Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Chill out: it's a party

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  • George Darroch,

    I was in town Saturday night. I had a very good time. After the game, the streets and bars were filled with happy people. Even the Australians were cheerful, considering (they need to drink for a while first). At 3am, when I was calling it quits, things were still lively, and the rows of portaloos provided for excessive crowds were particularly convenient.

    Not everyone's idea of paradise, but it you couldn't deny the atmosphere. And having roads closed meant that people could amble, not having to worry about shuttling from one destination to the next. Nor worry about a constant stream of cars. I suspect that every weekend will be like this, with the semis and final particularly so.

    If it means that Auckland (New Zealand, to some extent), is learning how to run a party properly, then this is an entirely good thing. I can see these roads closed again, and perhaps Courtenay Place being pedestrianised when people turn out during big events.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Maybe someone should look at closing New North Road along the Kingsland strip on game nights

    You'd think. The Herald story references the Council CEO about why not.

    Auckland management committee chairman Doug McKay said thought had been given to closing a section of New North Rd at Kingsland but the police wanted it kept open for emergency services.

    I'd welcome more detail about their reasoning, and about how this compares with previous publicity that the strip would be made pedestrian-only.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    learning something...

    I'd welcome more detail about their reasoning, and about how this compares with previous publicity that the strip would be made pedestrian-only.

    ...or perhaps not.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    My head hurts ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6346 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just found this excellent coverage of opening night frolics in Auckland, from some outfit called Zonic.tv:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    I’d welcome more detail about their reasoning,

    Ok, you get the details, I'll get the beers.
    We can sort it all out at the "After Cup Debriefing", we could call that the ACD if you prefer. You can then tell us about your "Post Party Analysis" or PPA and we can tell you about the fun we had, our FUN.
    I, myself, am looking forward to an Irish All Black final and don't give a damn about the probabilities.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    It has been one of the best things so far about the RWC that fans appear to be just happy to see good Rugby and happy to have a party afterwards. Chatting to couple of cops last Sunday and their biggest worry on opening night was the folks with pushchairs and very young kids getting overwhelmed in the crowd.

    Overall the whole thing seems to be going very well. If some bits could be done better then that's because everyone is learning a bit as we go along, nothing wrong with that really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Kiwi-can to-do attitude...

    When they finally did find something worthy of their time – a young woman with a single white Steinlager can – the slightly-built offender was rushed away by three large men.

    Probably renditioned to Heineken's Camp Can-Contaminato, or whisked off to their Red Star Chamber to be fined to the maximum allowed under the Special Laws for compromising a "clean official sponsor zone"...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And hey, at least it's not like the 1960 Hastings Blossom Festival.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Maybe someone should look at closing New North Road along the Kingsland strip on game nights

    Kinda shocked it isn't. I heard Bond St was, is that right?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1722 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Everyone having fun doesn't make for exciting news stories. Much better to keep harping on endlessly about how terrible it all was and, by extension, how awful we are as a nation at trying to do anything that them overseas can do better. Much like the All Blacks themselves - much more interesting to obsess about "rotation" than actually enjoy how well they are playing and how talented they are at playing any position at any time. Relax and enjoy.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    We can sort it all out at the "After Cup Debriefing"

    chill man, it's just a party

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Classic. Love the bogans in the van pulling a huge burnout. But what happened to the half naked barbarian woman on the side, that used to be obligatory? They just looked like their van had been tagged. And there's never been a better time to wear black t-shirts and jeans!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Moral panic in the wake of this incident inflated it in the popular imagination to a full-scale riot instigated by rebellious young people.

    Priceless*. I imagine in years to come we'll be talking about people rioting up Queen Street as Dave Dobbyn took to the stage.

    Wait, what?

    * Ben had already used classic. Doh!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    Everyone having fun doesn't make for exciting news stories.

    It does break the dour narrative that televized news seems to be all about. But I'd have thought "Biggest party ever in NZ" would have been great news, made for great footage. Certainly a lot better than "We could have had trouble! OMFG, Auckland suxorz".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Tapu Misa quotes me in her column but sort of misses my point.

    Happy as I am for anyone to bag the minister, I'm not really up for complaining about how no one's allowed to complain. Because it seems to me that everyone's complaining.

    Even Misa admits to coming into town on opening day, staying 10 hours (I think i'd be "over it" by midnight too) and having her teenage son shush her when she complained about some public drunkenness because "He didn't want me to ruin his perfect memory of the night."

    Any place you've voluntarily stayed at for 10 hours can't be that bad, surely.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "He didn't want me to ruin his perfect memory of the night."

    She totally undermined her own point with that line. It was one of the things I most loved about opening night, that the crowd was young and determined to party, against all odds. Because they wanted to party. Not because anyone with a voice was telling them to. Or not to. It was a massive celebration of a traditionally apolitical group cheering out that they exist, and they want to have fun. I loved seeing it, and I'm really enjoying the way it's bringing people out.

    Yesterday I was a bit bummed about Samoa losing. This morning I chatted to my elderly Samoan neighbor, and said "Sorry about the Wales game, bad luck, eh?". He just laughed and said "Nah, Wales played good and hard. And we've still got the All Blacks".

    Assuredly, the RWC is taking focus from the elections, but I don't think it's doing it in a way that particularly benefits any party. Indeed, I think the massive energization that's happening right now could translate into a will to participate, which could have very surprising effects, if it penetrates youthwards.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Tapu Misa quotes me in her column but sort of misses my point.

    Oh, Tapu… love you, love your work, build a bridge and get the frak over yourself. I’m sorry, but a particularly tiresome columnist trope is how they’re having their dissent crushed by… well, abso-fucking-loutely nothing in the pages of the only daily newspaper in New Zealand’s largest media market (and a well-patronised website).

    Perhaps her son just didn’t want to be seen standing next to the killjoy nana, which probably proves nothing more than she birthed a fairly typical teenager.

    ETA: BTW, my David worked on Saturday night and when he rolled in at 2.30am he said the most eventful thing that happened was helping to steer a couple of benignly drunk Irishmen towards a taxi rack.

    ETA2: One more thing, this really fucks me off too:

    The election is just over nine weeks away, but good luck to anyone trying to get the country focused on anything else for the next five weeks.

    Yeah, Tapu, it's not as if The Herald had editors who could have decided the "Minister of Bad Manners" story had no news value. I really love the way media folks act as if they've no influence over their own editorial and news judgement. Do magic elves assemble newspapers, television news and radio bulletins?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    how they're having their dissent crushed by

    ...their own children. Out of the mouths of babes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Grevers,

    There is something about the Irish – reports from publicans after the Ireland/USA game in New Plymouth said that while they drink heavily, they do not get aggro or stupid when drunk*. Instead they get happier and mellow. It would make an interesting study as to whether response to alcohol was cultural or genetic/ethnic, but unfortunately it might get shot down as eugenics research.

    * Taranaki Daily News on 12th or 13th Sept – I can’t find locate the article via Stuff’s useless search function. The report said Crowded House sports bar had a record night - the previous record being the NZ-Ireland test last year.

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm rather bemused how a gossip item in the bowels of the Sydney Morning Herald (and which was deemed to require no further coverage there) got turned into some demented diplomatic non-troversy by... well, The New Zealand Herald among others.

    Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but it would be really nice if the Herald would engage in some honest self-reflection about whether it adds value to public discourse. Just once.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    magic elves

    outsourced

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yesterday I was a bit bummed about Samoa losing. This morning I chatted to my elderly Samoan neighbor, and said "Sorry about the Wales game, bad luck, eh?". He just laughed and said "Nah, Wales played good and hard. And we've still got the All Blacks".

    There was a great tweet mid-way through yesterday's game about the oddity of a Samoan player with a Welsh name, my namesake, playing a Welsh player with a Samoan name... however it was Faletau who's Tongan.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2239 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    from Balls to Ballot...

    Assuredly, the RWC is taking focus from the elections, but I don't think it's doing it in a way that particularly benefits any party.

    Billboards aside, is anyone actually campaigning?
    Kinda reminds me of what happened in Chchch Council Elections - campaigning went out the window, Parker didn't engage with voters on any issues other than being the face of the quake and they went with the default status quo - I do hope that doesn't happen with the General Election... too many important issues on the table to just default to Smiley John...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Grevers, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    There is a single upside to Smiley John: Thoughts of "that nice Mr Key" might divert the wizened from voting for "That nice Mr Peters".

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

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