May­oral stand is on tar­get

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Scott Mor­gan and Cleo Fraser

Auck­lan­ders are back­ing mayor John Banks’ re­fusal to put ratepayer cash into Eden Park.

Most who spoke to the Central Leader yes­ter­day agreed the gov­ern­ment should pay for the up­grade.

“I think the whole coun­try is go­ing to ben­e­fit from the Rugby World Cup so the gov­ern­ment should pay,” says Kings­land res­i­dent Joe Reid.

Busi­ness owner Peter La­mont says ratepay­ers shouldn’t have to fork out.

“The gov­ern­ment should def­i­nitely pay.”

Donna Dold says as a “rugby nut” she just wants to see the sta­dium re­de­vel­oped. “We’d all pre­fer it that gov­ern­ment paid but I don’t see a prob­lem with coun­cil putting some money in.”

Si­mon Smythe thought of­fi­cials should just “build the thing.”

“No mat­ter who funds it, it all comes from the same place in the end.”

A $240 mil­lion plan for the sta­dium was an­nounced on Mon­day.

The gov­ern­ment is to put up $190m, with $12m from the Eden Park Trust Board and $10m from the New Zealand Rugby Union, leav­ing a short­fall of $28m.

Mr Banks did not answer calls yes­ter­day, but has said he won’t fund more than $20m for in­fra­struc­ture around the park.

A re­quest for fund­ing will be con­sid­ered by the Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil next year.

Chair­man Mike Lee says it will be care­fully con­sid­ered.

The up­grade in­cludes a new south stand and a two-tier east stand to re­place the ter­races, in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity from 47,000 to 60,000 peo­ple.

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