COMMENT:

After watching the final Supercars race of the season at Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, the obvious question comes up again as to why Auckland city doesn't have, can't have and won't ever have a downtown one of its own - because it won't.

The idea has been floated before, many many times in fact. Feasibility studies completed, research done, reports filed, debate and discussion held yet nothing ever happens and nothing gets done.

Why not? I can give you five very good reasons, in fact: Wowsers, the "No" brigade, the fun police, the outraged very vocal minority amongst us and those who exist with zero vision common sense or practical solution but retain a consistent ability to protest the loudest
and dominate the decision-makers.

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Suburban selfishness has a habit of curtailing activities and events that might bring cash-spending visitors into our city. Just ask all those continually frustrated at being unable to stage concerts at Eden Park because of the infuriatingly stupid late-night lights-out restrictions imposed via a council intimidated by local resident objections.

Living in a city though is meant to be about compromise. Just because some folk may not like something shouldn't mean that gives them the right to stop others from enjoying it. It's called compromise. I don't particularly like the traffic snarl ups that the Auckland Marathon causes, so I choose to avoid those areas of town on that weekend. I also don't particularly care about another visit from Charles & Camilla, yet my rates will contribute to covering that cost.

There were many in this city opposed to the building of the Sky Tower, plenty who have no interest in the America's Cup, and even some I'm sure who grumble about the need for an annual Santa Parade. Not everything pleases everybody but if whatever it is provides benefits, brings revenue and adds excitement, then isn't that what living in a city is all about? Events are a major part of what defines a city - not councils, meetings, endless reports, updated analytics, focus groups and a handful of citizens deciding what's best on behalf of the vast majority.

The reality is that no other event would attract more people to Auckland in a single weekend than Supercars. Plus for the rest of the millions watching on TV, it's a two-day tourist video.

To bring it here would require brave and bold decision-makers. Sadly, increasingly, we live in a world where if someone disagrees then it just doesn't happen. Yet at the same time we all know that nothing ever happens without someone somewhere being opposed.

I, for one, firmly believe that a waterfront V8 street race would bring untold benefits to Auckland. I'm also realistic enough to know that the chances of it happening are about the same as us building a waterfront stadium.