Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A solution in search of somebody else's problem

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  • Sacha,

    Must you be such a grinch about it?

    Only about the money - just strikes me as typical dishonestly-pitched corporate welfare at everyone's expense.

    I'm certainly up for a buzz in our town though. Especially if funds get channeled into supporting local performers and hosts.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Walls,

    Let's not get carried away, for heaven's sake. We're not talking about football thugs here. The British rugby fans who followed the Lions tour here four years ago were in general perfectly decent people who looked to get on with the locals.

    (Exception: that whining prick Stephen Jones.)

    I do find this negativity about visitors to our country odd.

    Okay, I'm really basing that on my Twickenham experiences. I guess we can be more gracious hosts... can't we?

    I went to the Kiwi matches in the last world cup, and there was plenty of congestion, especially driving to Cardiff for that match. Of course, airports and roads in Europe are generally designed for a higher traffic flow than we are used to.

    (And was it just me or have Mr Jones' last few "Rolling Maul" columns been positively gracious about NZ rugby? I think he's trying to catch us unawares...)

    Brisvegas/Melbourne • Since May 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Oh, you mean like the tens-of-millions that Auckland is spending on upgrading roads and public transport facilities around Eden Park? Eden Park is private property, not a council facility, so whatever public money goes into it gains the city nothing. Central Government bid on it, they can fund it. I have no problem with taxpayer money going into stadia in other centres that've been allocated as venues, for the same reason, but I'm heartily pissed off at the demands/expectations that Auckland spend ratepayer money on a private venue.

    From memory, Auckland had a good chance to build a new stadium in a much better location than in the middle of the suburbs, which could have been owned by something other than the Eden Park Trust.

    Having said 'no' to that, Eden Park is what you're left with.

    I'm staying in Auckland this week on business and every hotel in the CBD is full tonight (except for youth hostels and the Duxton at $799). I asked what was going on this week as I was being ejected from my hotel (well, checking out) and I was told that a cruise ship was coming in. A, as in single, one, cruise ship.

    I'm no expert on cruise ships, but isn't the advantage of them that you can sleep on board? There's a steady flow of them visiting Dunedin this month, and they just come into the tourist sites during the day and then go back to the boat at night.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    when it all goes pear-shaped

    The official fruit of the Republic o Devonport

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Walls,

    I'm no expert on cruise ships, but isn't the advantage of them that you can sleep on board? There's a steady flow of them visiting Dunedin this month, and they just come into the tourist sites during the day and then go back to the boat at night.

    That was my reaction too. Maybe they're on this one...

    Brisvegas/Melbourne • Since May 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Walls,

    when it all goes pear-shaped

    The official fruit of the Republic o Devonport

    mmmm.... pear....

    Brisvegas/Melbourne • Since May 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I do find this negativity about visitors to our country odd.

    I wouldn't take it all too seriously. It's not so much that there are "dirty drunken foreign people" wandering around that's a concern as that there will be a lot of people who aren't local (so are in holiday mode, with all the freedom from inhibition that can bring) who will be drunk, probably excited, and moving around in large groups in public and not-so-public areas. I'm sure it's exactly the same feeling Western Springs residents had on the night of the AC/DC concert, and equally an overreaction with a nevertheless understandable basis in reality.

    What does need to happen is some very careful thought about the kind of "disaster management" planning that can deal with these large groups and educate/direct them quickly and efficiently on the day before they become a problem. That's easy enough to do as long as someone remembers to do it at all-and right now some of us are getting the feeling that this is yet another aspect of planning that will be allowed to fall through the cracks.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What does need to happen is some very careful thought about the kind of "disaster management" planning that can deal with these large groups and educate/direct them quickly and efficiently on the day before they become a problem.

    I'd suggest that before we do it with tourists, we might want to do it with some of the locals who have been knowing to cause some big problems from time to time as well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    before we do it with tourists, we might want to do it with some of the locals

    Quite. We already have enough homegrown munters.

    I'm confident the RWC planning is being handled very well, having met some of the imported experts hired for the job. They have previously worked on some large events you might recognise.. like the Sydney Olympics and Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Please bring in Special Constables for crowd control.

    How about a Seasonal Worker Programme for Samoans, Tongans, & Fijians to see the RWC up close?

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So long as their hands are big enough for points duty

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    (Exception: that whining prick Stephen Jones.)

    Who, incidentally, was a perfect gentlemen out on the town here in 2005 even when dealing with a lot of banter (not all of it good natured) from the locals.

    He must become that other person when he gets back to hotel room at night.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Daniel,

    I'm an Aucklander currently in Vancouver, and it's interesting looking at the differences in approach to the Olympics vs. the RWC.
    The entertainment venues are simple, and functional: big marquees, stage, beer, portaloos outside. Some of the venues are open stages set up on sports fields/parks. Lots of downtown streets have been closed, with food stalls and entertainment, and people spilling out of the bars and restaurants.
    They built a train to the airport, increased bus services, after big events they've got volunteers counting passengers into the skytrain stations so the platform isn't dangerously crowded. One of the best things is the copious volunteers standing on street corners ready to help out with anything.
    Admittedly it's a bigger event, in a bigger city, with more smaller events. But Auckland could do worse than to emulate some of their preparations. The most interesting thing is how little Olympic preparation seemed to be in place just a week or two before the opening ceremony, because most of it is temporary. It doesn't take a lot of time or disruption to close a street and wheel some carts into place.

    Melbourne • Since Jul 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    when it all goes pear-shaped

    I know what you mean Sacha, I really should get some exercise.

    The official fruit of the Republic o Devonport

    I thought that was Craig.
    ;-)
    OK Craig, free punch.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves,

    @Sacha You mean...Bryan Dawe and John Clarke...?????

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    They built a train to the airport,

    We could do that...
    Tui Moment.

    Second thoughts. Building a Train all the way to the Airport, would still require walking, a railway would be better.


    I'll get my coat.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I was momentarily overcome by the speaker of the house

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    If from lemons you can make lemonade, it stands to reason that from Pears you can make Pear Brandy ;)

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Nothing? Im guessing the gain of nothing is the same reason Auckland & Dunedin are keen to get the 7s into town as well. Of course the city gains something when a few extra thousand people turn up for the weekend.

    Except that the capacity of Eden Park is being increased to 60k only temporarily. The final increase on current capacity is, from memory, about 4,000, and as it is there are very few sell-out crowds each year. Plus, RWC is a once-off. The city spends lots on the surrounding area, and gets nothing back. If there's going to be so much more money spent as a result of the RWC, the argument for Central Government funding is greatly amplified because they're the ones who collect all the income taxes and GST. Local governments get nadda.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    From memory, Auckland had a good chance to build a new stadium in a much better location than in the middle of the suburbs, which could

    You mean the waterfront stadium idea? That was going to leave no change from a billion dollars (yes, with a b), and given that our local bodies are being pushed to contribute significantly to the $190m tag to upgrade Eden Park, how much debt do you think would've been lumped on Auckland City Council and the ARC? Hint: far, far, far too much. It's easy for y'all from out of town to sneer, but it would've been a lot of your tax money going into paying for it, and it wouldn't have been your rates going into paying for the rest. How many other cities in NZ would be keen on forking out for a billion dollar stadium?

    Plus there's the simple fact that this country has a terrible track record of getting things built on time, and facilities for the RWC have to be ready by a fixed date. There's no leeway for an "oh, shit, we didn't see that hurdle coming" moment.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Admittedly it's a bigger event

    I wouldn't count on it - and in tv audience terms, most certainly not.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Admittedly it's a bigger event

    I wouldn't count on it - and in tv audience terms, most certainly not.

    In terms of impact on a single city, it absolutely is. You're right about global audience, though. It stuns a lot of people that the RWC is the third-most watched sporting event in the world, after FIFA WC and the summer Olympics.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Local governments get nadda

    Rates from businesses

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Local governments get nadda
    Rates from busineses

    And those rates are related to income how, exactly? The rates take increases relative to customer numbers from a one-off event how, exactly?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's standard corporate welfare, so just a 'return' on those rates whether or not there's any relationship with increased revenue

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

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