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North Harbour Stadium edging closer

Mayoral statement By North Shore City Mayor George Wood

North Harbour Stadium edging closer to being RWC 2011 venue

November 19, 2006

North Shore City Mayor George Wood is confident the case for North Harbour Stadium is strengthening by the day going into the final week of deliberations on where to hold the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Mr Wood, who briefed Sports Minister Trevor Mallard on the North Harbour Stadium bid last Friday, believes the case for the risky waterfront scheme in downtown Auckland is sinking.

“The uncertainty as to where a downtown stadium could be sited - and the space constraints around it - makes it impossible to be taken seriously now.

“With Eden Park having huge environmental and cost pressures, the downtown scheme seemed to be worth a look.

“However, now that Auckland City wants to go back to Bledisloe, the Government must be concerned at going downtown.

“That leaves North Harbour as the likely contender.”

George Wood says the future-proofed Albany arena has the huge benefit of being zoned and ready to step up as the national stadium.

“North Harbour Stadium would also be a wonderful Commonwealth Games venue in 2018, should a successful bid be made to get the Games back to Auckland.

“The close proximity to Massey University’s Albany campus makes North Harbour Stadium an ideal location for a Commonwealth Games following the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

“Our stadium also has the benefit of being within a 28-hectare site which can be developed in time to accommodate other sporting venues that would suit the Games.

“Mr Mallard left us in no doubt last Friday that North Harbour Stadium was a live option and still very much a contender for RWC 2011.”

George Wood is urging residents to attend a public meeting tomorrow [Monday] night, hosted by the Devonport Community Board to hear residents’ views on the downtown/waterfront stadium concept. It will be held on the first floor of the RSA Hall [opposite BNZ], 61 Victoria Rd, Devonport, starting at 7.00pm.

In a statement, the community board said it is holding the meeting to give residents the opportunity to express their opinions on the potential impact of the proposed waterfront stadium on the residents of Devonport.

Mr Wood, city and regional councillors, MPs and community board members will be in attendance to hear the community’s views and convey them to the relevant decision makers.

ends

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