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Funding World Cup Not Dependent on One Auckland

The Campaign to Replace the Present System of Council Rates With a Fairer System Including Restraints on Councils Ability to Increase Expenditure Without the Specific Approval of the Community

Media statement 15 September 2006

Funding for Rugby World Cup Not Dependent on Four Mayors ‘Ship-Wrecked’ One-Auckland Proposal

Public Private Partnership Will Deliver Waterfront Stadium

The four mayors’ proposal for a Greater Auckland Council now seems to be dead in the water following public outrage at both the arrogance of the mayors and the obvious threat to local democracy.

The nail in the coffin appears to be Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey’s reported comment that he will defend his city’s independence – this following his public apology on National Radio yesterday morning.

I hope the mayors have advised the Prime Minister that their scheme is effectively ship-wrecked.

Now everyone should concentrate on the issue which lead to this OneAuckland proposal – the funding for Rugby World Cup 2011.

The hosting of the World Cup was celebrated with much champagne drinking in Dublin and Rugby HQ in Wellington.

There was no sign of too many Auckland ratepayers at either of those venues.

The funding problems are now very obvious – and they must be settled urgently

The terms of the Eden Park Trust Deed means there would be huge problems in attracting major private investment for a $320 million redevelopment of Eden Park.

On the other hand a downtown stadium on publicly owned Ports of Auckland land could be set up as a commercial operation through a public/private partnership between the Government and the private sector, especially those companies and organisations which will gain financially from the World Cup and the ongoing event programme in a such a stadium.

As the whole nation will share in the economic benefits from the Rugby World Cup, and from future international events at a waterfront stadium, it is obvious that the responsibility for financing the stadium lies with central government.

The government should immediately agree to underwrite the full cost – subject to a guaranteed minimum invetsment from the Rugby Union and the private sector, possibly through the Committee for Auckland which seems to have been the driving force behind the ill-fated Greater Auckland Council proposal.

Concerns about the limited time available should look at the programme which was able to deliver the infrastructure for the 2000 first defence of the Americas Cup – which was over a similar 5-year period.

Included in that programme was a special Act of Parliament to deal with Resouce Management issues on an expedited basis.

The staging of a successful Rugby World Cup does not require the undemocratic reorganisation of local government in the Auckland region – it does require that ratepayers are not faced with footing the bill.


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