Thursday, February 15, 2024

Mike's Minute: Auckland Council couldn't deliver on the stadium design

By now you will have seen the drawings of the new stadium in Auckland.

It has come with the usual bullish talk of doability and vision, the way all these sort of concept drawings do.

The old stadium debate didn’t start this past weekend and if you go back through all the drawings and visions and debates, the one thing you will find at the end of it all is we still don’t have a new stadium, or indeed anything close to it.

The Auckland Council, in a fit of what I can only assume was overt bullishness (or they had been drinking), called for expressions of interest.

That’s always the easy bit. Have a meeting, talk big and call for ideas.

Well, this latest idea, or drawing of an idea, is superb. It's as good a concept as I have seen.

It's on the waterfront where I think most sensible people have concluded it should be. Its modern and maybe even futuristic.

The claim is it could be our Sydney Opera house, and they may be right.

But this is Auckland and if you haven't seen Auckland lately, she's not a pretty sight. She is increasingly a dishevelled, disorganised dump of a sight.

The council is close to broke and arguing about rates, the beaches close when it rains, there are massive holes in the ground, people still haven't been sorted out since the storms a year ago, it costs $300,000 to build a speed hump, $600,000 for a pedestrian crossing, the rail project is billions over budget and years overdue and homelessness and violence riddle the central city.

This is not a city capable of a lot and certainly not a visionary, intergenerational, recreation monument to creative thinking.

The drawing is more for Abu Dhabi, or Dubai, or even Las Vegas where the private sector and the size of the domestic market could make it pay.

Singapore, a small country the size of ours population wise, could do it because they have their act together.

Christchurch could tell you a thing or two about building facilities for sport, and theirs isn't finished, isn't close to being finished, or anywhere near as grand as the Auckland drawing.

What the plan really shows is just how far short of what we want to be and where we really are. It's only value, sadly, is it’s a quality project, a bold vision.

But they have presented to people not even close to being capable of making it a reality.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings - where this article was sourced.


Anonymous said...

Good summation for Auckland, could be great but must try harder.
Grade C-

Anonymous said...

NZ Inc redefined as Auckland Inc colloquially known as JAFA.

Get a life NZ. Cut the pretentions and do what needs to be done for NZ properly. That does not include fancy stadia.

CXH said...

Anonymous, easy for you but without fancy stadiums we won't get Taylor Swift to come. How do you expect Kiwis to put up with such hardship.

Anonymous said...

Taylor Swift is an interesting exercise in social frenzy and hysteria. Much like, say, the Salem witch-hunts or Waitangi Day ‘hurt’ and the bleeding heart syndrome feeding Maori grievances. In Swifts’s case though millions/billions of dollars and corresponding propaganda have gone into it. Greta Thunberg by comparison is a miserable something nothing despite her so called worthy causes. I guess the Swift mania keeps people’s minds off the real issues.

If you want your stadium to enable social control then go ahead and build it. The loss to NZ ultimately will be awful.

Ray S said...

You nailed it CXH.
The Taylor Swift mania effects people of all ilks. No different from anywhere else.

Auckland stadium, why not? Just so long as the council, ratepayers and Iwi have absolutely nothing to do with it.
For some reason, councils everywhere want vanity projects, Auckland is no different.

Tom Logan said...

Look I don't know what you lot are going on about.

I went to the rugby at Eden Park a while back. Got on the bus down to the ferry . All the bus stops were announced in Maori, before the English name . At the ferry terminal the signs were bilingual , Maori first, of course. And at the train station all the signage and announcements were bilingual. Maori first of course.

Problem was the train was 30 minutes late departing . Missed the first 15 minutes . At least it came eventually. Pity the poor average rail commuter in Auckland. Or any commuter by public transport in Auckland.

But heck we get all that Maori language immersion. What more do we want.

And Canterbury won ! Cause like Auckland public transport, the Blues are rubbish !

Anonymous said...

Well Tom. If that happens for rugby imagine where the rest of NZ is going.

Think positively- you missed the nasty haka - death threats embraced as sport.


Anonymous said...

Mike forgot to mention - in his list of what is wrong in Auckland - is that also the trains stop running when the sun comes out.