Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Four Years Ago

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  • BenWilson,

    ....(blogging from phone hence bad style). Took 2 min to find taxi to friends. Now in warm luxury settling back with drinks food and company. Go ABs! Over and out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8009 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Long live Robbie Deans.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That was quite a day. I'm so glad I headed out on my bike.

    Did Eden Park then along the fan walk to K Road, which was jumping with Tongan mamas. Wonderful.

    The funniest thing I saw on the way down on Queen Street was the usual Friday Hare Krishna crew with a much bigger and much more enthusiastic entourage than usual.

    Got to Quay Street at 3pm and immediately started seeing families and thinking "your young children shouldn't really be here".

    I saw the waka arrive from the balcony of the Viaduct Events Centre at Wynyard Quarter, then head back to the Chev.

    I barbecued -- chicken and hazelnut sausages and a great slab of scotch fillet -- and we watched coverage until it was time to jump in the car and head north of Meola to see the fire works. We had a perfect spot looking over the reef from a street near Coyle Park. Standing with about 50 locals while we all applauded the marvel we'd just seen was really wonderful.

    Then back to watch the game. We'd missed the cranes and John Key.

    And the All Blacks' start? It'll do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17917 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sounds like a good time. Some of what I saw of the opening ceremony looked spectacular.

    We’d missed the cranes and John Key.

    Looked like he might have too, but nothing wrong with a drink to calm the nerves, aye. The only thing that seemed a little off was the mood of those three blokes in our coaching box, I got chills every time they flashed up. Isitolo Maka was laughing in the other corner and his team lost by 30 points. I hope S.H.H. can get some enjoyment out of this. It’s not that I want them to act. I just worry they may not be entirely reconciled with that element of fun required to push group activities from good to great. Appearances can be deceiving though.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ross Mason,

    TV news just told me that trains were stopping…..people pushing the emergency stop button.

    Yup, and of course the Herald headline is: Trains fail city's day of celebration. I know the Herald has some fixed idea that there's magic unicorns that shit out train sets and busses, but really... (And yes, I do have a bias because my partner works for Veolia but damn it. It would be nice if some facts got in the room when they decide to shit on public transport.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It would be nice if some facts got in the room when they decide to shit on public transport.)

    Try here. A broken down train for over an hour with no response or information to the passengers who then arrived late to the game, having paid x-hundred+$$ for a ticket? Yeah, them facts sort of speak for themselves, but YMMV.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to recordari,

    My mileage does vary because I’ve heard that one assertion you’ve made is flat out untrue, and FFS perhaps the safety of passengers was a slightly higher priority than getting them to the game. But I guess you can’t ever win when The Herald is on their never-ending anti-public transport jihad.

    ETA: And, yeah, I do like AKT Blog a lot but really… But would it save a lot of time and effort if we just assume that there are people for whom Joyce is going to be blamed for everything?

    The most fucking idiotic comment I've ever seen outside a Herald Your Views sewer?

    Cant they disable the emergency buttons? Obviously they know its not for an emergency.

    Oy...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’ve heard that one assertion you’ve made is flat out untrue

    The guy talking on Campbell live sounded pretty convincing, but he might have been in a house for all I know.

    As for disabling the emergency button, I entirely agree.

    There were reports of people being let off trains after the emergency button was pushed and walking along the tracks. Was that untrue also?

    Anyway, you have more horses in this race, so I'll leave it to the experts.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to recordari,

    Anyway, you have more horses in this race, so I’ll leave it to the experts.

    Excuse me? If by that you mean I do actually listen when my partner talks about the industry he’s worked in for over forty five years, yes I do. If you’re insinuating I’m being some kind of political hack – be a darling and shove off. I don't think anyone is pretending everything went off like fine Swiss clockwork, but it would be rather helpful if everyone took a deep breath and didn't fucking shit on the train operators for following basic safety protocols. When some frakwit hits an emergency button there are knock on effects throughout the network. And responding is just a little more complicated than taking the hand brake off on your car. Really.

    There were reports of people being let off trains after the emergency button was pushed and walking along the tracks. Was that untrue also?

    If they are accurate, and any train staffer allowed passengers to compromise their own safety and the integrity of the network then the people concerned should have their employment terminated with extreme prejudice. That said, I don’t know how you can physically restrain a large number of people determined to be idiots without creating more problems than you solve.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Got to Quay Street at 3pm and immediately started seeing families and thinking "your young children shouldn't really be here".

    Yep, we were one of those many, many families. Auckland City might want to tone down the *family friendly* component of their promotions I think.

    We had a plan B so we got out of Dodge around 5:30 but there were still families with young ones pouring in. We (Auckland) may have just dodged a bullet last night I feel, it could have gone terribly wrong.

    The funniest/saddest thing I saw was the big screen on Quay St that wasn't working and you could see the windows of the computer where the operator was moving the mouse around trying furiously to get it working with thousands of people looking on. Not sure if they got it working in the end or not.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 342 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Glad it was a good party up your way and not too many hurt.
    The tremenous failure of transport and public space might just prove to be a blessing for Aucklands future.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    SNAFU all round. Whether you blame the outsize crowds, the underprepared management, or the weak transport system on which this rested, it certainly was a mess, and entirely newsworthy (especially after a rather boring game. I turned it off and went to sleep 20 minutes before the end). The people I won't blame are the operational staff, who I hear did an excellent job under the conditions.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2077 posts Report Reply

  • bmk,

    The irony is (according to twitter) everyone who drove had no problems are just suggesting that people just drive in future. How they expect tourists who don't have cars to do this - I don't know.

    Whangarei • Since Jun 2010 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We'd missed the cranes and John Key.

    Figures. I couldn't contain myself.

    Now, memory...going.....where did we see the Dancing Diggers???? Oh yeah. All over.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1457 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Just read the Herald report. Scary. But if 1.5 million think that one line (with a couple of pseudo loops into the city from each direction will satisfy the public transport needs of the city then which planet are they on? If I am correct people had to catch a train INTO Britomart and then OUT to Eden Park??? And all this at the same time as millions were arriving at the waterfront for the big show???

    Jeez Wayne.

    Wellington got it right. The Cake Tin is at the END of the line. So maybe The Mallard Duck's idea of one on the waterfront was not such a bad idea. He may have been thinking along the same lines.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1457 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to bmk,

    The irony is (according to twitter) everyone who drove had no problems are just suggesting that people just drive in future. How they expect tourists who don't have cars to do this - I don't know.

    If you have a car you drive, if you don't you get public transport. Sorted.

    I used to go to Eden Park for donkeys years when there were 30-40,000 for rugby test matches and cricket ODIs. I realise it's a bit different if it's 60,000 but we used to park about 15 minutes away (encountering NO traffic), and then leave quickly (encountering NO traffic). But that was with virtually nobody arriving by public transport, so most of those 30-40,000 were driving.

    What would be useful would be if the authorities spoke more about the capacity for those driving to the games. In other words what would be the number of vehicles/people that can park in the surrounding area within walking distance that isn't going to cause mass disruption and delays. Because the public transport option has been pushed, and pushed and pushed for years to the point where many people probably think it is the only way of getting there. It isn't.

    Since Nov 2006 • 853 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Excuse me? If by that you mean I do actually listen when my partner talks about the industry he’s worked in for over forty five years, yes I do. If you’re insinuating I’m being some kind of political hack – be a darling and shove off.

    Woah. I don't think Jack was saying that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17917 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ross Mason,

    If I am correct people had to catch a train INTO Britomart and then OUT to Eden Park??? And all this at the same time as millions were arriving at the waterfront for the big show???

    Jeez Wayne.

    Yup. In retrospect, it all seems so clear, doesn’t it?

    But what this did show is that Aucklanders will flock to their new waterfront precincts. We need better means of getting them in and out and of handling them while they’re there.

    I really do think that last night showed that the CBD rail loop is a vastly higher priority than Joyce’s stupid bloody Puhoi highway. Auckland needs that upgrade.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17917 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bmk,

    The irony is (according to twitter) everyone who drove had no problems are just suggesting that people just drive in future. How they expect tourists who don't have cars to do this - I don't know.

    Catch a taxi? I did that from the Wynyard Quarter to the friends place we went to for the ceremony and game. It took all of 2 mins to find one, and 10 mins to get back to Grey Lynn. In fact, we were that quick that the people who drove got there 10 mins after us because they had to walk to their car.

    As for the bus ride in, I drove to drop the kids off at my folks place and every single bus stop on the way had 30-40 people waiting at it. Then walked up to the bus stop, using only knowledge acquired 25 years ago as a schoolkid, that it's a good idea to go a stop back down the line, if you want to get there quickly. The bus came in a minute, we all boarded and filled the bus to capacity. We passed the next 5 stops in front of dismayed crowds. When we reached Ponsonby someone on the bus said "Goodness, why don't they walk? It's not that far...", to which another replied "that's easy for us to say, we're on the bus".

    My wife wanted to eat, I suggested Albert St food court, which would have been the best choice (as always, people), being accustomed to being extremely busy, and appearing to be at nothing more than a typically lunch rush. But she wanted a burger so we went to Downtown food court. That was a mistake, it was the most crowded that I have ever seen a food court anywhere in the world. Burger King had about 150 people queuing, so we decided to grab a slice of pizza instead (which took 1 minute to acquire). I attempted a tweet, but it was clear that I was unlikely to get my data connection. Indeed txts were iffy for the next couple of hours, failing up to 10 times in a row.

    We had deliberately left all plans open, because I knew in my gut that what happened last night would happen, that dour kiwis miserably griping about the RWC for months beforehand would turn around in one day, once they came to grips with what is actually happening in the city right now, how we have never had anything this big going on, and it's right here, right now. The advice to travel early given on every sign for 20 miles yesterday was well given and should have been well heeded by anyone expecting to attend a game they had paid for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8009 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to BenWilson,

    Catch a taxi?

    Of course - you are right. Though there would be some critical mass when everyone realises driving/taking taxis is quicker that everything becomes grid-logged.

    Whangarei • Since Jun 2010 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Well said, Ben, well said. And also, I wasn’t there last night, but from the tweets, it seems as if most people had a wonderful time. I can appreciate that some would have been pissed off not to have been let on the wharf, and outside those gates looked really packed, But I think we all knew that would happen, didn’t we? And didn’t we also know that our public transport system would find it hard to cope? I mean, it’s only about five years ago, that the same system was completely underused, for god’s sake. Give everyone a chance to catch up, I say. Hopefully Joyce will get the message – but I doubt it – and in the meantime, let’s live and learn, and be kind to the people who made it work. The people who were doing their jobs under extreme duress probably deserve a big thankyou.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The two things I most wanted to see were the waka arriving, and the procession and mass haka of the 600 warriors. I figured that half an hour from Downtown foodcourt would be sufficient to find somewhere to see these things. I was wrong.

    Half an hour was enough time to get from there to the middle of Quay St (a distance of about 200 meters). The crowd press was that deep. But the vibe was incredible, I could hardly give a stuff, there was that much fascination in a crowd phenomenon like that, where the entire length from Queens wharf to the Wynyard Bridge was shoulder to shoulder from building to fences.

    Spontaneous haka erupted everywhere - several schools had camped prime locations and gave near continual entertainment from vantage points along the strip. The black shirts were everywhere, but so were every other kind, and the demographics were predominantly young, but the full range was present, from newborns strapped to their mums, and pushchair drivers wending their way at the same crawl as everyone else to old folks, everyone milling around without a plan, mostly appearing to be soaking the vibe and just people-watching, with a basic thronging press that was infectious, to say the least.

    Security appeared to be taxed, and were polite but curt. We wended our way gradually toward the Viaduct, a work of about 15 minutes, to see the waka already moored in the harbor, and solid crowds all around the entire Viaduct. Every bollard had some standing on it, like sentinels, gazing out. I had to use my camera like a periscope to work out what was coming up, and spotted the approaching spears of the procession, so we camped down, to watch a very impressive array of Maori pass by over a period of about 20 minutes. We tracked this down - they were unable to outpace the crowd anyway, and the haka from the schoolboys stepped up a notch, tongues lolled, eyes rolled, as they competed school vs school to catch the attention of the warriors passing below. We were unable to see the mass haka - I wasn't sure if they simply changed their plans, and many of the tail end appeared to just do their part as they walked. Footage afterward showed something like a mass haka, but it clearly wasn't 600 people, that had become unfeasible (I think - was anyone else right there to correct me?).

    Then DD began, amidst a general cheer - lots of head bobbing and dancing in front of the huge screen on the side that was working. My wife and I were becoming footsore by this point, and some txt finally located where our friends were, over in Wynyard. We headed over there (15 mins work) and caught up with them as the sun set. Most people were just soaking up the scene.

    Not long after, it became apparent that the beautiful weather had the downside of a very cold night approaching and common sense meant that staying to watch the game there was going to be uncomfortable as hell, since there was nowhere to sit for miles. Thoughts of getting something to eat were dispelled by the 50 person queues at every kiosk, fish and chippery, the restaurants were packed or running private functions, and we hadn't brought anything. The friends' kids were getting cold and antsy, so we left party central to those hardened to rock-concert conditions, and headed to friends house. It took 15 mins to get to Grey Lynn using a taxi, cost $10. It was a no-brainer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8009 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Woah. I don’t think Jack was saying that.

    No, you're probably right but the number of times I get accused of being a partisan sock puppet around these parts I just though I'd shut down that line of attack before it started. As I said, I'm not pretending every thing went perfectly and every FUBAR was unavoidable. That would be taking psychosis to a locked ward level, but I'm just hoping that the mooted inquiry isn't going to end up being an arse-covering witch hunt because I don't think Dave is the only person who would like to see some reality checks written in a public forum not even The Herald can distort or ignore.

    Yes, it's a fucking pain in the arse being in a long line for a bus on a Friday afternoon. But, hey, are you really going to crap on bus companies for not having a lot of excess capability at a time they had other contractual obligations -- i.e. school runs and the thousands of other bus services serving the rest of the city? Really?

    And, yes, while I'll happily concede that service delays were entirely newsworthy do you really think the headlines reflected an entirely appropriate response to fuckwits hitting an emergency stop. And, yes, I make no apologies for getting epically pissed off at the late news acting as if people walking on lines -- Epic RailSafetyFAIL 101! - was no big deal.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I have a dozen ideas for a blog post about all this swimming around in my head, but it's too nice a day for that.

    It was an amazing day for Auckland and although some people had the worst of times, a great many Aucklanders had the best of times too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17917 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

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