13 February 2019. There’s no way Rodney missed out on any money because of Eden Park.
So why did all the fiscal conservative Councillors vote against Phil Goff over Eden Park?
There were two good reasons: 1. To stop the overspending, and 2. A loan was never an option.
The Mayors predicted end game was to bankrupt Eden Park in order to build a $91 million new cricket ground at Western Springs, and a $1.8 billion “Phil Goff” waterfront stadium.
The fiscal conservatives blocked those dominos falling into place.
Rodney’s ratepayers are in fact better insulated by a vote that halted yet more massive spending plans by Goff into the CBD.
You may not know this, but the so called Eden Park financial crisis is a direct result of the legacy Council’s reneging on granting $40 million as they had promised towards Auckland hosting the Rugby World Cup 2011. This is a massive debt for a charitable trust which isn’t allowed to generate profits.
So why did it get a $9.8 million grant rather than say the loan being increased by $9.8 million to $49.8 million?
Eden park is a charitable trust and is required to operate solely for the benefit of the public not any directors or shareholders, thus it is similar to any other organisation that council funds. The grant they got was the same as any grant many other organizations apply for.
These grants are not available for solving roading issues but are available to charitable organisations and volunteer groups, including many in Rodney.
It was the old Council’s acting like banks giving loans that got Eden Park into its financial bind, so Auckland Council has decided not to give loans to any organisations anyway because of this experience. Instead there is a $126 million pool of grant money available annually.
Secondly, the Chair of the BNZ bank and trustee told all the Councillors that he had refused Eden Park to accept any further loan offer by Auckland Council. So talk of a loan was never an option. He said the charitable trust was already being forced to carry a massive debt due to Auckland’s Councils reneging on it in 2011 and they were not to go into further debt as they wouldn’t be able to serve a loan extension and could bankrupt.
Way back in May 2018 the Auckland Council had already voted to give Eden Park a grant! The majority of Councillors refused to back Goff welshing-on this decision as it would have meant reneging on Eden Park for a second time.
That is why all the fiscal conservative Councillors voted against Phil Goff and stopped more CBD focused spending on a $91 million unnecessary spend at Western Springs, and a $1.8 billion “Phil Goff” waterfront stadium.
For the Mayor to come out and say he was protecting ratepayers by wanting a loan was nothing more than grandstanding for a headline. Gobsmaking.
Getting Eden Park over its credit crunch so it can get on with business and survive so it can pay off its $40 million debt (plus interest) to ratepayers is more important for ratepayers than Goff’s self-seeking stadium agenda.
Auckland Council is already working with Eden Park on allowing them to run more events so they can pay off the public loan faster.