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Stadium debate moves to regional council
Friday November 24, 2006
By Anne Beston

The stadium debate opened at the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) today.

Unlike last night's Auckland City Council meeting on the issue, members of the public were given speaking times by ARC chairman Mike Lee.

Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard - who last night was among the 13 Auckland City councillors who voted in favour of the proposed waterfront stadium - also attended the meeting.

Activist Lisa Prager said the city council had failed in its statutory duty by voting for the waterfront option and urged the Auckland Regional Council to make a different decision.

Listen to the meeting live on Newstalk ZB

"It's very simple, it's up to Auckland Regional Council to represent the public of Auckland. I am sure you know what the polls say."

North Harbour stadium representatives have still not given up their bid for the Rugby World Cup.

Spokesman Brendan O'Connor said councillors must forget the emotion around the debate.

He urged them to consider North Harbour even thought the government has only given Auckland the option of the waterfront or Eden Park.

"We are the no-risk, low-cost option, why would you go and build an extra stadium in the city when we are fifteen minutes from the CBD."

Architects and urban design experts have in general united in opposition to the waterfront option and Auckland architect Peter Bossley said no amount of animation and video images of the waterfront stadium could make it palatable.

He said the stadium itself would be a "dead and empty space".

"We donít need a stadium to have restaurants and cafes on the waterfront we can have those without the stadium."