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Carlaw Park Option Must Be Put On Table

Carlaw Park Option Must Be Put On Table For Stadium New Zealand

The Chairs of three key Auckland City Council committees – responsible for Environment, Urban Design, Transport and Recreation – are in agreement with Epsom MP Rodney Hide, Parnell community representatives and top Auckland architects and urban designers to request Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard, Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard and ARC Chairman Mike Lee to put the Carlaw Park option on the Stadium New Zealand table.

Their move follows news that only seven Auckland City Councillors back the waterfront proposal, meaning Mayor Hubbard has no mandate to support it on behalf of the Council.

Community leaders – calling themselves the Domain Stadium Promotion Group – unveiled concept designs for a National Stadium alongside the Auckland Domain, based on and around the site of the disused Carlaw Park. The concept designs were prepared by the team that delivered the refurbished Jade Stadium to Christchurch and were inspired by the 30,000-seat Estadio Municipal De Braga in Portugal, scaled to the 60,000 seats required for Stadium New Zealand.

“New Zealand needs a national stadium and Stadium New Zealand must be in Auckland,” the group said. “It must be technically realistic, cost-effective, buildable well in time for 2011, architecturally inspiring and at Auckland’s transport hub. The proposal outlined by Minister Mallard and Mayor Hubbard is none of these things.”

The group said that as well as being impossible to complete on-time and on-budget, the design of the Government’s preferred option was “weak”, while its location amounted to “vandalism”.

“We are unaware of any community support for placing a gigantic bedpan between our CBD and harbour – and we are equally unaware of any community support for the billion-dollar plus expenditure that would be required,” the group said.

“A waterfront stadium for Auckland is not inevitable when only seven out of 20 councillors are known to support it and when it is opposed by the chairs of his Environment, Heritage and Urban Form, Transport and Urban Linkages & Arts, Culture and Recreation council committees.”

“The location we are asking be put on the table is at the hub of all of Auckland’s motorways and rail links. It is within walking distance from all the city’s major car parks and Britomart. It can be connected by travelator to Queen Street through an already-existing tunnel. And it would reconnect the CBD and waterfront to the Domain.

“Special legislation would be needed to allow the location to be used, but special legislation is not unknown in New Zealand and would also be needed for the waterfront pipedream.

“The design we are proposing is stunning, even in its concept form. It is inspired by Estadio Municipal De Braga – which took account of its surrounding topography – but it has been enlarged to meet the 60,000-seat rule and modified to be a uniquely New Zealand concept.

“It puts the Government’s design to shame,” the group said.

The group said they were not demanding immediate agreement from the Minister or the Mayor but only that the Carlaw Park option be put formally on the short-list, alongside Eden Park and the waterfront bedpan.

The group called on councillors Bruce Hucker, Toni Millar, Graeme Mulholland and Scott Milne to declare their hand. Councillors Christine Caughey and Richard Simpson said: “In particular, we call on our Hobson colleague, Scott Milne, to firmly reject the bedpan and support Carlaw Park as an option, to kill off the bedpan once and for all and to let the decision be between Eden Park and our new proposal.”

Rodney Hide called on his Auckland parliamentary colleagues to support Carlaw Park as an option. “As members of parliament for this region, we should not allow this decision to be driven by the MP from Wellington,” he said.

Carlaw Park is supported by councillors Neil Abel, Leila Boyle, Cathy Casey, Glenda Fryer, John Hinchcliff and Faye Storer.

END

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