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Eden Park board faces reshuffle ahead of Cup
03 December 2006
By GREG FORD

Eden Park's trustees say an injection of fresh blood onto the ground's board of control is inevitable.

The rugby citadel, now in pole position to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, has been governed by a veritable who's who of sporting high society in recent decades.

But that era is on the cusp of changing.

The board has recommended a new governance structure, modelled on the body that oversees the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"We have made no secret of that," said board re-development chairman, Rob Fisher.

"If the government, ratepayers or a combination of both help pay for the changes, then the ownership of the ground should reflect that."

A board of control and board of trustees currently govern the park.

But if the public purse is used to revamp the ground the sports minister of the day will have power to appoint those responsible for governing the ground.

A project progress report is destined to reach Cabinet in a about a week and it will help determine what contribution central government is prepared to make.

Public opposition scuttled the much-talked-about Auckland waterfront stadium.

Fisher hoped Aucklanders would back Eden Park because it offered a better return on any investment they made.

"The trustees would own the ground and Eden Park Trust board would appoint several members to reflect the contribution they have made through ownership of the ground and ASB Stand.

"But the contribution made by rate- or taxpayers would also have to be proportionally represented to reflect the public's contribution."