What a silly story. It tells us nothing unusual.
Entered Eden Park during Thursday’s cricket international between New Zealand and Australia dressed as construction workers – wearing hard hats and reflector vests hired from a costume shop. Despite having no tickets or ID, the two reporters had unfettered access to construction areas and other restricted zones within the stadium
The getting in without a ticket is silly. Does the SST really think terrorists can’t afford to buy a ticket?
And the access to construction areas in a big yawn also. One could leave a bomb in a bathroom just as easily. And as I said yesterday, one could fake an ID given five minutes anyway.
I take it as a given that if someone really wanted to smuggle a bomb into a provincial rugby match, they could do so. The protection is that the probability of someone wanting to do so is miniscule.
If you really wanted to minimise someone getting a bomb in, you would have metal detectors, frisking of fans, passport level security for staff and contractors IDs etc etc. Now that level of security might be practical and justified for a Rugby World Cup match, but it is ridicolous for provincial rugby matches.
The Australian players are particularly concerned about security right now, following threats by al Qaeda against this month’s IPL tournament in India, and have demanded that rigid security be put in place before they take part in the tour.
And this is the key difference. The tour is in India. New Zealand is not India. India has a long history of violent rebels, of armed conflict, of lethal religious tensions, and in this case there have been specific threats.
If the Gore Liberation Front started shooting government officials, and threatened a campaign of bombings against rugby games, then I would expect security to change.
Took toy explosives and detonators, as well as alcohol, in a bag and on the body, into Waikato Stadium during the March 5 Chiefs-Reds Super 14 rugby game, with Red Badge security staff failing to search one reporter’s bag. He walked freely around all parts of the stadium, approached the Reds’ bench and shook hands with a team manager, entered the VIP corporate box area and spoke with boxer David Tua, got players including All Black Sitiveni Sivivatu to sign the bag containing the toy explosives and walked unchallenged through the players’ tunnel, getting within a metre of the changing rooms before finally being asked to leave by a security guard.
Oh wow. And one could also get within a metre of them at the after match bar the team goes out to. One could also get a fake bomb in a bag within a metre of the Prime Minister (no doubt their next stunt) at most of the many public engagements he undertakes.
New Zealand is not a country that has security based on paranoia. It is based on credible threat. I do not want to live in a country where I get x-rayed going to the local rugby match. Bizarrely, the Sunday Star-Times does.