Slightly off-topic, but: Michael Woodhouse has repeatedly said that Chris Brown has yet to apply for an exemption. Could it be that his management are under the illusion, as a lot of Americans, Brits and Europeans, than piddly, little NZ is part of Australia, so having applied to go to Australia, there's no need to apply to go to NZ as well ?
They quite possibly may try to fly out of Sydney / Melbourne / Brisbane, then find, oops, we can't. Or they will fly out, but won't make it past customs.
I suspect that in the past, the ABs may've been told not to publically endorse, or do something that looks like endorsing, anything contentious, like politics.
About 20 years ago (possibly in an excellent cover story on him in the Listener by Denis Welch), Colin Meads said that he always made the point of going to a different voting booth as Jim Bolger on election day, so he could specifically avoid the chance of photo-op of he and Bolger together - and thus giving the impression of endorsement.
They very likely knew each other anyway, but at least Meads was wise enough to avoid publically being in Bolger's company.
I reckon National is trial-ballooning Richie for PM, actually
McCaw has, thankfully, publically stated he's not interested in going into politics.
I dunno what all the fuss is about. NZ had a PM nick-named "Piggy" decades ago...
I was talking to a mate about this the other day and he made the point that this issue is tailor-made for one Winston Peters.
He reckons that as the referendum(s) near, Peters will stir up the Grey Power sector of the electorate and really hype them up against it.
Also, he reckons that voter apathy will have an effect, because the only people will bother voting are a) the Grey Power sector, b) political geeks and c) people that want to have a free swipe at John Key. Collectively, this will result in them successfully voting for the status quo.
I pretty much agree with the general gist of your post Hadyn, but complaining about the National Party being linked to rugby is a bit like complaining about the Greens being popular with people in the arts - that's simply the crowd they attract, historically.
Also, to state the obvious, the explosion of social media has enhanced and made public those links. I expect that beforehand, plenty of All Blacks, rightly or wrongly, voted National, but didn't have the need or means to say they'd done so, publically.
Even if they hadn't said so publically, it'd pretty much be a foregone conclusion that, to use an above example, Dan Carter, would've voted National anyway, given he's from a small, rural town.
Their politics aside, I also have reservations about the ABs RWC squad, too. Too many ,such as McCaw are a yard off the pace, too many others are there on reputation not form (especially among the tight five) and others shouldn't even be there.
The recent win over a so-so Wallabies is a flash in the pan. We will struggle in the knock-out games, simple as that.
I really like rugby. But John Key's cynical exploitation of the All Blacks leaves me cold.
Also, there are some pretty annoying blanket statements above about what sort of people rugby fans allegedly are (macho, boorish, conservative, etc, etc). Well, that's a stereotype with all the flaws that stereotypes usually have.
I'd like people to realise that there's a big difference between someone that likes rugby and your stereotypical redneck boofhead that hangs out at rugby clubs, ok ?
As a basic comparison, just because Guns N Roses or their ilk are morons, doesn't mean to say that all other musicians are too, ok ?
I see the Street Chant tour poster has the Flying Nun logo on it.
Does this mean that Hauora will be on FN and not Arch Hill ?
Given that both are ran by Ben Howe it's just a bit puzzling. I'm curious, that's all.
The justification for the rush is a ribbon cutting deadline set by the PM’s office.
The naming of the All Blacks' World Cup squad at Parliament this Sunday also smacks of a craven photo-opportunity, too.
BTW, for those worried that New Zealand music isn’t selling (or whatever), the No.2 album this week is the brilliantly titled Give Up Your Dreams by the Phoenix Foundation, only kept from No.1 by Dr Dre. And there are seven other albums by New Zealand artists in the top 40, which is brilliant.
The chart display at JB Hi-Fi has Phoenix Foundation at #1 !