Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Just don't call it "Party Central"

104 Responses

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    What, no life preservers and ropes? Or even just some boogie boards for flotation tethered to the wharf at intervals...

    Just a frayed knot. Been waiting 25 years to make that joke.

    Seriously if you fall in there, you better be a good swimmer. I'm sure a boat could be found eventually to fish you out. In the dark, with a tide flowing, your body could possibly never be found.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Sadly though, given my wife's recent experiences Auckalnd public transport will let us all down badly.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 699 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    could be a whole comic in that idea…

    Carp- er, diems?
    Car per diems?
    Carp eh? Dem.

    I'm struggling to pick a favourite. You choose.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    takes two to tangle...

    a frayed knot

    ropey, but nice!
    ;- )

    Life in the Phrygia exists...
    Sounds like the council are treating public safety on the waterfront as a Gordian Knot, you need some Smart Alex to cut through the convoluted red tape up there...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4201 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to BenWilson,

    In the dark, with a tide flowing, your body could possibly never be found.

    Not meaning to be snarky, but if you can find a statistic for drownings off fisherman's wharf in San Francisco Bay I'd be interested. I couldn't.

    Personally I'd be more worried by the shared spaces behind the buildings with the trams and cars jostling for ascendancy with bipeds.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Yes, call it Sardine central.

    The fireworks were great – the rest of it was poorly conceived and executed and I am not talking about the AB selection and second half lack of performance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to recordari,

    Not meaning to be snarky, but if you can find a statistic for drownings off fisherman's wharf in San Francisco Bay I'd be interested. I couldn't.

    Isn't that particular body of water famous for swallowing its victims without trace, though? That could mean a whole lot of random drunken drownings could never be confirmed.

    FWIW, I saw on the news after the game last night that they'd already fished 20 people out of the water around wharves. The first person who cracks their head on the way in ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    FWIW, I saw on the news after the game last night that they’d already fished 20 people out of the water around wharves.

    Can't find anything about that, rumour or cover up conspiracy?
    Seriously though. I have a great deal more faith in peoples ability to do stupid things and get away with it. From watching a Mum allow her two toddlers to play on the Wharf Fenders, those things held on with chains and old truck tyres that sway about in the waves, in the early evening to shuddering at the insane antics of drunks at the waters edge late at night I was confident that disaster was not just waiting to happen. The "Authorities", on the other hand, found it necessary to close entire roads so that people could cross, because... well, people are well known for ploughing into crowds at high speed or throwing themselves under cars in an effort to "reach the other side" aren't they?.
    Those "Authorities" do have just cause for thinking like this however, many of those same people voted for them.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4443 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The “Authorities”, on the other hand, found it necessary to close entire roads so that people could cross, because… well, people are well known for ploughing into crowds at high speed or throwing themselves under cars in an effort to “reach the other side” aren’t they?.

    Well, actually, six people crossing Fanshawe Street were hospitalised after being hit by a bus that bounced off a car early in the evening. There were so many people in the CBD that it was simply prudent to close some streets to traffic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17940 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There were so many people in the CBD that it was simply prudent to close some streets to traffic.

    In the CBD and Eden Park maybe but to closing off main thoroughfares was always going to put an unnecessary extra burden on Public Transport. Sometimes you just have to trust the majority of the populace are not idiots, you are never going to have incident free large events. It is in handling those incidents quickly and efficiently that is the key to successful event organisation not a totalitarian police state hell bent on subjugation of the masses.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4443 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    not a totalitarian police state hell bent on subjugation of the masses.

    Which we really don’t have here, but you knew that. Recently I experienced what this looks like, sort of, in Singapore with 200,000 attending a waterfront event, also with fireworks. It was only the dress rehearsal for their National Day, but they let off the fireworks anyway, just to be sure they worked.

    Best description I can think of is ‘military exercise’. Which is why they got the military to run it for them. No one seemed upset about the fact though, and the whole thing was family friendly, which Friday night most definitely wasn’t.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to recordari,

    which Friday night most definitely wasn’t.

    But, it was . It was just long especially for kids. As my other half said he noticed children and their antics close to the edge of Princes Wharf.He was concerned. One really should think "will any one else look out for my kid first?"I actually believe, if any child fell, hundreds of peeps would have jumped in to sort it out.So I think as a combined effort, yes kids were fine,Bit of a mess at the end, but hey all parties are.
    Disclaimer: My Mum and Dad raised me around parties and swimming and surrounded by lots of people, and I never felt unsafe.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5699 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Still don't think we needed corralling as by authorities.Will they ever leave us alone?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5699 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to recordari,

    Recently I experienced what this looks like, sort of, in Singapore with 200,000 attending a waterfront event

    To be fair, Singapore may be a lot of things, some pretty restrictive and depressing, but it's not really a totalitarian state or close.

    I'd reckon too, that given how well behaved and compliant the populace there is as a rule, the chances are they would've behaved the same way, army or not. They do, after all, put hundreds of thousands through some of the big MRT stations daily in a pretty orderly way without much in the coercion or enforcement.

    Some of the big malls - Suntec for example - must have numbers way in excess of that every weekend day too. They are just clogged - uncomfortably so - but surprisingly patient as they somehow continuously shuffle the mass from confined space to confined space without incident, week in / week out. If those sorts of numbers were placed similarly in NZ it would be mayhem.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3184 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    To be fair, Singapore may be a lot of things, some pretty restrictive and depressing, but it’s not really a totalitarian state or close.

    Of course you're right, and I was being a bit glib for no particularly reason. The locals in particular, but then the majority of expats also, just feel no reason to cause trouble. At the risk of generalising, there is a heightened sense of not wanting to bring shame on oneself or those around you, or to interfere with the personal autonomy, or enjoyment, of others. By in large we have that too of course, but not always.

    Still, we manage every year to have the Concert in the park without any major hiccups. Better preparedness seems an important factor.

    Sofie, I also grew up free from constraint. I think that was fine in a small town of 1000, but when you have 200,000 people together, many consuming lots of alcohol, while walking in traffic, some corralling doesn't seem entirely a bad idea. Don't think anyone is accusing the police of doing anything but their job, are they? Although some are saying they didn't do enough.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    ETA: You know what, it's a funny thing this adopting the indignation of others. As far as I know no children were harmed in the making of this opening ceremony. Bet those who went to town will have lifelong memories. The accident on Fanshawe street was very unfortunate, and I do think lower Queen Street should have been closed for traffic, but the incidents everyone is hand wringing over are small in number, if not in media coverage.

    And did you see those Welsh? Bloody robbed I tell you.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    That's just what I was getting at Jack, (albeit with a slight slur last night after being out to watch Ireland beat USA). The Quay should have been shut but Fanshaw wasn't and an accident happened, could have been any day of the week. No body got off badly on the Quay. I only didn't agree with closing another main arterial route as a last minute thought. and making cars uturn back from whence they came. Oh and if you are gonna shut the street why, oh why then barrier the streets to try to create single files? That causes the rushing crushing atmosphere. This is what was around the end of Quay St heading to the Viaduct.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5699 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to recordari,

    Rugby onion...

    And did you see those Welsh? Bloody robbed I tell you.

    I agree, those daffy taffies played a blinder...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4201 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Oh and if you are gonna shut the street why, oh why then barrier the streets to try to create single files?

    This has been my biggest take out beef with recent BDOs. Get a whole lot of excited inebriants (not a word?) and close them in a confined space in front of stage with no easy exits. Crowds do tend to self regulate, as long as they have the room.

    I agree, those daffy taffies played a blinder...

    Apart from the result, one of the most encouraging games of rugby I've seen so far. They should be extremely proud. I'd like to see them get through to the knock-outs, and scare a few people.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to recordari,

    Bet those who went to town will have lifelong memories. The accident on Fanshawe street was very unfortunate, and I do think lower Queen Street should have been closed for traffic, but the incidents everyone is hand wringing over are small in number, if not in media coverage.

    More downtown streets should have been closed as part of the original plan -- there just wasn't enough standing room for 200,000 people -- and I think part of Quay St should be turned into a plaza sooner rather than later.

    But you're right. Many more people had a great time than had a very bad one. And despite a degree of chaos, there was no rioting or anything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17940 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to recordari,

    This has been my biggest take out beef with recent BDOs. Get a whole lot of excited inebriants (not a word?) and close them in a confined space in front of stage with no easy exits. Crowds do tend to self regulate, as long as they have the room.

    But the BDO itself has cleaned up its act since the Red Hot Chili Peppers year, when they had 50,000 people and a really poor flow around the site. The D-Ring at the main stage was introduced after some really dangerous crowd surges when (ugh) Limp Bizkit played, and it has prevented a repeat of that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17940 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    I think part of Quay St should be turned into a plaza sooner rather than later.

    Yep, I think they needed to spread the action further along Quay street towards Vector.

    The placement of that faulty double sided screen at the bottom of Albert street was a mistake. Several screens further along Quay Street would have been better.

    Food/drinks stalls all along Quay street as well.

    If it wasn't for the general good nature of the crowd it could have been really bad.

    Isn't hindsight wonderful.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 342 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    The placement of that faulty double sided screen at the bottom of Albert street was a mistake. Several screens further along Quay Street would have been better.

    Yep, that screen was causing problems by 3pm when I was down there. When it didn’t actually work, that just made it worse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17940 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Isn't hindsight wonderful

    That's why there are professional event planners. What caused the gap between actual crowd numbers on the day and whatever number they were catering for?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Isn't hindsight wonderful.

    The powers that be were aware that on opening night more than 150,000 would be attending "Party Central" downtown water front thang - however - the decision was made not to provide the resources or organise "wider opening events" that would have enabled all of Auckland to enegage and cope.

    The budget has basically being allocated to the quarter, semi and finals events - where they will as well as party central operate fan zones in Albany, Manukau and Henderson.

    The cloud - the state of the main bar area is woeful - the bar surface itself is timber – I think 350 x 75 mm laid on it side lightly stained – I ask myself couldn’t they afford to have some coat it in polyurethane? It is pretty unhealthy and will become germ ridden and disgusting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

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