Hard News by Russell Brown

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

211 Responses

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  • Sacha,

    The opportunity to do something different was there, Auckland chose otherwise.

    Hang on. The equivalent would be the government saying to Wellingtonians that they had two weeks to agree to the caketin being plonked right in the main part of their waterfront, solidly blocking out views and pre-empting any other decisions about what might go there for the next hundred years as part of integrated waterfront planning. (I realise with the current kerfuffle about Welli's waterfront that might seem like an appealing option).

    I'm grateful we resisted the bribe. I thought Richard Simpson's Carlaw Park alternative had some merits. But that was never presented for decision - only Mallard's seaside blob. Eden Park's only advantage seems to be that it's already there - because the location clearly sucks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    What views would have been blocked, Sacha? Currently when I walk along that area, all I see is a massive pile of containers, some gigantic unloading vehicles, and some enormous ships. If I move back, or to the side, or higher, I can see more, just as it would be with a stadium. But with the stadium, I'd also see the stadium (which might have been more to my taste than an industrial zone), and I might even be able to go there. Presumably I might even have been able to walk around it. Also, inside it, I might have been able to have a good view of something too.

    Yes, the consultation was weak. But that could have been improved, more time could have been spent. It was being railroaded because, as it turned out, time was pressing. Unfortunately the whole thing turned into something that everyone saw as a cheap (and strangely multipartisan) opportunity to have a crack at Labour, and they lost their bottle. The real losers were actually us. Or were we that way in the first place? It left me feeling quite bitter on Auckland and NZ, to be honest. We will never get an opportunity like this again, especially when the world sees what an appalling effort was made for an event of the magnitude of the RWC.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    As for those 238 countries. I can only account for 219 and that is including disputed states such as, Abkhazia, Kosovo. Palestine, Taiwan , Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and who could ever forget, Transnistria – Transnistrian Moldovan Republic who are, no doubt, Rugby Union fans above all else.

    Two teams from Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, play in the Ukraine Rugby League: Dynamo-Center and Olimp-Electronmash.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    The official fruit of the Republic o Devonport

    Also, if last night's experience at Manuka was anything to go by, Devonport's official language is now German.

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

  • JackElder,

    And when was the last time you saw someone at the RWC wipe out after hitting a dog?

    I'm specifically referring to this, from the 2007 Tour:

    Although you'll note that there was quite a problem that year. Also from 2007:

    Note that in both cases, the dog gets up and walks off.

    Now tell me you wouldn't want to see that happen on a rugby field, eh?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Also, if last night's experience at Manuka was anything to go by, Devonport's official language is now German.

    Weird, I was asked for directions to Devonport by a German couple in a camper van who were lost in darkest Grey Lynn yesterday...

    They were remarking about the lack of road signs in this country.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Two teams from Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, play in the Ukraine Rugby League: Dynamo-Center and Olimp-Electronmash.

    Paul: Your scholarship continues to astound me. How many teams played in the Oompa-Loompa League?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    They were remarking about the lack of road signs in this country.

    They've clearly never been to Indonesia

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Given that Auckland contributes 1/3 of the national tax take, I think we'd be doing a fair bit of funding of our own stadium, don't you?

    Ah I see. You want to pay for only a third of Auckland's stadium, while Dunedin new stadium is costing Auckland about 2% (govt contribution 15 million, divided by 3).

    The idea that Auckland ratepayers shouldn't contribute any money to Eden Park just because they don't own it seems a bit bizarre. From their web site:

    The objects of the Trust Board will be to promote, operate and develop Eden Park as a high quality multi- purpose stadium for the use and benefit of rugby and cricket as well as other sporting codes and other recreational, musical and cultural events for the benefit of the public of the region.

    It doesn't seem unreasonable to Aucklanders should cough up a little bit of money for such a stadium (along with the government), or build their own one if they don't like it.

    Hang on. The equivalent would be the government saying to Wellingtonians that they had two weeks to agree to the caketin being plonked right in the main part of their waterfront, solidly blocking out views and pre-empting any other decisions about what might go there for the next hundred years as part of integrated waterfront planning.

    I don't disagree. It was very messy. But having made that decision, complaining that Auckland ratepayers shouldn't put any money into Eden Park redevelopment seems a bit rich. Eden Park has a regional purpose, a decent chunk of the funding for it should come from the region.

    Dunedin stadium is pretty controversial, particularly the money for it and where it's coming from. But you don't hear "central government should pay for all this since it's not ours" very much.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    The idea that Auckland ratepayers shouldn't contribute any money to Eden Park just because they don't own it seems a bit bizarre.

    Not that I completely disagree (I don't) but you have to remember that up until the whole supercity thing goes live, a lot of "Aucklanders" don't live in Auckland City at all. I live and work on the North Shore, which is its own city, and don't go to Eden Park, so I have no more direct relationship with Eden Park than someone living in Dunedin. And yet it's looking pretty likely that the local government organisation that supposedly represents me and my interests is going to be expected to front up money for work on a stadium in another city.

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

  • Simon Grigg,

    Sitting down? Don't have figures to hand, but they exist.

    I'm always bemused by these, sitting in a part of the world where not only about half the world's population wakes daily, but aside from a smattering in Japan and Hong Kong and a few expats here and there absolutely no-one knows what a rugby ball looks like. And the 2007 RWC passed without mention.

    Toss into that number most of Africa, the Middle East, South America apart from Argentina....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Why, Sportsfans, did the IRB insist on Auckland, when both Christchurch and Wellington have modern stadiums?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Ah I see. You want to pay for only a third of Auckland's stadium, while Dunedin new stadium is costing Auckland about 2% (govt contribution 15 million, divided by 3).

    If that's how it works out, sure. I prefer to see it like this: Eden Park is being done up because of the RWC. This very, very expensive upgrade, much of it temporary, is occurring for the purposes of a single, once-only, never-to-be-repeated event. That makes the expense entirely the responsibility of Central Government, to my eyes, because it was Central Government that created this "opportunity". I have the same view of any other stadium upgrades happening around the country, but am also aware that few of them are temporary.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Rich of Obs

    I haven't even lived in the place for three years, and would certainly never run for elected office there!

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Compared with the 2007 RWC's cumulative audience of three billion viewers.

    I thought 50 billion, myself. All those keen rugby fans out there on Betelgeuse 3 and Alpha-Centauri 7.

    Of course, the Alpha Centaurans get the world cup somewhat more than four years out of date, and are currently keenly awaiting an All Blacks victory in the '07 event. The Betelgeusans are even further behind, receiving telly made around 400 years before the invention of rugby. Once they start though, I'm confident that they will be keen fans, and may field a team competitive with Argentina in time for the 2750 RWC.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Seriously, if you take the viewing figures as "number of people with access to the broadcast" then actually, it might be a reverse indicator of the popularity of the sport.

    I'm guessing that outside rugby playing countries, the RWC feed is more or less free. Therefore Azerbajan TV will probably use it as cheap filler. Major soccer matches probably cost money and thus don't make it to telly in a lot of places.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Oh, and Kyle, I don't have a problem with EPTB paying for part of the upgrade too. In fact, given that they do derive a capital benefit I'd rather that they paid for as much of it as is feasible. It's the difference between their means and the total sum that I want paid by taxpayers not ratepayers.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Why, Sportsfans, did the IRB insist on Auckland, when both Christchurch and Wellington have modern stadiums?

    Because this wee country only has one city with enough accommodation and so on to host a crowd the size the IRB expects - and the other stadiums while nice are too small. For the IRB.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Weird, I was asked for directions to Devonport by a German couple in a camper van who were lost in darkest Grey Lynn yesterday...

    They were remarking about the lack of road signs in this country.

    Ich bin ein Grey Lynner.

    We took all the signs down so the invasion forces would find it harder to get around.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    thought 50 billion, myself. All those keen rugby fans out there on Betelgeuse 3 and Alpha-Centauri 7.

    Well, according to that Reuters article the last football world cup had a total of 30 billion viewers for all matches. And that's only counting our solar system.

    But apparently rugby is now so popular that the US national team even got a sponsorship deal with Sony.

    I really like rugby (although it doesn't make up for not getting (ice) hockey much), but that kind of promo-story is just embarrassing.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    They were remarking about the lack of road signs in this country.

    Tell them to look on the left side of the road?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Because this wee country only has one city with enough accommodation and so on to host a crowd the size the IRB expects - and the other stadiums while nice are too small. For the IRB.

    Correct. Except I don’t get the (perceived) jibe at the IRB.

    As part of the bidding process NZRU had to guarantee at least one stadium with a capacity of >60k. They then signed a contract. So I struggle to see how the IRB can be seen as being unreasonable here.

    A bit like how they weren’t being unreasonable in 2002 either.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Not that I completely disagree (I don't) but you have to remember that up until the whole supercity thing goes live, a lot of "Aucklanders" don't live in Auckland City at all. I live and work on the North Shore, which is its own city, and don't go to Eden Park, so I have no more direct relationship with Eden Park than someone living in Dunedin.

    I grew up on the north shore, and I went to Eden Park a number of times. I saw Grant Fox beat Scotland there with about six penalty kicks at goal, and I saw a number of Auckland games, including Waikato taking the shield off them. And a rained out Sri Lanka-NZ one day cricket match.

    I find the idea that you can't benefit from a stadium because it's a 30 minute drive away somewhat bizarre.

    For the record, through the Otago Regional Council, rate payers in Oamaru, Queenstown etc are all contributing to the new Dunedin stadium. Dunedin residents (through the DCC) are paying both twice, and significantly more. Not unreasonable.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Tell them to look on the left side of the road?

    I would have but I was struggling to breathe through the cigarette smoke.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    So I struggle to see how the IRB can be seen as being unreasonable here.

    Given that NZ is one of the three or four main rugby nations in terms of numbers playing and team performance, I'd suggest that we were entitled to a turn at hosting the cup every so often *without* having to build new stadiums, remove civil rights from our population, etc.

    It would be perfectly possible to have had the cup with the old 47,000 capacity Eden Park. They just wouldn't have sold as many tickets.

    I reckon they need to lose the whole "big is best" idea from sport and have the RWC simply progress through the rugby playing nations in alphabetical order. So the next cup would be in Samoa, then Scotland, etc.

    Of course the Samoan cup would be a lot less glitzy, but I'm sure it would still be fun.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

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