Controversial stadium plan passes another hurdle

The proposed stadium

Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development has approved the business plan for the development of a whitewater rafting stadium in Manukau.

The proposal for the $58.9 million stadium and adjoining facilities came under fire last month when it was revealed Auckland Council’s economic development arm had not reviewed it.

It had been reviewed by Regional Facilities Auckland, but councillor Cameron Brewer moved that it also be reviewed by ATEED.

The plan says the project will provide 110 full-time equivalent jobs and contribute $7.4 million in GDP to the southern area of Auckland each year.

ATEED thinks the figure is conservative.

Counties Manukau Pacific Trust chairman Sir Noel Robinson says he hopes the findings silence opposition to the project.

The plans have been under scrutiny since the council's strategy and finance committee agreed last month to sell a section of council land adjacent to the Pacific Events Centre in Manukau to help fund the stadium.

Another arm of the council, Auckland Council Properties, is in charge of selling the land, which is valued at about $20 million.

Strategy and finance committee chairwoman Penny Webster says public consultation will take place early next year as part of the annual plan.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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Another white elephant for Manukau. There is a parking building sitting empty because the "build it and they will come" theory was proved wrong yet again.

If Sir Noel is so sure that it's a winner, find private investors who are prepared to stump up $59m. Where is there an equivalent stadium funded by white water rafters? None globally.

Are the planners who are predicting $7.4m in GDP the same planners who predicted a full parking building? They can't even give away the parking spaces. It's great while they spend our rates and commit us to decades of debt servitude. A water crisis in Auckland not so long ago springs to mind. Let's hope the jingle gets some air time.

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$58.9 million? Thought it was $30m. Even then, Australia managed to build one for the Sydney Olympics for only $6m. Why is this one so much more? Has anyone looked at Penriths' return? It's still operating. Has anyone seen how much it adds to their GDP to compare AKL's "conservative" projections with reality? What's the ongoing cost? Who's paying that? Ticket sales? Yeah, right. I suppose the council can just keep raising AKL rates, huh? What's a few million here and there anyway ... ratepayers can keep footing the bill, no problem. Happy to be proven wrong but I'd tend to agree with the first post - if the business plan is so awesome, why hasn't it been done?

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If it was “commercially viable” it would already be built, or being built, so any sane accountant must surely be questioning the economic viability of such a project?

What will be the entrance cost per person? Or family?

For months and months TV3 and the other left-wing MSM have spewed forth all manner of vitriol about how south Auckland parents can’t feed their children breakfasts, they don’t get given enough free money and need more. An amusement park on their back doorstep with entry fees will only detract from these same parents being able to feed their dependents, so using that same TV3 logic, this water park will only help to starve poor children.

The council should ask prominent, wealthy individuals for their opinion on such a multi-million dollar spend – and if these people wouldn’t touch it, absolutely no way should council … as the poor suffering rate payers will once again be paying for Len’s white elephant legacy that no one will use because the entry fees are too expensive!

Stick to the basics, council and leave the commercial playground stuff to people who know what they’re doing.

Strewth – Len couldn’t even manage renta-thugs when they held PoAL and all of Auckland ransom recently .How the hell could they manage to contain a $58.9m spend? If the council tries to build it, it will be at least double that cost before the doors open.

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But there are lots of votes in this for Len Brown in next years' mayoral election. Looks like Len is learning from Aunty Helen how to buy votes with the ratepayer money - most of which doesn't come from Manukau.

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From Dunedin - don't be fooled by the figures promising 110 full-time jobs, or the economic impact estimate.
Ask yourself - what will 110 people be doing FULL-TIME at this facility, and is that sustainable?
We are ruing the cost of an unsustainable stadium which cannot even support 20 full-time jobs and will never pay for itself.

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Total conflict of interest with Mr Richard J being an overpaid member of the ATEED Board.

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This is ridiculous. When would Manakau ever need a white water stadium??

Invest it in improving the lives of the people rather then wasting it on something that will never be used.

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I work far too hard and pay my rates for a minor sport and council ego to waste it on “entertainment”.

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$58.9 million and 110 FTEs means an investment of $535k per job (or equivalent to say 10 years average wage per person).

Interesting to note that the NZ Venture Investment Fund which makes investment in early stage businesses has invested (including its operational costs) around $105 million and helped "create" 1333 jobs at a cost of around $80k per job. Even factoring in the private sector capital they co-invest with the investment per job is $250k.

There is also the potential that some of that investment will be returned through the sale of the equity.

So this venture costs, at best, two times the cost of creating "high-tech" venture backed jobs and seven times the "government" contribution.

There is no way this is a good return for the ratepayer.

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