Opinion: Hands off our plan to put lights at Hagley Oval

OPINION: The Hagley Oval lights saga feels too much like déjà vu.

Once again, Hands Off Hagley is playing its preferred role as the ‘rebuild fun police’ – just as it did in 2013 before the redevelopment of the oval to host international cricket was given the go ahead.

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Anyone – particularly sports fans – who stuck it out in post-quake Christchurch would find it hard to argue the development of Hagley Oval was one of the best things to come out of the early rebuild.

After missing out on the 2011 Rugby World Cup, we got back on our feet and kicked off the 2015 Cricket World Cup by showing off our new international standard, boutique ground when we hosted New Zealand and

Sri Lanka in the opening match of the tournament. It was magical. The flow-on effect of people heading into the city and the half dozen drinking establishments we had at the time showed what some quick action could produce.

However, it wouldn’t have been the case if Hands Off Hagley got its way. Now, more than six years down the track, the group is back to say “no don’t build lights to open the door for future high-profile matches” and “no don’t let there be more international cricket played.”

It’s also worth noting this is the same group which wants the city council to shift large commercial events, such as the wine and food and major craft beer festivals, to red-zoned land in the east.

I don’t know about you, but a day on the razz in the red zone doesn’t have the same ring to it as the centrally-located Hagley Park.

So let’s get with the programme and wake up to that fact that if we want to be a major city, we need to be able to hold major events.