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NBA Says Inquiry Into Rugby Cup Needed

Business group says inquiry may avoid global embarrassment

“Central and local government need to pull all the levers now, like the Chinese did the moment Beijing secured the 2008 Olympic Games, or else Auckland will embarrass itself on an unprecedented scale in 2011,” said Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association tonight.

The Newmarket Business Association has today written to the chairperson of parliament’s Commerce Committee saying it supports its local MP, Rodney Hide’s call for a parliamentary inquiry into Auckland’s ability to successfully host the 2011 Rugby World Cup. It believes such an inquiry may be a life saver and will without doubt have the support of other equally concerned business groups such as the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

“We have been alarmed by the new Minister of Transport’s cavalier attitude towards the call to bring forward Auckland’s motorway network completion target of 2014/15. South Islander David Parker, now the Transport Minister, is too laid back for Auckland’s liking. No Aucklander accepts his argument that the World Cup is not worth speeding infrastructural upgrades for. We need to get a lot more ambitious, otherwise hundreds of millions of global viewers will simply laugh at our expense.

“This is the biggest opportunity we have to present ourselves to the world for many decades. The global sports media love picking holes and firing back anecdotes to their readers, viewers and listeners.

“We want to see the likes of the western motorway extension (SH20) and the Newmarket viaduct replacement project completed by 2011. We’d also like to see a lot more focus on improving our public transport facilities and services. When I was at the last Bledisloe rugby match at Eden Park this winter, I waited two hours for a train that didn’t arrive, so Connex eventually sent us home in a taxi. They need to seriously wake up before 65,000 very discerning visitors turn up in town.

“Concerns about our city’s readiness are without doubt big enough to warrant a parliamentary inquiry. The Newmarket Business Association, not only supports the call for an inquiry, but will be keen to present a submission,” said Mr Brewer.

Ends

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