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Garner rips useless Nats

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, September 15th, 2011 - 76 comments
Categories: disaster, john key, sport, transport - Tags: , ,

Duncan Garner has demolished the government’s disgraceful excuse-making over its woeful lack of preparation  for the World Cup:

For the Government to point the finger at the Auckland Council for the debacle on the woeful Waterfront last Friday is a cop-out.

It’s not just the fault of the hopeless Council. Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully must share the blame. Party Central was his Government’s idea. His Government and the Council invited the world to join the party at the Waterfront last Friday.

The Rugby World Cup is the third biggest sporting event on earth. Why was anyone surprised when hundreds of thousands turned up? I was there. It was scary. It was a disgrace. There were few police. There were no barriers. It was NOT family friendly. It was a tragedy waiting to happen.

And that’s just Party Central. That’s the bit the Government was responsible for. Don’t forget that.

Waka rowers get beaten up by the crowd and John Key says everything went perfectly. What a clown.

The transport was equally as bad. The train issue has been widely reported. But the buses haven’t. There were no buses. It was not obvious where the buses were leaving from.

This has to change. International tourists were asking me where the buses to Eden Park were. I was embarrassed I didn’t know. I told them to follow me as we walked up Queen Street – hoping like hell we’d find one. We did. One, I repeat, one bus, was sitting outside the Civic Theatre.

National took public transport out of the Council’s control and gave it to an autonomous body, Auckland Transport. National appointed the people to run that organisation.

It was like inviting 500 people to your house for a party. Only 50 could fit into the room. And worse still, you’d only catered for 20.

McCully is a micro-manager. He always has been. He even chose the colour of the volunteers’ uniform.

As Trevor Mallard said, maybe McCully should have spent more time on the real planning and less time picking the colour of the shirt for Key to mince in. And, given what happened on Friday, doesn’t that video now stand as the ultimate example of show over substance from Key.

The success of this World Cup, both on and off the field, is crucial to National’s re-election campaign. That’s why they linked the Pacific Islands Forum to the Opening Ceremony. That’s why all the leaders wore black. That’s why Key spoke at the Opening Ceremony. An unsuccessful tournament will affect National. It has hitched it’s re-election horse to this event, well and truly.

But that was then – this is now – and it’s all changed.

So what to make of McCully’s takeover of the Auckland waterfront under the RWC legislation?

Well firstly, his decision to snub Len Brown yesterday by not telling him of the decision is remarkably arrogant in my opinion.

Brown and his Council are partners in all this. Sure, they both got it woefully wrong last Friday, but surely a phone call – or shared press conference was the minimum required.

By taking the tournament over, McCully can’t really lose. Never again will 200,000 people descend on the waterfront, so McCully is safe there.

How many are they planning for a final with the All Blacks in it? 50,000 like last Friday?

More buses will be put on. The trains are arguably still the weak point, but no doubt they will be less trouble than last Friday. So McCully will probably look successful this weekend, and for the rest of the tournament, because the pressure point has been and gone. He really can’t lose.

But in my view, he has already lost and so has the Council.

Last weekend has left a bitter taste in many mouths. Party Central looks great, but it was never built for 200,000 people.

Wouldn’t fan zones in other parts of Auckland have been a great idea to take the pressure off the waterfront? It would also take the pressure off the transport systems. Why was the “big screen” set up across the road rather than down the side of the road? It effectively cut off fifty thousand people. Half the crowd was looking into the back of the wires? Who allowed that to happen?

Party Central appears like a great concept. But in so many ways it’s flawed, largely because it’s 4.5 kms away from Eden Park. It’s so damn hard to get from one to the other. A waterfront stadium would have solved this problem.

Funny, The Standard has been mocking this idea from the start. Nice to see everyone else catching up. Also, Labour proposed a Waterfront stadium. National kicked up such a fuss it got dropped.

Auckland needed a legacy after this Rugby World Cup. A downtown or waterfront stadium would have been that legacy. … We got the collapsible Cloud worth $9.5m and a half arsed upgrade of Eden Park, with seats that will come down on October 24, the day after the final. We have a few upgraded provincial stadiums. So what.

But we will be left with an argument over what to do with Queens Wharf – a huge Auckland stadium that can’t host concerts because it’s in the suburbs, and a train system that is no better than what it was before the World Cup.

That’s the legacy of this World Cup. Hopeless central and local body politicians who failed to take a big decision when it mattered – who failed to give us a legacy.

That’s what you get when you put a donkey in charge.

76 comments on “Garner rips useless Nats”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    A fully kitted out, double tracked electrified train system in AKL would have been the best, most lasting legacy of this world cup. A modern city kitted out with a modern public transport system able to handle large modern events with aplomb.

    Too bad thinking about waka and big screens is about the limit of the country’s abilities to plan ahead nowadays.

    • infused 1.1

      Or not having a stadium in the middle of no-where.

    • HC 1.2

      CV: Maybe this can be done? Perhaps talk to and sign up a big deal with Siemens, enter a “joint venture” (taking ideas and technology based here to SE Asia and further) and build it right here for future transport developments. They got peed off by China stealing some of their technology, NZ is supposed to be “honest’, so why not try and get somewhere.

      They may build a “trial system” for next to nothing to show off to other interested parties?

      Perhaps allow in a thousand highly qualified migrants from Germany to get things moving, rather than simply rely on Pacific quota and family category immigration from certain other countries to make the numbers?

      What a bloody daring thought? Perhaps at last NZ gains and gets ahead somehow?

      We can only help the worse off if we can help ourselves and manage our affairs better, so we must the the migration balance right, for sure! The rest may come pretty much free of charge. What has NZ to lose, we already lost so bloody much!

      Deport McCully, Key and Joyce for a start, they are no bloody good, are they!?

      • Ianupnorth 1.2.1

        Seimens don’t fund the Nats or the IRB, but heineken does, spots the synergies!

        • HC

          Maybe the chief organisers AND Murray McGully get free supplies of Heineker for the whole RWC period? That may explain the poor performance of some, especially that of the micro managing minister. He may have been too busy drinking and too drunk for most of the time, so he may actually have been unable to do his job.

    • In Vino Veritas 1.3

      Light rail Colonial? Hasnt that been a disaster in other places round the world? My recollection (flawed as it may be in my old age) is the Edinburgh were going to spend $870m and with three quarters of the budget gone and only a third of the infrastructure in place, they’ve decided to drastically shorten the routes. Even then they need to stump up with another $438m.
      How ’bout St Clair, Toronto, Canada? Estimated costs $48m, final $106m. Cost over runs are all too common and if the central government doesnt come up with the funding, guess which mugs have to put in? Light rail is notoriously expensive. It is not also a panacea, since it doesnt magically make people stop driving cars.

  2. For a start its not the third biggest event on earth, it wasnt a tragic event, no one died, a bunch of drunken rugby fans keep pussing stop buttons on trains and a small percentage people missed the opening ceremony which consisted of a snot face punk ass kid, who directly copied the girl from the 2000 olympic ceremony in Australia.

    Its not tragic that someone missed a rugby match.

    • Kevin Welsh 2.1

      Fucking hell Brett. For once I agree with you.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      Seems I’m not the only one who saw the “rugby boy” for what it was – direct plagiarism from Australia, and not nearly as well done.

      I liked how the media was saying the boy was going to be “a big star” in the future. All he did was run around a stadium for a few minutes and get suspended by some wires.

      In contrast, the Oz 2000 Olympics girl actually displayed her singing talent and made a truly memorable opening ceremony. This silly thing will be forgotten in 6 months time.


    • bbfloyd 2.3

      little brett…. you do realise that you’ve just exposed yourself to the world as a whining, ignorant, halfwitted, reactionary dittohead,…… don’t you?

      you do realise that you’ve effectively given credence to every criticism made on the governments behavior since they were handed this golden opportunity to showcase nz?

      yes, it is a shambles…. exactly as people in positions to know have been warning it would be… yes, johnny sparkle and his pet mauricehound have blatantly milked every perceived political advantage out of it……

      yes…. it has been noted by the leaders of the pacific forum how sparkle pants tried to use them as props for his little charades… to the point of making complaints about it( denigrated by the herald for it), but were obviously feeling put on enough to break protocol and speak out….

      yes…. they have behaved like overindulged,immature boys in showing a complete inability to accept responsibility…. using our “fourth column” to shift blame elsewhere…

      and no…. nobody was fooled for a second… except for a few deluded, and possibly mentally challenged reactionary tragics….

      the tragedy is that, yet again, new zealands reputation takes another hammering…. the ordinary people of this country will do us proud, as usual, and make people feel welcome, and leave good impressions with our guests from around the world…. but don’t kid yourself…. these people aren’t total fools…… they know a con job when they see one…. and johnny has shown himself for what he is… a great big nothing……

      we can now confidently assert that without sparkles and morrie the poodle,, this would have been massively better organised…. but we have now watched our democratically (popularly)elected mayor, and council,( that have been set up with a structure that has been imposed on us by the same people criticising that same structure)…. publicly, and mercilessly humiliated for no more than political expedience…..

      “craven dogs” is the only accurate description for these cowards…..

      • Brett Dale 2.3.1


        That’s what she said.

      • HC 2.3.2

        What an utter embarrasment it was to see John Key seize the opportunity to manipulate the Pacific Forum leaders into wearing absolutely ugly black jackets and pants, vaguely but not properly resembling All Black uniforms. What a waste of money on that too. As I heard, all the attending leaders were very embarrassed about wearing these. John Key as fashion expert? No thanks!

    • RedLogix 2.4

      Its not tragic that someone missed a rugby match.

      True, no-one died. But many people who were there feel that this was more a matter of good luck than good management. Think back to the English football stadium disasters; those places had been operating unsafely for years before fate caught up with them. Did that make them safe? No… just accidents waiting to happen.

      Safe event management and crowd control are these days well understood, well proven protocols… there is no excuse for an event of this magnitude to even faintly whiff of incompetence.

      • Brett Dale 2.4.1


        It didnt happen though.

        • Lanthanide

          I guess the September 4th earthquake wasn’t a tragedy either, then.

          • Brett Dale


            Your comparing the stept4th earthquake with people missing a rugby game?

            • Lanthanide

              You simply said that something isn’t a tragedy unless someone died.

              No one died in the September 4th quake, so following your statement to its logical conclusion, it can’t have been a tragedy.

              I’m just pointing out the logical conclusion of your statement. If you don’t agree with that logical conclusion, perhaps you should change your statement.

              • Vicky32

                You simply said that something isn’t a tragedy unless someone died.
                No one died in the September 4th quake, so following your statement to its logical conclusion, it can’t have been a tragedy.

                Sadly, I have to agree with Brett. A tragedy, pretty much by defintion is when someone dies, or lots of someones, or truly awful life-changing events (such as being disfigured or disabled in an accident) happen to someone. Missing a sodding thugby match doesn’t begin to compare! RedLogix points out that something like the Hillsborough disaster could have happened – but it didn’t.

                • Hanswurst

                  Garner writes that, due to the lack of barriers and relative lack of police, “It was a tragedy waiting to happen.” That is actually pretty much what you have just written, i. e. “Something bad that could have happened but didn’t.”

                  • rosy

                    So your expectations are so low that if a tragedy didn’t happen, it’s a success. Good on you – easily pleased.

                    • Hanswurst

                      No, that has nothing to do with what I was saying. I was pointing out that all this bluster on the part of Brett Dale about “tragedy” being hyperbole is a trivial waste of time, because that isn’t what Garner wrote. Garner was saying that, as someone who was there, he felt that there was the potential for a real tragedy – people being seriously injured or killed. That statement had nothing to do with missing the rugby.

                    • rosy

                      Sorry Hanswurst, yes I agree with you, I don’t agree that the chaos is something to dismiss just because there wasn’t a tragedy. It was poor planning and poor management. Everyone who was there deserved better IMO.

                  • insider

                    OMIGOD! a tabloid jounalist thought SOMEONE COULD HAVE DIED!!! That must make it true, because he is qualified as a guy who appears on TV!!

            • Mutante

              Brett, are you having some sort of competition with Pete George for the most mind-numbingly tedious poster of the year or something?

          • Vicky32

            I guess the September 4th earthquake wasn’t a tragedy either, then.

            Oh come on, don’t be so precious! That’s not what he said… and no, compared to the Feb 22nd earthquake, and the March 8 Japanese earthquake, the Sep 4th one wasn’t. A tragedy is when people die, not when houses get disturbed!

        • RedLogix

          Even you know that’s a pathetic evasion Brett.

          Directly analogous to telling a cop whose just caught you driving down a suburban street at 120k that it’s all ok because….’no-one was killed’.

          • Brett Dale

            They didn’t break a law though?

            Don t get me wrong it was a fuck up, but its not tragic that someone missed a rugby game.

            • McFlock

              Actually they probably did break several laws: safety and health in the workplace (insufficient hazard management i.e. crowd control), Sale of Liquor Act (grossly intoxicated persons served/on premises), criminal nuisance/reckless endagerment (poor crowd control and drunk people in close proximity to a harbour), and so on.

              Not that I expect anything to happen as a result.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.5

      Tragedy; tragic: It doesn’t have to do with death.
      Farce is another good word or I suppose we could always call it a black comedy although that, IMO, doesn’t really fit as well.

      • Brett Dale 2.5.1


        A tragic event is something causes pain and suffering to people. I would call what happened last week, a muck up, a balls up, poor planning, hard luck for those people, but its not tragic.

        • Draco T Bastard

          As you obviously didn’t read the definition.

          a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme,

          the tragic element of drama, of literature generally, or of life

        • Lanthanide

          “A tragic event is something causes pain and suffering to people.”

          Waka participants being put into hospital after being bashed by drunken crowds aren’t suffering and have no pain, I suppose?

          • Brett Dale


            That was disgusting, and I hope those child and woman bashers get arrested and face a long jail sentence.

            • McFlock

              Before you get too distracted by your right-wing tendency to demand medieval punishments for all offenses, please answer L’s question.

              • McFlock

                Medieval punishments???

                I do hope they get jail sentences for physically assaulting people. It was awful with what happen to them and tragic.

                Its not tragic though that someone didnt make it to the rugby on time.

                • McFlock

                  Ah, so although it DID cause pain and suffering to people, it’s not “tragic”? Yep, I’m being pedantic, simply because this is typical behaviour of NACT acolytes – shift the goalposts, and if you didn’t shift ’em far enough, go off on an insensible sentencing tangent or just plain shift ’em again.

                  • McFlock

                    The entire thing was a clusterfuck in an international arena, involving assaults and endangerment on a grand scale. You focus on 2000 people being put out (how much were the tickets – hundreds of dollars each?) to minimise the issue.
                    Nice one.

                    • Armchair Critic

                      how much were the tickets – hundreds of dollars each?
                      Should have put the money into a finance company – then the government would have reimbursed the cost.

    • Ari 2.6

      By the by, on at least one of those trains, somebody was in danger of passing out from the heat- which is a pretty good reason to be pressing the emergency button.

    • Ianupnorth 2.7

      Well it was designed by the Aussie’s – Key et al gave the contract out overseas

      BTW this refers to the original comment about the light show and the snotty nosed kid – how it got down here I know not!

  3. kriswgtn 3

    0 no theres that hideii mincing fuknuckle

    made me blind hahahahha 😛

  4. Steve Wrathall 4

    Please explain how it would have worked better if Trevor Mallard’s $1 billion waterfront bedpan had been build and everyone had headed for that.

    • bbfloyd 4.1

      steve…..the chances of it being competently and realistically organised go up exponentially once sparkle pants and morrie the poodle are taken out of the picture…..

      further explanation would simply confuse you, so i won’t bother….. as you are simply attempting (weakly) to divert attention from the reality of your hero’s utter incompetence and total lack of principle….

      you are actually helping to highlight it by your obstinate insistence on defending the indefensible…

      thanks for that…. you make it much easier for us to drive that stake in…..

    • Ianupnorth 4.2

      Because all roads lead to Rome (or indeed britomart). The stadium was to be on the waterfront near Britomart, where all the trains arrive and depart in all directions, plus the ferries from the shore.

  5. randal 5

    why doesnt garner tell the truth. it was all about a whole lot of mcullys and keys mates getting drunk while the have nots stood around outside looking in. as Dave Letterman would say; “this is why the whole world hates us”.

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      that would cross over from quiet criticism designed to show “objectivity” into “real” journalism…. let’s not be getting too idealistic…..

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Did we ever find out what exactly it is that Key is saying in that Prime Mincer clip?

  7. Irascible 7

    The reality is that the RWC is nothing more than a showcase for the clothing manufacturers and the breweries that sponsor the professional business that is “sport”. NZ has become a failed pawn in a long playing commercial devoted to selling over priced sports-wear and alcohol.
    We shouldn’t have bought into the fiasco from the beginning.

  8. toad 8

    Meanwhile, Murray McCully seizes control of Dan Carter’s back, Richie McCaw’s calf, Mills Muliaina’s hamstring & Israel Dagg’s ab muscles.

  9. randal 9

    and thats not all.

  10. Shona 10

    Right Toad. Let’s focus on the relevant issues.
    It’s a bloody worry so early in proceedings that key players are pulling up lame.

    • mik e 10.1

      Its follow the lame leaders
      McCully side steps
      Key kicks for touch
      Williamson gets pinged for foul play
      Joyce is late for training
      The crowd goes wild

  11. Afewknowthetruth 11

    The success if RWC will be measured in terms of additional beer sales for Heineken. And perhaps the profitability of factories in China that have been churning out the crap that people have been buying in order to be ‘patriotic’.

    How soon before ‘now you can relive the moment’ [by buying DVDs and books] adverts start?

  12. ron 12

    All we can hope for now is that we lose the Cup. Preferably to Australia.

  13. higherstandard 13

    It was inevitable.

    Hitler as McCully in the downfall

    • freedom 13.1

      He’s right you know
      Berlin does have a very good train system 🙂

      • HC 13.1.1

        Berlin already had most of it before Hitler! So he and his party probably took use of it for their own purposes, after it was built by hard working Germans, who may have felt more sympathetic to Ernst Thalman of the KPD than the Nazis. Just another frivolous comment of so many in this forum. I would cherish if bloggers and commenters read and learned a bit more about true history. We have a great challenge ahead of us, and being sloppy will only result in failure.

  14. big bruv 14


    The RWC was always going to be a national embarrassment irrespective of what government we have.

    We are Kiwi’s, the main event is being held in Auckland, history shows us that as a nation we could not organise a booze up in a brewery.

    I just cannot wait for the thing to be over, it will soon be cricket season and the start of real sport.

    Oh…and the election, I am really looking forward to seeing the demolition of the once proud Labour party.

  15. HC 15

    Well, com on guys. Fair enough abour Duncan Garner for once realising the shit tha tgoes on. But are you actually going to rely on gaining some favours from some media reporters or jornos to get understood and perhaps win the coming election?

    You must be bloody dreaming and wet behind your ears!

    This is all trivial debate, and if you want to hear what the street thinks and talks, go bloody well out there onto the streets. Blogs are good, but this is not enough.

    All those so smartly raising their voices and opinions here should bloody well go out and do their networking, their communication, their face to face talk, their own bits of convincing and whatever, rather than just compliment the odd journo saying, oh, JK is a jerk after all.

    Never trust the media, never rely on social media, the only effective communication will always be person to person, in the street, face to face, meeting to meeting, hearing to hearing and so forth. So I can only suggest to ALL, left, Labour, Green, NZ First, Mana, Maori Party, or who else has different ideas and convictions to Nat ACT, go OUT, spread your damned messages, talk, debate, discuss and take a bloody stand right now. The time has never been more important, because if you do not convince enough of admittedly too many complacent public members, then we will have our last few assets sold away from us below our bloody back-sides very, very soon. This election is one of the most important in NZ history! Take a bloody stand and take action!

  16. randal 16

    why are they running the national whining competitions at the same time as the RWC.

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