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What will matter most in 2011?

Media Release - 19 December 2007
Te Kaiawhina Ahumahi – Social Services ITO

What will matter most in 2011? Stadia or social services?

The news this week that a new stadium at Auckland's Eden Park will be built for $240 million should set an interesting benchmark for comparing to the level of social investment in New Zealand over the next 3-4 years, says the industry training organisation for social services, Te Kaiawhina Ahumahi.

"As a new stadium is re-built at Eden Park there will be much written about the likely return to New Zealand's international reputation and many other calculations. For every seat in the new stadium for instance there will be an investment of about $4000 apiece," says Dr Rory Truell, Executive Director of Te Kaiawhina Ahumahi.

"During this time it would be refreshing if we could concentrate as much attention on the economics and investment needed for development of social services in this country. It would be a shame if the fixation on this one stadium, this one venue for a sports tournament held every four years, overshadows the focus needed on other types of asset building and service delivery required every day of every year in this country," says Rory Truell.

"The government will be putting up $190 million for the stadium, a figure that is equivalent to more than half the cost of the new Wellington Hospital which we also hope will be regarded as a world class venue when it is finished".

(Note: $240 million is the same amount of money committed in this year's government Budget for new capital spending under its Families Young and Old agenda in 2007-2008. It is also the same figure that is projected to be spent on capital spending under this on development such as new schools, classrooms, gyms and similar work through to 2011).


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