John Banks has wasted no time in hitting the headlines after ousting Dick Hubbard for the Auckland Mayoralty. The Herald website is reporting that Banks has promised to pulll all ratepayer funding from the Eden Park revamp.
The Herald reports "Banks is opposed to spending $50 million of city cash on improving Eden Park when the Government has just announced a huge budget surplus and opened the chequebook for $1 billion to build a waterfront stadium last year.
"The Prime Minister has an $8.6 billion surplus. $8.6 billion. And she wants the ratepayers of Auckland to stump up the cash? It's unfair," Banks said. He will, however, support spending $21 million on roading and public transport around the stadium."
Fair enough too! Cullen couldn't get the chequebook out quickly enough when Mallard unveiled his grand plan for the "Duck Dome" last year, even though I believe that Mallard's motives were more about taking the focus of the government's election spending woes than actually building a stadium - and it's not as if the government is strapped for cash, although I'd like to see my share of it as well by way of a tax cut. The government will do very nicely thank you from RWC 2011, so less of a "short arms; deep pockets" attitude wouldn't go amiss.