Whitewater stadium floats council's boat

A whitewater stadium and cultural tourism facility is a step closer to being built at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre after Auckland Council voted to allow stage two of the development to go ahead.

Regional Facilities Auckland will now follow the annual plan process for a full public consultation.

The whitewater stadium - branded Wero - will be built on the site between the Events Centre and the Southern motorway in Manukau. It will be New Zealand's first artificial river and water course and will also feature Maori cultural experiences. It will be used by around 45,000 school students a year, plus kayaking and other water sports. It aims to attract international events and provide New Zealand's Olympic team with an accessible training facility.

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Sir Noel Robinson, Chairman of the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust, the group behind the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre and the Wero project, said the Trust was excited by the decision to allow it to progress.

"The Wero project will be of huge benefit to both the local community in Manukau as well as the wider Auckland region," he said. "The whitewater stadium will provide a world-class facility that will benefit children and generations to come while attracting international events."

It will include seven elements, including a function centre, an articial grade 4 white water river for kayakers and rafters, an art gallery and cafe, offices and classroom spaces.

Mr Robinson said there was a big task still ahead to get the facility built. Stage Two is expected to be completed in 2015/16.

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- The Aucklander

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