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Eden Park agreement signed and new board set up

18 May 2007

Eden Park agreement signed and new board set up

Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard today announced that the government and the Eden Park Trust Board have signed a formal agreement for the redevelopment of Eden Park as the venue for the finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

"We have reached agreement for redevelopment of Eden Park which exceeds the IRB's initial expectations of the finals venue for Rugby World Cup 2011 and is a significant improvement on the preliminary designs released in February 2007," Trevor Mallard said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the government will underwrite the redevelopment, with four Crown-nominated trustees of Eden Park appointed. These nominees, along with current trustee Rob Fisher, will be part of the newly established Redevelopment Board that will manage the project. The members of this board will be:

• John Waller, partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and chairman of the redevelopment board;
• Brian Nightingale, General Manager, Mckee Fehl Construction;
• Neville Harris, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development;
• Nigel Cass, General Manager Tournament Services, Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd; and
• current Eden Park trustee Rob Fisher.

"I would like to thank the Eden Park Trust Board and Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby for their constructive contributions to this outcome. We have a redevelopment process that will deliver a venue that New Zealand can be proud of, and will provide us with a superb opportunity to showcase New Zealand to a worldwide audience for Rugby World Cup 2011."

The agreement provides that the Crown underwrite is conditional upon long term governance changes also being made. The park is currently privately owned, and administered for the benefit of Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby.

"Eden Park has a long and proud sporting history involving not only rugby and cricket, but also major events across a range of sporting codes. The Eden Park trustees are to be congratulated for successfully managing the park over the years, and for initiating change to the governance of the park so that it can be an asset for all Aucklanders into the future. "

The agreement sets a new design for the redevelopment of the park based on Cabinet's earlier approval of a budget of up to $190 million for a new South Stand, and temporary stands in the East and West Stands.
"This design not only upgrades the permanent capacity and quality of Eden Park, but also leaves open the ability to carry out further enhancements in the future," Trevor Mallard said.

"We have given Eden Park a design befitting a modern sporting facility, but also on a scale that acknowledges its residential location, while leaving open the potential for further development if circumstances warrant."

The most important next step for the Redevelopment Board was to secure resource consents for the new design, based on existing consents for the previous designs, he said.

"I am advised there have been very constructive discussions with the Eden Park Neighbours Association, which has lodged an appeal with the Environment Court in respect of the resource consents granted to the park for the previous design."

"The neighbours have raised legitimate concerns, but have also recognised the opportunities that the redevelopment can create not only for Rugby World Cup 2011, but for the longer term benefit of community. We are hopeful that their concerns will be resolved shortly and that the project will proceed using the consents already granted for the redevelopment. I am advised that construction will need to begin by about April next year in order to be completed 12 months prior to the Rugby World Cup, which will in turn enable the new stadium to be fully tested prior to the tournament."

The agreement provides that the new Redevelopment Board will be responsible for raising funding for the redevelopment, with government support.

"Final costs will not be available until the detailed design work is complete but there is already a high level of confidence that significant contributions will be coming from sources other than the government," Trevor Mallard said.

A copy of the agreement and design plan including concept visuals of the completed redevelopment are available on www.med.govt.nz

Summary of new Eden Park design

Capacity of at least 60,000
52 new corporate boxes
New media and players' facilities
New South Stand 22,200 (all permanent)
Eastern Stand 17,400 (temporary stand overlaying existing terraces)
West Stand (2,500 additional temporary seats behind existing seats)
ASB Stand unchanged
NOTE: These numbers are approximate only

ENDS

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