Len Brown still doesn’t get it. From the Mayors comments that I heard at the weekend. He was implying that the issues won’t happen again due to the fact there won’t be a fireworks display before the final, thus the implication – the trains will run ok.
I suspect as long as there is no owning of the problem, very little will be different.
They must be prepared for at least the same number of people going on the trains to the final, party or no party.
From a PR perspective they must also give assurances they can cope with the same number of people if not more using the system eg using more carriages and also having security on the trains.
Nice try, but I don’t think the Government can completely avoid criticism here. The fiasco on Friday was not new or unforeseeable. Exactly the same thing happened in November when U2 played Mt Smart, and that was only 40,000 or so people.
I don’t believe for one second that the Government simply asked the Council to sort out the trains, and then left them to it. Not with the planning that has gone into all other aspects of the World Cup.
So by all means blame the Council, it is after all their city. But the Government does not deserve a free pass for this.
“The review is being carried out by Auckland Transport chairman Mark Ford, who gave councillors an assurance on Thursday that every eventuality had been planned for and only an act of God would stop a smooth passage to the game.
“Auckland Transport council chief executive David Warburton is assisting Mr Ford with the review, which will be completed tomorrow.”
This so-called review of Friday’s rail problems doesn’t exactly give me any confidence. Auckland Transport was the very entity that failed to ensure the security and reliability of its own rail services on Friday evening. Now the Chairman and the Interim Chief Executive of that same organisation are to carry out a review into what went wrong on their own watch. That can result in only one outcome – more finger-pointing in any direction other than at Auckland Transport.
These people in Len Brown’s structure seem to understand none of the basic principles of sound governance. And Brown himself should insist on disinterested leadership of a properly-constituted review.
It’s quite funny to see everyone play the blame game or running away from any responsibility.
Let’s flip it around: who would be standing up to take the credit if Auckland hosted these games with no problems?
Of course it’s no one person’s fault – decades of ‘reform’ to improve ‘accountability’ have made sure that could never be the case.
The train problems seem operational – with a number of contributing factors that should be fixed relatively easily. The main failure seems to be the much-lauded Party Central – is there anything that can fix that properly before I come up to enjoy the final?
Pauleastbay nails it: “Auckland is a car town, not a train town, always has been and always will be.”
Stick your trains where the global warming sun don’t shine and build us lots of roads, BIG ROADS. We pay the TAX, so we should get what we want, not what stupid Len wants
Having the mayor, who has the ultimate responsibility for Auckland Transport, encourage everyone to leave their car behind and take the train, but then take a car himself was a very silly decision.
Taking the car was a smart decision, given that crowd volumes were way beyond what planners said they would be.
A far more serious issue that no one seems to be sticking their hand up for is fundamental lack of crowd control. We could have had another Hillsborough stadium type disaster there. It had all the ingredients – a massive unexpected crowd, no communication, immovable steel barriers and tv screens, no organised ticketing for Queens Wharf, unlimited supplies of alcohol.
Meanwhile, Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett had it all figured out and he knew all along exactly how many boozy rugby people were going to be at the opening night fiasco, and he’s shocked that anyone could have estimated it wrongly.
Any modelling of the convergence of people arriving into Britomart in huge numbers while huge numbers were trying to leave for Eden Park would have revealed that the rail system would fail. But the “mythical concept” is that rail solves all problems, and to admit doubt is a heresy. The Taxis of Auckland carry more public transport trips per year than rail ever will, but they were told they were not needed because rail and buses would cope.
Taxis are cars and hence ‘unblessed’.
Rail systems are inherently fragile and only seemed reliable were cars and buses weren’t.
Visions and Myths are no substitute for sound analysis.
The normal pattern is that the actual analysts and engineers etc sound all the warning about the weakness of rail but are over ridden by the “myth makers”.. But when their predictions prove correct the engineers get the blame.
Shouldn’t there be some recognition of Lew Pryme’s remarkable achievement in getting the Rugby World Cup off the ground back in 1987?
Lew Pryme used to have his offices in Newmarket. He was a talent agent, and my wife Jenny Parkinson was on his books, and so we got to know him well.
Sometime in the early eighties, while I was President of the Newmarket Business Association, I was crossing Broadway from Smith and Caughey’s to Saks when Lew came up to me and said “I am thinking of launching a World Cup from NZ. What do you think?”
the country, and if anyone could do it, he was the man.
He was certainly in the right place at the right time. I notice that no one talks about whose idea it all was, and who put in those early efforts. I hope it has nothing to do with his death from AIDS in 1990. As I recall he was also an Auckland City Councillor – but maybe not.
HIs motivation was that the South African tours had damaged the Rugby brand for many families in New Zealand and was turning off young people in droves. He wanted something to put that in the past and to present a more “modern” image recognising that Sport was now part of the entertainment global industry. He thought that by extending Rugby contacts onto the world stage the South African issue would be defused.
When he died, Jenny sent a card to his family saying he had been successful beyond his dreams.
“The eighties saw Pryme moving into the sports arena, following a controversial decision by the Auckland Rugby Union to appoint him as their first Executive Director.
He combined entertainment and sport by introducing cheerleaders, rock ‘n roll acts and music to entertain the crowds in 1986. During this period he also co-hosted a regular radio rugby show with Tim Bickerstaff.
Pryme kept his private life private, telling few of the sporting people he worked with that he was gay.
In the late eighties both he and his long time partner, were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. His partner died on April 16 1990 and Pryme passed away a week later – still essentially ‘in the closet’.”
I do hope that the complete news black out on the origins of the First World Cup is not because his Gay life and death from Aids does not sit well with the preferred image of the game – and the normal range of Rugby Heroes.
Surely, we have grown up enough to recognise people on their merits. Lew was truly one of nature’s gentlemen.
And it was a brave decision of the Board to appoint him Executive Director. I don’t think they were aware of his sexual preferences – it was more the blond hair and career as a pop singer etc.
He stood for Auckland City Council but am not sure whether he was elected or not. Someone out their will know.
@RRM, that would be the same Chamber of Commerce that issued this release back in February:
Auckland Transport “Will be Ready” for Rugby World Cup 2011
A huge amount of work has been done over the past year and will continue this year to make sure Auckland transport is ready for the Rugby World Cup 2011 – “and I have total confidence we will be ready and able to provide a first class service for visitors and get maximum benefit from hosting the event,” said Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett.
Mr Barnett, who is planning co-ordinator for Auckland’s RWC arrangements, was commenting on a Wellington report today that Auckland is not ready to cope with the more than 60,000 overseas visitors expected to flood the city for the 2011 RWC.
Fundamentally, the problem is with the location of Eden Park.
However… This problem was compounded exponentially by the fact that Auckland has only one public transport “Hub” – Britomart in the CBD. Trains, Ferries, Buses – all require you to pass through that particular choke point. …and some genius decided that it would be a smart idea to throw a 200,000 strong party right on top of it, precisely when it was being expected to cope with an unprecedented load.
Setting aside the issue that the rail system wasn’t up to it, there was one considerable issue to all spectators at the Viaduct and the Cloud and that was there weren’t enough tiolets. Towards the end of the evening the CBD was awash with urine from a rather inebriated crowd.