Helen's worst nightmare hits Auckland

Eden Park row erupts as new mayor makes promisePlans for the 2011 Rugby World Cup took a major hit last night as incoming Auckland Mayor John Banks promised to pull all ratepayer funding from the Eden Park upgrade – and received strong backing for his stance from a dominant right-wing… [Auckland News]

Helen Clark must have been talking through gritted crooked teeth last night as she rang Banksie to congratulate him. Banksie has not wasted anytime in coming good with his promises and letting Clark know that the mayor is no longer a Labour sock puppet.

[quote]Banks is opposed to spending $50 million of city cash on improving Eden Park when the Government has just announced a huge budget surplus and opened the chequebook for $1 billion to build a waterfront stadium last year.

"The Prime Minister has an $8.6 billion surplus. $8.6 billion. And she wants the ratepayers of Auckland to stump up the cash? It's unfair," Banks said. He will, however, support spending $21 million on roading and public transport around the stadium.

Banks' withdrawal of funding was met with stony silence from the Government, which faces having to foot the bill. Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard refused to comment.[/quote]

I bet Trevor is stony. He is probably more concerned about making sure his new lady doesn't tear his arm off as she is want to do whenever he is seen alone near beautiful woman, especially netballing types.