The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
April 1, 2009

News Flash: Stadium site it is

stadium-proposal

In a move that has completely flummoxed us fishy writers, Mayor Kerry Prendergast, we’re pleased to scoop (in that newsworthy way), will soon announce that the new Inner City Sports Facility will indeed be shifted back to the central city site next to the Stadium.

kilbirnie-schoolchildren

Groans have been heard from school children in Kilbirnie – but hey, that’s life in a big city where the political move can swing faster than any tide. The latest “independent” review of the Cobham Drive proposal is due out from the even-more-independent-reviewer-than-the-last-one at mid-day today, and we’ll be huddled around our watches counting down for the very moment. The announcement is being widely tipped to not just back ‘rebel’ Councillor Andy Foster, but to secure him a lead role in the new project now that it’s back on the Stadium site.

kilbirnie-proposal

While we applaud the move, and this clear indication that the council actually can listen (when it either wants to or is forced to), we want more than this sniff of seaside sensibilities.

fast-train

We want to see the City Sports Centre as part of a fully comprehensive design for the area – a plan which demonstrates that not only can the public be taken for a ride on brand spanking new light rail carriages, leaping like muscle-bound stallions from their multi-modal transport interchange, but that we can also be enticed to magically wander down through to the waterfront on what the Council Parks and Reserves Department have judiciously named the ‘Greening of the Quays,’ conjuring up a far more pleasant pedestrian walkway along the waterfront promenade than what this wind-blasted area can currently supply. We thought that our fisheye could lead you down the proposed conceptual garden path and up onto the concourse, to walk you through the new stadium building. What a wonderful world you might say – almost too good to be true.

Some work imaging this blissful future can be garnered from work of Stephenson and Turner in the 2002 Maskell Report evaluating the Stadium concourse as a site for the proposed Indoor Sports Centre. The new SCISSoR (an acroynm of our own concoction: Sporting Centre Indoor Stadium Site on Reclamation) is understood to contain the requisite 12 netball courts and permit construction to proceed while preparations for the Rugby World Cup to proceed. Shiny bright light rail will deliver athletics and spectators to the courtside in one huge sporting architectural love-fest.

andy-foster

Andy Foster will be a referee par-excellence. The Stadium site manager is to issue free season tickets, and it’s not just senior citizens who get to ride on public transport for nothing. Spring is eternal, it never rains – it shines, and Mayor Kerry bounces on to the netball court to not only kiss Councillor Foster, but also to make up. Thanks Kerry, for making up our day.

fish

jayseatee
1 - 04 - 09

you had me until the light rail bit. This city will get light rail when I get NZRAB registered.

Maximus
1 - 04 - 09

No one could wait that long jayseatee….. even Auckland will one day need to get light rail.

Seamonkey Madness
1 - 04 - 09

Well colour me shocked!

What a difference a bit of concrete reasoning plays. Congratulations to Cr Foster for pulling off this near-impossible coup; fighting the good fight and saving ratepayers a not-inconsiderable sum and a lot of civic embarrassment. Kudos!

And kudos must also got to both EOTF and Poneke for bringing it ‘blog’stream; encouraging debate, more transparency and most importantly, input from Wellington’s most public of servants.

Chris Darnell
1 - 04 - 09

My goodness, I WANT it to be true. It looks so good, it makes so much sense. Good work.

starkive
1 - 04 - 09

Er… is this a date-specific post by any chance?

maximus
1 - 04 - 09

I think that it’s traditional in these cases to assume that some of the material contained within this post may be related to a certain calendar date, yes. We’re hoping for a WCC update on this around noon, and a confirmation from Richard MacLean, WCC spokesperson, would also help to clear up any confusion.

I’m surprised the more mainstream news channels haven’t picked up on this yet – it would have to be quite big news. Probably just overshadowed by 1st April matters like tax cuts of course…

jayseatee
1 - 04 - 09

My expectation is for a new proposal – a mega retail/sports centre clusterf*** taking over all of Rongotai and Kilbirnie – attached to the airport, so people can fly in and out for shopping and sports and never have to enter the city. Flyover and Mt Vic tunnel SOLVED!

(My apologies for the f***, my language is usually far saltier but I haven’t seen established fish rules for obscenity yet.)

c-m
1 - 04 - 09

jayseatee – don’t forget the Casino …

jayseatee
1 - 04 - 09

a casino? Now that’s just ridiculous.
Let’s try to keep this reasonable.

Honeywood
1 - 04 - 09

I notice the drawing doesn’t have the $30m flyover necessary to make this scheme work? Or the new public carparking building needed for all the people who drive to recreational sports (most of them). Ever played indoor netball or soccer? Did you want to go home afterwards all hot and sweaty on a bus or a train? Thought so. No-one else does either. Still , the increased congestion on Aotea Quay will force more people tu use the bypass so maybe it’s not a bad thing…

jayseatee
1 - 04 - 09

hot & sweaty? Why wouldn’t they just take showers at the facility? People work out at gyms in the middle of the day, but they don’t decide not to go back to work because they just worked out…

Honeywood
1 - 04 - 09

Again, a response from soneone who’s actually played indoor sports would be good. While showering at the faciltiy might be ideal, it is not the practice; the statistics of current behaviour shows this. While some of these sports occur at lunchtime and people do shower and return to work (although many prefer the showers they have at work), most are conducted after work (or school) and people choose to go home and shower there. They just do. Like they choose to travel by private transport, not public. This data is known. There has been no evidence presented by the Aotea Quay advocates that this will change.

rondo
1 - 04 - 09

I used to play Indoor sports, and either walked, ran, or biked to get there. Never took my car. Nor a bus. But that was in Auckland, where they don’t do public transport much either.

mobsta
1 - 04 - 09

I agree with Honeywood on this.
I am a basketballer and indoor netballer and I have NEVER showered after a game at the (old) indoor stadium.
I always wait to get home (as do all of my team members).

I also have never caught public transport to sport either. Our games are variable from 6pm to 9:30pm. Who wants the hassle of sorting out public transport. Espeecially at that time of night.

I would also like to point out that basketball has two courts going from 6-10pm every night of the week. Most (not all) of the players are Wellington based, with a majority coming from the Eastern and Southern suburbs.
Porirua and the Hutt both have their own leagues. Why would anyone catch a train to Wellington to play….

Just saying, that’s all….

Seamonkey Madness
1 - 04 - 09

Aaaaaah….I see what you’ve done there.

rondo
1 - 04 - 09

Light rail (from the Stadium / Central Railway junction) to the airport would of course go right past the Casino on its way…

maximus
1 - 04 - 09

Quick on the uptake this morning there Sea-monkey? Always remember to check the date at the top of ‘news’ stories… Mind you, when i were a little nipper, we used to laugh at the Sea-Monkeys, in their little castles in the fishbowls, naked, but for a crown…

Guy
1 - 04 - 09

The Island of San Serif (you know, the one where they grow the spaghetti trees) is particularly excited to hear the news of the Indoor Stadium decision. I’m sure they’ll be the first international team to play there.

jayseatee
1 - 04 - 09

so we have to build a huge car park because a bunch of sports guys can’t handle using public facilities?
And I have played indoor sports from the time I was a child.

Jason
1 - 04 - 09

Thanks for breaking my heart.

I didn’t have time to read the article, so just skimmed the first paragraph and went about my day… even told a couple of people I know that it was going ahead at the stadium. So I excitedly come back this afternoon and actually read it and it all became clear to me.

Jason
1 - 04 - 09

also, what has happened to poneke?

Honeywood
1 - 04 - 09

huge carpark vs huge flyover… hmmm…? Or massive behaviour modification: so the stadium requires social as well as traffic engineering. Perhaps restrict entry to those with a valid return train ticket?

Maximus
1 - 04 - 09

“what has happened to poneke?” you too? He appears to have made his website invitee only – I wonder if he has noticed that his comments have been getting less? Does he ever read the Fish i wonder? I can’t access his site any more…

jayseatee
1 - 04 - 09

is it invitee only or do you just have to have a registered name? i haven’t bothered doing either so I’m not sure.
SO poneke is a he? I assumed a she.

Maximus
1 - 04 - 09

Maybe you’re right – perhaps Poneke is a woman. All we know is that he / she lives in Wellington. If you’re wondering what the NZ media made of April Fools Day today, or perhaps why it is not made to be such a big thing in this country, you could always check out the Stuff editor’s mild anti-fool-blogpost:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/blogs/from-the-newsroom/2307055/My-hatred-of-April-1/

Maximus
2 - 04 - 09

Some of you may have realised that it would be a little unusual for the City Council to use the services of a random anonymous blog to announce major policy, but we did try to warn you with carefully worded phrases such as “lead you down the proposed conceptual garden path” and our promise that “the public be taken for a ride” or even that “Mayor Kerry bounces on to the netball court to not only kiss Councillor Foster, but also to make up.” I suspect that last one will definitely never happen.

However, in other parts of the world, its a long established practice for quality news outlets to spin a tale that is believable, almost, and to see how long they can get away with it. The Guardian newspaper nearly always excels at this, and this year announced that they would be ceasing production on newsprint, and publishing only on twitter. Pretty easy to spot, but enjoyable none-the-less. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/apr/01/guardian-twitter-media-technology

It includes this choice little snippet: “A unique collaboration between The Guardian and Twitter will also see the launch of Gutter, an experimental service designed to filter noteworthy liberal opinion from the cacophony of Twitter updates. Gutter members will be able to use the service to comment on liberal blogs around the web via a new tool, specially developed with the blogging platform WordPress, entitled GutterPress.”

The Telegraph, on the other hand, reports several other organisations April Fool’s pranks, such as Google’s automatic email responder: http://mail.google.com/mail/help/autopilot/index.html or the News of Concorde to return to the air:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5089857/Concorde-to-return-to-skies-report-was-April-Fools-hoax.html

but I’m at a loss to really tell what are April Fools pranks from the following Telegraph headlines:

Men can ‘laugh women into bed’ with humor, say psychologists

Google offers China one million free songs

Man Kills Partner Over Playing Too Much Playstation

Russia backs return to Gold Standard to solve financial crisis

Women’s shopping habits linked to periods

Man foils bank robbery after assuming it was an April Fool

Clarke
2 - 04 - 09

Honeywell has convinced me. All us non-indoor-sport playing ratepayers should be happy to pay up our tens of millions of dollars so that a small group of indoor basketballers don’t have to share the showers with one another.

Honeywood
2 - 04 - 09

I am certainly not convinced of the opposite: that indoor basketballers have to share the showers with one another. Particularly interested to know who would have the job of standing over them to make sure they used the soap… I wasn’t writing in defense of the shower habits of indoor sportspeople; merely noting the data that has already been collected in this regard. If the success of the indoor sports stadium is dependent on the kind of social engineering that will make people shower at the facility, prevent them from choosing to travel by private car and force them to use public transport then it is doomed wherever it is sited. One of the central arguments for the railway site over Kilbirnie has been the greater availability of public transport. This has been proved not to be a factor for those who use these facilities already. It is an obstinate (not to mention arrogant) position to say to thousands of sportspeople that they should change the way they engage in their sport because a few people who don’t play sport say so. If you build it they will not come.

richard maclean
10 - 04 - 09

Greetings Maximus
apologies for my pathetic tardiness but I’ve been on leave for a week or so – so I’ve only just spotted your sensational scoop re the ICSC. Anyway the story is that Sir John Anderson’s report on the Stadium Concourse versus Cobham Park is scheduled to be ready for public consumption late in the afternoon of Wed 15 April. It’ll be discussed at a Council meeting on Mon 20 April.
Happy Easter!
Richard MacLean – WCC Comms

Maximus
10 - 04 - 09

Aaah, I was wondering why the fish from the council weren’t biting on that one…. looking forward to a good read. I hear he’s been extremely thorough, so at least we should have a report with well-researched findings.