The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Just looney tunes"

Usually my father and I don't agree on much that has a political element.*

And in general my reaction to Stadium Madness is similar to Idiot/Savant's; I don't really care.
Don't get me wrong, I do care about rugby. So does my Dad. I care so much that these days I cannot actually watch a game. I get so wound up by half time (even if my team is winning) that I can't watch the second half. On the occasions Nickname Pending watches a game I will do a crossword or read a book and glance at the screen from time to time, lest I turn into The Incredible Span, all green of skin and exploding with rage.

But to get back to the point - at last Dad and I agree on something. We don't need a new stadium. Let's just use Eden Park, as we promised in our World Cup bid, and spend the dosh on something else.
  • A decent public transport system for Auckland - one that is actually accessible from most suburbs, and goes to places other than a big Grey Elephant on waterfront
  • Pay increases for some of those workers funded by the Government who are currently campaigning for them - aged care nurses and caregivers, radiotherapists, kindergarten head teachers, support staff in schools, hospital staff, I'm sure there are many more.
  • Funding more than one parks officer in the whole of Auckland City - with that kind of money we could fund several for over a decade
  • Commissioning some really crash hot research to find out how to actually address our drinking culture problems (without giving in to the simplistic, knee-jerk and ineffective option of raising the drinking age). I suspect this may need to start with that earth-shatteringly obvious step of actually asking people why they do/don't drink. I'm prepared to give them that starter for free. Just part of the service here at Spanblather.
  • Shortening waiting lists - hip ops, cataracts, breast reconstruction, some men's health operation thingy - half a billion wouldn't even touch the sides in the health budget, but it could make a practical difference to the people (both patients and staff) who would get those ops.
And that's just a few minutes worth of thought. No doubt everyone else has their own ideas, although if your idea is a tax cut then you haven't thought hard enough.
I do know that we'd have to spend money on Eden Park regardless. But it's a lot less and there's a lot less risk of it blowing out. And there was Professor Andrew Zimbalist on National Radio yesterday talking about the really quite large number of stadiums of the Stadium New Zealand genre that have gone bust. For a real life example not that far from our fair city, you could have a look at this article from last year, about Telstra Stadium, aka Stadium Australia. Dad reckoned he heard today somewhere that they had gone bust recently, but a quick google didn't turn it up. Update, same day 7.51pm: DPF has it though, so it must be true.

So for someone who doesn't care I've written quite a bit, above. I guess ultimately I won't care if they don't go with the waterfront. I will care if they do, because I'll resent it.

But either way, is there not some other news in this damn country, besides where we put a building for a one off sports event in five years time?

PS Dad also reckons any new stadium has to have a roof on it. So if anyone reading this is ever talking to Mr Mallard about this, you might want to pass that on.

Update, 19th Nov 10.55pm: The Red Letter is keeping a tally of bloggers for, against and undecided.

* Case in point, I rang him last week and he said it hadn't been a very good week for his side politically. I immediately assumed he was talking about the Republicans losing control in the USA and said " well I don't think it's that bad that the USA has it's first ever female Speaker". He immediately interrupted me and said "no, I don't care about that, I'm a New Zealander." He was down in the dumps about the drinking age, so we had a good ol' disagreement about that. We never even got to disputing the 100 MPs Bill Dad's side lost the same night. I remember many many moons ago when my boyfriend at the time wasn't allowed to come into the house until he signed the 99 MP petition. I was perversely proud that Dad's copy of the petition never got more than two signatures - his own and that of my intimidated boyfriend.


Rich said...

I believe that if you have a roof, the grass doesn't grow properly.

This suits the Welsh, who when playing opponents from sunnier countries (i.e. nearly everywhere), open the roof despite torrential rain, thus ensuring that the game is played in optimal rainy, muddy conditions.

David Farrar said...

That is very funny re the petition.

Span said...

Yes, I'd point out that boyfriend wasn't Nickname Pending. The poor thing hung up on the wall above the phone forever with its two lonely signatures. I think the wallpaper may have faded around it.

stef said...

That is very funny,

Most of the world cup stadiums in Korea have struggled to make ends meet post-event and most are now not hosting sporting events.