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New Zealand should have a national stadium

Media Statement
3 November 2006

New Zealand should have a national stadium

A national stadium for the people of New Zealand is a dream worth pursuing, according to the Property Council of New Zealand.

Responding to reports in today’s edition of the Herald, which indicate that Cabinet is likely to favour the construction of a stadium on the Bledisloe Wharf to cater for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the Property Council expressed support on the basis that it would be an exciting new development for all New Zealanders.

Connal Townsend, Director of the Property Council, said a waterfront stadium would be a national asset, which would enable New Zealand to showcase its sporting and creative talent to the world.

‘”The waterfront stadium proposal would revitalise Auckland City’s waterfront, and focus development around a logical transport hub, starting with the Britomart Transport Centre. But the benefits of a national stadium extend far beyond the waterfront. The stadium, if approved, would be New Zealand’s first truly national facility, which would enable us to host international events on a scale comparable to other countries. It is a key ingredient to making Auckland a truly global city.

“If you look at the Auckland region at the moment, every existing stadium is too small to cater for an event such as the Rugby World Cup. Auckland is missing a truly world-class sporting facility. Nor can the Auckland region sustain a significant number of stadiums that are either too small or too difficult to travel to and from. So it makes economic sense to bite the bullet and consolidate,” Connal Townsend said.

While expressing support for a national stadium, the Property Council is opposed to such a facility being funded through either rates or development contributions.

“A national stadium should be significantly funded by the Crown. All New Zealanders stand to benefit from this facility so it is only fair that all New Zealanders should contribute to the cost of development.

“The Auckland region’s ratepayers are already under significant pressure due to increasing rates. So driving up the cost of rates is not an option. Neither is imposing development contributions. A national stadium would overwhelmingly benefit existing communities. So development contributions, which can only be used to offset marginal growth-driven cost, cannot be applied in this case,” Connal Townsend said.

ENDS

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