Council Seeks Support For Arena
28 August 2001
A group of Auckland City councillors are in Wellington today to drum up support for an indoor arena. Victoria Carter, Kay McKelvie and Vern Walsh are hoping a visit to Wellington to meet Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Anderton, and ministers Trevor Mallard, Mark Burton, and Judith Tizard, will mean good news for Auckland. The Auckland councillors hope to get agreement in principle for Government assistance to build the arena at Quay Park in downtown Auckland.
Kay McKelvie said that all three councillors promoted the arena project and had kept members of the Government informed of Auckland City's plans.
"Previously we have been told that if we got regional agreement on the proposal then our case for some assistance from Government would be favourably considered.
"Papakura Council have offered their moral support and we now have the agreement of Waitakere City Council who have told us they see the concept as an impressive and exciting idea, not only for the Auckland region but also for New Zealand.
"The Manukau City Council have formally acknowledged that they support Quay Park as the preferred location for an indoor arena in the Auckland region as recommended by the Hillary Commission," says Kay McKelvie.
Victoria Carter says support from business groups, tourist organisations and sporting bodies is further evidence of the need for a covered arena.
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"After all, one day in three in Auckland is wet and there is plenty of evidence that we are missing out on family shows such as Neil Diamond, Moscow Circus and the Pet Shop Boys," she says.
"The problem for anyone trying to organise an event in Auckland is finding a venue of international standard and if we don’t do something about getting something up and running as soon as possible we will continue to lose out to other Australasian cities," says Victoria Carter.
Vern Walsh says a nationally significant arena will bring Auckland both revenue and recognition, while enhancing business centres.
"It would bring activity and vitality to a downtown area that in the past has been much neglected. It would bring job opportunities and millions of dollars annually to Auckland's economy and the kind of action and excitement that successful overseas cities enjoy, " he said.
Kay McKelvie said she was encouraged that Prime Minister Helen Clark acknowledged at a recent mayoral breakfast that Auckland needed both a convention centre and an arena.
"The invitation for us to meet in Wellington with key ministers is great,” said Kay McKelvie. "It is good to know that Auckland's needs are being treated seriously and any support from Government will be of huge assistance in advancing this exciting and much needed project.”