Somebody once wrote that a city without a stadium is like a latte without fluffy milk, or maybe I just made that line up.

But the reality is that a new stadium is proven as a place where new life is breathed into a city as a plethora of events pass through bringing their fans, and their fans' money, with them.

Exhibit A is Dunedin. The covered stadium down the north end of town is the most significant piece of infrastructure there since the gold rush.


Exhibit B is Wellington. Nearly 20 years after it opened, there's still a sense of an opportunity missed by not having a roof on it, but it's still the second most preferred venue for the country's biggest rugby occasions.

On a smaller scale, the development of new international standard cricket grounds in Nelson and right here in Mount Maunganui show what strong local support and great leadership can provide for a community. The Anniversary Weekend double header against India three months from now will be a cricket experience like no other before in the Bay of Plenty.

In Auckland, there is nothing really wrong with Eden Park apart from where it is, how much it costs to maintain, who its neighbours are and how difficult it is to get to and from.

Dreams are free. But unless the proposal for a $2 billion edifice on the waterfront is paid for completely by private interests, that plan is going underwater too.

As the land it's proposed to build on is owned by the Ports of Auckland and therefore by the Auckland Council, the claim that it won't cost ratepayers anything seems erroneous right from the start.

There's as much chance of this happening in the next 10 years as there is of Southland winning the Mitre 10 Cup in the same time.

Springfield golf course in Rotorua in far from the longest or most demanding layout there is, but golfers everywhere are still shaking our heads at the extraordinary score of 57 returned by James Tauariki on Saturday.

Yes it was matchplay – in the semifinals of the Springfield senior club championship – so the pressure of posting a score may have been off. But the numbers on the official card are unlike anything I've seen before.


James started his match against Raina Gerrard with two birdies, and didn't win either hole because his opponent matched him.

After nine holes, he was 9 under par, but only 5 up because Gerrard had scored 4 under himself!

What's more, Gerrard actually closed the gap by winning a couple of holes at the start of the second nine before James pulled away to win the next three and take out the match 6/4.

The headlines around this feat mean the 16-year-old will now be a player whose progress will be closely monitored as we move into tournament season. We can't expect this sort of result every time he plays, but he should take plenty of confidence knowing that he can shoot really low scores. That's a great skill for a golfer of any age to have.

Portia Woodman is just a national treasure.

But the try scoring machine and her Black Ferns Sevens team mates are setting exceedingly high standards in the sport just under two years out from their ultimate goal – the Olympic Games.

At the moment, their level is comfortably above every other team in the World Series.

Maintaining, and then improving that level of performance will be the huge challenge for the Mount Maunganui-based squad in the time leading up to the Tokyo tournament in 2020.

Getting to the top of the world is one thing in sport. Staying there is harder and it can't last forever. Ask Lydia Ko.

How the Sevens sisters cope with the weight of expectation until July 29, 2020 will be their most demanding issue.