Can­di­dates talk port, sta­dium

Central Leader - - MILESTONES - TOM CARNEGIE

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.

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