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Mayor needs to intervene on Mt Smart issue

Mayor needs to intervene on Mt Smart issue before ratepayers face bitter legal fight

Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer is calling on Mayor Len Brown to break his silence on plans to force the Warriors out of Mt Smart to North Harbour Stadium and for the big games, Eden Park.

“I support much of the work RFA is doing around its stadium strategy. However Auckland’s ratepayers should be very concerned that they may soon need to fund an expensive legal fight against the likes of Eric Watson, co-owner of the Warriors.

“Watson, along with Warriors club chairman, club CEO, the club ambassador, and most of the club’s fans are furious at the latest developments, with legal action and a bitter public battle now imminent. With this in mind, the Mayor now needs to step in and see if he can take some heat out of all this.

“We’re told keeping the Warriors at Mt Smart will cost ratepayers $70m but no one believes that, including the Warriors who’ve said they’ve never asked for such an amount. Ratepayers at least deserve to know what the realistic cost of keeping the Warriors at Mt Smart would be. I think the $70m figure is probably more about spooking people into submission.”

Mr Brewer says the Mayor has generously enjoyed the corporate hospitality of the Warriors on many many occasions over many years both here and in Australia, and in 2012 Len Brown declared: ‘As a Warriors fan, I would like to see Mt Smart stay the home of league’.

“It looks like this is all going to get much worse before it gets better. The Mayor’s spin-doctors are naturally keen to keep him out of it. However on this occasion any leadership Len Brown can offer to help calm all this down is more important to Auckland than his own personal political future,” says Cameron Brewer.

Ends

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