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Monday, 22 April 2019 12:03 pm

Campaign begins to win public support for $25m stadium spend

PETONEREC

 

AN OPEN letter to residents this week kicks off a Hutt City Community Facilities Trust campaign to get public approval to spend $25 million on a new stadium.

A 12,000 to 15,000 seat football stadium for Wellington Phoenix costing $48 million would be constructed at the southern end of Petone Recreation grounds, pictured above.

The open letter is to be published in this week’s Hutt News and is signed by Community Facilities Trust Chairman, Alister Skene.

“Hutt City is the seventh largest territorial authority in New Zealand but unlike the other top ten cities we don’t have any stadium infrastructure,” says Alister Skene in his open letter

He said the trust would be giving a presentation to the Hutt City Council this week, after the proposal was announced last week.

“This presentation will formally ask Hutt City Council to include a provision for $25m to be included in the draft annual financial plan. If included this will go out for public consultation in April” Mr Skene says in the letter.

The stadium would cost about $48 million and $25 million of that would need to come out the Lower Hutt city rate payer’s pocket.

“The fact that the Phoenix, a professional sporting franchise and internationally recognizable brand would be prepared to invest in our city and relocate here was worthy of exploration and could be the catalyst to get a great community asset,” says Mr Skene.

The Community Facilities trust and the Phoenix looked at a number of grounds in the Hutt including Fraser Park, the Hutt Rec, Hutt Park and the Petone Rec.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace told NewsWire public opinion is an important part of the proposal.

petone2Les

“This is simply a proposal at this stage. As like any proposal we receive we have to go through a very in depth consultation with the community as part of our annual plan process.

“That process does start till mid-March. The public are a very important part of that process” says Mr Wallace.

 What the locals say

Petone shop owner Les Brittain (right) does not like paying high prices at Westpac Stadium.

“I think it’s a great idea to build a new stadium in Petone as long as it was affordable for people to go and not just a greedy money making machine,” Mr Brittain said.

petone3jasonDebbie Becker from likes the idea.

“I would definitely go to more games if it were closer to home, I don’t like travelling all the way out to Westpac stadium,” said Mrs Becker.

Jason Hicks (left) thought it would be fantastic if they built a new stadium.

petone4daryl“It would be good for the community and the stadium at the moment is obviously too big for the crowds that are attending,” said Mr Hicks.

Daryl Maguren (right) opposes the spending. petone4daryl

petoneJOANNA“How could it be affordable if they are only pulling in 7000 every game, it doesn’t make any sense spending $48 million. It doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said.

Joanna Hendra (left), a Petone resident who lives near the proposed area, is not opposed, despite potential construction dispruption.

petoneJOANNA“I’m not sure about it yet but think it will be cool if they use it for other things as well as football, so the whole community have something they can enjoy there.”

 

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is is a Whitireia journalism student
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  1. It will be most interesting reading the annual plan submissions for Hutt City Council this year with this proposed stadium development to see what the community will say.

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