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Endeavour Stadium proposal should get a look in

Media statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Copeland: Endeavour Stadium proposal should get a look in

United Future's spokesperson for sport, Gordon Copeland MP, said today he's stunned to discover that the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Michael Cullen, is blissfully unaware of the 62,000 seat Endeavour Stadium proposal on reclaimed land at Mechanics Bay in Auckland.

“I asked the Deputy Prime Minister in the House yesterday whether or not any consideration at all had been given to this proposal which will provide parking for 12,500 cars, 250 buses, includes two hotels, a new railway station with four times the capacity of Britomart, and a ferry service from Devonport all at reasonable cost to the taxpayer for completion by September 2009,” said Mr Copeland.

“Dr. Cullen gave a sigh and then responded that such a proposal seemed to be allowing one’s imagination to run away; in other words “no”.

“It is possible, of course, that the government is not all-knowing in these matters and that the Design Quest Endeavour Stadium proposal is imaginative, practical, and affordable.

“Certainly it should not be ruled out of consideration by Aucklanders simply because Design Quest may have the wit to improve on either the waterfront or the Eden Park alternatives.

“Design Quest have already filed for a resource consent, covering the reclamation, with the Auckland Regional Council. They understand that the consent itself could be the biggest stumbling block in the way of the project.

“However, government has clearly signalled that it is prepared to legislate for the necessary resource consents in relation to their favoured waterfront proposal and also in relation to Eden Park. If for those projects, why not for the Endeavour Stadium?

“United Future is worried at the potential cost overruns and the tight timetable for completion of the alternatives which the government has put before the people of Auckland City.

“The spread of costs and revenue flowing from the inclusion of two hotels, an upgraded rail system and additional car parks etc limits the potential liability of the tax payer and makes room for private sector investors to join in. Why leave it out of the loop?

“Perhaps more importantly, however, Design Quest believes that, if fast tracked, the project could be completed by September 2009, a full one and a half years prior to the World Cup.

“There is only one chance to get this right and I believe there is a place for prudence and reasoned consideration of Endeavour Stadium, even if it means busting the government’s unilateral “a decision in two weeks please” gung-ho ultimatum. Auckland and New Zealand deserve better.”

Mr Copeland emphasised that his questions about the Endeavour Stadium proposal in no way signal any change in United Future’s party position that the final choice, between all alternatives, is one for the people of Auckland.

Mr Copeland noted that the Endeavour Stadium proposal was forwarded to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Trevor Mallard, Judith Tizard, Annette King, Don Brash, John Key, Winston Peters and Rodney Hide on the 25th of October but, "seemingly, they have all been too busy to read it!"


ENDS

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