The New Zealand Herald reports the New Zealand government is considering an Auckland bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Although a study commissioned at the former Labour Government’s request at a cost of up to $750,000 had been undertaken into whether Auckland could host such an event, the election of a new National Government has stopped the feasibility report as taxpayers are expected to pay the “lion’s share” of the study.
According to the Herald, the Auckland City Council approved a financial contribution in the tens of thousands at a secret meeting this week. The seven other local Auckland councils, as well as the Auckland Regional Council, were also considering “putting a few bob in the tin” said Auckland Mayor John Banks. He said, “the Commonwealth Games would be quite an event. We need the clear understanding of this city and whether it has the ability to host a global event.
“It will be hugely contested by other cities, probably better placed than Auckland to host it. Our ability to win such an event falls in the possible camp, rather than probable”.
Waitakere City Mayor Bob Harvey said he was “wildly enthusiastic” about a Games bid and offered to chair any future organizing committee. Having been involved in Auckland’s successful 1990 bid he offered his experience.
Manukau Mayor Len Brown was supportive of the feasibility study but said it would depend on the attitude of the new Government.
Mike Lee, chairman of the Auckland Regional Council (ARC), was aware of the feasibility report. He said the ARC was considering investing money into the research, but given the commercial failure of the Beckham match last weekend “all bets are off”. He added, “until the Auditor-General has finished his report the ARC would be prudent to not spend any money on events.”
He was referring to the David Beckham exhibition match last weekend in Auckland in which the ARC invested $1.2 million (U.S.), but because of poor attendance the venture is thought to have lost up to half a million dollars, reports the New Zealand Herald.