Brian Rudman 's Opinion

Brian Rudman is a NZ Herald feature writer and columnist.

Brian Rudman: Now it's two party zones? What a waste

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The ARC released this image yesterday showing how Shed 10 might look. Photo / Supplied
The ARC released this image yesterday showing how Shed 10 might look. Photo / Supplied

It's time Prime Minister John Key popped the dummy back in Murray McCully's mouth and sent him off to the Chris Carter home for over-stressed politicians.

Threatening to take all his toys back to Wellington if Aucklanders don't kowtow to his "giant slug" proposal for the "party central" venue on Queens Wharf is just infantile. If this is what passes for negotiation in Foreign Minister McCully's world, the whales are surely doomed.

The Auckland Regional Council, in consultation with the Historic Places Trust and Jasmax, the designers of the slug, have come up with a revised plan for Queens Wharf which ticks all the boxes.

It renovates and gives new life to Shed 10, which will please the heritage minded.

It creates a permanent cruise ship terminal within the year - instead of some time after the Rugby World Cup, which is the earlier plan. It also delivers a venue for "party central" of the same dimensions as Mr McCully's slug.

All for a cost of $17.8 million.

Compare that with Mr McCully's proposal, which is to build a temporary structure for $9.6 million which will be pulled down afterwards. Shed 10 will have to be demolished in the process. The legacy, after the rugby, will be an empty wharf. A cruise ship terminal will then have to be built from scratch.

Both plans involve the removal of the smaller Shed 11. But at least the new plan means the $9.6 million will be invested in a useful permanent facility, not wasted.

Instead of embracing the plan, Mr McCully has spat it back in ARC chairman Mike Lee's face, threatening that if he doesn't have his way entirely, the ARC should buy the Government out of its $20 million half-share in the wharf, and commit to building a World Cup fanzone "regardless of cost".

Yesterday's compromise proposal for both is a ridiculous waste of public money. It proposes Mr McCully's slug be built alongside the renovated Shed 10 and we end up with two party centrals and two cruise ship terminals. The only victor here is Jasmax, the designer of both.

- NZ Herald

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Brian Rudman

Brian Rudman is a NZ Herald feature writer and columnist.

Brian Rudman's first news story was for Auckland University student paper Outspoke, exposing an SIS spy on campus during the heady days of the Vietnam War. It resulted in a Commission of Inquiry and an award for student journalist of the year. A stint editing the Labour Party's start-up Auckland newspaper NZ Statesman followed. Rudman decided journalism was the career for him, but the NZ Herald and Auckland Star thought otherwise when he came job-hunting. After a year on the "hippy trail" overland to London, he spent four years on Fleet St with various British provincial papers. He then joined the Auckland Star, winning the Dulux Journalist of the Year award for coverage of the 1976 Dawn Raids against Polynesian overstayers. He has also worked on the NZ Listener, Auckland Sun, and since 1996, for the NZ Herald as feature writer and columnist. He has a BA in History and Politics.

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