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Q & A on stadium projects
Tuesday November 21, 2006

Q: Can someone point out to me where we will play test cricket if Eden Park is demolished and the waterfront stadium gets the nod?
Peter Mortimer, Auckland Central.

A: The end of Eden Park will see test cricket relocated to another location with Western Springs being mooted.

The waterfront stadium is likely to be the venue for one-day cricket but the ground will be too small for test cricket.

Q: How can it be right that the Government can expect to circumvent the Resource Management Act or any planning rule or regulation in order to achieve its goal when 'Jo Citizen' can't?
Cynthia Hay.

A: The Government maintains the tight timeframes to build a waterfront stadium in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup means it is not possible to go through the normal planning processes.

It plans to amend the RMA to speed up planning processes. This is an unusual step to take but at the end of the day the Government can do what it wants.

Q: What happened to the alternative proposal for Eden Park that the seating capacity be increased by the use of temporary stands? Isn't that the best alternative of all?
John Slane, Greenlane.

A: The original bid to host the World Cup was a combination of temporary and permanent upgrades to Eden Park. This was based on a new south stand and temporary and permanent upgrades.

Subsequently, the Eden Park Board developed a "legacy" option that included no temporary seating and new south and east stands. In the past month it has released plans to fully enclose the park with covered stands.

The board says it has a long-term objective to provide a better legacy for the community and for Auckland. Temporary seating would be extremely expensive at about $30 million.

Q: What is the cost involved in moving/ compensating Ports of Auckland activity affected at wharves? Could we please know the projections for how often a 60,000-seat stadium will be required? Who will be responsible for the ongoing costs of the stadium?
Jenny Gibbs, Orakei.

A: The cost of compensating Ports of Auckland is the subject of commercial negotiations going on behind closed doors.

A 60,000-seat stadium is likely only to be filled for test matches at either Eden Park or the waterfront.

Major rock concerts - one or two a year - could fill the waterfront stadium. Concerts are not permitted at Eden Park.

Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard says the funding package will see a waterfront stadium open debt- free or be debt-free soon after.

He said international experience showed stadiums that were debt-free, accessible and had a variety of uses had a cash surplus.