Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Minister's Brain Has Exploded

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  • Raymond A Francis,

    Good to see those involved take it on the chin both Len and the Minister and big ups for Len not allowing it to become an insult fest

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    judging by the quick responses on the web yesterday the NZ Education system should be applauded for our knowledge of Italian history

    its not all fail

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    And of course the whole thing only proves what we in the South have always been led to believe "Couldn't run a pissup in a brewery"

    Which as far as I can see is quite unfair, things were not perfect thanks to the huge numbers and the push not to use the roads but no riots and from all accounts huge amount of kiwi goodwill

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Brown showed measure and leadership in his response. It’s a pity those qualities are not more widely shared at the moment.

    Before the ritual McCully thrashing begins, I have to agree with that but would suggest Brown should also be DM'ing Mike Lee. While it may be amusing watching him and McCully having a dick waving contest (if that's your thing), I don't think its at all helpful.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    It's curious to me that people keep saying that we never expected to see 200,000 people turn up. It was obvious a week out that the weather was going to be good and it seemed plain to me that 200,000 was easily achievable. And Len Brown and co. do have to take it on the chin because, for whatever reasons, they did cock it up. Not spectacularly as in a riot, but enough so that there was a bad taste for many people at the end of the night.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yes, it seems like massive overkill for an event that wasn't a disaster, quite the opposite. In fact, it seems banana republic, as parodied here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    John Armstrong appears to have written his column in the Herald whilst wanking over a picture of John Key.

    He should read Fran O’Sullivans actual journalism in the same paper and resolve to keep his masturbatory fantasies more private in future.

    Oh and the other award for spectacular sycophancy in the media has to go the TVNZ’s 6pm news bulletin, where in the most insultingly condescendingly way possible the nations viewers were addressed in a tone of voice and terms usually reserved for the audience at a Wiggles concert that “the Auckland council has dropped the ball children and luckily the big, brave government has wrestled it from them and picked it up! Hurrah for the brave government!”

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes,

    There were a few things wrong with Friday night but mostly it was a pretty awesome evening. The main issues (apart from transport) just seemed to be the utter lack of proper event organisation:

    * No urinals for guys so we had to queue up to use the cubicles making the lines twice as long.
    * No army of people on cleanup duty keeping things at least partially in order (clearing bottles, sweeping up broken glass emptying bins into skips)
    * Lack of 'stewards' or other helpers with radios to help people out, give directions and generally move things along.
    * Lack of medical staff/St Johns
    * Lack of security where it was needed (keeping lanes clear for the haka procession, entries to the ferries clear, etc.)

    Even with 1/2 the crowd thee things were just utterly missing from the surrounding streets of Queens Wharf.

    As for transport, well I just think they should have relied on what we know works and that was the busses. A 'road train' concept starting at the bottom of Symonds street going straight to the game and one on the other side of town would have easily moved the crowds to the game from town. Also adding a lot more busses on key routes such as the Northern busway would have helped. The bus service to the France vs. Japan game worked a treat and should have been able to scale up easily.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • peter mclennan,

    "It seems unlikely that the phenomenal crowding on Friday will happen again" - so lets say the all blacks make the final. What are the crowd predictions for the waterfront when/if that happens?

    AK Central • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    It’s curious to me that people keep saying that we never expected to see 200,000 people turn up. It was obvious a week out that the weather was going to be good and it seemed plain to me that 200,000 was easily achievable.

    I confess, it wasn’t obvious to me. And it was 50,000 more than any official estimate.

    And Len Brown and co. do have to take it on the chin because, for whatever reasons, they did cock it up. Not spectacularly as in a riot, but enough so that there was a bad taste for many people at the end of the night.

    Yep, everyone failed to some extent, like I said. The failure in the first instance – hindsight, yeah – was the location. There simply wasn’t enough room on Quay Street for that many people. But let’s also bear in mind that the area where the real crowd problems happened was on that stretch of Quay Street, and that they were exacerbated by the broken video screen. Over at Wynyard Quarter, and up on K Road, on the other hand, things were a delight.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    John Armstrong appears to have written his column in the Herald whilst wanking over a picture of John Key.

    I wouldn't put it that way, but yes, that's a ridiculous column. Armstrong might need to get out of the Thorndon Bubble occasionally.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to merc,

    Good lord. So now McCully is just pretending that his initial announcement of a government takeover never even happened.

    It was that announcement that took everyone by surprise, and yet it's all their fault for him going off half cocked.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    As Victoria University law lecturer Dean Knight said to News Talk ZB:

    "We’ve got one of the two partners who have collaborated to create a shambles running around loudly now to say that they’re cleaning up the mess.”

    Mr Knight suspects that any good faith that may have existed between the Government and the council will almost certainly have evaporated by Mr McCully’s move.

    Brown seems to be doing his best to maintain the relationship. It would be interesting to hear what he and Sneddon would say about the Govt’s handling of the RWC if they could be completely candid.

    Also, I’ve been harping on about this already, so one more time. McCully said when the story broke:

    Some of my critics have been suggesting I should take responsibility, well I am. I am stepping in to a space that the Government has not previously occupied,” McCully said.

    I think what his critics were asking for more was that he accept responsibility. Admit mistakes were made, including by him, and apologise.The way he announced this “take over” was the opposite.

    Contrast with Len Brown, who was clear on Campbell Live that it was joint responsibility between government and council for both glory and gaffs.

    Edit: "...share equal responsibility for the glory and the grief" was the exact quote.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Siu,

    The localist ad reads, at least on my end, 'Party in Auckland today'. Heh

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Armstrong occasionally writes some interesting stuff, but it has been clear for some time now he is completely besotted with Key at a personal level and all his irritating assumption he knows what voters think is complete tosh. you are right – he needs a holiday out of the bubble, preferably picking apples in Hawke’s Bay with actual human beings or something.

    It would be interesting to hear what he and Sneddon would say about the Govt’s handling of the RWC if they could be completely candid.

    The day after we win the final, a good journalist would try and find out. More likely we will get a piece from John Armstrong proclaiming the PM’s triumph.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    A fine tradition of seizing the wharves, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Waterfront Dispute.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Some of my critics have been suggesting I should take responsibility, well I am. I am stepping in to a space that the Government has not previously occupied,” McCully said.

    I read this as implying that the Govt. has not previously been responsible?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So the council would still to manage the area -- and it's important to understand that this will continue to be the case regardless of anything the minister says

    Not quite. McCully has also introduced central govt operational staff into planning the event in detail, contesting the local CCOs, especially Auckland Transport and ATEED - who I think everyone acknowledges dropped the ball last week.

    You could argue that's a reasonable response for a govt and Minister facing egg on face from foreign leaders and stakeholders whose approval they crave.

    Yesterday's bad faith communication of the takeover is another matter. McCully claims with a straight face that his staff and those govt officials were communicating with Auckland Council's CEO, so it's Doug McKay's fault that Brown was blindsided. A tui billboard beckons. Appearing decisive and shafting Len Brown is red meat for National's voters. There is no way this does not have Steven Joyce's fingerprints all over it. Same for transrail eyes Key, who must be fuming (and firmly pointed the finger at Veolia and has said nothing much since).

    Last night, Len Brown's on-air dignity and focus on getting on with fixing things was remarkable. However, he and the Councillors share responsibility for not adequately verifying the assurances they were fed by the staff who report to them and to the CCO Boards largely appointed by the govt.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to merc,

    I am stepping in to a space that the Government has not previously occupied

    That's the operational planning input I mentioned. Though yes, it's also self-serving avoidance of his previous levels of operational interference. I mean, the colour of the volunteer jackets?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Parks,

    It would be interesting to hear what he and Sneddon would say about the Govt’s handling of the RWC if they could be completely candid.

    I expect that will come after the cup is finished.

    Snap, Tom.

    Did anyone else see "The Games", the comedy series starring John Clarke. It seemed like one that would have been ripe to adapt to here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I wouldn’t put it that way, but yes, that’s a ridiculous column. Armstrong might need to get out of the Thorndon Bubble occasionally.

    Ridiculous enough to go to the Press Council?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Brown seems to be doing his best to maintain the relationship. It would be interesting to hear what he and Sneddon would say about the Govt’s handling of the RWC if they could be completely candid.

    I can tell you with some confidence that it would not be pretty.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Ridiculous enough to go to the Press Council?

    Oh hell, no. It's just a poorly argued column.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Napoleon personally designed his officer's uniforms, just sayin'. The wonder here is that this whole sorry tale of Govt. level incompetence and infighting doesn't bring them down come November.
    I mean really, Auckland, is this Govt. working for you?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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