Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Minister's Brain Has Exploded

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  • Rich Lock, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I have seen greater Police crowd control at the Satan Parade.

    Wow, things really have gone downhill under Red Len.

    Oh, yes. Once the pass the parcel blame music stops, we can burn whoever is left holding the baby in a giant wicker rugby ball at the end of Queens Wharf. A necessary sacrifice to ensure that the harvest is bountiful and that the All Blacks win the world cup.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DeepRed,

    Govt created the conditions for the problem in the first place

    It's certainly a critical piece of the puzzle, and I believe you'll find it sprinkled through RWC threads here.

    Govt interfered with local planning that had been going on for years between the region's various former Councils and associated agencies. There are good people involved. Though undeniably some failure too.

    Main thing is making sure the rest of the RWC visitor experience goes properly. Other stuff can be sorted after that, if dangerous dolts like McCully and Joyce stop playing politics now.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16275 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    3 News has first word on the plans the council has -- as, er, planned -- released a few minutes ago.

    Looks like I was wrong -- Captain Cook wharf will be hastily dressed up as a new fan zone. Fuck knows what they're going to do with that ship that's supposed to be there on the AB-France weekend.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley,

    Joel Cayfords earlier blog post Auckland Rail Blame Game gives some other vital info.

    To put it simply, there was never the capacity in place to move all the crowds, as Joel explains. In operational planning terms, this means there was a significant failure in “staff checks” to see if public transport in Auckland could handle 40-50K going to and from the game as well as 120K (or more) people down town.

    The original plan that had decentralised “fan zones” (dare I use the phrase) but Key and McCully wanted “Party Central”.

    We already knew that there were problems at the ABvsAus test match when it took over 2 hours to clear people via the trains from Eden Park – and there weren’t 1000s of people down town at the same time!

    It appears to me to be quite clear that the operational planning process failed, no one can have “war gamed” (excuse the military term but we are the only ones who formally train and practise this stuff) the options to expose problems and thereby adjust the plans and/or produce robust contingency options.

    The worst thing is that people like Michael Barnett and others had raised concerns/issues about party central concepts 2 years ago but no one listened.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Richard Aston,

    It seems the original decentralized party approach advance by Auckland City was over ridden by government and its party central idea.

    This seems a crucial piece of information that’s got buried – Govt created the conditions for the problem in the first place.

    Yes. The RWC 2011 plan -- devised by Snedden and local authorities -- was for multiple fan zones, with less of an emphasis on the "party". That will still happen to some extent later in the tournament.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Bagsy not look at Kiwiblog to see if they're whinging about "nanny state" taking control...

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    it seems to me that he's also saying that the whole thing could have been avoided, and that the mess was a result of planning.

    It was a radio interview. APNZ's slapdash transcription efforts are the likely culprit.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Deborah,

    Yes, meerkats, soz.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Local and Central Govt really need to get over themselves – they had four years to do it and couldn’t - I can 't see that having more wharf space, extra buses and another layer of bureaucrats to run around and confuse the shit out everybody in Auckland will do much.

    The problem will save itself by the people of Auckland organising themselves in spite of the costly best efforts of Local and Central Govt – we took them at their collective word first - not again.

    Outside of Auckland peoiple seem to have got onto it and done it well without the psychodrama and bullshit that is so Auckland and so Wellington.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Richard Aston,

    It seems the original decentralized party approach advance by Auckland City was over ridden by government and its party central idea. This seems a crucial piece of information that’s got buried – Govt created the conditions for the problem in the first place.

    Indeed.
    Even John Banks was against it. Even though I quoted him above saying...
    "John Banks told Newstalk ZB the Government had swallowed the Council’s plan “hook, line and sinker”, and paid the price."
    The reality was the exact opposite...


    Mayors reject Queens Wharf funding plan

    By Michael Dickison
    1:59 PM Friday Feb 19, 2010

    Auckland ratepayers were expected to foot the bill for building on the site, with a $97 million development including a cruise ship terminal said to be preferred by the Government.
    But that plan was rejected, and three other, cheaper plans for temporary structures also put on hold until a masterplan for the waterfront was developed, said Auckland City mayor John Banks.
    "We don't have to get terribly excited about what will be on Queens Wharf ... there may be some party on Queens Wharf but there will be many parties all over New Zealand and all over Auckland."
    Ponsonby Rd, Parnell Rd, the Viaduct, a revamped Aotea Square and a new maritime events centre on the waterfront would all become "party central", Mr Banks said.

    Let's hope the people of Epsom see through this toad come November.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DexterX,

    The unfettered market will provide! Invisible hand, pink fistmobile, etc, etc.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16275 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Bagsy not look at Kiwiblog to see if they're whinging about "nanny state" taking control...

    Come on, Grant. EVERYONE knows that it's only nanny state when Labour do it.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Aaaaand ...

    The Ministry of Economic Development's consent application.

    Key part is the report, which notes that Queen's Wharf lacked enough capacity to meet demand.

    But, of course, it "worked perfectly" according to the minister.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Captain Cook wharf will be hastily dressed up as a new fan zone

    Did anyone notice that on Friday it actually was some sort of *private* party central anyway ? There were large marquees, big screen and bouncy castles and other childrens entertainment. My kids wanted to go there (and so did I quite frankly).

    Any idea what was going on there ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 344 posts Report Reply

  • perplexed,

    I wonder how Jane Clifton will write her Listener article on this without mentioning McCully. Maybe it is all the fault of the IRB again -
    http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/politics/rwc-2011-is-the-international-rugby-boards-party/

    Wellington • Since Aug 2011 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Sacha,

    Unfettered - But of course - such is the nature of random precision.

    The Auckland Super City is in fact a giant maximum entropy machine that was activated by the Penguin known as “Happy Feet” who under the guise of visiting Wellington Zoo held secret meetings with the our beloved leader First Citizen John Key the First. Happy Feet handed over the secret manual on how to operate the entropy machine to Key who has passed it onto Murray McCully - Special Envoy for Beloved First Citizen

    The problem is that Murray Mcully is reading the manual upside down and that is why the RWC thing hasn’t totally imploded yet – but give him time – he is getting there - some one will walk into his office and turn the manual the right way up, soonish like.

    As for Happy Feet he did not become a Happy Meal - he has in fact been beamed back up to his mother ship leaving no trace.

    Really the whole thing surrounding this is as stupid as the above – but it is a level of stupidity that I have come to expect from living in Auckland.

    As you were.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1174 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Yeah we deserve better, far better, and the money spent, where did that go?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Labour's Jacinda Ardern expresses concerns over the govt's role (while National's cheery Nikki Kaye says there's nothing to see here).

    Since 2009, the Minister responsible for the Rugby World Cup and the Prime Minister have placed a huge amount of emphasis on Party Central. They stood on Queens Wharf, that one way strip with limited capacity for 12,000 that sits right on top of the city's public transport hub, and declared it the place to be for anyone who couldn't make it to the stadium. It was the equivalent of inviting 1.4 million people plus guests to a party and being surprised when we ran out of chairs.

    Perhaps that's why, in the aftermath of the chaos, Murray McCully's response as Minster has struck me as so bizarre. His declaration yesterday that he would be taking control from the council under the emergency powers of the Rugby World Cup legislation somehow implies he didn't have a substantive role or any say over what was going on in the first place. He did, but instead of working alongside the council in partnership to address issues like closing off parts of Quay Street (which the council had already been planning) opening up further capacity along the waterfront, and ensuring substantial extra capacity on the public transport network, McCully has shown that the government does not view itself as a partner with the Mayor, council, and Super City, but rather a master of it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16275 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Any idea what was going on there ?

    Private VIP function for Ports of Auckland and associated hangers-on, I read somewhere.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16275 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to DexterX,

    I just knew there was something deeper to Happy Feet !
    Thanks for the expose Dexter - it all makes sense now.
    Did he sent back a message um like " so long and thanks for all the fish"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 451 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Scoop has excerpted key parts of the report from the MED consent application:

    The Ministry of Economic Development (“the Applicant”) seeks urgent approval to amend the scope of the Queens Wharf Fanzone, Festival and Showcase event and associated public access arrangements during the Rugby World Cup 2011 (“RWC 2011”). The need for this approval is a result of issues concerning the capacity of Queens Wharf (set at 14,000) and around Quay Street and the unprecedented levels of public attendance that were experienced during the RWC 2011 opening night celebrations on 9 September 2011. Those capacity limitations resulted in large queues outside the Queens Wharf entrance, and these extended for a significant distance along Quay Street and surrounding areas. There were considerable health and safety risks for members of the public gathered around the Auckland Waterfront and Queens Wharf on opening night. The proximity of the large waterfront crowd to the ferry terminal and railway station also caused significant disruption to the public transport services that are essential to the proper delivery of the Rugby World Cup and the movement of patrons to and from Eden Park.
    […]

    The Applicant proposes to provide additional crowd space, if required, on Captain Cook Wharf, to the immediate east of Queens Wharf. The Applicant is also planning for the closure of parts of Quay Street. It is proposed to close Quay Street from the intersection of Lower Albert Street to the intersection with Britomart Place, and possibly as far east as Tinley Street. This road closure will be accompanied by traffic management safety treatments and both fixed and variable signage designed to direct both vehicles and pedestrians. The applicant plans to install temporary public toilet facilities along the closed area of Quay Street to ensure that the needs of any assembled crowd can be catered for. The application for the closure of Quay Street is the subject of a separate approval process that is being dealt with by Auckland Transport.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just tweeted by Josh Arbury, not sure of source:

    Council CEO says McCully's announcement took him by surprise & council doesn't need RWC legislation to expand fanzines.

    I really hope this gets as much air as McCully's bogus claim that he'd told the CEO. McCully just looks to have lied about this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Did anyone notice that on Friday it actually was some sort of *private* party central anyway ?

    I was told at the time by someone who was supposed to be there that it was to do with the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum This page from Oxfam lists events at the "Cloud" until the 8th. I got the impression that the Forums own "Party Central" was moved to Captain Cook wharf, although I can find no "official" notice of this.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    McCully has shown that the government does not view itself as a partner with the Mayor, council, and Super City, but rather a master of it.

    This. But Jacinda will now be accused of "politicizing the RWC". Labour is probably best off to just say they support the All Blacks, are enjoying the games and the international company, keep out of the mess, which is imploding (I still can't really figure out why, since it's not like anything at all disastrous of note actually fucking happened), and cash in later. There will be plenty of grist for their traditional tax-and-invest base, particularly around public transport.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The application for the closure of Quay Street is the subject of a separate approval process that is being dealt with by Auckland Transport

    Wasn't that the aspect McCully claimed needed his special intervention?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16275 posts Report Reply

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