Councillors briefed over stadium proposal

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 12:16 13/02/2014

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A plan to build a stadium in Petone that could host the Wellington Phoenix has been taken to the next stage by Hutt City Council after a briefing last night.

Speculation over whether the Phoenix could move away from Westpac Stadium has grown after public criticism of stadium facilities from team co-owner Gareth Morgan this month.

The Community Facilities Trust, a council-controlled organisation chaired by businessman Alister Skene, presented the proposal, revealed last week, at a private council briefing yesterday.

The stadium would be built at the Petone Recreation Ground, with a capacity of between 10,000 and 12,000.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace said councillors were impressed, and the trust had been invited to present a full proposal to the community plan committee on February 26.

This committee would decide whether to take it through to public consultation for possible inclusion in the city's Annual Plan.

"It's an exciting proposal and we're certainly keen to talk to them about it," Mr Wallace said. The public could decide if it was something the council should be supporting or not.

"It's the same process as any other major project which comes to council," he said. "This will be big. It's fair to say, at this very preliminary stage, it's an exciting opportunity.

"Gareth Morgan has said they are not happy with the Wellington stadium and they are looking for a new home. As a Wellington mayor, I want to see the team stay here and not go to Auckland."

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- The Dominion Post

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