An Auckland Councillor has lambasted plans for a new national stadium, calling it a "mayoral vanity project".
A pre-feasibility study conducted by consulting firm PwC estimated it would cost between $1.1 billion and $1.5b to build a rectangular rugby stadium in downtown Auckland.
The stadium would have a retractable roof and could seat up to 55,000 spectators.
In an exclusive interview with the Weekend Herald Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the project was about planning for the future.
"It's about what we want Auckland and New Zealand to look like in 10, 20, 30 years' time."
But John Watson, a councillor for the Albany ward, told NZME the city didn't need a new stadium, couldn't afford one and would rarely be able to fill it.
"The stadium debate was had and it was had back in 2009 and now we seem to see these consistent attempts to resurrect these grandiose plans at a time when Auckland's got other priorities and when, ironically enough, our existing stadiums have had huge investments of capital to put into them in the interim," he said.
The study itself cost $932,000, which Watson said was extremely wasteful, especially considering community sports facilities in South Auckland and the North Shore were in disrepair.
"I think this should be opened up to the Auckland public. People should be informed of the cost and should have a chance to have a say," he told Newstalk ZB.
Goff yesterday said he had spoken with Minister of Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson about planning for the new stadium but acknowledged both politicians had more pressing priorities at present.
Robertson told the Herald although he agreed he and Goff had higher priorities, he looked forward to having ongoing discussions about supporting the development of facilities in Auckland.
Auckland Sport & Recreation (Aktive) chief executive Dr Sarah Sandley said her organisation was focused on ensuring all Aucklanders could access appropriate sports facilities and this included discussing proposed stadiums.
The Auckland Blues' position on a downtown stadium remained unchanged, with its chief executive Michael Redman reiterating comments made by the franchise during 2016 when a waterfront stadium was proposed for a second time.
"In principle, the Blues support the concept of a new CBD stadium for Auckland and the club would seriously consider any proposal presented to us to become a core user," Redman said in a statement.
The Blues had been consulted for the feasibility study, a spokesman confirmed.
Viv Beck, chief executive of Auckland CBD business association Heart of the City, lauded the idea of a downtown stadium.
"I say 'absolute brilliant, bring it on'," she told the Herald.
"To have a stadium within walking distance to the city centre is great - you've got your transport hubs, your hotels, your bars, your restaurants.
"The ability to have a multi-purpose stadium that can have local sports games, but also international concerts, and the ability to cover multiple sizes is fantastic."
The proposal showed the city's leaders were thinking ahead about its needs.
"There's a lot of things that need to happen in terms of planning for something like this but it's great to be thinking out for the city - it's growing significantly," said Beck.
The feasibility study concluded the stadium could be built in one of six undisclosed locations.
Goff has previously expressed a preference for railway land owned by Ngāti Whātua Orākei iwi near Spark Area, which is close to the city's main train, bus and ferry services, the motorway network, and bars and restaurants.
Ngāti Whātua Orākei spokesman Ngarimu Blair was not available for comment today.