Govt puts $2.5m into Whangarei stadium upgrade

The Government is putting $2.5 million into the upgrade of Whangarei's Okara Park to get it ready for the Rugby World Cup.

The minister in charge of preparations for the tournament, Murray McCully, said today the upgraded stadium would leave a lasting legacy for Northland.

"The Rugby World Cup has proven a timely catalyst for a number of infrastructure developments around the country," he said.

"The tournament will have a global TV audience of around four billion. We want to make the most of the opportunity to promote New Zealand, and projects like this will ensure we do."

The ground is to host two games during the tournament. Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Council are putting up most of the money for the upgrade.

The Government has previously announced grants of $15 million for work on a new stadium in Dunedin and the redevelopment of the AMI stadium in Christchurch.