Candidates talk port, stadium
Two of Auckland’s top running mayoral candidates have shut down the idea of a stadium being constructed on the city’s waterfront.
John Palino and Mark Thomas both made their views clear on the potential stadium and the future of the Ports of Auckland in Facebook live interviews.
The interviews are part of a series Fairfax Media is running with the mayoral candidates. Vic Crone is next up on September 23, while Chloe Swarbrick is on September 28 and Phil Goff is on September 30.
Thomas, who lives in Remuera, said the city needs to focus on doing a better job with stadiums it already has.
‘‘If you look at all of our stadiums, obviously Eden Park is privately owned, but all the ones that we have, like Mt Smart, they are not well utilised.
‘‘We [Auckland Council] have got so many things in the queue to spend on so I do not want to start with a new stadium. I want to make the existing ones work better.’’
Palino said he did not see the waterfront as the right location for a stadium.
‘‘I believe it should be put in an area where everyone can get to it. Not only by public transportation … but I think they should also be able to get to it by car,’’ Palino said.
When it comes to the potential relocation of the port, Thomas said it is not a top priority for him.
‘‘I think Aucklanders are telling me, let’s sort the transport out, let’s make housing more affordable and those are my priorities for the first three years of my mayoralty,’’ Thomas said.
Palino said if the port is to be relocated it should be a matter for central government.
One major topic where the candidates disagreed was on the intensification of inner city suburbs.
‘‘We have been intensifying inner city suburbs forever, that is part of the way the world works. What we needed to have is greater numbers of apartments, lower cost apartments and townhouses,’’ Thomas said.
Palino said he is ‘‘totally against’’ intensifying inner suburbs as there is not the infrastructure in place to support it.
‘‘All you are doing is congesting the roads, overfilling the schools and putting pressure on the police, fire department and ambulance.’’
Vic Crone LiveChat, Central Leader Facebook page, Sep 23, 11am.