Million Problems and a stadium isn’t one
Of all the problems Auckland faces right now with housing, transport, the communities and our environment Mayor-elect Phil Goff goes on radio to be interviewed about a?\
Yep a stadium in the City Centre.
From the NZ Herald:
Phil Goff puts CBD stadium back on table
5:00 AM Sunday Oct 23, 2016 – Bernard Orsman
New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff wants to make an early start on a $1 billion stadium on railway land alongside Vector Arena.
In an interview with NewstalkZB’s Tony Veitch to be aired today, Goff said he does not want to spend an estimated $250 million on upgrading Eden Park over the next 15 years and believes the spiritual home of rugby and cricket could be sold for as much as $300m.
Goff, who has only been in the mayoral job for two weeks, stressed the council did not have up to $1b to invest in a new stadium right now but if the council did not start planning it would miss the boat.
The mayor said private investment would be required and he hoped the Government might also provide some funding towards the project.
There was only one suitable site left in Auckland which could be home to a long-mooted CBD stadium, Goff said, and that was the railway land next to Vector Arena close to the city’s main rail, bus and ferry and motorway links. Ngati Whatua, who own the land, wanted to do a deal, he said.
“What a great place for a stadium. When I look around the city that looks to me to be the best option,” Goff told Veitch.
“It’s not as if we are going to have a new stadium in the next five or 10 years but it means we still have that option of putting a stadium in the right place. We really need to preserve that option.”
Goff’s enthusiasm for putting a CBD stadium back on the table follows a debate in March about the options, which included keeping Eden Park or building a new stadium on the waterfront, Wynyard Quarter, Ports of Auckland land or the railway land alongside Vector Arena.
Full article and source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11734084
Of all things I can think of (see below for an extract of the problems laid out by Bernard Hickey) a stadium is certainly not one of them.
From the NZ Herald:
Bernard Hickey: The great Auckland spend-up5:00 AM Sunday Oct 23, 2016 – Bernard Hickey
A quick look at this week’s new population projections should give new Auckland mayor Phil Goff and his council a sobering reminder of the massive task ahead of them.
Not that any more urgency should be needed.
Somehow, Auckland and Wellington must reconfigure the way they finance the massive infrastructure spending needed to house and transport at least 2.2 million people in Auckland by the early 2040s because business as usual won’t cut it.
Assuming the new mayor sticks to his promise of increasing rates by an average of 2.5 per cent per year, the council will have to work with the central government and its ratepayers to find new ways to pay for the roads, railways and pipes to service that new population growth and catch up on the existing shortages.
A whole new set of tough conversations will be needed to find ways to raise and spend tens of billions of dollars over the decade or two to come.
That’s because many underestimate the enormity of the problem.
Statistics New Zealand published a fresh set of national population forecasts after recording the fastest population growth rate since the early 1960s over the last year.
Record high net migration of 69,100 and natural population growth of 27,900 increased New Zealand’s population by 2.1 per cent to 4.7 million in the year to June 30, with the bulk of that growth in Auckland.
The statisticians projected that New Zealand’s population could rise to 5.5 million within 12 years if net migration was double the long term average of 15,000 per year.
That is the third fatal error from Goff in the space of a week and he has not even been sworn in yet (does not until November 1).
Goff’s first error was Deputy selection (Cashmore will be fine but not choosing Hulse did alienate a decent portion of Auckland). His second error was his Committee Chair and Deputy Chair choices for Finance, and Planning in which Goff said it was for balance (which was not technically needed given the 13 Councillor majority he enjoyed). The current error is this stadium one when we have issues such as a $4b funding gap for the Auckland Transport Alignment Accord’s first ten years.
Somehow I don’t think Len would have stumbled upon three very large errors like that in a very short space of time. Then again Len also had a very capable Deputy Mayor who was able to bang heads together while carrying the can keeping Council focused on what it should be doing (stadiums is not one of them).
Cashmore should be (as Deputy Mayor) banging Goff’s head into something rather hard for this latest error unless the tag of “A Bumbling Mayor” wants to stick within three months of an election. Any of the Committee Chairs or Deputy Chairs caught bumbling (looking at Finance, and Planning especially) should also be at the short end from the Deputy Mayor as well.
DISCIPLINE: I know central Labour can lack it but that does not mean it rubs off to Auckland Council through the Mayor either!