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Mallard responds to parties comments on stadium

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for the Rugby World Cup

14 November 2006 Media Statement

Mallard responds to parties comments on stadium

Minister for the Rugby World Cup Trevor Mallard today urged political parties to work constructively in the discussion around stadium in Auckland, in order to assist Auckland to make a decision.

"I hope MPs can rise above petty politicking and act constructively in this discussion, with the understanding that the choice between a national stadium at the waterfront and an upgraded regional stadium at Eden Park is one for the Auckland City Council and the Auckland Regional Council to make.

"Considerable time has been spent on evaluating the options. The process involved regular consultation with Auckland City Council and Auckland Regional Council at their top level. Political parties here in Wellington were also briefed to varying degrees throughout the process where possible, but obviously could not be briefed before cabinet ministers.

"The evaluation was lead by the Ministry of Economic Development and
included technical and expert assistance from Australasia's leading stadium
designers, engineers, architects and construction experts.

"It was not possible to conduct an evaluation process through the media or
give daily updates to every single person in the respective councils until the evaluation was actually complete and Cabinet had the full facts itself, and had made its decision.

"Now that has happened, we are thoroughly briefing all key stakeholders, with technical experts available to those who request it. National has requested more information before making a final decision on the waterfront and this will be provided.

"I would like to stress that final costings for both the latest design for Eden Park and the waterfront option will not be known until about mid-next year when the design work for both is expected to be completed. Eden Park has not provided detailed costings for the latest wraparound design," Trevor Mallard said.

"The government decided to explore the waterfront alternative after it became clear - about three months ago - that the cost of an Eden Park redevelopment had gone from around $150million when the hosting bid was won, to an estimated $320 million. The latest Eden Park version is estimated to cost $385 million.

"The government felt that since there would be public funding involved, it
had to explore alternative options to ensure that the right decision is made. Timing has been tight but we have moved as rapidly as possible."


ENDS

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