The Eye of the Fish

July 21, 2011


We’d heard rumours at the Fish HQ of a proposed sweetener deal of a Grandstand, but have been caught off the hop by this – I didn’t think it was going to surface just yet.

It is a curious proposal – and all seems rather Fishy to me. In a country notorious for its distain for, and freedom from corruption, is this the first openly blatant case of bribery on a large scale?

It does do several things though: it certainly blocks off some of the sound of the motorway flyover from the cricket pitch on the Basin. That has to be a good thing – but it also blocks off the visual connection from Adelaide Road to the harbour – and that surely has to be a bad thing? Exchanging loss of one sense for loss of another – I’m not sure that we have gained much, have we?

The question already arises in my tiny fish-like head : is this really needed? Is covering up one mistake with another one, such a sensible thing to do? Do we have such a lot of cricket on at the Basin that we need another pavilion in which to sit? Currently the Basin is used for about a dozen days a year – and even then, little of that involves the existing pavilions being full. Last time I went, everyone wanted to sit on the grass, in the sun. Right where this grandstand is proposed for in fact.

But the real deal is: what happens to the other side. Putting it bluntly: the arse-end of a stadium is often not the prettiest thing. Certainly, the current R A Vance stand has the ugliest backside ever, currently carefully hidden by trees. It doesn’t have to be that way of course – the backside could be beautiful. But chances are, it may not be…

On the other hand, I’d like to propose that some more realistic pictures be produced from NZTA. No doubt they have them already – their tame illustrator must have been paid a wealthy stash to produce the hundreds of pictures / variations we have seen so far. Clearly the ‘stadium’ drawing is not one of his. Could Stan do one or two more perhaps? One from the rear of the stand? And a realistic one of what the effect of the flyover would really have? Perhaps it will look more realistically something like this, where the flyover meets the Grandstand Apartments?

21 - 07 - 11

…” it also blocks off the visual connection from Adelaide Road to the harbour…”

Huh?? » Basin flyover: how selfish can they get?
21 - 07 - 11

[…] Is this a case of bribery on a large scale? […]

Seamonkey Madness
21 - 07 - 11

Have you also seen in the Basin Reserve Options Report (pages 15, 23, 29 and 41) they have illustrations of what ‘it’ will look like from inside the Basin? This is what a number of people have been scratching around for.

Agreed though, bribery/troughing on a grand scale. Since when has the Basin been full? Does the Chch charity match count? All it will do is duplicate what is at the Caketin now – an enclosed and glorified “high-performance” centre slash warm-up area.

Pish-tosh Cr Morrison. Talk about having your Caketin and eating it too.

21 - 07 - 11

I’m not sure about the argument that this blocks the visual connection from Adelaide Road to the harbour. Coming down Adelaide Road, I can’t see the harbour: the basin’s scoreboard is in the way. I think that ship has sailed – the visual connection is already broken.

Similarly, I note that various of the alternative proposals for the Basin include a suggestion to remove all the fencing around the ground, with the suggestion being to erect temporary fencing for events. It’s a nice idea, but if you can sell the Basin’s management on the idea that it’d be nice if they suddenly started paying to set up/take down a security fence any time they wanted to have an event at the basin (that is, to wear a huge cost they don’t have at present), you’re a better salesperson than I. Realistically, without a huge sweetener from the council, the fence – and its visual interruption to the sight corridor – is a keeper.

21 - 07 - 11

The cheek of the nzta! This stand is completely unneccesary, as you say the basin is hardly ever used, maybe 1 or 2 test matches at the most per year. Depending on who we’re playing the basin might be getting close to full for the first day of a boxing day test match or maybe the 4th day if a result is likely. So 1 or 2 days a year that this new stand might be needed. It would be completely useles for first class matches, because only about 12 people go to watch. The arrogance that they can use more public money to cover up their own screw up. I guess the $11 million will be added onto the previous flyover estimates?

22 - 07 - 11

Chequebook diplomacy!… All NZTA needs to do now is spend another $11m to make it disappear from the other view.

Lovely photoshop work by the way!

22 - 07 - 11

While I’m not advocating a flyover, the northern option is $15 million dearer than the southern option, has silly tight corners and puts the flyover 65 metres closer to the apartment bedrooms to the north, just to save the feelings of a handful of cricket fans about 5 days a year. If they can wrestle a new stand out of it, and if that stand will block traffic noise, then they will end up better off than the current situation AND everyone else will get a better flyover design with lower effects.

As for the viewshaft from Adelaide Road to the harbour, there isn’t one: it’s blocked by trees, New World and the ugly/historic Basin Reserve gates.

22 - 07 - 11

Loved the stand sketch, by the way. Lovely work. Noticed you copied the old stand, not the RA Vance stand – wonder why…

22 - 07 - 11

Ummm what the heck NZTA, how about no stand, and put the 11m towards a better solution?

My first time travelling in switzerland at the moment, and there are tunnels for africa here, extremely long tunnels, and viaducts for some other continent. How on earth did they afford them all? Going by the costs of tunnels we build in NZ I’d say I’ve driven through/on $20 billion dollars of tunnels and viaducts in the past two days alone. Forget healthcare, NZ needs more tunnels.

23 - 07 - 11

Julian – not a sketch from the Fish – that was the dodgy one published in the DomPost.

Erentz – take lots of photos! We’ll expect you to do a full report back on tunnels and viaducts and public transport when you get back ! Or email us a story and pix and we’ll post it up for you. contact @ eyeofthefish . org

Or is it on your blog? I’ll go check! Ooops – just checked – nothing there! 5 May your last entry? Come on man!

31 - 07 - 11

@Maximus. Oh taking photos is easy (I seem to have somehow taken almost 30 gig of photos already this trip). But writing blog posts, that is hard work!