zealand's sporting heritage and bring new energy to Eden Park, instead of building an ugly and expensive white whale on Auckland's waterfront. This decision leaves the waterfront stadium high and dry", Mr Hide said.
"In rugby terms this was a trouncing, a victory for environmental sense, for democracy and for good economic sense. Auckland is often said to be a city with no core identity, but this battle has shown that when the heart of the city is under threat, Aucklanders will come together, from all walks of life, in its defence", Mr Locke said.
The Auckland Regional Council listened to public concerns about how a waterfront stadium would have to bypass the Resource Management Act, had higher financial costs and caused a severe impact on Auckland's port, before unanimously voting in favour of a resolution endorsing Eden Park.
"The lesson the Government should take from this fiasco is that it cannot just railroad what it wants through local government. The Auckland Regional Council has representatives from seven districts of greater Auckland, but they all spoke with one voice on this issue", Mr Locke said.
"The Government has demonstrated that it had at least half a million dollars to throw into Mallard's Folly. As an immediate promise, it should take the cost difference between the Eden Park upgrade and the waterfront stadium, and should now donate that amount to the ARC's public transport strategy", Mr Locke said.
"Trevor Mallard can't ignore the arguments and the unanimous decision of the ARC - his waterfront stadium has run its course. Even if the ARC had supported the waterfront stadium, it's far from clear that it would have had the numbers to pass through Parliament", Mr Hide said.
"Kicking the issue to cabinet is Mallard's way of blaming the team, instead of taking responsibility for the role he's played in the fiasco. The Government was wrong to think that it could get its way by holding a gun to Auckland's head, and today's victory over the waterfront stadium shows what people can achieve when we put aside our differences and work together for what is right", Mr Hide said.

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