Murray McCully needs to front up and take responsibility for Auckland’s World Cup opening transport chaos (now very much in the international news e.g. here, here, here, here, here). Here’s what McCully was saying on Friday morning:
RWC won’t break down Auckland’s transport – McCully
Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully has assured Aucklanders their city won’t grind to a halt during massive opening night celebrations. …
Sceptical Aucklanders have voiced concerns the train service will break down and roads will clog up with so much traffic that cars will be brought to a standstill. Mr McCully said he had faith transport would run smoothly.
“Logistically, we’ve done our best to make sure we’ve got those contingencies covered,” he said. ”We’ve got all of the people that have a role to play talking to each other over many months now so I think we’re as well prepared as we can be.”
Well that turned out to be as accurate as most of the Nats’ promises and predictions.
Interviewed next morning on “The Nation” (video) McCully had nothing but evasions and excuses. He even refused to apologise to ticket holders who were unable to make it to the game (around 7:15 in the video, also here, here). ”Hard hitting” interviewer Sean Plunket followed up by asking McCully what he thought of the game.
McCully is Minister for the RWC. He claimed the government had done “their best” and assured Auckland that the transport systems were ready to go. He was wrong in every respect.
McCully now needs to front up and get three things right. First, a proper apology to the opening night crowds. Second, get transport sorted in the short term for the remainder of the RWC. And third, heed the warning on Auckland’s creaking public transport system. Mayor Len Brown has set out ambitious plans for Auckland’s rail system. Instead of throwing money at holiday highways, the government needs to address public transport in Auckland. Heed the warning, so that this mess never happens again.