Auckland Council Puts Pressure on

The Auckland Regional Council is pressuring the Australian NRL to give the Warriors a 10-year licence to play in the competition.

The ARC has entered the fray following the National Rugby League's rejection of a 10-year licence for the New Zealand Warriors, instead granting it just five years.

This in turn has stalled the Warriors' plan to retain the ARC's Ericcsson Stadium as its home ground.

The ARC had said it would look at developing a new east stand at Ericsson at a cost of $21 million, but only on the condition that the Warriors signed a 10-year agreement to stay at the stadium.

The team could only do this if it was given a 10-year licence to the Australian NRL.

ARC chairwoman Gwen Bull says the Warriors getting a five-year franchise has had a bearing on the situation.

"We're now working with the NRL board in Australia, and will hopefully work things out with them," Mrs Bull says.

"The Warriors are very supportive of what we're doing."

Mrs Bull says this means an agreement with the Warriors over the use of Ericsson Stadium hasn't happened at this stage. "But we're still working through the issues."

Auckland City Mayor John Banks has not given up on Parnell's Carlaw Park as the team base for the New Zealand Warriors, although he says it needs a lot of time and money poured into it.

Mr Banks says nothing can be done with the grounds unless a private investor steps in with millions of dollars for its refurbishment.

He says Carlaw Park is making no progress in becoming the home of New Zealand rugby league, despite his personal vision for the stadium.

"It has no value for rugby league as a venue if the Warriors sign with the ARC, which would be their easiest course of action.

"For them to go with a rebuilt Carlaw Park would take a lot of time and a lot of money, about $35 million, so there'd be all those matters to get in place, while the game goes on every week. The Warriors have obviously recognised that Ericsson Stadium is their venue of choice at this point."