Random Play by Graham Reid


The Roaring Silence

So now the tumult and the shouting has died and what have we got: a discussion about who is going to fund the $385 million development of Eden Park for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

But are there not some other questions here, and why have the once-vocal architects suddenly gone silent?

Here’s the thing: the plan for Eden Park involves a roofline that is 10-storeys high. Think about that, a 10-storey high building -- and a bloody big one at that -- in the middle of an established suburb where a three-storey building stands out?

Aside from the shade problems which have already been canvassed -- the Eden Park Trust Board initially said about 50 homes would be affected, now it seems it could be 200 -- does no one think that this is going to be a damn ugly building? Are any of the architects who wailed and trumpeted about the waterfront option stepping up to speak against this thing?

The television images which we have seen of the upgraded Eden Park have been those romantic aerial shots of the computer graphic stadium ablaze at night. It looks wonderful. Jeez, I’d vote for that.

But where is the artist’s impression from ground-level, say from Sandringham Road? Waters Road? What is this thing actually going to look like from the human viewpoint?

The Eden Park people once had a modest plan for upgrading the park, then they did as all such people do when they only talk amongst themselves, they got excited. And then they got excitable: they were fuelled by visions and enthusiasm, they decided on a “legacy” not just a rugby park.

Well, I’m not sure whether a 10-storey high stadium -- which will be kinda permanent, right? -- is such a crash-hot idea, let alone a “legacy“. A 10-storey anything in a residential suburb -- albeit one where there is a long-established venue like Eden Park -- is going to be more eyesore than legacy as these people envision it.

I look forward to hearing from the architects who were so vocal about the ugliness of that waterfront option. Does their current silence mean consent? Are they selective about what kind of brutal ugliness they can tolerate? Or are they just a bit puffed?

Maybe we could also just take a deep breath and stop presuming the $385 million upgrade as if this were a given, because that was Plan B -- actually about Plan D, the “legacy” option.

Okay, that is what the Trust Board is looking at -- but of course they would. There seems no need for the rest of us to necessarily buy that package. And after all, we’re the ones who, sooner or later, are going to have to pony up the cash.

And does anyone run an audit over how such figures were arrived at? There surely must be questions about a figure this huge.

Everyone knows that this is going to be a drain on ratepayers and anyone who says otherwise is a fibber, or deluded.

This stadium will be ugly, an intrusion, and more expensive than anyone is prepared to admit. The current resource consent hearing is starting to look like a rubber stamp because right now it seems everyone who had an opinion about the waterfront stadium has just packed up their ideas and ideologies and is thinking about Christmas.

Pity. It’ll cost us all in the end. Big time.

And aren’t you just a teeny bit curious about what advice, if any, that minister who has some kind of interest in Auckland issues -- the effectively mute Ms Tizard, isn’t it? -- has been giving her colleagues these past few months.


Righto, apropos of nothing: I am off to Norfolk Island for a week so any suggestions on things to do there would be gratefully accepted. I hear it is “quiet”.
But for your listening pleasure in my absence I have posted new music here , some of it is kinda funny too.

And the bbq roast beef recipe is a beauty.

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