Manukau Courier : July 30th 2015
1080 drop on itsway P3 Bombay does it again P23 Thursday, July 30, 2015 YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Battleto keep Warriors close NIGEL MOFFIET Keep the Warriors close to the grassroots – that’s the mission for community leaders who are taking the fight to the Auckland Council. Local boards in the south have backed a Manurewa Local Board bid to retain Mt Smart Stadium as the home for the New Zealand Warriors rugby league team. The boards say their members ‘‘wish to keep the Warriors and their games closer for the many players, fans and supporters who live in South Auckland’’. The move is being supported by Mangere-Otahuhu, OtaraPapatoetoe and Papakura local boards. They are writing to Auckland mayor Len Brown and Regional Facilities Auckland to oppose plans to relocate the Warriors to North Harbour’s QBE Stadium. Manurewa Local Board chair- woman Angela Dalton says most league players live in the south and several local clubs have told her they’re worried about the Manurewa Local Board chairwoman Angela Dalton says the plan tomove theWarriors shows the council has ‘‘lost touch with local communities’’. proposed move. The plans show the council has ‘‘lost touch with local communities’’, she says. Papakura Local Board chair- man Bill McEntee says he’s strongly against the idea of moving the club to Albany as it ‘‘takes ‘‘It is most uplifting, knowing we have the support and backing in our campaign to retain Mt Smart Stadium as the home of the NewZealand Warriors’’ –Warriors managing director Jim Doyle the game away from the heartland’’ of rugby league. ‘‘It would just be so hard for families to follow over there.’’ McEntee, who is also chairman of the Papakura Sea Eagles league club, says he’s been a season ticketholder since the Warriors began in 1995. ‘‘If it went to QBE Stadium I would reassess that as it’s too far away and a dog’s breakfast to get to.’’ NZ Warriors managing direc- tor Jim Doyle has written to the local boards thanking them for their support. ‘‘It is most uplifting, knowing we have the support and backing in our campaign to retain Mt Smart Stadium as the home of the New Zealand Warriors,’’ he says. In a Regional Facilities Auck- land update, chief executive Robert Domm says changes are needed because Mt Smart’s infrastructure ‘‘is ageing and the associated capital costs to upgrade the venue would be significant’’. ‘‘Auckland Council could not Local boards wantWarriors fans from the south to be able to support their team at Mt Smart Stadium. PHOTO: FAIRFAX MEDIA justify a business case to fund the necessary works and the ongoing operational costs to maintain Mt Smart Stadium in the years beyond 2018,’’ he says. Shaun Clark and his son Luke, 7, are big fans of theWarriors but say they will struggle to get to games if the club has to move to North Harbour. PHOTO: NIGEL MOFFIET Moving will hurt fans Shaun Clark has been going to Mt Smart Stadium towatch the Warriors since the club started 20 years ago. The Manurewa mancoaches his son Luke’s Papakura Sea Eagles under-8 league team and its members often travel toWarriors games together. Moving the club will hurtmany supporters, Clark says. ‘‘It’ll be too far for some of the less fortunate. It’s a bit far to travel over the harbour bridge and there are no trains to get there.’’ Conifer Grove resident James Parker has heldWarriors season passes for three years but says that will end if the clubmoves toNorth Harbour. ‘‘I’ll definitely be reconsidering it but I’d have to say no, I wouldn’t – to go to the other side of Auckland and drive all thatway is a big time factor.’’ Parker says it will be disappointing for his whole family as he usually goes to games with his wife and three children. Darren Brady from Harveys Real Estate Papakura has held a corporate box atMt Smart for 12 years but he says ‘‘there’s not a hope’’ that would continue if the Warriorsmoved to QBE Stadium. – NigelMoffiett MKT086_09_R GET QUALIFIED BY CHRISTMAS. With many FREE* ■ ■ Business administration, computing, contact centre and tourism Hotel reception, portering and concierge, café, barista and restaurant operations. Apply now for our September intake and GO FORWARD. manukau.ac.nz | 0800 62 62 52 *Free to New Zealand citizens and residents entitled to reside in New Zealand indefinitely. Entry criteria apply. Visit manukau.ac.nz for more information. study options available, there’s no better time to start.
July 28th 2015