30 Nov 2010

Taskforce agrees tougher measures at Eden Park

6:07 am on 30 November 2010

An Auckland taskforce has agreed new measures to crack down on unruly crowd behaviour at Eden Park.

The taskforce has been discussing how to stop a repetition of the drunken and violent crowd behaviour that marred a rugby league test between New Zealand and Australia on 6 November.

Bottles were thrown on the pitch and the crowd booed the Australian national anthem. Police made six arrests.

The taskforce was set up by Auckland mayor Len Brown to ensure that problems will not occur during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Police, staff from Eden Park and the council met for the first time on Monday.

Measures agreed on include better enforcement of liquor bans, more effective screening of people going to the stadium, more security staff and a higher police presence.

Mr Brown told Checkpoint better communication and enforcement of liquor bans at the stadium could improve crowd behaviour.

He says the measures will be in place in time for the next major test of crowd management - the Twenty20 cricket match between the Black Caps and Pakistan on 26 December.

Eden Park is to host several matches during the Rugby World Cup, including the opening game on 9 September between the All Blacks and Tonga, the semifinals and the final on 23 October.

The Police Commander for the Rugby World Cup, Superintendent Grant O'Fee, says he doesn't think there will be a huge problem with people getting drunk and disorderly during the tournament.

Superintendent O'Fee says people who have paid a lot for tickets will want to watch the rugby, rather than get too drunk.