Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Aiming for mediocrity. Again.

103 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Ben Gracewood,

    Just. Build. It. For crying out loud. I'm thoroughly sick of the 'consultation paralysis' that we currently seem to suffer. Just the other day I got a huge glossy brochure from Transit asking "ummm, would be ok, pretty please, if we put tolls on a new road?" I don't care. Just do it and stop bloody asking questions.

    We elected you buggers to do stuff for us, and yet you seem incapable of making a decision without spending squillions asking us if it's ok.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We elected you buggers to do stuff for us, and yet you seem incapable of making a decision without spending squillions asking us if it's ok.

    As Don pointed out in the other thread, it's become clear the political capital lies in being a naysayer on this. The angry brigade has claimed the debate. It would just be nice if personalities could be put aside and the actual respective merits of the two sites looked at. But I'm not holding my breath.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz,

    Something else that has bothered me (perhaps wrongly) but which I heard somewhere near the beginnng of all the reporting on the stadium: Eden Park is privately owned (by a trust fund??)---so why would the tax payer be happy to, presumably, swell the coffers of a trust? Do we know (can we know?) who the beneficiaries would be?

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Eden Park is privately owned (by a trust fund??)---so why would the tax payer be happy to, presumably, swell the coffers of a trust? Do we know (can we know?) who the beneficiaries would be?

    Basically, Auckland cricket and rugby. And it won't be their own pockets those two sports tap for the Eden Park expansion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    I don't think the stadium is a good idea but the criticism of its design is unfair. Warren and Mahoney arguably is the best architectural practice in the country. Their stadia in Wellington and Waitakere are superb and this new design looks interesting. Unfortunately mocking new architecture seems to be a popular pastime and new designs do not get the analysis they deserve from the media.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • John Francis Logan,

    I'm not against a breathtaking piece of architecture on the waterfront -- but a bloody sports ground? -- is that the best we can come up with?

    Katikati • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • James Clark,

    At first I kind of liked the idea of a big flash stadium on the waterfront - then I thought about it. It does seem rather absurd use of a prime location.

    Sure, it is an ugly area now: containers and other countries' scrap cars, but the argument that "a stadium would at least be nicer than that" is not particularly sound.

    Think about what you might want from a stadium. You want to get there, watch the game, and get far away as quickly as possible. When you are seated inside, waiting for kickoff, does it really make any difference if you're at North Harbour, or on prime harbourfront real estate with potentially beautiful views outside? Of course not. You came to watch the game.

    When the game is over: a quite stroll along the waterfront and perhaps a dining experience with 60,000 other people flooding out of the place looking for somewhere to pee? No thanks.

    For all of the Aucklanders and visitors that are not interested in the stadium the area will be a definite no-go - especially if it is utilised as much as it should be to justify the cost.

    Using the location for a stadium just seems like a waste in so many ways. Most expensive place to build. Least effective use of the location.

    exile • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Has Keith Locke actually seen the area he describes as "Auckland's beautiful waterfront"?

    Sigh. That's exactly the sort of comment we keep getting about Wellington waterfront. How dare they propose replacing our beautiful carparks and tin sheds with something people might actually use!

    Having said that, a stadium of that size is a damn hard thing to get right in an urban context. If they do manage to get the ground level animated by bars and function rooms (and shops and gyms and all sorts of other things that could work), then it would be fantastic, and exactly the sort of thing that a waterfront needs. I just hope that those sort of urban issues don't get dropped in the panic to get it finished on time.

    Comparisons to the Wellington Stadium aren't really accurate, since ours isn't on the "waterfront" - it's separated from the harbour by an arterial road and all the sheds and stacked logs of the working port. However, it does go to show that the edge of the CBD, beside a main transport node, is exactly where a stadium should go. Because of its still-industrial environs, it hasn't attracted the sort of public uses around the edge that the Auckland one is supposed to, but there are at least some workplaces (Otago University sports research, I think) tucked under the stands to show that it's at least vaguely feasible.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Jamie Timms,

    If a government supported redevelopment for a major event can't convince the council(s) to move the port and open up the waterfront, what will? There seems to be a choice between a stadium and access in five years, or nothing but a port and a fence for fifty.

    If it can be done, do it. $300m+ on Eden Park is a big waste of money in my opinion.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Think about what you might want from a stadium. You want to get there, watch the game, and get far away as quickly as possible. ... When the game is over: a quite stroll along the waterfront and perhaps a dining experience with 60,000 other people flooding out of the place looking for somewhere to pee? No thanks.

    But that's exactly what a lot of stadium-goers do want to do: go out and enjoy the victory (or commiserate in defeat) after the game. Despite the Wellington Stadium being nearly 1km from the nearest bars and 2km from the main nightlife district, people pour out of the game and (far from wanting to get away) head off in search of a good time. Then again, Wellingtonians seem to have retained the use of their legs, and know how to have a good time in public.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Beer,

    Aiming for Mediocrity - Indeed.

    The most obvious architectural precedent of the proposed waterfront stadium is Te Papa, which in spite of any of its other merits is truly uninspired in its external design. Invariably, a rushed time frame and the historical cultual cringe of NZ architecture will combine to mean that whatever is proposed will be a banal copy of somewhere else - a form of 'glocalisation' to use social theory jargon.

    What we are going to get with the current proposals is yet another variation on the ' feature institution(s) plus hospitality for rich people' formula that has been reproduced ad nauseum around the English-speaking world since Baltimore pioneered the model in 70s. Think South Street Seaport, think Darling Harbour - highly commodified spaces for the well-dressed public and otherwise exclusionary for everyone else.

    Since Nov 2006 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • James Clark,

    Sigh. That's exactly the sort of comment we keep getting about Wellington waterfront. How dare they propose replacing our beautiful carparks and tin sheds with something people might actually use!

    Point taken. Just think a step further: if you are going to develop the place for public use then why why why spoil it by plonking a massive stadium in the middle.

    Spend the little money to clear the area and put a green park on it, some open space, shops, restaurants - all low-rise. Make it a place that anyone would be happy to be - anytime.

    Take the balance of the $500m (more likely to be $1b) and use it to build the stadium on solid ground elsewhere - or perhaps extend one of the other locations suggested.

    exile • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Mallard's approach to this has been a huge part of the problem. his usual combative bully boy approach "You've got two weeks to make up your mind!" is a bit like "Buy this record I'll shoot this dog". It just isn't helpful.

    There is no accurate costing of the project.
    There is no finalised design.
    There has been no meaningful public consultation.

    How the hell are we supposed to make up our minds in this situation?

    I'm still opposd to it - but show me a breathtaking design (not the dull one in today's herald) and get accurate figures and STOP THREATENING ME, and I might just change my mind.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Think about what you might want from a stadium. You want to get there, watch the game, and get far away as quickly as possible.

    Not really. You actually don't want to get in your car and drive home immediately - you might want a drink or a meal or a big night out (that last one tends to depend on the result). Or maybe you want to arrive earlier and enjoy a glass of wine as the sun goes down. Ask Wellingtonians how they feel about having a CBD stadium as compared to Athletic Park, and how it's changed the way they approach events.

    When you are seated inside, waiting for kickoff, does it really make any difference if you're at North Harbour, or on prime harbourfront real estate with potentially beautiful views outside? Of course not. You came to watch the game.

    Actually, you came for an entertainment experience. And you're assuming that the only use the stadium will be rugby. There'll be one-day cricket, conferences, cultural events - all the things that already go on in the middle of a suburb at Eden Park, but in a better setting with better transport options (including ferries) and parking. And you can add in concerts and papal visits too ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • mark baker,

    Actually, I'm with those who rail against a bloody rugby ground on the waterfront. It's a minority sport for God's sake. Most of the world shakes its collective head when confronted with our obsession with heaving sweaty men with funny shaped ears chasing a piece of pigskin around a paddock.

    Yes we should have a national stadium, no it must not be dominated by the sweaty men at the expense of everyone else, and it must absolutely, positively not be rammed through just because we made some rash promises to the IRB/WCR.

    There's some sense in not going onto the tank farm - as far as I can see that will end up being container port - but the place for the stadium IS down that end of the waterfront, beneath the harbour bridge and away from residential development.

    Then you get foot traffic right along the waterfront (and thank you, Government and AC2000, for getting the Viaduct done); people get a new ferry terminus that goes right to the venue, the current container port doesn't get disrupted (imagine the nightmare of making sure freight isn't lost or delayed while the stadium gets built!

    I maintain Trevor the Duck is having a laugh at Auckland's expense.
    With his fingers on the purse strings it's his way or no way. Haemorrhoid cushion or Eden Park - not Hobson's Choice but certainly Trevor's!

    Papakura • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • mark baker,

    Oh, blurt. I just realised what I want there instead of a footy ground.
    I want a Burj - imagine our waterfront with a huge and proud hotel in the shape of a sail...how appropriate would that be, and how pleasant to make shopping and sopcialising precincts on the ground floors...oh, and a big hotel would also have those conference rooms and stuff...and no sweaty men with cauliflour ears...they'd be banned unless they could strong together two intelligible multisyllabic sentences in a row in less than 20 minutes!
    Think about it. Images of the current Burj go around the world. Images of stadia only go around the waterfront freebie newspapers and Granny Herald...

    Papakura • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • peter mclennan,

    Those poor retirees living in Quay St, complaining on the tv news last night over the loss of their view, the disruption, the noise... GET OVER IT.

    I remember when their apartments were going up - folk I knew living in apartments on Anzac Ave were unimpressed to be losing their views, for an ugly architectural eyesore. If you choose to move into the city, expect one constant - change. I look out our apartment window and see 5 cranes working in central Auckland, on different sites. If you retire and want somewhere that won't change, try Orewa.

    Imagine is someone had the vision to do something with the former railway yards down by the old railway station, instead of flogging that land off for new ghetto apartments. That would have been the ideal site for a large stadium.

    AK Central • Since Nov 2006 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    in melbourne the telstra dome (the big waterfront stadium with nearby public transport access) is used for all kinds of things, kind of like RB mentions about.

    it's used for these gigantic university graduation ceremonies for example. we took a break while we waited for our mate to graduate by going and having a beer and a bit in one of the many bars.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I don't know about the rest of the country holding our breaths and waiting for Auckland to make up it's mind, I think we're mostly holding our breath waiting to see if we'll have to pay for something we'll never use.

    I lived in the US for a long time, I saw a bunch of local stadiums built, each ended up screwing the local tax-payers (ie me)

    Really rugby is a business now, it should be capitalising itself, if it wants a loan from the public purse to do something like this it should pay interest like any other business would. If the govt is building this as a community resource it should be capitalised by the community (ie Auckland) and rugby should be made to pay market rates to use it so that the community can cover it's loans and make a profit - of course if you did that rugby would just use Eden park most of the time and the stadium would become a white elephant

    A lot of people seem to be offended by the sheer size of the thing and the fact that it's just so in people's faces - surely Auckland's full of volcanic cones one could be hidden in?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2179 posts Report Reply

  • mark baker,

    Paul, you've got it. If we let rugby in on the ground floor, all other uses will be subservient to that sport.

    It's not as if there's no corporate support for the sport is it?

    This is a business, and it makes money - otherwise it would be back to club level and we could all get on with our lives without this kind of malarkey.

    Stadium NZ has to be run by an elected board (not appointed by the blazer and tie brigade), and it has to be looking to book events across the spectrum - even (whisper it) arts and culture!

    There has to be a charter to guide the board that places emphasis on events that BENEFIT the nation and the community, not just the obsessive few.

    Oh, and apologies all for the typo in my last post, brain racing ahead of fingers as usual, blurt!

    Papakura • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    The most obvious architectural precedent of the proposed waterfront stadium is Te Papa, which in spite of any of its other merits is truly uninspired in its external design.

    slightly off topic, but I don't think that Te Papa is entirely uninspired, but that it does not address the street frontage, despite that being the angle from which most people approach it. It looks amazing if you are on the water, or further around and see it's side profile. However, if you're walking toward it, or driving past it in a car, you see a monolithic wall. Maybe it's a metaphor for modern seaside New Zealand. Fantastic houses hidden behind big walls that open out to the sea but are shut to the road...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Stadium NZ has to be run by an elected board (not appointed by the blazer and tie brigade), and it has to be looking to book events across the spectrum - even (whisper it) arts and culture!

    Which is effectively an argument against rates and taxes going into Eden Park, which will stay with a trust that benefits two sports and has nothing to do with the local community. If Eden Park loses out, they'll cash up and develop and become a client of the new stadium.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • James Clark,

    Actually, you came for an entertainment experience. And you're assuming that the only use the stadium will be rugby. There'll be one-day cricket, conferences, cultural events - all the things that already go on in the middle of a suburb at Eden Park...

    Of course. I accept that. From the point of view of a regular stadium-goer only; I'd say that the location is fine. I would definitely buy tickets.

    I'd also go to North Harbour - or anywhere else in Greater Auckland for that matter.

    I was attempting to think of best potential use of the land, and the proportion of people that would be regular stadium attendees - versus say those that might regularly visit the Domain, or Viaduct basin, or Mission Bay, etc.

    exile • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    The most obvious architectural precedent of the proposed waterfront stadium is Te Papa, which in spite of any of its other merits is truly uninspired in its external design. Invariably, a rushed time frame and the historical cultual cringe of NZ architecture will combine to mean that whatever is proposed will be a banal copy of somewhere else - a form of 'glocalisation' to use social theory jargon.

    Wrong. Te Papa was exactly the oppossite - there was a massive amount of time put into the propsal and decision process. In fact, it's the classic example of ballsing up a project by putting it through so many committees it ends up as a big, well... nothing. During the very long proposal process, there were also a number of really interesting options from some great designers (such Frank Gehry, designer of the risky and amazingly successful Balboa Guggenheim... I'd hate to see what Don Brash would have compared the designs for THAT to) which were turned down because apparently the safe option was more appealing.

    I'm quite familiar with the design of Te Papa and the processes that led to its construction and once you know, some of the concepts behind it are quite interesting, but there's just simply two many ideas, and it's all a little bit of the sum adding up to a lot less than its parts... no risks, trying to please everyone.

    But anyway, like Te Papa... doing this kind of thing by committee is going to end up with a boring, safe and yup - mediocre option... Eden Park. What a f*cking pathetic tragedy..

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    err... I mean 'too' many, not 'two many'... funny typo though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 311 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.