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Eight Auckland councillors back government choice
Monday November 20, 2006

Eight members of the 20-seat Auckland City Council are indicating support for the Government's waterfront stadium option, but there will be plenty more play before the final whistle on Thursday.

The Herald has found support for a site straddling Captain Cook and Marsden wharves among seven councillors as well as Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard, compared with six who are opposed and six undecided.

Two of those yet to decide - Citizens and Ratepayers Now councillors Doug Armstrong and Toni Millar - indicated last night they would support a waterfront stadium if the Government agreed to build it further east, on Bledisloe Wharf.

Sports Minister Trevor Mallard has ruled that out, as the port company says it would be too destructive of its business, but public pressure may cause a rethink, in view of a wide coalition of opposition among Aucklanders to the Captain Cook-Marsden option on visual impact grounds. That could produce a tied result when the council debates the issue on Thursday night, leaving it to Mr Hubbard to use his casting vote to secure Mr Mallard's waterfront dream.

Only independents Bill Christian and Faye Storer indicated clear support last night for redeveloping Eden Park. Action Hobson councillors Richard Simpson and Christine Caughey favour building a new stadium at Carlaw Park and City Vision members Neil Abel and Cathy Casey would prefer using any of the existing facilities, whether at Eden Park, Mt Smart or North Harbour.

How they intend to vote

* Mayor Dick Hubbard
* Glenda Fryer
* Linda Leighton
* Scott Milne
* Graeme Mulholland
* Richard Northey
* Noelene Raffills
* Vern Walsh

* Neil Abel
* Bill Christian
* Cathy Casey
* Christine Caughey
* Faye Storer
* Richard Simpson

* Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker
* Doug Armstrong
* Leila Boyle
* John Hinchcliff
* Toni Millar
* Penny Sefuiva