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Stadium Steps in Right Direction

November 10, 2006

Stadium Steps in Right Direction

Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney is applauding the Government’s preference for a CBD stadium ahead of spending $320million upgrading Eden Park, but warns the key to a successful development is the exact location.

Trevor Mallard announced today that the government’s preference is for a 60,000 seat stadium on Auckland’s waterfront to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup and to become a world class multi-use entertainment facility for generations of New Zealanders.

Mallard indicated that a central wharves site was the Government’s preferred option. However, Heart of the City, the group representing Auckland’s CBD community, says that Bledisloe wharf, which is positioned 300m to the east of the central wharves, is a better option.

“Aucklanders have two weeks to demonstrate their support for the waterfront option. We want them to demonstrate their support for what Heart of the City thinks is the better waterfront option – Bledisloe Wharf,” says Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney.

“It doesn’t matter how good you can make a stadium look on the central wharves, it will look and work better further east on Bledisloe. We need to be crystal clear about this, putting the stadium on Bledisloe helps establish a broader central city waterfront for future generations of Aucklanders.”

“Ports of Auckland can afford to lose some land on Bledisloe without materially undermining its operations. With the Bledisloe option the port’s cranes will keep operating and containers will keep moving,” says Swney, “and we keep the central city wharves open to the sea, open for the people, and open for more appropriate uses later. It’s a win-win there for the taking if Aucklanders speak out for it.”

Heart of the City has started a text campaign where respondents are asked to text either “BLD” to 515 to keep the central city wharves clear by using Bledisloe 300 metres to the east or text “CK” to 515 if they support the proposed site announced today. Each text message will cost 20 cents.

“We hope that Aucklanders will take the opportunity to text so we can get a clear indication for the public’s view on which site is better – Bledisloe or central wharves,” says Heart of the City spokesperson Greg McKeown.

McKeown says “We’ll save over $100 million by not having to pile into the sea bed, making the Bledisloe option even more compelling.”

“Aucklanders, after 100 years, have the chance to break through the red fence and gain public access to more of their waterfront by voting for Bledisloe,”

“Today we make a call on the public behalf that government make this as good as it can be,” says McKeown.


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