Hitting the Fan Zone-Hootenanny State II


 “The Government’s dream of promoting Queens Wharf as the jewel in Auckland’s Rugby World Cup crown by establishing a “fan zone” for up to 20,000 people, now appears close to tatters after Auckland Regional Council ditched plans to demolish two century-old sheds to make way for a temporary glass and steel party venue.”  Tracy Watkins Stuff 13/7/10

Last minute negotiations may have stopped the shit hitting the fan zone in Auckland for next year’s Rugby World Cup but the whole saga has been an interesting insight into the Government’s Hootenanny State approach*.

By not getting its local body lame ducks in a row Auckland’s Rugby World Cup was in real danger of running under.

 Expiring ARC Chairman Mike Lee  may be about to shed his local government responsibilities but his latter day discovery of responsibilities towards the sheds on Queens Wharf made him as popular as his pop namesake 50 years ago*.

As a sign of the extent to which some representatives of the  Auckland Regional Council were seen as party poopers because of their vacillation over the sheds, some senior ministers apparently threatened to move some RWC associated events to Wellington and Christchurch. I don’t know about Wellington, but they wouldn’t have had any trouble with elected Regional Council members in Canterbury now there aren’t any.

 Perhaps it is time for another public contest in Auckland, this time to pick the local government politician most suitable for embalming Lenin-style and displaying as a cautionary tale in a very public place.

On the Prime Minister’s recent swing through China and Vietnam he found time to comment on the vexed venue for a public party in Auckland if Queens Wharf wasn’t a goer, even though he had a RWC Minister in full working order at home. He even offered a Victorian solution, more Party Periphery than Party Central. Any hosts in earshot must have been astounded with his attention to domestic detail.

Of course the Chinese  had their own spot of bother handling tanked up teens and others in Tiananmen Square 21 years ago*. The way they eventually bulldozed their way out of that impasse  was more Central Party than Party Central. Our Prime Minister must have wished he could bring in our tank and sort out Queens Wharf once and for all.

Brash is what the Government  doesn’t want to appear-and only a little bit  Churchillian (“We won’t fight them on the beaches, we won’t fight them on the foreshore; but we’ll fight them on the wharf and we will never surrender”.)

Why give a hoot? Why not let those who’ve invested their money in permanent watering holes cater for the throng and let the unseen hand (and the elbow) of the market sort it all out?

Party Central has been an improbable affair of state because the Rugby World Cup Board has got us by the Heineken  after the lost opportunities of the 2005 World Cup because of  the issues over “clean” stadiums. (The RWC Board is very clear on sponsors rights, but less clear on the actual dates for the 2011 event, which don’t appear on the banner ad on their website or anywhere else accessible.)

As a “Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2011”, Heineken has access to a package of worldwide rights, including use of the RWC 2011 event marks and designations in promotional tie-ins, leveraging its status as the Official Beer of RWC 2011. The lager laager will be hard to penetrate.

What if Tui had won the rights to RWC pourage and posters? I can see the first ad now on a billboard near Victoria Park:

Queen’s Wharf is the “jewel in Auckland’s Rugby World Cup crown.”  Yeah right.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-YAfMCaW2Y&feature=related Vid I Shot Mr Lee -The Bobbettes

 http://www.tui.co.nz/default.asp?s1=Cool%20Shit&s2=Video%20Gallery Vid  Latest Tui TVC



#Lyall Lukey  24 July 2010
http://www.lukey.co.nz/  http://www.smartnet.co.nz
http://lukeytraining.wordpress.com/ My other (bit more serious) blog


One Response to “Hitting the Fan Zone-Hootenanny State II”

  1. If the Aucklanders are so keen on old sheds perhaps they might be interest in a few really old, rusty ones we have hanging around down here. We could give them areal sharp price. Yeah right.

    And my mates and I could organise really sweet central parties in any place in Auckland that the new super mayor thinks is appropriate. All we would need is a bit of the ratepayer and taxpayer largess that is being splashed around. And we promise, really promise that we wouldn’t rort our Party Central credit cards. Yeah, right.

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