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It's Eden Park, Government says
3.30pm Monday November 27, 2006

The Government has dropped the idea of a waterfront stadium for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

It is now backing the redevelopment of Eden Park stadium -- subject to resolution of design, funding and governance issues.

The decision was announced today by Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard after Auckland Regional Council and Auckland City Council took different positions.

"The decision on a stadium had always been one for Auckland to make but unfortunately Auckland has been unable to agree to a preference, with Auckland City Council in favour of a waterfront site, and the Auckland Regional Council not favouring such a site.

"Cabinet has decided to support a redeveloped Eden Park but has also asked for more work to be done to agree on the redevelopment design, and on governance and funding issues going forward, with a report back to Cabinet by December 13. This report back date will not affect building timelines.

"It has also been agreed that North Harbour be considered as a reserve option for the time being, and that Rugby NZ 2011 Ltd be informed that it is the government's view that the final should be held in Auckland."

Mr Mallard said the latest estimate of the Eden Park redevelopment is now $385 million, up from $150 million when the right to run the Cup was first won.

"If the government had been advised of the escalation of these costs earlier, then the timeframe would not have been so tight, and the process of evaluating options and consultation would have been much different.

"The government felt that since there would be some public funding involved, it
had a duty and responsibility to explore alternative options to ensure that the right decision was made in terms of the value and spinoffs that could be delivered for this level of investment."