Press Release – Counties Manukau Pacific Trust
A storm is brewing in Auckland’s political circles over whether or not an international whitewater stadium should be built in Manukau at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre site. A Council vote is scheduled for 4th October, however Howick Councillor Dick Quax has been making waves to try and divert the project by unleashing a propaganda campaign in the press.
Councillor Quax is opposing the White Water Stadium and according to the Community Trust promoting the development, he is politically grandstanding and misrepresenting the truth.
Counties Manukau Pacific Trust, a charitable trust that successfully developed and operates the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, wishes to develop the balance of its site between the events centre and motorway, completing its vision of creating a destination of national and international significance; the project is branded Wero.
At the heart of Wero is a world-class whitewater stadium facility, a project that presents significant benefits to both the community and New Zealand should it get the go-ahead.
Sir Noel Robinson, Chairman of the Community Trust behind the Wero project, is dismayed at the inaccurate information that Councillor Quax has been publicising.
“The Wero project will be a win-win for all concerned, creating a destination of national and international significance,” says Sir Noel.
“It has always been part of the Master Plan for the development of this site. Dick has claimed that the ratepayer has already given the Trust over $50 million – this is complete rubbish. He has continually misrepresented the facts in the media and it’s time to put the record straight. It would be a huge shame if this project didn’t get off the ground because people got the wrong end of the stick based on his campaign of continued misinformation.”
The first part of the Wero project is expected to cost $30 million. It’s proposed that selling off commercial land adjacent to the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre that is owned by Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA the Council Controlled Company that the Trust reports to) will raise $20 million, and the Trust will raise the remaining $10 million. RFA will actually save $150,000 per year in the rates they currently pay for the unused commercial land and when sold and developed it will unlock even more benefit for the community with jobs and increased economic activity.
“The Trust has an excellent track record for raising money during times of recession, so we are confident we can generate the extra $10 million required. If we don’t the Council doesn’t put in the money from the land sale, so it’s completely risk free for them,” says Sir Noel. “We will be using a proven self-funding model that we used for the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, our surpluses currently go back into the community supporting one of NZ largest schools programmes and many community events”
In addition to attracting international events and providing New Zealand’s Olympic team with an accessible training facility, surpluses from the Wero initiative will be used to maintain the asset and then allocated for use by schools as a confidence and team-building programme to help develop youth “at risk” capabilities.
Sir Noel says: “We’ve done our research and we’re confident the project will be a huge success. RFA’s Board chaired by Sir Don McKinnon has fully endorsed the project and see it as a great regional fit while supporting Council’s Southern Initiative.”
“Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders currently enjoy kayaking, and recreational rafting is also developing into a popular sport. As well as being used for international events and training, Wero will also be used on a daily basis by anyone who wants to, including school groups, students or families. The wider Auckland region will also benefit as it helps to support the Mayor’s vision of creating the world’s most liveable city.” Sir Noel says he hopes the Council will consider the real facts before voting and not forget the youth within our community.
In 2000 a Community Trust was established to develop and operate the TelstraClear Events Centre in partnership with Manukau City Council to develop a project of national and international significance that would support the community. The Trust protected the surrounding space to complete the site with a second stage development. This Trust is now looking to complete the development of the rest of the land as per the Master Plan and create a whitewater stadium with function rooms. This project is called Wero. If Wero gets the go-ahead, Stage Two will be completed in 2015/16.
Wero has plans to further develop the site beyond the whitewater stadium to include other engaging facilities such as a Body Odyssey Exhibition, Art Gallery and Café, office and classroom spaces, and interactive high-tech Polynesian cultural display.
For further information, check the video clip on www.wero.org.nz