Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Eden Park - a decision made?

The rugby world cup is coming to New Zealand they said. Yayyy we thought. Who knew it would all lead to so much nonsense. They starting with so much enthusiasm. A stunning model of a new stadium on the Auckland waterfront. Something that would one day be symbolic of Auckland, like the opera house. And it would have been great use of the waterfront which at the moment is covered with cargo boxes, since that's the port. This being shifted to another location would have been a great idea...who puts a shipping port smack bang in the middle of a CBD?! Especially when Auckland is surrounded by water!

So there was this amazing idea that everyone loved and the central government was willing to put in a lot of the money for it. But then other people starting pitching new ideas. Why not just 'redo' so-and-so stadium? Why not build a stadium in another location? A waterfront stadium would cost too much! But its the world cup! The world cup for the sport that kiwis live, eat and breathe and this is what they come up with! So numbers were crunched and every council that voted had different ideas. I'm still not exactly sure how the final decision was made, but all of a sudden the dream of a waterfront stadium was pulled away and we were told they would re-do Eden Park (which would cost them 300odd million as opposed to 800odd million for the waterfront). What kind a stupid idea is that? A stadium in the middle of a residential area which is already nearly impossible to get to thanks to lack of parking around the place. (Whenever we go to Eden Park, we have to get there a good hour early because we have to park so far away!) And its already difficult enough for the residents and now it'll be worse. And who would use a bigger Eden Park once this is done?

Well, said the central government, Eden Park is an auckland stadium so we shall not pay for it! Its the Auckland city council's responsibility! HUH? But isn't the rugby world cup a national event, something that'll bring revenue to the whole country! Anyway so a few weeks later we still didnt know what was going on, till we were told that they had realised it would cost 400mil to redo Eden Park properly, and thus they'd do a temporary arrangement costing 150mil instead. And also because they dont see the point of permanently expanding Eden Park. Temporary seating?! For the rugby world cup! Remember to bring your own chairs oh people of the world!!

Funniest part is they still dont know who will pay the money! Central govt doesnt want to. Auckland regional council thinks auckland city council should. Auckland city council doesnt want to pay for all of it. Etc Etc. Apparently they will sort it out. So they say...

And now we have to live with this decision. Because the people making the decisions had no foresight. Look what sydney did with the Olympic games...couldnt we at least learn 5% from that. Apparently when the opera house was being built, they had to deal with the same crap. Only difference was it was finally approved. And look what it is now! A waterfront stadium would have done the same for Auckland. And now all we have is the sky tower! And a temporary Eden bloody Park!

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