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RWC Stadium: North Shore City Mayor George Wood

RWC Stadium: North Shore City Mayor George Wood

North Shore City Mayor George Wood and his deputy Councillor Dianne Hale were among the audience last Friday when Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard briefed media on the Government’s current thinking on stadia.

North Harbour Stadium in Albany is one of the options still under consideration, Mallard confirmed.

However, like many of the journalists with whom he sat cheek by jowl at the packed conference, Wood heard more questions than answers and is now asking some more of his own.

The Minister’s narrow focus on The Waterfront vs. Eden Park - and an even narrower timeframe to consider his Hobson’s choice - is unfair.

To give the public and two of the region’s eight councils just a fortnight to comment on two ill-advised schemes with little reliable information is highly questionable.

The Government’s disregard for the stringent consultation and environmental rules it imposes on local government is certainly ironic.

North Shore City Council will continue to advocate for the interests of our community and its facilities.

It is my view that North Harbour Stadium is the most logical and cost effective alternative to become New Zealand’s National Stadium.

North Harbour Stadium is up to $200m cheaper than the two options currently being evaluated.

It is already future-proofed and so it is the sensible legacy.

As always, we stand ready to talk to the Government whenever it is moved to approach us.

(ends)

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