Party Central-A Beer with no Pub?


“No doubt some elements of the media will wish to focus on redundant capacity on the waterfront this weekend. That is intentional. We need to rebuild public confidence starting this weekend.”  RWC Minister Murray McCully 17/9/11*

For having the Auckland wharf ready for the Rugby World Cup’s Opening Ceremony a mere week after the opening closed RWC Minister Murray McCully must be in line for a splendid gong from the Antediluvian Royal Society of Esteemed Stable Door Bolters. (To avoid a heavy penalty for RWC sponsor ambushing, we are not permitted to use the venerable awarding organisation’s mnemonic within 500 metres of this blog.)

A better never than late decision has literally cleared the way for the Government’s NZ2011 office to operate an expanded fan zone including Captain Cook Wharf and associated waterfront areas.

With the ABs playing in Hamilton last night there may have been more security guards, civic clipboarders and unemployed food stall holders than live fans on the potentially doubled Party Central site in Auckland.  Things will no doubt warm up later in the tournament, but to nowhere near the level reached last week when there was a lock out on the Auckland wharf which made the 1951 waterfront dispute look like a teetotallers tea party.

60 years later another National led government can finish the job that Sid Holland started and the minister is not going to let the opportunity go begging to complete what might now need to be more of a lock in than a lock out. Taking a leaf from Bill Massey’s book, McCully’s Cossacks might need to be called up not to disperse the waterfront crowd but to round up some conscripts to fill up a largely unpopulated Party Central. There are some unemployed Canterbury Crusader Equestrians who could be pressed into service.

With a Harbour-wide opening ceremony why were people encouraged to leave their cars behind, eschew the streets and travel by train and boats to a central location last week? Lacking a civic muscle man like Mussolini, the trains were not only not running on time, they weren’t running at all.

After all, Len Brown’s tunnel vision of a downtown underground train project linking Britomart station to Mt Eden* hadn’t quite come to pass yet, though perhaps one of John Key’s new cycleways might have just done the trick, especially if it had incorporated the Auckland Harbour Bridge and also encouraged pedestrians.

What has been behind the Government’s continuing close interest, indeed obsession, in creating a city centre fan zone* and injecting some life into it by tackling Party Central Poopers head on and funelling people to Auckland’s wharf in a reverse Dunkirk operation?

Was it to get them within cooee of where a harbourside stadium might have been without all the wrangling, so they can see what they’ve missed out on? Or was it the power of H, the rugby goalposted beer brand, which understandably wants to grab RWC fans by the throat whether they are inside or outside “clean stadia”?

Heineken must have negotiated a pretty good sponsorship deal, including lucrative outside outlets,  for A Beer with no Pub!


#Lyall Lukey 17 Sept 2011 My other (bit more serious) blog 


One Response to “Party Central-A Beer with no Pub?”

  1. What I found tremendously laughable is that Len Brown opted to take his car instead of the train (on opening night at least!)

    Perhaps even more chuckle-worthy is the recent Herald article announcing that the head of Veolia (the company that operates the trains in Auckland) will be flying in…. to see the rugby but is unlikely to take the train 🙂

    “The French operator of Auckland’s trains is flying in a senior executive from Paris after humiliating failures during the opening night of the Rugby World Cup.

    But he is said to be here for pleasure only – to watch France play the All Blacks at Eden Park – and the company has yet to say whether he will take the train to the stadium.”

    Talk the talk and walk the…. well, let’s just take the car shall we!
    Nothing new I suppose!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: