North Harbour Stadium option still alive
North Harbour Stadium option still alive after mayors meet RWC Minister
Sports Minister Trevor Mallard today confirmed that North Harbour Stadium remains a “live” back-up option to host Rugby World Cup 2011 after a special briefing hosted by North Shore City Mayor George Wood.
Mr Wood was flanked by his fellow North Harbour mayors - Waitakere’s Bob Harvey and Rodney’s John Law – and the stadium’s chief executive Brendon O’Connor during a constructive hour-long dialogue.
“Mr Mallard gave us a fair hearing and left us no doubt that North Harbour Stadium remains very much a live back-up option should the government’s preferred waterfront scheme and Eden Park upgrade fall over,” he says.
“At the outset we were keen to ensure that North Harbour Stadium is being properly evaluated. We came away from the meeting with an assurance that the future-proofed facility is still considered a viable contender.
“While we heard the Minister outline his case for the waterfront option, he also listened to Brendon and I explain the merits of North Harbour.
“It is sitting on 28 hectares of land; it is built and zoned for expansion. Construction has already started on the country’s largest shopping complex next door, and it would soon be surrounded by hotels, bars and restaurants.
“It will cost $226m to increase its capacity to 60,000 - Eden Park will cost around $385m and the waterfront will cost in excess of $500m which doesn’t include port compensation, infrastructure such as car parks and new transport routes.
“North Harbour Stadium is the only stadium that has the transport infrastructure to cater for 60,000 people with the benefit of two major roading investments by the Government.
“The Northern Busway will be completed next year and the southern and western motorway extensions (ring route) mean that spectators travelling to an event at North Harbour Stadium from the south, the airport or western suburbs like Mt Albert and Henderson will have a second motorway option.
“There will be two major arterial routes feeding into the stadium as well as the busway link.
“Last Friday the Government listed North Harbour Stadium as the third choice, and seven days later we heard Trevor Mallard confirm that we’re still a viable option,” says Mr Wood.