2 Jul 2019

Complaint laid with Auditor-General over $50m stadium revamp in New Plymouth

10:25 pm on 2 July 2019

Two Taranaki sports groups have laid a complaint with the Auditor-General over a council decision to spend $50 million repairing and upgrading Yarrow Stadium.

Seating in the West Stand will be out of bounds.

Yarrow Stadium. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Sport Taranaki and the Taranaki Sports Collective have laid the complaint over what they said was a flawed consultation process by the stadium's owner - the Taranaki Regional Council.

Yarrow Stadium has been closed for about 12 months after its stands were declared an earthquake risk.

New Plymouth District Council approved the stadium revamp last month.

The sports groups said the consultation process was unfair because there were no options offered other than a $6m demolition and a $55m repair and upgrade.

They said they believed the community wanted a $33m basic repair job.

"That was further compounded by the TRC's online submission form not allowing anyone to comment unless they ticked one of the boxes," Sport Taranaki chairman Gordon Brown said.

"We complained about that and still they refused to change anything, until two working days before submissions closed.''

"To be fair to everyone, they need to start the process again and allow people to let their feelings be known right from the start.

"The way they did it was undemocratic and if the TRC has any conscience, they should let the people have their say."

New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom said last month there would have been real risks if the spending had not been approved.

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