Home > The Body Politic > New Warnings: R.W.C.

New Warnings: R.W.C.

Police and Fire Service have voiced strong concerns about the Rugby World Cup Authority  proposed expansion of the waterfront “Party Zone”, after serious overcrowding on the Cup opening night (Friday 9 September).

Just to go on-the-record, for future reference;

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The Radio NZ report above clearly expresses Police concerns,

“The police say plans to expand the rugby fan zone in downtown Auckland allow for a bigger crowd than would be safe.”

A Fairfax  article goes further,

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Specifically,

“But there is debate between World Cup organisers and the police over how many people should be allowed into the overflow area, with police saying it can only be properly managed if the numbers are capped at 8,000 and not the 10,000 or more officials say it can handle…

…Sergeant Gavin Campbell said police supported the application but believed a maximum of 8,000 people on Captain Cook Wharf, which is two-thirds the size of Queens Wharf, was a ”realistic number” to manage.

He also said conditions needed to include safety fencing around the wharf, extra security guards and extra lighting.”

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The NZ Herald reported Police and Fire Service concerns in the strongest terms,

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The article goes on to express specific Police concerns,

“…Their submission to the authority said the proposed changes increased the likelihood of someone falling into the water “from possible to probable”.

The national alcohol harm reduction co-ordinator for the police, Sergeant Gavin Campbell, told the hearing of several concerns:

* Temporary fencing around Captain Cook Wharf would collapse if 100 people pushed against it.

* The only lighting on the wharf – two floodlights – would create shadowed areas encouraging opportunistic theft and other crime.

* The counting of people entering the wharf had failed on Friday; with two gates it would only get worse.

Mr Campbell’s most serious objections were on the issue of security guards. Police had already been forced to cover for the “inadequate” provision of contracted guards on the waterfront, which significantly reduced their resources, he said.

An extra 140 guards were now being sought for trains, and not enough were available to man another wharf.

“The well is dry in respect of the security guards, and would be a concern if [the Party Central organisation] was to simply redistribute what has clearly been shown to be an inadequate resource [on Queens Wharf].”

Mr Campbell also questioned the capacity of Captain Cook Wharf. He said it was two-thirds the size of Queens Wharf, which had coped with only 12,000 on Friday.

Therefore 8000 would be a sensible capacity for Captain Cook Wharf.

Fire Service assistant area commander Steve Lakin suggested consultants be employed to establish how many people could safely be on Captain Cook Wharf.

But the Government’s Party Central representative at the hearing, Peter Winder, said Captain Cook had fewer buildings and more open space than Queens Wharf…”

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The proposal to consider expanding the so-called “Party Zone”, despite serious Police and Fire Service concerns, is being heard by the Rugby World Cup Authority.

The Rugby World Cup Authority is a government organisation, created under the Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act 2010 .

The RWCA members are appointed  “…by the Minister for the Rugby World Cup after consultation with the Minister of Justice, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for the Environment.”  Membership consists of the following government appointees,

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Chair:    Sir Bruce Robertson

Deputy:    Hugh Rennie QC

Members:

Robert (Bob) Batty

Paula Beever

Lindsay Daysh

Whaimutu (Whai) Dewes

Alan Dormer

Rachel Dunningham

Andrew Green

David Hill

Gregory (Greg) Hill

Gavin Jones

David Kirkpatrick

Mark Lyne

Matanuku Mahuika

Leigh McGregor

David McMahon

Robert (Rob) Munro

Karyn Sinclair

Mark St Clair

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So let’s be totally clear about this: the decision to expand “Party Central” will be determined by the Rugby World Cup Authority. Membership of the RWCA is determined by central government, under Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act 2010.  Any decision to expand the “Party Zone” on Auckland’s Wharf will be contrary to Police and Fire Service reservations.

Are we all clear on this?

Because if/when something goes wrong again, it should be abundantly clear to even the most ardent  National/ACT supporter where responsibility lies.

We were very lucky last Friday, on Opening Night. But that luck may not last forever.

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See also:

Minister in Charge of R.W.C. (Royal Wellington-based Cock-up)

What killed Rugby?

Just what we need

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Postscript:

I’ve been thinking…

National’s Very Kiwi Coup of the Auckland waterfront and RWC in that city, is a No Lose Scenario for the Left.

To explain;

Outcome #1: More cock-ups; public transport fails; people are seriously inconvenienced; public  anger grows; and a  repeat of the Opening Night fiasco results in this government being revealed  as the Emporer With No Clothes.

Result: Public scorn on National, who are finally revealed to be incompetant at not just “organising a piss-up in a brewery” – but at the more vitally important things such as job creation; building the economy;  stemming the outflow of our talented people to Australia, etc, etc, etc.

Outcome #2: The government runs a thouroughly efficient RWC throughout the country; the trains run on time; no one is inconvenienced; and we’re all Happy chappies!

Result: Yay!

But before anyone thinks that I’ve crossed over into the political “Twilight Zone” by morphing into a National supporter (*stomach heaves*) – the reason I cheer National’s effective management of the RWC is, because, we have clear evidence that the State can and does run things effectively and efficiently. The mantra of neo-liberals that only the private sector can deliver good outcomes is disproven – and in a very, very public way.

Thank you – National!

No Lose scenario for the Left.

Own-goal for the Right.

It doesn’t get any better, folks.

Now we just sit back and wait…

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