$56.8 million world cup plan
A “WORLD-CLASS” package of events for the Rugby World Cup 2011 has been given provisional approval by Auckland City Council.
The plan is the most expensive option the council considered, and includes a large-scale public celebration in the city and a cultural entertainment programme.
Councillors voted 14 to six in favour of the $35.8 million option on Thursday.
It’s an indication of what the council would spend on the tournament, but would have to be approved in next year’s long-term plan.
“There’s not one dollar being spent tonight,” said mayor John Banks.
“This is part of a proposition that has to go out to public consultation, that has to have a robust business case, and has to stand up to public scrutiny.”
But in the meantime provisional budget details have been kept confidential.
An amendment by councillor Cathy Casey to move the report into the open part of the meeting was lost.
Dr Casey dismissed the costly plan as “trimmings” with no long-term benefit.
“It’s dressing up the city, and it goes away after the world cup. This is $36m worth of window dressing, and we should not be a party to it.”
Councillor Denise Roche said the plan was all glitz and no substance.
“This is a fur coat with no knickers,” she said.
But councillor Greg Moyle, chairman of the arts, culture and recreation committee that earlier approved the plan, said it was a chance to showcase Auckland.
“It behoves us to put our best foot forward,” he said.
If approved next year, the option would put the city’s world cup contribution up to $56.8m, including $32m already committed for infrastructure, transport and public space upgrades.
The plan, titled “world class”, includes entertainment drawing on the 20 competing countries, highvisibility city installations, and a programme to target international investment.
That’s on top of basic requirements of cleaning, waste removal, traffic management, and visitor and media services.